Evaluating the Cost to Start an Ecommerce Website
Hey! Are you considering to start an eCommerce website? Are you still feeling confused about the expenses and the challenges it involves? It is very likely that at this stage you still do not have any idea of the number of visitors to expect from your site, right? You still do not know what should be the right benchmarks to follow.
Obviously, the cost of an eCommerce website development largely depends on upon the design-wise sophistication and features of your site. From the choice of platforms to technologies you need to address your specific needs, there are various considerations that are important here. Let us explain a few important aspects to evaluate the cost to start an eCommerce website.
1. Cost of payment gateways
Payment gateways play the central role in eCommerce websites. A payment gateway helps to connect the bank account of your ecommerce business with the customers’ credit card or internet banking accounts. You need two things to build the payment gateway, respectively as a business bank account eligible to receive customer payment and a shopping cart solution. As for the initial cost of establishing these payment gateways, the cost is negligible but the real cost lies in the ongoing transactions. The transactional fees for them may range from 1% to 5% depending on the transaction volume and worth.
2. Web hosting and security cost
Ecommerce sites are exposed to crucial financial information of customers and naturally, security plays a critical role in maintaining privacy. With the increased traffic the security vulnerabilities increase. Moreover, in the name of security arrangements your ecommerce sites cannot make the website complex for navigation and accessibility. You need to choose your web hosting company that has proven technologies and track record to deal with security threats in eCommerce websites. You need to make a careful detailed study of the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and the price quoted by these companies before selecting the one.
3. UI and data architecture expense
What is the single most important element to make an eCommerce site popular among users? Surprisingly, it is not price or offers made by that site for its online customers. It is easy to use interface along with simple data architecture that matters most. Moreover, a simple design based on a time-tested template can actually cost much lower. Ease of use is equally important for customers and for the backend to access anything without delay. Moreover, it helps to reduce the operational cost by offering simplicity to the designers and webmasters to solve issues and fix glitches from time to time.
4. Customized features
What gives any website its own identity? Well, it may be the content for most others, but in the case of ecommerce websites, the features clearly make a distinct identity. Features make the ‘feel’ part of what we refer as the look and feel. When you go with the run of the mill features, you may check on the cost but you are likely to be felt commonplace by users. On the other hand, customized features can increase the cost to a certain extent but it will easily give your ecommerce site a different feel. Using premium plugins and tools you can easily integrate your chosen features. Apart from the cost incurred by these tools, there will be an additional hourly charge of the website builder.
5. Marketing cost
After all, what all your digital maneuvers need is the consistent flow of traffic. Your ecommerce website needs unique visitors and it requires in-depth marketing analysis. First of all, you need to have an idea of the Cost Per Visitor (CPV). Well, the CPV of other ecommerce websites of your niche can be an eye-opener in this respect. But how can you know that? Well, you can see the ads run by your competitors on Google and then can make a cost estimate for the campaign with those keywords. Ecommerce is a fiercely competitive web niche and to attract visitors you need to spend on marketing campaigns. Paid social ads and social promotions is another effective way to draw traffic.
6. CRM cost
CRM or customer relationship management is crucial to maintaining your reputation and get loved as a brand online. Staying accessible through a number of channels is crucial to hold your reputation. Besides phone and email, these days web chat apps and conversational bots became popular to stay connected and provide timely customer service. There are also other cost factors related to CRM including serving suppliers, inventory management, tax collection and traffic analysis to know the critical issues aching customers.
7. Shipping cost
Finally, an ecommerce website needs to ship the purchased products to customer locations in timely and secure fashion. Obviously, the timeliness of delivery and protection of the delivered items will be crucial to maintaining reputation. To ensure excellence in both respects you need to choose the right shipping method that suits your business. You can choose to determine shipping cost on the basis of the weight of the delivered articles (as per the distance traveled or the country as well) or can choose to opt for flat shipping cost as a simple model. Secondly, do you want to join hands with local postal services to allow checking the delivery and shipping status or want to have a logistics partner to take care of all these? Obviously, the second option may take the burden of your shoulder but can incur more cost.
Finally, it is better to plan your journey in steady fashion and to avail expensive solutions as your business and traffic grow. A few important aspects of the site design, web hosting, a good platform, a quality gateway and marketing maneuvers, you cannot compromise with for cost considerations. But aspects of shipping can be addressed with better solutions as your business and customer reach grows.