Best 7 ecommerce CMS
Top 7 Ecommerce Content Management Systems (CMSs) compared and reviewed. Refer to this detailed comparison to choose the ecommerce CMS that meets your business requirements.
Ecommerce is booming, and many businesses are going online to leverage ecommerce for their business. It is estimated that by 2022 the global ecommerce sales would rise to 6.54 trillion USD. Companies are gearing up to grab their fair share of the ecommerce industry to boost their sales revenues.
To enable ecommerce, you need to have an online presence. Ecommerce content management systems come in handy while developing an online presence for the company.
Ecommerce CMS helps you manage your products, transactions, analytics, and everything that a small or large business needs to enable ecommerce for their business.
The top 7 Ecommerce CMS
Top Ecommerce Platforms Comparison
In this blog post, we review & compare the top 10 ecommerce CMS that companies or entrepreneurs can use for their businesses.
The ecommerce CMS researched here is suitable for small, medium, and large enterprises as well.
The methodology used to compare these ecommerce cms focus on ease of onboarding, scalability, analytics, speed, SEO, and pricing.
The reviews primaraly concentrate on these attributes; however, they occasionally may include certain unique features.
Now, let us get down to the top 10 ecommerce cms for your business.
Shopify is the best ecommerce platform for selling your products, be it digital or physical. Also, it is one of the easiest platforms to start selling. Their user interface is very much beginner-friendly, and complete beginners to ecommerce can set up their store in less than a few hours.
Shopify has tons of features that make onboarding easier if you want to dropship or sell your products. Comprehensive ecommerce analytics, developer support, plugins, apps help Shopify merchants manage their ecommerce business on the go.
Shopify offers seamless integrations with Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram advertising to use social media advertising. Automating your business with Shopify is more comfortable than other ecommerce platforms. You can find a plugin for any use to make your store more advanced.
You can find many free and premium themes for Shopify stores that can serve your store’s purpose. You may check out this conversion optimized theme, which is available for free.
When it comes to your store’s performance, Shopify stores are fast and have a good speed than other ecommerce platforms.
Shopify offers blog functionality as well that helps you leverage content marketing for your business. However, Shopify does not provide additional tools to support your SEO activities.
Lack of SEO tools can be a drawback for some people. But, if you are using paid advertising, this can be overlooked. For example, dropshipping entrepreneurs who rely on paid advertising may not need the SEO feature after all.
Shopify has a well-designed customer journey that takes the customer through a well-designed clickstream designed to improve conversions. You can customize your store’s checkout pages to upsell and cross-sell offers.
You have an option to set automatic promotional campaigns, discount codes, shipping zones that helps you to segment your customers. Small businesses can use Shopify POS to collect payments at their offline stores.
It can be used by medium to large companies as well to facilitate offline selling. You can sell in up to 133 currencies with quick and easy support from Shopify.
Shopify stores can be scaled as large as the business can get. They have four subscription plans to support businesses of all sizes and volumes.
Their most basic plan starts at $29 and goes up to $299 per month. They have a Shopify Plus plan tailored specifically for large businesses with high order volumes; Shopify Plus pricing is customized as per your business needs.
Wix is the best option for people looking for comprehensive ecommerce solutions at an affordable price.
Wix comes very close to Shopify for its ease of use; maybe some beginners may prefer Wix because of the comfort you can build your online store.
All you have to do is answer a few questions, and Wix ADI will create a store for you in less than 5 minutes. Trust me, Wix ecommerce stores look fantastic, and they are visually appealing.
Wix has over 500 designer-made ecommerce templates for every ecommerce business.
You get all essential ecommerce features such as multichannel sales support, analytics dashboard, mobile responsive stores, express checkout, Abandoned cart recovery, Automated Sales tax support, Multicurrency support, and support for payment gateways such as PayPal and Stripe.
You can also use Wix payments as an alternate payment solution for your ecommerce store.
Along with these features, you get API support to help large businesses to develop advanced and customized ecommerce features.
The Wix ecommerce stores are built with marketing and SEO in mind. They are lightweight and fast. You have social media integrations that help you drive paid social traffic to your ecommerce business.
Use can use email marketing and a sufficient number of tools to power up your marketing efforts.
Wix offers a free plan to start using its services. Their paid plans start from $3/month for the most basic plan and $6.75/month for the advanced business plan.
