CMS and eCommerce Go Hand in Hand

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.

CMS Considerations

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 managementProduct­ 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.

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Responsive Web Design: Every Search, Click, and Scroll Matters

Responsive Web Design: Every Search, Click, and Scroll Matters

When it comes to responsive websites, customer service and user experience go hand in hand. If users have a good experience with a website that responds to their every search, click, and scroll – that is, with every interaction they have on that site – they will equate those interactions to good customer service. The opposite holds true as well. Your products and services may be the best in the business, but if a user can’t locate them on your website, or they click on a link and are taken to an error page, or worse, they can’t properly view your website on their mobile device, they will equate that to poor customer service. At which time, they will click away and never return.

Responsive websites should always be fully accessible, readable, and functional for people who view them (error-free goes without saying) – regardless of the type or size of screen the website is being viewed from. Statistics indicate that more than 65% of web searches performed today are done on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. If your website does not adjust dynamically for ease of reading on different devices, or images get blurry when a user pinches and expands them, your website is not responsive or mobile ready.

When building your website, responsiveness of design is one key factor to keep in mind. WordPress, the most popular tool for creating and managing websites and blogs, offers plenty of website themes with responsive design. That means that users will be able to easily read and use your website whether they’re looking at it on their desktop computer, their laptop, their tablet, or their mobile phone.

WordPress is popular for a variety of reasons, not the least of which are its ease of use and community forum that provides support on virtually any topic. In addition, WordPress as a content management system (CMS) offers:

  • Easy content creation and publication of web pages, posts, media, and more
  • Control over who can access/update your website and the functions they are permitted to perform
  • Drag-and-drop functionality to quickly and easily add images and other media to your website
  • Plugins to add other features such as calendars and social media
  • Search engine optimization so your website gets ranked and found on the internet

If your website is more informational and contains fewer functions than a website designed specifically for e-commerce, you can manage it perfectly well with WordPress CMS. As you build, change, and manage your WordPress website, with its responsive design functionality, new content and features will adapt to the responsive design, so you can be assured of always providing the best customer service and user experience to anyone who visits your website.

Two other content management systems assure website owners of responsiveness of design when used: Sitefinity™ and Kentico. If your website is complex, such as an extensive corporate website, and/or contains e-commerce (online shopping) functionality, Sitefinity and Kentico offer high-end CMS solutions to support the detailed and more technical needs these types of websites require.

Similar to WordPress in terms of the page management and user access features they offer, Sitefinity and Kentico offer additional functionality right out of the box:

  • Websites are mobile ready, which means you create your website once and it automatically adapts to a variety of devices and screen sizes. You can preview how your website will appear on different screen sizes, and adjust content if necessary.
  • With responsiveness of design, you present a unified brand message and you do so consistently across all types of devices and marketing channels such as social media, which makes for a singular user brand experience.

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: Welcome, abandoned cart, Thank You, delivery confirmation, and more. Or you want to send product news, sale information, or coupons. Given the mobile nature of our society, more people are doing business on their mobile devices than on desktop computers. Responsive design makes sure your entire message gets seen and is easy to respond to, so people will want to do business with you.

Website owners should choose the most appropriate content management system for their needs – based on the amount and level of functionality and complexity of their website. But, whether your website is simple or complex, if you want your website to display accurately on both desktop and mobile devices, make sure every aspect of your website contains responsiveness of design.

Responsive design is vital to engaging customers and users. If they can’t view and navigate around your site on their smartphone or tablet, they will move on to one they can. If you have limited expertise in website design and management, or you would rather spend time running your business than managing your website, consider consulting with a professional web design and development company.

We are a Philadelphia-based web design and development company located in Plymouth Meeting just outside King of Prussia.  We are a web design and development company that understands responsive design and how it interplays with content management systems – CMS.  Perfexion specializes in helping clients market their business online effectively – and profitably. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

Contact Us Today!

WEBSITE pfxn.com
E-MAIL hello@pfxn.com
CALL 610-783-7660
SAY HELLO