Top Ecommerce CMS Platforms for 2024

Top Ecommerce CMS Platforms for 2024


When customers visit an online store, they’re often greeted with a sleek interface, high-resolution images, and detailed product descriptions. Similar to a Broadway musical, it’s all a rehearsed, seamless show. Backstage, however, there’s an ecommerce content management system that handles transactions, tracks inventory, and tailors the shopping journey to individual user interactions.

The ecommerce CMS is the backbone of any online retail store, integrating the complexity of backend management with the simplicity of frontend elegance. This article explores the features that set the best ecommerce CMS platforms apart and introduces options for powering successful online stores.

What is an ecommerce CMS?

An ecommerce CMS, or content management system, is a software platform that enables businesses to create and manage their online stores. It acts as the foundation of an ecommerce website, combining product management, sales, and customer interaction into a single platform that multiple users can access.

There are two primary types of ecommerce CMS platforms—software as a service (SaaS) and open-source:

  • SaaS. These services charge a subscription to use a CMS hosted in the cloud, ensuring ease of use, security, and continuous updates.
  • Open-source. Other platforms are free to download and customize, giving users full control over their site’s functionality and the ability to tailor it to specific needs. These typically require more technical expertise.

Ecommerce CMS features

Each feature of an ecommerce CMS solution supports the daily activities of an ecommerce store. Here are a few ecommerce CMS features to look for:

Ease of use

The ability to easily add products, update inventory, process orders, and customize an online store’s design makes an ecommerce platform stand out. An easy-to-navigate dashboard, clear settings, and a high-quality help center minimize the need for technical support. These key features, when they’re intuitive and straightforward, allow for smooth daily operation and free up store owners to focus on business growth.

Support for integrations

A robust ecommerce platform will offer a wide range of plug-ins and modules to extend the store’s capabilities. Integration support in an ecommerce CMS lets an ecommerce store connect with other tools and systems, such as payment gateways, CRM software, and inventory management software. These integrations enable seamless ecommerce functionality, improving operational efficiency.

SEO support

A content management system with built-in SEO tools helps to optimize product descriptions, images, and other content, making it easier for search engines to crawl and index pages on the site. Features like clean URL structures, sitemaps, and meta tags are essential for potential customers to discover an online store. An ecommerce platform that is SEO-friendly can increase organic search visibility and help prospective customers find your products.

For example, Polysleep, a Canadian box mattress company based in Montreal, leverages the Shopify Plus CMS for its ecommerce activities and as a content marketing hub. The content strategy, which includes offering valuable resources in French and English, has significantly boosted the business’s organic website traffic.

“If you’re on Shopify Plus, it’s so much easier to manage multilingual now,” says Jeremiah Curvers, Polysleep’s Founder and CEO. He likens a robust content strategy to a wise long-term investment. “Don’t expect short-term returns, but over a couple of years, you’re going to end up drastically improving your odds of collecting first-party and zero-party data if you start investing from the get-go in a great content strategy.”

Customer support

A deciding factor for many online businesses when choosing among ecommerce platforms is the quality of customer service. Access to knowledgeable and responsive customer support ensures that an ecommerce store experiences minimal downtime when technical problems occur. This support is critical for helping businesses get full use of the platform’s features.

Hosting capabilities

One of the first decisions you’ll face when setting up an ecommerce store is choosing between self-hosting or opting for managed hosting for your CMS. Self-hosting is like owning and caring for a house, while managed hosting is akin to renting, where the landlord handles repairs and maintenance.

Self-hosting involves using your own infrastructure or a rented server to host your ecommerce website, granting you control over every aspect of your site’s functionality—from chosen themes to selected payment gateways. This requires a higher level of technical skill to manage.

Managed hosting means that the provider takes care of the hosting environment, including security and server maintenance, simplifying the technical management but at the expense of customization and for higher recurring fees.

Top ecommerce CMS platforms

Numerous ecommerce software suppliers vie for customer attention, making it challenging to sort out the benefits and features of the various ecommerce content management systems. Here are some of the best ecommerce CMS platforms:

Shopify

Shopify is an all-encompassing ecommerce CMS solution designed to help merchants easily build and manage their online stores. As a cloud-based SaaS ecommerce platform, it eliminates the need for server maintenance and updates, letting business owners focus on sales and growth. Shopify is well-suited for a wide range of businesses, appealing to small stores for its ease of use, while also serving large merchants with its scalability.