As a bonus, you get a free domain for one year if you join any of their paid subscription plans.
I will recommend Wix for people who want to start selling online with a lower budget and need pro-ecommerce features. Wix will serve your purpose.
3dcart is one of the oldest ecommerce CMS providers. With their years of experience, they have built an all-around CMS that can serve any business of any size.
They offer many features to power up your ecommerce business. The sheer number of features can overwhelm beginners; thus, they have a complete set of tutorials, guides to support user onboarding and store setup.
3dcart may not be easy for beginners, and there will be a steep learning curve. You require knowledge of HTML, CSS for a large portion of store design and maintenance.
Hence, 3dcart requires a decent amount of technical expertise. Experience ecommerce webmasters, developers can find it easier to onboard 3dcart for their business.
The design elements somehow lack a modern feel and look outdated as compared to Wix and BigCommerce. However, if you have HTML, CSS expertise, you can customize the store design.
You get 53 free themes to start with, and if not, you can buy paid themes that start from $150. You get a visual editor to build your store, but it seems limited in the number of layout and customization options.
3dcart stands out when it comes to marketing activities. Firstly, you get a fantastic set of tools and integrations to manage your store SEO. Premium paid SEO services, AMP, Google tools, Metadata, Sitemaps, Custom URLs, and a few others.
You have options to set up SEO for every individual page. You can leverage email marketing automation tools, custom promotional campaigns, Social commerce, and integrations with top marketing services for marketing and promotional activities. You can set up lead magnets and autoresponders to automate your communication with the customers.
Another benefit of 3dcart is its ability to provide affiliate support to stores. You can set up, manage, and monitor your affiliates and their performance through a single dashboard.
3dcart has a very detailed analytical dashboard. The business reports generated by 3dcart are valuable for businesses because it saves them time compiling such reports for performance evaluation.
3dcart has integrations with 100+ payment providers with support for offline payments and POS. They charge NO transaction fees; however, there is an upper limit on the revenue generated for every subscription plan.
They have five subscription plans starting with the ‘startup’ plan costing $19/month with a revenue limit of $50k per annum to the ‘pro’ plan costing $229/month with a revenue limit of $1M per year.
Additionally, there is a separate plan exclusive for dropshipping, costing $9.99/month. This plan is the best solution for beginner dropshippers who are low on budget.
The customer service is pretty decent with phone plus online support. There are comprehensive articles, guides, tutorials for beginner and advanced users to set up their store.
However, it is not wrong to say that 3dcart is not a beginner-friendly platform and requires decent technical knowledge. But, it doesn’t mean beginners should reject 3dcart; in fact, the excellent developer, expert, and admin community of 3dcart are always available to help the users.
You can hire experts to handle your store operations, marketing activities, SEO at a very marginal cost. Hence, even beginners can kickstart with 3dcart with comparative ease leveraging excellent developer and expert support.
BigCommerce is one of the closes competitors to Shopify. The services and features offered by BigCommerce are very much similar to that of Shopify.
Also, the ease of onboarding, support for complete beginners, and little technical know-how make it a viable alternative to Shopify.
The designing of BigCommerce stores is easy with drag and drop visual editor, a standard for ecommerce CMS these days. There are 12 free themes that you can choose as your starting point to design your store. If not, you can purchase paid themes, which generally range around $150 per theme.
The themes and store designs are responsive, making them fit for any digital device. The customization options are higher with BigCommerce.
They provide you with API support, which allows you to develop tailor-made applications for your business with custom code. The API support will enable you to customize your store with the features you want with available API support.
This feature comes in handy for people who seek unique features to support their online business.
BigCommerce has decent features for SEO. BigCommerce is preferred by brands that focus on organic reach for their business because of its SEO friendly features. You can customize URLs, add metadata, AMP support, Akamai image manager built-in, and faster store loading speed.
As per the latest Google algorithm updates, the core web vitals are considered essential for SEO; this is where BigCommerc offers a cutting edge over Shopify. The SEO features of BigCommerce are ecommerce oriented, which means they are suitable for e-commerce.
BigCommerce has decent marketing automation tools, features to manage your business’s’ marketing. Tools such as email marketing, social media marketing integration, Google ads integration, Social commerce (Buy buttons) form an essential toolset for ecommerce marketing.
