Considerations for Enterprise eCommerce Companies Choosing a CMS
Both Sitefinity and DNN can be good options for eCommerce implementations depending on needs.
If you have sales between $5 and $10 million annually. your content management system usually works with a third-party eCommerce platform to get the best results for global shipping and marketing. Although both Sitefinity and DNN can be used as components in a technology stack or independently for eCommerce, using a third-party platform is usually necessary for delivering more robust marketing capabilities, CMS options and complex product catalogs where both you, your stakeholders and customers have defined roles. Getting the best results from your CMS depends more on your eCommerce platform than using built-in features of a CMS system like Sitefinity or DNN (DotNetNuke). These systems provide content management services, and both have distinct advantages and disadvantages for eCommerce applications, customer service, content integrations and integrating with your clients' business systems.
Sitefinity Vs. DNN for eCommerce
Sitefinity, which was developed by Telerik, uses .NET standards and controls for managing templates, supports responsive design and mobile marketing options and starts at around $2,999 for the standard edition. DNN, which was formerly called DotNetNuke, powers about 800,000 websites around the world. Open-source, secure, scalable, it works well for building and managing highly interactive websites and applications. Strong points in favor of the DNN system include that it provides plenty of options for plugins and custom themes and offers customers a choice between the free and professional editions. Statistically speaking, 4.46 percent of websites use Telerik's Sitefinity while about 1.45 percent use the DNN CMS.
Sitefinity Benefits for eCommerce
Sitefinity offers some unique eCommerce benefits such as creating custom modules and using RadControls. Superior extensibility and flexibility ensure that you can easily integrate with your customers' systems, third-party eCommerce platforms and legacy software systems. eople who are experienced with .NET concepts and RadControls can use Sitefinity easily for eCommerce integrations. This popular CMS brand integrates easily with other top systems like Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains and other new and legacy systems including CRMs and ERPs. Sitefinity integrates so well that it makes a good choice for companies that need to get the most from a single system.
Sitefinity's eCommerce Limitations
Unlike DNN, there is no open-source version of Sitefinity. Sitefinity isn't as easy to use as DNN, and it doesn't offer as many plugins, helpful modules or administrative tools. However, depending on the third-party components of your technology stack, these built-in tools might not be very important if you have robust options elsewhere. In addition, enterprise companies generally have IT teams that can handle these issues. Sitefinity requires some effort to manage its dashboard, register your Analytics module, configure it and continuously upgrade you analysis capabilities. If you're using a technology stack with robust analytical tools, you can bypass some of these technical challenges.
DNN or DotNetNuke offers a rich tapestry of add-ins that you can use from various vendors or open-source resources, and these integrate well with the open-source CMS. You can find troubleshooting assistance for almost any issue you face in building and running your eCommerce site from a community of experts that aren't always available for closed systems. You can choose from the free or professional version, get open support from a rich supply of Internet resources and find new upgrades almost every year from the open-source community of developers and programmers. The biggest benefit for your eCommerce website is that you can change your site's content easily with inline editing.
DNN Drawbacks for eCommerce
One of DNN's biggest drawbacks for eCommerce marketing is that it doesn't support multiple languages -- a distinct disadvantage in the global marketing environment of modern eCommerce. Although you can install different languages, this system doesn't support writing separate content for each of the languages that you install. Of course, you can always use a third-party platform to correct this shortcoming, but another potential drawback to consider is that DNN fosters dependency on your original URL. If you change your domain name at a later time, you won't be able to use your old database. You also need to review all the coding details because you might discover obsolete sections of code that need reworking.
The Need For a CMS
Some eCommerce sites might not need a dedicated CMS. An article in Smashing Magazine warns of how easily companies can be seduced by appealing features and functions of enterprise-level systems -- even if these bells and whistles won't ever be used. If your eCommerce software can handle diverse tasks across an array of areas, you might not even need a dedicated CMS or ERP system. However, most modern eCommerce sites depend on media-driven content marketing. Facebook drives about 60 percent of online retail sales. Most major eCommerce websites simply can't afford to ignore the marketing benefits of dedicated content management, social engagement and customer service. At the enterprise level, the need for a robust CMS is almost a given.
Strengthening eCommerce Capabilities
Regardless of CMS, ERP or CRM system, you need robust software to supply better administrative tools, search functionality, integrations of shipping charges and options, figuring taxes across multiple tax jurisdictions and providing a seamless customer experience. Customers routinely abandon their shopping carts 28 percent of the time when they discover that shipping costs need to be added. Such simple but effective eCommerce options as providing a seamless method of calculating shipping charges up-front can substantially reduce cart abandonment.
How Clarity Can Help
Clarity provides an eCommerce platform that delivers all the benchmarks that define marketing success. Highly scalable and adaptable across multiple platforms and content management systems, you can use Clarity with DNN, Sitefinity and most other systems or even independently of any CMS software. The company has deep roots in developing customized software -- whether for generating eCommerce category pages, building custom Web applications or integrating with the latest or legacy CMS software. Contact us today for a free consultation, service quote or further information about how Clarity can support your marketing and CMS-integration goals.