Building a new eCommerce website can be a costly investment. Depending on your needs, you can find that the prices for the design and development of a new eCommerce website can land anywhere between a few thousand and a few million dollars. That’s a huge range. So, why does the price vary so much and how much should you really pay for an eCommerce website?
The Cost of an Ecommerce Website
For the most part, the cost of a website is reflective of the amount of work that goes into it. Which means things like page count, custom design and themes, content writing and SEO, photography, hosting, domain name and ongoing maintenance all impact the cost of a website. But with an eCommerce site, there are a few additional items that can drive up the cost from the eCommerce platform you choose and custom functionalities to your payment processor and shipping options. We previously covered the items that can impact the cost of a traditional marketing website, so here we’re just going to focus on the items unique to eCommerce websites.
There are many software programs and platforms you can use to create an eCommerce website. Every one of them offers the same basic components – product pages, inventory management, carts and checkout pages, but they all function just a bit differently and cost varies as well. A few of the big ones to consider include Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce and BigCommerce, but there are countless others, each with its own set of pros and cons. We are a pretty big fans of WooCommerce, the open-source ecommerce platform built for WordPress. We find it serves most small business’s eCommerce needs. It is easy to use, packed full of features, offers access to thousands of third-party plugins and a robust extensions store for excellent customization capabilities.
With an eCommerce site, the size of the site isn’t only determined by the number of pages, but also by the number of products and if the products are available in different sizes or colors. Each product basically ends up being its own page. Plus, there’s category pages, marketing pages and user log-in pages to consider. The size of an average eCommerce site is much larger than a traditional marketing site, meaning it usually costs significantly more based just on size.
Custom eCommerce functionality usually has the greatest impact on the cost of an eCommerce website. Some of that functionality is necessary, some offers a competitive edge, some enhances user experience, some may save hours of manual labor. It includes things like your shopping cart, checkout process, customer identity protection, and personalization. It could also be a customized search function or a way to sync your website database with your in-house inventory.
For a basic marketing website, database integration is optional, but for an eCommerce site it can be necessary. You can use database integration to store corporate information and streamline company communications, but it can also be used to simplify and improve your customers’ shopping experience. Database integration can provide customers with a more personalized shopping experience. It can be used to allow customers to create accounts, set preferences, store usernames and passwords, credit card information, shipping addresses and more.
Payment Processing Software
While not technically a start-up cost, payment processing is a unique cost to eCommerce websites that needs to be taken into consideration as it can eat into your profit margin. Different platforms offer different processing options at different costs. So, you’ll want to consider how you plan to process payments when you choose your eCommerce platform.
One more thing to consider, if you are selling actual products, is how you are going to deliver your products to your customers. Will you work directly with a shipping company or invest in a dedicated shipping solution. There are a lot of shipping and order fulfillment systems that can integrate directly with your eCommerce software to simplify the process for you, but of course at an additional cost.
Choosing a Web Design & Development Company for Your eCommerce Site
There are a lot of things that go into an eCommerce website and choosing the right company can be vital to its success. That’s why we encourage you to look beyond the price tag and consider the whole package the design company is offering. A reputable, experienced company often costs more, but will likely provides more value.
We believe in creating lasting partnerships by considering what’s in our client’s best interest, seeking out their needs and exceeding them in every possible way. If you are looking for a web company that will be a true business partner, consider all of your business needs and work with you to figure out the best customized eCommerce solution for your business, contact us online or call (414) 232-7862.