• Daniil Andreev

What are the best eCommerce CMS platforms in 2021?

Ecommerce is a rapidly growing industry and COVID-19 that happened in 2020 have accelerated industry growth worldwide. ECORN Agency prepared an analysis of famous ecommerce platforms for D2C brands who want to sell products and scale. The following article will be helpful for Entrepreneurs and SMEs who are choosing a platform for their ecommerce business.


Table of Contents


Types of CMS platforms for Ecommerce


A content management system (CMS) is software that enables ecommerce shop owners to create, edit and publish digital website content without writing any code. It also allows users to modify the look and feel of the online store, such as changing product page layout, adding promotional banners, or quickly adding new website sections to better promote products.

An e-commerce platform is an online shopping cart solution that enables you to handle product management and sell products directly through your website. Some ecommerce platforms also serve as CMS. In other words, it’s a user-friendly infrastructure that handles all the backend store management functions of an online shop.


When trying to narrow down the options, ecommerce CMS software falls into two major categories — SaaS and open source.


SaaS CMS


Hosting environment: cloud.


SaaS ecommerce solutions remove much of the complexity of running an online business. Instead of building and developing a custom solution or an open-source solution, you essentially “use” the platform as a service. This is a vastly cheaper option than open-source solutions.

Product updates, security, hosting, PCI compliance, and every other task that comes with managing your software are managed by the SaaS provider. Also, most likely SaaS already prepared the most necessary integrations like CRM, ERP, and Analytics.

Marketing and growth teams at ecommerce brands are often the internal cheerleaders for SaaS ecommerce solutions at their organizations. With a SaaS solution, you’re able to go to market quickly and affordably. Using ecommerce SaaS is usually much cheaper in setting up and managing an online store due to the lower amount of custom development.

The best example of SaaS ecommerce CMS is Shopify. Learn more about Shopify here.


Open Source CMS


Hosting environment: cloud or on-premise, though all patches and platform updates require manual implementation across the board.


Open-source ecommerce platforms are solutions in which you can modify all aspects of the code.

This type of ecommerce platform is popular with developers and IT-heavy organizations who want control of their ecommerce environment.

Using an open-source ecommerce platform means you — the brand — are responsible for:

  • PCI Compliance.

  • Hosting

  • Manual patch and update releases from the platform provider.

  • Security issues.

  • Necessary ecommerce integrations:

  1. ESP.

  2. CRM.

  3. CMS.

  4. ERP.

  5. Analytics and BI tools.

  • Additional but not necessary:

  1. Discount and promotion engines.

  2. Merchandising and marketing tools (e.g. SEO features, email marketing).

  3. Design drag-and-drop builders.

Due to higher requirements in working with Open Source CMS, ecommerce businesses without a strong in-house Tech team usually prefer SaaS solutions.


Shopify

Shopify - is a powerful e-commerce SaaS platform that enables to build of an online store for any business kind or size. Currently, there are more than 2,5 million live online stores on Shopify.

Shopify includes CRM, CMS, Marketing, Inventory, and Payment options for the business. Moreover, the platform has its own App Store which has thousands of widgets and apps to powering up your business from email marketing and customer engagement to customizable product pages. One of the key advantages is a strong community of developers and partners.

Shopify - is our favorite ecommerce platform. Our team has extensive experience with a variety of CMS but Shopify helped us to build the most effective and functional ecommerce projects in a short time. If you are not familiar with Shopify, we suggest you a free test drive: Try Shopify 14-days Free Trial!



Magento


Magento is a popular open-source CMS for ecommerce solutions. Owned by Adobe, it supports over 260,000 online stores worldwide and offers rich functionality. The platform contains integrations with solutions like CRM, ERP, chatbots, and other enterprise-level software. And while it caters to all types of merchants, it’s often favored by fast-scaling and larger businesses due to its extensive setup, pricing options, and development requirements. Nevertheless, the amount of developers and partners working with this platform is a much smaller community of other CMS platforms.


WooCommerce


WooCommerce is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms in the world. It could be easily customized. WooCommerce isn’t technically a CMS platform itself. Instead, it runs as a plugin on WordPress, so you’ll need to have WordPress on your site to install WooCommerce. It is possible to build an online store from scratch with WooCommerce but most likely you will need to hire developers or agencies if you want to make it look good and optimize for your business.


Square


Squarespace is another popular CMS platform (largely thanks to its omnipresent podcast advertising!), and it started at around the same time as WordPress. The main difference is that it isn’t open-source – so you can’t download the software and install it on your server.


Instead, it’s an integrated website builder, blogging platform, and hosting service. The premise is that you sign up for a subscription and Squarespace makes it easy to build a website from scratch, which is handy if you don’t have any previous web development experience, or if you need to get a site up and running in a short space of time. Like Shopify, you can install different themes and build a website using text, images, and videos.


Summary


The world of ecommerce is shapeshifting regularly and Covid has even increased the speed of changes in ecommerce. Choosing a great ecommerce CMS is an essential part of stepping into an ecommerce business but it is not that easy to find fit — a business must consider everything from marketing to technical capabilities and potential future needs, too! In the default ecommerce business development strategy we would recommend trying Shopify.


Whether your business is choosing SaaS or an Open Source platform, remember that shoppers expect top digital experiences, creative product showcases, and brand purpose from brands of all types and sizes.


Finally, if you feel that you need help in choosing the right ecommerce platform for your business, feel free to contact ECORN Agency and we will consult you!