Having an e-commerce site is the perfect way to get your business online and increase your sales.
Whether you’re starting a new business, shifting some of your in-person business online, or redesigning your website, costs can become confusing. We will try to help you understand what it takes to create an eCommerce site and to figure out the investment you need to start your new online business idea.
Choice of CMS Platform
First, your site needs a content management platform (CMS). The capabilities of a SaaS e-commerce platform may include payment functionalities, shipping integrations, or scalable security solutions. A CMS designed for e-commerce usually offers better functionality, but your choice may vary depending on the type of business, the number of products you offer, and the volume of your sales. So you have to choose between:
- SaaS e-commerce platform like Shopify
- CMS designed for e-commerce like WooCommerce
User-Friendly Website Design
User-friendly and customer-centric design is important for all websites, but it’s undoubtedly even more important for e-commerce. Optimizing the checkout process to make it as welcoming and efficient as possible should be your priority. Also, another factor to consider is the responsiveness for use on any kind of device or screen size.
Site Themes vs. Custom Design
Some e-commerce businesses choose a theme -such as a template- that accompanies their CMS. Most of these are free or very affordable. Although a developer can customize a theme, sometimes your needs are unique, so you may need to invest more in a custom design. On the other hand, custom design produces a truly unique site that will help your business stand out from the crowd over time.
As with any e-commerce site, the focus is on product pages, so high-quality pages that describe each product and service are required. The cost for product pages drastically varies, depending on how many products you sell and how many pages you host. For example, a retail apparel business will probably have a lot more products than a service company with a few basic services. There’s no restriction -just make sure it makes sense for your business.
For content, including product descriptions, sales copy, and supporting information, you should be prepared to invest in professional writing.
Your e-commerce site will rely heavily on visuals, so it is important to use high-quality professional images. Product images must be well lit, sized correctly, shot from various angles, and optimized for search. File sizes must be small enough to load quickly but large enough to show detail.
Search Engine Optimization for E-commerce Sites
A necessary aspect of a successful website is SEO, which helps to ensure that customers find it in their search results. SEO is affected by every aspect of the website (content, images, site structure, metadata) and even how often you update the site. Our expert development team can approach your site holistically to help ensure that everything works in harmony with the fundamentals of e-commerce SEO.
Shopping Cart or Payment Option
Something that separates an e-commerce site from a regular website is the order placement and a secure payment option. Some online payment systems are free upfront, but they take a percentage of your profits for every transaction. Other options have low transaction fees but they do have a set-up and monthly fee. You’ll want to take a step back and see your expected revenue to decide which option matters most to your business.
When you open your e-commerce site, there are legal requirements such as the reliability of your e-commerce site, that you should keep as a seller because you handle other people’s personal and financial information.
Estimating the Final Budget
After covering all the various costs associated with building your e-commerce site, you have probably come up with the amount of money you plan to invest depending on the complexity of your site. Some of the costs are in your control. For example, you can choose to pay for a premium design theme and top support. Although we can not offer you an exact budget, you can send us your business idea and our team will be happy to help you decide what suits you.
iBS creates custom e-commerce websites for clients ranging from independent stores to enterprise B2B businesses. Are you ready for a price estimate on your new e-commerce website build?
Learn how iBS can help you for building your eCommerce site.