How Much Does It Cost to Build an Ecommerce Website?

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07 Apr 2020
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9 min
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Maria D.
Business Analyst
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Evgeny M.
Business analyst

What’s the average cost of ecommerce website? It’s hard to tell as too many factors influence the price: features, design, integrations. Especially if you’re going for custom development, not some ready-made templates.

That’s why we’ve made a guide explaining how to estimate an ecommerce website cost, what influences it, and what are the MVP features for this type of sites. Here’s what we’ll review:

Table of contents

And I’m going to start with the most interesting part – average ecommerce website cost.

Average Cost of Ecommerce Website

In short, a custom ecommerce website costs from $26,400 to $42,350 and up. That’s true for the sites developed from scratch, not built with some ready-made templates (which may work well but for short-term needs).

Why not use an out-of-box template? Custom site will load faster, be more user-friendly and hence SEO-friendly. And will have a unique UI design which lowers the chance of someone using the same template.

What’s even more important, out-of-box solutions may not be as secure as you want your website to be. Especially when you’re dealing with customers’ personal and payment details.

Alright, we've worked this part out. Now, let’s why to figure out where an ecommerce website cost comes from.

To make it even more clear, I suggest spliting ecommerce websites by their complexity, from simple sites to more complex platforms.

Ecommerce website development cost: simple vs. complex features
Complexity Hours Cost at 50$/h rate (Ukraine)

Simple website (cost of MVP features)

403

$20,150

Complex website (+additional features)

576

$28,800

!

The cost above is for features only. I didn’t include development expenses like planing, design or testing into the list. If you want to know the exact cost, please contact our BA team.

Large e-commerce sites have to be well-architected to cope with high loads and rank well on search engines. This (and many other points like unique design) is what makes ecommerce site cost go up.

By the way, the teck stack also changes from project to project – a simple website may not need push notifications or coupons, but it’s hard to imagine a large-size platform that doesn’t have these features.

!

Explaining how your tech stack may look like in our ‘ How to Choose Tech Stack for a Web App’ guide.

Ecommerce Website Cost and What Affects It

To keep it short, there are a few major cost-drivers:

  • Number of features and their complexity
  • Complexity of website design
  • Number of 3rd party integrations
  • Developers and their location

Let’s discuss each of them.

Features: Number and Complexity

It’s pretty easy: as your website grows, so do tech requirements. And the cost to make an ecommerce website.

Screens, buttons, fields, logic – when it comes to pricing, all these matter a lot. Besides, devs often need to use third-party APIs (e.g. to integrate payment systems or social login) or code from scratch.

For example, payments management in admin panel takes ~39 hours and cost $1,950, while simple registration takes ~11 hours and costs $550.

!

Development cost here and below is estimated at $50/h (rates in Ukraine, Eastern Europe)

I’m going to calculate ecommerce development cost by features in the next part of the article. But here’s a list of pages our clients often ask about:

  • Main page
  • Shopping cart
  • Favorites
  • Check out
  • Blog
  • Category pages
  • Product pages
Ecommerce website page

Ecommerce website main page by Cleveroad (Source: Dribble)

And the features:

  • Integration with payment systems (Stripe, PayPal)
  • Push notifications
  • Recently viewed products
  • Products’ rates and reviews
  • Search bar with filters
  • Admin panel

Custom Website Design

Same with ecommerce website design cost: the more sophisticated the design is, the more time it takes.

After all, design isn’t all about pretty looks but also about making the select-buy process simple, fast, and clear for customers. Or even encouraging them to buy some products.

Besides, if you want to include some animations or have a choice between 2-3 visual concepts (designers need time to get them ready), be ready to face a higher ecommerce site cost.

Ecommerce website dashboard

Ecommerce dashboard design by Cleveroad (Source: Dribble)

Our Design team needs approximately 65 hours to prepare a custom web UI/UX design. If we multiply it by $50/h rate, ecommerce website design cost will be $3,250.

One more thing: you may want your website look good on mobile devices. There’s a good reason for that: in 2021, 72.9% of all purchases will be done from smarthphones.

That’s why you may want to add adaptive web design to the list of web development services. It makes web pages render well on different devices, including smartphones (so you won’t need to build native iOS and Android apps for mobile users).

Adaptive ecommerce website design costs (approximately) as 30% of the front-end part, not including the admin panel. In our case, it’s 38h and ~$1,900.

Number of 3rd Party Integrations

If you plan to integrate third-party tools to handle payments, add a live chat or customize shipping options, be ready to face a higher ecommerce website making cost.

Let’s start with must-have payment integrations – Stripe and PayPal.

Stripe takes 2.9% + 30¢ per successful card charge. Same with PayPal, but they also charge 5% + .05¢ for payments under $10. And, of course, developers need some time to integrate these payment processors: about 10-12 hours ($500-$600) for each.

Want a robot to call or SMS your customers? Or send them messages in WhatsApp? Twilio APIs, programmable voice or SMS is quite a good option.

Let's see Twilio starting prices:

  • $0.0042 to send a WhatsApp message
  • $0.0075 to send or receive an SMS
  • $0.0085/min to receive and $0.013/min to make a call

Again, devs need time to integrate it (not much though): 4-6 hours ($200-$300).

Last example, emails. You’ll surely need them if you’re going to infom customers about their orders being collected or shipped.

