CMS stands for the content management system. In general, a CMS is a type of software that users leverage to publish new stuff on the front-end, edit the already existing stuff, and modify them if required.
In online retail or eCommerce, CMS is used to publish new listings, remove products that have become redundant, or edit details about the existing products. CMS for eCommerce also has some additional responsibilities owing to the typicality of online retail. For example, an eCommerce CMS should have functionalities enabling the business to link a set of listings to a user in the form of a shopping cart or a completed purchase.
On the user end of the eCommerce CMS, there are several stakeholders involved. These stakeholders include the main publisher or the design manager who posts listings on behalf of the company. Design managers have the full right to add entries, change and modify them from the backend. Then there are third-party content contributors who have limited rights to only upload their stuff. Editors and approvers with limited rights ensure which upload to approve and which one to not.
Once all the uploads are approved, the CMS publishes the listings and associated content on the front-end for the consumers to access.
Before moving onto the list of the top eCommerce CMSes of 2021, let’s have a look at the properties that an eCommerce CMS should have to become one of the best eCommerce CMSes available.
An ideal CMS for business should be capable of expressing the product in its totality. It helps to present a complete picture of the product to the customer and increases the credibility and the integrity of the product being sold. At the very least, the CMS should be able to capture the following data about the product: the product’s SKU identifying number, its name image and description, its sale price data and purchases price, its supplier data, and finally, the data about the product’s attributes such as colours, sizes, variants, etc.
A robust and well-designed user management structure of an eCommerce CMS not only makes the customer’s job easy, but also helps businesses to build a strong user base with necessary contact credentials seamlessly captured. The user-end of the eCommerce sites, apart from creating a database of name, email, and delivery addresses of the consumers, should also be well equipped to generate well-drafted invoices.
An efficient CMS should act as a mindful repository of all user-product interactions. It is especially true for a CMS for small businesses. It should store the purchase history well. Especially, those purchases should be captured well which did not reach the checkout phase. Records of these unfinished purchases should help small businesses to build their leads and approach customers with similar products in the future.
Localization and Customization
ECommerce CMS platforms should be well-equipped to customize or localize their content according to different languages, currencies, and local tax laws. Each feature in an eCommerce platform should come with the option of either the user publishing it or hiding it. If a business chooses to hide data about out-of-stock products, it should be able to do it with ease. The business should also have the liberty to change the layout of listings as and when they want.
Despite having all the qualities, mentioned above, a CMS may fall short of a specific feature. Updating these features in the core system may cause disturbances in the front-end or make the system slower. Therefore, the CMSs should be capable of gelling well with extensions in the form of modules and plug-ins.
Based on the CMSes performance on these above parameters, we have made a selection of the top 10 eCommerce CMSes or the ten best eCommerce CMSes of 2021
It is considered one of the best-performing CMSes. According to the latest available data, WordPress occupies 58% of the current CMS market and powers 34% of the internet. One can create normal websites using WordPress, whereas to create eCommerce websites one needs to leverage its WooCommerce plugin. Among the top 1 million websites available on the internet, WooCommerce occupies 27%. It is an open-source eCommerce CMS. It is easy to install and customize. Most enticingly, it is a free eCommerce CMS.
As far as CMS payment processing provisions are concerned, WooCommerce supports more than a hundred payment gateways. In terms of having a CMS payment gateway that supports shopping with bitcoin, one can accept payment with Bitcoin on a WooCommerce powered website. NOWPayments makes it possible for any website to accept crypto payments on WooCommerce through a plugin. We have a plugin to accept crypto payments for almost all major eCommerce CMS platforms. When it comes to the mechanism of accepting payment in cryptocurrency, a NOWPayments plugin can enable a website to accept 50+ cryptocurrencies for payments.
Apart from its specific eCommerce functions through the WooCommerce plugin, WordPress also offers a wide assortment of free and paid plugins and themes to enhance the website’s operations. It also offers a lot of facilities to customize the website. Users with the basic knowledge of CSS and HTML can customize the website’s code and change it a bit to fit their needs.
CS-Cart Multi-Vendor is an on-premise marketplace software for building your own eCommerce marketplace like Amazon. The company released the first version of their eCommerce platform in 2005.
CS-Cart Multi-Vendor is a self-hosted marketplace platform with open code, which means a user installs it to her own server and has access to the installation files. This gives the marketplace owner full control over the platform, its code, and settings. You can develop custom functionality and modify the existing features without limitations.
This marketplace software greatly fits launching a marketplace MVP in a very short period to test the idea. And if the idea works, you can grow the marketplace fast. This is achieved by the platform’s feature-richness out of the box (over 500 features), convenient money flow system, the ability to support an unlimited number of products and sellers, high load optimization, and no-code UI.
Based on real user reviews, CS-Cart Multi-Vendor got 4.7 out of 5 stars on Capterra and SourceForge and earned the Leader marketplace software award in 2020 and 2021.
