E-commerce CMS Explained: What It Is, How It Works and Why You Need One

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Over the past few years, the e-commerce industry has grown tremendously. It accounts for as much as 14.3% of retail sales globally. Researchers indicate that by the end of 2023, the number will likely hit 23%.

However, with such huge growth comes immense competition as well. To tackle such challenges, there has been the emergence of various innovative technology. One such among them is the introduction of a Content Management System. But what exactly is e-commerce CMS? Go through this guide to understand what Content Management System (CMS) is and what benefits it offers your business. 

What Is A Content Management System (CMS)?

Content Management System (CMS) is a software product that enables online sellers to create and publish website content without writing codes. It facilitates a plethora of tasks, ranging from changing the page’s product layout to promoting products in a better manner. 

They are usually offered as SaaS products, meaning you can easily access them via the web, nullifying the need to install them into your systems.

How a Content Management System Works

The best e-commerce CMS currently available mainly has two moving areas: 

  • Content Management Application (CMA) – It enables marketers or content creators to work with digital content directly, thus nullifying the need to seek the help of the IT department. 
  • Content Delivery Application (CDA)- It mainly deals with the backend portion of a website, using the content that you have entered into the template into a fully functional website that users can access worldwide. 

How to start off

  • Purchase a domain name.
  • Select any CMS of your choice which you wish to incorporate into your web server.
  • Configure it according to your preferred design and functionalities of the site.
  • Write valuable content with the help of the CMS interface.

Why Do You Need an E-commerce CMS?

CMS can be a lifesaver for those without a tech background and want to hire professionals to write backend codes for their websites. It can further help you in the following ways:

  • A CMS helps you interact directly with your customers through your website and allows you to display all your products and services in such a way that is guaranteed to catch the attention of the end users. 
  • CMS also helps to simplify complex business processes, such as maintaining a good tech team or improving your source. 
  • CMS eliminates the need for any middleman, especially when engaging your target audience with your brand. You can simply host a blog page on your website and disseminate all the vital information directly to your customers. 

Do You Need a Separate CMS?

Although CMS has many benefits, not every e-commerce platform requires a CMS. But how do you determine this? 

Evaluating the content strategy plans is the most efficient way to know whether or not you will benefit from CMS. Sites that typically deal with bulk content would benefit from implementing CMS into their business. 

Additionally, here are a few other types of services that the best e-commerce CMS provides to business owners. 

1. Create and edit content with ease

With the help best CMS platform for e-commerce, you can generate and edit valuable content faster and more efficiently. Furthermore, it is also extremely user-friendly and does not require any advanced technical skills to operate. This means you can now create and edit content easily and flexibly.

2. Remove reliance on developers

Yet another way CMS facilitates online sellers is by eliminating the dependency on developers. 

With the best CMS for an e-commerce website, you can reduce the time spent on development and update the content yourself. This helps to cut down on time spent and enables you to invest the saved money on other important aspects, such as marketing campaigns

3. Add another channel for reaching potential customers

CMS helps you to create informative and engaging content, thus boosting your brand visibility and driving more sales. The best e-commerce CMS ensures that your content is not only easy to understand but can also be accessible and well-organized. 

4. Let writers work together

A good CMS can help you bring content writers and other team members on the same page. Furthermore, you can use many features offered by CMS to improve your content, leading to a smoother review process and, ultimately, a better customer experience. 

Key Features of CMS for E-commerce

Below are some key features that the best CMS platform for e-commerce offers:

1. The basics: Create, add, delete, and modify

The basic function of a CMS platform is to enable business owners to manage their content efficiently. This includes creating meaningful content, adding any required information, and deleting any text you deem unimportant for your consumers. It should also allow you to modify the content per your requirements. 

To provide additional control to you over the content, the best e-commerce CMS offers the following features:

  • Roles and Right Management give you the full authority to decide who can edit and publish each piece of content.
  • Digital Asset Manager (DAM) typically stores all your images and videos, including document management. 

