Master eCommerce marketing strategy with these 6 free courses you can take in a weekend
eCommerce is booming.
Do you want to join a fast-growing industry proven it can withstand economic turmoil like a global pandemic?
Since you made it here, I’ll assume you either want to join the ranks of eCommerce companies and create an online store, or you have an online store you’d like to take to the next level. This article is written for both.
Retail eCommerce sales have boomed, and are alone expected to rise above $476 billion in the United States by 2024. Jumping aboard this train is simple: create an online store. Getting a leg up on the competition is the hard part.
Estimates suggest there are at least 24 million eCommerce sites globally. But fewer than one million have sales exceeding $1,000 per year. Professional eCommerce courses can help you position your online store for better traffic and sales.
These courses will help you advance your eCommerce store, increase SERP ranking, and boost sales. Best of all, most of the courses listed are free and accessible online — anytime.
By the way: Run a Shopify store? Not seeing enough traffic. You may be interested in our free guide to boosting Shopify traffic. Six simple tips is all you need. Read the guide here.
eCommerce marketing 101
- Offered through Shopify Compass
- Designed for entry and mid-level entrepreneurs
Most eCommerce founders are setting up shop on Shopify — including you. Shopify meets you where you are and offers a value-add to help you make your online store a success with courses through Shopify Compass.
Shopify Compass isn’t one free online course. It’s a platform of free online courses for entrepreneurs, designed to help you scale your business. Shopify has hand-selected business experts to lead instruction on specific marketing emphasises. Best part of Shopify Compass other than it’s free: all courses are designed around Shopify, so practical application is straightforward.
Shopify Compass wants to help take the guesswork out of entrepreneurship with step-by-step guidance for all experience levels. You’ll discover Shopify Compass is packed with lessons. Where should you start? I suggest eCommerce marketing 101. It’s an easy to follow starting point that may share some knowledge you already know, and some you don’t. It’s a no-brainer for all skill levels. Think you’re ready for something more advanced? I’d still start here, and use this as a reference point for your knowledge.
… P.S. … Like what you’re reading? You may be interested in our guide to eCommerce pricing strategy. Read it here.
Search engine optimization
- Offered through Shopify Compass, Hubspot
- Most lessons under an hour
Budgets are tight these days. That’s why search engine optimization is so important: you don’t want to wastefully spend time and money on content nobody will ever see. Optimizing for organic web traffic means more visitors without more money — something we all want.
Attention doesn’t come easy. Google is regularly updating its algorithms with ever-changing SEO updates and guidelines. All skill levels, from beginner to expert, could benefit from an SEO refresh. That’s why I recommend two skills courses loaded with SEO best practices and steps to application.
First up is Shopify Compass. Depending on how much time you have, you can learn a lot from expert taught lessons on Shopify Compass. Skip a night of Netflix binging. Most Shopify Compass lessons are an hour in length, and best of all: you choose the starting point. It’s easy to revisit lessons in Shopify Compass, and pick specific lessons. Because SEO is broad-based, no one lesson can explain all you need to know. Shopify Compass has made it simple by breaking it down into small, easily digestible lessons designed specific for Shopify.
Because SEO is so high-stakes, more knowledge is a good bet. Hubspot has its own free SEO course, with all things SEO including link building, search authority, and insider tips. Hubspot is a solid authority on the matter, and routinely ranks #1 on Google. Its lessons are an hour-long, and even give you tools to evaluate your online shop’s SEO value.
- Offered through Canva’s Design School
- Helps all skill levels boost graphic design knowledge
We’re visual creatures. Things that are visually appealing tend to stick out to us. That’s why the emphasis for good graphic design skill is everso critically important, especially when it comes to eCommerce. But what if you weren’t born with the design eye? Canva’s Design School is for you.
Canva is quickly becoming every marketer’s — including yours truly — favorite marketing tool. Canva includes free and paid accounts, and houses its own design school — completely free. In short bite-sized lessons, Design School walks you through the basics. Its goal is to increase the world’s visual literacy. It may even help you be more design-savvy.
