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How To Effectively Build An E-commerce Website Within A Tight Budget?

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By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce

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How To Effectively Build An E-commerce Website Within A Tight Budget?

Along with the development of e-commerce - which can be mentioned as the Magento development, the website is gradually playing an indispensable role in online business activities. However, we must admit that you will need to prepare a large budget if you want to do e-commerce website development of high quality.

Some merchants can pay up to $10,000 for an excellent performance website. However, this number is a headache issue for newly online start-ups on a tight budget.

You are also worried about the same problem? This article is the answer for you! We will provide some tips to have a good website at a low cost. Scroll down to learn more!

What Are The Costs Of Building an E-Commerce Website?

In fact, you will have to pay quite a few different fees to own a complete website. It is not a one-pay-for-all cost. There usually are four main fees for you:

The first is eCommerce platforms using prices, such as Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, etc. Usually, there are two types of services: monthly payment platforms and open-source ones.

The first type will require you to pay a monthly fee, ranging from 50 to 300 dollars. For the second one, you can choose between free to use or investing a significant amount of up to 150,000$.

Next is the cost of domain and hosting. These two act as the storage and identity of the website. The budget to prepare will be based on your eCommerce platform. However, the average price will be around $100.

The web development costs also need to be considered. This includes extra fees such as quotation & consultation, extension and plugins, themes, support, and the like. For open-source platforms, this cost is especially important since you will have to hire a web dev agency to build your store from scratch.

Finally is the payment gateway. You will have to pay a certain fee to the online payment support units. In particular, Shopify charges up to 2% for every payment if you use Shopify’s non-partner payment gateways or you are in a country where Shopify does not support.

In addition to the cost of the online store website above, you might sometimes have to pay for support and maintenance service. This may cost you up to $1,000 for each web fix.

How To Reduce Cost To Build An E-Commerce Website?

Although it is undeniable that nowadays, a quality e-commerce website requires quite a lot of different costs, there are still ways for you to optimize your building price to better suit your tight budget.

Determine your web plan – simplicity is the best

First, you should gain technical knowledge and make the most general decisions about your website. Remember to check out recent trending website structures, required functions and web interface styles. This knowledge will help you assess what is and isn’t suitable for your business.

From here, make a list of the features you want, try to list them in 4 columns: “very needed”, “necessary”, “very desirable,” and “desired”. This list will help you allocate your budget correctly with minimal waste.

A small suggestion for you is to prioritize simplicity. Do not choose too many features or a flashy design style. Those things can cost a lot of money. A simple web with sufficient features can completely meet the requirements of a new online store. You can upgrade your web later when your business grows.

Find your eCommerce platform – choose wisely

Currently, there are two most popular types of platforms to make/ create an e-commerce website: the hosted platform (Shopify, Wix, etc.) and the self-hosted platform (Magento, WooCommerce, etc.). Choosing the right platform is really important because it is not easy to change it in the future. Try to consider it carefully.

Hosted platform

For the first type, you will only need to pay the monthly fee for access. This fee will range from $100 to $300, depending on the service packages.

It is easy to see that the cost of a standard full-featured website will drop significantly in the short term if you choose this option. However, in the long run, when the business has exaggerated, you will definitely have to choose the advanced package so that your store can put enough goods in stock. So, this is a costly option if you look for a far sight solution.

Also, these companies have a bunch of customization and functionality restrictions for cheap packages to get users to spend more money on valuable extensions and better combos.

Self-hosted platform

On the other hand, for the second choice, you can completely use these platforms for free and still have all the necessary features for a B2C retailer. However, because of these platforms’ high technical requirements, you must hire a web design agency to support you.

This can add to the cost, but you will get a website that has full standards and some advanced requirements in terms of both functionality and design. In particular, the cost of repairing and updating the website in the future will be minimized.

There are a few ways you can minimize the cost of this option. You can choose from eCommerce ready-made themes. Agencies design them for low-budget companies. The price for a theme is only around 30$ to 300$.

You might also want to consider choosing companies in the Southeast Asia region. Companies in this location often have a lower cost of living, so the prices for their services are also significantly lower.

