What to Look for When Choosing a CMS for Your E-commerce Store

Using a content management system might be more convenient but there are still many elements to look at, especially when choosing a CMS for your e-commerce store. Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

Shopping cart: Is your shopping cart secure and easy to use? This is the most important part of keeping track of your orders and making sure that you have enough goods in stock. Security and ease is also a part of it, which is why most e-commerce site owners use an e-commerce shopping cart from Yahoo!, Google Checkout, PayPal or plugins that enable these. Other popular alternatives include Magento, Shopify and many other WordPress plugins.

Easy to use backend: Do you plan on having a lot of different products? Make sure to choose a CMS that lets you easily name (and change if necessary) a page name. Your store should be structured into specific folders and sub-folders for easy navigation and organization. Many custom CMS allows different users with different editing abilities so that you can’t accidentally erase an existing product/page.

Design: Don’t be fooled by the limited, generic templates available on WordPress. Using a CMS doesn’t mean that your site has to look like hundreds of other online stores. There’s always a way to edit or customize an e-commerce site design to your specific wants and needs. Just like with any other website, it also doesn’t hurt to think about display options for mobile. Perhaps, responsive website design is an option for your site.

Customization: It all comes back to customization and what you need for your e-commerce store. Some owners will put up all the products they need at once and just update the quantity. Other stores might have new additions every month or have a different rotating stock of merchandise based on seasons. Although content management systems like WordPress have custom fields, they might not be customized enough to your specific needs. Especially when it comes to pricing, product details and everything that is important to an e-commerce store that wouldn’t be a concern for a normal site.

There’s a lot more to a content management system and managing an e-commerce site than meets the eye. If you have any more questions about the flexibility of a custom CMS, feel free to contact us for more information.

Cyber Monday and Your Ecommerce Site

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is over but some retailers, like Walmart, have extended the event into something even bigger…Cyber Week! Sales for Cyber Monday have continuously grown over the years, so expect online retailers and shoppers to take advantage of all the online buzz.
Online sales for Cyber Monday 2011 are expected to break records yet again, the total for 2010 was $1.03 billion in sales.

Here are some more interesting statistics via Get Elastic:

– 64% of adults shop online for holiday gifts because they believe they will get the best prices and deals
– 52% of online shoppers will spend more than one hour researching the best price for each holiday purchase
– 49% of online shoppers use social sources to find gift ideas
– 92% of online retailers are offering deals over Thanksgiving weekend (80% linked to Cyber Monday)

Are you a part of this growing holiday shopping phenomenon? If not, it’s time to take a look at why your online store isn’t using this word of mouth advertising to your advantage. Do you need help with e commerce design or social media? These are all great ways to start building a foundation for the busy season, long before it starts. Remember, there is still time to prepare for Christmas, and even the beginning of the year in 2012. Check out our free site analysis to see how we can help your ecommerce store live up to it’s great potential.