What Can I Expect For e Commerce Business Startup Costs?

By Team AmeriCommerce Tuesday, October 7, 2014

When selling stuff online, you have two primary choices. You can use marketplace websites such as Amazon and eBay, whose obvious upside is that they're absolutely free to join – an appealing prospect indeed for an Ecommerce beginner. (Of course, these guys also charge hefty marketplace fees of anywhere between 3% and 10% of the total order value!)

The second choice is to take the plunge and choose an Ecommerce software platform, which is essentially a tool that gives you everything you need to go out on your own and sell, sell, sell! Everybody seems to accept that there's a level of cost involved in springing for an Ecommerce platform – but there's often confusion regarding exactly what those prices are, and how they're broken down.

In this article, we'll take a look at the costs involved in purchasing an Ecommerce platform. We hope you find it useful!

Before you begin

Before you choose an Ecommerce platform, you'll need to pick up a domain name – you can do this relatively inexpensively via one of any number of vendors, including Go DaddyName.com and 1and1.

Domain Name: From $10

What Else Do You Need?

Since the vast majority of platform providers offer a range of different packages, with different price points – based on a variety of factors, which we'll go into shortly – there are clearly a few price variables to deal with.

The early stage of choosing an Ecommerce platform often involves making some pretty big decisions regarding exactly what you need your package to do.

This includes stuff like:

  • How many different products will you be selling?
  • How much traffic do you expect to attract to your store page?
  • How much storage will you need for files, etc.?

Hopefully, one of the reasons you're taking this step is to grow your business. That's why it's important to make the following point. A standard, or entry level plan, can look mighty appealing when you're first signing up – after all, that's as much as you need right now, and it certainly helps to keep your costs down.

But what about 6 months or a year down the line? Will the package still do the job for your business? Make sure you don't get tied into long-term agreements that inhibit your growth in this way! Here at AmeriCommerce, we offer 5 different ecommerce pricing packages to cater to the needs of the startup all the way to enterprise sized businesses.

Package prices - from $24.95 per month

Design/Themes

One of the great things about taking your operations onto a dedicated Ecommerce platform instead of using marketplace sites is the flexibility in terms of design. This can really help you pair great functionality with effective, vibrant and consistent branding – a powerful combination!

There are different options for different budgets here. You may choose to go ahead and have a custom website designed and built for you, or you could simply choose a platform which supports themes. Ecommerce Themes are inexpensive (or even free) designs for your page which you can download and apply in a matter of minutes with no design or coding skills necessary. They give you the power to create a beautiful-looking store quickly, and inexpensively!

Themes: $0 to $95
Custom Design: Dependent on requirements

Security

Before you can accept credit card payments through your website, you need to get an SSL certificate on your page. This helps to ensure that your customers' details are safe and reassures them that they can shop in confidence.

Whereas many platforms sell security certificates to their merchants, AmeriCommerce customers can use our free, shared SSL certificate. Of course, if you have the budget, you can always decide to pay extra and purchase a dedicated certificate for even greater peace of mind.

SSL Certificate: $0 (dedicated certificates may cost more)

Transaction Fees

In simple terms, transaction fees mean that, every time you sell a product through your store, you'll pay a percentage of the order value back to your shopping cart provider. This can range from 0.5% through to 2% and, while that doesn't necessarily sound like a huge amount, it can definitely make a difference to your margin.

We're proud to say that we don't charge transaction fees in any of our packages – after all, we believe that the money you make from your hard work selling stuff should be yours to keep!

When you're deciding on an Ecommerce platform, make sure you're fully aware of their policy on transaction fees, and – should they be applicable – that the platform is worth the extra expense!

Transaction Fees – 0% of each order value

Extra Features and Functionality

The main nuts and bolts of each package should be displayed pretty clearly when you're signing up, but it's important to make sure you're getting access to all the tools and features you need. AmeriCommerce accounts provide hundreds of different features – from blogs, to Facebook shops, discounts, loyalty rewards, coupons, order management and tons more. Again, we're proud to say that they're all available on all plans!

Final Thoughts

There's no doubt that an Ecommerce platform can be one of the most important investments you'll ever make in your business. But as you can see from some of the numbers we've shared in this article, you don't necessarily have to break the bank to get a solution that does what you need it to today, while being scalable to accommodate your future growth. Ecommerce isn't easy, and we recognize that; that's why it's important to make sure you have the tools to tackle the challenges you face every day. If you have questions, we would love to talk with you about how AmeriCommerce could be exact solution you're looking for!

About the Author

Team AmeriCommerce

AmeriCommerce is an ecommerce software platform serving over 5,000 merchants since 2005. Whether you need one online store or multiple stores, AmeriCommerce has the tools to help you Sell Stuff! By staying passionate about selling stuff online and fostering a loving and deep partnership with our customers, AmeriCommerce is the ecommerce software that simply cares more. Learn more about AmeriCommerce at www.AmeriCommerce.com

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Josh R.
October 25, 2014 2:25 PM
Thanks for the information. It seems clear to me that you guys are a class act. Not only do you offer good prices, but with all of the valuable information you provide to us beginners (for FREE) it is clear that you truly want people (even if they are not your clients) to succeed. I have really enjoyed many of your articles and am getting plenty of training. Thanks again.

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