Cannot find your one and only perfect ecommerce CMS? We have prepared an insightful comparison to guide you through the beginning of this difficult ecommerce journey. Running an ecommerce business, you can’t deny that the competition is high. To outperform the other companies, you need strong allies. If you opt for the right CMS for your ecommerce, you can stand out among the competitors and maintain a strong online presence. But what to choose?
Looking for a CMS platform, you might be overwhelmed with the variety. It is important to take into account the default features provided by CMS solutions and opportunities to customize them in future. Moreover, the choice hugely depends on your budget and scale of the business. In order to protect you from launching your business on an unsuitable platform, we have created a list of the top ecommerce CMS with their pros and cons. Read this article and clear up all the doubts about what solution fits best with your online business requirements.
Shopify is a SaaS hosted CMS with 14-days free-trial and a consequent choice of 3 considerably low-pricing plans, yet with free 24/7 support. Since 2004, the platform has outgrown to the one with half a million web stores like New York Times Shop, Penguin Books or Kylie Cosmetics.
It has a simple interface which makes it perfect for startups. The platform offers to choose from 68 templates and themes. It has a separate POS system, mobile app and number of tools enough to develop the web store and manage it carefully. Although the owner could not see the code itself, you’ll still have an opportunity to monitor the HTML and CSS of the site.
Shopify has the following advantages:
- Mobile responsiveness
- Fast-loading pages
- Variety of app integrations
- Great customer support services via phone, chat and email
- SEO guide
- Over 100 different payment methods, including PayPal, CryptoCurrency
The number of functions depends on the Shopify plan. Choosing Basic Shopify, you get a standard set of tools for $29 per month, while Shopify and Shopify Advanced will cost $79 and $299 monthly.
If you decide this content management system is suitable for you, keep in mind that there are limited customization options, shipping is yet carried out across the USA and Canada only, and not always successfully export the products in CSV. Thus, before investing in creating a Shopify website, check out more detailed information on their website.
Magento is an open source ecommerce CMS. It is released in two versions – Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce. The first one is free to download and available for each company or individual. It is a good solution for all sizes and shapes of companies from startups to scalable businesses. Magento has rich functionality and aligns with lots of customization and integration options, allows extensive development and provides continuous support. Launched in 2008, it has spread worldwide and recently hits over 260,000 web stores mainly dominating in Europe, including well-known global brands such as Karmaloop, Nespresso, Shiekh Shoes, Ford and others.
Magento is an easy-to-customize and SEO-friendly solution. It has lots of extensions and can be easily integrated with lots of needed solutions like ERP, CRM, chatbots and more. There are more advantages to consider: multiple currencies and languages and endless product attributes. Magento is proved to be a secure marketplace and, more importantly, it has a global community conducting workshops and conferences around the world where any problem could be solved with brilliant ideas of ecommerce enthusiasts.
The key Magento features include:
- Customer groups
- Multi-tier pricing
- Pricing and gift option customization
- User permission management
- Access to various reports
- Gifts and coupons and more
It has been mentioned that Magento offers two versions. Magento Community – free solution – is good for small and medium business. While to enjoy the full feature set you need to try Magento Commerce for $23,000 per year which could be affordable to only scalable ones. You will also need to pay for hosting as it is not included in the cost. Moreover, you will need to hire a tech-savvy developer to set up and maintain your online store. Using Magento, you understand that invest your money into one of the best CMS for ecommerce.
One more perfect ecommerce solution to level your business up with an open source content management system is OpenCart – a free and multifunctional platform. It is a self-hosted platform based on PHP including HTML elements on a MySQL database. It was launched in 2010 and now over 30,000 online stores run on it. The platform has a useful architecture. It is very simple to use and suitable for small businesses.
If you want to exploit it to the website you will need to consider numerous costly extensions and care about additional plugins to provide SEO and support services. Moreover, any code alterations or deep customization could be successfully carried out by a qualified programmer.
PrestaShop is not less popular platform than Magento in our ecommerce CMS comparison. It is an opensource ecommerce CMS with MySQL data management and an option to modify the code according to individual requirement. It showed up in France in 2017 and is currently used by over 200,000 companies, including brands like Salling, Champagne De Lozey, McDonald’s and many others.
