How Much Does Ecommerce Really Costs | From Scratch to End (Part 1) | Article – HSBC VisionGo

Check out this article to see how much does building an ecommerce store really cost. How much do different ecommerce platforms charge you?

Startups  ·    ·  5 mins read

Costs of Ecommerce

From Scratch to End to See How Much You're Going To Pay In Building an Ecommerce Store

According to the figures reported by "Statista", the total revenue of ecommerce sales in Hong Kong hits almost 5,000 million USD in 2019, and there are more than 5 million users browsing the ecommerce website in 2019. Yet, many traditional business owners have transformed at least parts of their business to ecommerce. However, for the beginners of doing ecommerce business, besides the techniques required for constructing the website, the cost may be their biggest's concerns in doing the ecommerce business. Therefore, here we're going to give the beginner who is about to start their ecommerce business a clear overlook of how much does it really cost in building the ecommerce sites. Here we go!

The Cost of Building a Basic Ecommerce Site

1. Ecommerce Software Cost

This refers to the cost that you need to pay when you choose to build your ecommerce site on the online ecommerce platforms, such as Shopify, WIX, and Bigcommerce. These online ecommerce platforms offer you a convenient option to start your ecommerce business. They have different features and help you to build your ecommerce site in different ways, and their pricing are quite vary. We've listed the prices of some of them, and the money you need to pay when you're using the basic services that they've offered.

Shopify (Basic Plan): $29 USD /month (Services included online store, free SSL certificate, fraud analysis and sell in 133 currencies)

WIX (Basic Plan): $4.5 USD /month, it only included 1GB Bandwidth, 500MB Storage and Connect Your Domain. It's up to $12.5 USD /month for the Entrepreneurs' plan.

Bigcommerce (Basic Plan): $29.95 USD /month (Service included Branded online store, Responsive website and Free Sitewide HTTPs and Dedicated SSL)

2. Your Ecommerce Site Domain Cost

Every website needs a domain name, and the domain name costs are basically incurred every year. According to the domain name with .com end costs around $9.99 USD /month, with an extra $8.99 USD /month for the domain privacy and protection. (Basic plan): $9.99 USD /month (domain name) + $8.99 USD /month (domain privacy and protection)

3. Web-Hosting Service Cost

Once you got the domain name of your website, you need the hosting service to make your website public. A good hosting service provider is crucial in doing the online business, they can help to keep your website fast and safe for people who browse your website. Here, we got you some web-hosting service providers. $0.01 USD first month, $5 USD /month after $0.99 USD /month

Bluehost: $2.95 /month

4. Transaction Processing Cost

Next, we come to the transaction processing cost. Good payment gateways can provide easy and fast check-out process for the customers, and secure the customers information. There are many payment gateways out there for the merchants to choose, and they would charge from every sale on your website, in other words, they charge you money when every time you sold the product.

PayPal: (2.9% + $0.30 cent )/Transaction, sell in 203 countries, with 25 currencies.

Stripe: (2.9% + $0.30 cent )/Transaction, sell in 25 countries, with more than 135 currencies.

The prices may vary in different countries.

5. SSL certificate Cost

This is the encryption certificate that tells the customers that your website is safe and secure to browse. Many ecommerce platforms have put the SSL certificate into the basic plan that they've offered. However, you can also purchase and acquire the SSL certificate by yourself. $60 USD /year

Additional Cost of Building Advance Version of Ecommerce Site

After you have finished the basic setting of your website, and you have made it public to others. At the stage, you might start to want your website to look more decent and have a stunning interface for the customers, and now you could consider some add-on services provided by these ecommerce platforms. For sure, those add-on services sometimes could be pricey.

1. Design Cost

Have a stunning user interface is the first step to turn the customers' visits to sales, as well as retain the past customer. If you are new to ecommerce business, you may feel exhausted and frustrated when doing the web design, it could take you a lot of time to make slight changes in your website. At this point, you may come up with the idea of hiring a web-designer to handle all the web design tasks. However, according to the figure that has reported, a web-designer costs $500 - $1,000 per year, and it could be a huge amount of money for small business ecommerce. Besides, using a web-designer you might think of using the premium themes on these ecommerce platforms, but as you can see, the costs of these themes are around $160 to $180 USD.

2. Plugin, Extensive Features

Taking WordPress as an example, there is a wide range of plugins that you can choose to increase the on your website, but those handy and valuable plugins could cost you a lot.

Elementor Pro (a web-builder plugin): $49 USD/ year

Yoast SEO (search engine optimizer): $89 USD /site /year

Sucuri (website security plugin): $199 USD/ year

3. Marketing Cost

Last but not least, if you want to do some promotions for your ecommerce site, you might also do advertising on different social media.

Facebook ads: $0.50 to $2.00 USD/ click, for most of the cases

Google ads: $1 to $2 USD/ click in Google Search Network

Cost of Building an Ecommerce Site From Scratch To End

How Much Does It Cost In A Personal Scale Ecommerce Store

We're going to see how much a personal ecommerce site costs, if it has subscribed to these services.

  • Using WordPress + Woocommerce as the ecommerce platform (Advance Version)
  • Bluehost, as the hosting service provider
  • Using Elementor Pro and Yoast SEO as the plugin in the website
  • Stripe as the payment gateway

Bluehost, WordPress and Woocommerce: $12.95 USD/ month

Elementor Pro (Premier Version): ~$4.08 USD/ month

Yoast SEO (Premier Version): ~$7.42 USD/ month

Cost In Total per month = $12.95 +$ 4.08 + $7.42 ~$25 USD/ month, which is around $300 USD/ year, and for your every transaction you're going to pay 2.9% of your revenue and a fixed $0.30 cent to the stripe company

How Much Does It Cost In An Enterprise-Scale Ecommerce Store

We're going to see how much an enterprise-scale ecommerce site costs, if it has used these services.

  • Using Shopify (Advanced Version)-$299 USD/ month
  • Shopify Payments: 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction
  • Web-Developer - $5000 USD
  • Shopify Add-on function for custom application - $5000 USD
  • SemRush - $99.95/ month

Cost In Total per month = $299 USD + 416.67 USD + 416.67 USD + 99.95 = $1230.95 USD / month, which is around $14771 USD/ year and for your each transaction you're going to pay 2.9% of your revenue and a fixed $0.30 cent to the Shopify company

Cost-Effective Option in Ecommerce Business

If you think using the ecommerce platform to start your ecommerce business is not cost-effective for you, the services offered by Starlity( could be a solution for people who wants to start selling online in an affordable way. Starlity is an ecommerce selling platform founded by former managers from Amazon and Three in London, and their goal is to create a hassle-free platform to kick start selling online and help you to reduce the cost. Signup for Starlity is completely free, the user will only have to pay when they have subscribed to the paid service and there are more than 1,500 online digital specialists to optimize the processes of selling products online.

The sellers of the Starlity could connect to thousands of digital specialists in the platform created by Starlity, and enjoy their optimization services, like photos optimization, title optimization, and description optimization to boost your sales. More than that, Starlity has its own Fulfillment Service, which could help you to ship your products to different countries. Unlike other e-commerce platforms or website builders, Starlity lowers the barrier of entering the realm of selling online by offering their professionalism in doing e-commerce. You may wonder how they make profits. They adopted a revenue share model to help the small businesses to grow and the sellers will only have to pay when they have subscribed to sales-boosting services.