If you’re an online seller looking for specific information to help you grow your shop, increase your sales or become a popular brand, you’ll be overloaded with information. Thanks, Google.
Everyone’s pulling up one of these long lists so we thought “hey, let’s put up one too!”.
We sat down and decided that there’s got to be a list of really great articles that will help you in very specific departments of growing your online shop / ecommerce business. Out comes the notepad, and here are the categories we zeroed in on:
- Shop Design and Aesthetic
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Product Photography
- Ecommerce Copywriting
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Social Media Advertising
- Ecommerce A/B Testing
- Analytics & Data
Here we go:
Shop Design and Aesthetic
1. 30 beautiful shop designs to find inspiration:
“Whether it’s the presentation of your food at a fancy restaurant or the latest Apple product, humans just seem to love things that are beautifully designed. And the same goes for your website. If you’re not presenting your visitors with an attractive site and packaging your products nicely, you’re definitely leaving money on the table.” – Read on Shopify
2. A website full of inspiring and spectacular ecommerce website designs:
“Inspirational Shops is a gallery of inspiring eCommerce webdesign made to create inspiration for people who are passionate about eCommerce.” – Check it out.
3. We covered a list of beautiful ecommerce website galleries:
“Starting from a blank state is always hard. It’s better to start with inspiration. Here’s a list of some of the best eCommerce website galleries to start your journey.” – Check out the popular the galleries.
4. 21 best practices when it comes to designing an ecommerce website:
“The homepage of an eCommerce website is a lot like prime-time television slot. Every sitcom is vying to be there, but only the very best gets the slot.” – Read on VWO.
5. Even more design best practices for ecommerce websites (36 of them):
“The homepage is often the highest traffic page on an e-commerce site. This single page is responsible for building trust, driving sales, and creating lifelong customers.” – Read on Optimizely.
6. 5 mistakes that could be killing your sales:
“How do people view, browse, and use your site? While testing will be the final judgement for what works on your site, conversion studies can be a great place to begin when designing your site.” – Don’t make these mistakes.
7. Lessons in clean and minimal shop design:
“What better way to showcase your products than by giving them the stage? This is the concept behind a growing trend in e-commerce web design – going minimal.
In the past many online stores took the opposite approach to design. Sites were often cluttered with information, fonts and colors were overwhelming, and sites were quite simply ‘over-designed’. Now, many sites are ditching models, crazy colors and fonts, and fancy photography for the simplistic style of just showcasing their products.” – Read on Tympanus.
8. 13 tips where design impacts conversions:
“Well-designed ecommerce website is the ultimate key to get customers. Ecommerce websites are meant to aid customers so that their shopping experience can be made a richer one, and this also helps in increasing the conversion rate for the website. With this, the point of designing an ecommerce website gets accomplished and additionally adds to the user experience.” – Continue on Tech
9. Advanced CRO through design principles:
“I’m taking this post old-school, to show you how fundamental design principles can be used to increase conversions on your landing pages, breaking it down into two important aspects of conversion centered design.” – Read on Unbounce.
10. Design principles for success in ecommerce:
“The success of any eCommerce site depends on a well-developed strategy that combines aesthetics, usability, structure, and layout. When these facets all work together (along with flawless development and solid SEO), your site will be primed for high conversions.” – Read on Groove.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
11. Shopify’s 10 crucial tips:
“There is no one size fits all strategy for SEO, and online store owners need to carefully assess their site to develop a customized SEO strategy and action plan to improve their search engine presence and traffic to their online store.” – Continue on Shopify
12. 5 SEO sins you might be committing:
“But did you know that approximately 70% of all visitors to a website land through “organic” search results? Focusing on naturally marketing your Shopify store is as important as ever and there are certain mistakes that store owners fail to rectify that could help them gain new visitors.” – Read on ecommerce-platforms
13. A primer on ecommerce seo:
“Ecommerce sites follow a natural hierarchy of departments, categories, subcategories, and products. That hierarchy is usually displayed in an organization-chart fashion, with boxes cascading down the page and vertical lines connecting them to indicate linking and levels.” – Read the primer on Practical Ecommerce
14. Brian dean’s video on ecommerce seo:
15. 6 proven seo strategies:
“Here are some great tips when creating SEO tactics for your e-commerce site, ranging from simple optimization to some more technical strategies that can easily be overlooked, but worth the time to implement.” – Read about the strategies on Paymill
16. 20 SEO twitter feeds you should follow:
“Here is a list of SEO feeds to follow on Twitter. These feeds offer an abundance of strategies, resources, news, and opinion on search. There are publications and agencies, creative content marketers, social media influencers, big data thinkers, and many entrepreneurs.” – Here’s the list.
