eCommerce Website Pricing: Determining Cost of an eCommerce Build

Author Justin Smith
by Justin Smith, CEO
Updated June 23, 2020

With so many options to consider when budgeting for the development of an eCommerce website, it can be a bit confusing.

There are many eCommerce website companies to choose from, and different companies will tell you ALL kinds of different things that can make it hard to compare apples to apples. So it's important to understand the factors that go into website development pricing.

In some ways, getting an eCommerce sale is like a race; if all other factors are equal, whoever has the better website and is found first wins. Some websites perform like Kia's and some like Ferrari's. And just like cars and most other things, some eCommerce websites are easier to build than others.

There are two main questions I ask potential clients before estimating an eCommerce website cost: "What are your sales and traffic goals?" and "What custom features will you need for the website to meet them?" Your answers can can vary greatly depending on whether you're a start-up, market leader or something in between. So it makes sense that eCommerce website development costs can vary greatly, too.

For example, if you want to do $50,000 a year in sales, you can probably find an eCommerce website for around the $5,000 range. If you're looking to do millions in sales, which many of our potential customers are, then the cost of your eCommerce website will be higher because more features and functionality will need to be built to gain a market edge.

Remember: Starting an eCommerce website is like starting any real business. It takes capital, planning, and a solid team to be successful. We work along side our clients to be part of that successful team.

Examples of eCommerce websites we've designed and developed.

eCommerce Website Pricing Examples

From a basic eCommerce website to one offering complex ordering options or integrations, pricing can widely vary.

How Much Does It Cost To Build An eCommerce Website?

Generally, eCommerce website development prices can range from $10,000 to $500,000 or more. The cost will ultimately be driven by your overall sales and traffic goals, the features you need, and the type of eCommerce website company you select (whether U.S. or overseas, in-house or outsourced).

Main Items That Determine Your eCommerce Website Cost:

  • Design - There is a big difference in cost for a fully custom design vs. a template
  • Functionality - Custom functionality needs and unique programmed features will increase pricing.
  • Data Imports - If you need product data or past order/customer data imported, this can increase your website development costs. Be sure your database includes all of the data needed to run your website.
  • Marketing and SEO - A fully integrated marketing plan will boost the cost of the build, but it may be critical for driving traffic to your site and delivering ROI.
  • Integration - Making an eCommerce website work with an ERP or other third-party systems can often cost thousands.
  • Company Selection - Choosing a reputable, experienced company often costs much more but also provides more value. If the project is being outsourced overseas, it will be less expensive, but that comes with its own kind of costs.

Example Breakdown of Ecommerce Website Pricing:

  Small Mid-Size Enterprise
Design $5,000 $10,000 $35,000
Programming $2,000 $15,000 $75,000
Integrations $500 $8,000 $20,000
Data Imports $0 $5,000 $10,000
Hosting (annual) $500 $6,000 $10,000
SEO (annual) $12,000 $36,000 $60,000
Average eCommerce Website Cost (Annual) $20,000 $80,000 $210,000

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What Affects the Cost of an eCommerce Website Development Project the Most?

We all know the basics of an eCommerce website: categories features, featured items, product pages, related products, and so on. These are standard features, and they really shouldn't drive up the cost.

Custom eCommerce functionality, on the other hand, is usually the greatest cost in a project. It's also often the most important to help your business operate efficiently and to give your site a competitive edge. For example, you may want customized search functionality because of the type of product you sell. Not many of your competitors have it, and you know that it'll help you get the sale. Or, stock levels may be crucial to you, so your eCommerce developer may have to sync the website database with your in-house inventory management system. That will run up the price of the website, but it will also eliminate hours of paying employees.

Create a list of all eCommerce features you suspect will be custom, and be sure to share that list with the eCommerce web design company you're choosing. This will help them to give you an accurate estimate.

Ecommerce Website Cost

Above: Custom preview functionality is an example of a feature that can increase the price of an eCommerce website.

Designs Impact On Pricing

Now that we've discussed functionality, we have to consider how the website will look. The first impression is everything, and it's important that the look matches your expectation in sales. An amateur-looking website can only convert visitors into customers at a much lower rate than a professional, custom eCommerce website.

Also consider branding. If you have a large, established brand, your website should reflect this. On the web, you'll get one shot to impress, so many eCommerce website owners spend big bucks making a site that sells based on the way it looks.

If you're in need of a website that will be responsive (meaning optimized for use on mobile devices and tablets), a design will also need to be created for those devices. That adds additional time and costs to a project.

The low-cost route is using a per-made template or design. This means the design is already done, and your logo or colors may be added to it. We do not suggest this for serious eCommerce websites, but it may fit your needs if you're working with a shoestring budget.

Budgeting for Marketing and SEO Services

Ask what services are included in the initial ecommerce website development cost. Some companies offer eCommerce SEO services as part of their SEO packages, and some don't. Having SEO features built-in is a big benefit and could save you a good amount of money down the road. It will also make your future SEO company's job a lot simpler and more efficient. Having marketing features built into your website is not a shortcut to page 1 rankings, but it is a step in the right direction!

SEO Website Cost and Pricing

Above: Developing your website SEO-friendly is a must for long term search ranking and traffic results.

Company Selection Affects Costs

The eCommerce development company you choose will certainly affect pricing. Some companies are based in the U.S., and some are overseas. Remember, you'll usually get what you pay for. A higher-priced company usually will provide more top-end work, while going overseas to save money often results in headaches and 2 a.m. phone calls. Be sure whoever you choose is reliable, has an actual office and will be easily accessible when have questions, both during the development phase and after your website is completed.

If you would like to receive a free eCommerce website cost estimate from OuterBox, please call us at 1-866-647-9218. or request a website design estimate online. We look forward to talking with you.

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