E-Commerce Website Price: How Much is Too Much?
Last update: 30 May 2023 at 10:00 am
E-commerce has been growing steadily for the last 8 years. According to Statista, in 2015 it concentrated only 7.4% of the sales market share. Today, that figure has risen to 20%, and the trend is expected to continue. But, what’s an e-commerce website price?
If you are thinking of setting up an e-commerce platform, this article is for you. Here is a guide to understanding how much it costs to create an e-commerce site and the different variables that can affect your total expenses.
Keep in mind that reducing costs depends on how clear you are about what you want to create. This includes understanding who your target audience is and having a clear plan of action. Without these three details, the price can quickly go over budget.
Calculating E-commerce Website Price: Influencing Variables
There are several elements that come into play when creating an online store. Each plays a key role in the proper functioning of your e-commerce. Therefore, we recommend that you always stop and think about the ultimate goal of your e-commerce site before making any decisions.
The e-commerce website price is determined by a number of factors, such as web domain, hosting, e-commerce platform, and payment gateway. Let’s take a look at them.
Domain Name and Web Hosting Costs
The domain name and hosting services are two of those necessary items that will make your e-commerce work. Let’s review each one in detail and the cost for them to your business.
Web hosting refers to the service that hosts the content of your e-commerce site and is responsible for making sure that you can publish it on the Internet. In other words, you can think of it as renting space on a physical dedicated server to store all of the information posted on your e-commerce website.
A quick Google search will show you just how many options there are. Both in terms of providers and costs. But if we look at the InMotion Hosting pricing model, we can see that the prices vary depending on the size of your website. For example:
- The average price for a website is $29.24 per month.
- For large-scale projects, the average is $19.99 per month.
- For WordPress sites, the average is $3.99 per month.
On the other hand, the domain name refers to the address that users use to access your e-commerce site. Without the domain, visitors would have to learn or have the IP of your website in order to browse it.
On average, you can expect to pay between $10 and $20 per year for a domain name. These days there are many providers to choose from. Just do a quick Google search and you will find several.
And always remember that both costs are recurring and necessary for the proper functioning of your e-commerce site.
The functions your store can perform have a direct impact on the final e-commerce website price. You can choose from a huge list of options including:
- Similar products
- Comments and ratings
- Offers and discounts
- Abandoned cart
- Delivery tracking
- Order history
- My wish list
It is important to check out the options available from different providers. Shopify, for example, has a wide range of free apps. However, at Sortlist, we strongly recommend that you take the time to compare apps and choose the ones you really need to monitor your users’ activity and drive more sales. You don’t want to keep adding costs that don’t have a good return on investment.
Web maintenance is something you should not skimp on. If you want your e-commerce to run smoothly, you need to make sure that all your systems are up to date. This also helps prevent hackers or cyber criminals from gaining access to your systems.
You have two options for web maintenance. You can do it yourself with an in-house team, or you can outsource to specialized agencies:
- If you have the team trained and equipped with the necessary tools then, we can say that web maintenance will be somewhere under $100.
- If you decide to hire a web maintenance service, keep in mind that the average cost is between 5 and 500 dollars. The difference lies mainly in the size of the site:
- For a personal site, the average cost will be between $5 and $25 dollars per month.
- SME sites range from $35 to $500 dollars per month.
- Larger e-commerce sites range from $200 to $4,500 per month.
- E-commerce ranges from 1,500 to 5,000 dollars per month.
In addition to making sure your store is running smoothly, it is important to invest some resources in making sure everyone knows about your e-commerce site. A marketing strategy will give you the power to attract more qualified people to your e-commerce store and increase sales.
There are many options that are just a click away. For example, social media platforms are an ideal channel to specify exactly who your audience is and present them with a series of ads that promote your online store. Google and other search engines also give you the opportunity to activate ads and reach your target audience.
Here the budget varies depending on your possibilities. However, at Sortlist we recommend that you spend at least $5 per day on Google Ads. This amount will allow you to start generating traffic, measuring results, and making strategic decisions.
Finally, you will need to allocate a portion of your budget to the payment processing platform. This is where you will manage all online transactions. Not surprisingly, it must be a recognized platform that offers the necessary security so you can avoid any problems with handling third-party information.
Payment gateways are responsible for verifying and accepting each purchase made from your e-commerce store. There are many different options to choose from Amazon Pay, Stripe, PayPal, or Paycomet. Each of them has a set of associated costs. Using Stripe as an example, you should expect them to take 1.4% of European card transactions.
When we talk about e-commerce platforms, we are referring to the place where you manage all the functions of your online store. It’s where you make sure everything is in place to meet the needs of your customers. Where you can host relevant and sales-driving information such as product details, payment methods, purchase tracking, reviews, and customer service.
There are several platforms to choose from. We encourage you to review and compare these three options and then, and only then, make your choice.
