Designing a compelling site to shop can be one of the most challenging aspects of retail and web design. It bridges the psychology of the consumer with the expertise of good site management. A powerful ecommerce CMS platform solves this problem. Here are some of the most powerful and feature-rich CMS platforms out there today.
Magento has an extensive following in ecommerce for a variety of reasons. Magento is one of the few ecommerce solutions that provide multiple editions of the CMS for a variety of purposes. The API-savvy user can obtain the open source download to tweak the site or an enterprise edition is available for larger companies with extensive products to manage. Most Magento editions require a contact with a specialist that can provide customized design and workup of your site. However, the open source Magento Community Edition is available for free.
How does Magento differ from the rest of the ecommerce market? There are a few core areas that the open source community edition allows for expansion:
• Marketplace plugins
The included marketplace offers both free and for-pay tools that are tested thoroughly. These are professional tools that are also found in their enterprise edition.
• Extensive training and certification
Magento is one of the few CMS providers that allow you to actually obtain certification and expertise in the field of ecommerce CMS software. The additional training can come in handy as your business grows and expands with the need to train staff.
Zencart lives up to its name by keeping installation simple and integration seamless for payment gateways. This popular ecommerce CMS is one of the most user-friendly CMS products for individuals who already have a design in mind or want to quickly get a store up and running. The GPL2 license also allows advanced users to modify the source code to tweak and fine tune their store.
Zencart has a variety of plugins and add-ons available for the commerce site. Each plugin is divided into categories based on action such as shipping modules and marketing tools. Zencart offers the unique ability to accept Pay by Phone and services such as bank transfers using one of their payment modules.
Zencart offers a few additional dynamic features that make it one of the most innovative ecommerce sites around:
• Full hosting compliance
Zencart has full compliance with all servers that offer PHP and MySQL services. It’s also available for host accounts that predominately use Apache for more complex database management.
• Additional user support resources
Zencart goes above and beyond traditional online user support. Zencart offers an e-Start guide as well as a video training series to get started step by step.
• Free community plugins and add-ons
Unlike other CMS systems, most plugins are available as part of a free download. They are updated frequently with forum support connection.
Drupal is one of the most popular content management systems for site hosting. It offers a highly customizable framework that allows developers to use the latest SEO strategies to match Google’s algorithms. Drupal Commerce is an expansion of the Drupal 7 base package. It contains the same features that make Drupal famous such as thousands of plugins and themes.
Drupal Commerce contains three unique features that set it apart from other CMS providers:
• Sample store creation right outside the box
Commerce Kickstart contains a standard installation and profile that allows you to configure an install that works best for your store. It also allows you the ability to experiment and evaluate Drupal 7’s features at first.
• Multiple payment gateway API
Many commerce sites use a merchant account or gateway to accept payments that are custom to the store. Drupal allows you to create a customized payment method to accept a variety of payments in one site theme.
• Dynamic product displays and management of orders
Drupal allows you to display products freely in a virtual setting on the site. There is a commerce core that allows you to keep line item information on every order and track customer profiles. Customer profile tracking can be useful in creating a customized shopping experience for your target demographic over time.
Drupal Commerce is an effective CMS that allows more leverage for the advanced user. If you enjoy breaking open the inner parts of a CMS for a truly customized ecommerce portal, Drupal 7 Commerce might be for you.