E-commerce sales are growing at a solid rate in spite of the uncertainty surrounding the global economy; they currently make up 14.3% of all retail sales worldwide. Even more intriguingly, eMarketer predicts that by 2023, e-commerce will account for 23% of all retail sales worldwide. This begs for stores wanting to establish or grow their internet presence!
Naturally, a booming industry draws its share of risk-takers, which means that rivalry intensifies daily. However, the greatest place to start if you’re considering becoming an e-commerce entrepreneur is by learning about the e-commerce CMS market.
Let’s delve deeply into the field of content management systems for e-commerce. We’ll examine their capabilities, the best CMS for e-commerce, and if you even need one for your online store.
- What is an Ecommerce CMS?
- Do You Need a Separate CMS?
- Features Needed in an Ecommerce CMS
- Flexible design options
- 12 Best Ecommerce CMS Platforms
- Two Ways to Use an Ecommerce CMS
- 6 Benefits of Integrating CMS Platforms with E-Commerce
What is an Ecommerce CMS?
Without knowing any coding, proprietors of e-commerce stores can generate, edit, and publish digital website content using a content management system (CMS). In order to better advertise products, users can also alter the appearance and feel of the online store by adding promotional banners, altering the design of the product pages, or rapidly creating new website sections.
An online shopping cart system that lets you manage products and sell them straight from your website is called an ecommerce platform. A CMS is another function of some e-commerce platforms. To put it another way, it’s an intuitive infrastructure that manages every aspect of an online store’s backend.
SaaS and open source are the two main categories into which ecommerce CMS software can be divided when attempting to reduce the number of alternatives.
1. SaaS CMS.
A cloud-based alternative for e-commerce stores that eliminates the need for a separate server is a hosted SaaS CMS. In return for your monthly price, the software vendor handles all downloads, update management, and data storage setup; you don’t have to do any of it. Typically, the supplier also provides customer service. Hosted content management systems (CMS) include Squarespace, Shopify, BigCommerce, and others. These examples function as content management systems as well as e-commerce platforms.
2. Open source CMS.
Users possess complete authority over the functioning of websites while utilizing open source e-commerce platforms. Open source programs are frequently self-hosted and are available for free download. This means that store administrators are in charge of choosing the server’s hosting, maintaining it, and updating the software as needed for their e-commerce website. While cloud-hosted versions of some open source platforms are available, they differ from SaaS in that store owners are still responsible for upkeep. Magento and WooCommerce are two of the most well-known open source e-commerce platforms.
Do You Need a Separate CMS?
You might not have even given the idea of not having a separate CMS any thought up until now. However, it’s crucial to note that not all online retailers will require a content management system. Weighing your content strategy plans is the best approach to find out if your online business needs a separate content management system.
The most value of a content management system (CMS) would be for e-commerce companies that often update their homepage and product pages, or create new content for their blog. However, you may be possible to create your website without one if your store won’t need frequent, real-time content updates.
Additionally, you might not require a separate CMS if your current e-commerce platform doubles as one.
Still unclear? Think about the much-discussed benefits that a carefully selected CMS can offer.
1. Create and edit content with ease.
Do you feel uneasy about making changes to the material on your website? The fact that contemporary content management systems are quite user-friendly and don’t require highly developed technical knowledge is one of its best features. It implies that you may quickly advance marketing campaigns and promotional activities by managing all content and product changes on your own, either alone or with your team.
2. Remove reliance on developers.
Successful e-commerce business owners understand that revenue development is fueled by meeting client expectations. However, if you’re using a middleman, you can’t maintain the speed and agility needed to update the material on your website.
You can save development time and maintain the website yourself using an intuitive content management system. In the end, you not only save time but also have more money to allocate to other marketing campaigns that can advance your company. Gain-gain
3. Include an additional route for interacting with possible clients.
Content marketing is one of the best ways to get organic traffic, thus it should be at the top of your list of priorities.
