There are over 12 million – 24 million eCommerce sites worldwide as of 2023, with more being created daily! During these times of economic uncertainty, many are turning their hobbies profitable through independent eCommerce sites. It has become easier than ever to make money through eCommerce.
Talking about money – how much do you think it costs to make an eCommerce site?
The answer may come as a surprise. The cost depends on the number of pages, integrations, and product catalogs (to name a few). It ranges anywhere between a few hundred dollars to several thousand.
Why does an eCommerce website cost more?
An eCommerce website commands a definitive price from design to advanced features due to specific variables. Therefore, only a complete breakdown of the costs will tell you how much you need at hand if you wish to develop an eCommerce website. If you haven’t already noticed, an eCommerce website costs more than a traditional one. This cost variation is due to several reasons:
Complex functionality: An eCommerce website requires more complex functionality, such as a shopping cart, payment gateway integration, and shipping and tax calculators.
Security measures: eCommerce websites need additional security measures to protect sensitive customer information and financial transactions, which can add to the cost.
Product management: Managing an extensive product catalog with detailed product information and images can be time-consuming and requires a robust database and CMS system, leading to higher development costs.
Custom design: A unique and attractive design is crucial for these websites to stand out in a competitive online marketplace, is through custom design work, which means, you guessed it – additional costs.
Ongoing maintenance: eCommerce websites require regular updates to ensure they are secure, perform well, and stay up-to-date with the latest technology, adding to the overall cost.
To delve a bit further into the complexity part, we need to be aware of the several way you can choose to build your eCommerce websites:
- Using a website builder
- Using WordPress, or
- Hiring a website designer/developer.
Regarding cost estimations, a website builder can cost you $6 per month, WordPress around $12 – $50, and a website designer can charge you up to $10,000.
Choosing between these three options depends upon your budget, the type of features that you want, and, ultimately, the brand identity that you wish to build. Of the three options, hiring a website designer or a web design agency is an all-rounded, even safer option, as there is accountability and collaboration with a real experienced workforce.
Overall, the cost of an eCommerce website can vary widely based on the specific requirements and features, but it’s important to consider the long-term benefits and return on investment for a well-designed and functioning online store.
How Much Does it Cost to Build an eCommerce Website?
Developing an eCommerce website can be brought down to stages; within those stages, you can look at the estimated price you will have to pay. We are giving the complete breakdown for each step. So let’s tackle it stage by stage:
Since netizens don’t have the most remarkable attention span, you must capture their minds using design elements. Therefore, the design for your website needs to be impressive and should drive home the point of your business.
Based on your website’s bandwidth, you can see yourself writing out a check amounting anywhere between $1,000 to even $80,000. During this stage, you can also cut costs by avoiding custom changes or by choosing a design theme by browsing platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and more.
However, to achieve the best UI/UX design for your website, you need to utilize the services of a design agency and be ready to pay the price for the quality. The more features that are added in this segment, the better your website will look.
The component of a website refers to its functionality, and at this stage, you will have more features to choose from. While the basic features won’t cost you a lot, the additional or advanced features will demand a huge paycheck.
For this purpose, you will have to spend an estimated amount ranging between $2,000 to $100,000, depending on the size and features you wish to include.
Advanced or additional features call for custom development and increase the price tag of your website. From personalized suggestions to multiple language options, choosing to customize your website opens many possibilities to connect with a broader audience.
A fulfillment software gets integrated with your existing tech stack. It manages inventory, generates picking lists, shipping, and the tracking process, which remain one of the most important elements of an eCommerce website.
While you can get free fulfillment software for small websites, you will have to shell out anywhere between $30 to $5,000 if your website is more prominent. The price also depends upon the type of software that you choose.
And to choose the right software, you must look into the following:
- Make sure the software allows you to search and edit orders as a move to increase the customer shopping experience
- Use software that lets you automate ordering instead of importing each order to a different marketplace
- A fulfillment software for an eCommerce website needs to help you view invoices as a way of avoiding errors
Marketing and Maintenance
Marketing and maintenance are the two critical Ms of a website for survival. People aren’t going to reach out to your eCommerce website as soon as you open a shop online. So, spending an amount between $500 to $5,000 for marketing is crucial.
The idea of marketing is to generate traffic, and doing so involves spending money on Copywriting, SEO , PPC Campaigns, etc. Since small businesses have little to offer budget-wise, marketing gains its portion with medium and large businesses.
On the other hand, websites also require timely maintenance, which goes on to command a bill between $500 to $12,000. Apart from any errors or bugs once the website goes live, maintenance also involves regular updates to keep your eCommerce site one with the times.
Under this context, you may also have to deal with bugs and glitches that hamper the experience of using an eCommerce website. Such errors can only be corrected through regular inspections.