Key product features include:

  • Omnichannel commerce capabilities. Ensure a consistent customer experience everywhere with seamless integration for selling across multiple channels such as desktop, mobile, social media, and brick-and-mortar retail.
  • Scalable infrastructure. Handles high-volume traffic and sales, making it suitable for peak shopping periods and business growth without compromising performance.
  • Advanced customization and API access. Merchants can tailor their storefronts and back-end systems with extensive application programming interface (API) support and customization options to meet unique business requirements.

Pricing: Shopify offers Basic ($29/month), Shopify ($79/month), and Advanced ($299/month) plans, billed annually. Businesses can try Shopify for free and pay $1/month for the first three months.

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is a robust ecommerce CMS platform that provides comprehensive tools for businesses to build, operate, and scale their ecommerce websites. It offers enterprise-grade features, an open API, and flexibility, which make it a go-to solution for businesses aiming for rapid growth. BigCommerce is ideal for established online retailers wanting an out-of-the-box solution with ample room for expansion.

Key product features include:

  • SEO capabilities. Use built-in SEO features that help ecommerce websites rank higher in search engine results.
  • Multi-channel selling. Merchants can sell across Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon, directly integrating their BigCommerce store with these channels.
  • Scalable infrastructure. The platform can handle high volumes of traffic and transactions, making it suitable for enterprise-level online businesses.

Pricing: BigCommerce offers Standard ($9/month), Plus ($79/month), and Pro ($299/month) plans, billed annually. Contact sales for Enterprise pricing.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a flexible ecommerce content management plug-in that integrates with the web content management system WordPress, allowing users to turn any WordPress website into an ecommerce store. If you already run a WordPress blog and want to sell products on it, this might be a good plug-in for you.

As an open source ecommerce platform, WooCommerce offers customization and control, making it a popular choice for small to midsize businesses that require a tailored online retail presence. WooCommerce is perfect for current WordPress users who require an extendable and adaptable ecommerce solution with a strong community.

Key product features include:

  • WordPress integration. Use the familiar WordPress interface for managing ecommerce content.
  • Customizable and extendable. Extend the functionality of your ecommerce store with hundreds of plug-ins and themes.
  • Comprehensive analytics. Enjoy detailed analytics and reporting that help you track sales, customer engagements, and other key performance indicators (KPIs) directly within the dashboard.

Pricing: WooCommerce is a free, open-source software. However, there are costs associated with hosting, domain registration, themes, payment gateways, and more.

Drupal

Drupal is an open-source content management framework that’s well-regarded among developers for powering complex, high-traffic websites in the ecommerce industry. It’s known for its robustness, security, and flexibility, allowing developers to craft a customized ecommerce platform tailored to a business’s unique needs. Drupal is aimed at developers and business owners with technical acumen.

Key product features include:

  • Advanced content management. Drupal excels in handling diverse content types architectures.
  • High scalability and security. The platform is designed to scale with the growth of a business while maintaining high-security standards.
  • Extensive customization. With a vast array of modules and themes, and the ability to write custom modules, businesses can fully tailor their online presence.

Pricing: Drupal is a free, open-source software. However, hosting, domain registration, themes, payment gateways, and more will cost you money.

Adobe Commerce

Adobe Commerce, formerly known as Magento, is an ecommerce CMS platform designed to facilitate the creation of customized shopping experiences for both B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) markets. It emphasizes scalability and personalization, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) for targeted content and promotions. Adobe Commerce is designed for large, enterprise-level companies looking for a highly customizable platform.

Key product features include:

  • AI-driven personalized experiences. Improve the customer journey with AI-powered personalized site search, product recommendations, and browsing.
  • Robust inventory management. The platform offers inventory management capabilities that support B2C and B2B catalogs and facilitate omnichannel sales by letting customers pick up online orders in-store.
  • Advanced analytics and reporting. Gain access to detailed insights with Adobe Analytics and Adobe’s Real-Time Customer Data Platform, providing features like lead prediction and account scoring.

Pricing: Adobe Commerce offers Adobe Commerce Pro and Managed Services plans. Fill out the form on its website to get pricing information.

