6 Necessary Features for a Powerful eCommerce CMS

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There are dozens of eCommerce solutions (both free and premium) offering wide array of features for businesses. Webmasters often feel confused while making a selection from the available options. Security is a major issue while deploying eCommerce software. But the security alone doesn't guarantee a better system for running your online shop. There are several other considerations that need to be fulfilled to successfully run your online shopping cart. I'm going to discuss about some of the most vital and essential features that must be included in every eCommerce CMS for delivering best results. While evaluating all the options, you must cross check them for the availability of these features. This will ensure that you're deploying the most flexible, secure and reliable solution to get the maximum returns.

SSL Support for Admin & Critical Modules

Since a typical eCommerce CMS is always going to host products or services that can be bought directly by the visitor, security is of prime importance. While choosing an eCommerce CMS, always look for inherent support for SSL (secure sockets layer) for all the important modules. These important modules include administration, reporting and of course payment gateways.

HTTPS support

Absence of SSL support essentially means that anyone capable enough can sniff your sensitive information while the data is being transferred across internet. Do not shortlist those eCommerce solutions that inherently don't support SSL system. It's not just the SSL support, but how easily you can activate and configure it also matters.

Support for All Popular Payment Gateways

No eCommerce system is complete without support of popular online processing services. While selecting the right software, do not see how long the list of supported payment processing systems is. Instead of that, you should look for support of top 10 and widely used payment gateways. If the system includes support for them, you can shortlist that specific solution.

Popular payment gateways

Some of the popular online payment systems that must be cross checked are major credit card processing module, PayPal module and Google Checkout module. These modules covers over 90% of payment methods preferred by general online shoppers. In addition to these essential modules, you can also look for specific payment systems which are often used by your existing customers.

Import Feature For Popular Publishing CMS

It is often observed that webmasters need to transfer lot of content from an existing installation running on WordPress, Drupal, Joomla or some other popular content management system. This can be a painful task in the absence of any direct import feature within your new eCommerce CMS. Things can become messier if the volume of content that needs to be imported is huge.

That's where strong support for direct import feature for all popular CMS comes handy. Although this is not a mandatory feature that needs to be present, but if you're going to import content from an external CMS, presence of a user-friendly content migration module would be icing on the cake.

Collection of Customizable Shopping Cart Templates

Now this is like one of the core features that can make any eCommerce CMS extremely successful. Although almost every eCommerce solution comes with some shopping cart templates, the degree of flexibility in customizing the existing collection governs how good the solution is.

It's not only about how rich is the template collection, but how easily you can customize each one of them to transform them into a unique design that's best suited for your business and brand. A good solution will also ensure that most of the changes to the template are done through the dashboard without any need to mingle with the code. The more template customization options you have in the dashboard, the better it will be.

Support for Squeeze Page Creation

Apart from regular shopping cart module, a good eCommerce CMS also provides tools for creating custom squeeze pages. This adds more depth and flexibility in providing optimized landing pages to sell the products. Very few eCommerce CMS include such kind of module making the shortlisting process easy.

You must also check that the squeeze page creation system is tightly integrated with the payment processing module. This helps in embedding the payment options directly within the custom page instead of diverting the potential customer to a secondary page. I would put this feature in the optional category in case you have no plans to create separate squeeze pages for select high-performing products.

Powerful Reporting and Web Analytics Module

Although presence of these features is quite obvious, still it’s worth mentioning about the need of these modules. A powerful reporting module drives the entire eCommerce engine successfully helping you generate more business than before. Your eCommerce CMS must include both a product sales reporting module as well as a general web analytics module.

eCommerce sales report

Although you can use Google analytics to track the traffic, but the presence of internal web analytics module can provide you with more insights without the need to leave your dashboard. Both these modules must support creation of custom reports as well as a handy export feature supporting various file formats. The sales reporting module must also include currency conversion feature to get the data in your preferred format.


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