2. Support, guides, and flexibility

The right CMS should also offer enough flexibility for your business needs. This is especially important for business owners with little coding experience.

The best CMS platform for e-commerce will enable you to update your page layout and store design quickly and efficiently. This, in turn, will help your website stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and other promo events. 

3. Integrations and plugins: You don’t need to limit yourself!

An ideal CMS should provide enough flexibility to activate any plugins when such a need arises. Furthermore, the range of integration available is also a key indicator of the popularity or API-friendliness of the CMS.

4. E-commerce platform with CMS features: Blended is better

To provide the best user experience and create top-quality content, you might consider looking for an e-commerce platform already serving as a reliable CMS. One example is BigCommerce, which has many in-built features and CMS capabilities. 

How to Choose a CMS for Your Online Business?

Wondering how to opt for the best CMS for an e-commerce platform? Here are a few points to consider while choosing the best e-commerce CMS for your online business.

1. Pricing and functionality

Before finalizing, gather all the information related to the pricing of the CMS platform. It should include licensing fees, fixed charges, and any additional infrastructure required to set up the website.

In addition to pricing, consider all the features the CMS offers and whether it fits your requirements. 

2. User interface and marketing

The best CMS e-commerce must be easy to manage and intuitive to help you achieve all your business goals. It should also be flexible to implement any kind of changes or updates that your website might require. Additionally, you must also check the SEO-friendliness of your selected CMS. 

3. Mobile-compatible design

Researchers indicate that 52.08% of web visits are via mobile phones, while the remaining 47.92% come from computers. 

As a business owner, you should aim to design an online store compatible with mobile devices and offer a seamless customer experience. 

What Are the Best E-commerce CMS Platforms?

Let’s look at some of the best CMS for e-commerce websites. 

1. WordPress.org

WordPress is considered one of the leading giants of the CMS industry. However, please note that it is not an e-commerce platform. You will have to access the free WooCommerce plugin to experience the benefits of an online shop.

2. Magento

Adobe primarily owns Magneto and supports 260,000+ online stores across the globe. The many reasons for its huge popularity include its various functionalities and a wide extension marketplace. However, it has been known to bear the best results for large businesses. 

3. WooCommerce

One of the best CMS for e-commerce is WooCommerce. It is a free and open-source platform exempting companies from paying any licensing fee to operate the same. It can be easily customizable and will provide all the necessary guidance and support whenever you get stuck. 

4. BigCommerce

Supporting as many as 60,000 merchants of varied types and sizes, BigCommerce is truly the leading giant of the industry. It is loaded with all the necessary features that facilitate the overall growth of fast-scaling e-commerce businesses. Its advanced SEO integrations and flexible APIs make it the best e-commerce CMS for small businesses. 

5. OpenCart

Since 2003, OpenCart has emerged as a strong player in the e-commerce industry. Initially, it was built to run on Linux only, but now it is also available on Windows and MacOS. One of the many reasons for its popularity is its robust features, easy-to-use, and can be installed on the server or the cloud. 

6. Wix

Wix is not an e-commerce CMS; you can still enable the commerce module. It offers a wide range of templates and features and does not require any expertise in coding. The only limitation for Wix is that once you select a  template, you might not be allowed to change the same again. 

7. PrestaShop

PrestaShop boasts extensive themes and add-ons that help merchants develop a website from scratch without needing technical expertise. This makes PrestaShop one of the best choices for start-ups and medium-sized businesses. However, the only downside is that some extensions can sometimes be quite expensive.

8. PinnacleCart

Equipped with useful features such as store building, payment solutions, and product management, PinnacleCart is another fantastic option you can explore. It offers customer checkout features as well as straightforward web-building. 

9. Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Salesforce Commerce Cloud boasts various innovative features, efficient tools, and commerce portals that impact business growth. Primarily it offers two commerce products – B2B Commerce and B2C Commerce. It is the perfect choice for small businesses. It enables hassle-free website creation and leads to a unified and personalized shopping experience. 