OpenCart

OpenCart is an open-source ecommerce platform for small to medium-sized businesses that want to establish or expand their online presence. Known for its user-friendly interface and simplicity, OpenCart provides a straightforward way for merchants to create their own ecommerce store, with free downloads and updates. OpenCart is best suited for those with web development experience looking for an open-source ecommerce solution with a simple setup. Businesses can opt for self-hosting or managed hosting through OpenCart.

Key product features include:

  • User-friendly dashboard. OpenCart offers an intuitive interface that makes site management accessible to users of all skill levels.
  • Extensive extensions and modules. A comprehensive marketplace of plug-ins and themes lets you enhance your store capabilities and design easily.
  • Multilingual and multi-currency support. The platform is ready for international sales, supporting multiple languages and currencies out of the box.
  • Hosting flexibility. OpenCart allows for self-hosting, granting complete control over the store’s setup or opting for a managed solution through Amazon.

Pricing: Self-hosting: OpenCart is a free, open-source software. However, hosting, domain registration, themes, payment gateways, and more will cost you money. Managed hosting: OpenCart Cloud offers Bronze ($59/month), Silver ($99/month), and Gold ($199/month) plans. They also offer a seven-day free trial.

Wix

Wix is a widely used website builder that offers an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, making it a popular choice for individuals and small businesses looking to create their own ecommerce store. Known for its wide range of design templates, Wix lets users build attractive online stores without requiring deep technical or design expertise. Wix is ideal for entrepreneurs and small business owners who prioritize ease of use and design flexibility without engineering knowledge.

Key product features include:

  • Intuitive website builder. Wix’s drag-and-drop functionality lets users easily design their ecommerce store visually.
  • Wide selection of templates. Various professionally designed templates give users a head start in creating an appealing online storefront.
  • Integrated ecommerce features. Wix includes built-in tools for inventory management, payment processing, and shipping.

Pricing: Wix offers Light ($16/month), Core ($27/month), Business ($32/month), and Business Elite ($159/month) plans. Its Enterprise plan is available for businesses with custom pricing. It extends a 14-day money-back guarantee to businesses.

HubSpot

HubSpot is a comprehensive inbound marketing, sales, and service platform with ecommerce CMS capabilities. HubSpot integrates with various ecommerce solutions, like Shopify, Wix, and WooCommerce, allowing store owners to better identify and act on customer buying patterns with targeted marketing. HubSpot is best for businesses focused on inbound marketing and customer relationship management, seeking to integrate these strategies with their ecommerce efforts.

Key product features include:

  • CRM-powered CMS. HubSpot’s CMS is integrated with its customer relationship management (CRM) system, enabling personalized customer experiences based on real-time data across the website.
  • Marketing automation. The platform offers marketing automation tools, including timely email campaigns, SMS text marketing campaigns, and in-product marketing, that help nurture leads along the customer journey.
  • Sales and service hubs. Alongside the CMS, HubSpot’s sales and service hubs provide tools to manage the entire customer lifecycle, from first touch to ongoing support and retention.

Pricing: HubSpot CMS offers Free, Starter ($23/month), Professional ($360/month), and Enterprise ($1,200/month) plans.

Squarespace

Squarespace is a website builder known for its sleek templates and user-friendly design interface that caters to entrepreneurs, creatives, and small business owners. With its integrated ecommerce capabilities, Squarespace provides an all-in-one solution for users looking to create stylish ecommerce websites without extensive technical knowledge.

Key product features include:

  • Design templates. Choose from high-quality, customizable templates optimized for mobile devices and tailored to various industries.
  • All-in-one platform. It combines website building, content management, and ecommerce tools, letting users manage their online store and blog from a single interface.
  • Built-in ecommerce tools. Squarespace offers integrated ecommerce features, such as inventory management, secure checkout, and unlimited products, to support businesses as they grow.

Pricing: Squarespace offers Business ($23/month), Commerce Basic ($27/month), and Commerce Advanced ($49/month) plans, billed annually. They also offer a 14-day free trial on all plans.

Ecommerce CMS FAQs

Is Shopify considered a CMS?

Yes. Shopify is considered a CMS specifically designed for ecommerce websites.

What is the easiest CMS for ecommerce?

Shopify and Wix are among the easiest CMS options for setting up and managing an ecommerce site.

What are the benefits of ecommerce CMS?

The benefits of an ecommerce CMS include streamlined management of products and content, integrated sales and marketing tools, and the ability to create a personalized customer shopping experience.



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