Canva is the most resourceful online design tool out there. If you struggle with Adobe Creative Suite, then you might like Canva. Its super simple interface and range of design templates, Canva’s functionality is limitless — not to mention way under budget compared to Adobe.
- Available in Google Skillship
- Certification offered upon completion
OK, Google. It’s only the world’s largest search engine and advertising platform. Google cannot be ignored.
Google upped its game and offered a library of skills courses, called Google Skillshop, to help train you on the snippets of everything Google. It’s nearly impossible for any one person to master all elements of Google. Because Google functions in so many areas of our day-to-day, the opportunities are endless.
In small course snippets of Google Skillshop, you can pick your path and learn skills specific to your marketing needs. But if you don’t know where to start, Google offers tracks to lead you down the right pathway, helping you master proficiency in search, display, video, and more. Its courses are built around real-world case studies, so you can apply your know-how right away.
Best of all, you may become Google Ads certified with completion of one of Google’s skills tracks. You can add this certification to your resume or LinkedIn. Many of your friends probably already have. Google-certified status can help you standout, or simply feel more confident in Google Ads.
- Available in Google Skillshop
- Mini-courses available on YouTube
Officially a Googler sporting a Google Ads certificate? Keep the ball rolling.
Tracking analytics is equally as important as anything you do. Many measurement tools exist out there. But no matter your business type, you will at some point lean on Google Analytics to track performance.
Thankfully, there’s a course for that. Analytics Academy, part of the Google Skillshop, helps build proficiency in data collection and analysis. Starting at beginner and working up, Analytics Academy has course tracks for four expertise levels.
Included in the beginner course are the basic features of Google Analytics, like basic reports, goals setting, and campaign tracking. More advanced courses teach how to use Analytics to track business performance and use intelligence to guide business decisions. A certificate is available upon completion of a course track.
You can complete a course track in the time equivalent of a night of Netflix watching. Only have enough time for an episode of The Office? Learn Google Analytics in the same duration, through one of four Analytics mini-courses on YouTube.
- Offered through Blueprint by Facebook
- Over 90 mini-courses available, updated regularly
Google is at the top of most ad marketplaces, with Facebook tagging closely behind. If you master one, you may as well master the other. Advertising with Google and Facebook means double the exposure for your business.
Facebook, like Google, offers its own learning track to gain proficiency in its tools. Facebook Blueprint is an e-learning program, with over 90 self-paced courses, focused on Facebook and Instagram advertising. In terms of social media, Facebook and Instagram (owned by Facebook), are the two most prominent players.
Blueprint helps digital marketers stay on top of Facebook’s evolving tools and ad formats. Most courses can be taken in 15 minutes. Almost all can be finished in under an hour.
Blueprint has an easy user interface, allowing you to search for a specific skill that aligns with your goals and objectives. Courses are updated regularly to match any corresponding updates. Facebook Blueprint also offers Facebook Certification, with nine levels of certificates. Whether you are just starting out or beyond, you can prove your know-how with a certificate.
A Facebook Certificate will help you stand out in the digital marketing community. Facebook awards credentials to individuals who demonstrate advanced proficiency in its tools, and obtaining a certificate is easy. But certification isn’t necessary if your objective is to better make use of Facebook ads.
Bottom line: Staying up with eCommerce best practices requires a commitment to learning.
eCommerce is ever-evolving.
You need to learn to stay up with your competition. But the beautiful thing is the more you learn, the more your company grows.
If you found yourself clueless on where to start, dive into these six courses above. From Shopify courses, to Facebook Blueprint, these skills will play into your eCommerce marketing strategy and help guide decision-making.
eCommerce utilizes technology to make things simple for the buyer. It should be simple for the seller, too. With these tools, it can be. These courses will help you to maximize the use of tools like Facebook, Google, and Shopify.
Like learning about business in bite-sized lessons? Visit our YouTube channel for more quick 4-minute guides relevant on business strategy topics sure to help grow your business.
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