If you’re already familiar with WordPress, you may find this software very easy to use. It is the option that WordPress offers to the market to meet the demand for e-commerce websites.
Keep in mind that many of the features you may need are extensions that you have to add. So there is a risk of running into errors or problems with the performance of the site. Having that said, it is also important to note that WooCommerce is loaded with applications to meet the needs of any business that wants to sell items or services online.
Among its main advantages, we can highlight that:
- It is open-source software,
- Has more than 6,000 integrations,
- Allows customization and adaptation to suit your business,
- And, it has high associated costs in terms of hosting, development and maintenance.
To this date, more than 3 million online stores have been built using WooCommerce. Although this is open-source software (there are no associated costs), it is important to note that in order to access all the basic features you should estimate a budget of at least $10 per month. Not to mention, of course, the cost of the domain, hosting, templates, extensions, security, etc.
This is definitely one of the best platforms on the market. It comes loaded with a number of tools and applications that complement the sales process of your business. From Shopify, you can manage the product catalog from the point of sale to the shipping of your products.
In addition, thanks to its alliance with major shipping services, they offer you preferential rates thus reducing delivery costs for your customers.
One of the great advantages of this option is that they provide you with the necessary training to develop your e-commerce business, as well as any support you may need throughout the creation and management of your online store.
They offer a 3-day free trial and then different plans that vary depending on the size of your business. There is a $19 plan for businesses that are just starting out in this world, a $49 plan for growing businesses, and a more expensive plan for those who need very detailed reports.
If you are considering working with this option, we recommend that you consult our list of agencies that specialize in this platform.
Finally, we would like to introduce you to PrestaShop. It is considered to be the best open-source e-commerce platform. It is ideal only if you, or your team, have technical knowledge. They do not offer customer support.
It’s a platform considered easy to use, but if you run into any problems you’re on your own. In this sense, we want to encourage you to work with an agency that specializes in this type of development.
PrestaShop comes with all the tools you will need to keep track of inventory, shipments, shopping carts, international sales, etc. Because it is open-source, it is completely free.
What Is the Total Cost of Creating an Online Store?
Now that we’ve gone through the different items that will affect the e-commerce website price, it’s time to answer the question of what the price for an online store is.
The answer is not so simple. There are amounts that depend on how much you are willing to spend, such as your marketing efforts. Others, such as payment platforms, vary depending on your sales numbers. But, the short answer is that you will need at least $500 just for this project.
Steps to Create an Online Store
So far we have made it clear how much money you need to create an e-commerce website. But what do you need to do to get it up and running? In short, there are 9 steps that go in line with all the elements we have reviewed:
- Compare and choose an e-commerce platform. We recommend that you start by analyzing the pros and cons of Shopify, WooCommerce, and Prestashop.
- Purchase the domain name. You can check prices at Domain.com, Bluehost, or Hostinger.
- Hire professional web developers. You are starting an important project, and having experts in the field is key to making everything flow naturally and avoiding rookie mistakes.
- Choose a theme for your online store. The theme will be key in both the visual aspect and the performance of your website. In WordPress, you have a wide variety of options, but be sure to choose one that is responsive, adapts to the needs of your business and industry, is compatible with all web browsers, and is easy to customize.
- Customize your site’s template. The e-commerce platform you choose will come with a number of templates for you to use. Decide which one you want to use. Make sure it matches your company’s graphic identity of your business and the type of products you plan to sell.
- Add your products. It’s time to start uploading all the products you want to sell. Pay attention to the details. Remember to provide enough information for your potential customers to feel comfortable making a purchase. Details such as material, size, price, photos, description, and reviews are important.
- Set up payment methods. Today, there are many payment options you can work with: credit or debit cards, bank transfers, cash, gift cards, digital wallets, and more. We recommend starting with the payment gateways mentioned above.
- Define the shipping options. As one of the final steps, you should stop and think about how you are going to handle the delivery of your products. Which company will you work with? What are their delivery times? What areas will you be shipping to?
- Review, edit and publish. Finally, it is important that you thoroughly review all the pages of your online store. Make sure everything works well. Make sure there are no errors. Once everything is ready, you can publish and start promoting.
Beyond the impact on sales, setting up an e-commerce site brings a number of benefits to your business. It allows you to reach new markets, create unique experiences for your users, and strengthen the recognition and positioning of your brand. If you are thinking of opening a business under this modality, the truth is that you can achieve very good results. But it takes preparation and time.
You need a clear plan of action, a well-defined audience, a very precise catalog of products and services, and a well-digested objective. Therefore, in addition to understanding the price of e-commerce website development, it is essential that you devote the necessary time to the strategic planning of your business.
As for the e-commerce website development project of Sortlist, we recommend you to work with a web design company. They have a team of experts who are already familiar with all the elements you need to make the site perform well and meet the needs of your users.
Also, keep in mind that construction alone is not enough. You need to invest in marketing to attract more visitors and in SEO to position your store among the top results in Google and other search engines.