How much does an online store cost? Well, it can vary from as little as $10 a month to thousands. Prices will depend on how fanciful you want your website to be and the experience you offer customers.
In certain situations, businesses just need a simple landing page with a store or want a complex and dynamic website with accounts, deals, and various UI/UX integrations to create custom experiences for each customer.
This article will cover how to calculate the cost of your online store, the upgrades you may want, and how to balance price against organic growth and customer experiences most efficiently.
How much does it cost to START an online store?
How much to set up an online store? This will depend on how big your business is and the functionality required; however, there are a few key features all sites need.
When starting your ecommerce journey, it is important to ensure your business has a domain that matches the name of your business. Having an easy domain leads to good customer recall, and if you choose the right name, it can even be an investment. For example, Pizza.com is worth multiple millions today! Find a domain that matches your company or product and expect to pay the average price of $10-15 annually.
Next is an SSL/TLS or transport layer security certificate. Encrypted data is sent between your browser, the website you’re visiting, and the website’s server. They ensure that data is transmitted privately without modifications, loss, or theft.
Good SSL/TLS offers your customers a safer experience and helps reduce the likelihood of a network-based cyberattack. SSL/TLS costs can range from $5 a year to $1,000 based on security and traffic needs. Additionally, you should consider investing in other site security tools, such as vulnerability checkers, website change monitoring software like Visualping, application scanners, etc.
The last major piece you will need for your e-commerce website will be databases. Database pricing depends on the needs and size of your business. It will be specific to how much info you need to store per customer and how many customers you have.
You can set up and connect your servers or use companies like Amazon Web Services to host the data. More data + higher security = higher costs. Each server typically costs $5-5,000 per month or even higher if you have a major enterprise.
In summary, you can expect to pay the following to set up an online store:
- Domain: $10 to $15 annually
- SSL/TLS: $5 to $1,000 (based on needs, higher end is for major enterprises)
- Server: $5 to $5,000 per month (based on needs, higher end again is for major enterprises)
How much does it cost to MAKE an online store? (& make it work well)
Now that you have a good foundation to build your website, it’s time to get started.
The function is the first aspect to start working on when building your website. Making sure your store has the appropriate functions is essential to selling your product. You will most likely need a checkout system and an account portal. These two will be foundational to selling and retaining customers. You may also want to consider the post-purchase experience by including email receipts, follow-up texts, and links to leave reviews.
After adding functionality, it’s time to start on the design. A solid website design should be functional as well. Make it easy to navigate so that the slowest technologists can successfully buy a product. Remember KISS: Keep it stupid simple.
There are many website-building platforms available to design the site yourself, or you can hire someone to make it. If you hire a web designer, expect to pay $500-$5,000 for the work depending on the scale of what’s involved.
Things to consider when designing your website:
- A custom logo
- Color selection
- Customer experience
- Payment options page (the more payment options, the better)
- Shipping details page
Finally, once your website has been fully constructed and includes all the necessary functionality, branding, and experience you want to bring to your customers, the last thing is to improve your website’s SEO.
SEO stands for search engine optimization, an organic growth marketing technique to increase cash flow and bring in more sales. Good SEO helps rank your website better when a potential customer searches certain keywords.
For example, when someone is looking for where to have dinner, they may search “dinner” or restaurant” in Google and get presented with various businesses. The restaurant with the best SEO will be at the top of the search results and have the most people view it.
You can learn how to improve SEO by yourself or pay an expert in your area $500-$3000 a month to improve it continually. 88% of internet traffic stays on the first page of browser results, so good SEO is very valuable.
A website’s cost will depend on the complexity of your project and how much you’d like to invest in it. Get in touch with professionals to discuss your goals and get guidance on balancing the benefits with the price.