Besides 5,500 modules and themes from 10 categories available for instalment, PrestaShop CMS allows developing a webstore from scratch using over a thousand templates without any charges. One more benefit is that PrestaShop has an easy-to-use backend interface and does not require you to be a developer to run the website and monitor payments. That is why it fits well for startups or local medium-sized stores.
PrestaShop is a fully-customizable solution that operates in 75 languages and 130 currencies, so you can choose the ones you need from admin panel easily. Other features include:
- Simplified debugging process
- Access to local assistance
- A massive global community that conduct regular events focused on providing updates to the companies and sharing innovative ideas with enthusiasts and developers
PrestaShop is a free ecommerce CMS that can be downloaded from the official website. However, if you need to empower it with add-ons, you will pay from $50 to $150 depending on the solution. You will also need to pay for hosting and support services that are especially important to control payment gateway modules that may generate errors.
BigCommerce is another one HTML-based ecommerce platform, beyond Magento, with over ten years of presence at the global market. It is a cloud-hosted platform spreading across 150 countries and over 55,000 websites.
BigCommerce offers four pricing plans with various set of functions. The pricing plans are Standard for $29.95, Plus – the most popular – for $79.95, Pro for $249.95 per month and Enterprise. The last one has wide functionality, including API support, custom facets, express routing and priority support.
Running store on BigCommerce, you can develop it smoothly and optimize the revenue generation with the help of such features as default integration with Facebook and marketing services, quick and secure transactions and feature-rich shopping cart. 24/7 support and access to real-time information guide you to the roadmap leading to the success of your business as brands like Toyota, Kodak or HushPuppies already came to. However, being SaaS-based, it is much less customizable and flexible than an open-source and has fewer modification options. It also does not have transaction fees.
3DCart is one of the oldest ecommerce platforms launched in 1997. There are over 20,000 brands that work with software and trust 3DCart their businesses. Among their clients are France Luxe, Atlas Straps and many more from different countries and continents.
It is a cloud-hosted versatile CMS that is considered to be the best for SEO and one of the fastest in the industry. Rich in marketing tools like autoresponse and email marketing it helps to promote the business from the first step. Besides a helpful started plan, it has a loyalty program with access to more than 200 features like category breadcrumbs or customer review system. Apart from many other advantages, it also provides 24/7 support. So, you won’t worry about bugs or payment glitches.
3DCart offers four payment plans: Startup for $19, Basic – $29, Plus – $79 and Pro – $229 per month. It also provides a 15 days free trial. 3DCart is quite an effective tool for small-scale businesses, thus presupposes limited customization and theme options. One more drawback to the point is poor upgrading and shortage in customer support.
SAP Hybris is a java ecommerce platform that came up in 1997. The platform is designed for B2B and B2C companies to improve the customer’s experience and strengthen end-to-end engagement. SAP is a cloud-based CRM, which is used by over 10,000 websites mostly in Europe.
It was created to enhance information flow for the clients and has many relevant features. These include omnichannel retailing, advanced product management as well as top-notch sales performance management. It aims to gain valuable data from the customer to facilitate attracting more visitors.
However, before investing in your marketing advancement, it’s important to know that there could be some challenges as inefficient data exchange between different systems, low retention rates and a high chance of CMR errors. Moreover, even the initial prices are over $50,000 per year. The final costs depend on components and the number of cores.
Wix is a website development platform that works differently than other ecommerce content management systems. It is a new solution in the web industry perfect for beginners and non-coders. It allows creating a professional website fast and easy using a variety of templates, in-house features and built-in security.
Wix has a list of advantages that make it interesting for business owners and ecommerce enthusiasts. Besides multiple payment options, there are more tools like marketing and financial, social feed presence, secure web hosting as well as secure payments with ongoing support. In case you want to make your website more professional and advanced, you can consider switching to one of its premium plans varying from ad-free Combo to Business VIP and started from $13 per month.
Wix is the leader in creating free websites, but there are a lot of ads on the WIX official website. Despite many free apps and functions, once you choose a website design, there will be no ability to change or customize it. It can help you out in the very beginning but think twice before taking on a long WIX journey.
