What are the Best Options for E-commerce CMS?
Experts forecast that 65% of internet users will embrace digital transactions by the end of 2021. Moreover, online purchases are expected to reach a whopping $4.8 trillion benchmark by 2021. Going by these statistics, it is apparent that e-commerce is the future and may likely become the largest retail channel in the world in a couple of years. This is an excellent time to leverage eCommerce channels for your business.
Starting an eCommerce business is not complicated, but there are several important factors that will help you succeed. Perhaps, the most essential element is that you need a reliable eCommerce hosting plan. After that, you will have to choose the Content Management System (CMS) to use for your eCommerce site. However, it can be challenging to decide on the CMS to use because many of these eCommerce CMS has similar basic features. For instance, most CMS can create online catalogs, manage orders, process payments, and provide after-sales support. However, the advanced features vary significantly among these platforms. That is why you should take your time to choose the platform that can handle your unique requirements.
Features of an Excellent eCommerce Hosting Service.
While shopping for a web host for your eCommerce website, you will realize that most web hosting providers offer hosted eCommerce service option and self-hosted eCommerce plan.
The users that have limited technical skills are better off using the hosted eCommerce option. It is also perfect for those that do not have the time to manage their eCommerce store. All that is required is to signup for an eCommerce hosting plan. After that, your hosting service provider handles all the coding and modifications needed to get your online store up and running.
The self-hosted eCommerce plan is perfect for those that want the freedom of setting up their store the way they like. The self-hosted program allows the user to choose their preferred CMS and customize the eCommerce server the way they want.
It is essential to note that some functions are mandatory for any eCommerce site. For instance, your eCommerce hosting provider should support SSL encryption technology, it should be PCI compliant and provide highly responsive customer support. The hosting provider should be able to guaranty an uptime close to 100%. You don’t want to spend money on traffic only for your website to be unavailable. A fast-loading site is a must for every business site, an excellent e-commerce provider should use technology that allows your site to load in about two seconds. Such providers make use of caching technology to improve the site loading time.
Below are some of the best eCommerce CMS you can use for your online store.
Magento tops the list of eCommerce CMS, it is a powerful platform that allows you control over your design, features, and content of your online store. Although it requires a little more technical skill compared to other platforms, web developers love it for its flexibility and many features.
Magento is designed as a pluggable application. This feature allows you to add various third-party plugins and extensions to enhance your eCommerce store. The best part is scalability; it can grow with your online store to handle emerging business e-commerce requirements as your business grows.
Users can choose between two editions of Magento which are the Open-Source and the Enterprise editions. The open-source version, which is previously called community edition is free to use and redistribute. However, you will still have to pay a web hosting provider for an eCommerce hosting plan. The open-source version is excellent for small and medium businesses that have moderate traffic to their store. The Magento enterprise edition goes for a premium subscription fee. It has many advanced features such as better performance, PCI compliant, security features, dedicated support from the Magento team, and many more. It is recommended for businesses with large volumes of monthly sales.
The user-friendly and flexible features of WooCommerce makes it one of the most popular eCommerce CMS on the planet. It is quite easy to get your online store up and running with WooCommerce. All that is required is to install WordPress on your web hosting server and add the WooCommerce plugin. After that, choose one of the many free or premium WooCommerce compatible theme and start building your professionally-looking online store.
The WooCommerce plugin is completely free to use, it has an active community of open-source developers and many users around the world. It is quite easy to get support online when you get stuck. The platform supports extensions which are plugins that allow you to customize your WooCommerce store and add advanced features. Most WooCommerce extensions are free to use, while others have advanced features that become available when you upgrade to the premium version.
It is essential to bear in mind that you will need an excellent eCommerce hosting plan to build and host your online store. There are many web hosting service providers that provide WooCommerce plans with WooCommerce installed and configured. You can also choose to save cost by installing and configuring WooCommerce by yourself, the procedure is quite easy.
If you want to build your online store quickly, Open Cart is one of the best options for you. This open-source application is free to use and has many valuable extensions your online store can use. Because this platform is quite easy to use, it is an excellent option for store owners without technical experience. Although it does not have the extensive configurable options like the others in this list, it has all the features an average store need. The user can turn to the highly responsive community of Open Cart users online for technical support. Also, there are many resources online that guide you through configuring and managing your Open Cart store.
With Open Cart, you can get your functional store up and running quickly. It has powerful features and provides templates that allow you to build a professional looking online store within minutes. You should bear in mind that you may need to use additional premium add-ons to make your Open Cart store work the way you want. So, there may be additional costs besides your hosting plan along the way. Open-Card is lightweight, it does not require extensive server resources to function correctly. As such, you can use less expensive hosting plan for your Open Cart eCommerce store.
PrestaShop allows you to build stunning online stores no matter the level of your technical expertise. It is a user-friendly platform that is perfect for both beginners and experts alike. It provides excellent functions for managing the store inventory and maintenance of your online store. The program is lightweight, you do not need a high-end eCommerce hosting for your PrestaShop.
When it comes to themes, PrestaShop has some of the best eCommerce themes around. You can choose from over 4,500 PrestaShop templates that make your online store look professional and unique. The downside of PrestaShop is that it is not as scalable, compared to others in the list. The procedure of switching to other eCommerce CMS when your business grows can be complicated.
The WP eCommerce is another plugin that can convert your WordPress website to an online store. Although it is not as popular as WooCommerce, it has excellent features that help you create an online store easily. Once you have subscribed for an eCommerce hosting, install WordPress, and add the WP eCommerce plugin. Once the plugin is activated, you can add products to your online store, create categories, and promotions to drive sales. It is an easy to use platform for creating an online store.