How Much Does an eCommerce Website Cost? (Breakdown)


How much does it cost to build an eCommerce website? That’s the question which everybody wants to know. As eCommerce developers, we get this question asked 50 times a week. We can’t really tell you from company to company, but we can give you a general overview of some building blocks so that you can make an educated decision on, “How much does it really cost?” Number one – design. Design could vary anywhere between 5 – 20% of your budget. It really depends upon if you’re just taking a template, customizing a template, or just starting from scratch. Number two – programming. Programming could vary anywhere between 20 – 30% of your budget. Programming involves taking your approved designs, converting into HTML CSS, implementing the shopping cart, as well as setting up your static and product pages. Customizations and programming – they overlap each other, and between the two of them it could take anywhere between 40% of your eCommerce budget. Customizations, in simple words, are changes to the core code, which we need to make so that your business objectives could be achieved. Integrations could take up anywhere between 10 to 20% of the project. It really depends upon the complexity of your business. In some cases, integration is as simple as just a shipping, payment gateway, and maybe a third party tool where you just send all your information to the drop shipper. But in medium to big sized businesses, it might mean a detailed integration with your ERP system – with your vendors and their platforms – so on and so forth. Server set-up, hosting and go live – it could take anywhere between 2 – 5% of the cost. Even though you might be using a hosted shopping cart like Shopify or Bigcommerce where the hosting is built in, there is still significant time spent in setting up the files and making sure that your site runs smoothly. It might be that this price is amortized over the different allocations, but this is something that cannot be ignored. Marketing – this is a very important one which is often overlooked. It could range anywhere between 10 – 15%. Marketing includes the creation of silos, the integration of organic optimization techniques, conversion tracking and performance monitoring, the ability to pull a clean data feed, site maps, webmasters, 301 redirects, 404 pages, and the time it takes to make sure your website launches with a lift. Project Management – Project management could vary anywhere between 5 – 15% of the total cost. This is something which varies from company to company. Whether you do it yourself or you assign it to someone, there has to be constant interaction between the agency and your team. Because at the end of the day, a successful project requires a successful project management approach. Lastly, training – Small percentage – maybe 5% or less – but this is where you spend time in learning the CMS. The product uploads, managing all your static and product pages… You don’t want to just rely on the agency to take care of all the changes, unless you have a maintenance contract with them. But you should still have total control over the CMS. You should understand every aspect of it, so that you are independent of any vendor. So to summarize “How much does it really cost to build an eCommerce site?” – This varies from vendor to vendor. It really depends upon the complexity of the project. At the end of the day these are the elements which will determine your cost.

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