Drupal Commerce is a CMS framework under the GNU General Public License that once started as a message board and boosted as an open-source project in 2001. It has several similarities with WIX – Drupal Commerce does not require you to be a tech-savvy developer or have any coding experience. The platform is used by over 1 million websites. It has become a popular solution for creating a great digital framework or dynamic content that will scale up your marketing potential for business.
With no license fee and unlimited usage period, this free ecommerce content management system is quite secure. Drupal offers an extensive guide and tutorial videos to build a structured website with high standards. The platform offers multiple modules and systems for payments, marketing tools and shipping options.
Volusion was one of the first ecommerce software. It was created in 1999 and has become one of the leading SaaS platforms across the globe. Volusion has more than 30,000 active online businesses. It provides a variety of useful tools and customization features, aiming to make the platform easy-to-use and successful.
Volusion offers flexible features like built-in education services, 24/7 support, intuitive interface, SEO settings and more. It allows third-party payment integration and bundles, ensures speedy operation with lots of graphics and data while controls security.
The platform is mostly applicable to mid-size and large companies. It offers a 14-days free trial and has four pricing plans. The prices vary from $29 to over $299 per month. If you decide to enjoy the premium plan, you will pay more. Still a plus is that it doesn’t have any transaction fee regardless of the plan. However, there is neither a dedicated app store nor AMP available with Volusion.
Demandware Salesforce is a cloud-based shop CMS that speeds up the ecommerce industry since 2004. It allows users to build powerful and creative web stores and among their clients are top brands like Hugo Boss, Jack Wills and many others.
It is widely used by startups, nonprofits and small businesses. It is an effective tool for B2B and B2C retailers due to its flexibility and useful tools for creating multiple brands on site or managing different items in different locations. Using this platform you can extend your website capabilities with AI personalization, distributed order management and a top CRM.
However, it might be difficult to integrate the store with other solutions. It is also not quite reliable in case of handling the same speed after API implementation. Salesforce ecommerce platform makes your online business smarter and more personalized, but its pricing depends on each customer’s needs.
Squarespace is a helpful website building solution allowing you to develop a website from scratch. It was launched in 2004 and now has over 130,000 websites globally. Its top clients include such brand stores like John Malkovich, Fighting Eel and Edible Boston. It is a cloud service. So, you don’t need to download or install the software as well as buy hosting.
Squarespace has the following benefits:
- Template Switching
- Drag-and-Drop Management
- Dropbox File Synchronization
- Content Downloading
- Automatic Image Scaling
- Custom CSS and others
The solution has four pricing plans: Personal that costs $12 per month, Business – $26, Online Stores Basic – $26 and Online Stores Advanced for $40 monthly. You will also need to pay a subscription fee and cover hosting expenses. The good news is that Squarespace subscription costs about the same as regular web hosting.
However, editing and adding more elements could be harder than it is expected. There is also a lack of advanced marketing tools and no support for third party plugins provided.
WooCommerce is a considerably new open-source platform that is a WordPress plugin. The platform was released in 2011 and gained trust across the majority of merchants and top brands using WordPress. With three million active websites, it was claimed the most popular CMS in 2018.
This ensures a great opportunity to scale up your business since WooCommerce platform allows handling thousands of transactions per minute, endless product listing, and test the webstore performance and speed. Its popularity hugely depends on its good customization options as well as a professional and simple interface.
Being free to download, the platform still needs to spend money on, since all the multiple features, extensions, themes and hosting are paid. You will also need to pay to hire a developer who can update and install complex adds-on if you want your platform to be secure and work correctly.
VirtueMart is a PHP ecommerce platform with open source. It has appeared as an extension for Joomla. The platform was launched in 2005 and is used by over 250,000 web stores. It is free for download and use. The platform provides a great variety of built-in features, elements and modules. It is a good solution to start from and is easy-to-use by both newcomers and developers.
VirtueMart offers two modes: shopping cart and catalog mode. Using shopping cart mode, you can create a full online store. While catalog mode is designed to showcase your services or products. So, your customers won’t be able to shop on your site.
