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The Definitive Retail Reading List

Ray Rebello | May 3, 2016

The Internet contains such a vast amount of information on any given subject that’s it’s very easy to feel lost at sea, so to speak. If you’re looking for ways to start or grow your retail and ecommerce venture, where should you begin?

Well, here’s the life raft and compass you’ve needed. Whether you want to sit down with a hard copy, scroll through a web page, or listen to an insightful interview, we’ve compiled a list of the best books, blogs, newsletters, and podcasts to help inspire and inform your retail efforts.

The Definitive Retail Reading List


Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

The CEO of Zappos shows how focusing on the happiness of both employees and customers through corporate culture and customer service helped the online retailer do over $1 billion in gross sales annually.

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

This book explains how to use word-of-mouth advertising through social media to provide a level of one-on-one customer service that can beat out competition the way a giant marketing campaign might have in yesteryear.

Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping: Updated and Revised for the Internet, the Global Consumer, and Beyond by Paco Underhill

This revised edition of the best-selling book on consumer culture provides a look at the most innovative retail environments in the world along with the latest in online retail and ways that business practices could be improved.

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone

This biography of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos focuses on how he took the online store from delivering books by mail to an online retail behemoth that now sells everything from books to groceries and changed the way consumers shop today.

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t by Jim Collins

Collins’ book is an in-depth study of how good, mediocre, or even bad companies turn around to become leaders in their markets and how they stay that way.

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman

This book details the Entrepeneurial Marketing System, a method to reach business goals through focusing on six key components of your business.

What They Don’t Teach You at the Harvard Business School by Mark H. McCormack

When what you learned in school just isn’t enough, this book acts as a mentor to help you through problems with real world advice tested by the hugely successful entrepreneur McCormack.


RetailWire — A forum for retail industry professionals with new discussion topics daily on the latest industry news.

Multichannel Merchant — Whether you’re using ecommerce, mobile, social, or catalog to sell, this blog contains helpful analysis and advice to help further your business.

eMarketer — There’s a daily newsletter with all new content, or you can browse a wide variety of articles on ecommerce, retail, and other industry topics.

PSFK — Access up to ten articles a month for free or there are paid memberships for full access to content on insights and trends for retail, advertising, technology, and more.

Internet Retailers — This site is loaded with news, data resources, and event details for retail professionals with a focus on ecommerce.

National Retail Federation — Shop.org — A great place to connect with other digital retailers as well as find news and research on the industry.


eCommerceFuel — A weekly podcast from entrepreneur Andrew Youderian where he often interviews other online retailers to talk about specific topics related to running and growing an ecommerce business.

eCommerce Influence — Another weekly where ecommerce specialists Austin and Chad cover a range of topics dealing with ecommerce issues, even when the person they’re interviewing isn’t directly involved with online retail.

eCommercePulse Podcast — Leighton Taylor is a web designer and ecommerce entrepreneur who talks with other entrepreneurs about a range of topics related to starting and running an ecommerce business.

Smart Marketer — This podcast complements the other ecommerce materials from Ezra Firestone’s Smart Marketer website, and it’s an easy way to stay on top of that content including short bits of insight, longer interviews, and more.

Build My Online Store Podcast — One of the original ecommerce podcasters, Terry Lin teams up with Travis Marziani every Sunday to discuss a range of topics pertinent to online retailers.

Mixergy Podcast — Andrew Warner has interviewed over 1000 entrepreneurs, including some of the biggest names in online retail, for a mix of podcasts with a ton of great insights and advice particularly for startups but applicable to any entrepreneur.

While some of these resources offer more generalized entrepreneurial advice and news, they’re all extremely valuable to retailers looking to grow their ecommerce ventures. If the wealth of information out there threatens to take you under, just think of this list of reading and listening material as a life preserver for navigating the waters and learning how to take your retail venture where you want it to go.

What other resources would you recommend? Let us know in the comments!

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Former Director of Product Marketing at Acumatica

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