17. 17 SEO best practices: (the matching 17s were not intended!)
“When I first tell clients that SEO can double online sales for consumer e-commerce retailers, they are skeptical. But not after I demonstrate how I’ve done it for Norwegian e-shops using 8 effective SEO tips.” – Read about the tips and best practices on SEL.
18. A different take on SEO:
“You can either buy your way into a market OR organically build a brand – the better option is to do both.” – Continue on 2xecommerce
19. Shopify’s ecommerce checklist:
“However, if you’re prepared to put in a little time to build your site and be patient with the results, SEO can pay off tremendously. Organic traffic is free and MarketingCharts found that 39% of their merchants customers came from search.” – Find the checklist on Shopify
20. Another checklist from thinktraffic:
21. Better photos to conversions:
“How To Optimize Your Product Photography For Your eCommerce Store” – Continue reading this
22. Some photography workflows and hacks:
“Organization is important for any type of workflow — especially when it comes to preparing your merchandise photos for your online store. Detailed preparation, a customized workspace, simple processes, archiving and transferring systems and communication are all necessary components for streamlining your photo production workflow and achieving maximum productivity.” – Read about the workflows on Bigcommerce
23. A DIY guide to beautiful product photography:
“But it’s not just aesthetics we’re talking about. Showcasing your products with high-quality images can also be the winning difference between a conversion and no sale at all. This is particularly true if you’re also distributing your products on marketplace sites like Amazon where they are displayed alongside those of your competitors.” – Check this out
Edit: One more interesting resource came our way. Floship’s guide to product photography is rich in detail (with lots of introductory videos to some kickass product photography tips). Check it out here.
24. 11 tips for effective photography:
“Ideally, you should get a professional photographer to perform that well-calculated magic. However, if you’re working on a tight budget, or if you happen to be handy with the camera, you can definitely DIY so long as you read the following tips first.” – Continue this on Wix
25. Photography under $50:
“A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it can also be worth thousands of dollars in revenue. The most successful online selling channels for today’s retailers are the ones on which they post unique, high-quality product photography.” – Check out how to do photography on a shoestring budget.
26. DIY product photography guide:
“A juicy, flavourful patty of Angus beef topped with fresh leaf lettuce, tomatoes and crisp red onions on a delicious sesame seed bun. Om nom nom. Makes your stomach grumble just thinking about it. It looks even better when McDonalds advertises it on billboards and TV. You know it looks nothing like that in the restaurant, but when you see the advertisements you don’t care anymore. You just want to eat it. That’s the power of fantastic product photography.” – Check out the guide
27. IKEA product photo hacks:
“Want some cheap and simple do-it-yourself photo equipment? Check out the IKEA store near you. In addition to being affordable options for home items, a number of IKEA products can also be repurposed for your next photo shoot.” – Find out what those hacks are.
28. More cool photo optimization tips:
“One of the first products I was asked to photograph was a dress for a small clothing company. After looking at ads and photos from clothing magazines, I knew that it was key to get the lighting right, the details recorded and show the piece in action. But what about when you need to photograph something to be sold online or in a store?” – Read more about optimizing your product photos.
29. Why you should learn photography:
“A lot of Shopify store owners don’t spend much time on their product photos because they think it requires the skills of a professional photographer and a bunch of expensive equipment. Yet high quality product photos can give a Shopify store that extra professional touch and are the key to soaring eCommerce sales.” – Here’s more.