This content management system offers managing products and product searches features, fully-functional shopping cart solution, inventory management bolstered by robust backend tools as well.
However, using VirtueMart you will need a third party or a developer to implement extended functionality and spend some time to optimize the complexity of the payment process. If you think that VirtueMart is exactly what you need, you should take into account your budget. While VirtueMart is free, it includes only basic features. If you want to improve the platform, you need to buy solutions that might cost up to $50.
XCart is an online store CMS used to connect your business with the benefits of ecommerce. It is the first open-source shopping cart software released in 2001. It can be used both as a downloadable package or as a Saas product. XCart is used among over 30,000 businesses.
Benefits of XCart include improved on-site search, 24/7 customer support, automatic shipping calculation and multiple checkout creation as well as lots of design templates. Using XCart shopping cart, you will have access to over 400 integrations with payment gateways and shipping carriers. It ensures the security of store maintenance and provides an ability to analyze sales. Besides, there is also an XCart Community that is quite active in resolving arising issues.
XCart offers either free or paid versions. To get more functional, you can try Business versions for $495, Multivendor – $1,495 and Ultimate – $5,995 per year. You will also have to pay for hosting or get a hosted XCart – from $189 per month.
It is not a perfect solution for startups, but using XCart could significantly ease the life of your customers with the following sales boost.
CoreCommerce is a premium SaaS platform for ecommerce that helps to set up websites since 2001. It is a feature-rich platform with no transaction fees and free SSL. The solution updates automatically and provides a simple setup.
Its functionality includes:
- Marketplace integrations
- Content Delivery Network
- Coupons, discounts and product building
- Built-in CRM, SEO and blog
- API access and others
The list of features is long enough, but there are some drawbacks to consider as it was reported to have an unreliable uptime and reasonable moderate learning curve. Moreover, it offers a 15-days free trial after which you can select any of six payment plans which costs range from $19 to up to $600 per month.
PinnacleCart is a hosted ecommerce software used by over 30,000 business owners all over the world. It was launched in 2003 and gained trust among ecommerce developers and enthusiasts. PinnacleCart helped to develop websites for many brands like NBA, QBG Brands, HBO, Discovery Channel, Schuremed and many more.
The main PinnacleCart features include:
- 30 different mobile-friendly design templates
- over 20 various add-ons and integrations like Endicia and payment processing solutions
- built-in marketing
- products inventory and management
PinnacleCart offers free migration from over 40 ecommerce platforms. You can also try it for free for 14 days with no fees. It has a list of payment plans, the cheapest starts from $19.99 per month. While the highest – Enterprise Plan – starts from $149.95 monthly.
However, there are certain cons with PinnacleCart which you need to know. Extensive customization might be a little difficult, especially codebase customization – CSS and HTML. There is a lack of built-in blog, customer loyalty programs and POS app.
Ecwid is an ecommerce widget created for small businesses. It is suitable to start selling online using top-notch but free services of the CMS. Ecwid is already used by 1.5 million sellers across 175 countries. Among them are such brands as Robin Ruth, Hermanitos, Cocomat bike and others.
Its main difference from other ecommerce content management software is the ability to set up a shopping cart in just a few minutes with no need to break your current website or hire a developer. To match the needs of all business sizes and types, it has three plans to choose. They all are different in functionality and prices. The most popular one is Venture that has the basics you need to lead any webstore to success. It costs $15 per month. The platform also offers a free solution as well as Business and Unlimited versions for $29.17 and $82.50 monthly.
The solution has some pros like a single control panel, dedicated plugins that facilitate the integration process as well as favored advertising options, including social media and google. Compared with other ecommerce solutions, it lacks SEO features and needs to expand on payment gateways.
Airsquare is an ecommerce business solution developed in New Zealand. It is a well-established hosted cloud platform. During the last decade, it has become a strong competitor to well-known ecommerce CMS.
The platform has a 30 days free trial and offers three pricing plans which cost up to $100 per month with the difference in transaction fees.
It is mobile-friendly and provides a seamless link with such great tools as Xero, Vend and MailChimp saving your time for finance management considerably. It can be used on your own domain, has secure encryption and supports customers all over the world. It can make your website interactive and appealing. However, it can lack customization options or features for your particular type of business.
