How Much Does It Cost to Launch an E-commerce Website?

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    Ecommerce is the most pronounced in the world of internet hype. Also known as electronic commerce or internet commerce, it refers to buying or selling of goods and services using the internet. Transfer of money and data to execute these transactions is a part of the process in e-commerce.
    A store online is now a fancier way of buying or selling. It doesn’t require customers to find a way to visit the stores physically. Ecommerce is now a safe means to walk through and meet your requirements. It is made foolproof by constantly monitored transactions, protection against attacks, and hosting solutions. The e-commerce stores offer their shoppers peace of mind as their online purchases are made in a 100% safe and secure environment.

    While e-commerce is on a roll in this era attracting maximum demography on the globe, the question of the cost to develop and launch an e-commerce website gains more relevance. An answer to website pricing and services isn’t that simple and straightforward. It includes numerous factors, tools/technologies, business goals, developer rates, project scope, etc. all impacting the price of the end product. There are various platforms these days to launch one’s online store. Features of those range from simple tools like shopping carts and payment integration to customized enterprise options. In this article, we shall talk about designing the website, features, initial costs, post-launch costs, and various other factors that impact the cost of setting up an e-commerce website.

    Cost factors for e-commerce website

    An approximate and primary estimation cost of an e-commerce website initiates with two issues: sales/traffic goals and custom features required.

    To count the costs in setting up an e-commerce website, elaborate on these factors:

    1. The number of products and their varieties to be present on the website i.e. size, color, etc.
    2. Standard and complexity of pricing.
    3. Any content/images to be included are handy and organized or you have to prepare it.
    4. What kind of hosting solution do you have?
    5. What can be the customer payment channel? E.g. Paypal, Authorize, Securepay, etc.
    6. The response of the site, i.e. optimization view across all devices.
    7. Whether the site comprises blogs, social media, or other special features.

    In the next step, decide on the platform whether hosted or self-hosted. A hosted platform runs on the server outside your reach. For example, Shopify or Magneto which are market leaders offers a preset ready to go site. Its pros include simplicity, no coding, good hosting, and stability. The inability to adapt features or customizing the site stands as a drawback. While a self-hosted store will rely on one’s own server(s) with access and ownership to the code. Pros to this type of platform contain customization, access to code, and full control, while the cons are with updates and support, dealing with technical issues and higher cost of setup.

    It is just only the start of choosing the platform. The cost of making an online store also depends on following basic components which include:

    • Domain/hosting.
    • Web development and web design services.
    • SEO/Marketing.
    • Maintenance and updates.
    • Features, database, integrations.
    • Content Management System (CMS).

    Starting with lesser things, the domain name will cost close to $5-$15 per year. SSL certificate, which is a cryptographic key to secure data transfer and credit card transactions costs $25 annually. Web hosting needs a reliable hosting solution allowing fast interaction. It starts in cheap and grows in price along with the rise in sales.
    For launching an e-commerce website, data amount and type is of great importance. Big online stores have dozens of products that provide various search categories. So, the database is an integral part. Popular providers like AWS, EC2, and Google Cloud have different pricing models while a median business tier charges you between $400 and $999.

    SEO is crucial in terms of numerous web pages with titles, products, and their descriptions, image attributes and many to be properly marked for search engines. For effective optimization by skilled experts/agencies would cost at least $2,000 for small stores, and up to $5000 for bigger stores.

    Web store features

    Nowadays, the cost of launching a web store is not dependent upon the number of pages rather on functionality. A typical modern e-commerce website must include the following key features:

    Customer registration
    Registration is a way to offer additional perks. It can be tracking, discounts, offers, purchase history, etc.

    Basic development: 3-8 hours.
    Advanced development: 10-20 hours.

    Search/navigation
    Search is mandatory as a myriad of items are heaped online. An easier and more effective search equals more conversions and sales. Navigation by reductive filters adds to it narrowing the search.

    Basic development: 16-24 hours
    Advanced development: 20-40 hours

    Pricing
    Numerous pricing options are availed like discounts for groups of customers, special deals within a limited period, applying promo codes for low prices, etc. which could be relevant in various situations.

    Basic development: 6-8 hours.
    Advanced development: 15-40 hours.

    Product reviews
    A backchannel to express satisfaction for a product consumption adds to future sales.

    Basic development: 20-40 hours.
    Advanced development: 20-80 hours.

    Easy Checkout option
    The process of checkout could be of various complexity from simple add order to the cart to ones with choosing various payment, shipping, billing address options.

    Basic development: 25-40 hours.
    Advanced development: 40-120 hours.

    Multiple payment options
    At least one payment option is a must. Third-party services like Paypal, SecurePay, Authorize, etc. will do a fine job with a monthly subscription of around $50-150 as well as domestic and international fees on each order. The estimated cost of setting up payments is $250-1000.

    Basic development: 8-16 hours.
    Advanced development: 20-40 hours.


    Ecommerce website design

    An e-commerce website design should be functional and facilitate customer behavior towards certain goals. Regarding the website cost, one can opt for cheaper designs without template/themes from e-commerce platforms ($0 to $300) which is quite enough to set a store apart from competitors initially. To hire a web design agency, expect at least $3000 expenses for the very least.
    Agencies that focus on hourly rates on e-commerce sites typically charge $50 to $80, thus a 100 hours spending on your project costs a minimum of $5000. It is worth spending if you wish for a positive return on investment (ROI).

    Ecommerce software/platforms

    Creating an online store has been a much easier task these days. Few reputed platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, OpenCart, Magneto, etc. offer all essential commerce functionalities in a one package ready-to-go. With such a pre-fabricated solution, one can cut down the expenses on e-commerce website cost, rather than focusing on customization and promotion.
    In cost terms, freelance developers who focus on these platforms charge between $50 and $125 on an hourly basis. Expert agencies with e-commerce developers cost more up to $250 per hour but are more professional and reliable.
    Expect to spend a few thousand dollars i.e. $1000-$5000 for setup, design, configuration, and customization.

    Custom development cost

    Development and design prices vary drastically. For a very basic website, the projected cost is up to $5000. It is impossible to do an exact estimate of the cost of development and design because of the scope of work and hourly rates. For example, with a similar type of coding, rates may range from $30 to $300 per hour while the cost of a custom e-commerce website may stretch from $5000 to hundreds of thousands.

    Ecommerce website cost with the type of store

    Small web store
    The e-commerce website for a small beginner store has an estimated cost of custom development between $15,000 to 20,000. They have a small product catalog, small traffic (100-1000), and basic design on the site.

    Medium web store
    For web stores with average product catalog, medium traffic (in thousands per month), and advanced design with added features cost a website starting from $30,000 to 50,000, and more.

    Large web store
    Ecommerce website for an enterprise-scale store with a huge catalog, heavy traffic requires professional unique web design and integration of various features. Top-level images and videos, multiple payment methods, shipping options, order tracking, refund process, and various other advanced features cost it much. It is estimated in the range of $55,000 to 160,000.

    All the mentioned costs estimated above cover only initial expenses to set up an online store. These do not include either further annual fees for site maintenance or any additional expenses to promote it such as content, marketing, and branding.

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