Taking your retail business online can feel like a big step - but it's crucial if you want to expand!
What does an eCommerce website cost on average? Between $50 and $350 a month for a small to medium-sized company, plus an initial investment of up to $1,000.
Next, we'll run through the cost of each component step-by-step and explain how a free website popup can help curb your expenses!
Hosting Costs for an Ecommerce Site
The first step is to make sure your site supports the right business structure for eCommerce enterprises - including:
- The domain name; which is your web address.
- Web hosting; where your website data is stored. You may use AWS EC2 or GCP Compute Engine VMs to host and run your site, the price of virtual machines will be expensive compared to dedicated eCommerce hosting.
- SSL certification; this is essential website security, so be sure to choose hosting for eCommerce that provides this security feature.
There are multiple eCommerce platforms you can choose from, including self-hosted and SaaS solutions.
Is WordPress Good for Ecommerce Websites?It's one of several potential options, along with brands like Shopify and BigCommerce - all offer domain names as part of a paid package.
Domains usually cost $10 to $20 a year, web hosting from $29 to $250 a month, or a self-hosted site costs between $2.99 and $200 a month.
Choosing a Cost-Effective Ecommerce Software
Your eCommerce site requires:
- Product pages
- Stock management
- Shopping carts
- Checkout and payment pages
Affordable web-builders charge from $20 to $30 a month for a basic service.
As a quick comparison, the Wix Business Basic product costs $13 a month (provided you pay annually), including a free SSL certificate and hosting.
The Basic Shopify package costs $29 a month - again if you pay upfront for the year. You get SSL security but no other added extras.
A standard BigCommerce site costs $29.95 a month, with hosting and SSL, but if you turnover more than $50,000 in a year, you're obliged to upgrade to the Plus plan - with a price tag of $79.95 a month.
Note that you'll need separate plugins with any of these three solutions. This is because they don't incorporate customized reports, checkouts in different currencies, calculators for sales tax, duty and import charges, or any other features you need.
Paying Processing Charges for Online Sales
Payment processing is an ongoing expense - the choices vary between platforms, as do the costs!
PayPal and Stripe for WooCommerce charge 2.9%, plus $0.30 for every sale. The same software for BigCommerce costs between 2.4% and 2.9%, plus $0.30.
Shopify Payments charges 2.4% - 2.9% for each transaction, added to the $0.30 transactional cost.
Refer to the article about Shopify Fees (2022): All The Expense You Need To Know!
Picking Ecommerce Plugins and Software
Whichever hosting service and web platform you select, you'll need plugins and additional software to make your eCommerce site stand out from the crowd.
There are plenty of free plugins that can transform your sales performance:
- Contact form templates to manage inquiries.
- A countdown timer to promote sales events and launches.
- Popups to save abandoned carts and improve conversion rates.
- Media galleries to connect your socials to your site.
- Chatbots and interactive FAQs guides.
Website Design - Free Templates vs. Commercial Web Developers
Finally, let's talk about website design - you'll need to choose layouts, product images, lifestyle graphics, and content to help your site flow nicely. Web builder platforms have themes and templates you can play around with, or you can pay a developer to customize your site to your business.
Design tends to cost up to $250 if you want to use premium templates, or on average, $1,000 to $5,000 if you'd like to hire a designer to create something custom. The trick is to start with a set budget and decide where to spend your cash to get the best possible site.
You can always begin with a basic template, choose some of the top free website plugins, and revisit your website as business booms, adding new pages, details, and features to grow your site alongside your sales.