CMS & eCommerce Web Design
Ecommerce websites are successful only if they function well for users, that is, customers, and are well managed, maintained, and regularly updated. Imagine this scenario: A visitor to your website places three items in their shopping cart, but moves away without completing their purchase because the checkout process is slow. Or this one: Your online catalog of products displays items from last December, only it is now July. Both scenarios are unthinkable if an online business is to survive in the highly competitive shopping environment that is the internet.
Proper management of your online store and the huge amounts of data it contains can only be accomplished through the use of a content management system – CMS. CMS software lets you publish content on your ecommerce website, edit/update it as needed, and tailor it to handle the functions your online store requires – all without waiting for your web developer to make these changes for you.
Why Use CMS for My eCommerce Website?
You may think learning and using a content management system is complicated and requires years of training, and therefore shy away from using one. Not true. The reasons to use a CMS far outweigh the risks of not using one.
- Using a CMS requires little to no technical expertise in web programming. Basic CMS functions usually require nothing more than the same skills you might have when using a word-processing program.
- Your focus is entirely on the web content, not the actual design of the website. This means, for example, that your marketing team can direct their attention to what really matters: content that sells, SEO, social media, and more.
- You determine which employees have permission to access the CMS and how they use it to create and publish content on your site. You control access, for example, to product managers; marketers focused on delivering relevant content; or editors responsible for content on your site. Their content goes live only after you give final approval.
- Customized templates ensure design and function remain consistent at all times. And, you make changes on your time, then schedule them to go live as needed.
- Analytics tracking lets you know just how well your web content is performing. With real-time data, you can make adjustments that lead to improving conversions and increasing sales.
Because ecommerce websites generally require similar functionality, content management systems are designed with many common functions and requirements in mind. They include:
- User management – Here, user refers to the one who is making a purchase on your site. Managing relevant user information, such as their name, delivery/billing/email addresses, approval to receive company updates and marketing information, and more, are all essential elements of any CMS.
- Product management – Product refers to whatever you sell – goods, event tickets, ebooks, etc. A CMS lets you add, remove, and change product-related data such as: product name and identifier (e.g., SKU), images and description, price, product variables (size, color), inventory.
- Product-User connection – This includes data such as the products a user viewed and if the products were placed in a shopping cart, all valuable information for doing push marketing if the user left your website without making a purchase.
- Purchase and check-out procedures – CMS lets you set payment options such as credit card or PayPal handling, include taxes and delivery charges, or update pricing if users make a change to the quantity of items in their cart.
- Miscellaneous settings – Data presented should follow a certain logic, depending on where a user is in the buying process. Examples of miscellaneous settings your ecommerce site might include are: adding product reviews, resetting forgotten passwords, and displaying items that are currently out of stock or on backorder.
Beyond the direct website experience, a CMS can be set up for other functions you want as part of your user experience. For example, you probably want to include a series of automated emails to be sent as certain user activity triggers them, such as: welcome to our site, abandoned cart, thank you for your purchase, and delivery confirmation. Or send product news and sale information to customers who sign up to receive those emails. In addition, CMS lets you install extensions to increase functionality by adding or changing CMS features that are unique to your business.
The options of using a CMS are practically limitless, in terms of both how you run your online store and how you manage it behind the scenes. To be, and remain, competitive in the online marketplace, start with the services of a professional web design and development company. Consult with one early on in the process to maximize the knowledge and expertise they can provide in terms of explaining the marriage that must occur between a content management system and your ecommerce website. Perfexion, Inc. is a Philadelphia based web design and development company that specializes in helping clients market their business online effectively – and profitably. We are a Philadelphia-based web design and development company located in Plymouth Meeting just outside King of Prussia. Contact us today.