A small number of e-commerce firms can afford to remain mute on social media in the era of Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Producing informative and interesting content will increase your store’s exposure on Google and other search engines, bringing in more visitors and increasing revenue. Consumable content is also a tried-and-true method of creating a memorable brand and cultivating client loyalty. These days, that’s how people shop!
Your information should be easily accessible, shared, and well-organized, and a decent CMS can help with this. And all of that with very little backend tinkering.
4. Let writers work together.
Great work is produced in groups. A lot of work goes into creating content of the highest caliber, from formatting to proofreading to locating the ideal visual elements. Streamlining team collaboration is essential for producing material more quickly. Additionally, a carefully considered CMS may put users on the same page by enabling writers to work directly in the program and take advantage of clever features to enhance their material. Better-targeted content, more efficient review procedures, and an enhanced consumer experience all result from it.
Features Needed in an Ecommerce CMS
What aspects must to be taken into account when selecting a CMS? In fact, diving too far into feature comparison could lead to a severe case of analytical paralysis. It would be preferable if you focused on the essential features that may support the expansion of your store before analyzing the benefits and drawbacks of the CMSs you had shortlisted.
The secret to on-page SEO for e-commerce websites is knowing exactly where to put your keywords. It serves as a channel of communication for web crawlers and guarantees top search engine rankings. Essentially, the smooth-talking on the internet. But don’t worry if you’re not an SEO expert; a solid ecommerce content management system will assist you in implementing SEO best practices and optimizing your product pages. Keep an eye out for features that center on:
Shorter is preferable. Every day, millions of fresh and updated pages are being crawled by Google. It follows that short URLs are encouraged. Your website’s overall performance will increase if you can eliminate pointless subfolders from your URLs. But being brief isn’t the sole prerequisite. Making the URL readable and adding the main keyword can also help you rank higher in searches.
Page titles and meta descriptions
Your main keyword should be in the page title, commonly referred to as the H1 tag. Bonus points if you can position it at the start of the title. This is the primary text that shows up in search results, therefore keyword optimization is crucial. That being said, the effort is worthwhile even if it seems dull!
The grey text that appears in search results beneath the page title is the meta description. Although it has no direct effect on page rankings, it can raise the click-through rate with ease. Additionally, the larger your CTR, the higher your page rankings!
You must dedicate time to optimizing the meta descriptions and page titles on each and every page of your online business. Make sure your content management system (CMS) supports changing page URLs and has an easy-to-use interface (UI) for creating and verifying meta descriptions to prevent SEO errors in the future. Better still, give users the option to have their page title and meta description automatically generated, which will save them a ton of work.
2. Easy-to-optimize for user experience (UX).
Consumers today have high standards for e-commerce websites. If your user experience isn’t seamless, visitors will leave your site before making a purchase. Worse still, they are not returning.
Are you aware of the UX characteristics that a CMS for e-commerce should have? These are the most important prerequisites to meet above all others.
Flexible design options
Every encounter matters as clients move through your website’s purchase process. To create a customized, pleasurable experience, you should be able to design, change, and manage the content layout on each and every page of your store.
An intuitive content management system is especially important for store owners who have little to no experience with coding. You’ll be able to react swiftly to new trends in the industry, special occasions, and promotional events by updating your store’s style and page layout. A variety of integrations and plugins are also provided by certain CMS platforms to assist shop admins in managing marketing campaigns and store-wide promotions.
Optimized content for mobile
The fact that mobile shopping will soon take the lead in e-commerce is becoming more and more clear. By 2021, it is predicted to represent 54% of all e-commerce sales, presenting a new difficulty for e-commerce merchants. If you want to stay on top of the mobile commerce wave, your top UX priorities list should include store and content optimization.
In practice, this means being especially mindful of loading times, mobile navigation, mobile checkout procedures, visual aspects, and other UX components that affect the way users interact with mobile devices. Additionally, the e-commerce content management system (CMS) you select need to optimize the process in a way that helps you attain greater conversion rates without requiring special programming.
