21 must-read eCommerce books

Care to share?

It’s not always easy to separate useful publications from marketing buzz. The right eCommerce books save you plenty of time and money and grant you wisdom usually acquired through trial and error. 

This list of recommended publications is based on an article about the best books for eCommerce that was written by Tom Karwatka. We’ve revised and updated it with the newest lectures and the eBooks written by our experts. It’s a complete set of educational materials that’ll help you whether you plan to start your own shop, have just landed a job in eCommerce, or are planning to change your career path.

“I decided to create a comprehensive guide on eCommerce books that will help you kickstart your journey. However, I think there is plenty in each of these books for those who already have a wealth of domain experience.”

Tom Karwatka, Co-Founder of Divante

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The six best eCommerce books 

E-Commerce 2021: Business, Technology, and Society

Kenneth C. Laudon, Carol Guercio Traver


This is the newest edition of this comprehensive bible for the industry and one of the best eCommerce books available. It’s over 900 pages of well-structured eCommerce knowledge from two authors with incredible credentials. It’s highly theoretical but provides an amazing overview of all the things that are important in eCommerce.



The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon Paperback


Brad Stone  


Amazon has proven to be an amazing business case study over the years. This investigative journalism book objectively presents the entire history of Amazon. It’s a great read if you want to understand why it would be so hard to beat Amazon. 


Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built

Duncan Clark


The author was an early advisor to Alibaba and received a thorough understanding of the company and Jack Ma himself. You’ll learn a lot about the Chinese approach to business and how different Alibaba is from Amazon. It’s a must-read. 



Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose


Tony Hsieh


Tony Hsieh is a star in the eCommerce World. The book is an enjoyable read that presents the story of building Zappos from both business and cultural angles. 


Retail Therapy: Why the Retail Industry is Broken – and What Can Be Done to Fix It


Mark Pilkington


An insightful view on the collapse of the traditional retail business model and a roadmap for its potential reinvention. 


Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy

Martin Lindstrom, Paco Underhill


Based on the single largest neuromarketing study ever conducted, this book reveals truths about what makes us buy things. It’s a good resource for any user experience (UX) Designer.


Pick and mix: 10 books on various aspects of eCommerce


Sophia Amoruso



Women’s fashion retailer Nasty Gal was named one of “the fastest-growing companies” by Inc. Magazine in 2012. A couple of years later, Nasty Gal filed for bankruptcy. Sophia Amoruso’s story is a fascinating and cautionary tale.


The New Rules of Retail: Competing in the World’s Toughest Marketplace

Robin Lewis, Michael Dart 


Industry gurus Robin Lewis and Michael Dart explain how unprecedented consumer power, enabled by technology and globalization, is revolutionizing retail. They argue that these dynamic times call for a business model based on new competencies.


The Wal-Mart Effect: How the World’s Most Powerful Company Really Works

Charles Fishman


A good read for those who would like to understand retail before they start to disrupt it with eCommerce business models. :)



Ultimate Guide To E-commerce Growth: 7 Unexpected KPIs To Scale An E-commerce Shop To £10 Million

Mark Hammersley, Ian Hammersley


Based on the title, you might guess that this is a book for smaller eCommerce owners. What I really like about this book is that it provides a set of concrete KPIs and actions to take around each of them. If you don’t have experience with eCommerce marketing, this is a really good place to start.



eCommerce Marketing: How to Get Traffic That BUYS to your Website

Chloe Thomas  



Another book that’s helpful if you’re starting your eCommerce journey and need to know more about marketing. This will help you choose your first marketing channels.


Kill Your Conversion Killers with The Dexter Method™: A Pragmatic Approach to Conversion Optimization for E-Commerce

Joris Bryon



A no-frills guide to optimizing eCommerce conversion, including why it matters, how to approach it, and start-to-finish steps you can take to grow your revenue.


The Truth About SEO: How to survive online in a world of robots, demons, influencers, and spiders

Chris Lynch



A useful book if you want to understand SEO for your own purposes in order to find out more about what your team does and how to support them. It’s accessible to everyone and doesn’t require deep technical knowledge. 


New Retail Born in China Going Global: How Chinese Tech Giants Are Changing Global Commerce

Ashley Galina Dudarenok



In just a few short years, China reimagined 5,000 years of buying and selling tradition to create multi-device online retail now used by 800 million people. It’s an interesting story about a profound change. 


Think Outside the Country: A Guide to Going Global and Succeeding in the Translation Economy

John Yunker



Going global doesn’t have to mean traveling the world in search of partnerships and clients. It means understanding culture and the technical elements of building global products, software, and websites. You’ll find some actionable and insightful ideas of real value.


Designing Ecommerce Websites: A UX Design Handbook for Great Online Shops

Matt Isherwood



This is more of a set of basic guidelines than a typical book about UX. It includes 66 guidelines on how to best use every basic element on each page of an eCommerce website. If you’re starting out and effects are more important than understanding the processes behind customer behaviors, this is a great book for you. 


Five free eBooks on modern eCommerce technologies from Divante 

Still hungry for more content? Here are five of our most popular publications. At Divante, we collaborate with industry experts and create eCommerce publications that drill down into trends and technology. If you want to check out all the materials, visit our Resources page.

Headless toolkit: 14 essential tools for the future of composable commercetoolkit_3d

Headless might be a popular buzzword, but it’s a great way to optimize eCommerce architecture. We describe what it is, how you can benefit from it, and what current headless solutions can offer you.


The business value of MACH architecturebook_vertical_3d_2 (1)-kopia

MACH architecture means microservices-based, API-first, cloud-native, and headless applications. Here’s a whitepaper by Markus Lorenz describing how it works in the context of eCommerce businesses.


A guide to online marketplaces and how to build onebook_guide-online-marketplaces_vertical_1_1

We’ve delivered several marketplace solutions. This eBook is the experiences distilled from those projects and a guide to the world of marketplaces.


commercetools – Composable Commerce, Reference Architecturebooks

commercetools is one of the top systems that allows you to build a composable commerce project. We prepared this reference architecture to show you how it works in practice.


International eCommerce launchpad: A guide for launching a global rolloutdiv_launchpad_book_vertical_3d (1) - 2

It takes much more than just tech to enter a new market. We’ll show you how to prepare your company for this move, how to adapt to new conditions, and share insights from experienced entrepreneurs that went down this path before.


It’s just a starting point for your own eCommerce library

The problems you encounter entering eCommerce are rarely unique. There’s a big chance someone has dealt with them before, and if so, you can learn from their choices, whether good or bad. There’s plenty of knowledge out there waiting for you. 

We hope that this selection of the best books for eCommerce will be useful for you. Is there any book you’d add to this list? Let us know. We’re happy to discover new publications.


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Published August 24, 2022