30. 40 tools and resources:
“We’ve compiled 40 tools and resources to help you take your own product photos. These include resources on lighting, recommendations of experts, and things you need for your home studio.” – Check out the tools.
31. 9 tips on copywriting:
“It’s an easy mistake. Even professional copywriters make it sometimes: Writing product descriptions that simply describe your products. Why is it wrong? Because product descriptions need to sell your products.” – Continue reading this.
32. 10 lessons from one amazing description:
“When it comes to selling online, your product descriptions are the most important factor when it comes to getting people to buy. If you walked into a traditional store and had questions, there would be a salesman there to help you choose and answer any questions. In an online store, your description has to play the role of the salesman.” – Read this fantastic piece on Bootstrapping Ecommerce
33. Product description formula:
“Journalists utilize the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How method for getting across the facts of their stories, and following this process is the first step in crafting a compelling product description.” – Read more about the formula.
34. 7 steps to great descriptions with a consistent tone / voice:
“How seductive are your product descriptions? Does your product copy entice readers to click buy or try? Or do you simply describe your product and tell web visitors what it does? The “secret” to writing seriously seductive product descriptions is to follow a proven process to engage, persuade, and sell.” – Check out this post on writing descriptions with a voice.
35. 11 incredible techniques:
“Writing a unique, informative and compelling product description for sure helps in increasing your eCommerce business sales. However, playing fair is the best way to convert your visitor into a fan.” – Check this out on nopAccelerate.
36. 6 practices for sale-boosting descriptions:
“There is no perfect or ultimate example of a product page that will work for any store, product or audience. It’s important to be well aware of that before you start designing your description. A unique approach is the first thing you have to take when creating the page that is supposed to sell your product.” – Continue on eCommerce Platforms.
37. Pinterest board dedicated to product descriptions:
38. Psychological triggers in product descriptions:
“Bland, boring, product descriptions can damage your business. But if you don’t consider yourself much of a writer it can be tough to know what to say to really showcase your products in their best light, and make them mega appealing to your customer.” – Find out how to turn your descriptions into “mega-appealing” sales copies.
39. A classic guide to copywriting for ecommerce:
“Quality product descriptions can transform e-commerce conversion rates — it’s common to see increases of 30-100%. As well as converting more visitors, search traffic increases drastically when unique copy is written for each product.” – Check this out.
40. Great examples of great product descriptions:
“Your excellent copy and the different ways you can use it can also make your brand more trustworthy and foster a deeper sense of loyalty.” – Find out more.
Extra: 6 easy steps to great product descriptions that sell
Krista’s write-up on product descriptions is a great guide you can refer to every time you write a product description. The examples are of a great help in driving home the point about product descriptions – you have to talk to your customers. Check it out here.
41. The Ultimate guide to email marketing:
“[Email marketing] can be simple, such as sending an email to people who abandon their shopping carts. Or complex, like having numerous campaigns that work together synergistically to multiply sales exponentially.” – Read the guide here.
42. 7 campaigns to steal from:
“Without a doubt, email is one of the most powerful marketing channels when it comes to driving ecommerce sales. In fact, email has an ROI of around 4,300%, according to the Direct Marketing Association.” – Continue reading it here.
43. 16 more inspiring campaigns:
“While email has managed to stand the test of time, many marketers have failed to update their strategies since its inception. So to ensure you’re sending modern emails that warrant some of your recipients’ precious time and attention, we’ve compiled a list of effective email examples to inspire your next campaign. ” – Get inspired by these email campaigns.
44. 10 more examples of great email campaigns:
“We love well designed email – it’s part of what we enable our customers to create every day. Email that looks great and has clear messaging consistently gets more opens, clicks and conversions. These days it’s pretty much mandatory to make sure your email looks good, reads well, and provides a clear benefit to readers.” – More examples here.
45. 21 mistakes to avoid in email marketing:
“Always do what’s best for your readers and your subscribers, and delight them with every email. Do that every time, and your open rates will be strong in the long run.” – BuzzFeed policy. – Read more about the 21 mistakes to avoid.