ZenCart is an open-source ecommerce software that was launched in 2003 and currently has a large and growing community. It is an entirely free PHP platform that uses MySQL database and HTML components and can be employed with almost any host. ZenCart can be operated in 25 languages. More importantly, its code can be customized to match any business needs and can be incorporated in WordPress as well.
ZenCart is rich in features that are easy to set up and has one of the best digital store management systems. There are some brands which use ZenCart successfully, such as EcoEnterprises, Bread and Butter and many more. It has great and flexible payment gateway support, easy-to-handle shipment integrations, advertising tools and also a newsletter functionality. There is also an ability to download around 4,000 third party modules to come up with a personalized feature set for your company.
Speaking about its cons, it doesn’t offer a free domain or SSL certificate. Besides, you will need some professional knowledge to tailor and upgrade the website. Overall, ZenCart is a good fit for a medium-sized business, but consider the fact that it has no customer support and seems to have a bit poor layout.
Spree Commerce is a considerably new but quite top-notch open-source CMS. It is fully based on Ruby on Rails created in 2007. Its community recently reached 760 contributors that regularly organize conferences.
It is a flexible and functional solution that offers asset management, admin reports and multi-vendor marketplace extension. Spree Commerce connects to various payment methods and hundreds of third-party integrations. Among the Spree Commerce successful stores are such brands as Nubikk, Mack Weldon, Superpedestrian and others.
It is free to download. The main disadvantage of the platform is that there are not enough design templates. You will also need to hire a developer to set up and maintain your online store.
CS-Cart is a great decision if you need a solution with standard functionality. The software is designed to build a multi-vendor hosted online marketplace like Airbnb or Etsy. It was launched in 2005 and since time gained the trust of over 1,300 retailers worldwide. Its main clients include Mojinterier, N-DUO and Cater Us.
It offers a variety of options to create a marketplace compliant to your type of business. CS-Cart offers a 15-days free trial. After that, you will be offered to buy one from three plans with the cost starting from $1,450 to $7,500 per year.
The platform provides over 500 out-of-the-box features, filters, product variations and bundles. CS-Cart also comprises an effective promotion system, affiliate system and in-built content manager. It works well with different industries, including digital products. However, sometimes it is might be hard-to-adapt for your business needs.
Magnolia is a java open source ecommerce platform with a JCR repository to store. It was released in 2003 primarily for online stores that need a complex solution. It is known and used in over 100 countries all over the world. Top brands like Avis, Tesco and the New York Times run their online stores on Magnolia CMS. Its community includes over 15 partners that conduct annual conferences for its developers and marketers.
Being a complex solution, the platform requires you to be tech-savvy and good at front-end development. It has strong AI tagging, optimizes the website performance and enables global multi-site management. It has a split modular architecture focused on high performance and scalability, comprising many theme templates, digital asset manager and very flexible functionality. You can also install additional or uninstall particular functions depending on a project’s requirements.
Magnolia CMS offers a free trial and a quote-based pricing plan. So, if you want to know the costs, you need to contact their support. Mentioning its disadvantages, the platform lacks the workflow dashboard. You will have to monitor it yourself or hire a developer.
OsCommerce is an ecommerce software helping companies to develop online for almost twenty years already. Its popularity has recently been sliding away, but there are still about 25,0000 OsCommerce websites used by local and medium-sized businesses and considered to be not a great solution for large-scale businesses.
OsCommerce is free as well as its add-ons. Building webstore on OsCommerce you can enjoy quick setup, easy customization process with more than 7,000 free features and reliable product management. However, it is a self hosted ecommerce platform. It lacks technical support that means you’ll need to find a developer to conduct thorough monitoring, protect the website and fix bugs.
As you can see, there is a wide variety of ecommerce platforms to choose for your online business. Each platform has pros and cons that can either empower your online store or not. However, to pick up the best for you, it is important to analyze your business, set up goals and check all the possible solutions. You also can consult with a developer or ecommerce expert to understand what solution is perfect for your business needs.
Don’t know what to choose? Contact the BelVG team and we will help to find the best CMS for ecommerce website.