eCommerce CMS Platform Review (2023 Edition)
Let’s face it, eCommerce isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Lucky for us (and you) that means we can all keep our jobs. The question on everyone’s lip is: what is the best eCommerce platform of 2023?
As this industry continues to boom, choosing the right Content Management System (CMS) is more important than ever, yet with so many options on the market, it can be difficult to determine which platform is the best fit for your business needs, especially with so many eCommerce solutions to review. In this blog post, we’ll take a deep dive into the criteria used to evaluate the top eCommerce platforms – features, functionalities, pricing, flexibility & scalability, as well as an overview of some of the most popular eCommerce CMS platforms of 2023: WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce.
First things first, when evaluating eCommerce CMS platforms, there are several criteria that you should consider:
- Features and functionalities: critical for creating a successful online store. These can include payment and shipping options, inventory management, product catalogs, customer management, SEO tools, and more. Businesses should evaluate platforms based on the specific features they need and whether they are included in the platform or require third-party integrations.
- Pricing: a crucial consideration when selecting an eCommerce CMS platform. Businesses should look at the total cost of ownership, which includes subscription fees, transaction fees, and any additional costs associated with third-party integrations. It’s also essential to consider the scalability of the platform and whether pricing plans are flexible to accommodate growth.
- Flexibility: here we’re talking about the ability to adapt to the specific needs of a business. This can include the ability to customise the design of the store, add custom functionality, and integrate with third-party tools. Businesses should evaluate the flexibility of a platform based on their specific requirements and whether the platform can accommodate them.
- Scalability: this refers to the ability of an eCommerce CMS platform to grow and adapt as a business expands. This includes the ability to handle high volumes of traffic and sales (what we all want), integration with new tools and systems, and adding new features and functionalities. Businesses should consider whether a platform can scale with their growth and how easy it is (and affordable) to upgrade to higher-level plans.
Now that you know what to consider, the question is, who to consider?
To make this easy, relevant, and hopefully fun, we want you to imagine that the Met Gala is a party where the biggest and most fashionable eCommerce platforms come together to showcase their style and functionality. Each eCommerce platform brings their unique personality, skillset, and fashion sense to the party, and we can see their strengths and weaknesses on display. Here’s how we would describe WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce and Squarespace, as if they were guests at the Met Gala.
Undoubtedly one of our more highly recommended eCommerce solutions, WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that enables you to turn your WordPress site into an eCommerce platform, and as such, offers the flexibility and customisation options of WordPress with the additional benefit of featuring a plethora of eCommerce functionalities to run your online store.
WooCommerce is a bit like the avant-garde of eCommerce platforms. It’s highly customisable, with endless possibilities for design and functionality, making it a great choice for businesses looking to create something different. WooCommerce is the edgy, unconventional choice at the party, always pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. However, like any avant-garde creation, WooCommerce can be complex, requiring technical expertise to set up and maintain to ensure you get the most valuable commercial return long term.
- Ease of Use. If you’re already familiar with WordPress, you’ll find WooCommerce to be incredibly easy to use. The platform offers a user-friendly interface that allows you to manage your products, orders, and customers. Additionally, because WooCommerce is a plugin, it can be easily installed and set up on your existing WordPress site. In terms of which eCommerce platform is best for SEO, this is your safest bet, with in-built SEO optimisations.
- Features. Some of the most notable features of WooCommerce include:
- Customisable product options
- Multiple payment gateway integrations
- Shipping and tax management
- Product reviews and ratings
- Multi-language support
- Mobile optimisation
- Performance. WooCommerce’s performance can vary depending on your hosting provider and server setup. However, because it’s built on WordPress, it’s optimised for SEO and offers fast page load times out of the box.
Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms on the market. Its user-friendly interface, comprehensive feature set, and reliable performance makes it an excellent choice for small and mid-sized businesses.
Think of Shopify like the fashionista of the eCommerce Met Gala world. It’s sleek, modern, and always on-trend. With its user-friendly interface and vast array of customisation options, Shopify is the life of the party, always drawing attention to itself. Its strength lies in its simplicity and ease of use, making it a great choice for small to medium-sized businesses looking to get started in eCommerce. But like any popular fashionista, Shopify can be a bit expensive (of course, it’s got great taste), and it may not be the best choice for larger businesses or those looking for more customisation options.
- Ease of Use. One of Shopify’s biggest selling points is its ease of use. The platform offers a simple, intuitive dashboard that even non-technical users can navigate with ease. The platform’s drag-and-drop functionality makes it easy to customise your site’s design and layout, and the built-in payment processing system makes it simple to manage transactions.
