2021 Top 25: Our Most Popular Posts of the Year

eCom Business tutorials and tips.

This article was provided by Practical eCom.

On January 25 of this year, we published an article from contributor Sig Ueland. It addressed the rise of drone delivery and the providers spearheading that technology. “8 Commercial Drone Delivery Companies” became our most-read piece in 2021.

Sig returned to human-free carriers six months later, addressing robots rather than drones. Sure enough, “10 Autonomous Robots for Last-mile Deliveries” made this top 25 list, coming in at 8.

2021 marked the tenth year we’ve published Sig’s work. He’s a screenwriter and, for us, an ecommerce resource wiz.

Carolyn Nye, our email marketing guru, first contributed in 2010. Her piece in June 2021 described a coming privacy change to Apple’s iOS software that would upend email performance measurement. “Apple’s iOS 15 Will Change Email Marketing,” Carolyn’s article, is the first of three iOS 15 stories on the list.

Sig and Carolyn are among our all-star lineup of contributors — collectively the best ecommerce writers anywhere.

In “Happy Christmas,” John Lennon wrote, “And so it’s Christmas, and what have you done?” What we’ve done in 2021, we hope, is improve your business, your job, and your life. That’s our mission, after all.

Without you, our readers, there is no Practical Ecommerce. Wrapping up our 16th year, all of us here thank you.

Top 25 in 2021

8 Commercial Drone Delivery Companies

The development of autonomous drone technologies has surged in the last five years. New FAA rules anticipate a commercial drone industry in the U.S. Here is a list of companies spearheading the advancement of drone delivery. Read more…

20 New Free Commercial Fonts for 2021

Adding a new font to your ecommerce site can create a fresh and unique look. Here is a list of fonts released in the last year. All are free for commercial use, though several are from larger premium font families. Before using a font, be sure to verify its terms. Read more…

Apple’s iOS 15 Will Change Email Marketing

Apple recently unveiled its iOS 15 software, which rolls out this fall. Most of the new features focus on privacy, data tracking, and user security. Two features, “Mail Privacy Protection” and “Hide My Email,” will dramatically impact email marketing. Read more…

Dr. Squatch Scales to $100 Million with Natural Soaps for Men

Dr. Squatch, Jack Haldrup’s company, sells its own natural soaps and other grooming products for men. Revenue in 2020 was roughly $100 million, having exploded from $5 million just 18 months earlier. How does a company grow from $5 million to $100 million in 18 months? I asked him that question and many more in our recent conversation. Read more…

China Is Dominating Ecommerce

In China, a drab gray Mao suit was once the required attire for men and women. No longer. The country is poised to become the largest luxury apparel market worldwide by 2025. With a 2020 population of 1.4 billion and a flourishing middle class with an appetite for foreign luxury goods, China is dominating ecommerce. Read more…

17 Free Design Tools for 2021

Here is a list of free tools to design a website, social media ad, logo, infographic, and more. There are editing applications, resources libraries, and tools to find the right font and color palette. All of these are free, though several also offer premium plans with extended features. Read more…

5 Content Marketing Ideas for February 2021

Your company’s February 2021 content marketing could cover the obvious, such as Valentine’s Day, and the obscure, such as Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. Content marketing is the act of creating content, publishing it, and promoting it with the goal of attracting, engaging, and retaining customers. Read more…

10 Autonomous Robots for Last-mile Deliveries

The future is here, sort of. Companies have staked out urban landscapes to test autonomous last-mile delivery systems on the streets and mobile food delivery robots on campus sidewalks. Here is a list of companies developing autonomous delivery robots and systems. Nearly all of these companies currently have live beta programs. Read more…

Quick Refresher of U.S. CAN-SPAM Requirements

New consumer privacy laws in the U.S. and elsewhere apply to many forms of digital promotion, including email marketing. Thus it’s worth reviewing the requirements of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, which sets rules for the use of commercial email to U.S.-based recipients. Read more…

12 WordPress Plugins to Sell Digital Downloads

WordPress is a versatile content management system with nearly 60,000 available plugins. If you are interested in selling videos, PDFs, photos, software, or other digital products, there are plenty of plugin tools to help. Here is a list of WordPress plugins to sell digital downloads. Read more…

