How much do eCommerce websites cost? (Updated For 2021)
First published and written by eCommerce developer Mark D. Hulett back in 2014 and recently updated for 2021, our eCommerce costs guide is the go-to source for eCommerce entrepreneurs and industry professionals alike.
This eCommerce costs guide deals specifically with eCommerce websites. If you’re looking for a similar costs guide on basic websites you’ll want to head on over to our “How Much Do Websites Cost?” guide… otherwise keep on reading!
Answering The How Much Does An eCommerce Website Cost Question
As an eCommerce website developer (for more than a decade now) I get asked the “how much” question often. Sometimes the how much does an eCommerce website cost question is better qualified with something like, “I want an eCommerce website for selling my products online. How much will it cost?” No matter the form the question takes about eCommerce website costs I usually have to reply with a very truthful yet non-direct answer. That truthful answer is quite simply… it all depends.
Our Featured eCommerce Website Projects
The vast majority of eCommerce websites we develop and launch typically range between $5,000 – $10,000.
How many pages? How many products? If you don’t know exactly that’s OK I tell them. Let’s guess. About how many products? Will any of the products be available in variations such as color, size, etc.? Do you have the content ready for your eCommerce website or will you need someone to write or perhaps assist you with writing the content?
Typically with most eCommerce website design packages at minimal you’re looking at the basic pages like about us, home page, contact us page, FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions), return and refund policy, shipping information, along with other staple pages that let your visitors know about you, your products and your business.
That’s only the basic content pages though. To do well with your eCommerce website you’ll need to have very good product titles and product descriptions, product images, pricing and other pertinent product specific content ready to add to the eCommerce website. Anyone who tells you otherwise is simply not being truthful with you.
The eCommerce online marketplace is extremely competitive and you’ll want to make sure you enter into your new online ecommerce venture with every possible advantage. That means taking the time to either write great content and product descriptions yourself or being prepared to pay for a professional to help you with all of that. Either way it’s a critical piece of the whole eCommerce equation and one that you can’t afford not to do well with.
What about the product pictures and site graphics? Do you have those ready or will we need to work together on sourcing them? Will we need to create site graphics and product promos for the site for you? Do you have a server already hosting the domain or do we need to work on setting that up as well?
Do you have the domain name secured or will you need assistance there as well? You’ll want to accept payments online securely via credit/debit cards using an affordable turnkey secure payment gateway solution like Stripe. There are numerous payment gateway solutions out there and those options can be discussed to determine which is the best fit for your online business.
By now it’s easy to see where I’m going with all this but bear with me a bit longer. I do want to give you some very good “ballpark eCommerce website cost” information to go on.
Quantifying The The Question
For the sake of getting a starting point let’s assume it’s a 20 product eCommerce website. You have all the content written (rarely is this the case). You have all of the product images ready, sized correctly and optimized for web (again this is rare). You have your products, product titles, product descriptions, pricing and other pertinent product information neatly organized into a spreadsheet format like excel or OpenOffice (even rarer do I see this level of organization with my new eCommerce clients only because most don’t know the spreadsheets are used in the eCommerce development process).
In essence you’re about ready or very close to being ready for an eCommerce website developer like myself to get it all loaded into the new eCommerce database system that will power the new online shop.
Let’s say that the site we’re pricing for has only a handful of slightly complex variations and that those variations are not price dependent. That simply means that if a product has 3 sizes and 6 colors that the price will be the same across the board no matter what combination of variants that your online shopper selects at checkout. This critical variations/pricing information is essential for an eCommerce developer like myself to be able to give you an accurate projected cost for your new eCommerce website.
You can easily see how the “unknowns” like variable pricing and product data readiness make it next to impossible for an experienced eCommerce developer to accurately answer the generic “how much” question. It can mean the difference between a 100 hour eCommerce development project and a 300+ hour eCommerce development project. That’s a huge gap between estimated and actual development time that has to be better quantified.
So… how much should you expect to pay for this particular, professional eCommerce website we just quantified?
Basic eCommerce Website Deliverables and Costs
- Domain Name – About $18/year
- Hosting – About $300 to $660 a year (your specific hosting and server requirements will depend on a number of variables such as eCommerce CMS used, total number of products, page count and anticipated site traffic. (*Magento = Typically Upper End & *WooCommerce = Typically Lower End)
- eCommerce website planning, development, product data prep, database setup and custom theme design time – (Costs vary widely – from as low as $1,000 for small shops up to $10,000+ or more for enterprise level shops hosting thousands of SKUs (products). *Time and billing for this brunt of the work is heavily dependant on the number of products, product complexity, number of pages, level of customization and the sophistication of eCommerce functionality desired.
- Continued eCommerce CMS & Product Database Maintenance – $600 minimal a year and up (depending on the number of updates, frequency of product changes and the level of product management required). *Georgia Web Development includes 12 months of post launch care services that allocate up to 2 hours per month for product additions and product updates.
- Marketing and Promoting your eCommerce website online – $360 minimal per year and up (depends on frequency of promotions, PPC (pay per click) campaign budgets, social media management and content additions to the eCommerce site).
Factors That Determine eCommerce Website Cost
When trying to budget eCommerce website costs consider these factors (some were already mentioned above):
- Is this a new eCommerce website or is it a redesign and/or redevelopment project?
- How many pages?
- How many products?
- Will any of the products be available in varieties (variations) such as color, size, etc.?
- If any of the products have variations will those variations be price dependent?
- Do you have the content ready for your eCommerce shop or will you be needing assistance with content creation and organizing product data?
- What about the product pictures and site graphics?
- Do you have a server already hosting the domain or do we need to work on setting that up?
- Do you have the domain name secured or will you need assistance with domain registration?
- Do you want to accept payments online via Authorize.net or would you like to use a turnkey secure payment gateway solution like Stripe?