3. Easy to use.
A CMS shouldn’t cause more stress, considering how many hats a store owner must wear. You might want to seek for a platform that is simple to set up right away and doesn’t require a drawn-out, laborious onboarding process, depending on the developer resources available to you. Whatever their level of technical expertise, a content management system (CMS) should enable e-commerce business owners to experiment, move quickly, and enhance the user experience (UX) of their websites through features like plugin integrations, page layout changes, and search engine optimization.
4. Plentiful integrations.
It’s a harsh reality that no CMS is flawless. However, you should look into how easy the system interfaces with additional tools and plugins if you have a special use case that isn’t covered by the main CMS platform or if you just want to have options in case something comes up later. The ability to install and activate plugins as needed, along with easy connection with your current tech stack (think email platform or analytics tools), are ideal. It’s a good idea to keep in mind that the CMS’s popularity and API friendliness will also be revealed by the variety of integrations it offers.
12 Best Ecommerce CMS Platforms
Prepare yourselves now. Selecting only one CMS platform for e-commerce is quite challenging due to its quantity. Though it’s by no means exhaustive, this list can serve as a fantastic starting point for your research to find the most well-liked solutions available.
BigCommerce, one of the most well-known e-commerce platforms available, serves more than 60,000 retailers of all shapes and sizes. The BigCommerce platform, with its abundance of pre-built features and content management system capabilities, is both robust and straightforward enough to support the development of rapidly expanding e-commerce firms, for those who are fresh to the industry as well. It serves every aspect of the e-commerce industry.
The platform is renowned for its sophisticated SEO integration and adaptable APIs, which let retailers use the BigCommerce shopping cart in the backend while connecting to industry-leading software and other CMS solutions. BigCommerce is accessible as a monthly subscription service, fully hosted, and compatible with Level 1 PCI standards.
Get in touch with our sales team to find out more about the BigCommerce platform.
Although WordPress dominates the CMS market, it is not an e-commerce platform in and of itself. In order to convert a WordPress website into an online store, the WooCommerce plugin is required.
The open-source WooCommerce platform is incredibly popular and preferred due to its vast array of plugins and themes, the majority of which are free. The best part about these plugins is that with just one click, they may quickly add missing features and functionalities to the main WooCommerce product. The drawback is that a large number of plugins might provide needless complexity and slow down a website.
Additionally, BigCommerce provides an easy-to-integrate WordPress plugin that offers yet another level of simplicity. With the BigCommerce SaaS platform, e-commerce businesses can now blend the frontend flexibility of WordPress with the backend advantages of coupons and discounts, abandoned cart recovery, and single-page checkout straight out of the box.
Drupal isn’t made expressly for e-commerce, although it can be used in conjunction with other modules and frameworks to provide eCommerce features. It is indeed one of the most extensively used open-source content management systems; its popularity is almost on par with that of WordPress and Joomla. Regretfully, Drupal lacks sufficient user-friendliness for anyone lacking substantial technical expertise; nevertheless, this is gradually improving.
Drupal commerce provides amazing flexibility as a CMS. You may have the best of both worlds with a fully hosted backend and fully configurable frontend when you pair it with the BigCommerce plugin.
Another open-source content management system that lets people create and publish websites is called Joomla. Although it isn’t built for e-commerce, there are several free plugins that can help you convert a Joomla website into one.
Leading digital experience platform Sitecore blends design and editing capabilities with marketing automation, customization, commerce, and content. With the help of the platform, retailers can create and implement customized commerce journeys and digital storefront experiences. You can integrate Sitecore’s robust integrated content experiences with headless commerce features by using the BigCommerce plugin for Sitefront.
