How Much Does an eCommerce Website Cost?

ecommerce website cost

The price of developing a custom eCommerce store depends on the business itself and its needs. The most common factors that have a huge effect on the eCommerce store price are: 

  1. Client base. Decisions like what software and technology to use usually based on the size of your client base. A website that can handle a large flow of customers will cost you more in terms of development and future support. Besides that for a website with a huge client base, you will need to hire more eCommerce developers. If your goal is just to create an online store, let's say for a startup (to test a product on the market) it's better to hire a small outsource company.

  2. Apps. Sometimes it's better and cheaper to install an app, then code your own custom solution. Before starting building an eCommerce store try to come up with the idea of what functionality you exactly need and what your CMS supports by default. Apps are fast and cheap ($5-$30 per month) way to solve the problem. But you have to remember that apps may apply some external .js files that will slow your website speed down.

  3. Marketing. For the development process of the eCommerce store you have to allocate a budget for marketing campaigns as well (Google Ads, Instagram Ads, Facebook Ads etc.). Big companies can spend more than $100 000 per month only for the Google Ads campaign. If you are new in the marketing world I would suggest you start with a $10-20 budget just to understand the flow. Google Ads often gives $100-$150 coupon codes for new users. You can check it here.

  4. Content. The content plays the main role in your website. You may have 1000 products that need to be filled with images, titles, descriptions etc. Sometimes it's super time-consuming to fill your products up with all necessary information. Often store owners use freelancers or some agency to do that, and that means additional $$$. Keep in mind that you don't need just a content, you need optimized content that fits your SEO strategy (there goes one more thing to worry about 😅).

  5. Functionality. Your website must stand out from the rest of eCommerce stores.  For example, if you sell clothes you may want to have realtime look constructor or have a video for products instead of pictures. All of that adds additional costs.

These are, in my opinion, 5 the most important things that can affect eCommerce website cost. Don't be afraid, everything is much simpler than you think. So, let's go deeper into it.

What's important to consider when building an eCommerce store?

Ecommerce website cost is a hard thing to predict and there is no universal amount of money that applies to all the eCommerce stores. In this part of the post, we will review important factors that can cause an increase of the eCommerce website cost.

Ecommerce web design

The website design affects a lot on the development cost. If you want something modern and unique it will be pricy. Almost all CMS have their own online store themes. Some of them are free. Free themes just have basic online store features and if you don't have coding knowledge it will be impossible for you to improve the theme functionality. You will need to hire an expert for it. I would say that the average price for it $30 per hour.

If you don't have coding experience I would recommend you to use a paid theme. For Shopify themes prices start from $180. A great WordPress theme will cost you around $80.


Interface design (UI)

The UI will define how easy customers can find and buy products from you. A user-friendly interface is super important to ensure a high volume of sales. For small businesses (10-50 products) the price range is $1000 - $2500. Every aspect of the design should be tested before implementing it into your store. The UI depends on your target audience as well. So, you can't use the same design paths for different groups of people.

Graphic design and product images

The cost for such design work as a part of e-commerce website development normally starts at $500. On top of it, depending on the quality metrics of the graphics ( like high resolution) the cost goes up from the initial amount. The same could be said about the logo development and some special to your company designs. The design of the entire e-commerce store may be far more costly than you expected. But here you need to take into consideration such factor as conversion: the better your store's UI and UX, the greater is the chance of converting your visitors into your actual clients. 

it is very important to make sure that all the products on your online e-commerce store are represented with high definition images. Make sure you professionally optimize all the pictures on your e-commerce website as they may not look that great on the web without doing optimization. 


Hosting of an eCommerce website

While calculating the cost of eCommerce store development make sure to include the expenses related to hosting. At the initial stage, you can pay as much as $20- $250 for it, but as your company grows there might be an increase in such expenses. If a big business needs an e-commerce web site development, the hosting might cost as much as $300 a month. Also, the more secure are the hostings, the more expensive they are: the price for such can get up to $1000- $2000 per month.

The support of eCommerce web site

As you calculate the monthly average expenses for your eCommerce website, make sure to include such a variable as spending on constant support. Another thing is that your staff will probably have to be trained properly on how to maintain the website and make it do what you want from it. Normally the cost of such trainings is somewhere between $500 to $1200 depending on the complexity of the system.

ecommerce cost calculating

What should be taken into consideration while calculating the cost of eCommerce web development?

Based on the information given above you can see how different variables may influence the potential expenses on e-commerce web development. Here is a common percentage breakdown of the costs:

  • 10% Planning and initial development
  • 55% System configuration and the development of e-commerce database
  • 25% Design
  • 10% Project Management

How to reduce the development cost for an eCommerce website?

If all costs that I've mentioned above look scary to you and you want to spend as little as you can just to jump-start your eCommerce business, we have a solution for you too. Hire a freelancer or an outsource company. Easy! On the one hand, it'll reduce the design and development cost and at the same time keep the quality high. But on the other hand, it can increase the development time.

If you have a limited budget there are a few good eCommerce CMSs that have lots of built-in features. We would recommend you to take a look into WordPress + WooCommerce and Shopify. If you don't have any coding experience Shopify will work best for you. You can completely redesign the store based on your needs but you will not be able to change the main code logic for both of these platforms.

What factors can increase an eCommerce website cost

If you are wondering how to develop an online store and how much it's going to cost you, you need to consider these three main factors that affect the price the most: time, your resources, and future support. For instance if you have tight deadlines the price will be more expensive. The faster you want to get the completed store the more you will pay for the development. First of all, you need to make a decision on how you want to build it. Will you hire an outsource company or will you do it on your own? Who will be responsible for the support and future improvements of your online store? The average price for the eCommerce website depends on these factors and in order for you to calculate the price you need to answer them to yourself first.

Before answering the question "How much does an eCommerce website cost?" you need to consider these points:

  1. Domain
  2. Trustable and scalable hosting
  3. SSL certificate
  4. Payment systems
  5. Planning
  6. UI/UX Design
  7. Development and documentation
  8. Quality insurance
  9. Copywriting
  10. Images and videos

online store development cost

Crucial elements that define an eCommerce website cost

When you are trying to cut your eCommerce website cost you must take these aspects into account:

  1. Do you need to make an online store from scratch or maybe you just need a redesign of your current website?
  2. How many web pages do you need on your website?
  3. How many products are you going to have on your site?
  4. Do you have product variations (color, size etc.)?
  5. Do the variations affect the product price?
  6. Do you have content for your website?
  7. Do you have product images, graphics etc.?
  8. Did you already buy and register a domain name?
  9. Do you have all your product info (title, description, price etc.) in an Excel document?
  10. Do you need a blog on your website?

Ecommerce website cost

Price for an eCommerce website on average can be between $5,000 - $10,000. You have to keep in mind just one thing: if you want to make money you'll need to spend it first. During my career, I've met a lot of eCommerce store owners that wanted to spend $100-200 for a development, then just buy products in China for $0.5 per piece and sell it in the US for $25 per piece. If you one of them, believe me, this method doesn't work in 2020 and you probably want to consider something else.

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