In 2023, there are over 800 Content Management System (CMS) platforms available in the market to choose from!
Creating and managing e-commerce websites can be a big challenge. Between seeking cost-effective solutions to building lead-generating sites without frustration or compromises, selecting the right CMS is crucial for the success of any online business.
We analysed and listed the top 9 e-commerce CMS platforms that can help you establish a robust online presence. This selection is designed to cater to a range of e-commerce needs and preferences, ensuring that your online store thrives in a competitive digital marketplace.
1. What is an e-commerce CMS?
A CMS, or Content Management System, is like a digital toolbox that simplifies creating and managing a website's content, from engaging text to eye-catching images, without needing deep technical know-how.
An e-commerce CMS comes equipped with tools for inventory management, shopping cart integration, and secure payment processing.
Bigblue works seamlessly with major platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, PrestaShop, Magento and Wix to support your business growth.
2. How to select the best CMS? The checklist!
- Needs assessment: Clearly determine your specific e-commerce requirements.
- User-friendly: Choose an intuitive interface, especially beneficial for those with limited tech expertise.
- Customisation: Ensure options to align with your brand and operational needs.
- Scalability: Pick a solution that can handle your business growth and increased traffic.
- Security: Prioritise robust measures to protect your site and customer data.
- SEO enhancement: Look for features that boost search engine visibility.
- Support and community: Assess integrations with customer support tools and resources for troubleshooting.
- Integration: Verify seamless integration with other tools and services.
- Cost: Evaluate overall expenses, including subscriptions and hosting.
- Performance and speed: Ensure fast and efficient site operation, crucial for user experience.
- Mobile responsiveness: Confirm support for mobile devices with responsive designs.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of 9 platforms to create your new e-commerce website!
3. The 9 best e-commerce CMS platforms
Shopify is the second-most popular platform in the CMS category, with a market share of 5.5% after WordPress.
It is definitely one of the best website builders with tons of integrations. So if you plan on selling your products on your website or on other channels such as social media (ex: Facebook, and Instagram) or marketplaces (ex: Amazon or eBay), Shopify is what you need.
It enables you to connect to a wide range of services that can enhance your customers’ experience (and benefits from native integration with Bigblue to streamline your logistics with Shopify). It is used by Gymshark, Budweiser, and Tesla Motors.
- Over 8500 apps for integrations and features.
- Easy setup and user-friendly interface.
- Efficient inventory management.
- 24/7 phone and live chat support.
- Lack of category features in blogging, mandatory tags and rigid layouts.
- Subscription fee plus sales commission (0.5% to 2%).
Basic Shopify: £25 per month - 2% transaction fees
Shopify: £65 per month - 1% transaction fees
Advanced Shopify: £344 per month - 0.5% transaction fees
PrestaShop is open source and completely free to download and use, but (yes there’s always a but) you’ll end up paying for hosting, domain names and other modules to integrate into your website. It is used by Huygens, Surf Inc, and Bleu de Chauffe.
- Many apps and integration: more than 3300 modules and more than 1400 themes.
- Strong SEO capabilities.
- A very strong community of experts.
- Unlimited product listings.
- Poor free version which pushes you to buy many modules and integrations.
- Need for technical knowledge or a developer’s intervention at some point.
- Long setup process.
- Limited customer support
PrestaShop is open source and thus free. Costs depend on your needs for modules, features, and integration.
WooCommerce is the e-commerce plugin for WordPress, so if you already have a website with WordPress and you want to step into e-commerce, WooCommerce is the perfect solution. It is the best platform to run both e-commerce and affiliate websites under one roof. It is used by Sodashi, Amundsen Sports, and Heymat.
- Easy implementation, user-friendly WordPress plugin.
- Strong SEO.
- Plenty of integration and marketing features.
- Highly customisable.
- A large community of WordPress experts to help you.
- Limited use, exclusively for WordPress websites.
- Lack of support.
- Uphill learning curve due to various plugins and integration required.
The WooCommerce plugin is free, so the costs depend on the integration, modules, and features you require for your business.
BigCommerce provides a solid product search engine which is perfect for large stores or small businesses that are looking for high scalability. Many big brands use BigCommerce to manage their website: Toyota, Ben & Jerry’s or Gibson Guitars.
- Flexibility and high scalability (you can add as many product variables as you want).
- No transaction fees.
- Multichannel selling.
- Automatic upgrade if your sales exceed your annual plan’s limit.
- Canonical URL issues, customisation limitations potentially requiring a third-party SEO tools.
- No 1 click-selling upsells.
- No multilingual feature, which means that you’ll need to do it with code.
