Ecommerce is the front line of modern entrepreneurship, but in order to manage operations, you need a sturdy, business-ready website. But what platform is best for your site? Choose the wrong one and you’ll overpay for sub-par features, while the right site can boost sales and build your business’s appeal.
Know The Field
If you want to avoid overpaying for your ecommerce site, the first thing you need to do is know approximately how much it costs to build a website today. In general, costs vary based on the level of service a customer requires.
According to the web design company Executionists, depending on your choice of design firm, site design can cost between $70 and $250 an hour. This assumes that you want someone to do the design and build you ecommerce features for you, but many small businesses do the bulk of the work themselves. This cuts the price down to just the costs of the platform.
Assess The Options
Most small businesses can construct a functional, modern website with minimal assistance, given the right tools – and that’s exactly what modern platforms are designed to give you. Now you just need to choose the right one for your needs and for your budget.
One of the most popular website platforms on the market is WordPress, and in fact, it’s the foundation for many mainstream sites. But what will it cost? A basic WordPress blog is free, but it won’t get you far. A premium site, designed for entrepreneurs and freelancers, though, is an affordable $8 a month and $25 for the business plan. Either way, you’ll still have to do the heavy lifting in terms of the design and content, but you’ll have all the tools you need.
Though WordPress may be a power player in the world of web platform options, Wix could be called the next big thing. Not only is Wix getting their brand out there with high-profile advertisements, their pricing is competitive with what’s offered by WordPress and they offer a specific ecommerce plan. Wix pricing is a manageable $16.50 a month but you get more storage than with WordPress’s plan and you won’t have to hunt down the best ecommerce plugin for your shop.
DIY Or Don’t?
No matter what platform you choose for your website, the process will bring you full circle: do you hire a design firm or opt for a DIY approach to web design? While the platforms offer plenty of templates and easy to use tools, the process of assembling a modern, aesthetically appealing site isn’t simple.
In terms of price, there’s a lot you can gain from hiring a professional designer, even if it’s hard on your budget in the long term. As the web designers at Nuts and Bolts Media explain, paying for good design is worth it if you know it will increase your profit margins.
Focus On Features
Finally – and this is another area in which you’re likely to be paying for designers more than paying for a platform – you need to decide which features are worth your money. For example, every good ecommerce site needs a product catalog so that customers can easily assess what’s available. But you don’t want to build this feature yourself because it requires significant expertise to build a searchable, data-rich catalog.
Similarly, we’re currently on the cusp of an AI takeover in ecommerce, and no first-time designer is positioned to design a chatbot. A few years ago, this wouldn’t have mattered, but today chatbots are leading forms of customer service and they don’t come standard as plugins. If you want to offer this kind of cutting edge technology, then, you’ll have to pay for it. Still, running a chatbot will definitely set your site apart from the pack and help reduce abandoned carts.
Ultimately, you’re more likely to be overpaying for your website if you choose a budget option that doesn’t pull a profit. While you don’t want to pay for features you won’t use, a feature-heavy site that keeps customers coming back will work to your benefit.