You can set up custom discount codes, promotional offers for products of your choice. You also get abandoned cart recovery support for premium plans.
The analytical dashboard is quite comprehensive. You can customize the dashboard to monitor essential metrics. You can also track affiliate conversions, web metrics, and other marketing insights from an in-depth analytical dashboard. Businesses of any size can easily use the dashboard capabilities of BigCommerce.
You get support for multiple payment solutions, including Paypal, Stripe, and cash on delivery options. Businesses with offline stores can also utilize their POS functionality, which is helpful to drive offline conversions.
The app store and developer support may not be as excellent and exhaustive as Shopify’s, but it serves specific businesses’ purposes. If a company wants a custom solution, they can get it built by developers with ease.
The pricing of BigCommerce is very similar to Shopify. They have three plans, with the most basic starting with $29.95/month ranging to $299.95/month.
If you are a large business with a high volume of orders, you can get a custom slution for your needs. The pricing for such custom solutions will depend on your requirements.
However, there are limitations for every plan in terms of the amount of revenue generated. For example, for the most basic plan, you can generate sales of up to $50k, beyond which you have to upgrade to a better plan.
Such subscription plans can act as a disadvantage for many small businesses with higher volumes.
The deal-breakers, that is, the pros and cons of BigCommerce, are listed below,
Sellfy is an ecommerce CMS that has its focus on information products. Sellfy is an excellent ecommerce platform to sell digital information products of various kinds.
You can sell online courses, ebooks, videos, subscriptions, and other forms of digital products using Sellfy. Since they are positioned to service the information product sellers, scalability can be an issue if you are selling physical products. Yet, for small volumes, you can go with Sellfy.
Sellfy is very beginner-friendly, and you need not have the technical expertise to build a Sellfy store and manage its operations. They offer only the basic ecommerce features to build an online store. Advanced ecommerce users may find the number of ecommerce features limited.
However, it serves the purpose of information products. You get help documents to support merchant onboarding with email customer support.
The design and layout customization options are limited. You may not find paid or free themes to start with, but they have a very intuitive and easy drag and drop visual editor to build stores.
You may not customize the product pages as per your requirements and have to go with available designs. In terms of designs, customization Sellfy seriously lacks options. Users who mainly focus on the online store’s design and visual elements may not enjoy developing Sellfy stores.
The marketing options are adequate. You get email marketing support, social commerce, social buy buttons, or product card embeds. With these options, you can sell your information products on any social media website with a link, buy button, or product cards.
You can even embed your entire store with products to an external website to turn that website into an online store.
You can set up lead magnets to gain subscribers to your business and then use in-built email marketing tools to promote your products. Sellfy also offers support for abandoned cart recovery communication.
Support for webhooks and Zapier allows you to connect any apps of your choice to power up your online store. Integrations with Google analytics and FB, Twitter pixels allows detailed tracking and monitoring of store operations.
The analytical dashboard helps monitor essential metrics to measure store performance. When it comes to SEO, Sellfy lacks even the most essential SEO features.
There are three subscription plans, with each having an annual sales limit. This means, if the annual revenue exceeds the sales limit for a particular subscription plan, Sellfy will charge an overage fee of 2% on the extra amount over the sales limit. This overage fee is waived off if the subscription plan is upgraded to increase the yearly sales limit.
Their most basic plan starts at $19/month if billed yearly and $29/month if billed monthly. The premium plan starts at $89/month if billed annually, else $129/month. The sales limit remains the same regardless of billing frequency.
You have Paypal and Stripe as the two payment options. There is no offline payment method, which is not surprising given the focus of Sellfy on digital products. There are 0% transaction fees. Sellfy offers features such as limited downloads, PDF stamping that are essential tools for selling digital products.
Concluding, Sellfy is a lightweight ecommerce CMS with the most basic but adequate features suitable for businesses selling digital products, small companies with low product volumes, or complete beginners with little technical knowledge.
Businesses, entrepreneurs, digital creators who wish to sell information products but do not need full ecommerce features can prefer Sellfy. Sellfy offers them a comprehensive ecommerce solution with essential basic features.
With effortless onboarding Sellfy allows merchants to save their time and dedicate it to product creation while Sellfy handles the ecommerce operations.
Weebly is the best alternative to Shopify for small or medium businesses selling physical inventory.
