11 TED Talks Every eCommerce Entrepreneur Must Watch in 2022

7 minutes

Starting an online business always seems a bit intimidating at first, especially since there is a whole market you’re competing with. However, a bit of inspiration goes a long way, especially when the source of insights is the experts themselves.

It’s always comforting to know that there have been other people in your shoes, and with that in mind, learn from their experiences and mistakes to skip quite a few significant steps when starting your eCommerce business.  TED Talks offer a great source of inspiring sessions, where specialists and experts come together to share their views, experiences, and knowledge that they have acquired throughout their careers.


Bonus: Check out this Ultimate List of 73 eCommerce Experts You Need to Follow to learn insights on how to start selling online.


We have handpicked a few insightful TED Talks sessions we believe every eCommerce entrepreneur, specialist, and manager should watch, delivered by some of the most well-known experts.

Whether you’re just starting out in the eCommerce landscape, or you are already managing a business but need some new ideas about how to drive it toward success, check out these eleven TED Talks that will help you boost your strategies.


1. The tribes we lead by Seth Godin

Seth Godin says that the internet has ended mass marketing and has empowered a human social unit from the distant past – tribes. Given that tribes have been founded on shared ideas and values, they give ordinary people the power to lead and create impactful changes. eCommerce managers should keep this in mind if they decide to start selling online, as consumers have an even bigger impact on one’s eCommerce business than before.



About the speaker

Seth Godin, the Founder of Do You Zoom and The Carbon Almanac, is an entrepreneur and blogger who thinks about the marketing of ideas in the digital age.

Godin is the author of numerous books, such as Free Prize Inside, Purple Cow , The Dip, and Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us.


For more insights, follow him on Twitter | LinkedIn


2. The single biggest reason why start-ups succeed by Bill Gross

The Founder and Chairman of Idealab, Bill Gross has extensive experience in founding over 150 companies in the last 20 years. His experience in founding and incubating many start-ups led him to become curious about why some succeed and why some do not, and compelled him to gather data from hundreds of companies, his own and others, and rank each company on five key factors.



About the speaker

Bill Gross is the Founder and Chairman of Idealab, a business incubator focused on new ideas. He helped create GoTo.com, the first sponsored search company. He also created the Snap! search engine, which allows users to preview hyperlinks.


For more insights, follow him on Twitter | LinkedIn


3. The decline of consumer irrationality by Itamar Simonson

Itmar Simonson is a Stanford professor who spent much of his career showing that consumers tend to act irrationally, and that their preferences were highly malleable. That theory changed a few years ago, when Simonson noticed that the internet was changing the customer environment, making consumers less likely to choose irrationally.



About the speaker

Itamar Simonson is coauthor of the book ABSOLUTE VALUE: What Really Influences Customers in the Age of (Nearly) Perfect Information. He is the Sebastian S. Kresge Professor of Marketing at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. His award-winning work has provided new insights into consumer choice, the factors that drive buyer decisions, the limits of customization, and other central marketing issues.


4. 5 ways to lead in an era of constant change by Jim Hemerling

Jim Hemerling, Managing Director & Senior Partner at Boston Consulting Group, is an organizational change expert who believes adapting your business in today’s constantly evolving world can be invigorating instead of exhausting. In a fast-changing environment, such as the eCommerce world, it’s crucial to stay up to date and be able to change and adapt quickly and effectively.



About the speaker

Managing Director & Senior Partner at Boston Consulting Group, Jim Hemerling is also a BCG fellow with a focus on transforming organizations to deliver and sustain breakthrough performance. He is a leader in BCG’s People & Organization and Transformation practices, as well as the firm’s behavior and culture topic.


For more insights, follow him on LinkedIn


5. 404, the story of a page not found by Renny Gleeson

One of the most troublesome issues, especially in the eCommerce world, is seeing 404: Page Not Found on your computer screen. But Renny Gleeson takes another approach as he runs through a slideshow of creative and funny 404 pages, showing the audience that every error is really a chance to build a better relationship.



About the speaker

Renny Gleeson, the CSO of SciFuture, is a brand strategy and marketing strategy leader with 25+ years of experience in the interactive and gaming space.


For more insights, follow him on LinkedIn


6. Design for all 5 senses by Jinsop Lee

Product images are a crucial component of your digital store, especially if you are selling physical products and your customers do not have the chance to see or try on your products. They are a big influence on the customer’s decision to buy your product or not. But why not take it a bit further and highlight all the sensory aspects of your product? What does your product taste like? How does it feel when you wear it? Designer Jinsop Lee (a TED Talent Search winner) shares his theory of 5-sense design, with a handy graph and a couple of examples. His hope is to inspire you to notice great multisensory experiences.



