Starting an eCommerce website for your existing or new business? Consider the costs involved before you get started. By evaluating where you will be investing your money, you can make sure that there’s no expectation mismatch.
Platform cost and commissions
Depending on whether you choose a self-hosted software such as WooCommerce or a hosted platform such as Shopify, your costs here will differ. Also, depending on the complexity of your website, you’ll need to purchase website extensions ranging from $0 to a few hundred dollars.
|Shopify||Plans from $29 to $299 monthly||Transaction fees from 0.5% to 2%|
|Squarespace||Plans from $34 to $50 monthly||No transaction fees|
|WooCommerce||Free to download. Free themes available; premium themes approx. $50||N/A|
|Magento||Opensource is free to use||N/A|
Domain, hosting, SSL
Starting an eCommerce website begins with finding the perfect domain name. The cost of domain names can range from $1 – $80 with annual renewals ranging between $10 – $80. Carefully understand the various critical aspects involved when you register a domain name. For a busy eCommerce website that has the potential to scale and is backed with speed and security, hosting costs can range from $400 to upwards of $2000. SSL certificates start from a $100 yearly and is an investment you must make to build trust.
When picking a payment gateway for your eCommerce website, you need a tool that is both accessible across multiple countries and is trusted by your audience. Here are a few payment gateway plans:
- Braintree: No monthly fees, standard processing fee is 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
- Stripe: A flat rate of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction as long as you’re doing under $1 million in volume per year. This rate varies country to country, but it’s always flat.
- Authorize.net: A $49 setup fee, a $25 monthly gateway fee, and a 2.9% plus $0.30 per-transaction fee.
- Paypal: A transaction fee of 2.9% plus $0.30 USD of the amount you receive.
Design & UX
If you’ve chosen a self-hosted platform such as WooCommerce, chances are you’re going to need help with your web design and development. Even if you select a feasible platform, you may need to consult an expert to help you make the most of the design, user experience, which extensions to choose, and more. Costs for this can range anywhere from $1000 to $100,000 or even more.
Marketing your eCommerce website will make for an integral aspect of your monthly costs. You’ll need to invest in a good CRM software that lets you have a 360-degree communication strategy with your shoppers – be it live chat, support tickets, or email. You could even invest in a separate email marketing software such as Mailchimp which has an eCommerce focused package. Lastly, you’ll need to set aside a monthly budget for marketing activities on social media, content marketing, digital ads, Google AdWords and SEO.
If you aren’t dropshipping, you will need to invest in a good inventory management software. While you can get softwares such as Delivrd and Odoo for free, you will need to invest in one when you begin to scale. Additionally, you also need to keep in mind the warehouse costs and shipping costs to perfect your delivery management. With free shipping being a core benefit offered by various eCommerce businesses, you will need to factor that into your monthly P&L. You can read more about the costs of eCommerce logistics here.
These costs are an investment that will catapult your eCommerce website into a successful business. Take the first step towards building your eCommerce website by registering a domain name on a .STORE domain extension right here.