Imagine, you are monitoring lists of best books on e-commerce 2016 but you are still led to the old chap Dale Carnegie and his 1930s imperishable “How to Win Friends & Influence People”. Warmly shake hands with your customers and remember all the birthdays of their grandmas and aunts. Keep it up and you will be indecently rich and successful! Thus spoke great and mighty Dale. Still, handshakes can’t win customers, while solid proofs of your expertise and the quality of goods you sell can. In case you run a Magento 2 store, the Product Attachments module can help you.

Fine, but haven’t actually our relations gone dramatically elsewhere today, constituted by the digital environment with the bunch of social media services, apps, and platforms. What if we have already delegated most of these Carnegie’s “how to” upon our smart devices and web applications.

According to the top e-commerce books in 2016, we may and must (for some of our work) employ the software, otherwise, we are doomed to lose. However, it does not mean that machines are smart enough to offer some services. Naturally, it is technology specialists who offer new features to us. Thus, the borderline between marketing, developing, design, customer service is getting more and more illegible.

To be a good e-marketer, you have to understand the possibilities of the code, to create a good service, as a developer you have to understand the basics of marketing, UX, and even psychology etc. These books will guide you to a better, human-friendly marketing, providing you and your customers with new opportunities of growth.

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon

Written by: Brad Stone

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As Amazon reportedly accounted for more than half of 2015 e-commerce growth, Jeff Bezos seems to be one of the key actors in the digital economy. Amazon is perhaps the first thing we think about when we want to buy anything online. How could a small online bookshop become a giant Everything store?

Brad Stone did an accurate research inspecting the great e-commerce becoming. More than 300 interviews with current and past employees, family members, in-depth analyses and insights. Ever wonder how Bezos — “very methodical about everything in his life” — build his empire? Though some of the reviews complain Bezos is depicted one-dimensionally as a ruthless capitalist, Stone’s attitude seems to be very respectful. Bezos mostly comes out as an outstanding listener and ever learning explorer.

How Google works

Written by: Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg

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If you are doing e-business, you cannot ignore Google. Once Larry Page dreamed that all the web may be downloaded and marked with links. For that dream to come true a great work had to be done. Eric Schmidt scrupulously investigated the corridors of powerful web citadel that is already mighty enough to knock down states and countries.

Perhaps, one of the most interesting things about Google is its recruiting policy.

“Most knowledge workers in traditional environments develop deep technical expertise but little breadth, or broad management expertise but no technical depth. When we contrast traditional knowledge worker with engineers and other talented people who surrounded us at Google over the past decade-plus, we see that our Google peers represent a quite different type of employee.

They are not confined to specific tasks. They are not limited in their access to the company’s information and computing power. […] They are a new kind of animal, a type we call “smart creative,” and they are the key to achieving success in the Internet Century.”

SEO 2017: Learn search engine optimization with smart internet marketing strategies

Written by: Adam Clarke

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Since you cannot imagine the web without Google anymore, you have to admit there is SEO. And unless you are a newbie in e-commerce, you don’t need additional guidelines on why SEO still matters. It is the key to attain good outcome in google’s environment and you definitely want to be an expert in it. However, Google is getting more complicated and for 2017 you may want to update your proficiency.

A best-selling search engine optimization book covers the updates on how Google ranks sites now, the niceties of the keyword research, and other essentials such as on page SEO, link building, social media, web analytics, and a special chapter on powerful SEO tools for your enterprise. Adam Clarke openly shares his many-sided experience on how to grow any small business into a big effective e-business with a touch of SEO magic.

The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users

Written by: Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick

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Want it or not you have to deal with social media. Say, you do want to be popular on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and have millions of yelping fans. A legendary evangelist for Apple Guy Kawasaki along with social media expert Peg Fitzpatrick will teach you how to win crowds of virtual followers, likers, and sharers. Furthermore, how to convert this virtual affection into real money investments.

How to optimize your profile, how to perfect your posts, how to respond to comments, how to integrate SMM and blogging and more tips and strategies to win digital attention. A lot of useful links and mainly easy technical narrative peppered with anecdotes.

Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising

Written by: Ryan Holiday

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In his late twenties Ryan Holiday was a successive director of Marketing for American Apparel and, moreover, was basically happy with these circumstances. Until the unfortunate morning, he read the Andrew Chen’s article and found out that there are no more marketers but only growth hackers! From then on Ryan’s eyes opened wide and he cannot rest. Old school marketing is irrelevant and out of date: API took the place of MBA, application-centric activities took the place of people-centric activities etc.

“Dropbox, Mailbox, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook… What stunned me most about those companies was that none of them were built with any of the skills that traditional marketers like myself had always considered special, and most were built without the resources I’d long considered essential.”– Holiday admits.

A newborn growth hacker, Holiday, is sure that times, when product development and marketing were separate processes, are gone for good. A new kind of marketing is the one which is implemented in the process of product development.

UnMarketing: Stop Marketing – Start Engaging

Written by: Scott Stratten and Alison Stratten

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Scott Stratten adds fuel to the fire. In 2016, his Unmarketing holds the second edition. The author of Unmarketing doesn’t like ceremonies and conventionalities.

Marketing is not a task. Marketing is not a department. Marketing is not a job. Marketing happens every time when you start to engage with your past, present or potential customers. […] It is any time anyone talks about your company.”

Apparently, without Scott Stratten we would live in a blind illusion, that marketing is not about engaging customers. At the least, “one of the leading experts in viral and social marketing” will teach you how to make contagious videos, viral tweets, and catchy podcasts to engage millions of followers with his un-marketing jiu-jitsu.

“Social media isn’t a new medium to try to push ineffective old marketing messages. It truly is a different world. People are there to build relationships, not buy your stuff (initially). Setting up an automated Twitter program to tweet for you and automatically add followers is a great way to say to people “We don’t actually care what you’re saying, just buy from us.” It would be like sending a mannequin to a networking event with your company logo on it. Yeah, creepy.”

Disruptive Marketing: What Growth Hackers, Data Punks, and Other Hybrid Thinkers Can Teach Us About Navigating the New Normal  

Written by: Geoffrey Colon

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Geoffrey Colon is another voice to the marketer’s quasi rebellion. You definitely know your customers hate cold calls, email spam, and website pop-ups. So why keep on doing this? According to Colon, you have to replace this unpleasant interruptive marketing with what he calls data-driven disruptive marketing.

Colon insists, the marketer is a DJ: you have to entertain the audience, understand it and its context (don’t play techno in a punk squat). Remix content, for there is no original content, everything is remixed. You have to curate your content, because usually the brands are focused only on their products and not the stuff they are remixing.

Also, the marketer is an educator: how do people receive the information, how do they learn? To engage customers, you have to produce the collages of video, pictures, and tutorials. The successive players in the industry must be generalists: they are data scientists, designers, and marketers altogether. Colon’s proposed slogan is “content is the new currency.” He is certain that educational and entertaining content is what people actually seek.

Be informed – start growing your business

If you are informed and in trend your chances to succeed in e-commerce are vastly increasing. These books will help you to cope with all the innovations and other changes in the digital economy. Have you already read some of them? Or any other important works worth checking out? Feel free to share your view in the comments.