If you’re looking to set up your eCommerce website, you’re first going to need to choose a content management system (CMS).
Your content management system is basically the hosting system that allows your website and online shop to be up and running; popular content management systems include WordPress, Shopify, and Magento.
Choosing the right CMS is one of your most important tasks as you set up your eCommerce business: the CMS you choose will determine how fast your website is, how many resources you can upload, and how customisable your site is.
In this quick guide, we’re going to take a look at some key factors to consider when choosing a CMS platform for eCommerce, so you can make the best decision for your business needs. Let’s take a look!
What is a CMS?
As briefly alluded to, a CMS refers to a content management system, which is essentially the hosting site for your eCommerce website. You’ll manage your site via your CMS, whether by uploading products and landing pages, optimising your site for SEO, or tracking important KPIs.
A good CMS for eCommerce should include the following features:
- Email sign up
- SEO optimisation features.
- Secured payment processing.
- Customer support
- Design customisability
In general, you’ll find that most CMS systems will include the features listed above – the key difference between platforms will usually be whether these features are offered with their free plan or necessitate a premium subscription.
Key considerations when choosing a CMS for eCommerce
So, if you’re starting an eCommerce business, what are the most important factors to take into account when it comes to choosing a content management system? Here are five important considerations to think about:
Ease of use
Ease of use is essential for a content management system, even if you already have experience using a CMS for blogging or other purposes. If you hope to one day scale your eCommerce business, it’s likely that you’ll end up hiring employees to help manage your store, and you want to make it as simple as possible to onboard them.
Having an easy-to-use CMS will also cut costs, as you’ll be less likely to require expert assistance when it comes to getting your site up and running.
Nobody wants a website that looks the same as another eCommerce business. After all, having the tools at your disposal to customise your website is key to establishing and building your brand identity. If you’re using a free content management system with pre-set themes, it’s a good idea to check if there are premium, customisable themes available for you to use.
Choosing a CMS with in-built customisation options will make it much easier for you to scale your business in the future, as you won’t need to switch to another platform (and experience the associated inconveniences and costs that go along with it.)
Having adequate resource space is another non-negotiable when it comes to setting up an eCommerce business. You need to have enough space to upload your full collection of products – and leave room for scaling – while also having a robust landing page and blog for SEO purposes.
To avoid problems further down the line, make sure to look at the resource capacities for every CMS before settling on one platform – some CMS platforms will offer a free version of their services, but require extra payment for an increased number of resources.
As mentioned above, scalability is incredibly important when it comes to setting up an eCommerce website. After all, you may end up experiencing a higher level of commercial success than you first imagined, and you’ll want to be able to scale your business accordingly – and quickly.
For a CMS to be scalable-friendly, it can’t be limited when it comes to supporting features and resource space. You’ll also want to be able to fully customise your CMS without having to spend money on a developer, so it’s a good idea to pick a content management system with an easy-to-use customisation interface.
When it comes to getting your website seen by customers, SEO is a necessary requirement – especially if you don’t want to spend thousands on PPC advertising every month. When it comes to basic on-site optimisation, most CMS platforms will come with SEO tools to help you write optimised meta tags, descriptions, titles and more.
However, when it comes to real visibility on Google, it’s a good idea to use an eCommerce SEO consultancy. Don’t forget that SEO isn’t just about having optiomised on-site content, it’s also about building a strong domain authority on the web, and this is achieved through backlinking and other off-site SEO techniques. An SEO expert will be able to find relevant keywords within your business niche, and help you optimise both your on-site and offsite content.