During the peak of the pandemic, brick-and-mortar stores closed while online retail spaces remained open for business. Since then, online purchases have continued to increase, inspiring retailers to create an online shop. Start-up costs are drastically lower and products and services can be sold around the globe. But, this also means there are plenty of risk-takers jumping onto the scene, so competition is tough. To land the sales and build customer rapport, you’ll need quality products, a marketing plan, and a nicely designed ecommerce website with CMS. Let us help you learn the basics so you can choose the best CMS options for your ecommerce company website.
What is CMS?
CMS stands for a content management system. Companies used to hire a web designer who would manage the website and write code to make changes when needed. Today, many CMS options make it easy for company personnel to make changes and additions to their website without having any knowledge of code writing. With a CMS, you’ll quickly and easily be able to post blogs, update product descriptions, and add new products. You can also change your website’s layout and switch out your banner ads anytime you want. Many ecommerce platforms come with their own CMS for an all-in-one, user-friendly shopping cart experience. The two major categories of CMS are SaaS and open-source.
SaaS, or software as a service, are cloud-based CMS options that you typically pay a subscription fee for. The software provider gives you customer service for any trouble-shooting and issues you may run into when using their service. They also manage the software updates and take care of all of the data storage. For example, some of the best ecommerce providers with CMS included are Shopify and BigCommerce, but there are many other options available as well.
The main benefits of open-source CMS options are that the user has full control over every aspect of their website and they can be free. But unlike SaaS, with open-source platforms, the user must learn how to integrate it into their website, perform software updates, and maintain a server. For people who aren’t tech-savvy, this can be a daunting task to set up and keep functioning. Some of the best examples to choose for open-source ecommerce CMS are Magento and WooCommerce.
What To Look For in the Best Ecommerce CMS Platforms
Optimization for Search Engines
You want potential customers to be able to search for your products through a search engine. You don’t want to have to rely solely on advertisements from Google or social media. Organic traffic to your website will only be achieved when your website is optimized for keywords and accessibility. According to Advanced Web Ranking, 32% of organic click-throughs happen on the first search page of Google. This is why it is so important for a business to rank for keywords and appear on the top search engine pages.
Surprisingly, not all ecommerce CMS platforms are set up to be SEO-friendly. When looking for the best ecommerce CMS platform for you, be sure it includes options to edit page titles, meta descriptions, and title tags. These are important spots where you need to place your keywords. With the right keywords and proper placement, you’ll rank in Google searches and drive the free, organic traffic you want. It should also include an option to edit your page URLs to be short and simple, which will also help your page ranking.
Easy To Use for Both You and Customers
When people shop online, they expect it to be a smooth and fast process. Many sales are now made from mobile devices, so your CMS has to be able to provide a simple customer experience for both computers and smartphones. According to SEMRush, in 2020, online sales in the US reached $47.8 billion, with 31% of retail purchases made on mobile devices. Your pages need to load fast, be easy to navigate, have a pleasing design, and have a simple check-out process.
A good CMS will also be easy for you to use. With not much effort, you should be able to update layouts, add new products and content, and manage all pages and product listings on your website. The best CMS for ecommerce sites will also have options for you to run promotions, mark products on sale, and advertise on your website.
Along with having a simple checkout process, your CMS should be able to accept a wide range of payment options. You’ll be surprised at how many ways there are to pay for something online in this era. It should accept the standard credit and debit cards as well as PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, and local payment gateways if you are selling products internationally.
Integrates With Your Other Plugins
No CMS is all-inclusive, but many of the best CMS options you can choose for ecommerce sites today provide the full range of basics. But, if you need other functions that are not provided by the CMS, you’ll want to make sure it integrates and works with whatever plugins you already have like email marketing, accounting, and inventory management tools.
The best CMS for ecommerce websites will give you easy access to a plethora of data and analytics about how your shop is doing. While it’s gratifying tracking the volume of sales you make, you’ll also want to know about conversion rates, average order value, churn rate, abandoned shopping cart rates, and other metrics. If the CMS you’re looking to choose doesn’t provide analytics, be sure it can integrate with a plugin that provides this information for your ecommerce store.
If you feel like you are ready to open an online store, then a CMS can help ease the transition. Hopefully, with a bit of research and these tips, you’ll be able to choose the best CMS for your ecommerce website! Take a look at Best Web Design’s recent blogs for more tips on web design and development.