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  • Writer's pictureJustine Barsley

The Hidden Costs of Building an Ecommerce Website

While the cost of building an ecommerce website can vary greatly depending on the size and complexity of the site, there are some hidden costs that many people don't consider. These can include things like:

  • registering your business name with ASIC and trademarking a brand

  • web hosting fees- for sites like Wordpress, you will need a host to sit your site on. Think if this as your block of land. Other sites, like Shopify charge a monthly fee to use their application and this includes the hosting cost.

  • domain name- this is the address where your site can be found. eg When choosing a business name, it's always wise to check that the domain name is available first and for a small annual cost, try to secure at least the .com and domain names. Take a few extra minutes to do a google search and check the name isn't already in use along with the availability of social media handles on the bigger platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

  • payment processing fees- There is a cost to process credit cards through third party sites. These are normally around 2.9% of the sale for sites like PayPal and Stripe. Many ecommerce sites also add in Afterpay as a payment method and can fetch a higher fee of just over 4% of the sale.

  • supplier costs- Some suppliers will charge a fee to access their product feeds and get updates.

  • additional plugins - If you want to automate your business and simplify things, there are thousands of plugins for Wordpress sites to enable you to do this. For example, syncing your inventory, adding in multiple suppliers, integrating your shipping table to name a few. Some are one off, where others are annual costs.

  • theme registration- If you're using wordpress, you may want to register and activate your store theme to receive ongoing updates. This is wise and comes with a cost.

  • shipping and handling costs- Depending on your business model, there will be a shipping cost involved, whether this is to you for a wholesale order or passed onto the customer when dropshipping. Not only is there the postage cost, but don't forget the wrapping, the cards, the stickers, the boxes, satchels and the time it takes for you to go to the post office... if you need to. These should all be included in the postage and handling costs,

  • website design and development costs- These can be the biggest cost outlay unless you have the skills to do this yourself. Outsourcing the technical part makes good sense so you have more time work on all the other aspects of the business, and

  • ongoing maintenance costs- From time to time you may need expert help to upgrade or fix your website. This would come at a cost and is usually charged on an hourly rate. When building a new website, make sure you find out the full scope of what will be delivered and what the ongoing maintenance costs may be.

It's important to factor in these costs when budgeting for your e-commerce site. Engaging an ecommerce coach can help keep you on track and navigate any obstacles as you come across them.



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