About the speaker

Jinsop Lee is the Founder and CEO of AD ANTIC. He is an accomplished public speaker and has given several talks around the world, including a TED talk and a live presentation for Solidworks in front of 5000 people. In 2015 he became a contributor to the Discovery Channel’s show “How Do They Do It?”


For more insights, follow him on Website | LinkedIn


7. How giant websites design for you (and a billion others, too) by Margaret Gould Stewart

Facebook’s well-known buttons such as “like” and “share” are among the most-viewed design elements ever created, seen daily around 22-billion times. Margaret Gould Steward, the VP of Product Design & Responsible Innovation at Meta, talks about three rules of design when operating on such a massive scale, where even the tiniest of tweaks can cause a global outrage – but the subtlest of improvements can positively impact the lives of many.



About the speaker

Margaret Gould Steward, VP of Product Design & Responsible Innovation at Meta, is a leader in the field of user experience design, with a focus on ethically responsible design and development of new technologies. She’s spent her 20+ years career building tools that democratize technology at companies such as Google, YouTube and Facebook, where she built the design practice for the Facebook business from a few designers to a global organization of over 400 design and research practitioners.


For more insights, follow her on Twitter | LinkedIn


8. Profit’s not always the point by Harish Manwani

It’s easier now, more than ever, to create an online business, but the goal should be to stand out from the crowd and prove to your customers that what you are doing goes beyond profit. Harish Manwani, Senior Operating Partner at Blackstone, makes a passionate argument that including value, purpose, and sustainability in top-level decision-making is not just savvy, it’s the only way to run a 21st century business responsibly.



About the speaker

Harish Manwani is the Senior Operating Partner at Blackstone. Prior to joining Blackstone in 2015, Harish was the Chief Operating Officer of Unilever and responsible for managing the P&L across all of its global markets. He spent thirty-eight years with Unilever, holding various senior general management positions globally, including overseeing Unilever’s businesses in Latin America, North America, Asia, and Africa.


9. What consumers want by Joseph Pine

One of the most important aspects of any eCommerce business is getting to know your customers. Who are they, what are their needs, what do they want, and how can your product satisfy those needs?

In a fast-moving, ever-changing market, customers are in search of authenticity and value: they want to feel that what they buy is genuine. Joseph Pine, Co-founder of Strategic Horizons, argues that selling authenticity is tough, however, because he believes there is no such thing. Joseph shares a few experiences that may be artificial but make millions anyway.



About the speaker

Joseph Pine is an internationally acclaimed author, speaker, and management advisor to Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurial start-ups alike. He is Co-founder of Strategic Horizons LLP, a thinking studio dedicated to helping businesses conceive and design new ways of adding value to their economic offerings.


For more insights, follow him on Twitter | LinkedIn


10. 3 ways to (usefully) lose control of your brand by Tim Leberecht

Today, it’s almost impossible to control how every aspect of your brand is discussed and represented, especially with the surge of information and the ease that social media platforms bring to global free-form communication. Tim Leberecht, Co-founder and Co-CEO, House of Beautiful Business, shares three great tips about accepting that loss of control over your brand representation – and using it as an impetus to recommit to your values.



About the speaker

Tim is a German-American author, entrepreneur, three-time TED speaker, and a passionate voice for a human future of work. His book, The Business Romantic, was an international bestseller and has been translated into nine languages to date.


For more insights, follow him on Twitter | LinkedIn


11. What can we learn from shortcuts? By Tom Hulme

One of the most frequently asked questions any eCommerce business owner gets is “how do you build a product that people want?” Tom Hulme, General Partner & Head of Europe at GV (Google Ventures), states that one fantastic way to do that is to allow consumers to be part of the process.

In this short talk, Hulme lays out three insightful examples of the intersection of design and user experience, where people have developed their own desire paths out of necessity. Once you know how to spot them, you’ll start noticing them everywhere.



About the speaker

Tom Hulme is currently a general partner at Google Ventures where he invests in high growth technology companies; he also occasionally works with GV’s extensive design team to keep his design muscles working.


For more insights, follow him on Twitter | LinkedIn


Do you have any TED Talks that have inspired you during your eCommerce career? Please share them with us in the comments below; we are eager to find out more. 😊


If you are just starting your eCommerce business, we’ve put together a complete guide that we believe you will find useful. This resource will provide everything you need to know about how to start an eCommerce business from scratch as well as actionable tips and best practices that will help you achieve success. Make sure you download it!





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