- Do you have your products, pricing and information neatly organized into a spreadsheet format like excel or OpenOffice?
- Would you like a blog installed within your eCommerce website?
- Do you need other special features like social media channels created or advanced product SEO?
The ballpark prices listed in my guide here are based on more than a decade of commercial eCommerce website development experience. In the past decade I have successfully developed and helped clients launch and manage eCommerce websites as simple as 1 product and as large and complex as 25,000+ products. eCommerce website prices will be relatively higher or lower depending on your specific eCommerce site requirements.
In a quick telephone call that typically last less than 15 minutes I can gather enough information to give anyone an accurate projected cost for their eCommerce website project. Call 229-234-0181 for a free, no obligation eCommerce telephone consultation. You can also use the contact form on the bottom of this page to request a FREE eCommerce website consultation or project quote.
eCommerce Interaction Design
Great Interaction Design is paramount in successful eCommerce website design. eCommerce Website Interaction Design is heavily focused on satisfying the needs and desires of the majority of visitors who will both visit and shop on the site.
While how a website looks is obviously very important, interaction design insures that the design elements foster the type of behaviors (like add to cart and checkout) that will make the shopping experience as intuitive as possible for visitors.
For most eCommerce websites, plan on budgeting about $1,000 – $2,000 to insure that the eCommerce website is thoroughly tested for usability and that these metrics are bench-marked not only during development but post launch as well. Analytics should be employed on the site to offer critical Intel on how shoppers and visitors are interacting with the site.
Product Images and Custom Graphics Design
eCommerce website graphics (design) pricing can be a bit obscure at times. It can range from as little as $500 to upwards of $2,000+. High-end stock images are not cheap nor is a great graphics designer. High quality design graphics will make your eCommerce website stand out from the pack.
When it comes to high quality product images this is one critical area that you don’t want to cut corners on. If you’re a distributor it’s likely you already have access to great product images. If you don’t manufacture your products and rely on a supplier for product images we’ll at minimal still want to change the image file names to something unique. Why? Because those same exact images are likely used on other eCommerce shops all across the web.
The principle above also applies to product titles and descriptions if you’ve got them directly from a manufacturer or supplier in a data set or spreadsheet. They’ll be considered duplicate content on the web and a sign of low quality for your online store (to Google and the other search engines). You’ll want to avoid duplicate content issues caused by simply copying and using the manufacturer and supplier descriptions and product images.
A custom designed logo falls into this same category. If you don’t have a great one already it’s highly recommended to get this worked out in the design package as well. Do you really want to use a $5 to $50 dollar generic logo from a cheap web source to represent the brand you’re investing a few thousand dollars at minimal into? Get a professional designer to work with you to create a unique logo designed specifically for you and your brand.
eCommerce Content Management Platforms
Many eCommerce shop owners desire to manage their own eCommerce websites. Costs for integrating and custom development of an eCommerce CMS platform can typically range anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000+.
At Georgia Web Development we utilize both open source and proprietary eCommerce platforms that are trusted by more than 180,000+ online retailers including industry giants like Nike & OfficeMax. Our eCommerce software platforms are unparalleled in performance, reliability and security. We specialize in both WooCommerce and Magento eCommerce platforms. We have years of development, design and customization experience with both of these eCommerce systems for clients with all types and sizes of online shops.
- CPanel Server Hosting (Included)
- Domain Name (Included)
- Branded Company Emails (Included)
- SSL Certificate (Included)
- Design & Development (Included)
- Extras (Included)
Training and Ongoing Support
You’ll definitely be needing ongoing support and at minimal initial training for managing your new eCommerce website. Depending on how sophisticated the eCommerce system is and the number of shop managers to be trained, expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $1,500+ for thorough, quality training. (In every new eCommerce shop launched, Georgia Web Development includes 12 Months – up to 2 hours per month of free ongoing support and up to 5 hours of basic eCommerce website & shop management training immediately following the live launch of your website.)
It All Adds Up
Taking into account all of the information above, one can easily see how the costs can add up rather quickly. Another way to better understand the cost analysis is to consider these typical allocations for time:
55% Development, Product Data & Database Configuration, eCommerce Platform System Configuration +Setup
10% Planning & Pre-development Tasks
10% Project Management
Final Answer To The How Much Question
The vast majority of eCommerce websites we develop and launch typically range anywhere from $5,000 – $10,000.
If you’re planning for your eCommerce shop to one day generate a substantial portion of your income please don’t skimp on the initial investment in high quality eCommerce development and design.
What would you pay for a brick and mortar retail shop? You might easily invest $100,000 to $200,000 on the lease, inventory, interior design, marketing, advertising, utilities, staff, equipment and insurance, etc. Why be so hesitate about paying a reasonable fee for an online version of your business that’s not limited by location? For a professionally developed and designed eCommerce website you can realistically expect to pay as little as $2,500 or as much as $10,000+ or more.
eCommerce Website Consultation & Project Quote
Simply use the form on the bottom of this page to send us your eCommerce website questions or request a FREE eCommerce project proposal. You can even include a phone number (optional) and we’ll call you.
At Georgia Web Development we know first hand the many challenges and decisions that you’ll face along the way to establishing a successful eCommerce presence on the web. From choosing the right eCommerce website hosting provider to deciding on the best eCommerce inventory management approach we’re here to offer our free expert advice and eCommerce industry knowledge without any fancy sales pitches thrown in (we promise).
Best wishes on your eCommerce venture!
Mark D. Hulett is the Senior eCommerce Website Developer & Designer at Georgia Web Development. His experience and working knowledge of eCommerce, website development and website design spans more than a decade.
Mark responds personally to all inquiries and is more than happy to setup a quick phone call to discuss your project and answer questions.