46. Growing your email list:
“What is one of the biggest drivers for returning customers? Email. Having a strategy for getting users onto your email list is paramount for the growth of your business.” – Continue this here.
47. Some more email marketing hacks:
“When it comes to your holiday marketing, no tool will offer more opportunities to increase sales this season than email marketing. According to marketing analytics company, Custora, email marketing was the number one driver of sales on Black Friday 2014, resulting in 27.3 percent of online sales.” – Check out some more email marketing hacks here.
48. After-order email hacks:
“By advertising to new customers and keeping old ones in the loop through emails, the business not only maintains steady operations, but leaves more room for expansion. Having a proper follow-up email system shows that your business is operating effectively to satisfy needs of new as well as old customers. According to research, 40% of ecommerce store revenue comes from only 8% of customers, and those 8% are repeat customers. Therefore, keeping those customers loyal is of paramount importance.” – Post-sale email marketing hacks.
49. 13 email marketing tips:
Matt Heinz shares his tactical ideas on 13 email marketing hacks. Check it out here.
50. Great ways to build your email list:
“It’s hard to build an email database of 10,000 people or more (which is how big it needs to be to really start seeing the power of email marketing).” – Read more here.
Social Media Marketing
51. Examples of social media done right:
“Here are 10 inspiring examples of social media done right, across different popular platforms, by different ecommerce businesses. You can apply these examples immediately into your own social media plan of attack to help you achieve results such as growth and engagement.” – Check this out.
52. Creating a social media plan:
“If you run an eCommerce business, you’re probably well aware of the increasingly important role social media plays in the evolution of online shopping. With 93 percent of consumers turning to social media to help make buying decisions—and 90 percent of them saying they trust product recommendations from their peers—avoiding social media simply isn’t an option if you want to compete online.” – Here’s more on creating a social media plan for your shop.
53. 10 social media marketing mistakes you should avoid:
“Most companies might have experienced this and you could be one of them. The story goes like this: you decide to join the social network, make your profiles, load it with info, put great stuff out there to attract attention and then disappear. Within weeks of your ‘super’ launch your page is converted into a barren land with followers wondering what they are doing there and some people seeking answers and getting no replies. Your social media presence soon becomes a flop show!” – a mistake we have made ourselves. – More on all the mistakes you should avoid.
54. A great insight on why social media matters for ecomm:
“But the challenge for social media—and for word of mouth marketing—is that they are inherently additive pieces of the conversion funnel, rather than causative.” – Continue this here.
55. Optimal social media times:
“Define where your current and potential customers are and gear your social media publishing toward them. Here are some tips to help you choose the best times to publish and promote your content on Twitter, Facebook, Email Marketing, and your Blog.” – Read this to find out the best time to post.
56. 10 essential tips for ecommerce social media:
“First things first: You need to figure out where your site visitors are sharing your products. Without this information, you won’t know where to focus your social media energies.” – Check it out.
57. 4 brands doing it right:
“As an online store owner, it’s imperative to have a social presence. But I’m not here to convince you of such. In fact, I’m confident that you know this already. Rather, what I question is whether your social campaign is as effective as it could be. Are you really knocking it out of the park, or could it use some work?” – Find the examples here.
58. 5 cool tips for increasing social media engagement:
“Without engagement, your promotions will convert poorly.” – Check out the tips here.
59. 39 ways to get more social followers:
“Social media marketing works only if you actually have fans or followers. This article will walk you through 39 proven methods for increasing your followers across your social media accounts.” – Find out all the ways you can gain more followers.
60. Social media profile optimization:
“I want you to think of each social media profile you create as a landing page for your brand. This landing page is possibly the first encounter that someone is going to have with your brand, and you will want that first impression to be golden and make the visitor want to know more about you.” – More optimization tips here.
Social Media Advertising
61. A primer on social media ads:
“Going beyond general demographics and geographic data, social media advertising has facilitated advanced targeting options like behavioral and connection-based targeting. These advanced targeting methods increase the relevance of the ads and provide a level of personalization that is not attainable on other advertising channels.” – Read this to get an idea of what social media ads can do.
