Ecommerce Sites 2019: Costs, Constraints, and Factors to be Considered.
If you decide to put up a physical retail store, it is going to cost you a lot. From design and architecture, to space rent, to decor, to furniture, to lights, to employees, and products, there is a long list of expenditure involved. The better that your store looks and the better its functionality, it will attract more customers and boost sales. The same thing happens in an eCommerce website. Your online store caters to a wide range of people across the globe. In order to hold their interest, improve the shopping experience, and increase the conversion rate, it is highly important to create an ecommerce website that has a smooth flow, efficient functionality, and is engaging and responsive to the user.
How much should you pay for an Ecommerce Website?
There are a variety of factors to be taken into account while trying to build an eCommerce site. There is no standard cost that applies to all eCommerce sites. Based on your requirements, the pricing will vary. It is therefore necessary to determine the scope of your business and what outcome you are looking for. If it is a small scale business and your priority is just to sell a limited number of products to consumers, then you could do with a small budget site with basic functionality and hosted on Shopify or BigCommerce. This would cost you anywhere between $450 – $900, based on the customization involved.
On the other hand, if you want to go all out and create a fancy, customized store with different features, and user registration, personalised shopping preferences, a wide variety of products, and product – driven pricing, then you’re looking for a high-end website which will cost between Rs. $1200 to as much as $8000 or more. Thus, before deciding on the cost there is a list of things that need to be delineated. Let’s have a look at them.
- Domain and hosting – To run any website, you need a distinct domain name that can be purchased at a reasonable price of $13 to $25 usually. You need to pay an annual cost to retain the domain name. Hosting is a little more complicated, as there are different options you can go for. You can either choose managed hosting wherein you pay a firm to host your website and perform timely upgrades and take care of glitches. This is costlier, around $100 – $250 but leaves you free to focus on your business. The other option is shared hosting which is relatively cheaper but involves less customization and a relatively higher risk of time lags in increased traffic as the same host server is shared by other websites too. Either way, it is always cheaper if you opt for an annual plan.
- SSL certificate – As Ecommerce sites involve setting up payment gateways, it is incredibly important to secure your site. Thus an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate is a must. This won’t cost you much; it ranges from $75 – $200, depending on the level of security involved.
- Choosing the right CMS – This is an extremely important step of the eCommerce site building process. The look and feel, the functionality, behaviour and user inputs all require a well-structured CMS. Here it is important to decide the kind of website you want to create. One option is to use readymade online store building tools like Shopify or BigCommerce. These tools have readymade structures, so you needn’t worry about the backend coding part and can directly implement your website. The only con with such online tools is that you can’t make any customization to your site.
- Another option is using open source WordPress tools like WooCommerce which also give you a standard format for your web flow. These are reasonable options and are perfect if you’re looking for a basic and small sized eCommerce store. On the other hand, if you want to go all in, and completely customise your website to provide top notch UX that stands apart, then you can use high-end CMS like Magento which allow complete customization and control. However then, it is important to have a big budget.
- Web design – The next thing to focus on is the design of the website. You can outsource it to any designing firm and work with them to design the kind of website you’re looking for. Be it designing the product catalogs, or segregating the pricing information, or putting in demo videos and product images, or even multiple payment options, a proper, smooth, and responsive web design can go a long way in increasing the conversion rates. A good design team will cost you somewhere around $200 to $1000. Another option is to use the relatively cheaper cloud based SaaS systems which provide different design themes. This works if you’re not looking for extensive customization.
- SEO and Content – It is not enough to just create a website. Its constant maintenance and optimization is important. Thus, hiring an expert SEO service provider is essential while creating an online store. Efficient SEO will help you increase your crowd reach and give you more business. Good content is also equally important to get web crawlers to scour your site. Thus relevant content pages of thousands of words form an important part of SEO. Mostly your SEO provider may also offer content services, but if not, then you can avail them separately. SEO cost starts from $700 for an eCommerce website, however the cost is based on the extent and scale of the website. Monthly maintenance costs around $200 to $1000 based on the scope.
In addition to the above costs and features, there are a plethora of other options and add-ons that could increase the website cost. These include search or navigation bars, easy checkout options, product review pages, multiple payment options, selective pricing options, and mobile-friendly websites. If you’re looking for a user oriented system wherein you want to make way for user registration, and personalised suggestions based on past shopping history, you would also need to look into database integration, which will incur additional costs. However, you can also get a free quote from a professional website development agency for your next project.
Thus, all in all, eCommerce sites are a sizable investment unless you go for an extremely basic model. But with the right team or by hiring a reputed agency, you can rest assured that you will reap huge returns on your investment.