The best sites & CMS for your e-commerce site
Have you decided to get into e-commerce? Congratulations, it's a booming sector.
Freelancers, SMEs, start-ups... Whatever the type of your business, there are a bunch of solutions to help you create the best possible e-commerce site.
E-commerce CMS help you to create, manage and track your online sales easily. Even if you are not a digital native or IT professional.
Here are our tips to create your website with the best tools on the market.
E-commerce websites, e-commerce CMS, what are we talking about?
What is an e-commerce site?
An e-commerce site or merchant site, is a website on which users can purchase products or services. It is also sometimes called an e-commerce platform.
Merchants who have a physical store can use the web as a new distribution channel. It is also possible to become an e-merchant without having a store.
The e-commerce site is accessible on a computer, tablet or smartphone. It benefits from the advantages of the electronic medium: it is accessible 24 hours a day every day. Shop owners can then make sales at any time of the day, which is not the case for a traditional shop.
However, the success of an e-commerce business depends on different criteria: the competition, the type of products sold or the quality of the website.
Indeed, an e-commerce site must meet the standards of the web to make the buying experience seamless for everyone. The website must be trustworthy and coherently designed so that the purchasing act is easy and intuitive.
What is an e-commerce CMS?
Historically, creating a website had to be done with knowledge of web languages such as HTML.
Since then, tools have been developed to make the creation of websites easier. This is the case of the CMS.
The CMS for Content Management System is a tool to create a website.
An e-commerce CMS, precisely, is a platform to build a merchant site. It is composed of two parts :
- the front-end: that is to say your site as it appears on the web with product pages, photos, a homepage etc...
- the second part is the back-end, also called administration interface
The back-end has the same role as the back office in a physical store. It is a place where you can modify the products of the store, set your prices, configure your home delivery charges, etc. From this space, you will also be able to manage your inventory or marketing actions depending on the CMS you choose.
💡 Also read: Our tips for creating your showcase site as a merchant
The advantages of using a CMS for your online store
Editing content on an online store is not always easy. However, the role of the e-commerce CMS is precisely to facilitate the work of managing your website.
Thus, with this type of web platform, you do not necessarily need to contact a web developer for each modification.
Provided that you have a minimum of IT knowledge and prior training in the tool, you should be able to manage your product catalog independently.
As for the developer, he remains essential for the configuration of the store at the launch of the website. It is rare to be able to do without such skills when launching a store.
Unless you choose a simple CMS adapted for very beginners. This is what we offer at Qart.
How to choose your e-commerce CMS?
As a future online merchant, you are probably wondering about the best e-commerce platform. You should know that there are a lot of options.
People often choose open source solutions such as Prestashop or Magento. But other players offer equally solid and professional alternatives.
So, to help you choose your e-commerce CMS, here are the criteria on which you should focus:
- The ergonomics of the tool;
- The payment methods that can be configured from the tool;
- The delivery management features available;
- The back-end interface and the statistics available to monitor your merchant activity;
- The design options of the site;
- The integration of the website with your ERP or CRM to manage your inventory and your marketing actions;
- How many products do you have in your store;
- Your ambitions with this store: complementary activity or main activity;
- Do you need a multilingual website;
- How much time and money are you willing to invest in this project? It is possible that an easy-to-use solution is more suitable for you than a complex platform.
So take the time to consider each of these points and then choose the best e-commerce CMS for you.
In the second part of this article, we're offering a comparison of 4 CMS options for e-merchants ⬇️
Top 4 e-commerce solutions for merchants
Prestashop : the CMS made in France
Prestashop is an open-source e-commerce CMS that is very well known in the online retail industry.
Like many CMS, its installation is free but its configuration requires technical skills. It is possible to purchase extensions that create a custom interface tailored to your needs as a merchant.
In terms of functionality, you can take advantage of its many built-in tools: inventory management, easy integration of new products, creation of promotions.
Many of the features are very useful for creating a powerful online store:
- Your website can be built at your own pace and you can add new blocks as you go along: for example, add delivery options, an internal search engine, a new payment method;
- Templates for legal notices or terms and conditions of sale are available to help you comply with legislation;
Numerous graphics are generated to have an overview of your store: orders in progress, orders sent, returns.
- You also have the possibility to send e-mails directly to your customers via the interface depending on the stage of the order;
- Customer accounts, order tracking, transaction fee management.
✅ The Prestashop community is very large. Many thousand online stores have already opted for this digital solution. Thus, you can find help and support from this community.
The tool is particularly interesting in the context of an SEO strategy: lot's of quality options and an easy way to add a blog.
❌ Prestashop is a fairly simple tool to get started with, but its installation can be complex, especially if you have a large store.
Adobe Commerce (Magento) for established businesses
Magento is an open source e-commerce CMS now named Adobe Commerce. You will inevitably need the help of an external consultant for its configuration and customization.
