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2020 Top 25: Our Most Popular Posts of the Year

Contributor Marcia Kaplan emailed me in early February 2020. She described a sickness in China that appeared to be impacting global trade. She called it a virus and suggested that we address it.

“Coronavirus Disrupting the Global Economy, Including Ecommerce,” Marcia’s piece, made our annual top 25 list — articles published during the year with the most page views.  It was the first of dozens of Covid-related stories.

Eric Bandholz, the founder of Beardbrand and the talented host of “Ecommerce Conversations,” our podcast, interviewed in February an enterprising merchant in Vancouver who sold watches and related items. The text version of that interview, “Canada-based Entrepreneur Scales to 15 Websites, 30 Remote Employees,” became the most-read article.

Contributors such as Marcia, Eric, and many others are, hands down, the strength of Practical Ecommerce.

For us, 2020 was notable beyond the pandemic. It marked our 15th anniversary, having launched as a printed magazine in July 2005. Publishing content that we hope will improve your businesses, careers, and lives is our mission. All of us here thank you for reading and listening.

Top 25 in 2020

Canada-based Entrepreneur Scales to 15 Websites, 30 Remote Employees

Ronnie Teja immigrated to Vancouver, Canada in 2008. He was 22. Fast-forward to 2020, and he owns and operates a thriving ecommerce company that sells watches and related accessories. I recently spoke with him about launching his company, acquiring sites, and the challenges of managing it remotely. Read more…

24 New, Free Commercial Fonts for 2020

Adding a new font to your ecommerce site can create a fresh, unique look. A dramatic display font could grab attention. A cool script could set a mood. Here is a list of fonts released in the last year. Read more…

13 Platforms for Shoppable Video

Video is increasingly impacting ecommerce. Consumers use it for purchase decisions. Influencers live-stream product endorsements. And brands deploy video for engagement and product offerings. Here is a list of platforms for shoppable video. Read more…

Facebook Shops Are an Ecommerce Game Changer

When the world’s largest social media network decides to become an ecommerce platform, you can bet it will impact the industry and make a difference long-term. On May 19, 2020, Facebook added ecommerce Shops to Facebook business pages and Instagram business profiles. Read more…

Customize Shopify Product Pages with Metafields

The standard description field on a Shopify product detail page is a monolithic block of content. Adding different sections to this block is possible, but the process is not ideal. Read more…

Page Speed Scores of Every Shopify Theme

I recently worked with a developer to help a merchant speed up its Shopify store. We improved the page speed for mobile and desktop. But the biggest takeaway was how a Shopify theme impacts the page speed. This post lists page speeds of all 72 Shopify themes. Read more…

20 Top Private Label Brands from Amazon

Here is a list of top private label brands from Amazon. The brands are sorted by the total number of customer reviews, as on average 3 to 5 percent of units sold generate reviews for these brands. I also used the Jungle Scout Chrome extension for additional research. Read more…

Capture Gmail Messages in a Google Sheet

With Google Apps Script, marketers can capture Gmail messages, parse them for relevant information, and add them row-by-row to a Google spreadsheet. This can be especially helpful for capturing leads or contacts. Read more…

Banned by Google Ads, SpyGuy.com Ponders Alternative Channels

Ecommerce entrepreneurs understand the need for multiple revenue channels. Relying exclusively on, say, Facebook or Amazon or Google can lead to disruptions. And that’s what happened to Allen Walton’s company, which depends on Google Ads for most of its traffic and revenue. Read more…

13 Free SEO Courses, Beginner to Advanced

Being stuck at home due to Covid-19 is an excellent time to improve your search engine optimization skills. The following seven learning sites offer, collectively, 13 free SEO courses. Some include free certificates of completion to showcase your new skills on LinkedIn or elsewhere. Read more…

3 SEO Lessons from Amazon for Ecommerce Product Pages

Product detail pages on Amazon rank for roughly 34 million keywords in Google in the U.S. In this post, I’ll address three tips for optimizing the product pages on your own ecommerce site using lessons from Amazon. Read more…

