You have a great business idea and want to open an online store, but… you’re worried about exploding your expenses by setting up your e-commerce.
Will your budget be enough for you? Not sure you’ve thought of everything?
Don’t worry: this article will tell you everything you need to plan for as well as approximate prices.
1. Choose domain and hosting
As we’ll explain, domain and hosting are two different things, which don’t necessarily have to be acquired from the same provider.
A. What is a domain and how much does it cost?
The domain is a unique and exclusive name for your website, which is entered by users in their browser in order to access your e-commerce.
There are many providers out there (Go Daddy and Name cheap are some of the best known), but all of them work similarly and offer similar rates.
Domains are acquired for a minimum period of one year (it is possible to choose a longer period), after which they must be renewed.
To give you an idea, their price is around $ 10 or € 12 per year.
IMPORTANT: Forget about free domains and other similar offers, which will only give you problems.
B. What does accommodation consist of and how to acquire it?
Do you know what it is?
Hosting is the space that hosts a website to make it visible on the Internet.
We offer you a list of the best accommodations and their cost for an e-commerce as well as all the points to take into account when choosing yours.
To calculate your budget, you should know that you can find accommodation from € 15 per month.
IMPORTANT (AGAIN): Avoid offers from free or very cheap providers. A serious project is incompatible with free hosting.
- It will often break down.
- Your site will not be secure.
- It will load very slowly (negative point for SEO).
In what price range are the accommodation offered?
If you are just getting started, you can opt for shared hosting (the less powerful), but if you are already handling some traffic, we recommend a VPS server.
- For shared hosting: different options are available between € 6 ($ 4) and € 10 ($ 8) per month.
- For a VPS: prices vary between 15 and 25 € (12 to 23 $).
If you receive a lot of traffic, you may want to consider purchasing a managed VPS server (whose performance is managed directly by the provider). This solution will cost you on average at least 50 € per month.
👉 2. What is the best CMS platform and how much does it cost?
Fortunately, you don’t have to know how to design or code a website to build your own store, as CMS platforms take care of it.
A CMS (Content Management System) is software for creating and managing web pages.
✅ A. Word Press Woo Commerce
This is a free plug-in for installing an e-commerce on Word Press.
Free and easy to use. A recommended option if you are new to a limited number of products.
✅ B. Shopify
CMS cloud leader in the United States thanks to its ease of use, including for people without technical knowledge.
It offers different packages starting at € 30 per month.
✅ C. Magento
It is the most used by stores managing very large commercial volumes. Please note, this CMS is complex and requires at least VPS hosting.
✅ D. PrestaShop
This is the intermediate option between Magento development and WordPress. More complex to use than WordPress, it is nevertheless much more powerful.
The PrestaShop Ready package includes web hosting for € 19.90 per month (the company plans to offer other packages in the future) as well as a series of benefits.
When you first open your e-commerce, SaaS solutions like Shopify allow you to build it yourself very quickly, even with almost no technical knowledge.
If your project is growing and you have a larger budget, you will need to employ more powerful platforms and tools.
We recommend that you simplify it: if the technical aspect becomes too complex, bring in an outside company and focus on the sale.
3. How much should I invest for the design of the e-commerce?
Now that you have the basics of your e-commerce, it’s time to shape it.
Points to study:
- CMS to use (as explained above).
- Template or theme.
- Number of pages to complete.
- Features (note: many modules or plug-ins are chargeable; please include them in your budget).
Design quotes for an online store are usually tailor-made. This is why it is difficult for us to provide you with an estimate.
A project of this type can vary between 0 and 1,500 € depending on the following criteria:
- Number of pages to design.
- 100% custom design or based on a template or theme
- Branding works
The more complex your e-commerce, the more expensive it will be to create.
✅ A. What your customers read that will increase your sales: copywriting
The “copy” of your e-commerce is crucial because it is sales-oriented texts. Indeed, they are written to improve your conversion rate.
The texts on your website are not included in the initial budget of the agency or professional, but they may be offered to you as an additional service. Otherwise, you will need to find a professional who will write these texts.
In addition to the home page or the “About” page (the average author price is generally € 450 for these two pages), you will also have to manage the product sheets.
Be careful, these are important.
- Never publish the texts communicated to you by your supplier. Thousands of stores have the same and Google may penalize you for copying content.
- The product sheet aims to encourage the purchase of the end customer. You are not allowed to neglect them.
Of course, what if you have a lot of products?
In this case, you can try to negotiate with the copywriter a pack of cards in order to limit the costs. If the number is huge, spread the work over several months to spread out the expenses.
B. SEO: the magic of positioning
You already know how important web positioning is to any online business. Getting along with Google is vital so that your Graphics Design Christchurch receives qualified traffic or in other words, potential customers.
How much does SEO cost for an e-commerce? It depends.
The rates are based on the number of hours worked on the project and the following criteria:
- Store size: the more categories and products it has, the more SEO work.
- Target market: for example, you position yourself differently on the national market or abroad, or if you occupy a micro-niche.
- Onpage and Offpage SEO strategy: the laborious task of creating metas, URLs, links, etc.
Beware if you are offered a standard price before asking yourself the specifics of your project.
D. Additional useful features
As stated earlier, consider whether to add different features to your online store. For example, adding the famous cookie warning, offering cross-selling or collecting emails in your list.
Recommended features since you started:
- Law on cookies and GDPR (only if you have European customers).
- Add payment gateways to offer more possibilities to your customers.
- Cross-selling opportunities to increase your average ticket.
- Tools to get more subscribers. In addition to creating forms, you must have a marketing email provider (Mail Chimp offers a free version).
However, avoid installing too many modules and plugins when you start out. Take the time to determine your business needs before making a decision.
4. The important thing is not to sell, but to get paid!
Let’s talk about payment platforms, an essential part of your e-commerce: without income, your business cannot envision the future.
Any means of payment offering guarantees generates costs.
- Virtual TPE: its cost depends on each bank, but count around 25 € per month if you invoice less than 1000 € monthly.
- PayPal: The service charges commissions based on the amount of the purchase. The general rate for receiving payments is 4% plus € 0.30.
- Stripe: accepts payments from any card and its commission is 1.4% + 0.25 €.
Choose the payment method that best suits you based on your sales forecasts and the profile of your buyers.
Analyze your accounts to find out how much your online store is costing you
This article was intended to give you an idea of the minimum monthly budget you should consider to create your e-commerce.
Please note that this is an estimate and that the prices shown are averages as quotes are custom made in most cases.
Ask for several quotes, specifying what you are looking for, and do not guide your choice solely on the basis of price. For reference, this amount rarely drops below $ 500 per month, although it does depend on the size of the store.