eCommerce website development cost: prices for custom and ready-made software
Over the years, eCommerce websites have become more popular. It seems like our world is rapidly digitizing and maybe one day offline stores will turn into legends.
And it’s quite obvious that if you don’t have an online store as a business you’ll have trouble leveraging the competition. There are 1.3 million eCommerce websites in the US alone in 2021!
So, if you wish to become one of those who can sell online and scale on the market, let’s figure out how to do it with maximum cost-efficiency.
eCommerce website: what is it?
Before we dive deep into the details, let’s figure out what the eCommerce website is at its core.
eCommerce stands for electronic commerce and refers to any sales transactions done online. Any online store usually has the same structure and follows the same rules. This is why if you look closely, you’ll see enough similarities in the most popular marketplaces. They all have a catalog, a cart, and a big variety of payment options.
Each eCommerce website tries to provide users with goods and services for a reasonable cost to ensure its further growth and development. But since most online shops look a lot like one another and there are a lot of them in the world, the competition is high enough.
However, eCommerce remains one of the most proficient business domains in 2021. As an industry, eCommerce experienced high development over the pandemic. More than half of consumers aren’t willing to risk their health for shopping in crowded spaces and a third of them are planning to go offline shopping only after they get a vaccine.
eCommerce sales are growing each year. In retail alone, the revenue is projected to reach $5.4 trillion in 2022.
So, while the competition is high, learn how to outrun the competitors by spending less and getting more from eCommerce website development.
HIRE CUSTOM E-COMMERCE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY
It is difficult to start an internet shop from the ground up. The RexSoft staff, on the other hand, is more than capable of handling this challenge. RexSoft's e-commerce development services can help you stay ahead of your competition.
TOP factors that influence eCommerce website development cost
There are many factors that regulate the price of an eCommerce website development. With the following factors, we list in this article, you’ll be able to construct an average cost for it.
First factor: The Developers’ Rates
The first thing you need to consider is how large your website is and how much time the developers will have to spend working on it. Since most of the developers have hourly rates, you need to evaluate how many hours each specialist will be spending on your website development and how much is it going to cost you.
Let’s take a look at some numbers:
An average developers’ rate is around $35 - 120 per hour.
Companies or individual experts with these rates usually have proven experience and a portfolio that consists of similar projects. They can keep up with deadlines and you can check their work on various resources.
High developers’ rate is $120 - 180 per hour.
These are the rates of big companies who don’t work with small companies or short-time projects. It’s not affordable for everyone, but companies with these rates often offer custom innovative tech or other technological solutions.
Low developers’ rates vary from $5 to $25 per hour.
Usually, these rates are set by small companies that have a small portfolio and try to earn experience and validation on the market.
The variety from the lowest to the highest digit in eCommerce website development cost is also defined by the providers’ location and the software complexity. It’ll cost you more to engage more designers in the website’s development or to perform additional tests on several components.
Second factor: The Software Providers’ Location
Your providers’ developers will more likely have high rates if they’re located in the US or European countries like Germany. You might find lower rates in India, Poland, and Ukraine. These countries have companies you can rely on and qualified specialists to whom you can hand over your eCommerce website development without having to worry about the cost.
However, you should be extra attentive if you’re going to work with off-shore companies. Pay attention to their portfolio and customer testimonials, make sure they have experience in your business domain. Also, we advise you to pay extra attention to the engagement models they use and choose the best one.
Third factor: Outsource VS. Outstaff
Outsource and outstaff have different benefits and are different in terms of cost-effectiveness.
Outstaff allows you to hire experts from your provider for eCommerce website development. This has a number of pros and allows you to be more flexible. The other pros are:
- You can manage your eCommerce website development and costs by working with more or fewer specialists when needed;
- You decide who is in your team and how many hours they work;
- You can cooperate with several companies and different specialists from a wide variety of places. It gives you an opportunity to choose the best people to work with on your eCommerce website;
- You manage the development and have complete control over the cost of it.
In terms of cons, you get a lot of responsibility with this method. Management is one of the most important things in software development, so choose this method only if you’re sure you can manage it.
Outsource allows you to hand over the eCommerce website development partially or entirely to the software development company. They are responsible for the management and other issues associated with the eCommerce website development process. The pros of outsourcing are:
- You don’t have to worry about the management and team qualifications;
- You can set deadlines and don’t worry about your team going through another milestone, outsourcing companies have PMs and other managers of their own;
- In some cases, you can get post-release support and maintenance;
- Your team alignment is perfect since they all are working at the same place on-site and have the same view of your project.
