On the surface, starting and building a successful ecommerce business may look easy: Find a product to sell, buy a WordPress template, select an ecommerce plug-in, and watch the money start rolling in... Right?
Obviously it’s much more challenging than that. That’s why I’ve scoured the Internet to find the best resources for ecommerce entrepreneurs, whether you’re a newb or a seasoned pro.
Ecommerce Getting Started Guide - This PDF document lays out the first steps to setting up an ecommerce business. It covers topics like selecting a domain name, accepting online payments, and promoting your new business.
5 Easy Ecommerce Solutions for Non-Technical People - informative article by ex-Yahoo Product Manager Patrick O'Malley on how to select your ecommerce platform when you don't have extensive programming skills.
A Beginner's Guide to Getting Started in Retail Ecommerce - This is an excerpt from the book Retail Detail by Ronald L. Bond about the basic building blocks of what it takes to get a ecommerce businesses started.
The Mega Guide to Maximizing eCommerce Sales, Revenues and Performance on all Fronts - This is very detailed post from the folks at KissMetrics that covers mobile ecommerce, search engine optimization, and other tips for increasing your ecommerce sales.
How to Make a $1000 a Month Business - This looks like a great course for building your first small business. I haven’t taken the course but I have had good experiences with content from the publisher, AppSumo, before.
8 Important Stats Gathered from Analyzing Over 18,000 Small to Medium Ecommerce Sites - Some insights derived from data that will help you succeed in ecommerce.
Marketing and SEO for Ecommerce
2014 Ecommerce Marketing Checklist - A checklist to focus on once you have the first version of your site live on the web.
17 SEO Best Practices That Could Double Your E-Commerce Sales - A great article with clear, actionable steps to take to grow your sales.
50 Actionable Ways To Build Links To Your eCommerce Store - Very detailed list for a vital discipline for SEO. Don't stop at just reading this post, the rest of the site offers valuable content as well. This post was suggested for thsi article by Brian Dean.
QuickSprout Blog - Although this blog is not focused strictly on ecommerce marketing it worth subscribing to. They put out at least three quality posts per week that will inspire you to improve how you market your site.
10 Easy to Follow Essential E-Commerce Site Search Engine Optimisation Tips - Here’s some more great tips for optimizing your site for SEO.
Conversion Rate Improvement
21 tweaks to increase your Ecommerce conversion rate - Just think how increasing your conversion rate by 5% would impact your bottom line over a 12-month period. You owe it to yourself to act on some of these tips.
Checkout Champions: 10 Tips To Win More Ecommerce Sales - Here are some great ideas on how to maximize your checkout process for increased revenue.
Top Design Tips for Improving Ecommerce Conversions - Web design has come a long way in improving ecommerce conversions, especially in the last year or so. Here are some of the latest design ideas.
Increasing Sales by 69% with eCommerce Conversion Optimization - Three tests you can run to improve your conversion rate.
4 Tips for Ecommerce Cart Abandonment Recovery Emails - Some unique tips for using email to bring customers back to your site after they abandoned their order.
Analytics for Ecommerce
An Introduction to Google Analytics for Ecommerce - A quality, short book covering the basics of using Google Analytics for your site.
Top Five Google Analytics Metrics to Watch When Launching an Ecommerce Website - Setting up Google Analytics for your website is one thing, knowing what metrics to track is another. These five are a great place to start.
Google Analytics for eCommerce: 7 Tricks to Get More Bang for Your Buck - More steps to ensure you make the most out of Google Analytics.
How to Use Google Analytics to Increase E-Commerce Sales - This post should be titled “How to Get Actionable Data From Google Analytics.”
RJ Metrics - Want more data and insight than Google Analytics can provide? Then check out RJ Metrics. They combine the data from your website and uncover the insights you need to grow your business.
Risk Management for Ecommerce
Visa E-Commerce Merchant’s Guide to Risk Management - Fraud is very important issue for ecommerce entrepreneurs. Here is are some tools and best practices to help you make sure you lose as little as possible revenue to fraudsters.
Eight Tips to Avoid Fraudulent Mobile Commerce Payments - Yes, fraud occurs in mobile commerce transactions too. Here are some methods for ensuring you don’t get screwed.
