What Is the Cost to Develop an eCommerce Website in 2023?
Updated on Mar 16th, 2023
The eCommerce industry is booming right now, contributing up to 30% to the global GDP. It is also one of the most profitable industries today, making over 3.5 trillion USD in the year 2022. As such, if you’re too thinking about investing in developing an eCommerce website, now, indeed, is the right time. However, before you begin your new journey with this lucrative business model, the first thing that should come to your mind is ‘ how much does it cost to develop an ecommerce website? .’After all, it’s all about ROI. So without further ado, let’s jump in and understand the various components of an eCommerce website development cost.
- eCommerce is among the most profitable industries, making over 3.5 trillion USD in the year 2022.
- The cost of an eCommerce website development depends on a variety of factors, including the type of the website, the number of pages, and the technologies used.
- You can develop eCommerce websites either through readymade solutions like Shopify or through custom code to achieve greater flexibility.
- Other components to budget for while developing an eCommerce website include DevOps services, staging server, testing, and UI/UX expertise.
Factors Affecting the Cost of eCommerce Website Development
Calculating the cost of eCommerce website development is not a straightforward task. There are many variables that can make very similar-looking websites have varying costs. It all depends on your business requirements and preferences. Here we have listed the major factors that contribute to the final cost of eCommerce website development with the range of their effect.
Type of the eCommerce Website
The major factor that decides the development cost range for an eCommerce website is its type. While there are multiple kinds of eCommerce stores you can find online; when it comes to calculating the cost of development, there are only three-
Single-page eCommerce Website
Single-page eCommerce websites are among the simplest web development projects. They are generally landing pages for one product where users can find all the functionalities to view the product details and place an order. These websites are ideal for companies dealing in one eponymous product. Since these websites do not require either too many resources or time for development, they are the cheapest to develop.
Multi-page eCommerce Store
These are the most common kinds of eCommerce stores where you will find multiple pages dedicated to different products and categories. These stores are generally operated by a single vendor, and though multiple vendors can also participate on the platform, then those functionalities would come under the purview of online marketplaces, which we’ll discuss later. For a single-vendor multi-page eCommerce website, you will need functionalities to add, delete, and edit product pages. You will also need multiple pages for product categories, preferably all with the ‘filters’ functionality. Since these features are a little more complex to develop than a simple single-page eCommerce website, you will need a bigger budget of an approximate range of USD 25000 to USD 100000.
Another type of eCommerce website one may want to invest in is an online marketplace. An online marketplace is like a traditional marketplace where multiple businesses come together to sell similar or varying merchandise to the customers. The most popular examples of online marketplaces include Amazon, Alibaba, Etsy, and eBay. These multi-vendor eCommerce platforms allow multiple vendors to create their shops and list their products on the website. Since this business model requires more than one interface on the back end and multiple other modules to manage multiple vendors and their accounts, these are a little more expensive to develop. In general, depending on the complexity of the platform and the next-gen functionalities they would support, an online eCommerce marketplace can be developed in a budget of 40,000 USD to 300,000 USD or more. To know the exact cost of development it is suggested to request a quote from a company providing custom marketplace development.
Readymade v/s Custom-Built eCommerce Website
Today, there are so many readymade platforms available in the market. This makes the entire process of estimating a development cost that much more difficult without knowing the exact requirements. So, let’s divide our efforts into two parts-
A more popular option in today’s age of startups, readymade eCommerce solutions come in various forms. Here we have listed the most popular among them all.
Shopify is the most popular among commercial eCommerce platforms for building a flexible and high-performing eCommerce website. Most established Shopify design agencies charge ￼ 5000 to 20000 USD to custom-design a Shopify website per your business requirement. This doesn’t include the subscription fee that Shopify charges for offering basic functionalities. While the package and prices change over time, at the time of writing this post, Shopify charged one dollar monthly for a basic website with shipping and payment processing capabilities. A more advanced solution from Shopify would cost you around three hundred dollars per month.