The cons of outsourcing are the lack of control compared to outstaffing. However, the development is in the hands of professionals and there’s nothing to worry about. The only thing you should watch out for is going over your own budget.
Fourth factor: The Size Of The Software
The bigger your eCommerce website is, the more time is needed for its development and the more it’ll cost. If you need to implement third-party services, you might have to pay a subscription fee or other additional costs for it.
Innovative solutions like AI or AR implementation will also affect the pricing of eCommerce website development.
Take into account all the nuances and implement only the most needed features. Don’t work with companies that are trying to convince you to buy extra services without providing you with research. Implement only what you’re sure will improve the quality of the eCommerce website and listen to your development partner.
Custom eCommerce website development costs
Custom eCommerce website development is one of the most proficient ways to get effective software that’ll help your company grow. Custom software is more beneficial since it’s unique and gives you a competitive advantage from the start.
- You can control what features to implement in your eCommerce website. This way, the software works to its maximum productivity for the cost you pay for it. You don’t get any functions you don’t need.
- There’s a way to improve customers’ engagement by creating unique design elements or solutions.
- Other additional functions can add to the overall user experience. You can improve your eCommerce website with gamification added on the development stage or make it better with some innovative tech. Only you decide what is in the software you create and what you launch on the web.
- The full implementation of your idea. The eCommerce website that’s created for your company exclusively and works as you want it to work with unique capabilities. It gives your company a competitive advantage and totally pays off its costs.
- You control the development and can launch a minimum viable product to see how the audience will react to it. If it’s needed, the website can be adjusted to the changes you want to make. You can ensure maximum customer engagement by analyzing their reactions.
- The reports after every milestone keep the development smooth and you always know what is going on. The team has shared views of the project and contacts you whenever needed to ensure they provide the required software.
- Custom eCommerce website development is expensive. It costs a lot because it needs the engagement of lots of specialists to achieve a high-quality result.
- Custom software needs to be updated from time to time. Off-the-shelf solutions have auto-updates, while in custom eCommerce websites it all depends on you and your preference. However, this might pass as an advantage too, since it’s you who decide when you need to launch a new version of the software.
- It takes time. Custom eCommerce website development is a much more lengthy process than creating a WIX site. You’ll have to wait while you get your ideal solution, but it’ll be worth it.
Prices For Custom eCommerce Website Development
You know what affects the prices, but it’s time we calculate the actual cost of eCommerce website development.
If you’re getting a fully unique solution without any third-party services implemented, you’ll need a few development steps to create it.
The design of an eCommerce website must be attractive and catch users’ attention. To create it you’ll need approximately from $2,000 to $8,000.
This is the interface of an eCommerce website. Its creation will cost you from $3,000 to $10,000.
The back-bone of the eCommerce website. To make it, be prepared to spare from $5,000 to $20,000.
The thing that can ensure the stability of the eCommerce website. Website testing expenses might vary from $2,000 to $5,000.
Not to mention the additional services, like the domain name or hosting. They aren’t as expensive, for example for hosting you’ll have to pay only around $100/year and the domain will cost you from $8/year, but they must be a part of your budget. And, as for marketing, it also has additional costs you need to consider.
So, overall, the eCommerce website development will cost you around $12,000 - 43,000 + additional expenses (min. $108/year).
However, custom software has a good return of investment rate and always pays off in a relatively short time.
Ready-made eCommerce website development costs
A ready-made eCommerce website is a more budget-friendly option than custom development. However, the lower cost is not the only thing these solutions have. They have both pros and cons to consider, so let’s take a look at them.
- It’s fast to implement. Usually, ready-made eCommerce websites can work right away after you implement them, they don’t need any additional maintenance and you don’t have to train your staff to work on them.
- They are accessible and simple. There’s no need in hiring a team for ready-made eCommerce website launching, in most cases, you can do well on your own.
- You don’t spend much which means you don’t lose much if your business doesn’t work out. This is why ready-made solutions are suitable for small businesses.
- You have no control over the eCommerce website development. It costs less, but now you don’t get to decide what’s in and what’s out. Some of the ready-made products offer some level of customization, however, it’s nowhere near a custom solution. In the end, you might end up with a bunch of features you don’t need but will pay for nonetheless.
- No competitive advantage. It’s only you and your services now since your website won’t grab users’ attention. It’ll look the same as many others which most always negatively affects the sales.
- You don’t own the software. It’s owned by a software provider when with a custom eCommerce website development you’re the only one who owns the product.
- The updates are automatic. Yes, it can pass as an advantage as well since you don’t have to maintain the software, however, you don’t choose what changes.
