The cost of an e-commerce site can vary, depending on your requirements and whether you choose to use an off-the-shelf product or outsource an agency to build a bespoke solution.
You can start from as little as a few hundred pounds to thousands for an all-singing, all-dancing site.
The costs can quickly add up due to the complexity of e-commerce websites.
- View your site, including product pages, the homepage, and a contact page.
- Allow customers to add products to and update their baskets.
- Allow customers to checkout using a secure payment option.
- Ideally, you would also have a customer account area where customers can view their order history and update their details.
- Add/update all the pages on the website, including the homepage.
- Add/update products and categories.
- Add/update shipping options.
- View customer orders and reports.
- Add/update media such as product images.
- Other basic admin tasks.
Off-the-shelf options allow you to add extra components for a higher price, or an agency can also create them.
You will need to allow for ongoing costs such as hosting fees, maintenance, and the percentage your payment provider charges per transaction.
If you plan to have a new e-commerce site or update your existing one, there are a few things you’ll need to consider to determine the best fit for your business and your budget.
Do You Need a Bespoke Website or an Off-The-Shelf Option?
The answer to this question really boils down to the complexity of your website.
An off-the-shelf option can work well with stores that sell a single brand or product, has fairly simple shipping requirements and don’t need a complicated customer area. You can always upscale later as and when your needs change.
As the complexity of your website increases, you may find it less viable to use a pre-built solution; instead, you’ll need a bespoke site.
Complexity can include functions such as integrations with other software or systems, customer rewards schemes, and wishlists.
You will also need to consider the design of your website. It should be easy to incorporate your brand identity into pre-built templates with an off-the-shelf product; however, you won’t have complete control over the design and layout. A bespoke design works better for more complex sites as it is designed around the user experience.
Off-the-shelf product: FREE-£hundred-thousands to get started depending on the product chosen.
Bespoke solution: £hundreds-thousands.
Should You Use a Self-Hosted or Managed Option for an Off-The-Shelf Product?
Quite a few options are available for anyone who wants to use an off-the-shelf e-commerce site.
If you choose an option such as the WordPress plugin WooCommerce, you will need to add it to a WordPress site and host it on their servers or with your hosting provider. An example of a managed site would be Shopify which operates as a software as a service (SaaS), meaning you access it via its servers. Users pay a monthly subscription fee to run their site.
Both have pros and cons, and it’s worth thoroughly exploring if either would suit your business model.
A managed site makes it easy for anyone to get their e-commerce store up and running, and you don’t have to worry about hosting fees.
You may, however, find it expensive to pay for further development. The capabilities of the system will also limit you. A self-hosted option may require some knowledge and patience to get started. However, you won’t be restricted to one system as many options are available. You will need to pay for hosting, and support may be limited.
Self-hosted: £0-hundreds to set up your store. Costs after that depend on your hosting and any licence fees.
Managed: £1-hundreds per month (prices can start low as part of a trial or for reduced functionality).
What Should You Expect if You Opt for a Bespoke E-commerce Website?
The agency you choose to work with will initially take some time to understand your business and website requirements fully.
You can expect to receive a carefully planned site with a professional design and functions customised to work for your business. You should also receive hosting, support and maintenance and an SSL certificate as part of your aftercare package (depending on what the agency offers).
The other advantage of a bespoke build is it will be upscalable as your business grows if the correct foundations are in place.
What Other Costs Should You Consider?
Often you will receive a free domain name as part of a managed option or via an agency. If you need to buy one, these can range from as little as a few pence to buy to thousands for a premium name. You will also need to factor in renewal costs.
Initial costs: £0-thousands.
Renewal costs: £1-500+ (prices can vary depending on the domain name purchased and who with).
Having an SSL certificate for your website is vital. It reassures your customers that your website is genuine and allows them to view it with an encrypted connection. You will need to pay an annual renewal.
Initial costs: £0-100s+ (you may be able to get an SSL certificate included in your hosting).
Renewal costs: £1-100s+ (fees will vary depending on who you renew the certificate with).
Support and Maintenance
A managed option will usually have some level of support built into your monthly fee. Whatever option you use to create your site, it is essential to have ongoing support and maintenance to keep it running smoothly.
“If you build it, they will come” doesn’t really work for websites! If you build it, you need to let the world know how to find it is more appropriate. Your e-commerce website budget needs to stretch to marketing efforts such as email marketing and pay-per-click advertising.
Does the Hideout Design and Build E-commerce Websites?
We have been designing and building websites for more years than we care to remember!
We have the creativity and technical expertise to create stunning e-commerce sites customised to your requirements. We place a lot of emphasis on the discovery phase, where we spend time understanding every detail of how your business works and exactly what you need on your website to succeed. Getting these details right before we move into the design and development phases is essential.
When we hand over the keys to your new website, we like to ensure you have the best possible site!