Building an e-commerce website or platform is the foundation for every business operating an online store. The amount of investment comes from various ranges. Since an online store has multiple features to meet marketing strategies, the specifications and importance of determining the related costs. Various factors influence e-commerce website development costs; keep reading the blog to learn more.
Let us not forget that 90% of online shoppers would not purchase from a website with an unpleasant experience. By being unpleasant, we mean it has issues related to the following:
- A valuable and reliable description
- Loading speed
- Image quality
- Categorisation of products and services
- Little to no reviews
- Poor quality customer service
The above factors are just a few that make a customer decide against returning to your website. Now that you know how picky your customers can be, you must also have realised how important it is to carefully build a store that screams perfection in every way possible. Beginning from product design to privacy policies, corner for personalisation, and much more, the more features you add, the costlier building your platform becomes.
We will discuss the specifications of every feature in this blog so that it may guide you into arriving at the final costs.
Factors Determining the Cost of E-Commerce Website Development
1. Domain & hosting costs
A domain name is the first thing your business should consider since it has a long-lasting impact. Always try to lease it for a more extended period if you get a hold of a good and relevant name. If not, a one-year lease is good enough.
The prices of domain names depend on different extensions. .com, .net, .edu, .org, and .in are some popular choices. Note that;
- The domain name is easy to remember.
- No other brand has a similar name, not even spelt differently. A legal hassle might result in extra expenditures.
- The domain history is not related to any illegal business, betting platforms, etc.
- A good second-level domain extension. It might cost more than 1500 INR.
- Is compatible with social media; the social media handles should have a related name, if not the same one.
Optimising the domain to match all these specifications is costly, but cheaper options don’t always serve the purpose of your e-commerce platform. On the other hand, hosting allows you to establish your business profile through a website.
On a low budget, you might go for shared hosting, but cloud web hosting, dedicated hosting, WordPress hosting and VPS hosting are good performance-based options to uplift or boost your e-commerce platform. The only difference is the price ranges from as less than INR 72 to INR 30K for a month.
2. Website Building
When investing in website building, naturally, it would be the most expensive investment for your organisation. A website or a web page is the official representation of your business account that people will frequently access to buy your products and services.
Ask yourself, what can set your company page apart from similar businesses? Once you have decided on specifications, proceed with the following three significant additions that will complete your website.
When we use Chrome, it generally asks us whether we want AdBlock installed or specific extensions that modify our experience using Chrome services.
Similarly, an extension of your e-commerce website is essential to add something extra. This would enhance the user experience of your visitors, increasing conversion rates or sales.
You don’t necessarily have to include these plugins all the time, but constantly modifying the website to add and remove extensions can also be expensive, considering you cannot do it yourself and need a professional to get the task done.
One excellent example of extensions is Yoast SEO, which automatically guides you to adding optimised keywords in the right volume, with great readability, etc., whenever writing a blog.
Extensions can cost less than 5000 INR to 50,000 INR, depending on their functionality. There might be cheaper or even free options available.
A theme is a website design that might be a part of your website-building package or something you would have to do yourself. Themes are an additional expenditure but equally necessary because you can add carousels, good-quality images, 3D effects to pages, and much more than professionally designed versions.
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For example, candy shop owners are looking to modify their website into a vibrant, bubbly theme that surprises customers as soon as they access the page. Complete with visual elements and other intricate details, it can vary between 15,000 INR to 1,00,000 INR.
5. Content Development
Now that your website is ready, complete with product lists, categories, and functions for users to navigate through, all that remains is the content on your page.
Content is the heart of your website because, without relevant information, customers have no idea what you are selling. Here is a list of things that your content writer needs to structure the website on;
- About page: General information needed to encourage customers to keep looking.
- Product page listings: Product description, reviews, and how-to-use steps.
- Blogs: You don’t need to upload blogs daily; make them regular only for search engine optimisation purposes and to give some extra insights on your business or industry.
- History and case studies: Not applicable for short-term businesses, but multinational companies launching their website make a point to include their history and some case studies.
