What Is Content Management System?
A Content Management System (CMS) is a foundational building block of online e-commerce. It is dominantly used by online e-commerce retailers to sort their e-commerce web store's product catalogs. It helps users create, manage and modify content on a website without the need for the mambo jambo tech voodoo!
Do you need a CMS for your bike rental business?
Short Answer: YES!
You need a CMS for your bike rental business for three main reasons:
- To create a buying like (seamless, fast, and free from form submission) experience for your customers.
- You need a place to store your product, customer, order, subscription, and sales data.
- You need a CMS if you want to support additional tools integration.
Long Answer: continue reading.......
Building a Form-Free Buying-Like Experience
How many times have you closed a website that makes you go through unnecessary hoops and hurdles to simply buy the product that you want? Imagine landing on a website only to discover a form field. Horrible right? Even apply lets it's customers proceed without creating a customer login account. Over the past few years, our online purchase activities have made us accustomed to faster checkout pages and simplified processes.
Even when it comes to subscribing to a product or service online, filling a form to get a quote is the most dreadful experience.
So if a business wants to harm its conversions all it has to do is put up a form on the website. The customers will run away from the website like people run away when someone coughs during corona times.
Let’s take a look at some bike subscription checkout flows to better understand the checkout flow in rental and subscription business model.
- Company name: Meetse
- Subscription model: e-bikes on a monthly subscription basis in the Frankfurt am Main area.
- Price range: €69 - €89
- Logistics: bike delivery and pickup from customers' homes with a logistics partner.
- Cancellation policy: a minimum rental period of 1 month after that cancellation possible 5 days prior to the next renewal date.
- CMS: Shopify
Product catalogue: e-commerce stores always have a product catalogue, no matter how small. Just like any regular e-commerce, Meetse’s online e-bike rental shop has a product catalogue with all their product range.
Product info page: customers nearly always want to read more about the product before they buy, rent or subscribe to it. After selecting an e-bike from the product catalogue, Meetse's customers are taken to a product info page where they can find all information about the e-bike. On this page, they DON'T HAVE TO FILL ANY FORM or SEND AN EMAIL INQUIRY. Customers can add a product to cart and proceed to a checkout page with just a button click.
Cart confirmation page: just like buying online, a cart confirmation page is displayed which takes the customer to the final checkout page.
Final checkout page: on the final checkout page only necessary details for order fulfilment are asked for.
For any kind of online e-commerce (buying, renting or subscribing) conversions are key. While they may be a number of reasons why some customers do not convert, an avoidable situation is messy checkout processes. No matter how complicated your business process is, your customers do not care about it and do not want to experience it.
In case you don't know already, data about your customer, their purchase habits, preferences etc is GOLD! For ecommerce a CMS serves as a data storage for customer, product and sales data. Maintaining an excel sheet in the background is simply not gonna cut it.
Scaling a business involves handling increased volume and complexity. As a business grows new nuances develop that require additional tools to move the transactions further down the pipeline.
When it comes to automating and using automation tools for operational, business, and marketing activities, most CMS support additional tool integrations. For example, an important conversion tactic in e-commerce is to send email reminders for abandoned carts. Many e-commerce businesses use email automation tools such as Hubspot, to not only send abandoned cart email reminders but tp also analyze the impact of such emails on conversions.
Checkout this infographic that shows the information flow between different tools used by Strollme (a baby goods company that offers baby products on a subscription basis)
Frequenty Asked Questions about CMS for Physical Product Subscriptions
1. Who uses a CMS?
A CMS is dominantly used by online e-commerce retailers to catalog their products. For ecommerce a CMS serves as a data storage for customer, product and sales data and as a user-friendly infrastructure to handle the backend store management functions of an online shop.
2. Does every e-commerce webstore operate through a CMS?
No. Not every ecommerce web store uses a CMS. BUT THE MAJORITY DO. Some develop their own systems simply because they want more control over how their webshop should operate. Needless to say, developing an own system requires time (a few months to even years), money (a few million) and above all technical background.
3. What is the role of a CMS? Can you also do it without a CMS?
The benefit of using a CMS is simply the ability to allow your customers to check out via the typical ecommerce checkout procedure which they are used to. This will keep things convenient for your customers and ensure a healthy conversion rate. Additionally as discussed above it serves as a data storage place for your subscription business and supports tool integration that help scale a business.
We've seen companies manage a subscription business without a cMS but then their checkout process involves filling out a form and getting a quote or an email from the company.
Here's an example of a bike subscription company that has a form as a first step of the checkout process.
Which content management system is the best choice when it comes to rental businesses? Here's a pro and con list of some of the most commonly used CMS in e-commerce.