- Features. Shopify is packed with features that are specifically designed for eCommerce businesses. Some of the most notable features include:
- Integrated payment processing
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Customer analytics and reporting
- Mobile optimisation
- Shipping and tax management
- Multi-channel selling (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Amazon)
- Performance. Shopify’s performance is second to none. The platform offers fast page load times, which is critical for keeping customers engaged and reducing bounce rates. Plus, Shopify’s servers are optimised for eCommerce, ensuring that your site can handle high traffic volumes and maintain optimal performance during peak shopping seasons.
#3. Magento (Adobe Commerce)
Magento (now Adobe Commerce) is a popular open-source eCommerce platform that is known for its flexibility and scalability. While Magento may require a bit more technical expertise than some of the other platforms on this list, it offers unparalleled customisation options and a robust feature set.
Magento is like the haute couture of eCommerce platforms. It’s highly customisable and has a vast array of features, making it the perfect choice for high-end businesses with specific needs. Like a couture gown, Magento is highly tailored to each client, making it a top choice for businesses looking to make a statement. However, like haute couture, Magento can be expensive, requiring a skilled developer to create and maintain it long term.
- Ease of Use. Because Magento is open source, it can be more challenging to use than some of the other platforms. However, the platform’s community edition does offer a user-friendly interface that allows you to manage your site’s content, products, and orders. Additionally, because Magento is so flexible, it can be customised to suit your business needs exactly.
- Features. Magento offers a robust feature set that includes:
- Advanced product management
- Customer segmentation and targeting
- Order management and fulfilment
- Multi-store management
- Mobile optimisation
- Integrations with third-party tools and services
- Performance. Magento is self-hosted, meaning its performance can vary depending on your hosting provider and server setup. With the right hosting solution Magento can offer fast page load times and excellent scalability. Additionally, because Magento is open source, it offers more flexibility in terms of customisation and optimisation than some of the other platforms on this list.
BigCommerce has been a top choice for many eCommerce businesses for years, and it continues to evolve with the times. It’s a cloud-based platform, which means you don’t have to worry about hosting, security, or maintenance. This makes it a great choice for small to medium-sized businesses looking for a hassle-free solution.
Translation? BigCommerce is like the dependable friend at the party. It’s reliable, trustworthy, and always there when you need it. BigCommerce is the perfect choice for businesses that need a reliable eCommerce platform that can handle high volumes of traffic and sales. It’s user-friendly and easy to set up. However, like any dependable friend, BigCommerce can be a bit plain and may lack the customisation options that other eCommerce platforms offer.
- Ease of use. BigCommerce is relatively easy to use, with a drag-and-drop website builder and a user-friendly interface.
- Features. BigCommerce has a wide range of features, including payment and shipping options, SEO tools, and scalability for businesses looking to grow.
- Performance. BigCommerce is a cloud-based platform, which means it’s reliable and can handle high volumes of traffic and sales.
Lastly, as far as tech innovation and trends go, and how they might impact your decision, there are several trends and developments in the eCommerce industry that are currently shaping the landscape of eCommerce CMS platforms and impacting our clients’ decisions. Here are some of them:
- Mobile-first design: with more and more consumers shopping on their mobile devices, eCommerce CMS platforms need to prioritise mobile-first design. (Unless you’re in aged care, we don’t know how many times to say this.) This means creating responsive designs that look great on any device, as well as developing mobile apps to enhance the shopping experience.
- Voice-activated shopping: the rise of smart speakers and voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant has led to a growing trend in voice-activated shopping. As a result, eCommerce CMS platforms are exploring ways to integrate with voice assistants and create a seamless shopping experience for customers.
- Augmented reality (AR) & virtual reality (VR): AR and VR technologies are becoming increasingly popular in eCommerce, allowing customers to virtually try on clothing and see how products will look in their homes. eCommerce CMS platforms are developing tools to enable AR and VR experiences on their websites.
- Personalisation & customisation: consumers are increasingly looking for personalised and customised experiences when shopping online. eCommerce CMS platforms are developing tools to help businesses tailor their offerings to individual customers, including personalised recommendations, targeted marketing campaigns, and custom product configurations.
- Sustainability: there is a growing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly products, and many consumers are willing to pay a premium for these products. eCommerce CMS platforms are responding by creating tools to help businesses showcase their sustainability efforts and highlight eco-friendly products.
In conclusion, each eCommerce CMS platform brings its unique strengths (and style) and weaknesses to the party, just like each guest at the Met Gala. Choosing the right platform depends on the needs of your business and brand direction or preferences. Whether you’re looking for something sleek and modern like Shopify or highly customisable and flexible like WooCommerce, there’s definitely the perfect eCommerce platform out there for you.
If you had any thought that you’d be reading an eCommerce platform comparison in the form of Met Gala party guests, we hope this blog post was exactly what you were looking for. We’re always eager to hear about your business and discuss what you should be choosing to implement into your digital strategy for 2023, using the best eCommerce platform in Australia. for more information or reach out [email protected] to arrange a chat with one of our amazing staff.