Online shopping has changed customers’ purchasing behaviors due to the rapid development of Internet technology. According to the investigation of National Development Council in Taiwan, the number of people using online shopping has increased. Recently, augmented reality has also been introduced to online shopping websites.

The count of digital buyers is predicted to increase by half a percent in the upcoming years and the eCommerce industry is already expanding.

If you are a person looking forward in selling your products online, then you need an eCommerce platform for developing a website. Choosing the best one may sound a lot of work.

What is a CMS platform?


A CMS platform is a piece of software that allows users to build and manage a website without writing any code. It empowers website admins to create, manage, edit and publish content through a user-friendly interface.

What is an ecommerce CMS?

An ecommerce content management system (CMS) is software that enables ecommerce shop owners to create, edit and publish digital website content without writing any code. It comes with some crucial ecommerce capabilities like product inventory management, shopping cart, shipping and payment gateway integrations.

What makes a great eCommerce platform for small businesses?

For small businesses looking to sell online, we identified five key features that every platform had to offer. There are other good platforms out there, but if they don't offer a feature on the list, they didn't make the cut.

  • A hypothetical average person had to be able to build a good-looking, responsive, modern online store with the tools and themes offered—without needing a computer science or graphic design degree. They also had to be able to make it fit with their existing brand reasonably well by being able to use their own brand assets and color schemes. This one criterion actually eliminated quite a few platforms from consideration for being either too limited with boring, super similar, or outdated themes, or requiring too much technical know-how to make the most of.
  • The platform had to enable you to sell whatever you want, wherever you want, however you want. This meant it had to be able to handle both digital and physical products and offer some way to manage sales taxes and international shipping. This last point is particularly important for small businesses: if you have physical premises or plan to sell internationally, you may be liable for collecting and filing various kinds of taxes.
  • We only considered full-service eCommerce platforms. You need to be able to sell your product through a consumer-facing website, but also manage orders, ship goods, track inventory, and otherwise deal with the backend running and admin of your store without using some other service or (please no) a giant spreadsheet.
  • Whatever platform you choose, it has to play nice with any other apps and services you rely on for your business. For this reason, we required the apps on this list to have a range of integrations, either through a plugin and extension marketplace or built-in features.
  • All of this had to be available for a clear and affordable monthly price. Opaque fees were a big no, and while done-for-you solutions are wonderful, they cost thousands of dollars per month—far more than any SMB needs (or has) to spend on setting up an online store.

Features Needed in an Ecommerce CMS

What features should you consider when choosing a CMS? Taking a deep dive into feature comparison might actually result in a hard case of analysis paralysis. You’re better off looking at the core features that might help you grow your store and then weighing up the pros and cons of your chosen CMSs to find the right fit.

1. SEO-friendly.

On-page SEO for ecommerce sites is all about learning where to place your keywords. It’s a way to communicate with web crawlers and ensure high rankings in search results. The internet’s version of smooth-talking, basically. However, if you’re not an SEO buff, don’t worry — a good ecommerce CMS will help you implement the best SEO practices and optimize your product pages. Look out for features focused on:

Page URLs

The shorter, the better. Google is busy crawling millions of new and updated pages every day. So it’s no surprise that URL brevity is encouraged. If you can remove unnecessary subfolders from your URLs, that’s guaranteed to boost the overall performance of your website. But keeping it short isn’t the only requirement. Including the primary keyword and making the URL readable can also significantly improve your search rankings.

Page titles and meta descriptions

The page title, also known as the H1 tag, should contain your primary keyword. If you can place it at the beginning of the title, that’s bonus points. As the main line of text appearing in search results, it relies heavily on keyword optimization. So, even if it sounds boring, it’s worth the struggle!

The meta description is the grey text that shows up under the page title in search listings. While it doesn’t directly impact page rankings, it can easily improve the click-through rate. And the higher your CTR, the more prominent your page rankings!