- No post-release maintenance. This software still may have malfunctioned and if something like this occurs, you’ll have to call customer support, wait for your turn, and then wait until the problem is solved. With custom software, you just contact your team, and malfunction is eliminated in a blink of an eye.
Prices for ready-made eCommerce website development
However, if you decide that you want to try a ready-made eCommerce website first, let’s take a look at the most popular of them and their cost.
WordPress is the world’s most famous solution for sites on the web. They have a subscription fee and 4 plans for websites of all kinds. WordPress also allows you to build a website for free, but it won’t be well suited for eCommerce.
- Personal plan — WordPress claims it to be the best for personal use. It allows you to collect payments and costs $4/month if you pay annually and $7 if you wish to pay monthly.
- Premium plan — best for freelancers, this plan is the most popular. It allows uploading video, has Google Analytics integration, live chat, and the option to collect payments and ad revenue as well. It costs $8/month if billed annually and $14/month if billed monthly.
- Business plan — best suitable for small businesses. Aside from all the functions Premium has, this plan also gives access to WordPress plugins, advanced SEO tools, automated site backup, and DataBase access. It costs $25/month if billed annually or $33/month if billed monthly.
- eCommerce plan — the one for online stores. Aside from functions provided in the Business plan, the eCommerce plan gives the opportunity to accept payments in 60+ countries, integrate with the Top Shipping Carriers, and offer premium design options. It costs $45 - 59 per month.
WordPress also gives you a free domain for one year if you choose to pay annually. However, the Business and eCommerce plans are the only ones that suit the eCommerce website. And, overall this solution will cost you around $300 - 700 annually.
It is much cheaper than a custom solution, but compared to it it gives fewer benefits and customization.
Also one of the most popular solutions but created exclusively for online shops. Building a store here is a little more expensive.
Shopify has 3 plans for eCommerce websites with different costs:
- Basic Shopify for new eCommerce business and in-person sales. Its cost is $29/month.
- Shopify for growing eCommerce business. This plan costs $79/month.
- Advanced Shopify for big eCommerce businesses with advanced reporting needs. Costs $299/month.
So, overall, the Shopify eCommerce website will cost you from $348 to $3,588 per year + additional expenses.
For eCommerce websites, WIX has 3 options:
- $17/month for the Business Basic plan suitable for small businesses;
- $25/month for Business Unlimited which is created for growing businesses;
- $35/month for Business VIP that gives access to all WIX features + priority customer care.
So, for $204 - 420 per year, you will get an eCommerce website from WIX.
Unfortunately, even the most popular and interesting ready-made eCommerce websites won’t give you the same reach to the audience. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly solution and can’t afford the custom eCommerce development yet, let’s talk about how you can cut costs a little.
How to lower the custom eCommerce website development cost
There are several ways of making the custom eCommerce website development more cost-effective and we will look at the most interesting of them.
Different engagement models
You can hire developers until they finish a project or you can hire them to work for you part-time. If you choose the outstaffing model, this should be a perfect solution for you. This way you can control the budget and manage the cost for eCommerce website development since you control how much the developers work on it.
Launch MVP and continue after you earn
Launch MVP on the market and continue later on after your eCommerce website has made you some profits. This way you won’t end up with an empty wallet but still will have a decent solution with custom characteristics that you can improve in the future.
Choose the correct payment model
There are different payment models and if you have an extremely strict budget you could go with the fixed-price cooperation model. You and the development company agree on eCommerce website development costs and they can’t charge you more if you don’t agree on it. This way, you know for sure how much it is going to cost you.
Work with offshore companies
Companies from Easter Europe like, for example, Ukraine usually have lower hourly rates for the same quality and amount of work. You can order a custom eCommerce website development from there and pay less but get even more in some cases. And the quality remains the same since lots of famous companies like Grammarly have Ukrainian roots.
So, overall it’s important to note that the eCommerce website development as any custom software creation is pricey. However, the investment in software is always a risk and if you’re ready for your risk to pay off, you should take it.
We don’t advise you to buy a custom eCommerce website if you’re having doubts about it. There are plenty of ways to check if your business is going to leverage the competition. But if you don’t want to see how you can change the world and want to actually start changing it already, we at RexSoft would be more than happy to help.
If there’s anything we know how to do that is custom software development. So, let’s unite your brilliant ideas and your top-notch skills in development to create the most user-friendly, fast, and responsive eCommerce website together.
Oleksandr KryvotsiukHEAD OF MARKETING AT REXSOFT