WHAT DO YOU ACTUALLY NEED?
Before we get into pricing though, it’s important to understand the specifics of your business. It’s tempting to charge in with an all-singing, all-dancing website that features every bell, whistle and add-on available. These include add ons like Klaviyo for email management, pre-order capabilities, bundles, social media promotion, shipping and inventory management.
Shopify and other hosted platforms are one of the best ways of working with this model. Hosted platforms include a load of typical functionality that you’ll need when setting up an e-commerce store, like a PCI compliant checkout and inventory management, which means you don’t have to pay to re-invent the wheel. This lets you focus on finding the right design for your website, or adding bespoke features.
DO I NEED A DESIGN FIRM?
It’s true that there’s no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to quality e-commerce websites, so eventually you’ll want an agency to help you out.
In the long run, a professional design agency will help you make money by making your website better and by following best practice. They can help you save money too by setting up your website so that it’s easy to update.
Choosing the right design firm can be daunting. Here some things to look for in your search:
- A commitment to increasing sales and an understanding of how to turn visitors into customers on all device types.
- Great customer reviews and a high rating on Google – the only way of ensuring you’re working with a real market leader
- A proven track record for developing bespoke projects.
- Customer testimonials on their website.
- Clear fixed pricing and schedules that work to your requirements.
- Honesty – if you think an agency is only telling you what you want to hear, it’s possible they’re not being upfront about how tricky setting up an ecommerce website can be!
HOW MUCH DO E-COMMERCE WEBSITES COST?
So now we’ve looked at how to assess your business’s needs and find an agency that works for you, there’s only one big question left – just what will it cost you? There is, of course, a wide range of pricing available and just as there’s no one size fits all in terms of website development and functionality, this is also true of pricing too. We’ve done our best to narrow down some benchmark rates to help with your decision making.
DESIGN AND BUILD
- Around $4k - $8k for a very basic site from a small agency or freelancer, built on Shopify
- Between $10k to $15k for something more sophisticated that is built for you by 5 - 30 person agency. Please don't pay more!
- We have heard some larger clients (think Walmart) pay $50k - $300k for more complex projects.
MONTHLY MAINTENANCE FEES
- If you use a hosted solution like Shopify or Squarespace, you won’t pay an initial cost but you will have monthly fees between $30 and $300/month. This fee includes upgrades and security updates, which you’ll need to pay someone else to do on a self-hosted solution.
For a hosted website the pricing structure is a little different and there are several things to consider:
- Web design agencies can charge between $80 - $150 per hour. The advantage is that their capacity is more predictable and they’ll have the skillset you need to get your project done, but having that skilled team at the ready comes at a cost.
- However, with all of these options are pros and cons, so be sure to do your research and be aware of any offers that sound too good to be true.
When agreeing on a cost, do ensure that the price quoted is the total cost and that there are no hidden extras. An e-commerce website is a huge project and will inevitably take time to perfect. Before anything you need to think about exactly you want and need from your ecommerce site and then ensure your designer/developer will be able to deliver it.
The real answer to the question “How much should an e-commerce website cost you?” is simple: nothing’s for certain. Every business is different, and every business develops in its own way. As an extension of your business, the e-commerce website will reflect that as will the money you spend on it.