With so many options to consider when budgeting for the development of an eCommerce website, it can be a bit confusing. Some eCommerce websites, like most things, are easier to build than others and there are many eCommerce website design companies to choose from. Some perform like Kia's, and some give results like Ferraris. One option or the other may be better suited for your business. Ecommerce sites can range from $5,000 - $500,000 +, so it's important to know the factors that go into pricing. The cost will ultimately be driven by how well you want the website to perform.
The main question I ask a potential client is "what are your goals?". Think about your sales and traffic goals and then think what budget would be realistic to achieve those goals. The eCommerce website cost will be primarily affected by how successful you want the website to be. 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. If you're looking to do millions in sales, and many people are, then the cost of your eCommerce website will be higher as more features and functionality will probably need to be built. Remember, starting an eCommerce website is the same as starting any other business, and it takes capital to be successful.
What affects the cost of an eCommerce website the most?
eCommerce Functionality / Custom Programming
We all know the basics of an eCommerce website. Categories features, featured items, product pages, related products, and so on. These are standard features, and they really shouldn't drive up the cost if you're asking for them. Custom eCommerce functionality is usually the greatest cost in a project but is often the most important to make the website easy for your business to operate and to give your site a custom edge over the competition. For example, you may want customized search functionality because of the type of product you sell. Not many of your competitors have it, and you know with that piece, you'll get the sale. Or, stock levels are crucial to you, and your eCommerce developer will have to sync the website database with your in-house inventory management system. That will run up the price of the website, but it will also eliminate hours of paying employees. Create a list of all eCommerce features you feel will be custom and be sure to share that list with the eCommerce web design company you're choosing. This will help them to give you an accurate estimate.
Above: Custom functionality to preview an engraving is an example of a feature that can increase the price of an eCommerce website.
Now that we've discussed functionality, we have to consider how the website will look. The first impression is everything, and it's important that the look matches your expectation in sales. An amateur looking website will convert visitors into customers at a much lower rate than a professional custom eCommerce website. Also, consider branding. If you have a large established brand, the website should reflect this. On the web, you'll get one shot to impress, so many eCommerce owners spend big bucks making a site that sells based on the way it looks. If you're in need of a website that will be responsive, meaning optimized for mobile and tablet, a design will also need to be created for those devices which add additional time to a project.
The low-cost route is using a pre-made template or design. This means the design is already done and your logo or colors may be included into it. We do not suggest this for serious eCommerce websites, but it may fit your needs if you are working on a shoestring budget.
Above: A well branded, custom website that is optimized for all devices requires additional design time and focus.
Marketing and SEO
Ask what services are included in the initial development. Some companies offer eCommerce SEO services as part of their packages and some don't. Having SEO features built in is a big benefit and could save you a good amount of money down the road and will also make your future SEO company's life a lot easier. Having marketing features built into the website is not the answer to page 1 rankings, but it is a step in the right direction!
Above: A website developed SEO friendly will require an SEO teams efforts but offers a solid marketing foundation and much more successful long term results.
The eCommerce development company you choose will affect pricing. Some companies are based in the US and some are overseas. Remember, you'll usually get what you pay for. A higher priced company often will provide more top-end work, while going overseas to save money often results in headaches and 2am phone calls. 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.
If you would like to receive a free eCommerce website estimate from OuterBox, please call us at 1-866-647-9218 or request a website design estimate online. We look forward to talking with you.
For more than 13 years we've been an award winning design, development and web marketing agency. Talk with us and see how we can help your business.
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