10. Squarespace

Squarespace is an all-in-one Content Management System. With the help of the same, you can perform a wide range of activities, including creating a website, hosting your content, etc. Its only downside is its lack of plugins and extensions compared to other systems. 

Two Ways to Use an E-commerce CMS

Here are the two main ways in which you can use an e-commerce CMS:

1. E-commerce first

The success of both content and e-commerce goes hand in hand. In today’s competitive marketplace, most e-commerce solutions offer features such as drag-and-drop builders or smooth blog designs that enable business owners to generate and publish traffic-generating organic content. When you take the e-commerce first approach, you can also carry out all your selling activities on the website. Those include running promotions and offers and featuring new products, among others.

2. Content first

E-commerce sites that adopt the content-first method can benefit a lot from the use of CMS. They mainly focus on engaging and interacting with their target audience through meaningful content, which helps build a long-lasting loyalty bond. In these scenarios, an add-on usually deals with the e-commerce part.

6 Advantages of Pairing E-commerce with CMS Platforms

Below are many ways pairing e-commerce with CMS platforms can benefit many. 

1. Turn an existing site into a shop

Imagine a scenario where you have a well-maintained blog site and a loyal community. You now wish to monetize your site as the demands of your community continue to grow. The best way to deal with such a situation is by pairing your e-commerce site with a CMS. By integrating with platforms such as BigCommerce, you can easily turn your site into a potential source of revenue for your business. 

2. Easy-to-update sites

Everybody wants a website that is easy to update and manage. Using the best CMS platform for e-commerce provides flexibility and features to manage all the web content hassle-free. Furthermore, it will also help you to stay updated with market trends and update your site accordingly. 

3. More visitors with a content-first approach

Businesses that follow a content-first approach are likely to generate more organic content. This helps to build a strong and loyal customer base for the brand. By harnessing the power of advanced SEO, and other content features, you can easily reach out to your target audience. Furthermore, you can also analyze their needs and preferences and take the necessary course of action to improve your business processes. 

4. Becoming a thought leader in your industry

Becoming a leader in your industry requires exceptional skills and knowledge. 

You should also be willing to share the same with others. This increases your brand visibility and drives the need for your services and products. Furthermore, with consistent valuable content, you can also increase the profitability of your business.

5. Manage orders and inventory with ease

While content creation is undoubtedly a crucial task for every business, managing the e-commerce part of your business is also important. This includes proper inventory management, establishing trust-worthy payment methods, and many more. With the help best CMS platform for e-commerce, you can complete all these tasks and efficiently build your business. 

6. Integrate with payment providers

Enabling backend e-commerce functionalities to your CMS helps establish a secure payment environment, ultimately serving as the key to success for your business. You can easily integrate with just a few clicks to the popular payment gateways, which will also increase your credibility as a brand and evoke trust in your customers. 


From improving sales and lead generation to building strong visibility online, the benefits that CMS brings to the table are endless. Implementing CMS in your business can seem easy, but you are bound to face certain challenges. Nonetheless, navigating becomes much easier once you learn how to tackle those problems. 

The ultimate thing to remember is to provide the best digital experience for your customers. Keeping your target audience happy and satisfied is undoubtedly one of the best ways to ensure success for your business in the long run. 


What is the difference between CMS and e-commerce?

The ultimate goal of an e-commerce website is to help consumers find their desired products and purchase them easily. On the other hand, CMS, or content management system, enables store owners to create websites where customers can learn about specific products and interact with the brand.

 What is the role of CMS in the website?

CMS enables store owners to create a website without coding it from scratch. Thus, even with little to zero knowledge of coding, you can now build, manage and publish any content effortlessly.

What are the three different types of CMS?

There are three different types of CMS or content management systems. These are Proprietary, Software-as-a-Service CMS, and Open Source CMS.

Why is CMS important for business?

It allows people from non-technical backgrounds to publish content easily. Furthermore, it also helps to cut down the cost of maintaining a website in a significant manner.

What is a CMS website examples?

Some of the many examples of CMS might include Wix, Squarespace, Magento, and Drupal, among others.

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