Each website is different, which makes it difficult to pinpoint exactly what any particular site will cost. That said, there are certain methods that web developers use to determine what an e-commerce site will cost. By understanding what factors play into the pricing structure, you will at least have a ballpark range of what an e-commerce site should cost and why.
Here are the elements that affect website pricing the most.
- Financial transactions
- Hosting and security
- E-commerce platform
- Marketing efforts
- Customer service
E-commerce sites require gateways that connect your bank account to the credit card accounts of your customers. In order for customers to make purchases, you will need a shopping cart and merchant bank account. Payment gateways and shopping carts are a low investment on the front end, but they do require ongoing fees. Most developers offer a variety of packages that include inventory management, PayPal integration and credit card processing. Customizations can be made for an additional cost.
Hosting and Security
You understand how important it is to protect your website, and now you will need to protect the privacy and personal information of your customers. Hosting companies offer this service, but not all of them are the same. Review the SLA (service-level agreement) to compare apples to apples, and make sure that you understand exactly what services you’re getting for the money.
If there’s one thing that your e-commerce should have, it’s simplicity. The best e-commerce platforms will be the most costly, but their flexibility and ease of use makes them worth the money. If you need a cheaper option, there are many types of budget-friendly e-commerce platforms available. Just don’t expect them to have the same versatility or comprehensiveness as the more expensive ones.
It’s not quiet on the Internet, so you will need some level of marketing to drive traffic to your site. PPC ads are a great starting point since you can control how much you spend while getting your brand some visibility and exposure. Just be aware that marketing will require a lot of attention at first until you have established your brand and a loyal customer base.
Speaking of loyal customers, how do you plan to service them? By phone, email or online chat? If you’re having trouble converting visitors into customers, how will you analyze website traffic? E-commerce sites are designed for transactions and sales, but you must know how you plan to provide shoppers with some level of customer service. After all, this is what will keep customers coming back for more and turning your e-commerce site into a success.
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