Home Archives ECOMMERCE BLOGS: 75+ Community Sites of the Top Online Retailers

ECOMMERCE BLOGS: 75+ Community Sites of the Top Online Retailers

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11 minute read

Many retailers are starting to use blogs to interact with and market to shoppers. In fact, 15% of the Top 500 Online Retailers have ecommerce blogs. Some are fresh out of the gate, while others have thousands of posts and comments. We rounded them all up and have listed 75+ ecommerce blogs for your retail inspiration. Alright, let’s check out who’s blogging now…

Blog Name Online Since Blog Type
Alibris Book Blog Apr ’06 Subdomain
Amazon Book Blog Mar ’07 Subfolder
Omnivoracious (Amazon – books) Oct ’07 Separate Domain
Aldente Blog (Amazon – food/kitchen) Jul ’07 Separate Domain
Carlust Blog (Amazon – cars) Aug ’07 Separate Domain
American Muscle Feb ’07 Subdomain
Apple Nov ’04 Separate Domain
Apple Students Blog Nov ’04 Subfolder of Subdomain
The Avenue (United Retail Group, Inc.) May ’07 Subdomain
Backcountry.com Aug ’06 Subdomain
Auntie’s Beads Inc. Dec ’06 Free Xanga Blog
Bidz.com Inc. Feb ’07 Subdomain
Bluefly Mar ’05 Subdomain
Blueluxe Oct ’05 Subdomain
Boot Barn Inc. (AM-PAT Inc.) Mar ’05 Subfolder
Brooks Brothers June ’07 Subdomain
BuyOnlineNow.com June ’07 Separate Domain
CafePress May ’06 Free Typepad Blog
Clutter Control Freak Jan ’08 Subfolder
Communications.com (Perfume.com) Sep ’05 Subdomain
Comp-U-Plus Dec. 07 Subfolder
Crutchfield Corp. Apr ’07 Subfolder of Subdomain
CSN Stores Inc. June ’07 Free Blogspot Blog
DataBazaar.com Mar ’07 Subdomain
Dell Inc. Jul ’06 Separate Domain
Design Within Reach Oct ’06 Subdomain
Directron.com Apr ’05 Subfolder
Discovery Store Blog Dec ’06 Free Typepad Blog
DrJays (DJ Networks) Feb ’07 Subdomain
DVD Empire Mar ’06 Free Blogspot Blog
Ecampus.com (A Book Co.) Feb ’07 Subfolder
Figleaves.com Inc. Oct ’06 Subdomain
Geardirect.com (Specialty Sports Ventures) Feb ’05 Free Blogspot Blog
GREENCulture Inc. Jul ’07 Subdomain
HobbyTron RC Blog May ’07 Subfolder
HobbyTron Product News June ’05 Free Blogspot Blog
Home Décor Products Inc. Sep ’06 Separate Domain
Hewlett Packard Jan ’07 Subfolder
Ask.com (IAC/Interactive Corp.) Feb ’05 Subdomain
Ice.com Mar ’05 Subdomain
Just Ask Leslie (Ice.com) Mar ’05 Separate Domain
Sparkle Like the Stars (Ice.com) Mar ’05 Separate Domain
iGourmet LLC Feb ’07 Subfolder
Jewelry Television Nov ’06 Free Typepad Blog
Junonia Ltd. May ’06 Subfolder
K & L Wines Oct ’05 Subdomain
MLB Advanced Media June ’06 Subdomain
MooseJaw Daily Madness Apr ’07 Free Blogspot Blog
Mountain Equipment Co-Op Jun ’07 Subdomain
Musicnotes Inc. Oct ’06 Subdomain
National Hockey League Subfolder
Netflix May ’07 Subdomain
Nieman Marcus August ’07 Subdomain
Nike Inc. Feb ’06 Subdomain
Online Stores Inc. June ’07 Subfolder
OpticsPlanet Inc. Apr ’07 Subdomain
Organize.com Inc. Jan ’06 Subfolder
Panasonic Corporate Blog Nov ’06 Subdomain
Palm.com Apr ’07 Subdomain
Mr. Paper’s Blog (Paper.com) Feb ’05 Subfolder
Paper News (Paper.com) Feb ’05 Subfolder
PartsAmerica.com Mar ’07 Subfolder
PetSmart Charities Blogs Separate Domain
Quixtar Blogs Subfolder
Powell’s Books Nov ’05 Subfolder
RealPlayer Music Store (RealNetworks Inc.) May ’07 Subfolder
Replacements Ltd. (Ebay Blog) June ’06 Subdomain
Rockler Woodworking and Hardware Mar ’06 Subfolder
Roots Canada Ltd. Aug ’06 Subfolder
Rugs Direct (Winchester Carpet & Rugs) Apr ’07 Separate Domain
Rugs USA May ’07 Subfolder
Scentiments.com June ’06 Free Blogspot Blog
Sephora USA Inc. May ’07 Subdomain
Sierra Trading Post Inc. Jul ’07 Subdomain
TigerGPS.com Ltd. Mar ’06 Subdomain
ToolBarn.com Inc. Dec ’05 Subdomain
Urban Outfitters Apr ’07 Subdomain
Vintage Tub and Bath June ’05 Subfolder
Vitacost.com Jul ’06 Free Typepad Blog
Life at WalMart Mar ’06 Subfolder of Separate Domain
Walmart Checkout Nov ’07 Separate Domain
Wlliams Sonoma Nov ’06 Separate Domain
Your Electronics Warehouse Apr ’03 Subfolder
Zazzle Jul ’04 Subdomain
Zazzle Tech Blog Feb ’07 Subdomain

Blog Type Stats

44% Subdomain
32% Subfolder
13% Separate Domain
11% Free Blog Hosting

Why does this matter?

Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz has an excellent explanation on why subfolders are preferred over other options for search engine optimization purposoes, all else equal. But for branding purposes it may make sense for you to use an entirely separate domain.

A Few Blogs of Note:

DrJays.com

Dr. Jays Ecommerce Blog

DrJays.com’s urban clothing blog does a great job at understanding their customer. Those that identify themselves with the hip-hop culture are heavily influenced by popular rap artists’ style, and the blog is a way to mix merchandising with news (like the announcement of “Nas’ signature “Disciple” shoe by 310 Motoring).

Gaging by the average number of comments each post receives, DrJays’ mix of sounds, sports, society and style are achieving reader involvement. Short and snappy posts that ask questions like Who are the worst rappers of all time? may draw almost 100 comments so far).

Dell

Direct2Dell Ecommerce Blog

A year ago Dell was battling a slew of online consumer complaints, cleverly dubbed “Dell Hell.” Thus Direct2Dell’s tagline “one 2 one communications with Dell” aptly reflects its purpose. The blog is proving to be an excellent platform to address customer concerns and complaints, with posts like XPS M1330: What’s Going On? drawing over 200 comments. Dell can not only perform damage control quickly, but also gather user feedback to make their products better.

A few details on this blog stand out: the bloggers’ signatures includes their job title, for example “Matt Domsch, Linux Technology Strategist” and “Glenn Keels, Sr. Manager—Commercial Server Team.” For any corporate blog, it’s nice to know the background of the poster, it builds trust. I also appreciate that top management or key team members are accessible via comments.

Design-wise, the collapsible right hand menu allows the blog to offer several different navigation options without looking too cluttered. The “Most Viewed” and “Most Comments” are extra goodies. The “power button” icons are a nice touch. The subscribe box could be de-cluttered by replacing the bookmark buttons with a single AddThis button, and would also show some love to readers using other bookmarking services.

The Avenue

Avenue Ecommerce Blog

What I love about the Avenista is its practical fashion advice. It brings back that good old-fashioned store window merchandising. For example, showing how to take simple gray trowsers from day to night. Sold!

Avenista Ecommerce Blog

The high quality images compliment the clean design. The blog is easy to scan and easy to navigate. The posts are friendly, fun and the advice speaks to the question marks that can loom over a shopper’s head such as what goes with ballet flats?

Although integrating the blog as a subdomain of the estore is convenient and consistent branding, you can’t search blog content. My search for “ballet flats” takes me to the product page, not the blog post.

One thing this clothier should be careful of is coming across too fabricated:

“Before I go, I have one piece of advice. Great coats like great men do not come around as often as we would like. So, don’t waste another second of your life without this trench. Buy it now!”

All in all, a nice approach to an apparel etailer blog.

Sephora

Sephora Ecommerce Blog

Sephora’s Beauty and the Blog‘s content is target-market appropriate, updated frequently and offers a great mix of educational videos and articles to complement their product line. It also gets a nod as the only blog to feature mobile RSS prominently.

sephora ecommerce blog icon

It makes sense for this blog’s image that the less-glamorous Feedburner icon is tucked away, but still easy to find for those who prefer (0r have even heard of) traditional RSS. Perhaps fashion-forward females favor fashion feeds on a flashy phone?

Databazaar

databazaar.jpg

Databazaar’s frequent posting of deals and coupons is a great sales tool. Regarding RSS subscription, at the end of each post, Databazaar subtly “asks for the sale.”

About Databazaar Deals
Entrepreneur Sid Lance once quipped, “The safe way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket.” To hold onto more of your hard-earned cash, look for Databazaar Deals—limited-time discounts on popular printer supplies. Yet another good reason to subscribe to this blog.

A lot of blogs never encourage users to subscribe. The subscription box is very nicely designed, and covers a number of popular bookmark service options without littering the page with chicklet icons:

Databazaar Ecommerce Blog Subscription Box

I’d like to see them go one step further and integrate mobile text alerts or set up a Twitter feed.

The blog is seamlessly integrated with the estore, but again, its search engine only works for products. My search for “air conditioner” found in this post took me to a product that happens to come with two air filters.

I’m also not crazy about the “Library” with the dropdown menu of categories. It would be nice to have a conventional browseable category list broken down into product type, manufacturer and other categories, since it would make sense for a user looking for deals on Konica Minolta toner to filter results by tag or category. Even though the blog does a great job with tagging, the dropdown menu is jumbled. If space is a concern, pull a Dell and use expandable and collapsible menus.

Warning: Just because these companies are top in sales doesn’t mean they’ve got top-notch blogs. Many haven’t made it past the first few posts. We gathered this list to give you inspiration for your own ecommerce blogging efforts. We want your opinion on these blogs: which do you think are the best and worst? Or drop your ecommerce blog URL in the comments, and you might make our upcoming list of Get Elastic reader’s blogs.

Did we miss any Top 500 Online Retailer ecommerce blogs? Let us know in the comments.

Linda Bustos
Linda Bustoshttp://www.elasticpath.com
Linda is an ecommerce industry analyst she specializes in conversion optimization for enterprise digital goods and media companies.
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