- Licenses and privacy policies: There is not much to write here, but it is still important for other businesses that connect with you, our customers, to know whether the company they’re buying from is officially registered and licensed. Having privacy policies and registered licenses uploaded on a separate page builds customer trust.
The length of your content decides how expensive it is. A good content writer would need at least 1,00,000 INR for all the pages mentioned above.
6. Maintenance & Updates
Never think that you can skip maintenance. Maintaining how long your website takes to load and other technical functionalities ensures customers can keep visiting your website hassle-free. Most business owners have an IT professional as a part of their organisation, but if you have just started with your startup, try it out yourself for a few months with a freelancer in touch.
Professionals are expensive to hire, primarily when they work full-time in your company. They might need a salary of at least 20,000 INR. However, this is for websites that receive at least a few hundred orders daily.
7. Payment processing costs
A safe and quick payment gateway is an essential feature of your e-commerce website. It should be hosted by a platform which is recognised by the majority of your target audience as well since many users look for signs of authenticity depending on the payment gateway.
Apart from cash, credit or debit, e-commerce platforms must also offer online banking options to ease customer access. Costs incurred will be a percentage of the transactions undertaken through the website. This fee is known as the Merchant Discount Rate or MDR.
Currently, payment charges one of the lowest MDR at just 1.99% of the total transaction amount. Costs will also be different based on the payment method the customer chooses.
Features you need to have in an E-commerce Website
1. User-Friendly Interface:
A user-friendly interface is essential for an ecommerce website to give customers a smooth and enjoyable shopping experience. The design should be appealing and straightforward with clear product categories and intuitive filters that enable customers to quickly locate what they need. Such elements could include an organized menu system, clear product categories, and straightforward filters for narrowing down search results.
2. Mobile responsive:
As more and more people turn to smartphones when shopping online, having a mobile-responsive website is essential. A responsive site automatically adjusts according to the screen size of whatever device is being used, offering customers an effortless shopping experience on any device.
3. Product Pages:
Each product should have its own dedicated page featuring high-quality images, comprehensive descriptions, and pricing information. This provides customers with all the data they need to make an informed purchase decision – features, benefits, size charts, and customer reviews – so they feel more confident when making their selection.
High-quality images and comprehensive descriptions can give customers peace of mind when making a purchase decision.
4. Shopping Cart:
A shopping cart is an integral feature of an e-commerce website that allows customers to add items to their cart and review their orders before checking out.
The cart should be user-friendly with a prominent display so customers can easily add or remove items as needed. Furthermore, the shopping cart should provide information on pricing, taxes, and shipping costs.
5. Payment Gateway:
A secure payment gateway is essential for an e-commerce website to process customer payments securely. The gateway should accept various payment options, such as credit cards, PayPal and other methods to give customers flexibility. Furthermore, ensure the payment gateway is secure by using measures like SSL encryption to protect customers’ personal and payment information.
Building an E-commerce Website on a Budget
Professionals don’t recommend it, but sometimes companies have to do what they must do. Budget constraints are typical, especially when companies venture into the industry for the first time. If you have a budget of less than INR 25K, stop looking for an online platform offering budget-friendly options. Have you ever wondered why these offers are too good to be true? Because they are. Here is a step-by-step guide to what you can do instead:
Don’t hire a professional photographer or content writer for your products and services. You can skip this for now because your first priority should be focusing on the quality of your services.
Surprisingly, you don’t need exceptionally outstanding writing and photography skills to do a photo shoot of what your company offers. With many free online editors, access a variety of templates.
Perform social media marketing to accomplish the goals of creating a brand name. Use relevant hashtags and recent trends and collaborate with popular influencers or similar companies.
Strategise the hosting plan for improving online presence. A social media presence is temporarily good enough if you cannot afford to own your web page.
Maintain frequency in posting and cooperating to accept orders and provide top-notch customer service.
Set up a safe, secure and easy-to-use payment gateway provider. Do this for both employee payments and receiving online payments via multiple resources from customers or sales channels.
