An attractive, functional, and accessible website is imperative for the success of every modern retail business. It helps you build your online presence and reputation. When properly designed, it even helps generate qualified leads and direct sales revenue for your company.
If you’re looking to try your hands at launching an online store, it’s high time you get started with developing an ecommerce website.
Why Build an Ecommerce Website?
Indeed, a well-designed website is the secret sauce to harnessing the immense potential of the ecommerce industry. It helps you break into new market segments without the need for a brick-and-mortar establishment.
Also, an ecommerce website expands your customer base by helping you reach consumers across the globe. It even helps you enhance the purchase experience, and build a loyal community of brand advocates. The best part is, an online store minimizes operational expenses, thus boosting your revenue even further.
However, if you want to build an ecommerce website, you should be prepared for a hefty initial investment. From domain registration and website design to maintenance, creating an ecommerce website involves some significant expenses.
In the following sections, we’ll discuss the main areas where you’ll need to spend while developing your ecommerce website. Let’s take a look.
1. Website Hosting and Domain Registration
Getting your domain name registered is the first step of creating any website. Your online store isn’t an exception.
Think of the domain name as the identity of your website. It’s going to be a part of your website URL. It’s what your target consumers will use to find and access your online store.
Most domain registration services charge an annual fee. The cost of registration depends on various factors, including the top-level domain (TLD) you select. The average cost ranges between $10 to $20 per year.
Next, you’ll need to use a web hosting service to store your website’s assets and run your online shop. Web hosting providers charge a monthly or annual subscription fee. Make sure you find a reputable hosting provider that specializes in catering to ecommerce websites.
Web hosting plans start from $100 per year. The cost of hosting increases depending on the features and add-ons you need.
2. Ecommerce Platform
Whether you’re hiring a professional designer or using an ecommerce platform, expect to spend at least a few hundred dollars for web design and development.
The good news is that creating an ecommerce website has become easier than ever. The internet is flooded with sophisticated, feature-packed online store builders that eliminate the need for top-notch coding skills.
Avoid using any random free ecommerce website builder. Instead, find one that fits your budget, needs, and skill level. Make sure you analyze online reviews of different ecommerce platforms before the final selection.
Generally speaking, ecommerce website builders can be classified as open-source, SaaS, or headless ecommerce platforms. Most website builders charge a monthly fee that starts from $29.
Your choice of pricing plan depends on various factors, such as:
- Number of products
- Type and complexity of website features
- Website theme
- Security features
- Tech support
3. Content and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Most ecommerce business owners make the mistake of focusing all efforts on enhancing the visual appeal of their website. However, even the most attractive online store will fail to yield sales and revenue in the absence of top-notch content.
Product descriptions, service terms, return policy, company profile, blog posts - your website needs a wide array of content before it comes to life. That emphasizes the need to hire skilled copywriters, graphic designers, photographers, and bloggers to create high-quality content.
Then there’s the cost of hiring an SEO specialist who’ll identify relevant keywords, and optimize your website content.
You can either hire in-house writers and SEO experts or outsource these tasks to a digital marketing agency.
The security features on your ecommerce website play a key role in ensuring its usability. Also, they help you earn the trust of your customers.
That makes it an important investment for your online store.
At the very least, you’ll need to implement SSL encryption, malware protection, and DDoS protection to safeguard your website from cyberattacks.
5. Website Maintenance
When it comes to website development, many business leaders tend to neglect planning for maintenance costs. It’s important to understand that building an ecommerce website isn’t a standalone event.
You’ll need to constantly monitor your website and run hygiene checks to ensure that it's working properly.
The cost of maintenance will vary depending on whether your website has been custom-built or developed on an ecommerce platform.
The design, deployment, and maintenance of an ecommerce website involves various expense heads. Make sure you consider various fees, including domain registration, ecommerce platform, and maintenance, before finalizing your web development budget.