One well-liked open-source CMS for e-commerce solutions is Magento. It is well-known and supports more than 260,000 online stores globally. Adobe owns it. Along with a wide range of extensions available, rich functionality and integrations with enterprise-level applications such as chatbots, CRM, and ERP are features that Magento offers. Additionally, despite serving a wide range of merchants, its complex setup, flexible pricing, and development requirements make it a popular choice for larger, rapidly expanding companies.
One of the most well-known SaaS e-commerce systems in the world is Shopify. It has grown in popularity as an e-commerce platform for new and small enterprises because of its user-friendly interface and reasonable prices. But that doesn’t mean larger brands can’t use the CMS. It is advisable to review the features list before to signing up, as the amount of features available will vary depending on the plan type you select. Shopify provides a free POS system, a variety of free store designs, and free 24/7 support. The drawback is that using payment providers other than Shopify results in transaction costs being charged by Shopify.
Another open-source platform with considerable backend code customization and MySQL data management is Prestashop. With its enormous selection of themes and add-ons, merchants with little technical experience may create an online store from the ground up. But keep an eye out for the entire cost because some of the extensions are really expensive.
The good news is that Prestashop is an excellent choice for startups and medium-sized stores because you don’t need to be a developer to construct a website on it. Due to its lack of free assistance, Prestashop may be overlooked by businesses.
OpenCart is a free and feature-rich open-source content management system for online retailers. It features a flourishing plugin marketplace in addition to a plethora of templates for easy setup. Eight delivery options and more than 20 payment gateways are integrated with OpenCart. It’s a well-liked choice for novices on a tight budget because it’s an e-commerce CMS with no monthly fees.
Wix is a top drag-and-drop website creation tool for internet businesses. Website owners can install the commerce module if necessary, even though it’s not strictly speaking an e-commerce content management system. Wix is a compelling choice for total novices and non-programmers due to its assortment of templates, integrated functionalities, and no-code methodology. It might work if you want to launch your firm quickly and have a small product line. But bear in mind that after you select a template for your store, there won’t be any more opportunities to modify it.
One of the first CMS and marketing automation platforms is HubSpot. Although it lacks e-commerce capability, BigCommerce and Shopify—two specialized e-commerce platforms—can be seamlessly integrated with it. By linking HubSpot to your online store, you can analyze and report on income streams with customized reports, automate marketing efforts, and gain a better understanding of your customers’ behavior.
A cloud-based e-commerce software called Volusion specializes in creating websites without any programming. Volusion is a helpful choice for mid-sized and bigger enterprises because it has certain built-in tools for marketing, payment collecting, and inventory management. It should be noted that Volusion filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2020 if you are thinking about using it for your firm. Even while the platform is still accessible and runs normally, it might not be the greatest choice in the long run.
Two Ways to Use an Ecommerce CMS
You’ve undoubtedly noticed after looking over the list above that ecommerce content management systems primarily fall into two groups. Essentially, you have to decide between standalone content management systems and comprehensive e-commerce platforms that incorporate essential CMS features.
The optimal ecommerce CMS system for your company will depend on a variety of contributing elements, including your company’s maturity, the quantity of products you sell, your sales volume, and your content strategy. If you are an Amazon seller and don’t update your website often, you will have a different choice than someone who regularly invests in increasing traffic to their e-commerce company.
1. Ecommerce first.
First off, using an e-commerce platform does not automatically preclude your website from benefiting from content marketing.
As the success of e-commerce becomes increasingly dependent on content, e-commerce platforms want to strengthen their content-first offering by giving store owners more tools to produce, curate, and distribute their unique content that drives traffic.
Ecommerce-first solutions offer a lot of features, such as visual drag-and-drop builders, elegant blog designs, and on-page SEO control. Additionally, business owners may easily combine their content-first CMS with e-commerce systems for the most effective configuration overall. This technique has the obvious benefit of allowing the selling and telling elements to be combined into a single backend platform.