All these steps cost absolutely nothing; your only expenditure would be warehousing, transportation of products, or maintenance of an outlet if you have any. However, with time, you would have to hire a professional to build your e-commerce website.
The above steps are applicable only if you have budget constraints when your company is new to the market. For building brand image and generating traffic, you need strategies only professionals can implement.
8 Things to Consider Before Creating an E-commerce website
1. Know your market:
A report from eMarketer found that 60% of online shoppers expect a personalised shopping experience. It is crucial to understand your target market in order to create an e-commerce site that appeals to them.
You can tailor your shopping experience to meet the needs of your customers by understanding their wants and needs.To get a better understanding of your target audience, you might consider conducting market research and creating customer personas.
2. Select the right product:
Statista estimates that e-commerce sales will reach $6.5 trillion by 2023. The products you sell on your website can make or break your company.
You should choose products that are in high demand and have good profit margins. Also, keep an eye out for market trends to make sure you’re selling products people want to buy.
3. Payment processing:
Baymard Institute’s study found that 6% of online shoppers abandon their shopping carts due to worries about payment security. Online shoppers are concerned about payment security. A lack of trust can result in abandoned shopping carts or lost sales.
To build trust and make sure that your customers feel confident making purchases, ensure that you use a reliable and secure payment processor.
4. Transport logistics:
Narvar’s survey found that 96% of online shoppers consider shipping cost and speed important when purchasing items online. Online shoppers can benefit from fast and inexpensive shipping options.
When setting up an e-commerce site, make sure you consider shipping costs and delivery time. Also, offer multiple shipping options to meet different customer needs.
5. Website design:
Adobe found that 38% of website visitors will abandon a site if it is not attractive or has poor content. Your website’s e-commerce storefront is what you want it to look like and be easy to navigate. You can work with a web designer to design a website that is both visually appealing and user-friendly. Also, make sure you regularly update your website with new content.
GlobalSign’s survey found that 77% of customers worry about the security and privacy of their personal data when they shop online. Consumers are concerned about online security and lack of trust can make it difficult to sell.
Secure payment gateways and SSL certificates are essential security measures that protect customers’ financial and personal information.
7. Marketing and promotion:
HubSpot found that 80% of online shoppers research products before purchasing. This is a significant factor in attracting new customers to your website and driving sales. You can promote your business using email marketing and social media.
8. Customer service:
Microsoft’s study found that 96% of customers consider customer service to be an important factor in choosing loyalty to a brand. Providing exceptional customer service can make your e-commerce business stand out.
To keep customers satisfied and loyal, make sure you provide clear product information, answer customer questions and complaints quickly, and process returns or refunds promptly.
When creating an e-commerce website, it is important to consider all of these aspects. This will ensure that you are set up for success and that your customers will love your website.
Building a website can be tricky, especially if you are trying to get the best deal under a budget. However, an e-commerce website is a necessary long-term investment to help your business stay up to speed. Start now to build your future today!
What are some potential return on investment (ROI) factors for e-commerce website development?
Some potential ROI factors for e-commerce website development include increased website traffic and conversions, higher customer retention and loyalty, improved customer data collection and analysis, streamlined inventory and order management, and reduced costs associated with manual processes and administrative tasks. By maximising these factors, businesses can achieve a positive ROI on their e-commerce website development investment
How can businesses manage the cost of e-commerce website development while ensuring quality and functionality?
To manage the cost of e-commerce website development, businesses can work with a reputable and experienced development partner who can provide guidance on the most cost-effective solutions for their needs. They can also prioritise essential features and functionality and implement them in phases or iterations, rather than trying to build everything at once. Additionally, investing in quality hosting and security measures can prevent costly downtime and data breaches in the long run.
What are some common pricing models for e-commerce website development services?
Common pricing models for e-commerce website development services include fixed-price, time and materials, and value-based pricing. Fixed-price models provide a set price for the project based on agreed-upon deliverables and timelines, while time and materials models charge based on the actual time and resources spent on the project. Value-based pricing models take into account the perceived value of the project to the client and charge accordingly.