The eCommerce industry has been rapidly evolving over the last 20 years. And statistics show it keeps growing. According to the latest data from eMarketer, retail eCommerce sales are projected to total $6.3 trillion in the upcoming 2023. But businesses must invest a lot in their online presence to become part of this powerful machine.
Going online means having a robust eCommerce website. The way it is built and designed combined with the best UX/UI practices and an excellent purchase experience will determine your online store’s success. With this in mind, estimating the eCommerce website development cost is one of the key concerns of any merchant.
Let’s see what influences the price of an eCommerce site and how much it can cost to build an online store in 2023. Read on.
Key Considerations Before Developing an eComm Website
It’s crucial to choose the proper eCommerce solution that will satisfy all your specific business needs. To choose it, there are a number of factors you need to consider as a business owner. They are as follows:
- The type of your store. Are you going to sell to consumers (B2C model) or to other businesses (B2B model)? Do you sell products or services? What are the must-have features for your future website? Answers to these questions are key to choosing the most suitable platform. Be as specific as possible to make the right decision.
- Selling online and/or offline. If you already have a physical storefront, you might want to have an online store to expand your reach and start selling and shipping globally. Or you might have no brick-and-mortar storefront and are planning to sell online only. You might also want to provide a BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick Up In Store) option to your customers. Whatever is right about you, you should bear this in mind when opting for this or that eCommerce platform.
- Your budget. It’s best if you nail down your budget before researching multiple eComm solutions available on the market — they vary in price greatly so you need to understand how much you can allocate.
- Shipping & payment options. The last but not the least thing to think about is shipping. Will you manage shipping in-house or outsource it? Are you planning to provide worldwide shipping options? What’s your expected capacity to handle the delivery? The same goes for payment options.
Take some time and answer all of the questions listed above for each of the points. This will enable you to make the right decision and choose the solution that best fits your needs and budget.
How much does an eComm website cost in 2023?
The average cost of an eCommerce website depends on a number of factors and basically your needs. One might cost a few hundred dollars while another might amount to tens of thousands of dollars, and sometimes even several hundred thousand dollars. Let’s break down the eCommerce website development cost into variables.
The market of eComm platforms is enormous. The price of a solution depends on features they offer out of the box, their level of service, and the type of software they offer. Some of the most popular platforms include Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, Salesforce, and WooCommerce.
Here’s a quick overview of each:
- Shopify. The total sales on the platform are approximately $590 billion. It’s a good choice for enterprise-level clients. Shopify offers three monthly pricing plans: $21.50 (Basic), $62 (Shopify), and $266 (Advanced).
- BigCommerce can match the needs of companies of all sizes. There are 49,582 live sites built with BigCommerce. BigCommerce offers four monthly pricing plans: Standard ($29.95), Plus ($79.95), Pro ($299.95), and Advanced (custom).
- Magento. It has three versions for all types of businesses. Magento Open Source (free, self-hosted), Adobe Commerce (paid, self-hosted), and Adobe Commerce Cloud (paid, hosted). The price for Adobe Commerce or Adobe Cloud license depends on your company’s gross sales revenue.
- Salesforce is used by over 150 thousand businesses. It offers options for various business models — B2C, B2B, and B2B2C with various prices accordingly: 1%-3% gross merchandise value for B2C, $4-$8 price per order for B2B, and 1% gross merchandise value for B2B2C.
- WooCommerce. It’s basically a customizable WP plugin that helps to transform a blog or a regular website into a storefront. The platform’s market share is 23.43%. The solution is free to set up and use, but there are web hosting fees ranging from $3.95/month to $5,000.
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According to Forbes, the average domain name costs range between $10 and $20 annually. The price of a domain name depends on such factors as
- type (TDLs, i.e. .com, .shop, etc.)
Some eCommerce platforms can offer hosting as part of their subscription as they are hosted on the cloud (e.g., Shopify, Adobe Commerce Cloud, BigCommerce). This relieves you from any challenges associated with finding a 3d-party hosting provider and managing the hosting.
However, if you do need to choose a hosting provider, you should be ready to pay from $80 to $700+ for a month on average. The price will depend on the traffic your online store attracts, the set of features your site offers, and automated services (e.g., website backup).
SSL certificates are key to secure browsing. It’s an industry standard of encryption when it comes to transactions between an eCommerce website’s server and a shopper’s browser. Moreover, the presence of an SSL certificate is used as a ranking factor by search engines.
Typically, the cost of an SSL certificate ranges from $20 to $70 annually on average. However, the price can be significantly higher depending on the security needs of your online store. Also, some hosting providers include it in their fees. So keep it in mind when choosing a hosting solution.
Offering several payment gateways, various types of currency, and a diversity of regions for your customers during checkout will definitely make them love your online store for the convenience you provide. However, you’ll need to pay for each of the gateways you want to integrate. Take a look at some examples of the most popular gateways:
- Stripe: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
- PayPal: 2.9% + $0.30 for transactions over $10
- Authorize.net – 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction + $25 monthly fee
Bear in mind, that payment processing costs will also include fees that might come from your bank.
Unique web design that reflects your brand’s value and vision combined with UX/UI design that enables a great shopping experience is a significant part of the online store development process. This stage will also require significant investments since the design of your eCommerce website will determine the overall success of your store.
Many eCommerce solutions come with web design themes you can use for free. However, for others, you’ll need to pay from $60 to $200 on average. The price for premium themes will be higher and cost over $300. As to the store themes, everything depends on how much you’re ready to spend on the unique look and feel of your website.
Extensions, add-ons, and plugins
No matter how much time you spend on choosing the proper eCommerce solution, none of them can meet all your specific needs. So you might want to expand its functionality to win your customers’ loyalty and retain them. For this, you’ll need to add various extensions, add-ons, and plugins that increase the website development cost.
Some solutions offer such elements for free but mostly they are paid and the prices vary greatly. There are cases when you pay once and use an extension always while sometimes you’ll need to pay a monthly subscription. Here are some examples of extension prices from several popular platforms:
- Magento: from $40 to $500, one-time charge, lifetime use
- Shopify: from $5 to $99, monthly subscription
- WooCommerce: offers free options & paid up to $199 per year
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Freelancer vs development agency
The choice of vendor can either add up to the overall eCommerce website development cost or save you money. Typically, by hiring an agency you need to be ready for larger sums of money than by hiring a freelancer. However, agencies tend to be a safer option.
Nothing can guarantee the quality of a freelancer’s work. They can disappear anytime without delivering the project. In this case, you risk spending your money in vain. And the process will start over again — you’ll need to find another developer who won’t be very satisfied with finishing somebody else’s work. Besides, they must have the necessary skills and experience. What you’ll get is frustration and lost time and money.
With an agency, you’re more secure. Development agencies have in-house experienced and skilled developers. So you’re guaranteed to get an eComm website that looks and works the way you planned.
We recommend that you rely on a beneficial cost-quality ratio when making your choice.
The price of eCommerce website development consists of a number of factors that may influence the final cost. To calculate the budget, needed for your online store, you need to decide on the following points:
- Do the research and choose the right eComm solution that fits your needs
- Choose and buy your unique domain name that will reflect your brand and be memorable and recognizable
- Choose your hosting provider (unless you opted for a hosted provider in step 1)
- Think about your store’s web design
- Make a list of must-have and nice-to-have features your website should have
- Choose a vendor (preferably an agency)
That’s only the beginning. There might be extra costs when you start the website development process. And be ready for ongoing expenses to promote your store, expand its functionality as your business grows, and make it stand out for higher conversion and retention rates.