There is no shortage of books for eCommerce entrepreneurs to read. However, in a world where Amazon and even New York Times bestseller rankings can be gamed and even bought, it is harder than ever to filter out the true gems from all of the noise.
Not to mention, some of the best books aren’t even about eCommerce at all. They are general business, leadership, or marketing books.
In this post, we’re curating some of the best books for 6-7 figure eCommerce entrepreneurs to read.
General Business Books for eCommerce
1. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber
This revised and updated edition of this business classic addresses common myths about starting and running your own business. While the book isn’t eCommerce specific, the lessons he shares are rooted in first principles. And, it can help you build a business that is a sellable asset instead of being stuck working “in” the business.
Building a successful eCommerce business is no longer about creating an online store with products and then buying cheap Google ads to drive traffic. At least, this isn’t nearly as effective as it was in the early 2000s.
In this revised and updated edition, Ecommerce Evolved provides you with a reliable formula to help you evolve your brand and business, so you can build, grow, and scale in today’s competitive market. In the four sections of this book, you’ll learn about the twelve principles of eCommerce. Additionally, you’ll explore the strategy that can help eCommerce businesses successfully grow, how to use your company’s data, and how to build on that data to inform your marketing strategies.
If you are thinking about launching a new product, then this book is worth a read. Jeff Walker shares his knowledge and process around launches. He provides real-world examples of successful business and product launches to help new and struggling businesses achieve their goals. It also provides links to audio and video case studies to further your understanding from a real-world example.
Additional Business Books To Read:
- Delivering Happiness – by Tony Hsieh
- Traction by Gino Wickman
- Scaling Up by Verne Harnish
- Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard
1. Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz
At its core, The Profit First Framework is a cash flow management strategy that helps entrepreneurs run more profitable businesses. It simplifies your business’s finances and allows you to grow in a controlled and sustainable fashion.
If you are currently struggling with any of the following, this book is a great read:
- Not being able to pay yourself a salary each month
- Owing money to the government in back taxes
- Paying down loans/debt
- Uncertain about what expenses you can commit to
- Improving your sales margins
Pro Tip: Want to learn more about the Profit First Framework? Check out our post.
This is a follow-on and an eCommerce-specific take to the main Profit First book. Cyndi has customized the core concepts in Mike Michalowicz’s Profit First Methodology to address the needs of eCommerce companies. It focuses on the four common struggles that eCommerce businesses face including, managing inventory, understanding financial data, maintaining focus, and relying on debt.
3. The Finance Book: Understand the numbers even if you’re not a finance professional by Stuart Warner and Si Hussain
As an eCommerce owner, you need to understand your company’s finances to make informed decisions to help grow. If you find finance overwhelming, confusing, or boring, this book can help.
Written for non-finance professionals, this book is easy to understand and provides a practical guide to help you understand the critical financial elements of your business. You’ll learn the essential components of business finance, accounting, budgeting, cash management, and profitability.
4. Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits by Greg Crabtree
Written by a certified accountant, this book is designed to help business owners, who don’t have a financial background, get a better understanding of their finances. Greg Crabtree does a great job of making this book easy-to-follow, jargon-free, and uses a ton of actionable examples.
This is a must-read for anyone eCommerce business is who just starting out to about $5 million in annual revenue.
Sales and Marketing Books
1. Influence, New and Expanded: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
This book can help you better understand your audience and why people say yes. An expert in the study of influence and persuasion, Robert Cialdini helps readers understand why people agree and how to apply this information ethically in your business and life.
In this newly updated edition, you’ll learn his Universal Principles of Influence so you can be a more effective persuader. This edition includes new research and uses that reflect the current marketplace.
2. Building a Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller
Building a brand can help eCommerce sellers attract loyal customers, which can lead to repeat sales.
In this book, you’ll learn how to use elements of powerful stories to improve how you connect with customers and help them understand the benefits of using your products. The method will help you learn why customers make purchases, how to simplify your brand message, and create effective messaging for your websites, social media, and brochures.
You can say what you want about how Gary Vaynerchuk’s businesses have evolved. However, his first book is a good read for anyone interested in learning the first principles behind effective social media marketing. While some of the tactics are a little outdated, the concrete principles and strategies behind them are timeless.
This book can help business owners who want to better understand how to use social media platforms to their advantage.
In this book, Marcus Sheridan shows how focusing on answering customers’ questions instead of just trying to sell to them can help you attract more loyal customers.
This practical guide has been fully revised and updated to reflect current buyer demands. You’ll learn how to build trust with customers using content and video, how to maximize your online presence, how to turn customers into loyal brand advocates, and more.
This updated seventh edition of The New Rules of Marketing & PR presents cutting-edge marketing tactics to get the right attention for your business. This international bestseller provides insights on how to harness AI to automate routine tasks, techniques for successful marketing and public relations, and more. He also shares insights through case studies and real-world examples.
In sum, reading and applying knowledge from the right books at the right time can give your eCommerce business a competitive advantage. You can learn from others instead of having to reinvent the wheel each time.