How much should you pay for a custom ecommerce website?

It’s a commonly asked question: how much ‘should’ you pay for a custom ecommerce website? Business owners like to feel they’re getting value for money - that they’re neither being ripped off, nor sacrificing quality by getting it done on the cheap.

The problem is, you might not completely understand what you’re looking for, what all the terminology means and what the design and build process entails. And if you don’t understand what you’re paying for, you’re likely to be cautious. How do you know what to pay, who to go to and who to trust to deliver the site you want, within budget and to the standard that you need?

Help is at hand! When commissioning a new ecommerce website for your business, here’s what you need to consider:

What are you actually paying for?

We all know someone who ‘does WordPress’ and will offer to build you a website over the weekend for a few hundred pounds. And if what you’re looking for is a basic shop window, a place to showcase your business and give people a way to find and contact you, you might find that this is a cost effective way of getting your business online without having to learn how to do it yourself.

But when you’re looking to build an ecommerce site, you need more that a website that looks pretty. Whilst you may be able to get something live by DIY or on the cheap, it will be missing all the experience and expertise needed in terms user experience and marketing capability.

The issue with using a cheap website designer (or going down the DIY route) is that they will:

• Not have the experience to build a website optimised for conversion rate (the % of people who visit and buy)

• They will use a pre-designed template which will deliver a fixed customer journey

When you work with an ecommerce website designer, you are paying for their experience of knowing how ecommerce customers use websites.

You’re also paying for an ongoing relationship with the designer, who understands that an ecommerce site is a living beast that will evolve over time as audiences, trends and products change.

When you work with a typical web designer, you come up with a brief, then they give you a quote and carry out the work. But once you then have that finished website, they wish you good luck with it and move on to their next project. If you want to make any changes, or add functionality (e.g. linking it to reporting software) they will then charge you an hourly fee.

As online shopping constantly evolves, so should your website: in line with the data and how customers are using your site. So you want to be able to have changes made to the website quickly and easily - without having to work out how much your web designer will charge you for each one!