62. Pinterest advertising at its best:
“If you’ve been in the game a while, you may have noticed there’s a pattern with the launch of these social ad networks: traffic starts off cheap and gradually gets more expensive. This has to do with targeting. When a new platform launches, they are still working out the kinks in the system and dialing in its targeting capabilities and platform functionality, so ads are cheap.” – Read this amazing case-study.
63. 9 types of Twitter ads you should know:
“Twitter ads are more than twice as likely as organic tweets to convert users, and paid ads generate leads at one-third the cost of other marketing channels.” – Check out this Twitter-ads primer.
64. A complete guide to Twitter ads:
“Twitter, however, is not your average advertising platform. Although it boasts of some of the familiar features of other social network advertising, it does have some idiosyncratic features that set it apart from others and make it an interesting place to advertise.” – a must-read if you’re thinking about Twitter ads.
65. Using Facebook ads:
“Dynamic product ads might be the highest ROI strategy ecommerce sites can use – a chance to bring back hesitant customers by showing them tailored ads based on their activity on your site.” – Check this out.
66. 5 mistakes you could be making with Facebook ads:
“One of the greatest strengths of Facebook advertising is that it helps to reach people who, in one way or another, signaled to potentially be interested in your products. This could mean having a specific hobby, activities, interests but also education, job or even other Facebook Pages they liked.” – Make sure you don’t commit these mistakes.
67. Creating successful display ads (image ads):
“Display advertising is a great way to promote your e-commerce business. A well designed display ad can generate a lot of clicks as well as build awareness for you brand.” – Find out more.
68. Some more critical info on Facebook ads:
“Consider this word of caution: The results from Facebook might not come instantly. It may take several attempts at a customer model, interest targets, or even changing the design of your site. Keep trying. With perseverance, you’re bound to strike gold on Facebook ads, in my experience.” – Read this here.
69. 4 strategies to drive more sales with Facebook ads:
“Be creative; you can target blogs that your customers read, influencers they follow and even people who like your competitors’ pages.” – More ways to target Facebook ads profitably.
70. A guide to social media ads for retailers:
“Retailers who sell products within a social stream capture users where they already spend a great amount of time. Instead of the user having to go directly to your website or click on a banner ad, social ads for e-commerce reach users as they browse Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and so on. They can then make the purchase directly on-screen and continue their social browsing activity. The risk of an abandoned cart or navigational issue is greatly reduced with these features.” – Check this out.
Ecommerce A/B Testing
71. 15 A/B tests for ecommerce:
“If you love A B testing, eCommerce sites should be your favorite playground. These sites have so much happening at every level that you can never test too much.” – Read more aout the tests here.
72. Optimizely’s guide to A/B testing:
“When you set up experiments, you will want to have a good idea of what to measure so you can define success.” – Get the guide here.
73. A/B testing tools for small biz:
“Here is a list of affordable A/B testing solutions for small businesses. There are easy-to-use testing suites that provide A/B, multivariate, and split URL testing. There are also free A/B frameworks that can be installed easily.” – Check this out.
74. A/B testing for mobile:
“Now, it is time for mobile apps to create optimized selling environments. It’s not the same ball game, though; some challenges are unique for mobile apps. A shorter user attention span and a smaller screen size are the primary ones. But, what does work for mobile apps is that potential customers have their mobile phones with them all the time! The always-connected generation doesn’t usually find push notification intrusive, either.” – Find out more about A/B testing mobile UX.
75. VWO’s guide:
“A/B testing allows you to make more out of your existing traffic. While the cost of acquiring paid traffic can be huge, the cost of increasing your conversions is minimal.” – Get the guide here.
76. Pricing experiments that you can do:
“This time around, I compiled a list of five pricing experiments that I believe will have every ecommerce entrepreneur taking notes for a future A/B test. Should you compare your prices to competitors? Are similarly priced products on your store cannibalizing sales? Does the number ‘9’ really work that well?” – More pricing experiments to read about.