You can sell digital products such as memberships and events but lack features to support digital product selling. Else, Webly is a viable option for businesses because it supports selling physical products with multiple features and requires minimal technical knowledge to build and operate their online stores.
You get access to setup guides that helps you complete your store’s setup.
The stores are responsive, customizable with a variety of different layouts and design options. The themes are neat and well developed, reducing the store loading speeds.
When it comes to SEO, Weebly offers all the necessary features to conduct SEO. Every page has SEO options such as URLs, metadata, title, description. The store loading speeds are fast because of light and neatly developed online stores.
The marketing automation options on Weebly are probably the best among other competitors.
It supports Facebook Messenger integration for live chat support on your store. Inbuilt popup builder to build lead magnets to collect subscribers, offer promotional deals, coupons. Weebly offers complete email marketing support.
It offers integrations with the most widely used apps to power up your store. Abandoned cart recovery, discount codes, coupons, customer reviews are other marketing features provided by Weebly.
If you cannot find your preferred feature, you can browse the Weebly app center, which has hundreds of apps to support your online store.
Weebly has Paypal and Stripe integrations to collect payments. It offers you the option to provide express checkout functionality to the consumers. You can also leverage in-store pickup, delivery options to drive offline conversions.
Weebly offers you a 14-day free trial. However, you cannot get to use all the Weebly features. Their basic plan, Connect, starts at $5/month if billed annually and $8/month if billed monthly.
They have three other upsell subscription plans, which you can choose as per your requirements and needed features.
Weebly is best for small or medium-sized businesses looking for low cost but effective ecommerce solution which offers neat and well developed online stores.
Companies new to ecommerce or businesses low on budget but require a comprehensive ecommerce solution can go with Weebly without a doubt. Also, companies that focus on online marketing activities can prefer Weebly because of the number of marketing features available to support Weebly stores.
However, I would not recommend Weebly for selling digital products except for memberships and events. If you want a low-cost ecommerce CMS for selling digital products, then I would recommend Sellfy.
Squarespace is one of the oldest online CMS. Thus, Squarespace’s extent of experience gives them an advantage in giving out the best features and functionality to their consumers.
Squarespace is very beginner-friendly. All you need is drag and drop knowledge to build and manage the stores. There are self-help guides, blog articles to help the user onboarding.
Squarespace is proud that they offer award-winning customer service, which is a benefit for the consumers.
Squarespace stores are entirely customizable. You can use the diverse set of features provided by them or add your custom code to create custom features for your store.
The Squarespace ecommerce platform editor very similar to the WordPress editor; thus, WordPress users can find it easier to understand the platform. You can use various themes available for free or purchase themes of your need compatible with Squarespace.
The developer community to manage the store development, SEO, and Marketing of the business is excellent. Hence, merchants can leverage such expert support at marginal cost to power up their business. You get all-around SEO features and analytics.
You can integrate with Google Search Console to manage the SEO from the store dashboard. You can add custom URLs, metadata. You can analyze individual keywords for their traffic sources using an SEO analytics dashboard.
It also has support for Google search keywords tracking. Thus, Squarespace offers one of the best in class SEO features among all the ecommerce CMS.
The marketing features with Squarespace are equally extensive. Email marketing support with mail automation functionality is a huge bonus. You can customize the email templates and trigger email automation with multiple trigger options.
You get support for bulk emails, inbuilt lead magnets, announcement bars, social share buttons, Pinterest save button. You can add custom tracking codes to monitor your store traffic.
Squarespace offers support for Instagram stories product tagging. This feature will allow you to tag Squarespace products directly on your Instagram stories.
With an in-depth and granular analytics dashboard, you can track your online store’s activity with great ease.
Squarespace offers a free G-suit subscription for one year, which is a benefit for new businesses. It also has support for a virtual assistant to automate most of your store’s operations.
You can collect offline payments using Square and use Paypal, Stripe for online payments.
You get a 14-day free trial in which you can play around with different features and understand the store’s functionality.
To conclude, I would say Squarespace is an all-around ecommerce CMS for any business of any size. Be it selling physical products or digital products, Squarespace has features to support them. Unless you require a very high degree of customization and control on your online store, you will not be disappointed with Squarespace.
However, the features to support Dropshipping, Print on Demand are not adequate. So, Squarespace may not be an ideal option for dropshipping, print on demand businesses. Such consumers can opt for Shopify or 3dcart.
