Building an ecommerce website can be expensive. But it can also be relatively affordable. 

There are many factors that can influence the overall cost of your website, but sourcing the best web design agency for your business can go a long way towards simplifying and streamlining this process. 

Ultimately, the best design agencies will also help you save money on building your ecommerce site. 

So, if you’re looking to build an ecommerce website in 2023, here’s what you’ll need to consider.

What do you have, and what do you need?

In the early stages, consider what is definitely necessary to make your e-commerce website successful as opposed to what you would prefer to have.

The best way to approach this is by opening Excel and building a straightforward spreadsheet. 

How much product inventory do you have? What customer information do you require, and who will manage this data? 

While compiling this information can be time consuming, it is absolutely essential. Sending this data to your chosen web design agency provides a time-saving and beneficial starting point for first discussions and further strategies. 

By beginning the process of building your ecommerce website in this way, you don't just ensure that you and your web design agency are on the same page.

When you develop your ecommerce website design, you can take this as an opportunity to consider how you can streamline your business procedures.

One way to do this is to utilise third-party features. CRMs (customer relationship management platforms), finance programs and email marketing platforms are examples of programs that can be implemented into your ecommerce website design and will instantly improve your internal processes. 

Mentioning these possible streamlining tools in your initial spreadsheet can provide an excellent starting point for you and your web designers to begin planning out your website requirements. 

Ultimately, your website and business needs should be almost identical, so considering your business’ exact requirements will help you do this.

And while you do, it’s also important that you consider when you will need this project completed. 

Don't be fooled by agencies who claim that your new site can be completed in 2-3 weeks. Building an ecommerce website from scratch or renovating an existing one is a significant task, so make sure your expectations are realistic and that the web design company you are working with has been open and truthful with you about the timeline for completing your site. 

The right agency will make sure you know exactly what a realistic deadline will look like for your requirements, but typically, a quality ecommerce site should take 6 to 12 weeks, depending on how intricate and specific your requirements are.

Getting from A to B

If you already conduct business online, you'll need to discuss moving your clients and items over to the new ecommerce website that is being developed.

This is obviously crucial, and it must be completed without a hitch so that the procedure is straightforward for the most essential individuals of all—your consumers. Make sure you have faith in the company's ability to complete this task for you successfully.

The right web design agency will prioritise this smooth transition from the get-go. For example, one of the most crucial decisions you can make for your website is in choosing the right platform to host it.

The sophisticated features and capabilities provided by the Adobe Commerce platform, for example, mean that developers can use the platform's rich range of functions to build more inventive and effective solutions for their clients. 

Meanwhile, the platform's Marketplace also offers a wide variety of extensions that may be quickly applied to expand its functionality.

Another great option, Magento Open Source, may be the best option for your eCommerce website, particularly if you require a simpler web store. However, the platform's ability to be modified and expanded makes Magento Open Source an equally desirable choice for medium-sized businesses that require more sophisticated features.

Learn more about the differences between Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce on our previous blog post here.

Building a site your customers can find

"Content is king."

By now, we have probably all heard this phrase at least once, and it is absolutely true.

Unfortunately, this can be a double-edged sword. While quality, relevant content is a simple way to boost your website's search engine rankings with SEO (search engine optimisation), it comes at a cost. 

Your site's content, the way it is displayed and its accessibility will all influence your website's ranking. 

But the key is consistency. SEO works best as a continuous effort, and this can quickly become expensive for your business. 

You might rank first for your key phrase today, but next week you might drop, so if traffic from Google is going to be the primary way you drive traffic to your website, investing in ongoing SEO services is something you’ll need to budget for.

When designing your ecommerce website, make sure that you work with a web design agency that is transparent about this potential ongoing cost for your site, and with the experience to know how you can get the most value for your money. 

But while SEO can help users find your website, keeping them there is another story altogether. 

User experience (UX) design is concerned with how users interact with digital products.

It is a process that examines how customers use a product or service and how it may be enhanced to make it more user-friendly, entertaining, and practical. UX designers can improve user experience by comprehending their users' needs and creating goods or services that meaningfully address those needs. 

Ultimately, if your target customers can’t find what they need on your site or struggle to use it, they will likely go and find a website that does work for them.

Which brings us to our final point…

Making it work for YOU

So, you’ve planned out a website that works for your business needs and for your customers. But does it actually work for you?

The fact is, building a website is only one part of the picture. While still incredibly important, you will ideally spend a lot longer using your website than building it. This means that your website, in order to be successful, needs to work for you. 

Can your team navigate your site? Will there be significant additional training required, and will you be able to provide this for the team?

The more difficult it is for you and your team to access your website’s data (including customer bookings and/or purchases - you know, the good stuff), the more costs you are likely to incur as a result. Costs such as training, website changes and additional staff will quickly add up and will impact the overall cost of building and maintaining your site. 

Because of this, the cheapest web design agency might actually end up costing you more in the long run.

Get in Touch

Visionsharp have been developing custom eCommerce websites for companies across the UK for many years.

Just like our other eCommerce clients, we aim to deliver all of our web design and development projects on time, on budget and to specification.

All of our projects begin with a blank canvas, and we work with your business to plan a solution that fits your unique requirements and vision.

We are perfectly positioned to serve local businesses and beyond.

As a leading web design agency in Manchester, Visionsharp are the perfect partner for companies looking to build a strong online presence for the future. Contact a member of the team today to discuss your requirements.