What Is the Best CMS for E-commerce?

If you’re looking to build a website designed for selling products — either digital or physical — an e-commerce CMS will help you manage it seamlessly. With built-in tools that make it easy to add or adjust products, SEO tools and strong security to protect customer information, choosing the best CMS for e-commerce is the easiest way to set up an online store.

What Are the Benefits of Using CMS for E-Commerce?

You have many options when choosing how to set up your online store. Using an e-commerce CMS provides many benefits over building something yourself or trying to adopt a CMS that isn’t specifically designed for online businesses.

Benefits of a CMS:

  • Creates a user-friendly appearance and operation for customers
  • Scales easily to meet adapting business needs
  • Fast and simple integration
  • Make updates from anywhere through a web browser
  • Does not require in-depth technical know-how to set up an online store
  • Makes site maintenance simple
  • Easy and secure way to accept online payments instead of signing additional service contracts for payment processing services

What Factors Make a Good CMS for E-Commerce?

Each e-commerce CMS provides different features and benefits, but there are 5 core features you should evaluate when analyzing the CMS. 

Easy Administration

Many online shop owners don’t have an on-staff technical resource or have the time to wait around for minor updates to their website. The best CMS offers simple administration so that you can update information with ease. The initial setup should not take long and you should find it easy to update photos, product descriptions and add blog articles.

Simple Workflow and Publishing Controls

Preparing for a big product launch and want to schedule those products to go live? You shouldn’t have a problem within your CMS. A good e-commerce CMS puts you in total control of publishing and building workflows so you can approve changes other team members make.

Built-in SEO Tools

Some content management systems provide better control over SEO elements than others. For example, you want to create clear page URLs that show hierarchy and include keywords without being lengthy or confusing for search engines. 

You also need total control over page titles, meta descriptions, alt image tags and schema markup for digital elements. You’ll find some content management systems provide better insights into SEO than others by scoring various elements and helping you optimize based on a focus keyword. 

Security

When you’re working with customer payment information, you want to evaluate security in your search for the best CMS for your online store. The payment processing options and how your site stores customer information are some of the most important factors in securing your online presence. Your CMS cannot be outdated and susceptible to malware, phishing and hacking.

Customer Support

When something goes wrong with your e-commerce website, time and money go hand-in-hand. Every second you spend with your site down costs you sales and harms your relationship with customers. 

Customer support can help you resolve issues quickly and prevent site downtime with expertise. Companies with little in-house technology resources need to understand their customer support resources when purchasing a CMS.

The Best CMS for E-Commerce

You have more than a dozen options for an e-commerce CMS. With this list of the top 6 options, you can view a simplified selection process to get you started finding the right one for you.

Shopify

Best for: Integrating with Amazon and eBay for total order viewing

Shopify, one of the best-known e-commerce platforms, gives you full access to HTML and CSS for total website control. Plus, the integration with eBay and Amazon helps you manage your shipping and orders from all platforms in 1 place. 

The customer’s mobile experience when your website runs on Shopify is also very good, making it a great customer experience no matter what device your customers use to visit your site.

Pricing: Prices start at $29 a month. Some templates within Shopify cost extra and you’ll be limited in the number of user accounts you can have and reports you can run.

5 star rating

Magento

Best for: Large e-commerce businesses

Magento certainly isn’t one of the easiest CMS systems to operate but it is one of the most robust. That’s why it’s generally a great option for larger companies with technology resources and a larger budget. 

You’ll have greater control over developing your e-commerce website to meet your needs when you use Magento. Plus, it has several integrations with common CRM products and other enterprise software.

Pricing: Magento does not publish its pricing, but Capterra reports it to start at $2,000 a month.

4 star rating

WooCommerce

Best for: Free e-commerce CMS

WooCommerce is the WordPress e-commerce platform. At least 5 million online stores use this CMS. The CMS is free to use, though you’ll still have to purchase a domain, website hosting and any premium plugins you need to operate your site. 

Setting up an online store through WooCommerce is incredibly simple and you’ll have many options for secure payment processing.

Pricing: The CMS itself is free to use, but you’ll still need domain registration and hosting to set up your site. The prices for these services vary based on which partner you choose.

4 star rating

BigCommerce

Best for: E-commerce CMS with strong customer support options

One of the features that really stands out from BigCommerce is its customer support for small businesses. But the service also scales extremely well as you grow your online store. Managing a website through BigCommerce is simple, thanks to its drag-and-drop interface. 

You’ll also have full control over the checkout process with in-depth customization. Global companies will enjoy the ability to sell in multiple currencies.

Pricing: Monthly prices start at $29.95 but you’ll be limited to $50,000 in annual sales. You’ll need to upgrade to sell beyond that.

4 star rating

PrestaShop

Best for: Non-technical teams looking for robust options.

PrestaShop is a free open-source CMS that’s simple to install and configure. With robust categories and subcategories, you can organize your online store for easy searchability. Configure payment options through reliable payment gateways like Google Checkout or PayPal. 

Provide options for shipping methods and create products with variables, such as different colors. The one big setback to PrestaShop is that it does not have good customer support since it’s open-source. 

Pricing: The CMS is free, though you can purchase add-ons to make your online store more robust.

3 star rating

Wix E-Commerce

Best for: Beginners with no technical resources

Wix is best known for its simple drag and drop editor where you can add eCommerce functionality with a module. The CMS offers more than 500 templates for you to choose from to avoid having to do any custom coding to get your website to look how you want it to. Wix is not ideal for large eCommerce websites, but it is a great way to sell a few products and get your operations up and running quickly.

Pricing: prices start at $23 a month for an eCommerce plan that allows you to accept online payments. For advanced features like collecting subscription payments and accepting multiple currencies, you’ll need to upgrade to a higher pricing tier.

4 star rating

Where to Go From Here

The size and scale of your online sales operations will impact which eCommerce CMS is best for you. Watch some online demos of the products listed above to see how these various platforms work and outline the features that will make your business simpler to operate.