It’s absolutely vital you spend time optimizing page titles and meta descriptions on all pages of your ecommerce store. To avoid SEO mess-ups in the future, ensure your CMS will allow you to change page URLs and have a user-friendly UI for adding and checking meta descriptions. Or better still, offer a feature for auto-generating page title and meta description to save you tons of valuable time.

2. Easy-to-optimize for user experience (UX).

Modern shoppers have high expectations for ecommerce sites. Fail to provide a smooth UX and you’ll see your visitors dropping off before completing a purchase. And even worse, they won’t be coming back.

Do you know what UX features to look out for in an ecommerce CMS? Above all else, these are the key requirements to tick off.

Flexible design options

As customers progress through their shopping journey on your website, every interaction matters. You want to be able to design, edit and manage content layout on every single page of your store to create a tailored, enjoyable experience.

For store owners with limited (or no) coding skills, an easy-to-use CMS is particularly crucial. It will enable you to quickly update your store design and page layout to respond to emerging industry trends, special occasions and promo events. Some CMS platforms will also offer a wide range of integrations and plugins to help shop admins run store-wide promotions and other marketing initiatives.

Optimized content for mobile

It has become increasingly obvious that mobile shopping will soon dominate ecommerce. It is expected to account for 54% of total ecommerce sales by 2021, posing a new challenge to ecommerce retailers. Store and content optimization for mobile should be at the top of your UX priorities list if you don’t want to miss the mobile commerce bandwagon.

In reality, this means paying particularly close attention to loading time, mobile navigation, mobile check-out process, visual and other UX elements that impact the user experience on mobile devices. And the ecommerce CMS you choose should streamline the optimization steps to help you achieve higher conversion rates without the need for custom code.

3. Easy to use.

Bearing in mind the number of plates a store owner has to keep spinning, a CMS shouldn’t add extra stress. Depending on the developer resources at your disposal, you may want to look for a platform that’s easy to set up from the get-go and doesn’t require a lengthy, arduous onboarding process. From content updates and plugin integrations to changing page layout and optimizing for search engines, a CMS should empower ecommerce entrepreneurs to move fast, trial new things and improve the site UX, regardless of their technical level.

4. Plentiful integrations.

No CMS is perfect, that’s the hard truth. But if you’re after a specific functionality that doesn’t come with the core CMS platform or just want to keep your options open for the future, check how easily the system integrates with other tools and plugins. Ideally, you’d want seamless integration with your existing tech stack (think email platform or analytics tools) and the flexibility to install and activate plugins when needed. The available range of integrations will also indicate how popular and API-friendly the CMS is, so it’s a good criterion to bear in mind.

Advantages of Ecommerce with CMS Platforms

A content-first approach might make sense for many brands. And it’s nothing to fear! Here are a few examples of scenarios when pairing an ecommerce platform with a separate CMS can boost the performance of a web store.

1. Turn an existing site into a shop.

Chances are you already have a successful blog and a thriving community. Perhaps your community is craving more value and you’re thinking of monetizing your site. Now, this sounds like the perfect scenario for pairing ecommerce with a CMS platform! Since you already have a CMS in place, why rock the boat? Instead of migrating everything to an ecommerce product, you can integrate with a platform like BigCommerce to add a shopping cart and facilitate sales through your existing website.

2. Easy-to-update sites.

Creativity and speed matter a great deal in ecommerce. You want a modern, slick site that delivers great customer experiences and is super easy to manage and update. Whether it’s responding to new trends, events or competition, you want your stakeholders empowered and executing on their ideas to drive business. Combining a CMS with an ecommerce platform gives you the tools and flexibility to manage your store content and products with ease.

3. More visitors with a content-first approach.

One huge advantage of content-first ecommerce sites is that they generate tons more organic traffic. Which, in turn, drives down the acquisition costs and helps web stores build a tribe-like community around their brand. With advanced on-page SEO capabilities and other intuitive content features, store owners can attract more potential customers, better understand their preferences and focus on producing and selling more of what customers really want.