Best Ecommerce Platform for Dropshipping
Dropshipping is one of the oldest business models. With the help of ecommerce, dropshipping has become easier than before.
Building an online store and selling online is a matter of a few hours in today’s internet world. Thanks to beginner-friendly, intuitive online store builders that facilitate the process of setting up the dropshipping store.
Hence, having a perfect ecommerce solution for your dropshipping business is one of the crucial elements of your business success.
After careful evaluation of features and with the experience of selling on multiple ecommerce platforms, we have our shortlist of the best ecommerce platforms for dropshipping.
Best Ecommerce Platform for Small, Medium Businesses
Small and medium-sized businesses are often the ones that are looking for growth options. Also, these are the businesses that are generally tight on their budget. Hence, these businesses need an ecommerce solution that offers value for the money paid by the business.
This means having a higher number of features, capabilities, performance at a competitive price. Such ecommerce solutions help small and medium businesses enjoy a full range of ecommerce functionality without spending a considerable part of their budget.
The shortlist of best ecommerce platforms for small and medium-sized businesses is,
Best Ecommerce Platform for selling digital products
Digital products, or commonly known as information products, are the next big thing in ecommerce. The limitations caused by selling physical products mitigate when you sell digital products.
No cost of inventory, no logistics & delivery issues, and the cost of replication of digital products is practically none. Hence, the benefits associated with selling digital products weigh on the heavier side.
When it comes to selling digital products such as ebooks, courses, infographics, designs, photography, and others, you need specific tools to sell digital products.
Based on the features, performance, and capabilities required for selling digital products, we have shortlisted the best platforms for selling digital products.
Best Ecommerce Platform for large businesses
Large businesses often have custom needs for selling their products online. Also, the high volume of orders, products makes them seek a scalable and robust ecommerce platform.
The higher degree of customization, developer support, features, performance, and scalability are essential elements that large businesses seek in an ecommerce platform.
Hence, our shortlist of the best ecommerce platforms that can handle large businesses with high volumes of orders are,
Best Ecommerce Platform to drive offline conversions
Many businesses use online engagement with their consumers to drive in-store offline purchases. Hence, such companies use online advertisements, social media marketing to roll out promotional offers to drive offline conversions.
Such businesses or brick & mortar stores require ecommerce solutions that help drive offline conversions. Since such companies are small, they also focus on getting the value-for-money ecommerce solution.
Some of the best ecommerce platforms that serve this need are,
Most beginner-friendly ecommerce platforms
Ecommerce is booming, and we all know it. Thus, it is not surprising to see complete beginners with no technical knowledge trying their hand at starting their online business selling digital or physical products.
Such individuals or groups of absolute beginners need a simple yet effective ecommerce solution that provides them with the most basic ecommerce functionality at competitive prices.
Since such individuals are beginners, they do not seek a high number of features but beginner-friendly solutions. Hence, our shortlist of ecommerce platforms that are extremely easy to learn and manage is,
Recommendations for 2021
The choice of appropriate ecommerce CMS is a difficult one. One has to list all the essential features and compare different available options.
The choice of ecommerce CMS depends entirely on the nature of the business and its strategy. An ecommerce CMS perfect for one company may not be adequate for the other; hence, choose the ecommerce platform that matches your requirements.
Generally, businesses look for the right combination of features, performance, and pricing before making the final decision. Considering these attributes, Shopify turns out to be the best ecommerce solution. Shopify is straightforward to learn, scalable, robust and can serve various types of businesses.
Hence, when it comes to companies looking for the best all-around ecommerce CMS, Shopify is the most appropriate solution.
However, if you want more control of your store with custom features, APIs along with everything that Shopify already offers, then BigCommerce is the best solution. BigCommerce is suitable for large businesses that need more control over their store and a higher degree of customization.
To sell digital products, I would recommend Sellfy. I like Sellfy because it is tailored to sell digital products.
Hence, if you plan to sell digital products in 2021, try out Sellfy; you’ll find it unique. If not Sellfy, then Squarespace & BigCommerce are suitable for selling digital products.
However, they can be costly. In that case, 3dcart is a holistic solution that can help you sell digital products at ease.
Thus, use this comprehensive comparison information and facts to match your business requirements and choose the best ecommerce CMS that meets your business requirements. Welcome to the world of online selling.