Digital Payments in China Are Cheap and Convenient

In “China Is Dominating Ecommerce,” contributor Marcia Kaplan addressed that country’s innovation in online shopping. Digital payments in China are equally innovative. I’ll address what that could mean for North American merchants in this post. Read more…

Shopify Announces Online Store 2.0, More

During its “Unite” event on June 29, Shopify announced significant changes to its ecommerce platform aimed at performance, ease of use, and empowering developers. The company also announced a new revenue-sharing model, giving app and theme creators 100% of revenue up to $1 million each year. Read more…

Amazon Ramps Up Its Own Delivery Service

Amazon Logistics provides shipping services to third-party sellers regardless of the sales channel. The program, called Multi-channel Fulfillment, is available to merchants who use Fulfillment by Amazon. Read more…

Ridge Wallet Hits $50 Million with Influencer Marketing

Ridge wallets launched via a Kickstarter campaign in 2014. Ultra-thin, metal-clad, with RFID protection, the wallets are enormously popular in the U.S., with $50 million in sales in 2020 alone. Influencer marketing has driven much of the growth. Sean Frank is The Ridge’s chief operating officer. Read more…

Everything to Know about Amazon Marketplace Sellers

Amazon marketplace sellers are diverse, spanning many countries, age groups, and reasons for participating. What follows is a summary of demographic and psychographic data about sellers. Read more…

12 Tools for YouTube Search Optimization

YouTube is the second most visited website, after Google. Success on YouTube requires compelling videos, but it’s equally important to optimize them. Fortunately, there are tools to help. Here is a list of tools to optimize your video content on YouTube. Read more…

13 Free Video Editors from Basic to Advanced

The right software can help create compelling product videos, clips, or ads to share on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or anywhere else. Many free video editors offer basic, easy-to-use features as well as advanced tools and effects for professional quality. Here is a list of free video editors. Read more…

Using TikTok for Ecommerce Marketing

TikTok is a relative newcomer to the social media world, having launched as A.me in 2016 in Beijing, China. Once viewed as a passing phase, TikTok now has more than 200 million downloads in the U.S. and 2 billion worldwide. It’s among the most downloaded apps in Google Play and the Apple App Store. Read more…

9 Cloud Storage Services with Encryption

As businesses move their sensitive data to the cloud, security becomes an increasing concern. However, many cloud storage platforms now offer sophisticated encryption features for minimal cost. Here is a list of secure cloud storage platforms. Read more…

14 Brands on TikTok, for Inspiration

Contributor Kaleena Stroud’s recent TikTok articles help merchants produce videos on that platform and drive sales. In addition, following the TikTok tactics of leading brands can generate ideas for your own promotions. Here is a list of top brands on TikTok to inspire your production and marketing. Read more…

11 TikTok Video Ideas for Merchants

You’ve downloaded TikTok and browsed the videos. Now you’re wondering what content to create for your ecommerce business. There are many types of videos to attract leads without dancing on camera. Here are 11 ideas for all types of merchants. Read more…

Apple’s iOS 15 Could Improve Email Marketing

When it’s released this fall, Apple’s iOS 15 could make capturing some email marketing metrics more difficult, which might improve performance. On June 7, 2021, Apple described some of the new privacy features it would offer in its forthcoming operating systems for the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac computers. Read more…

Will Social Commerce Disrupt Retail in U.S., Europe?

Social commerce in China combines content, chat, live streaming, and sharing with in-app retail purchases, obliterating the distinctions between social media networks and online stores. China’s style of ecommerce is so successful it has the potential to disrupt retail in the U.S. and Europe. Read more…

6 Steps to Prepare Email Marketing for iOS 15

Apple’s iOS 15 release this fall will likely change email marketing. Among the updates is the ability for Apple Mail users to load external images privately, thereby blocking email marketing platforms from tracking opens. I addressed the release last month. Read more…

SEO for Google Shopping

Google has a storied history with services for ecommerce products. The first was Froogle. Then Google Base absorbed Froogle. Both provided a method for merchants to inform Google about their products to improve visibility in organic search results. Read more…

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