4. Becoming a thought leader in your industry.

Building brand awareness isn’t easy. But if you have niche expertise and knowledge that you’re willing to share with others, you can quickly become a thought leader or industry influencer. This would generate a lot of interest in your brand, in turn driving up demand for your products. Consistently showing up with valuable content will translate into profit sooner rather than later!

5. Manage orders and inventory with ease.

Playing smart with content marketing and demand generation is a sound business decision. But you still want to make sure the ecommerce side of things is running smoothly and is built to scale. With advanced capabilities that come with ecommerce platforms, you won’t need to worry about centralized inventory management across different channels, shipping or secure payment methods. This way, you can grow your business with confidence!

6. Integrate with payment providers.

Ensuring a secure payment environment will be key to the success of your business. And that’s another huge plus for having backend ecommerce functionality added to your CMS — you’re able to integrate with leading payment gateways to inspire trust and add credibility to your brand. Better still, integrations are so easy to achieve they only take a few clicks!


Benefits of integrated ERP ecommerce

Integrated systems offer many benefits over embedded ERP solutions. Today's ecommerce platforms provide a host of customer services, self-service options, automatic adjustments in user interfaces based on customer profiles, external product research, shipping connections, easier customer and channel management and complete control over data. Unlike embedded solutions, fully configured ERP integrations connect directly with multiple systems in the middleware layer to generate real-time updates without being subject to data bottlenecks, slow updates or the need for entering data multiple times, which provide these distinct benefits:

  • Eliminating manual errors and reducing staff costs to speed fulfillment and reduce missed shipments, cancellations, returns and incorrect deliveries
  • Eliminating manual errors and reducing staff costs to speed fulfillment and reduce missed shipments, cancellations, returns and incorrect deliveries
  • Data that flows bidirectionally so that customers can confirm their orders, make quick changes and request further information
  • Synchronizing data in milliseconds
  • Empowering faster business decisions with up-to-date reports and analytics
  • Speeding split shipping, drop shipping, currency conversions and calculations of taxes and duties
  • Providing automatic invoicing reviews and customer account histories to clients and authorized stakeholders
  • Managing up 99 percent of current and future database and software integrations without needing upgrades or new ecommerce software
  • Automatically gathering comprehensive business intelligence from internal and external sources
  • Automating features and connections for customised customer, vendor and staff dashboards
  • Guaranteeing consistency across multiple marketing and business channels
  • Avoiding staff needs to enter information that's already somewhere in the operating system
  • Preventing mismatches in information across business channels
  • Triggering automatic shipping updates and order tracking for customer orders


Practical examples of the limitations of embedded systems

Embedded systems just can't match the features and benefits that modern ERP integrations deliver. Embedded ERP software can only deliver what it's predesigned to do, so it's difficult to adjust for growth, increased data, new products, company changes, new government regulations and additional customer resources that are added to the platform. Another big issue is adapting to mobile marketing. Integrated systems work flawlessly regardless of the devices that customers use, and employees can use their own phones to connect with management and customers while on the go. These benefits of integrating systems for better mobile processes reduce paper use, transcription errors and customers who change their minds while enhancing employee productivity, access to customers and staff ability to work from multiple locations.

Building an integration team

If you want to move your ecommerce platform to the next level, you need to accomplish three important objectives: making you staff more efficient, cutting operational costs and engineering a great experience for each customer. You can't begin to do all these things with a static, embedded ERP software solution. No matter how intuitive or packed full of features the software is, the best policy is a hybrid approach of getting a powerful ecommerce platform, excellent-quality ERP and CRM software and a development team to integrate the systems. Choosing the right internal staff and collaborative outside developer offers long-term advantages that include scalability, easy integration of new features and modular business capabilities. A development consultant that takes a partnership approach speeds up development, trains your IT staff during the process and provides thorough testing, implementation and troubleshooting services.