By: Chad Bell
eCommerce Website Pricing
Fact is there are a lot of options to consider when budgeting for the design and development of an eCommerce website, it can be a bit confusing. Websites are not unlike cars and eCommerce website design prices can range from $5,000 – $500,000+. At the lower end of this price spectrum you can expect your eCommerce website to have the design and performance of a 2002 Honda Civic. A BMW M3 will set you back 60k and a Bentley Continental Super Sport will run you close to 300k. One option or the other may be better suited for your business.
An important question I ask a potential client is “what are your goals?” Think about your sales and traffic goals and then consider what budget would be realist to achieve those goals. The eCommerce website cost will be primarily affected by features needed to support sales and traffic goals. For example, if you want to do $50,000 a year in sales, you can probably find an eCommerce website for around the $5,000 range that will suit your needs. If you’re looking to do a $1,000,000 in sales, and many people are, then the cost of your eCommerce website will increase to accommodate additional features and functionality. Remember, starting an eCommerce website is the same as starting any other business; it takes capital to be successful.
What affects the cost of an eCommerce website?
eCommerce Functionality & Custom Development
The basics of an eCommerce website include: categories, product pages, add to cart, checkout, confirmation emails, and basic sales and customer management. These are standard features and they really don’t drive up the cost unless you desire to customize them somehow, which most customers do. Just keep in mind that the less you spend the less customizations you can make to the commerce system.
Custom eCommerce functionality is usually the greatest cost in a project and the success of your website often hinges on these customizations. For example, we had a client that wanted to integrate their Magento store with Quickbooks, Salesforce and a 3rd party drop shipper which handled all of their orders. These are not off the shelf features of commerce websites and they do add a level of complexity which needs to be accounted for.
Stock levels are very important to some of our clients and we have synced the website database with an in-house inventory management system. These additions seem small but they definitely run up the price of the website, on the other hand they eliminate hours of paying employees to do this work, eliminate a lot of headaches and ultimately reduce the number of unhappy customers. So, Create a list of all eCommerce features you anticipate needing and even add a wish list so that all bases are covered. We can discuss this list when we meet and get a more accurate picture of the budget for you site.
Now that we’ve discussed functionality, we have to consider design. As the saying goes; you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression and this impression is everything so it’s important that your branding and identity match your sales expectations. An amateur looking website will convert visitors into customers at a much lower rate than a professionally branded website. Which brings up branding. If you have an established brand, the website should reflect this and If you don’t then perhaps the time has come to consider a budget to create your company identity. On the web you’ll get one shot to impress. Many eCommerce site owners understand this and budget appropriately to build and design a site that sells based on the way it looks.
The low-cost route involves using a pre-designed template. What this means is the design is 95% complete we just add your content and logo. This is not suggest for serious eCommerce websites, but it may fit your needs if you are working on a shoestring budget.
eCommerce Marketing and SEO
Optimizing your store content is a huge benefit and could save you a good amount of money down the road and will also make any future SEO efforts much easier. Proper SEO and marketing features built into your website will not result in immediate page 1 rankings, but it is a step in the right direction.
eCommerce Website Design Companies
Some web design companies are based in the US and some are overseas. Often companies have a U.S. address but all work is performed offshore. Remember, you’ll usually get what you pay for. A higher priced company often provides quality and reliable work, while going overseas to save money may be enticing it often results in a lot of headaches. Be sure whoever you choose is reliable, has an office and is easily accessible when you have questions during the development phase and after the website is completed.