77. 10 A/B tests to do right away:
“You probably have a lot of ideas in the back of your head about changes in your heading, discount offers, pricing, layout, and so on. But maybe the fear of plummeting conversion rates has always stopped you from trying them out. That’s where A/B testing can really move the needle. It allows you to measure the success of proposed changes while limiting potential damage.” – Check this out.
78. Another simpler guide to A/B testing:
“As a widely used testing methodology, A/B testing is generally used because of its simplicity and ability to generate fast results as it’s easier to determine the more effective version, given that there are only 2 variations to be tested.” – Get this one from Receiptful.
79. Google Analytics to A/B testing:
“Most newbies to A/B testing struggle with which tools to use, how to set up their test, and how to know when it’s done. In this article, I’ll show you a free tool, readily available to every website owner. I’ll also give you some guidance on setting up your test and knowing when to call it done.” – Find out how GA and A/B testing merge.
80. Qualitative questions to A/B testing:
“Qualitative feedback provides purposeful interpretation about a person’s actions online. Either people are doing something you want them to do and you want to find out why they’re doing it, or people are not doing something you want them to do and you want to find out why they’re not doing it. That’s the purpose of qualitative feedback.” – Read more here.
Analytics & Data
81. 7 ecommerce analytics tools:
“The first thing I say to every new ecommerce entrepreneur is you will need to invest time in setting up an analytics tool. While I would really recommend analytics tools to be the first tool any website owner should install on their site, there are certain features that make them an absolute must on ecommerce sites.” – Check this out.
82. 10 Google Analytics essentials for ecommerce websites:
“Custom reports and dashboards — two Google Analytics options — can help ecommerce managers quickly access key metrics. Dashboards can be tailored for specific departments or members of an ecommerce team. They are handy tools for making quick and informed decisions.” – Find out more.
83. 15 reports and insights that really matter:
“Google Analytics can generate so many data that website owners are sometimes overwhelmed with all of it. To keep things simple, we – just like Google – have categorized the critical reports and metrics under categories.” – Read this.
84. A guide to Google Analytics for Ecommerce:
“Google Analytics is a valuable ally in the ecommerce battle for consumer dollars. The insights it provides contains a wealth of information about your site, your visitors and where they came from. All this information can be used to find new customers and increase conversions.” – Get the guide.
85. An introductory guide from Kissmetrics:
“Online store owners are one of the many different segments affected by these constant evolutions. In order for these business owners to survive and thrive, they need to be able to make better decisions faster. This is where web analytics comes into play.” – Read this here.
86. 4 customer data mistakes you shouldn’t make:
“Collecting data about shoppers is essential for ecommerce businesses. Demographic, social, and behavioral data provides insights to merchants for marketing campaigns, product improvements, and to offer better customer service. However, when not implemented correctly, data-centric strategies can do more harm than good.” – Read more about the mistakes to avoid.
87. 3 ways to use analytics to increase conversions:
“80% of online retailers do not use their analytics sufficiently. Many don’t even track important actions like conversion rates and purchases. If you use analytics only to measure your daily traffic, you’re doing yourself and your customers a disservice.” – Find out why.
88. 6 ways retailers can use big data:
“Small retailers that think big data analysis is only important for larger retailers should think again. The fact is using big data analytics is key for small businesses that want to compete with the larger companies.” – Read more about how Big Data can help.
89. Conversion Rate Optimization case studies:
“Ideas for A/B tests can come from the darnedest places. But there’s nothing like case studies from other similar companies to get the hypothesis juices flowing.” – Check out the case studies.
90. 3 advanced reports to increase conversions:
“Testing without analytics is like a sandwich without bread, it’s messy and ultimately unsatisfying. According to a survey by WhichTestWon & Marketo, 94% of marketers reported that they refer to their analytics reports when identifying test hypotheses – I honestly have no idea what the other 6% are doing.” – Find out what the 3 reports are.
93. 24 tools and tips to ecommerce productivity.
94. Setting up a productive home office.
95. Importance of keeping a journal for productivity.
97. The Most Important Task hack.