How Much Does an Ecommerce Website Cost?

Learn how to price your website investment based on the size, complexity, and unique requirements of your business.

By Miva | September 13, 2022
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When you undertake an ecommerce website project, your first question is likely how much does an ecommerce website cost? 

While there’s no simple answer to the question of how much an ecommerce website costs, there are steps you can take to gain an estimate and make the best decision for your business, budget, and bottom line. In this article, we’ll discuss how much an ecommerce website costs, with all the expenses and considerations involved in creating and maintaining a modern online storefront.  

What's Included in the Cost of an Ecommerce Website

To determine how much your ecommerce website will cost, it’s helpful to understand the factors that will go into that cost. Your investment will include not only your initial site build and development, but recurring fees that will keep your site up-to-date, stable, and secure.  

Here are a few components you can expect to be included in the cost of your ecommerce website:  

  • Ecommerce platform software: This includes the setup fees, service charges, and other additional fees for your ecommerce platform or software, as well as the cost of any apps, integrations, or other methods of achieving functionality beyond what is natively included with your platform.  
  • Infrastructure: Depending on what your ecommerce software includes, you may need to pay for basic site architecture such as your domain name, hosting fees, and security certifications. 
  • Development: This includes the costs of creating your website with your chosen ecommerce platform or software, including the initial site build, design, data migration, and project management 
  • Maintenance: You’ll want to factor in costs associated with the upkeep of your online store such as site repair, software updates, and ongoing optimization.

The amount you’ll pay for all these site components will vary widely based on your business needs and the type of ecommerce software you choose. These unique specifications will dictate both your initial investment in setting up your site and the ongoing expenses needed to keep it running. 

Ecommerce Platform Pricing: What to Consider

How much does an ecommerce platform cost? The short answer: it depends.

Ecommerce platforms will have different setup fees, service charges, recurring costs, and additional fees depending on the feature set you select. If you’re a small business that is just starting out with a limited catalog, you might expect to pay under $50 a month for a beginner-level shopping cart. As you grow over time, you’ll bolt on additional apps and plugins. Eventually, you may want to upgrade to a full-featured ecommerce platform, which tends to start in the $1,000 to $2,000 per month range and scales up with your business. Enterprise-grade “commerce clouds” start in the $10,000 to $20,000 per month range and can scale to millions of dollars per year.

Ecommerce software comes in all shapes and sizes, from low-cost “shopping cart” solutions to full-featured, scalable ecommerce platforms. Finding the right fit for your business—today and tomorrow—is important when starting or growing and online store. Check out our guide on shopping cart vs. platform software to learn more:

Shopping Cart vs. Ecommerce Platform | Free Guide

Costs of Creating an Ecommerce Site

So, you’ve now selected an ecommerce platform. What cost comes next? There is no “one size fits all” price for building an ecommerce site—the unique requirements of your business will dictate the initial costs and the ongoing investment needed to build, manage, and run your site.

If you’re a small business, you can often pay a freelancer between $2,000 and $5,000 to build a site with a DIY theme or template. For mid-size migration projects that require design customizations, data migration, integrations, and project management, the costs are more likely between $20,000 and $50,000. If you’re an emerging or established enterprise with high traffic and a sophisticated website, you will likely require more customization, integrations, and development to sell your products and exceed customer expectations. Companies of your size and complexity can expect to pay anywhere from $75,000 to $300,000 or more for an online storefront.

The Total Cost of Ownership of an Ecommerce Platform

Your ecommerce website isn’t a one-time purchase, but an ongoing business investment. Your total cost of ownership for your ecommerce site will involve building upon this sales channel and leveraging it over time. This is why it’s important to choose your ecommerce platform based on your unique business needs. Solutions that seem inexpensive on paper may incur expenses due to lack of native functionality that add up over time, and you may end up paying more in the long run.  

The total cost of ownership for your website beyond its initial development can include factors such as:

  • Security. You'll need to make sure your business follows security best practices to protect both your store and your customers. This includes employee training, SSL certificates, secure hosting, PCI compliance, and more. 
  • Back-office integrations. As you add more complexity, demand, and volume to your business, you may want to invest in automation and integration between your ecommerce platform and your back-office systems—for instance, your enterprise resource planning software, customer relationship management software, or inventory management system. 
  • Website features. As your website gains more activity and you bring in more customers, you may also want to add more features and functionality through integrations, technology providers, content management systems, and customized tools. 
  • Digital marketing. To expand your reach and increase customer engagement, you’ll likely invest in marketing integrations and incorporate efforts like SEO and social media into your online strategy. 
  • Omnichannel investments. If you’re selling or planning to sell through multiple channels—such as offline retail or an online marketplace—you’ll need to invest in tools, training, and systems that will enable you to track inventory across channels, support shoppers, and provide a consistent experience everywhere your customers shop. 

If you haven’t run an online business before, the above list may seem daunting. You can work with your ecommerce platform provider or web agency partner to navigate various decision points and help you determine where to invest in your business.  

Determining the ROI of an Ecommerce Platform

A strong online store is an investment in the evolution of your business, and can provide a terrific ROI.   

A high-level ROI calculator will give you a general picture of your return, but for a more comprehensive analysis of potential ROI you may consider elements like:

  • Efficiency. Your platform should provide massive returns in efficiency by helping you automate operations like order processing, inventory management, shipping, and more.  
  • Sales capacity. Your ecommerce platform should free up your employees’ time by automating everyday processes and enabling them to focus on the initiatives that drive your bottom line. 
  • Customer lifetime value. Customer retention—and the tools available on your platform to increase it—is key to boosting average spend, maximizing engagement, and driving sales. 
  • Error management: A comprehensive ecommerce platform should help you reduce errors in processes like tax calculation, inventory updates, and shipping. 

These aspects reflect the hallmarks of a profitable website. A site that is inefficient, hard to manage, and unappealing will turn away customers and hold your business back—no matter how cost-effective the investment might seem. An appealing, accessible, and efficient website, however, will take your business toward new markets, more customers, greater sales, and long-term growth.

How Much Does Miva Cost?

Miva’s ecommerce platform focuses on providing sellers with an exceptional total cost of ownership. Miva merchants receive the tools and support they need to build powerful online stores that drive ROI and serve as profitable investments in their businesses for years to come.  

While there’s no simple answer to the question of how much your ecommerce site will cost, investing in a flexible solution that can evolve alongside your business will position you to achieve success and realize your vision. To learn more about Miva platform pricing, get in touch with us today!CTA image with text reading, "Free Whitepaper: Changing Ecommerce Platforms"

This blog was originally published on July 20, 2021 and updated on September 13, 2022.

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Author's Bio


Miva offers a flexible and adaptable ecommerce platform that evolves with businesses and allows them to drive sales, maximize average order value, cut overhead costs, and increase revenue. Miva has been helping businesses realize their ecommerce potential for over 20 years and empowering retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sellers across all industries to transform their business through ecommerce.

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