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5 Best Content Management Systems for Ecommerce Brands

Angie Tran

Content Marketing Manager @ AdRoll

Are you ready to add another ecommerce abbreviation to your mental marketing dictionary? Say hello to CMS, or content management system. As a broader term, you may have heard of CMS in non-marketing contexts like journalism. But when it comes to ecommerce, a beginner-friendly, reliable, and robust content management system is one of the secrets to getting your brand off the ground. 

With numerous content management systems available, how can you determine what’s best for your company? We’re exploring what to look for in a content management system, plus five of the most popular content management systems available to ecommerce brands right now. 

The Basics of CMS 

A content management system refers to software that allows you to create, publish, and modify site content without writing original code. You can also use it to change the visuals of your store (like the layout) and add features (such as a limited-time banner). 

If you’re paying a monthly subscription fee to an ecommerce platform, such as Shopify or BigCommerce, you’re already using a content management system. In fact, most ecommerce platform providers offer a CMS with site hosting, update installation, and data storage setup, among other features.

You can also opt for an open-source CMS, where you have complete control over your website functionality — however, you’ll need to figure out tasks such as hosting and server maintenance on your own. 

If you’re already leveraging an all-in-one ecommerce solution, you may not need a separate CMS. Ultimately, it depends on how often you produce new content and what level of flexibility and functionality you’re interested in.

What to Look for When Choosing a Platform 

When looking for a CMS solution, consider how they allow you to:

  • Create, edit, and organize content, so you don’t have to rely on outside developers or third-party apps. 

  • Collaborate with team members in different roles (such as writers and editors). 

  • Handle search engine optimization (SEO), specifically page URLs, titles, and meta descriptions. 

  • Tailor your site’s layout, page elements, and marketing banners. 

  • Integrate your content management with the rest of your MarTech stack. 

The Best Content Management Systems for Ecommerce Brands

Given the many CMS platforms designed for ecommerce brands, choosing one can become a difficult decision. Use this list as a starting point — if something catches your eye, you’ll want to consider conducting more research, reading reviews, and completing a demo. 

Shopify

A popular ecommerce platform for brands of all sizes, Shopify provides every feature you need to get started with publishing content. Consider it an ecommerce platform first, coupled with a robust CMS. Here’s more on Shopify’s CMS offerings. 

Shopify’s CMS was designed by SEO experts, so you can guarantee a solid ranking on Google, Yahoo, and Bing. 

Shopify’s CMS was designed by SEO experts, so you can guarantee a solid ranking on Google, Yahoo, and Bing. 

WordPress

If you’ve considered launching a website or blog, you know all about WordPress. However, because it’s not an explicit ecommerce platform on its own, you need a plugin like WooCommerce to get the best of both CMS and retail. 

Joomla

Joomla is an open-source content management platform that lets beginners build their own website with no code required. While the platform itself doesn’t offer ecommerce features, you can install free extensions to get the job done.

Magento

Owned by Adobe, Magento is another popular open-source CMS tailored for ecommerce stores. With Magento, you can easily integrate your store with your ERP and other enterprise-level tech. However, given its relatively extensive setup, we recommend Magento for larger retailers. 

OpenCart

Another free, multifunctional open-source CMS for ecommerce stores, OpenCart offers a variety of templates that help you get started quickly. 

Content + Ads = An Ecommerce Jackpot

With a deeper understanding of CMS, you’re on your way to a more timely, relevant ecommerce store tailored to your target audience. 

But remember: You can’t rely on just your site to drive traffic. Instead, combine your content with captivating ads to provide the best overall shopping experience. For that, you’ll need the help of AdRoll’s solutionscheck out how we can level up your digital marketing efforts.

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