For many eCommerce businesses and online retailers, BigCommerce is the best overall CMS platform. One of its most valued features is its robust search engine. The search engine is accurate and precise enough to come up with the closest possible matches from millions of SKUs. Not solely for eCommerce-only sellers, BigCommerce is also useful for sellers who have a brick-and-mortar store and want to expand their businesses online. Any layperson, who does not know the code, can design his/her online shop. However, for very specific requirements and unique customization, it would require knowing HTML and CSS.
The BigCommerce CMS has many advanced and buyer-centric themes. Some of them are free of cost as well. BigCommerce CMS also comes with a large community of designers and developers. These designers and developers can be accessed for help through the partner directory integrated into the website.
BigCommerce CMS is flexible and scalable with excellent multi-channel selling capabilities. It offers a strong CEO performance and a comprehensive cart feature.
The online retail community sees Shopify as the ultimate selling-oriented CMS. Among the top 1 million websites, Shopify enables a significant share of 19%. Although its SEO capabilities are not that strong, for sellers using the market channels of Facebook and Instagram, it is the perfect CMS to go with. It’s post-purchase 1-click upsells is one of the features that give it an edge over its competitors.
For laypersons wanting to design their online retail interface, Shopify has an exciting drag and drop functionality. Apart from setting up a separate eCommerce platform, Shopify also helps brick and mortar stores accept their payment via a mobile application.
Since we are discussing payment features, it would be relevant to mention that Shopify’s CMS payment system works well for accepting crypto-payments. To accept payment in cryptocurrency, the seller needs to enable any one of the available alternative payment methods listed on the payment providers page. People willing to pay with cryptocurrency can leverage any of the cryptocurrencies from a list of more than three hundred eligible digital currencies. The list includes all the popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
In eCommerce, cryptocurrency as a payment medium is yet to become popular because a lot of sellers are not entirely sure about how to convert them. Shopify enables easy conversion to any of the fiat currencies such as USD or CAD.
Wix’s eCommerce solution has consistently been gaining ground in this space. Although the platform of WIX has largely been focused on enabling small eCommerce businesses and solopreneurs, it offers a lot of advanced features that may prove useful for large players as well. Some of these features include multi-channel integration, abandoned cart recovery, dropship, and print-on-demand capabilities.
In its initial days, WIX faced some issues regarding its SEO functionalities. But, constant improvements on that front instilled much confidence in the business community to adopt it as a viable solution.
One of the benefits for which WIX is especially liked in the eCommerce community is its user-friendliness. The drag and drop feature of WIX makes it easy for the users to create the exact type of digital storefront they want. It also has a lot of pre-built templates that integrate well with third-party social media applications. In total, WIX offers a repository of more than 500 themes. Out of these 500 themes, 72 are offered for free. WIX also provides on-page support for a lot of common needs that arise in setting up online retail storefronts.
Magento is trusted by big brands. It is an expensive option but provides a robust eCommerce CMS. Brands that are not willing to compromise with their eCommerce storefront use Magento. Magento occupies a 10% share in the top 1 million eCommerce websites in the world. Overall, more than 250,000 eCommerce websites are currently powered by Magento. Magento enables eCommerce players with two types of websites. The first one is the open-source type where anyone can sign up and make a website. The second one is a paid plan where one needs to pay to avail of all types of hosting services.
Generally, the paid one is used by all the large brands. It is a comparatively pricier option because coding is integrated into it. Therefore, the brand needs to spend on the developer budget. However, Magento is value for money. It provides a customizable, feature-rich, robust online store that is often hard to match. Magento also ranks well in terms of providing scalability to the platform.
Another big benefit of working with Magento is its community of developers. These developers are available to work on any eCommerce project at any time for a fee. Some of the troubleshooters also provide answers to development-related questions from time to time for free.
For example, Firebear delivers the most powerful and feature-rich data transfer solution in the entire Magento ecosystem. Their famous Improved Import & Export extension provides the ability to automate data transfers with the help of cron-based schedules, lets the users eliminate endless data editing with the help of mapping presets and schemes, and supports numerous file formats and sources. You can even exchange data between your e-commerce website and external systems using API connections. And if your partner provides updates in a Google Sheets table, it is no longer a problem. The Improved Import & Export module lets you transfer information straight from this platform.
Magento also has a separate marketplace where one can purchase from a wide range of extensions and themes to increase the functionality. Magento runs on the cloud and comes with a host of features such as trigger-based emails, automatic cross/upsell, discounts, recurring payments, ability to grind SEO, adjust content per user, membership subscriptions, unlimited products, etc.
NOWPayments offers a convenient Magento plugin to accept crypto payments for your site.
Established in 1999, Volusion was launched as an eCommerce CMS solution in 2002. Volusion is a cloud-based solution that does not allow the use of private servers for hosting websites. The platform offers a plug-and-play model. One needs to set up the account and keep on adding products to it. The system takes care of the rest. The CMS comes with around 13 free themes and many premium themes. For linking a blog with the storefront, Volusion allows using WordPress or any third-party plugin. Volusion has a sophisticated dashboard to manage inventory and work marketing. The list of marketing options in Volusion includes SEO, selling on Google, eBay, Amazon, social selling, rewards, coupons, etc.