Domain and hosting services

As mentioned above, domain and hosting are fundamental. If you do not know them well, you can simply understand that the domain is your website name. It is the online sign for your store, your customers will realize your store by looking at it. Hosting is where your website is stored on a server. You need to rent a location for storage. It is similar to rental real estate but on the internet. Your platform type will decide how much you need to pay for these two services. Specifically, for hosted ones, it provides the hosting space where their main site is staying, so you won’t need to find a hosting service of your own anymore.

For self-hosted ones, you will have to choose and pay for hosting. You can save money on this service by selecting an affordable domain and hosting providers. Choosing a shared server or a dedicated server is advisable to reduce expenses. In case you are new to this, here are some low-cost web hosting suggestions: A2 Hosting, dream host, Ionos 1 & 1.

In addition, some web agencies’ service packages to build an e-commerce website like Tigren will also provide some special sales on domain names, for example, 2-3 months of a free domain.

Building website

For hosted platforms, the website building process can be done entirely by yourself. Therefore, you will not need to spend extra costs on outsourcing.

You can learn about e-commerce website development through videos, guidebooks, and support from communities. However, it would be best to understand in advance that your online shop will not achieve what you want in terms of looks, functionality and performance. Moreover, this process will take a lot of time and if you have problems in the future, you will have to pay to fix them.

In contrast to the self-hosted platform, your hired dev teams will do everything as initial dealing in their web dev packages. Their products must ensure the quality, functionality and design that the two sides have negotiated from the beginning.

Don’t forget to show them the list of features you noted in the web plan determining step. This will help them use their budget more efficiently.

Remember, these agencies are all professionals, they can complete your store in a short time with optimal eCommerce website cost. So you can rest assured to complete other tasks so that your business can operate as soon as the website is completed.

Payment gateway

Most payment gateways will require small or even no monthly fees. However, you have to pay a small fee for each transaction. For example, Zettle (2.5%), SumUp (2.5%), or Stripe (1.4% + 20p for European cards), especially Shopify – 2% fee for some countries and payment gateway.

Therefore, consider choosing only up to three payment gateways that are most convenient and easy to use for you and as many customers as possible to maximize revenue for future activities.

You might be interested in Payment Gateway Integration for your business eCommerce

Tips For You To Effectively Build An E-commerce Website

Don’t forget quality

Remember, business is about the long term. Although built with a low budget, your website still needs to meet the minimum criteria of UX, UI, performance, design and the like. In other words, its quality should not be too bad.

Successful businesses don’t just sell once to a customer, they sell multiple times to the same customer and even to that customer’s friends. To do this, they need to get customers to like them. Website – your brand’s face – is a prerequisite for this. So consider carefully before allocating funding for website construction activities.

A prime example of an e-commerce platform that has been effectively built within a tight budget is the presence of an online provider selling LOTO stations. The design is clean and minimalistic, utilizing a color scheme that is consistent with the brand and easy to recognize. Despite its simplicity, the platform offers all the necessary functions such as clear product information and an optimized checkout process. It proves that it is possible to achieve a high standard of user experience, design and performance even with limited resources.

Whichever platform you pick, it needs to have a good ecommerce checkout, as this is instrumental in determining whether or not visitors click through and become customers, or abandon their carts early.

Being far-sighted

If your business is successful, you will definitely have to expand your website. So choose platforms that are easy to customize and at the forefront of technology. You don’t want your store to be too far behind the competition. The self-hosted platforms sound like a good candidate for this position, you might want to consider them!

With hosted ones, if you get tired of their services, you’ll have to completely rebuild from scratch on a different platform. In the worst case, if they stop supporting hosting, your website will also disappear.

Bottom Line

We must admit that building an e-commerce website at a low cost is not an easy task. You will need to consider a lot of things and make plenty of choices. Each wrong choice can significantly affect the budget and the quality of the final product. However, if successful, you will have a great store that everyone wants, and it costs you only half the regular eCommerce website pricing! Therefore, don’t be afraid to put in a little extra effort because the results will be amazing.

Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.