BigCommerce is another popular choice among eCommerce investors who do not wish to get their hands on technical stuff. There are various themes and templates available to the users ranging from 2 USD to 300 USD. But these are the minuscule part of the BigCommerce website development cost. For a BigCommerce website, you have to pay at least 29.95 per month for the most basic functionalities. For a more advanced solution, you will have to pay 299.95 per month or more, depending on your requirements.
Drupal is a more popular open-source platform to easily build an eCommerce website. It offers benefits like cost advantage, security, flexibility, and more. However, to get a Drupal website, you will need a Drupal website developer, which depending on their experience and work location, would charge you a development fee. This can range from 10 USD to 140 USD.
Another famous open-source eCommerce development platform, OpenCart, comes with its own share of advantages and limitations. The major advantage of the platform is that it allows you to develop even eCommerce mobile apps from the same interface. On average, a basic ￼ Drupal eCommerce website can be developed for 500 USD. However, a more complex project can cost over 5000 USD.
WooCommerce is not a platform as such. It is simply a plugin for WordPress that enriches a simple business or blog website with eCommerce features. The plugin is free of cost. However, to really make it function, you have to invest at least 10 USD every month. A more complex and scaled eCommerce store built on WooCommerce can cost you over 1000 USD per year. A WooCommerce developer would charge you an additional 1000 to 8000 USD per project.
Magento is available in two primary editions: Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce. The Open Software License 3.0 covers Magento Open Source software, making it free to download and use. Magento Commerce is a subscription-based platform that starts at approximately $1,600 per month for its Starter plan.
There are so many open-source, as well as commercialized platforms available in the market that one may not even consider developing one from scratch. Regardless there are certain benefits that make custom eCommerce website development a profitable deal, the foremost being the freedom from vendor lock-in.
Whether you choose an open-source platform like Magento or something more sophisticated like Shopify, you still do not have the entire code ownership. While for most people, this may not be a big problem, however, if your idea is to build a marketplace as big as Amazon or eBay, you must go for custom development instead. Though more expensive than any of the readymade solutions available, custom eCommerce websites are comparatively more secure, scalable, and flexible. This offers the promise of greater ROI, given your idea is big enough to leverage it completely.
Features and Functionalities
Features and functionalities play a vital role in deciding the ultimate development cost of an eCommerce website. Mostly the basic features do not cost you as much as the advanced ones do. Here we have categorized both the kinds of features and functionalities to aid your understanding.
Basic Features and Their Effect on eCommerce Web Development Cost
We all know the basic features of an eCommerce website. These include product pages with textual and technical descriptions, interactive images that can be zoomed into, category listings, filters, search options, product tags, add-to-cart functionality, checkout features, payment gateway, etc. With all these features and their complexity, the development cost of an eCommerce website keeps adding on.
For example, a basic eCommerce website with one product page, add-to-cart functionality, and a checkout feature with a payment gateway can be built for even 5000 USD. However, a more full-fledged eCommerce website with multiple categories and tools to navigate through them could cost you anywhere from 25000 USD to 50000 USD.
Advanced features for a Futuristic eCommerce Website
Apart from the above-mentioned basic features, you may want some distinguishing features for your eCommerce website to attract more tech-savvy people. Here is the list of advanced features that many eCommerce websites are investing in to attain optimum customer satisfaction.
Chatbots are among the most popular next-gen features for an eCommerce website. These AI-enabled chatbots do not simply present FAQs in a conversational manner. Instead, they simply allow users to ask their queries in the tone and verbose they are most comfortable in.
The NLP algorithm attached to such chatbots understands the intent of the users and thus presents the correct answer. Since these chatbots give a human representative-like experience to the customers on the other end, they do offer great ROIs. That being said, such chatbots need tons of data to train and learn intent and response cycles for every possible way a user can present a question. Therefore, hiring AI development services for such a tool from scratch is definitely going to add to your eCommerce store.
Also Read: Benefits of Chatbots in eCommerce
Recommender engines are also among the famous use cases of AI/ML in commercial websites. The foremost example of a recommender engine is the OTT platform Netflix, where you are always treated with the most happening content that you would most likely be interested in based on your search and watch history.
