There are a huge range of Ecommerce content management systems (CMS) available in 2019, from simple builders with drag and drop interfaces to highly customisable and powerful systems for enterprise level users.
Here are our top 5 picks, the absolute best CMS that can match to your needs no matter if you are just starting out or are looking to enhance the power and options of your online store.
Cost: Starting at $29 USD/month
Suitable for: smaller retailers with simple requirements.
A hosted ecommerce platform with a simple drag and drop interface that requires no coding skills to set up so use of a developer isn’t needed. Great customer support makes getting a Shopify store up and running a breeze. There are a range of plugins (paid and free) to improve performance and features.
While this is not a highly customisable platform and some of the features that more data driven owners like reporting or abandoned cart recovery options are locked into more expensive plans, the simplicity makes it’s a top pick.
Cost: From $4,499 USD for 1 license
Suitable for: enterprise and scaling stores
With great power, comes great price tags. While Kentico tops the list as the most expensive CMS, it is without a doubt the most powerful. Full online marketing, third party ERP and CRM integration, third party payment gateway integrations and open APIs mean that getting your ecommerce store open requires a Kentico developer to be able to implement all the customisation options.
The costs and complexity of this platform will shy away most users, but for the scaling enterprise Kentico offers a huge range of customisation so you can perfectly tailor and monitor your ecommerce activities.
Suitable for: medium enterprises
A consistent ecommerce short-lister, Magento is another powerful, expansive CMS. While there are some huge benefits to using the paid version, the costs can get quickly out of hand (estimates for setup start at $40,000 per year including hosting).
Starting with the free version is suitable for a lot of medium sized businesses who want a balance between costs, power and customisation (most Magento installs will require a developer). Because the sky is the limit with the paid version, medium scaling businesses can benefit from not being locked into a CMS that will limit their potentially fast growth.
Cost: Basic version from $29 USD/month
Suitable for: small to medium sized stores
A great entry level tool that will deliver a professional, functional shop front without breaking the bank. Simple, easy to maintain sites with no need to hire a developer or designer means that Squarespace use has been on the rise.
The beautiful clean templates, SEO friendly features and hosting deliver a great front-end user experience and simple back end navigation make website management a breeze for the website owner. Most cheap or free templated website builders cut corners on one or more of these features, but the fact that Squarespace has a good balance of all key website features makes it a top pick.
Suitable for: basic online stores
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, available for free and has a similar benefit of Magento CE in that it can be used to scale a business within one CMS without the need for going back to square one with the store. As you scale up, there are a range of additional themes and features in the Business plans from about $23 USD/month).
The power of WooCommerce is the range of plugins and extensions that are available to improve administration tasks, website features and usability. While not customisable to the extent of Kentico, the plug and play nature of many of these extensions means that it keeps ecommerce things simple, yet flexible. Given that WooCommerce runs on WordPress, the ever-growing community around both of these products means that these options will continue to grow.
The options are endless…
While these are our top picks, there is an ever-growing sea of options when it comes to content management systems for your online store. ecommerce is a thriving beast that can generate huge amounts of 24/7 sales for your business. When selecting a CMS, make sure that it fits your level of technical know-how, your current sales needs but also keep in mind where you might quickly expand to in the future. That will give you a scalable system that will minimize your headaches.
Written by Kyle Douglas
Search Engine Optimization pro, website marketing consultant and card game enthusiast. A serial entrepreneur, Kyle Douglas has been in digital for 7+ years, and now creates and growing internal SEO teams for marketing companies.