Ecommerce entrepreneurs frequently earn their profits in small margins, where slight competitive advantages can be the difference between flourishing and floundering.
Gaining a competitive advantage can be as simple as trying a new marketing tactic, making a subtle adjustment to your website, or operating more effectively. The ideas that grow into advantages are often planted at conferences, during webinars, or reading a white paper or case study. For this reason, it is a beneficial to occasionally get a glimpse at some of the ideas (or the seeds of ideas) that are circulating in the ecommerce and business community.
To succeed with your ecommerce business you need help like personal advice, general tips and your questions answered. Thankfully the web is awash with great information, I have put together a list of great resources I have bookmarked in the past.
Ecommerce Resources To Help Your Business Succeed:
- “Ecommerce and the Market Structure of Retail Industries,” PDF download by the American Economic Association. Know how your business is impacting the retail markets. Who really benefits when more consumers shop online.
- “Ecommerce Know-How: Seven Steps to Starting Your eBusiness in a Recession,” in Practical eCommerce. “A recession is simply a reduction of a nation’s gross domestic product…not a cessation of commerce.”
- “The Professional’s Guide to Link Building,” by SEOmoz. One of the best SEO guides I’ve found, this SEOmoz ebook is one of the few items I listed that isn’t free. But if you are planning an internal linking strategy for your store, you should invest the $39.00.
- “Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization,” by SEOmoz. Although this resource is now more than three years old, it still offers an excellent overview of SEO.
- “PageRank: What Is It? And How Do You Calculate It?,” in Practical eCommerce. I may be guilty of a little self-promotion here, but it is a very good overview of Google’s PageRank.
- “Google’s SEO Starter Guide,” by Google. Not as robust as I would have liked, this free guide offers good basic information about Google and how it views SEO.
- “Optimal Search Engine Marketing Strategy,” by M. E. Sharpe. Put your thinking cap on.
- “SEO: Estimating Sales Potential from Keywords and Phrases,” in Practical eCommerce. Time to change your perception about SEO, get the skinny on what you can really expect.
- “Ecommerce Know-How: Information Architecture to Improve SEO and Usability,” in Practical eCommerce. Combining information architecture and SEO generates good results.
- MailChimp’s free “Email Marketing Guide”. This 65-page electronic tome covers topics like how email works, designing and coding emails, and measuring performance. While some of the material is dated (i.e. suggesting that one use table-based layouts which I believe is no longer the best practice), it is still foundational material worth your time.
- “Look Beyond Money, Build Customer Value,” PDF download by eROI. According to eROI, “Many clients do not have a sense of how loyal or engaged their customers are.” This guide encourages you to show your customer that they matter and demonstrate that you care about them.
- Case Study: “Wacom: Power of the Pens, Building Community,”, by eROI. Another eROI resource this case study discusses Wacom’s success. “At the end of the 14 day campaign, over 61,000 unique visitors from all over the world had come to the site.”
- Entreprenuer eBusiness – A section on entrepreneur.com dedicated to eBusiness with lots of great articles and how-to guides on getting started, getting traffic, operations, site design etc
- Practical eCommerce – A very helpful advice website with articles, blog posts and podcasts
- Get Elastic – An ecommerce blog with regular posts from quality authors. Worth subscribing to (free) so you don’t miss any of their content. A recent article I liked was Online PR Tips for Consumer Safety
- eShop Forums – A forum for webmasters selling products online. Not a highly active forum but there are over 5,000 posts with info you can search through
- The eCommerce Blog – The name says it all! Not many regular postings but lots of archives worth going through to dig out some great content. A post I like is: non core products as a loss leader
- Top 100 eCommerce Tips – This is a forum post from webmasterworld where members each contributed to the thread with their own tip
- Choosing A Shopping Cart – An article which clearly explains everything about shopping carts so you can get the right one for your estore
- Top 10 eCommerce Tips – An article published by smallbusiness, its an old article (2006) but still a good’en!
- Increase Online Sales – 7 tips from gotwww.com about how to increase your sales online
- This Blog – of course how could I not include this blog in the list! We do regular postings (every monday mornings) and you can subscribe for free or add us to your bookmarks!
- If you have any more great resources you are welcome to leave a comment below. Thanks