How much does an eCommerce website cost?
There isn’t a specific answer to this question. It starts from as low as $5,000 and goes even beyond $200,000 in some cases. So how does one get a fair cost estimation for their eCommerce website?
I have identified the five parameters that affect pretty much any eCommerce website, and there isn’t much to an eCommerce website outside the realm of these. Once you figure out how much you’d want to spend on these, it won’t be difficult to figure out the overall cost of your eCommerce website. Let’s jump right into it.
Netizens have very short attention spans, thanks to the plethora of options available for everything. To make these individuals halt and make purchases, the store needs to be impressive from the get-go. And the design can very well be the factor that makes your website stand out from the rest and, therefore, drive more sales.
If you are building the website using a cookie-cutter option such as Shopify, you’ll have plenty of design templates, both free and paid, at your disposal. While the paid templates will be relatively rare, they won’t exactly be unique. To add that element, you'll have customization to help you. You can hire a developer to customize the design template and add some unique elements to it.
If you go the custom development route for website building, it’ll be easier to come up with a unique design. You can easily bring your ideas to life as there will be no restrictions on what you can do. Starting from design templates on eCommerce website builders to custom development from scratch, design can cost you anywhere between $140 to $30,000.
No matter how simple or advanced the store you wish to create, it has to have some basic features. The basic functionality marks the need for product management, shopping cart, a payment module, and other key features. Then there are advanced features. These aren’t a necessity, but make up for a good customer experience overall.
The cost of basic and advanced features vary over custom eCommerce website development as well as for eCommerce platforms. The more features you try to fit into your eCommerce website, the more it is going to cost you. Basic features fall in the price range of $5,000 to $15,000 on SaaS platforms while it’s $20,000 to $30,000 for custom built websites. The basic functionality includes features such as product management, shopping cart, payment module, etc. If we talk about advanced features, they cost $5,000 to $12,000 on SaaS platforms and $10,000 to $16,000 for custom developed websites. The examples of advanced features include coupons and discounts, multiple languages, personalized suggestions, etc.
The website is only a part of the eCommerce business. There is the physical part which involves things like inventory management and product shipping. For your eCommerce business to function smoothly, you want a great sync between the physical and digital sides to the store. It is why you need to spend some money on functionality, as well.
It should automatically update inventory status, send out notifications, seamlessly interact with delivery partners, and generate accurate invoices. And this list has just the bare minimum actions. You can either get an eCommerce-fulfillment software or get one custom developed. Most fulfillments come with a monthly subscription plan. It works well for most eCommerce startups as they can always scale later, thus, saving a handsome amount during initial stages.
You can get one for as low as $30 per month and as high as $400 per month.And if you decide to get it custom developed, this cost will also be in the vicinity of $5,000
You have to attract shoppers to your eCommerce website, especially at the beginning to gain some traction. A lot falls under the marketing umbrella — everything from the web copy to a PPC campaign is capable of generating traffic.
You’ll have to spend some money on SEO and copywriting. The cost of these two will depend more or less on the scale of the website. The more pages and products you have, the more you’ll have to spend on SEO and copywriting. However, the good news is that this isn’t going to break the bank, unlike other aspects of the website.
Apart from SEO and copywriting, some digital marketing campaigns might entice you. You may want to invest in some PPC campaigns to boost the traffic to your eCommerce website. The cost of marketing can amount up to $500 to $2,000 for a small store whereas it can shoot up in the range of $4,000 to $5,000 for bigger eCommerce websites.
Once the website is ready, it would still need proper care and attention. You might discover some bugs or shortcomings as you go live, or something could go wrong and the website might go down. To prevent such instances, timely maintenance is necessary.
Apart from tech-maintenance costs, there are expenses for store maintenance as well. Bigger businesses might need to train and employ customer-support executives to upgrade their service. Random bugs and glitches also add up to the maintenance costs.
So if you have a small to medium-sized enterprise, expect to shell out around $500 to $1,250 per year on maintenance. And if you own a large eCommerce business with multiple products and huge traffic, the maintenance would cost in the whereabouts of $300 to $1,000 per month.
Once you take these five parameters into account, it’ll be much easier for you to estimate the cost of your eCommerce website correctly. If you wish to get deeper insights into eCommerce website cost, visit our blog post on this topic.