Today, many eCommerce stores are also using this algorithm to suggest to customers those products and services they would most likely be interested in based on their behavior on the website. This helps eCommerce companies increase the average order value from every customer, but this feature does not come free of cost.
There are multiple recommendation engines available that offer personalization services on a subscription basis. However, if you want your website to always offer the best experience to its users, building a custom recommendation engine is better choice.
Another area where AI/Ml is transforming the eCommerce platforms is visual search. One major drawback of eCommerce stores against traditional brick-and-mortar stores is that people often find product discovery difficult. Customers sometimes may forget or not know the exact product they are looking for. As such, they can type in the most relevant erm and then be presented with an irrelevant list of products. With visual search capability, they can simply scan the product they are looking for, and the website will automatically generate the most relevant results.
One more visual tool in the arsenal of a futuristic eCommerce website is the ability of virtual try-on. Such websites use AR technology to achieve this capability. With that, they can pick a product, say a pair of earrings, and then try it on the website itself. All they have to do is place their face in the middle of the screen for the computer algorithm to resize the product as per the face size. Thereafter, the machine will place the product image in the designated position on the face.
Approach towards eCommerce Development
Another key factor in deciding the cost of eCommerce website development is the approach you choose for your eCommerce development project. That is whether you hire a dedicated developer for your project or hire an eCommerce website development agency. But these are not the only options left for you. Here are all the different approaches available for eCommerce investors and a brief description of how they bring variations in the ultimate cost.
Build An In-house Team
If you are a complete eCommerce startup with no model other than selling things online, your first idea would be to hire a complete team of eCommerce developers, testers, account managers, and content producers in your office premises. This approach might even be ideal for you, considering you will continue to scale your project right after it is launched. In such a case, having a dedicated team of developers that worked on it since the inception of the idea helps you grow your operations ceaselessly.
Work With Freelancers
If your startup doesn’t have enough funds and you simply want to start small to test the idea, going ahead with freelancing web developers would be a good choice for you. Since freelancers are working on multiple projects at any given time, they can afford to offer their eCommerce website development services at a much lower price. Here’s the catch, though, since these freelancers are working simultaneously on multiple projects, they may not be able to give the dedication to your project to produce optimal quality output. This can result in unreliable services where you may end up investing more money than required to simply patch up non-standardized work.
Staff Augmentation Services
To overcome the non-reliance factor of freelancers and still develop your project within budget, you can opt to augment your existing staff with resources from a staff augmentation company. Many eCommerce development companies offer their skilled resources to augment your team. They work on the assets and learnings of their own but as a remote resource of your own team. Hiring eCommerce developers this way not only saves money but also gives you the skills and expertise for which you would have to give your entire development project to a company.
Hire A Local eCommerce Development Agency
Hiring a complete agency to develop your project relieves you of all the pressures of project management and yet brings you the best results. This approach is ideal if you do not have the technical expertise to manage an eCommerce website development project. You simply have an idea and the capital to invest in it. In such a case finding the closest development agency with a proven record of their experience would be the best choice for you.
Outsource an eCommerce Website Development Company
If you still want the best development lifecycle for your eCommerce website project, don’t want to engage too much in the technicalities of it, and do not want to spend a fortune on it, then outsourcing an eCommerce website development company is the answer for you. As mentioned above, developers charge differently in different locations, so what you can do is simply hire an eCommerce website development company for its offshore services. The company will work like your local agency, if not better, but will cost you a fraction of it.
Developers and Their Location
Now, contrary to popular belief, features and functionalities aren’t the most disruptive factors in the development cost of an eCommerce website. It’s the location of the developers. Depending on the cost of living in a particular region and the average wages, the same website that would get built for thousands of dollars in one particular location could easily get completed in mere hundreds in another. Here’s a simple reference for you to see how depending on the hourly rates of eCommerce developers, a website would cost you differently in different locations.
|Location||Cost per hour||Simple eCommerce Website Cost|
|Canada||30 – 50||10500 – 17500|
|Australia||60 – 80||21000 – 28000|
|UK||15 – 40||5250 – 14000|
|Germany||30 – 40||10500 – 14000|
|Philippines||10 – 15||3500 – 5250|
|Japan||30 – 40||10500 – 14000|
Now while the cost of eCommerce web development varies according to place, it would not necessarily mean a difference in the quality of the project or its timeline. It’s just that, for example, developers in Asia can easily build a project at a small hourly wage, which a developer in Europe could not afford. As such, if you’re looking to work on a budget, outsourcing your eCommerce web development services could prove to be the best idea for you.