The onboarding facility of Volusion is robust with a help center and a ton of learning material available online. Volusion CMS also works well for customers aiming to build a subscription-based eCommerce business. It offers great flexibility with sitemaps. It also has a well-laid-out dashboard with a clear inventory and marketing system. Volusion works best for small and medium-sized businesses.
Launched in 2005, Prestashop was originally named PHPOpensStore. Since then Prestashop has gradually expanded into an open-source self-hosted eCommerce solution globally. Prestashop is preferred by merchants who don’t want to make their site heavy with a lot of extensions and do not have large budgets to set up their online store. Prestashop has a user-friendly installation and set-up module. However, it always helps if one has a bit of development knowledge.
Being an open-source service, Prestashop allows integration with couriers, payment gateways, accounting, warehouses, ERP, and more. Prestashop offers an SSL certificate and ten free themes. However, unlike many of its competitors, Prestashop does not have a drag and drop functionality.
A lot of the set-up functions in Prestashop is a matter of a click. Prestashop allows a lot of modules for better SEO working, Ads, Cross-selling, and social analytics. Prestashop offers strong SEO functionalities and has a large ready-to-help community.
Prestashop has a full-fledged add-on that one can see as a crypto store. Purchasing the add-on makes Prestashop CMS crypto-compatible. One can accept more than 50 cryptocurrencies as customer payment by integrating that add-on. Prestashop also has an eCommerce bitcoin payment module if one does not want to go for a host of cryptocurrencies and only chooses to accept very few selected ones such as BTC, XEM, and Dash.
Originally conceived as a website builder and blogging platform, Squarespace has slowly become a credible contender for the place of the top 10. It offers a bundle of services packed as one service option. Therefore, with an online store CMS, one also gets an all-in-one blogging platform, hosting service, and a domain registrar.
Squarespace is particularly famous in the market for its design capabilities. It offers impressive themes and useful design-building tools. In terms of the regular eCommerce features, SquareSpace allows businesses to get abandoned cart auto-recovery, sell subscriptions and gift cards, and give flexible discounts. Squarespace CMS is also useful in allowing access to a wide range of marketing, inventory, social selling, SEO, and analytics features. Squarespace integrates well with ShipStation and ShipBob. It also provides features to calculate real-time shipping rates from major providers such as UPS, FedEx, and USPS.
Launched in 2006, Weebly is considered a perfect option for creating a simple and creative eCommerce store with built-in marketing automation. Although its SEO capabilities are yet not that strong, Weebly proves effective for eCommerce startups and solopreneurs who have just started and do not have a large budget to spend on development. There are layers within a Weebly subscription plan. Businesses can choose from relevant eCommerce features that will fit their needs. It offers greater flexibility to businesses as they do not need to pay for things they do not want. In terms of features offered, Weebly includes a custom shopping cart, coupons, inventory management, etc.
Depending on the level of customization the business wants to go for, Weebly offers a drag and drop as well as an option to use HTML and CSS to customize the template. Businesses also have the option to upload their products in bulk. Additionally, Weebly offers powerful email tools and simple easy-to-use das
In eCommerce CMS comparison, 3dCart remains a tested option since 2001. To date, it has served 22,000 online businesses. One of the reasons behind 3dCart’s long stay in the market has been its practical features such as unlimited storage and no transaction fees, a robust POS facility, and a multi-channel setting.
3dCart requires experienced developers to build an online store using it. It has a wide range of industrial templates to choose from. Although there is no drag and drop facility in 3dCart like many of its competitors, it has an onboarding video to learn how to install and a community of developers willing to help if the user feels stuck at any point in time. One of the most lucrative features of 3dCart is that it offers advanced shipping solutions without having to opt for a separate API. 3dCart offers different plans for different volumes of anticipated sales. It has better blog features than many of the other SaaS eCommerce CMSes. It more or less supports all the integrations one needs to run an effective online store. 3dCart also offers excellent user management tools including email Quickbooks, inventory, etc.
As can be seen from the list of the top 10 eCommerce CMS, the selection of an appropriate CMS would depend on the type of functionalities one needs. Small and medium-sized businesses have one type of requirement. Solopreneurs need another type of option, whereas big brands do not want to compromise with any of its requirements.
The selection of an eCommerce CMS also depends on whether the business has enough budget to spend on the developer. If the business can not afford experienced developers, it’s better to go for a CMS that comes with drag and drop options. Some CMS are strong in the creative part and offer sleek designer templates. Some are focused on cross-channel marketing. Some CMSs come with strong inventory and order management features.
Therefore, the selection of the best-fit CMS would ultimately depend on the needs of the business that wants to go online with its store.
Why use NOWPayments.io?
NOWPayments is the easiest way to accept online payments in a wide variety of cryptocurrencies. This service is custody-free, has competitive fees, and is available worldwide.
- Over 50 cryptocurrencies are accepted on the platform with an in-built exchange feature;
- API, widgets, plugins and a donation button are all easy to integrate;
- It is a non-custodial service ensuring the security of your funds;
- A very simple setup