Are you considering starting an e-commerce business or webshop? Then one of your first thoughts will probably be: “how much does a webshop cost?”. In this article, we will give you a clear answer to that question. However, we should already tell you that there is no fixed cost, but that it depends on many factors.
The webshop price depends on the following parameters:
A web shop is never plug and play. Every shop needs different things, which makes it difficult to stick a standard cost price on it. Below, you will find a list of some segments of which the price of your webshop will (partly) depend. Also segments that are sometimes overlooked … A handy list to have at hand before you start your online adventure!
- E-commerce platform – The platform has to fit perfectly for you and your customers. So take into account ease of use, strength of the platform … Each platform has its own functionalities, so your choice will depend on what your webshop needs. Think of Magento 2, WordPress, custom built solution …
- Marketing research – always important, because it allows you to harmonise your vision with te vision of your target group. Targeted marketing research ensures a better implementation of your webshop in the market. If you ask the right questions, you can count on extremely valuable data to refine your e-commerce business plan where necessary.
- Design – This does not only depend on what you need or like. Your marketing research should also serve as a foundation for your design choices, where ease of use for your customers comes first (UX and UI). Everything revolves around a fantastic customer experience when people land on your webshop. Can they quickly find everything they need? Is it easy to order something? Tip: if possible, add micro animations to your site. This attracts attention and makes a visit to your webshop just that little bit more unique.
- Functionalities – Specific functionalities and specific programmed features will increase the price (think of shop the look, store pick up, custom blog module, product reviews…). So it all depends on how much extra you want (and need) for your webshop. Also know that you can build up such functionalities: you do not have to implement everything at once, but you can also spread your costs.
- Data import – Do you need product data or purchase data that is currently in another database? Of course you will have to transfer this to your new webshop, which will increase the cost price of your shop.
- ERP integration – Connecting an e-commerce webshop to an ERP or other system always results in extra development hours. There are thousands of ERP systems, each with their own unique code and complexity. You can discuss this with your developer to determine the correct cost.
- Accounting platform integration – A cost you make to ultimately save. Because by seamlessly integrating an accounting system, you save your team time. But it does, of course, fall under the total cost price of your webshop.
- Payment integration – We suspect that you would like to be paid for the items sold in your webshop – so a correct payment integration is necessary. We will gladly help you in your search for the right partner (and admittedly also with a correct implementation).
- Logistics partner modules – Orders have to be shipped to your customers. Automating this process as much as possible can save you costs. Work together with a logistics partner who removes as much complexity as possible. We ensure a smooth connection between the webshop, the warehouse and the shipping partner.
- PIM (Product Information Management) – A fantastic system that is your source of product information. From this database, you only send the product info that is necessary for specific purposes such as your webshop, the shipping partner, external database, sales team … You will also use this system to learn: which products fly out the door, which remain, when do you need to replenish your stock of certain items …
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) – To score high in the search results from Google, you have to invest in SEO. This is not as simple as it is sometimes presented: there is a lot more to it than you might think. There are many technical issues involved in order to score well with Google or other search engines. Website speed, mobile responsive design, security, meta data, alt tags on images – you name it. In addition, good content on your site is also crucial, as are the right keywords. This involves both marketing and development, and it is best to invest well in this area.
- Marketing – A full marketing plan will drive the cost of your project up, but only after the launch of your website. Do not underestimate its importance: without marketing, no new customers. Putting your webshop into the spotlight takes time and effort – and yes, money too. It is best to invest in online advertising, but offline efforts remain important as well. If you work together with experts, you have a better chance of success and you save time to improve your business.
- Training – Make sure you have enough hours to train your team. Don’t forget to include this in your offer. It will save you time and money if your team can continue to manage the webshop, so you don’t have to contact your webmaster for every little adjustment.Make sure the items mentioned above are always present in the offer. This way, you can be sure that the offer contains a cost and time estimate for every small website detail. Only then can you get a complete picture of the cost price of your web shop.
How we calculate the cost of a new webshop at Baldwin?
At Baldwin, we work by the hour: an estimate for a project is always an hourly estimate. We do not work with a fixed total amount for your project. This way of working is different, but usually more advantageous for you as a client. Would you like to read our arguments?