Adobe Commerce (Magento) is a very powerful but complex solution.
We recommend it for large companies that have a huge catalog or for international online stores with several currencies and languages.
You will have to hire an internal technical team or ask for the support of a partner agency. Also, the solution must be hosted on powerful servers.
Features of Adobe Commerce that make the difference when you want to sell online:
- It is particularly interesting in the context of a marketing strategy thanks to the configuration of adjustable promotional banners on the interface
- Thanks to the Magento algorithm and AI, the product sheets are enriched with very fine recommendations of similar products in order to offer customers products perfectly adapted to what they are looking for
- The internal search module of the website is powerful and helps customers to quickly find what they are looking for
✅ The big advantage of this CMS is its robustness and the scalability it offers to e-merchants. It is a perfect product for already established e-commerce stores that want to further increase their online sales with better performance
❌ Setting up and maintaining the tool can get pretty expensive quite quickly. The solution itself is not expensive but requires the support of providers to pay for the development and configuration services.
Woocommerce via Wordpress
You have probably heard of Wordpress: it is the most famous and most used CMS in the world. It can also be adapted to sell products online with the WooCommerce plugin. This plugin allows you to transform any site developed with Wordpress into an online store.
WooCommerce offers good features to e-tailers. It is an open source solution and very accessible. In general, the development via Wordpress is less complex than for Magento. In addition, you will more easily find a partner to help you with this solution as it is very popular in the world of e-commerce.
If your e-commerce site has a large product catalog, WooCommerce may not be the best option. If you have more than 1,000 products, you should consider Magento or Prestashop.
Like all CMS, WooCommerce offers many tools designed to make life easier for merchants: stock replenishment alerts, payment management, product modification, etc.
It also has some special features of its own:
- The ability to send promotional marketing emails from the interface (abandoned cart re-launch, customer review request, etc);
- Reward and loyalty system for favorite customers: loyalty points that generate discounts;
- Excellent possibilities to develop a natural referencing strategy via the creation of an integrated Wordpress blog.
✅ It will be easy for you to learn the WooCommerce back-end if you are already familiar with the Wordpress CMS.
❌ The tool can be fragile and heavy once there are too many products in the store. Nowadays, it is not recommended to have a slow site as it affects the customer experience as well as the natural referencing as Google penalizes sites that are too heavy.
Qart: the new kid on the block to save you time
In the previous paragraphs, we have presented you with some e-commerce behemoths. They have their qualities and their defects.
For all of them, you should know that you will need to be accompanied by technicians and developers. This will be necessary at least for the launch of the site, for its configuration and sometimes even for the launch of new product catalogs.
For small businesses, these costs may be too high. There are certainly other e-commerce CMS for people who do not have IT skills.
But our e-commerce solution, Qart, is truly easy to use and accessible to everyone. The tool is so simple that you won't have to worry about technical aspects.
Like all the best CMS, your activity as an e-merchant will be greatly improved by our solution:
- Payment management via the Stripe payment gateway interface;
- Administrative interface: new orders, customers, sales tracking;
- Configuration of the product catalog in a few clicks: integration of your brand logo, images, link to your social networks, opening hours;
- Simplified interface to put products or services online with all the necessary options (delivery options, inventory management, tags, product variation...).
✅ Your store doesn't need to be complex: simplicity is always the best solution to sell. Thus, Qart stores have a design optimized for sales: only your products and important information stand out.
For you, it's a real time-saver! Managing your store in a few clicks frees up your time to develop your business. On the customers' side, they will appreciate this easy-to-handle interface.
🔵 Want to know more? Reach out!
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Frequently asked questions: The best e-commerce tools
What is an online sales platform?
An online sales platform is a CMS. It is a term that we have defined in this article. It is a tool to create a merchant website easily.
For e-merchants, the platform or e-commerce solution is the cornerstone of their business. You connect to it to manage your stocks, your products, your deliveries, your online payment solutions or to manage the relationship with your customers.
There are many online solutions to help sellers: Adobe Commerce, WooCommerce, Qart... In this article we present 4 of the best online platforms.
What is the best e-commerce site CMS?
The best e-commerce site CMS is the one that specifically meets your technical needs!
The choice of a CMS is made according to different criteria such as the size of your business or your product catalog.
Another important point to consider when choosing the best CMS is how easy it is to setup, maintain and use.
Do you need technical knowledge to create an e-commerce website?
Not necessarily any more! Some e-commerce CMS like Qart make it possible to create an e-commerce website without any technical skills.
The website is created in a few clicks with an efficient and modern design optimised for a good user experience from the first visit all the way to checkout.
As for the administrative management interface: same thing! Simple and intuitive! Managing the catalog, shipping goods or processing orders is done in a few clicks.