Additional Expenses to Consider While Estimating eLearning App Development Costs
While the above-mentioned factors would invariably help you estimate the development cost for your eCommerce website project, they are still insufficient in helping you decide the entire budget. There are several other aspects related to eCommerce website development cost, like-
Often investors consider testing as an optional task, forgetting that software and web testing actually save costs in the development lifecycle. By constantly testing the functionality of every module on various aspects, one can prevent any issue from snowballing into a major development bottleneck. This helps in minimizing the duration of the development cycle, eventually reducing the overall development cost. The process, however, comes with its own costs attached to it. Generally, you can hire a software tester within a price range of 15 to 50 USD per hour.
Also Read: Everything You Need to Know about Automation Testing
Contrary to popular belief, UI/UX is not a mere design aspect of a web project. You can have your website designed in any pre-built theme, but then you cannot call that an investment in User Experience. As the name suggests, UI/UX deals with the creation of an interface that improves the customer experience. This includes giving a standard theme to the entire website that matches the brand’s tonality and yet stands strong on the best design practices. This also includes other visual aspects of an eCommerce website that help improve its engagement and conversion rates. One eCommerce project can amount to a UI/UX investment of 200 to 10000 USD, depending on the complexity of the requirement and the variations in the pages of the online store.
While the ultimate ROI of DevOps helps in reducing the development cost of an eCommerce store, these services do not come free of cost. DevOps engineers will help you in the successful deployment of your eCommerce project. They are responsible for provisioning and managing servers whenever a version update of eCommerce is to be deployed. They are also responsible for deploying databases, performing security checks, implementing system patches, and managing network connectivity. For all this and more, they usually charge 50 to 70 USD per hour.
Also Read: Devops in Project Development
Once developed, you do not deploy your eCommerce website directly on the domain. Instead, you launch it on a test environment called the staging server. Today most of the staging servers are cloud-based, but you can test your eCommerce website on an on-premise server as well. If you own such a server to host your website, you will not have to pay any additional amount for it. However, in most cases, investors opt for the developers to choose and deploy the website on the staging server of their choice based on compatibility and other factors. For the latter case, you will have to pay anything between the server pricing and the cloud package you take.
Today, a substantial portion of internet users are using their mobile phones for this purpose. In fact, statistically, it is much more likely that your customers will be using their mobile phones even to access your eCommerce website. As such, investing in ecommerce app development services is a good call. However, when you do so, it is important to save some part of your eCommerce budget for mobile users as well.
Building an eCommerce website is just a part of the job. You are required to invest a substantial part of the budget in its maintenance as well. This includes the cost of domain and web hosting renewal, SSL certificate maintenance, tech support, content addition, search engine optimization, and important plugins to enhance its functionalities. For all this, you can simply hire a dedicated professional who will regularly perform security audits on your website and keep optimizing its performance for improved results. Such a professional may charge you 15 – 25 USD per hour. Alternatively, you can hire a website maintenance agency for this purpose.
Start your eCommerce Website Today with Matellio
It’s true that calculating the eCommerce website development cost is not an easy thing. With so many factors and variables, all contributing to the entire cost in varying proportions, make the entire process is cumbersome and rather unclear. Indeed, the best way to know the cost of an eCommerce website development project is to simply request a quote for the same.
eCommerce business is booming right now, so if you really want to set yours apart from the competition, it’s important you enrich it with the trendiest features like personalization and AR shopping. And to build such a feature-rich eCommerce website, you will need custom eCommerce development services from a reliable partner. Matellio, with its decades of experience in eCommerce and unparalleled expertise in next-gen technologies, fulfills all your requirements. All you need to do is simply mention your requirements in this form and submit it. Our experts will create a complete development plan and share a free quote with you right away!
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