Preparing Your Business for Global E-Commerce - Selling globally from your ecommerce site is more complex than domestic sales, but there are huge rewards for opening your site to the 95 percent of the world’s population that lives outside the United States. Here’s a detailed guide that covers managing operations, inventory, and payment Issues.
5 Tips For Global E-Commerce Success - There are huge opportunities for expanding your ecommerce business by making your products available in other countries. Check out these tips for getting started.
10 Low-Budget Ways to Sell Internationally - How to expand into international markets without spending a whole lot of money.
Five Tips for Shipping Internationally - Cross-border online sales will be consistently increasing over the next few years, according to some reports. Here’s how to handle the shipping for these transactions.
Here are a few payment platforms that allow you to accept payments in local currencies:
Mobile Commerce: 25 Essential Tips - There are more barriers in mobile commerce than in traditional ecommerce, i.e. smaller screens, and variable connections speeds. So if you’re going to make mobile commerce work, then user experience is a priority.
Top 5 Mobile SEO Tips for Mobile Commerce & Retail - Here are some great tips for setting up your mobile commerce sites.
Tips on Designing Mobile Commerce Sites That Convert - How to increase conversions on your mobile website through improved user experience (UX).
Blogs to Read Regularly
A Better Lemonade Stand - This is my favorite ecommerce blog for people just getting started. This blog is full of guides, tips, and resources that if followed will result in a much greater chance of success.
Practical Ecommerce - Is there a better blog for an ecommerce entrepreneur to read? I don’t think so. Subscribe to this blog today!
Fail Harder - A great blog created for people who aren't afraid to take risks building an ecommerce startup.
The Ordoro Blog - Ordoro is a shipping app that integrates with some of the most popular ecommerce platforms out there. The good news is their blog covers a wide array of topics all having to do with running an ecommerce business.
The Unbounce Blog - This blog covers conversion, A/B testing, email marketing a several other topics that all relate to ecommerce in one way or another.
Tropical MBA - There are lot of great ideas and tips for creating and building your own location independent business on this site and podcast, many of which are ecommerce.
Follow on Twitter
@JasonFalls - Jason Falls leads the digital strategy at Cafepress and is also the found of Social Media Explorer.
@RichardABLS - Richard Abls is the creator of A Better Lemonade Stand and other ecommerce projects
@hnshah - Hiten Shah is Co-founder of KISSmetrics.
@randfish - Rand Fishkin is the founder of SEOmoz and is one of the best SEO instructors out there.
@noahkagan - Noah Kagan is the man behind Okdork.com and AppSumo.com among other things. Seems like a great guy who really wants to help you build your first business.
@bmassey - Brian Massey is a conversion scientist.
@tropicalMBA - Dan Andrews is the co-founder of Tropical MBA Podcast which focuses on helping you build location independent business
@youderian - Andrew Youderian is an eCommerce entrepreneur and blogger who shares lessons from his own businesses to help others start and grow their ecommerce sites.
@itsmeterrylin - Terry Lin runs his own ecommerce company and is the host the Build My Online Store podcast.
Follow on Quora
Matthew Carroll - shares a lot of detailed content about ecommerce.
Kat Hunter - Sr. E-Commerce Manager @ Blizzard Entertainment.
Brian Roemmele - No one writes better content about payments, anywhere.
Roadmap for a Trustworthy E-Commerce Website - Every contact a visitor has with an ecommerce website is an opportunity for a business to instill trust in the visitor. Here’s a break down how you can do that.
How Tablet Shoppers are Changing Online Sales - This infographic is a bit old (2012) but the information is still accurate and shows how your ecommerce site should be better optimized for tablets.
Best Industries to Target for Ecommerce - This infographic reveals what industries are experiencing the greatest growth in ecommerce. Definitely worth reading before you start your new online book store.
2014 Ecommerce Trends - This infographic highlights the importance of mobile, SEO, and great user experience.
Conversion Killers - Take a look at this infographic to see all the things that could be hurting your conversion rate.
Thanks for reading all the way to the end of this post! If you think that I missed something please mention it in the comments below!