As you prep the kiddos to head back to school (and ready your website, warehouses, and contact centers for the onslaught of consumers doing the same!), a little light reading may be the last thing on your mind. But the world of ecommerce never stops evolving, so your thought process shouldn’t either! If you’re looking to brush up on industry trends and tactics, we’d like to recommend 5 great reads you’re sure to find useful.

1. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, by Tony Hsieh

In this book, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh shares the many lessons he has learned both in business and life. The pages of this book hold the winning formula of, which boasts $1 billion in gross merchandise sales annually! Among the many takeaways, it highlights how a change in corporate culture to one that values happiness is critical for business. With an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 by Amazon readers, this book is a must read for those who are looking to start or have just started their online retail business.

2. Ecom Hell: How to Make Money in Ecommerce Without Getting Burned, by Shirley Tan

Who wouldn’t want to read a book with a title like that! If you’re in the trenches of ecommerce, you definitely should be reading this book; and if you are planning to take your business online and sell through an ecommerce store, this is perfect for you too! This book tells you exactly what you should be doing to make profits and how you should be doing it. What sets this book apart is that it also tells you what you should not be doing and the potential pitfalls that can get you burned. Great stuff!

3. Click.ology: What Works in Online Shopping and How Your Business Can Use Customer Psychology to Succeed, by Graham Jones

Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist (who knew that job existed?) who is keenly interested in why people buy online. This book lets ecommerce retailers know what they can do to attract shoppers to their online store and convert them into buyers, all by using tools that elicit an ingrained human response. This book is an insightful take on customer psychology and can be a good aid in helping global businesses expand into new markets.

4. Digital Branding: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Strategy, Tactics and Measurement, By Daniel Rowles

Social media, content marketing, web analytics, and search optimization are topics well explored by Daniel Rowels in this book. Digital Branding is an ecommerce retailer’s guide to developing a digital strategy that can help you build your brand online. Real-world case studies and a detailed guide to the free and paid tools that you can use to measure your brand’s visibility across multiple channels is a perk that puts this book on our list.

5. Website Branding for Small Businesses: Secret Strategy for Building a Brand, Selling Products Online, and Creating a Lasting Community, by Nathalie Nahai

This is a rebranded, “Americanized” version of the best-selling book Webs of Influence from Nathalie Nahai. Nathalie, a web psychologist, draws on her expertise in the fields of psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral economics to highlight some winning strategies for small businesses to make it big online. Answers to questions like ‘What makes consumers click on a link?”, “In what ways can you target different demographics?”, and “How do you make the web work for you?” are just a few of the great takeaways from this work.

Have other suggestions to us to read? What do you think of these books? Let us know in the comments!