Having an online platform to interact with customers is critical for any business today. Physical brick and mortar stores and online stores run parallel in modern times, almost mirroring the functionality of each other. This has been necessitated by the exponential rise in smartphone technologies and usage. All that is required to have merchandize of choice delivered to the doorstep is to browse the online stores and place the preferred order with a click. It really cannot get easier than this!
Studies have shown that people spend a significant part of their waking hours browsing the Internet and a substantial portion of it is on online shopping. It is therefore not surprising that there is a proliferation of online e-commerce sites. Not only is there is a rush by new businesses to reap the benefits of increased sales through online e-commerce platforms, but even long-established iconic stores like Cartier’s and Tiffany’s have also chosen to go online. For them, it is not about creating brand awareness but reaching out to more and more customers who prefer to shop at their convenience round the clock. E-commerce website cost for design and developmentis hardly a factor here.
In this jostling to create space in the e-commerce scenario, how and where do you as a business owner fit in? It is increasingly difficult now to impress customers with the general and basic e-commerce features on a site. You have to capture the attention of your customers as soon as they land on your site. Often you will have seconds to do so. Only mid-sized, customized and feature-rich sites can rise to the expectations of customers leading to a big slice of market share.
For this to happen, you have to spend big. The more your investment in structuring an e-commerce site, the more optimized and customized your site will be and the higher will be the footfalls, sales and conversions. Many marketing tools and technologies that lie at the core of creating an online store and what you use is dependent on the quantum of your investment.
In this post, analysis will be made of e-commerce website development cost breakdown by features present in mid-sized to large and customized sites. It is difficult to accurately predict the cost in dollar terms as it is based on many demographical factors. Creating a website with the same features may vary between countries and hence, the focus now will be on the sophistication of the site vis-à-vis e-commerce website pricing rather than the actual cost.
However, in general, costs can vary a lot. For example, cost of custom development alone of a mid-sized e-commerce site is in the range of $2,000 to $5,000 but can shoot up to $10,000 to more than $150,000 for large high-traffic sites. Total set-up of a small and basic site is less than $12,000, for mid-sized it is $18,000 – $30,000 and $36,000 to $144,000+ for large sites. At the cost of repetition, it should be emphasized here that it is the features that determiner the costs and the size of the site.
Here is an overview of the features present in mid-sized to large and customized sites. Creating them is an expensive proposition, often running into hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Advanced Search Features and Related Items
A lot of people might be visiting your site, but not all of them know precisely what they are looking for. Hence, you have to help them along through advanced filters that incorporate a fast and categorized search. Options should be provided to filter products by name, brand, price, industry and views per page. This is particularly useful if you stock a huge assortment of inventories and have to assist the visitors to narrow down their search. By making their search functions easier, you will be encouraging them to stay on your site.
Another advanced feature is the “You Might Also Like” segment where you nudge a customer towards making more purchases. A customer buying a coffee-making machine can be offered a bag of coffee beans to motivate him to make the primary purchase.
Dynamic Product Search
Searches over the Internet are largely based on optimized use of keywords, and the whole process is intricately linked to keyword generation, keyword targeting and matching options with Google AdWords. However, Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) makes use of Google’s organic web crawling technology and targets specific search queries automatically based on the content of your e-commerce site. All this leads to a better and effective marketing campaign and a higher ROI on the market spend. You should, therefore, make sure that your site is content-rich to maximize leverage with the DSA tool.
This tool is specifically used to create a Shopping Cart platform which is fundamental for any online store. So if you ask how much does an e-commerce website cost in 2019, the answer will depend a lot on whether you use this software that is a professional cloud-based tool to build a high-end e-commerce store.
Video Promotion, Animation and Quality photos
There is nothing more effective to capture the attention of visitors to your site than liberal use of videos, animation and high-quality photos of the stocks on display. Visual representation always has greater appeal than the written text. But then, embedding your site with videos and animation increases costs of e-commerce site creation substantially, investments that will pay you back many times over in the future through increased sales and conversions. Additionally, ensure that the high-resolution images load fast too. You can mix the static images with animated ones also. Make short “how to use” videos for technologically sophisticated products to guide visitors to the site.
Another aspect that will increase the e-commerce website cost but will necessarily appeal to customers and nudge them towards a sale is the 360-degree preview of goods feature. This, along with 3D product photography is critical for mid-sized to large e-commerce sites.
Vibrant Contact Us page
If you have an e-commerce business that is fully online only without a brick and mortar store, it is essential that you cultivate the trust of your customers. Have a transparent and detailed well-presented About Us page, especially if you sell high-value technical equipment. Make it easy for the client to get in touch with you whenever necessary to request support. Further, add maps and customer service social links as well as online appointment settings on the page to increase the credibility of your business.
Quick loading time for pages
Having every page of your site load quickly is going to cost you a lot of money but consider this statistic – 40% of customers abandon a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. Regardless of how well-designed and appealing the design of the site is, you will have a high bounce and exit rate if the site is slow and sluggish. To avoid losing customers, implement a design that ensures that all of the assets load quickly. Specific compression tools, content-delivery network and advanced platform-centric plug-ins should be used so that even large images and graphics load right away.
Follow these few tips while designing and creating your e-commerce website for quick page loading times.
- Suitable hosting – If you find that your site is a bit sluggish, contact tout host to upgrade to a better and more suitable plan.
- Compress large image files – Contact your site design and developer in this connection or use free tools like Kraken.io or TinyPNG to do it yourself in seconds. However, it is advisable to let your digital marketing agency do it as part of site maintenance for future addition of products on the site.
- Analyze the content delivery networks – Tell your developer to use content delivery networks that deliver cached versions of the store from a local server to visitors.
All these are high-end features which increase e-commerce website cost but also aspects that you cannot do without if you want a customized e-commerce website.
Implement the “Find-in-Store” feature
If you have a business that has physical assets in the form of brick and mortar stores as well as an e-commerce site, this is one feature that you have to implement, even though it might shoot up e-commerce website pricing substantially. Statistics show that 72% of shoppers research online for the best prices and offers before walking into a physical store to make a purchase. They then know about the best offers on their intended purchases without having to wait for delivery. When you implement the “Find in Store” feature, you enable them to see which local stores have their required products in stock.
Matching the Customer and Industry
The points given here have so far detailed the features of a high-end customized site that increase e-commerce website development cost breakdown, it is not always about the design qualities. You should also analyze what the customers can expect from that design. What you choose should match the industry you are in as well as your customers’ needs and both should complement each other. If the theme and functions do not fit your business, it will hurt you in the long run.
For example, if you are dealing in high-end fashion designs and accessories, the design of your store should be elegant and different from what it would be if you were selling sports goods. Such customization costs a lot but then, it is crucial for your business. Worried about how much does an e-commerce website cost in 2019? This post is an answer for those requiring a site for a mid-sized to a large and customized online store.
Read first part of this article: E-commerce Website Development Cost Breakdown Scratch