How to Sell Groceries on Amazon

Amazon, Target, and Walmart are competing for a dominant U.S. online grocery presence. Amazon sells grocery items via three channels: Prime Pantry, AmazonFresh, and its third-party marketplace. I’ll address each channel in this post. Read more…

How to Calculate and Interpret Inventory Turnover

How quickly a business sells its inventory is typically a strong indicator of efficiency, cash flow, and general well being. Thus inventory turnover — and the related inventory turnover ratio — is a powerful key performance indicator. Read more…

11 Online Tools for Video Meetings

The usage of video conferencing tools is exploding due to the surge in remote workers from Covid-19. Video conferencing can facilitate meetings, particularly when many platforms offer extensive features for free or very little cost. Here is a list of video conferencing tools to run meetings. Read more…

Will the Pandemic Impact Christmas 2020 Ecommerce Sales?

The coronavirus pandemic that shuttered much of the worldwide economy in the first half of this year may yet impact Christmas 2020. In this post, I’ll address a few coronavirus-related scenarios and offer suggestions for how ecommerce merchants can assess the potential impact on their company’s holiday sales. Read more…

6 Ways to Know If Your SEO Is Broken

Gut feel. That’s how ecommerce marketers sometimes gauge the health of their search engine optimization program. SEO contains many gray areas, for sure. But an evaluation requires data, not a hunch. Use these six methods — in order — to determine the health of your SEO program. Read more…

5 Content Marketing Ideas for December 2020

In December 2020, online retailers and B2B sellers can focus their content marketing on getting things done during Covid, launching a YouTube channel, profiling the Nobel Prizes, teaching skills, and raising AIDS awareness. Content marketing starts with creating or curating content such as articles, videos, graphics, or podcasts. Read more…

Supply.co Founder: Day of Reckoning Is Coming for DTC Brands

Patrick Coddou launched Supply.co with his wife, Jennifer, in 2015. The company, which sells razors and shaving supplies, is bootstrapped — no outside investors. He has little patience with the concept of lifetime customer value or paying more to acquire a customer than he can recoup on the initial purchase. Read more…

Using Data Studio to Convert Multi-currency Reports

Google Analytics’ conversion of currencies is straightforward. However, setting the conversion date to equal the date of the transaction may not be an option, forcing merchants to convert currencies manually. Google Data Studio can solve this manual conversion hurdle. Read more…

Alibaba’s 2020 Singles Day Breaks Record, Attracts Luxury Brands

Alibaba’s Singles Day is typically a 24-hour event on Nov. 11. This year, however, Singles Day ran for nearly two weeks, from Nov. 1 through Nov. 11. Gross merchandise volume during that period, according to Alibaba, was $74.1 billion. This compares with $38 billion in a 24-hour period on 11.11 in 2019. Read more…

7 Ways Big Data Will Impact Ecommerce in 2020

As ecommerce grows, so does the data that is stored. Only a fraction of that data is utilized, however. But data scientists are getting better at merging, standardizing, and analyzing. What follows are my data predictions for ecommerce for 2020. Read more…

The Coronavirus Could Drive Car Dealers to Ecommerce

Managing the coronavirus pandemic in the United States has led to temporary store closures, social distancing, and economic concerns. People and industries are affected, including car dealers. Read more…

5 On-demand Warehousing, Fulfillment Providers

On-demand warehousing and fulfillment providers act as middlemen — a kind of Airbnb for logistics. Merchants search on a provider’s platform for available warehouse space in the location they want. It’s one way for ecommerce sellers to achieve faster delivery. Read more…

Coronavirus Disrupting the Global Economy, Including Ecommerce

When the coronavirus outbreak emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, Chinese authorities asserted that it was localized, albeit in an area with a large population and many manufacturing plants. Then the virus spread to other areas of China. Read more…

How to Use Competitors’ Names in Google Ads

A hotly debated topic in paid search marketing is bidding on competitors’ names and phrases. The considerations go beyond legalities. Whether to do it, and how, is what I’ll address in this post. Read more…

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