Achieve more in less time
At Baldwin, we believe that knowledge grows. So during the process, you will learn a lot about the solution we offer and our know-how about your product or service will grow exponentially.
If you choose a fixed budget, you also choose the first proposal you received. While you (and we) have new ideas. And admit it: how often does a project change along the way? If there is room for change, the result is often better than what you first had in mind. Why is that? Because while working on the project, you came up with additional ideas or made compromises to make the project even better.
The development of a webshop is no different: there are always different solutions possible. It is impossible at the start of a project to foresee all possible scenarios and challenges that we will encounter along the way to the best possible result.
Fixed-price projects require extensive analysis and planning and are bound by legal contracts or tenders. The hours spent on discussions and adjustments to the original price offer cost time and money. And those resources are better used in the actual development of the solution.
Because your e-commerce knowledge will grow during the project, Baldwin proposes to stay flexible and come up with the best solution on the fly.
That works much better than making (too) quick decisions at the start of the project.
Quality comes first for us. Always.
An example: after signing the fixed price contract, you have a new idea. Or you would like to adjust a function that we have built in order to get a head start on a competitor’s webshop. Or the developer has just discovered a conflict with a third-party web service that could not be foreseen.
Whatever the reason, the project will not be able to be delivered within the agreed time and budget. And that creates tension.
You want the webshop to be better suited to your business, while the web agency wants to be rewarded for the work done.
This leads to new budget negotiations, delays in the project and an unsatisfied customer. That is why web agencies very often use temporary solutions, quick hacks and all kinds of quality-decreasing interventions. Because when there is pressure to deliver the project, quality is always the first casualty. And that is exactly what you want to avoid, right?
At Baldwin, we always demand the best from ourselves. We only deliver real quality. Only then do we get satisfaction from our work (and satisfied customers).
Avoid a “technical debt”
If your current webshop uses the Magento platform, you naturally want to be sure that the customised programming will continue to work after an upgrade. Unfortunately, it often happens when quality is cut back, that there is a ‘technical debt’.
To be able to deal with your future issues, first, the older code has to be updated… or worse. You may just have to restart the entire project.
You can check fruit and vegetables: just feel them, maybe even smell them to see if they are all right. If you open the bonnet of a car, you (as a connoisseur) can also quickly see how everything is put together. But this doesn’t apply to a Magento Storefront. Everything may look good in your browser, but it’s only when you upgrade that you find out if everything is really up to scratch. And if the answer is no, you’ll be cursing for sure.
A Magento version upgrade for a webshop with mainly standard features should not take more than a few hours. But, if your theme and customisation have not followed the Magento architecture from the beginning, you may have to make corrections with each upgrade. In some cases, it may even be the reason to rebuild the project completely. Logically, this will involve a lot of extra and unforeseen work hours that will take a bite out of your budget.
The only way to avoid technical debt is to go for quality from the beginning. At Baldwin, we do that, and we’d rather postpone a module until it fits your budget than build it half-assed. Because otherwise that will always haunt you.
Conclusion: mutual trust is mandatory
There you go. Now you know why, at Baldwin, we prefer hourly estimates to fixed price quotes. We understand if this still feels a little strange. But that is precisely why we focus so hard on mutual trust. We go for complete transparency, from start to finish. That way, as a client, you are very much involved in the process and you are aware of every step we take together.
Therefore, at Baldwin, you can always follow the tasks we perform perfectly in the system we work with.
We also open up the test environment to our clients. This way, you can see the project grow and you feel more involved in your own project. This also ensures better and smoother cooperation between developers and business owners.
Important note: flexibility has nothing to do with the lack of a budgetary framework. We would rather remove a feature at the initial launch of the webshop to make sure the budget is right, than to develop it half-heartedly. This always works better than a limited scalability of your webshop … and being saddled with a technical debt afterwards. This way of working saves your budget in the long run.
Be sure to check out the latest projects of our satisfied customers. No matter what type of customer you are, we have experience of everything. From start-ups and local shops to strong international multinationals. Do not hesitate to contact us, without obligation, about your upcoming e-commerce project.