Domain Name and Hosting
Choosing a domain name and hosting can be considered the final piece of the puzzle. A domain name is the web address that is typed in by a user to access your website. Since it is the URL, you will have to choose a domain name and get it registered.
‘.com’ remains the most common extension, with nearly 52% of websites using it. Top eCommerce websites like Amazon, eBay, and Target fall under this category. However, eCommerce websites are also finding scope to choose from other creative extensions, and some of them are,
Extensions such as ‘.shop’ also bring in more SEO with the double keywords, thus boosting your chances of visibility. On the other hand, ‘.store’ is also famous as it helps your site get noticed in the otherwise crowded eCommerce market.
Based on the name and the extension you choose; you can see yourself putting aside $10 to $20 a year for a domain name. And once you have chosen a domain name, the next step is to think about web hosting.
Hosting for eCommerce sites will cost between $80 to $730 per month, and these prices depend on your website’s size, site backup, automated services, and other such aspects. You can also find platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce giving you solutions matching your budget in this regard.
How Can I Build an eCommerce Website on a Budget?
With all the variable costs, the size of your website, and the features you need, one can say that the estimated cost of developing an eCommerce website is $40 to $4,000 a month, with additional charges for web design from $1,500 to $30,000.
In case you would like to keep this under tight budget, here are a few insider tips:
- Affordable platform makes a difference: There are many eCommerce platforms, including free and low-cost options such as WooCommerce, Shopify Lite, and BigCommerce Basic.
- Choose the right website builder: Consider using a website builder like Wix, Squarespace, or Weebly, which offer drag-and-drop tools for designing and building a website.
- Get creative with design: You can resort to pre-made templates or themes, generally to keep things under budget. But do spend a bit more where it matters – on custom design, especially when it comes to logo, images, and quality content.
- Use free or low-cost tools: Take advantage of free tools like Google Analytics to help manage and grow your website.
- Be wise with outsourcing: Consider outsourcing tasks such as product photography, web design, and content creation to freelancers or agencies. By being selective you only pay for what you need.
- Start small: Build a basic eCommerce website and add features and products as you grow.
Following these tips, you can build a functional and professional-looking eCommerce website on a budget. Remember, focusing on what’s essential and avoiding unnecessary expenses is critical.
The estimates above capture all the requirements for building a robust eCommerce website and the cost breakdown. While eCommerce comes with its share of initial investment, there are definitely ways to cut costs and still develop a stellar website. In these days of economic uncertainty, it will be a wise decision to monetize your passion by building your eCommerce website. Confused on where to start? You can always reach out to us at email@example.com
Do I have to pay to build an eCommerce website?
Yes, building an eCommerce website typically requires some investment. However, the cost can vary depending on several factors, such as the platform you choose, the features you want to include, and the customization you need.
You can opt for a free website builder with limited features, but for a fully-functional and professional-looking website, you may need to pay a monthly subscription fee for a website builder or hire a web developer to build the website for you. The costs can range anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
How many hours does it take to build a custom eCommerce website?
A simple eCommerce website can take anywhere from 40 to 80 hours to build, while a more complex website can take several hundred hours or more. Factors that can influence the time it takes to build an eCommerce website include:
- The number and complexity of the features you want to include
- The design and layout of the website
- The platform and tools you choose to use
- The experience and expertise of the developer or development team
It’s also important to factor in time for testing, debugging, and making revisions, which can add several additional hours, even weeks, to the development timeline.
What is the ideal number of pages for your eCommerce website
There is no ideal number of pages for an eCommerce website. The number of pages solely depends on various factors, such as the size and complexity of the product catalog, the type of products sold, and the goals and objectives of the business. However, a common rule of thumb is to aim for a minimum of 5-10 pages, including the homepage, product catalog, product detail pages, about us page, and contact page. In addition, it’s essential to have a well-structured and easy-to-use navigation system to ensure a good user experience for customers.
Is it a good idea to buy an existing eCommerce website?
Whether buying an eCommerce website is a good idea depends on your goals and the specific circumstances. Here are a few factors to consider:
- Quick setup: Buying an existing eCommerce website can save you time compared to starting from scratch.
- Established traffic: An existing website may already have a customer base and established traffic, which can give you a head start in building your business.
- Ready-made products and inventory: If the website you buy comes with products and inventory, you can start selling immediately.
- Hidden costs: There may be hidden costs associated with buying an eCommerce website, such as the need for updates or upgrades to technology or inventory.
- Unforeseen problems: The website may have issues that are not immediately apparent, such as technical problems, security vulnerabilities, or declining traffic.
- Dependence on previous owners: You may be dependent on the previous owners for information and support in running the website, which can be a disadvantage if they are uncooperative or unresponsive.
Ultimately, the decision to buy an eCommerce website depends on your specific needs, goals, and resources. It’s important to do your due diligence and carefully consider all the potential benefits and drawbacks before making a decision.