I'm suggesting we use Amazon email sending service (Amazon SES). They charge $0 for the first 62,000 emails you send each month, and $0.10 for every 1,000 emails you send after that. Amazon SES integration takes 3,5-4 hours and costs $175-$225.

Ecommerce website integrations

Ecommerce site development cost: 3-rd party services

Developers and Their Location

Software development services in Eastern Europe cost less then in United States, Canada or Western Europe.

Here are the hourly rates in world’s biggest tech hubs.

Cost to build ecommerce website in different countries
Country Cost per hour, $

Canada

$100 - $149

United States

$100 - $149

Israel

$100 - $149

Australia

$100 - $149

Sweden

$100 - $149

UK

$50 - $99

Germany

$50 - $99

Norway

$50 - $99

Switzerland

$50 - $99

Latin America

$30-50

Ukraine

$25-50

Yet big price doesn’t necessarily mean big quality, and it may not matter from which country your devs are from – United States, UK, or Ukraine.

Website rates in biggest tech hubs

Ecommerce website development cost in biggest tech hubs

But that’s not all. I’ve mentioned the main factors of ecommerce site cost, but there surely are additional expenses:

  • Domain name ($10 to $20/annualy)
  • Hosting ($100 to $200)
  • SSL certificate ($6 to $150)
  • Maintenance ($500 to $12,000)

Finally, if nobody knows about your website — it doesn’t exist. That’s why I would add marketing expenses to the list:

  • Pay-per-click advertising (the cost depends on how demanded keywords are)
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) ($300 to $1,500 monthly on average)
  • Copywriting (from $50 per article)
  • Social media marketing (SMM) (from $400 per month)

That’s it. Now, I suggest moving to the most important part – and the biggest ecommerce website cost driver – features.

Ecommerce Website Cost: Estimate by Features

Your websites’ content, design, and domain name surely matter. But, as I’ve said, it’s the features that cost the most.

How much to build an ecommerce website? Let’s see, feature by feature.

How much to create an ecommerce website: MVP features
Feature Description Approx time (hours) Approx cost ($)

Registation

Sing up by email+password

11

550

Authorization

Singing in by email+password, forgot password option, log out

27

1350

Homepage

Watched products, purchased products, popular products, list of products (add an item to cart), search

89

4450

Catalog

List of categories

23

1150

Product page

Proto slider, add review+rate product

41

2050

Shopping cart

List of products, buy item, buy all, delete from cart

58

2900

Checkout

Checkout by PayPal, checkout by card (list of cards, add card info)

76

3800

Users' profile

Edit profile, orders, payments screen, remove card

52

2600

Help screen

Terms and conditions, About us, feedback form

26

1300

Total

403

$20,150

Want somethings more sophisticated? Let’s add push notifications, wish list, and let users sign in via social networks.

How much does it cost to build an ecommerce site: complex features
Feature Description Approx time (hours) Approx cost ($)

Favorites

Wish list for users

12

600

Analytics

Integration with analytics tools (Google Analytics)

12

600

Social login

Login via Facebook, Gmail, Twitter)

18

900

‘Save for later’ button

Items moved to Saved for later list

2

100

Blog

List of articles, blog management

65

3250

Push notifications

In users' account

14

700

Vouchers management

In admin panel

30

1500

Repeat order

From user's account

8

400

Total

161

$8,050

By the way, if you want to monetize your website, it may be good idea to add Google Adwords. It’ll take 12h ($600) to integrate it.

Let’s sum everything up. The simplest ecommerce website costs $20,150 (403 dev hours x $50h rate).

A more compiicated website with the additional features I’ve described starts from $28,800 ($20,150 for MVP + $8,050 for extra features + $600 for monetization), not including the web design.

But that’s true for Ukraine. How much does it cost to develop an ecommerce website with MVP features in other countries?

  • Eastern Europe. $20,150 (403 dev hours x $50/h)
  • Central and Western Europe. $40,300 ($100/h)
  • USA. $60,450 ($150/h)
  • Australia. $40,300 ($100/h)

Tech Stack of an Ecommerce Website

What's more, I've asked our developers to make a list of technologies they would use to build such an ecommerce website. Let's see the tech stack.

Frontend:

  • Angular + Angular Universal (server-side rendering engine for SEO purposes)
  • UI components library like Twitter Bootstrap, Angular Material, or Semantic UI

Backend:

  • Nodejs + TypeScript
  • PostgreSQL or Mysql as the main database with Sequelize as ORM
  • Elasticsearch as full-text search engine
  • Redis as cache
  • BullMQ as the message broker

Integrations:

  • Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) as file storage
  • Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES)
  • Paypal, Stripe, Adyen, etc. for payments
  • Firebase Cloud Messaging for notifications
  • Login via social media API (Facebook, Gmail, Twitter)
Tech stack for building an ecommerce website

Full ecommerce website tech stack

Cleveroad Expertise

Cleveroad developers have 5+ years of experience in designing and building any-size ecommerce websites. We build secure and converting e-stores for our clients and make a heavy focus on personalized customer experience.

It's always better to see once though, so here's one of our projects.

AYIO

Meet AYIO, a P2P website that offers services in many fields – from travel to plumbing.

AYIO comes with everything an ecommerce platform needs: a complex search system with categories, payment handling (we used Stripe), tracking of income and expenses, and many more features.

AYIO website

AYIO website

Want to see more projects like this one? Check our portfolio!

See your future ecommerce website?
We’ll calculate its cost for FREE. Just contact us and desribe the idea.

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