E-commerce Courses and Certifications for Online Shop Owners
Learning online is more popular than ever. With the current conditions around the world, you might consider it the perfect time to expand on your expertise or even get started on learning about something new. So, where do you get started? Let’s take a look at some topics you might want to look into as well as some free and paid resources.
E-commerce topics to learn about
There are so many topics in e-commerce that we couldn’t possibly cover all of them here (that’s what our blog is for!)... but here are a few general themes you can dive into.
Of course, this is a topic we’ve covered extensively on our blog as well as our whitepapers.
If you’re a complete newbie, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. What does that mean? Well, it’s about optimising elements of your website so Google (& Co.) will like it more. When Google likes you, you end up higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) and you’ll get more traffic to your website.
SEA stands for Search Engine Advertising. As you might have guessed, this is about advertising on Google (& Co.). Since you end up paying per click, there are a lot of strategies and actions you can take to get the most out of your ads, so you only get relevant clicks.
We’re giving away 5 whitepapers dealing with SEO and SEA! Check out our collection:
Social media marketing
This is obviously all about using social media to your business’ advantage. Love it or hate it, social media lets businesses reach out to their audience quite well.
Social media marketing often comes down to two factors: design and audience targeting.
By understanding how advert targeting works, you can drive a lot of potential customers to your shop.
A/B Testing what works from a design perspective is also important to success.
The key is also knowing which platform(s) your audience is using.
This is another term you may have heard about. To clarify, content marketing is a strategy used to drive traffic to your website. By creating content (e.g. blog posts, videos, infographics, etc.), you can use another source to drive relevant traffic to your website.
Whether your shop specialises in a niche or not, you can always provide some kind of information or valuable content to your audience. If you can get this content to rank (SEO!) or get in front of your audience somehow (SEA!), you can build rapport with them and hopefully, turn some of them into customers.
Besides marketing and content topics, we can’t ignore the importance of analysing what’s going on on your site.
Are people bouncing from your site? What about your click-through rates? If these terms are new to you, then you definitely need to learn about analytics so you can optimise your online shop.
Okay, this might be the least “e-commercy” topic listed here. No, you probably won’t be able to create perfect content in that language. However, if your plan is indeed to go international, it’s always helpful to understand a bit of that country’s language. You should know what’s on your website(s).
So, now the question is where you can go to learn these new skills. There are a number of places to go. Some of these resources are free, some are paid. Some of them offer both options, depending on whether you want an actual certification or not.
Of course, there is plenty of free information out there on YouTube, but if you’re looking for something a bit more structured, check out these websites below:
Google Digital Garage
Google Digital Garage is Google’s version of a learning centre. This is a great place for online shop owners to go to learn some new skills or sharpen existing ones.
The courses are broken down into three main categories:
Data and Tech
You can browse the courses and filter them down by course length (in hours), free or paid certification, level of difficulty, as well as the provider (Google created many of the courses, but some were provided by multiple universities from around the world).
Specific courses cover topics from basic code and public speaking to online business security and SEO.
Whether you’re an online shop or a local business, you can find something to help boost your business. There are even some video testimonials on their site:
Udemy is a website completely dedicated to education. You may have heard about Udemy in the past. This site has been around for a while and is quite popular.
As with any course at any facility, the courses can vary in quality as there are a lot of different offers from a lot of different educators. However, as a provider of customer reviews, it’s refreshing for us at Trusted Shops to see how many people leave reviews for the courses they’ve taken at Udemy (no, they're not our client - we just love reviews!).
Some of the most popular courses have tens of thousands of reviews, so make sure you see what kind of feedback is given before you sign up.
If you’re into the idea of paying for courses for yourself or your team, Udemy offers a “Udemy for Business” plan for companies with 20+ employees. You’ll have access to 4,000+ courses across 75+ categories.
Individual courses can go up to around £149.99, but there are constant sales and it’s not uncommon to find courses at a fraction of that price.
Another reason we love Udemy is the fact they offer users a 30-day money-back guarantee!
Trusted Shops lets online shops offer their customers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Read about trustmarks here:
edX is a very interesting resource as well. Founded by Harvard and MIT, the company has split their mission into three statements:
Increase access to high-quality education for everyone, everywhere
Enhance teaching and learning on campus and online
Advance teaching and learning through research
Similar to Google Digital Garage, many (but not all) of the courses are free to participate.
In order to get the verified certificate, you’ll have to spend some money. Naturally, if you’re a small business owner, you’ll be doing this for the knowledge and not necessarily for the certificate.
As was mentioned before, this site was founded by MIT and Harvard, but it also includes courses prepared by Berkeley and other great universities!
Coursera is another popular site for online learning. Founded by two Stanford professors, Coursera offers over 4,000 courses with over 430 specialisations, and you can even earn online degrees through the platform.
There are plenty of free courses as well as paid ones. Signing up to the site for free lets you “audit” the courses and see what it’s all about. Many of these courses let users access the course material for free. However, depending on the course, graded work and certifications might cost extra.
Coursera also has a “Coursera for Business” plan (aka the Enterprise Package), where you can book a free demo to see if this is something you want to invest in for your team.
Online education has become such a popular form of learning in the last few years. Whether it’s for school kids or adults, there are a lot of options out there. If you have the time, it could be well worth the investment to up your game and improve your business.