Have you seen a video talking about dropshipping, or are you simply interested in online sales, and want to start creating an e-commerce site? You may have been told that you could create an online store for free thanks to an “open-source CMS”, and you wonder what hides behind this technical acronym? We are going to popularize this term and explain to you all the advantages of using a CMS as part of an e-commerce project.
CMS definition: what is a “Content Management System”?
A CMS (Content System Management) or content management system in French, is a web platform that allows you to create, manage and publish content on a website. It is a tool that facilitates content management for websites, without the need for deep technical programming skills. In other words, a CMS is a turnkey solution for creating a website, without having to create everything from scratch, or know how to code.
Concretely, a CMS is a set of code files in different languages (html, CSS, PHP, etc.), which provides a complete interface for designing and updating a website. The CMS generally consists of a system of databaseof a user interface and a tool set (often referred to as “plugins” or “add-ons”), which allow content to be created, modified and published. Most CMS are modular and allow users to customize their website with additional features, such as image galleriesof the discussion forumsof the bloggingof the ecommerce toolsof the social networksetc.
Examples of CMS usage
There are many CMS available in the market, but the most popular are WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento and Shopify.
- WordPress is the most popular CMS, used by nearly 40% of websites worldwide. It is used to create websites, blogs, forums, image galleries, etc. WordPress is also very easy to use and has a large community of developers who create plugins to add additional functionality.
- Drupal is a popular open-source CMS, used to create professional websites and corporate portals. It is very customizable and can be used to create complex websites with many features.
- Joomla is another open-source CMS, used to create websites and web applications. It is very flexible and easy to use for beginners.
- Magento is a CMS specialized in e-commerce, used to create online sales websites. It offers advanced features for product management, online payments, promotions and marketing campaigns.
- Shopify is a Paid CMS specially designed for e-commerce websites. It offers e-commerce, inventory management, online payment, and marketing features for businesses of all sizes.
Concrete use case of a CMS: the launch of an e-commerce marketplace
Now that you have understood what a CMS is and its advantages, we will give you a concrete example of using a CMS in the context of an e-commerce project. Let’s imagine that you are Gabriel, an e-commerce project manager who wants to launch an e-commerce marketplace to connect cosmetics brands with online buyers.
To start, you will have to choose a CMS adapted to your project. Among the most popular CMS, we recommend that you turn to WooCommerce, Magento or PrestaShop. These three CMS are particularly suitable for the creation of an e-commerce marketplace thanks to their features dedicated to the management of several sellers on the same platform.
For this concrete case, Gabriel decided to choose PrestaShop as CMS. The latter is particularly appreciated for its ease of use and flexibility. It is also suitable for small and medium-sized e-commerce projects.
Once you have chosen your CMS, you will have to define the main modules that will be useful for the success of your e-commerce marketplace. Here are some examples of plugins that might be useful:
- A vendor management module : this module allows you to manage the different sellers present on the platform, allowing them to manage their product catalog, their stock, their orders, etc.
- A payment management module : this module allows you to manage payments between the different players in the marketplace, whether between sellers and buyers or between the marketplace and sellers (the Stripe, PayPal or Prestashop Checkout modules can be good solutions)
- A delivery management module: this module allows you to manage the different delivery options offered by the sellers, as well as the costs and delivery times (the Boxtal, Mondial Relay or Colissimo modules will be good solutions)
- A review management module : this module allows you to collect the opinions of buyers on products and sellers, which helps to ensure the quality of the marketplace (many solutions exist such as VeritaTrust).
- A promotion management module: this module allows you to create promotional offers for the different products offered by sellers, in order to attract new customers and retain existing customers.
As you will have understood, the CMS is an essential tool for creating an e-commerce site and saving time in its implementation. It makes it possible to effectively manage the content of the site, but also to manage the various actors present on the platform, from registration to the integration of the product catalog. If you want to start creating a marketplace-type e-commerce site, we strongly recommend that you use a CMS adapted to your project, or study the turnkey solutions that exist (Mirakl, Wishibam, Octopia , Cocolabs…) and define the modules that will be useful for the success of your site.
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