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Ecommerce CMS: Choosing the Best Platform for Your Online Store

 

eCommerce is a different beast entirely when it comes to website development.

And finding the right CMS for your eCommerce platform is not an easy decision to make.

In this article, we will take a look at why selecting the right CMS for your eCommerce store is so crucial, as well as which one is best for your business.

What is a Content Management System (CMS)?

A content management system, otherwise known as a CMS, is an online application that lets you manage and publish content on your website. It’s essentially a tool that gives you free rein to control all the content on your site – all in one place.

Most CMSs do not require you to code your entire website, all you need to do is set one up and a lot of the backend work will be done automatically on your behalf.

In short, the main goal of a CMS is to minimise the resources required to build a website so that you can focus on the more important parts of your digital experience.

Why Would I Need a CMS for eCommerce?

If you want to sell products online without building a website entirely from scratch, then you need to have a CMS with eCommerce capabilities.

What are these capabilities you might ask? Well, CMSs designed with eCommerce in mind will allow you to implement everything from product inventory management and shopping carts to shipping and payment gateway integrations.

However, there are multiple platforms to choose from. So the first step is finding the right one for your business needs.

Which CMS Should I Use for My Ecommerce Business?

Deciding which CMS is better for your eCommerce platform will always depend on the scope of your business, how much control you want over your website and your technical expertise.

Here we will walk you through the most popular options, and the types of business they are suitable for. Good news is that you can migrate from one to another if the one you chose doesn’t end up working for you.


 

‘It is like any CMS really, it’s hard to pin down what the best one is because it depends on what the business needs, the factors can vary from budget to extreme customisation, security, and ease of use. So, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to an ecommerce platform to use’ – Farouk Jones, Web Developer


 

Need help with your eCommerce platform?

Speak to the Digivate team today!

 

1. WordPress (WooCommerce)

WooCommerce and WordPress Logos

WordPress is the most used CMS on the web. Its market share is astronomical compared to its competition. The main reason for this is that it is a free platform that got its foot in the door before anyone else in the CMS world.

However, WordPress alone is not capable of supporting an eCommerce business. You need plugins to transform your website from your everyday WordPress site to an online store juggernaut.

The go-to plugin for this is WooCommerce.

What Business is WordPress/WooCommerce Suited For?

New businesses and not-so-tech-savvy entrepreneurs will get the best results from WordPress and its WooCommerce plugin. Why exactly? Well, WooCommerce delivers a host of great services, and powerful features and is an absolute breeze to use.

Plus it’s free. However, if you want a more custom platform you’re looking at a WordPress monthly subscription of £3 – £36 – and for those enterprise businesses, the costs can skyrocket as you’ll need a custom plan.

Our Thoughts

We’ve had extensive experience with WooCommerce for eCommerce clients. It’s been a game-changer for many businesses. The seamless integration with WordPress makes it easy to build stunning online stores, and the customisable features allow us to tailor each site to our client’s unique needs. Plus, the built-in SEO tools help boost visibility and drive traffic to their stores. 

Whether it’s setting up product listings or managing orders, WooCommerce streamlines the process, saving us time and our clients money. It’s a great option for eCommerce projects!

2. Shopify

Shopify Logo

Shopify is another eCommerce heavy hitter, with 4.6 million websites running on the platform as of 2023 according to Builtwith.

This CMS doesn’t just offer eCommerce capabilities, but also hosting and excellent technical support. It even lets you have some small control over your site’s appearance, albeit quite restricted.

There is also an amazing selection of Shopify applications that you can connect to your site from the Shopify App Store that will help improve everything from monitoring your analytics to improving your overall security.

What Business is Shopify Suited For?

Similar to WordPress/WooCommerce, Shopify is a great starting point for small and medium businesses. The CMS allows just about anyone to set up an online store and sell their products with ease.

However, it does come with a monthly price tag. This starts at £19 a month and goes all the way up to £259 a month for the “Advanced” version. If you choose an external payment gateway, there will be additional transaction fees that range from 0.5% to 2% depending on the plan you choose.

Our Thoughts

Shopify has become a go-to platform for many eCommerce clients. Its user-friendly interface and robust features make it a breeze to create stunning online stores. The range of customisable themes allows us to craft unique designs tailored to each client’s brand. 

However, one downside we’ve encountered is the limited flexibility in terms of custom coding compared to other platforms. Despite this, Shopify’s overall performance and reliability make it a solid choice.

 

3. Adobe Commerce

Adobe commerce logo

Adobe Commerce is a CMS platform owned by, you guessed it, Adobe Inc. Its eCommerce version, however, can be pricey but you’ll have to enquire as all plans are tailored to your business needs and size.

With the Adobe brand comes a high level of service, with the platform offering a highly intuitive mobile web store with a mobile-friendly interface. It also works flawlessly with payment processing options such as Google Checkout, PayPal, and more.

What Business is Adobe Commerce Suited For?

The Adobe Commerce platform is specifically designed with enterprise businesses in mind thanks to its host of world-class themes, features and professional support.

Unlike Shopify and WooCommerce which cater their products to small and medium-sized eCommerce businesses, Adobe Commerce is definitely best suited for businesses such as Nestle, Ford and even premiership football clubs like Liverpool FC.

Our Thoughts

Adobe Commerce stands out for its robust features and seamless integration capabilities. We rely on its advanced analytics tools to gain valuable insights into customer behaviour and optimise our clients’ online stores for maximum conversion rates. 

The platform’s built-in marketing automation features also streamline our workflows and help us deliver targeted campaigns. However, the steeper prices put off many of our clients from using this platform.

 

4. Drupal

Drupal Logo

Drupal is another widely used open-source content management system that is also free. As of 2023, at least 495,000 websites use this back-end framework to fulfil their digital needs. This includes big brands like Honda, Lush and Puma.

Like any good eCommerce CMS worth its salt, Drupal allows you to implement all the typical functionality you’d expect when running an online store. To get the most out of the platform, you will need to make use of its modules (their fancy word for apps). These will help you implement things such as inventory management, shipping rate calculation, currency conversion and improved payment protections.

However, one of the biggest drawbacks of the platform is that it’s not very userfriendly. Due to its modular nature, the platform can require a high level of technical expertise depending on the complexity of your buyer journey.

What Business is Drupal Suited For?

All the features of Drupal are accessible to merchants of every size. However, it tends to be medium to largersized businesses that use the platform. This is down to its somewhat complex back-end and the fact that it requires heavy development work to bend it to the whim of your business.

Our Thoughts

We’ve used Drupal for several client projects, particularly for ecommerce brands. Drupal’s flexibility and robustness have been crucial in creating custom solutions tailored to our clients’ needs. Its extensive module library allows us to integrate various functionalities seamlessly, from SEO optimisation to content management. The platform’s scalability ensures that our clients’ websites can handle high traffic volumes without sacrificing performance. 

While not all of our clients use Drupal, those who do appreciate its reliability and the ease with which we can maintain and update their sites

Experts in eCommerce

Whether you’re moving your brick-and-mortar store online or starting a new eCommerce business entirely, the eCommerce platform you choose will depend entirely on what you want from it.

At Digivate, our web development team specialises in creating eCommerce websites for some of the biggest brands in Europe. We understand the pros and cons of each CMS, and can give you the power to take full control of your website, so you don’t need to spend time or money figuring it out for yourself.

How can we help?

We can implement the right technology and analytics for your business, set up tracking tags across all online activity and create a content strategy for all customer touchpoints that drive the prospects towards the final conversion.

Get in touch today
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