How Much Does It Cost to Build an E-Commerce Website?

07 APR 2020
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What’s the average cost of e-commerce 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 e-commerce 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 e-commerce website cost.

Average Cost of E-Commerce Website

In short, a custom e-commerce website may cost from $26,400 to $99,700 and up. That’s true for websites 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 e-commerce website cost comes from.

To make it even more clear, I suggest splitting e-commerce websites by their complexity, from simple sites to more complex platforms.

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 e-commerce 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.

E-Commerce 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 e-commerce 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.

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

I’m going to calculate e-commerce 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
E-commerce website page

E-commerce 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 e-commerce 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 e-commerce site cost.

E-commerce website dashboard

E-commerce dashboard design by Cleveroad (Source: Dribble)

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).

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 e-commerce 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.

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).

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.

E-commerce website integrations

E-commerce 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 e-commerce website in different countries

CountryCost 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

E-commerce website development cost in biggest tech hubs

But that’s not all. I’ve mentioned the main factors of e-commerce 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 e-commerce website cost driver – features.

E-Commerce Website Cost: Estimate by Features

Your websites’ content, design, and domain name surely matter. However, features that you're planning to implement for the website will take up most of the budget.

How much to build an e-commerce website? Let’s see what development modules are there.

Cost to create an e-commerce website (development only)

ModuleGeneral featuresApprox time (hours)

Registration

  • Register using email and password
  • Login using social media
  • Forgot password
  • Logout

56

Main screen

  • Watched products
  • Last purchased products
  • Popular products

96

Catalog screen

  • List of categories

24

Product details screen

  • Photo slider
  • Rate
  • Add review

64

Cart

  • List of products
  • Checkout

112

Profile

  • Edit profile
  • Orders
  • Payment screen

64

Help screen

  • Terms and conditions
  • About company
  • Feedback form

32

Push notifications

  • Notifications

16

Analytics integration

  • Google Analytics (or another per request)

16

Total development time

480 hours

All e-commerce projects require a thoughtful admin panel for managing items, users, and giving different access levels to employees. Keep that in mind to accurately calculate e-commerce website development costs.

Admin panel development cost

ModuleGeneral featuresApprox time (hours)

Authorization

  • Sing up
  • Sign out

8

User management

  • List of users
  • User details
  • Create user
  • Search user

120

Item management

  • List of items
  • Create item
  • Delete, edit, search items

104

Requests

  • List of requests
  • Details screen
  • Change request status

72

Export products

  • From Shopify or other places per request

80

Payment management

  • Manage payments

40

Voucher management

  • Manage vouchers

32

Total development time

456 hours

In the tables above you can see an approximate development time by modules telling that developers will spend about 936 hours in total to implement those modules. Dividing that time into smaller parts (called sprints), we'll get about six development iterations. Keep in mind that software developers aren't the only specialists you need on a team to build such a complex product.

Here's the full team composition you'll need:

  • Front-end developer (2X) - all sprints
  • Back-end developer (2X) - all sprints
  • UI/UX designer - sprint 1-5
  • Business Analyst - sprint 1-5
  • Project Manager - all sprints
  • QA engineer - all sprints
  • DevOps engineer - all sprints
  • Team lead - all sprints

Given that team composition and the amount of work, it'll cost you approximately $99,700 to build the e-commerce website described in the table. As a software service provider, we can guarantee successful product delivery within a specified time frame only if all needed specialists are on the team.

The price can also change drastically depending on your requirements. If you want to save some budget, there's a team augmentation model available. Choosing it, you simply hire as many developers as you need for the project and manage them on your own. However, you bear full responsibility for the result choosing team augmentation.

Get a custom estimate

Looking for an accurate estimate? Our tech experts will estimate your e-commerce project for free.

Tech Stack of an E-Commerce Website

What's more, I've asked our developers to make a list of technologies they would use to build such an e-commerce 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 e-commerce website

Full e-commerce website tech stack

Cleveroad Expertise

Cleveroad developers have 5+ years of experience in designing and building any-size e-commerce 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 e-commerce 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 e-commerce website?

We’ll calculate its cost for FREE. Just contact us and desribe the idea.

Frequently Asked Questions

From $20,150 to $28,800 and up only to develop the features. The exact cost depends on how complex your website is going to be, whether you need custom UI design, 3-rd party integrations, and additional services.

It depends on how much additional services cost. They usually include:

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

A simple e-commerce website will cost $20,150+ for features and about $3,250 for custom UI/UX design. More complex functionality will cost ~$28,800.

$3,250 for simple website design. If you want to add adaptive web design for mobile devices, it’ll cost 30% of the front-end part, not including the admin panel.

  • Must-have features: registration, user profile, main page, product pages, catalog, shopping cart, and help screen.
  • Additional features: wist list, analytics, social login, blog, push notifications.

There's no one-size-fits-all formula. But things like expert UI/UX design services, simple checkout, wish list, automatic emails, and a website blog may greatly help.

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