Solo Stove is an inventive lifestyle brand that specializes in designing outdoor cooking equipment. The firm started out with just one product and has since grown into a reliable outdoor brand with a fully equipped online store. They chose BigCommerce for a more simplified experience after deciding to upgrade from their one-page website to a full-fledged e-commerce platform when their expansion picked up speed.
The CEO of Solo Stove, John Merris, explains their decision to use an e-commerce-first CMS:
2. Content first.
The CMS is essential for e-commerce companies that prioritize content in order to drive business growth. Content-first e-commerce firms generally concentrate on using content to educate and engage their customers in order to increase interest, trust, and loyalty. Furthermore, a backend add-on manages the e-commerce features.
For companies with robust marketing and design teams that can create content-rich digital experiences that position their products in pertinent contexts and drive demand, it’s a good alternative.
This e-commerce example of putting content first is excellent. Italian restaurant company Carluccio’s relaunched their website on WordPress, using the BigCommerce plugin to power the commerce functionality, in an attempt to combine commerce with content-rich web design.
Improving the user experience and facilitating a smooth transition between eating at the restaurant, experiencing brand experiences, and making purchases from their online store were the main objectives of the new website.
6 Benefits of Integrating CMS Platforms with E-Commerce
For many brands, a content-first strategy might make sense. There’s no need to be afraid! Here are several situations when combining an e-commerce platform with a different content management system can improve an online store’s performance.
1. Convert an existing website to a store.
It’s likely that you already have a flourishing community and a popular blog. Maybe you’re considering monetizing your website since your community is clamoring for additional value. This seems like the ideal situation to combine e-commerce with a content management system! Why upset the status quo when you already have a CMS in place? You can interface with a platform like BigCommerce to add a shopping cart and enable sales through your current website, saving you the trouble of switching everything to an e-commerce product.
2. Easy-to-update sites.
In e-commerce, speed and creativity are crucial. You want a sleek, contemporary website that pleases users and is really simple to maintain and update. You want your stakeholders to be empowered and able to carry out their ideas in order to drive business, whether that means reacting to new trends, events, or competition. The ability to effortlessly manage your store’s products and content is provided when you combine a content management system (CMS) with an e-commerce platform.
3. More visitors with a content-first approach.
Content-first e-commerce websites have many benefits, one of which is the increased amount of organic traffic they receive. This lowers acquisition costs and aids online retailers in creating a community akin to a tribe around their brand. Store owners can draw in more potential consumers, gain a deeper understanding of their preferences, and concentrate on creating and selling more of what customers truly want with the help of sophisticated on-page SEO capabilities and other user-friendly content features.
4. assuming the role of thought leader in your field.
Increasing brand recognition is difficult. However, you can easily establish yourself as a thought leader or industry influencer if you have knowledge and skill in a certain area that you’re ready to offer. This would increase interest in your company and, consequently, the demand for your goods. Providing insightful information on a regular basis will eventually result in revenue!
5. Manage orders and inventory with ease.
It’s a wise business move to use content marketing and demand creation strategically. Nonetheless, you still need to ensure that the e-commerce portion of the business is scalable and operating efficiently. You won’t have to worry about shipping, safe payment options, or centralized inventory management across several channels thanks to the sophisticated features that come with ecommerce systems. In this manner, you can confidently expand your company!
6. Integrate with payment providers.
Creating a safe and secure payment environment is essential to your company’s success. Another major benefit of adding backend ecommerce capability to your CMS is that it allows you to interface with top payment gateways, which will boost your brand’s legitimacy and inspire trust. Even better, integrating merely requires a few clicks and is quite simple to accomplish!
Now, in the end, we hope that through this post you were able to gain knowledge on what are Ecommerce CMS and why you should have one in your store. Moreover, if you are looking for an ecommerce development company that can assist you with the same then you should check out Appic Softwares.
We have an experienced team of developers that can help you with all your requirements. You can even hire dedicated developers from us and let them manage your store.
So, what are you waiting for?