It all started off with a fantastic idea, and probably a ravishing prototype, and now you want to share your product or service with the world. Well, an e-commerce website is a great way to start. Building an online store not only allows you to showcase your brand in an environment that is incredibly accessible, but it allows enables a larger target audience to see and possibly buy from you. While brick and mortar shops have advantageous benefits for business owners, e-commerce online stores allow you to spread the word quicker and more effectively. Although you probably are curious how to get started. When it comes to e-commerce startup costs, there are a few bare necessities that you will need to get your shop up-and-running.
Your domain name is the heart of your company. You’ll need to purchase a domain name for roughly $0.99 to $15.00 yearly which will serve as the website URL that will lead to your business site. Be sure to get yourself a .com domain main to ensure that your e-commerce business will be more likely to be searched for.
Now that you’ve got your name, you’ll need to consider what your budget will be for hosting. Hosting is the fee that you pay to host your website on a hosting provider’s server. Without hosting, your business webpage won’t be connected to the internet which will not allow any potential customers to visit it.
There are two kinds of hosting, shared and private. Shared hosting is the cheapest option (ranging from $3.50 to $40.00 monthly) because you share your server with other people. This a good option for an e-commerce startup because you probably won’t have an overwhelming number of visitors to your site just yet. When your business is ready to expand, private hosting (starts at about $200.00 monthly) would be a considered upgrade as it would allow your site to run faster for your customers.
All e-commerce startups need to have some form of inventory to get started, otherwise when a customer comes along and makes a purchase, they will have to wait for the item to be in stock before you’re able to ship it. That being said, the amount you invest here varies on what you feel would be a good amount to get everything moving. If you don’t have the funds to invest in your e-commerce startup at first, the dropship model would work well for you. How it works is when a customer makes a purchase from you, you contact your supplier and make them wholesale prices, they then in turn directly ship the item(s) to your customer under your name.
A form of processing payments
It’s important to know that all payment processors (ex. Shopify) charge you roughly 2-3% plus $0.30 per transaction that is made on your site. All these costs needed to be budgeted into your e-commerce startup costs as they are added onto your pricing, marketing costs, product costs, shipping fees and possible other processing fees.
The development of your website will probably be your biggest e-commerce startup cost. Firstly, you’ll need to decide whether you want to use a pre-made template or a custom design. While pre-made templates usually cost significantly less than one that was designed for you, you pretty much get what you pay for. Most professional web development companies will charge roughly $5,000 to get your business webpage started from scratch. The advantage of this investment is that your design will be tailored to your brand, while the advantage of a pre-made template is that your website can be launched quicker. As a business owner you’ll need to decide if quality is more important to you.
If you need help getting started, contacting a web development team with trained knowledge in the field could put you in the right direction for a successful e-commerce startup.
Are there any other initial e-commerce startup costs that you also feel are important? Tell us in the comments section below.