The eCommerce store price comes down to functionality and size of the store:

Store Product amount: The amount of products on the store determines the server requirements. For a large store base, you will require a hosting company with a dedicated server that can handle a lot of space and traffic. A large store normally consist of more than 2000 products and each image takes up space, a dedicated server will handle a large store.

Functionality and software automation: The well know eCommerce platforms have add on that facilitate customized options For example, perhaps they want a feature that allows customers to customize their clothing or products and see the results in real-time. Shipping calculator that facilitate pricing and tracing from a courier company. Maybe they want to offer a membership subscription or multi-vendor option where vendors can have their own shop page in your store. Other add on could be a booking event component. These types of features require extensive programming and would allow for a larger budgets for the design and development of these features. A smaller company, has to rely on built-in features or plug-ins to enhance their user experience that would not require customized programming.

Website Content: The most important content is product images, product descriptions and pricing. A store with a huge amount of products will require more effort than a small business website with only 30 products. eCommerce shopping cart software comes with a dashboard that help non-technical people to add and editing products, and editing post content. Other content to consider is Terms and Conditions, your return and shipping policy.

Payment Gateway integration: Most website owners do not have the technology or budget to handle the processing of customer payments via a Merchant bank account. The solution is to pay a small fee to a secure payment gateway to process all your transactions. Most web design companies will integrate a payment gateway as part of the service offering.

What’s the cheapest, easiest way to create an e-commerce store?

A company that offer a Hosted e-commerce solutions and self managed solution the easiest way to create an e-commerce store. A small businesses with up to 30 products with the ability to upgrade as the business grows would be the cheapest solution. We generally charge R 4900.00 for hosted e-commerce solution. This pays for complete one year hosting, setup, design, domain registration and we include some SEO and training. The most important factor to consider is support, look for an webdesigner that will supply you the training how to manage your shopping cart, update prices and to process your orders.

What are the next steps in deciding which web design company to hire?
Request recommendations and estimates. Ask for a formal proposal.
Compare estimates and check their references.
Consider which features and functionality you need.
Decide your target customer and geographical area.
Establish if the company supply training and support as part of their eCommerce solution.
Search competitors on Google that are doing it right, as well as those that aren’t, so you can provide examples.
Establish a budget that includes creating the website as well as handling monthly maintenance.
Research eCommerce web development companies like online-e-commerce.co.za