Standard: $39 per month
Plus: $105 per month
Pro package: €399 per month
3.5 Adobe Commerce - (previously Magento)
Magento offers a powerful e-commerce builder for people with a coding background or with the necessary budget to hire a developer. Magento is robust, customizable and highly powerful. Many large brands such as Nike or Procter & Gamble use Magento.
- Tons of features (multiple stores, locations, languages, pricing, and currencies).
- Strong SEO.
- 1 click selling.
- Multi-channel commerce support.
- Advanced security.
- Difficult setup with coding skills needed.
- Variable costs not known in advance.
- Poor customer support.
Magento is open source, so it is free. There is no pricing information on their website for the advanced packages. The invoice is sent after Magento’s team analyses your needs.
3.6 Wix Ecommerce
Wix Ecommerce is the e-commerce plug-in of Wix. Its simple drag-and-drop interface makes it the best solution for beginners who want to design a stylish e-commerce website without having the necessary skills. There are 72 beautiful free themes to choose from. Due to its lack of marketing tool integrations, I would not recommend it for owners who expect huge growth.
- Great value, most affordable online store option.
- Beautiful templates and designs.
- Easy to use (simple drag-and-drop interface).
- Great customer support.
- No sales fees.
- Very poor SEO due to their previous website architecture, which was designed in Flash.
- Marketing integrations.
- Poor customisation option, like for confirmation emails.
Light: €12 per month
Core: €24 per month
Business: €34.80 per month
Business Elite: €178.80 per month
Volusion was founded in 1999 and is one of the oldest e-commerce solution providers. It is a good solution if you don’t know where to start at all, as the platform offers a perfect onboarding and beginner support.
Volusion has hundreds of learning materials on how to build your e-commerce website step by step. It also offers the opportunity to sell on Google, eBay, Amazon and social media.
- Great onboarding.
- Good range of templates.
- Marketing automation.
- Great for SEO.
- Tons of features like Figma integration.
- No blog integration.
- Limited customer support.
- Technical limitations, maximum 150 static pages per site per users.
Personal: $35 per month - 1.25% transaction fees
Professional: $79 per month - 0.65% transaction fees
Business: $299 per month - 0.35% transaction fees
Webflow Ecommerce is the e-commerce solution of Webflow (that’s what we use at Bigblue for our commercial website, it's great). It is a solution that merges code-free design and ease of use. It offers a lot of flexibility and freedom in the customization process of your website.
The platform also provides the possibility to create your own blog with e-commerce functionalities (you can include product pages in your blogs). Webflow Ecommerce integrates all of Webflow’s features.
- Flexible drag-and-drop interface.
- Ease of use.
- Many guidelines on all the e-commerce functionalities.
- SEO-friendly and many features.
- Lack of code customisation, visual CMS.
- Desktop edits only.
Standard: $29 per month billed annually ($42 month to month) - 2% transaction fees
Plus: $74 per month billed annually ($84 month to month) - 0% transaction fees
Advanced: $212 per month billed annually ($235 month to month) - 0% transaction fees
Squarespace offers the opportunity to sell physical products, digital ones or services. Which makes it perfect for bloggers and freelancers.
Being used extensively by photographers and artists looking for minimalistic design, many people debate whether it is suitable for a proper e-commerce website. Well, it is; Squarespace does not only offer great templates but also a fully integrated set of tools.
- Integrated SEO and analytics tools.
- Easy to use with a drag-and-drop editor.
- Great design templates.
- Customer support 24/7.
- Free SSL certificate.
- No transaction fees.
- No dropshipping features.
- Poor support for custom code.
- Lack of multilingual capabilities, only sell in one currency.
Personal: £12 per month
Business: £17 per month
Commerce (Basic): £23 per month
Commerce (Advanced) £35 per month
Best platforms for small businesses willing for fast growth: Bigcommerce, Magento.
Best platforms for multichannel selling: Shopify, Bigcommerce.
Best platforms for SEO attraction: Webflow, Bigcommerce.
Best platforms for artists and freelancers: Squarespace, Wix Ecommerce.
Based on this comparison, which platform do you think is best for your e-commerce website? Which one are using, and how do you like it so far?
You are navigating a landscape where TikTok trends and AI recommendations are reshaping customer habits.
Choosing the right CMS isn't just a technical decision; it's about staying in tune with the evolving pulse of digital shopping. You're not just selecting a platform; you're setting the stage for your brand's story in a world where shopping experiences are as influential as the products themselves.
Whether your focus is on a robust e-commerce system or a content-rich platform, remember, that today's shoppers are looking for more.