Online shop Development Cost: What does it cost to build an eCommerce store?

Featuring an online store is not an added luxury for businesses anymore, especially with the Covid 19 pandemic, the new normal is staying indoors and working, studying, shopping, etc online. Since online platforms have absolutely no boundary restrictions, it is only logical that you have an online portal to promote your products and services. People would raise their eyebrows if you don’t have an online platform anymore. Especially since you can sell your products to anyone anywhere in the world and at the same time reduce business operating costs, having an e-commerce website.

In fact, the cost of running an e-commerce platform is significantly lower 

There is always someone searching for a product/service, so it would be a good thing to go online and stay online 24/7. Another benefit with having an e-commerce website is that you can employ a variety of marketing techniques to sell your product/service.   

Benefits of having an online shop 

Low setup and running costs when compared to offline business

The cost of setting up an online shop is definitely much lower when compared to a brick and mortar shop. Running an establishment means hiring office staff, giving them wages, electricity and maintenance charges and other expenses associated with having a building. On the other hand, having an e-commerce shop also costs money, but considerably lower, and you can always expand your business without having to physically build more buildings or move. 

Scale anytime you want

One of the things e-commerce websites have to manage intelligently would be the capacity to scale during seasonal spikes. The best thing about an e-commerce shop is that you can scale your business during these spikes, and scale down during normal seasons. And if you are thinking of diversifying your product range, you don’t have to expand physically, but move into the cloud or buy more servers.

Open anytime you want

Another benefit about an online shop is that you can sell 24/7. Your potential customers need not be worried about time restrictions because they can shop from anywhere, anytime. You can also plan your marketing activities based on the peak sales timings according to different time zones and target them to the right zones.  

Manage the shop anywhere

The best thing about having an online shop is that you don’t have to be physically present to run. You can run the business, manage the shop and oversee the operations wherever you are located, provided you have uninterrupted internet connection.

We could go on and on about the benefits of having an online portal to promote and sell your products, but our aim is to look at the break up of costs involved in building an online shop, so let’s get down to real business. 

The budget required to build an online shop

What kind of a shop are you building?

The first thing that you need to do would be to have an idea of what kind of a shop you are building. It is going to be a product-only store, service-only store, or a store that combines everything, including selling a product, and then providing servicing and maintenance whenever required. Or are you selling to other businesses (B2B) or to other customers (B2C)? Also, is your shop going to be a multilingual shop or a regional shop? 

Main one or complementary?

Is it going to be a main shop or a complementary one to a brick and mortar shop?

The cost will matter a great deal if your shop is going to be the main one. Because you have to plan a lot of things and incorporate them all smoothly to ensure a hassle-free shopping experience. 

Consider your shipping options

Yes, the cost of building the shop also depends on what your shipping options are. It is going to be managed in-house or outsourced to a different vendor? Are you planning to ship overseas or only in your country? The options come endless. 

The cost

The cost of developing an e-commerce website can be clarified in two different ways:

  • Build and set up the shop
  • Ongoing cost of maintaining the shop

The costs itself can be divided into several variables:

Choosing the right software and platform for the content management system

There are several kinds of software platforms to build your online shop, but the three main ones are WooCommerce, Shopify and BigCommerce. WooCommerce is free, and several small and big websites are powered by it. Shopify isn’t free, and comes with different schemes, depending on what features you need.

On an average, for a small business, the CMS would be $2500 , while it can go up to $20,000 or more for a medium size business and way higher, around $50,000 for an enterprise organisation.

The number of pages

So how big or small is your business going to be? How many pages of products and descriptions would you be having? Even a small business would have around 10 pages, so you can estimate around $1000 to $2000 for a simple and small website. 

The content for the page 

Hiring an expert to do the content is another aspect in the budget. If you are writing the content yourself, you can save the expense, but if you are hiring a writer, their cost would vary on their expertise, from around $50 to $500 per page. 

Domain hosting

Purchasing the domain also costs money, and it can range anywhere from $2 per year to $20 or more. The price factor actually depends from where you are hosting it to the extension you are choosing. 

Ecommerce hosting

Shopify and BigCommerce are two big names in the hosting industry that e-commerce businesses use. The expenses for hosting depends on what features you need, ranging from $80 to $750 per month. 

SSL Certification costs

SSL certification may not cost much, but it is very important because it provides the security your customers would need when they visit your site. The cost could vary from $20-$70 per year, depending on the vendor. 

Payment processing costs

One of the major things associated with an online shop is the payment gateway part. It could be PayPal, UPI, Credit Card, Debit Card, Internet Banking, so plenty of third parties  are involved. There are fees involved in each of them, so you need to keep aside a certain amount per month, for this and for gateways like PayPal and Stripe, there would be fees per transaction. And once again, when you choose BigCommerce or WooCommerce, you will know how much it will all come up to. 

Design costs

This is a whole and all encompassing section where you decide on the theme of the shop, the UI and UX involved, the admins, plugins and extensions. It would also depend on whether you will choose Magneto, BigCommerce or Shopify. The store themes would cost extra, around $200 for each theme that you choose. And as for the cost of plugins, it would depend on what you choose, the extensions and add ons. The cost for this could start from $0 to upwards. 

Front-end to back-end development

Once you hire a software development agency, they would cover the front end and back-end development tasks. And this would start around $40,000 for a basic e-commerce website. 

In short, you cannot name a price range as such when you are developing an online shop. But if it is important for you to focus on a price point, it could be anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 depending on what all features that will be incorporated. 

Then you would also have to consider SEO costs, and the ongoing costs of maintaining the website. 

Interesting Links:

Everything you want to know about Ecommerce

What is the process of Online Shop development?

Pictures: Canva

The author: Sascha Thattil works at which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.

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