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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 NameOnline SinceBlog Type
Alibris Book BlogApr ’06Subdomain
Amazon Book BlogMar ’07Subfolder
Omnivoracious (Amazon – books)Oct ’07Separate Domain
Aldente Blog (Amazon – food/kitchen)Jul ’07Separate Domain
Carlust Blog (Amazon – cars)Aug ’07Separate Domain
American MuscleFeb ’07Subdomain
AppleNov ’04Separate Domain
Apple Students BlogNov ’04Subfolder of Subdomain
The Avenue (United Retail Group, Inc.)May ’07Subdomain
Backcountry.comAug ’06Subdomain
Auntie’s Beads Inc.Dec ’06Free Xanga Blog
Bidz.com Inc.Feb ’07Subdomain
BlueflyMar ’05Subdomain
BlueluxeOct ’05Subdomain
Boot Barn Inc. (AM-PAT Inc.)Mar ’05Subfolder
Brooks BrothersJune ’07Subdomain
BuyOnlineNow.comJune ’07Separate Domain
CafePressMay ’06Free Typepad Blog
Clutter Control FreakJan ’08Subfolder
Communications.com (Perfume.com)Sep ’05Subdomain
Comp-U-PlusDec. 07Subfolder
Crutchfield Corp.Apr ’07Subfolder of Subdomain
CSN Stores Inc.June ’07Free Blogspot Blog
DataBazaar.comMar ’07Subdomain
Dell Inc.Jul ’06Separate Domain
Design Within ReachOct ’06Subdomain
Directron.comApr ’05Subfolder
Discovery Store BlogDec ’06Free Typepad Blog
DrJays (DJ Networks)Feb ’07Subdomain
DVD EmpireMar ’06Free Blogspot Blog
Ecampus.com (A Book Co.)Feb ’07Subfolder
Figleaves.com Inc.Oct ’06Subdomain
Geardirect.com (Specialty Sports Ventures)Feb ’05Free Blogspot Blog
GREENCulture Inc.Jul ’07Subdomain
HobbyTron RC BlogMay ’07Subfolder
HobbyTron Product NewsJune ’05Free Blogspot Blog
Home Décor Products Inc.Sep ’06Separate Domain
Hewlett PackardJan ’07Subfolder
Ask.com (IAC/Interactive Corp.)Feb ’05Subdomain
Ice.comMar ’05Subdomain
Just Ask Leslie (Ice.com)Mar ’05Separate Domain
Sparkle Like the Stars (Ice.com)Mar ’05Separate Domain
iGourmet LLCFeb ’07Subfolder
Jewelry TelevisionNov ’06Free Typepad Blog
Junonia Ltd.May ’06Subfolder
K & L WinesOct ’05Subdomain
MLB Advanced MediaJune ’06Subdomain
MooseJaw Daily MadnessApr ’07Free Blogspot Blog
Mountain Equipment Co-OpJun ’07Subdomain
Musicnotes Inc.Oct ’06Subdomain
National Hockey LeagueSubfolder
NetflixMay ’07Subdomain
Nieman MarcusAugust ’07Subdomain
Nike Inc.Feb ’06Subdomain
Online Stores Inc.June ’07Subfolder
OpticsPlanet Inc.Apr ’07Subdomain
Organize.com Inc.Jan ’06Subfolder
Panasonic Corporate BlogNov ’06Subdomain
Palm.comApr ’07Subdomain
Mr. Paper’s Blog (Paper.com)Feb ’05Subfolder
Paper News (Paper.com)Feb ’05Subfolder
PartsAmerica.comMar ’07Subfolder
PetSmart Charities BlogsSeparate Domain
Quixtar BlogsSubfolder
Powell’s BooksNov ’05Subfolder
RealPlayer Music Store (RealNetworks Inc.)May ’07Subfolder
Replacements Ltd. (Ebay Blog)June ’06Subdomain
Rockler Woodworking and HardwareMar ’06Subfolder
Roots Canada Ltd.Aug ’06Subfolder
Rugs Direct (Winchester Carpet & Rugs)Apr ’07Separate Domain
Rugs USAMay ’07Subfolder
Scentiments.comJune ’06Free Blogspot Blog
Sephora USA Inc.May ’07Subdomain
Sierra Trading Post Inc.Jul ’07Subdomain
TigerGPS.com Ltd.Mar ’06Subdomain
ToolBarn.com Inc.Dec ’05Subdomain
Urban OutfittersApr ’07Subdomain
Vintage Tub and BathJune ’05Subfolder
Vitacost.comJul ’06Free Typepad Blog
Life at WalMartMar ’06Subfolder of Separate Domain
Walmart CheckoutNov ’07Separate Domain
Wlliams SonomaNov ’06Separate Domain
Your Electronics WarehouseApr ’03Subfolder
ZazzleJul ’04Subdomain
Zazzle Tech BlogFeb ’07Subdomain

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 and consultant specializing in conversion optimization and digital transformation.
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