Book review: The Insider’s Guide to Ecommerce by Chris Barling

It’s fair to say that Chris Barling has been around the ecommerce block. He founded Actinic way back in 1996 and claims that over the years that £11bn of sales have been powered by the service. Actinic is now known as SellerDeck, and Barling remains the chairman.

His book The Insider’s Guide to Ecommerce was published recently and thankfully Tamebay received a copy to take a look at. The subtitle of the book reveals its real value ‘440 Business Insights for the ambitious Online retailer’.

The book covers the ecommerce journey from establishing your own ecommerce store, marketing your website (including thoughts on social media), through a masterclass in selling techniques to business efficiency practicalities and building customer relations. There is also some secondary information about marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon.

Barling offers bite-sized advice, strategic bon mot and expert nuggets for people who are seeking to grow their own businesses. Don’t be deceived. This isn’t a practical handbook. Barling is in the business of sharing his expertise in the form of short paragraphs and bog-read length chunks that point you in the direction of success.

What else would one expect from the chairman of the board? He understands the big ideas but not necessarily the view from the trenches.

If you need hand-holding, links, advice on specific services and everyday suggestions on how to get on the ecommerce fast-track, you won’t find it here. Barling’s is a helicopter view of the big challenges that evolving ecommerce businesses face.

There’s lots to inspire the seasoned trader and profit seeking entrepreneur who is looking ahead and attempting to pre-empt future potholes. A useful addition to the ecommerce library.