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How much should an ecommerce store cost to build?

Factors to consider:

1) The base system

There was once a time, only 5 or so years ago, where a rquest for an online store often meant employing a few programmers to spend months developing the store, the cart, the shipping calculator and payment gateways. Fortunately with the advent of open source, thousands of hours of work are available to us for free.

Free? If you're feeling adventorous and would like to explore this free option, check out Commerce Kickstart. You'll find an ecommerce store already setup. Just change the configuration, the payment gateway settings, and some changes to the theme. Start swapping out products and content for your own. Of course we'd like to recommend you host with us.

Not free? If you'd rather hand over to the guys with experience, we'd be happy to handle the project. You're probably asking "if the platform is open source and free, what am I paying for?". Every site we build uses a custom template so our base package includes templating, all or partial content insertion, store configuration, extensive training, basic SEO package, and free hosting for the first year.

This starts at $2750.

2) The extensions

Starting from the base package, an ecommerce store package can easily head up towards $5k, $10k, $15k, $50k or into the hundreds of thousands. Just have a look at Magento's Enterprise Edition Premium that starts at $77,990/year. The following is a list of features/products that can be added to your ecommerce store. If you're exploring opening an e-commerce store, we hope this list will help guide you through the thought process of starting the store, and introduce some ideas you may not have considered yet.


Most ecommerce platforms have a fairly good coupons extension plugin, so adding coupons to your site is usually a simple configuration, maybe taking another hour including training in the use of the coupon system.

Paid Membership

If you're selling access to content on your site, membership to a club, or e-learning resources, you're going to be looking at a paid membership feature.


Upselling in an ecommerce platform would normally mean showing some extra features available as an upgrade at the product page, or as a suggestion in the checkout process. Of the two, drawing the customers attention to upgrade features at the product page is a much easier solution than injecting smart logic into the checkout experience.

Cross selling

Also referred to as "Related products" or "You might also like", cross selling can help draw a customer's attention to products he/she may like but may have missed in their browsing.

Search Engine Optimisation

A description on SEO can be found on our Search Engine Optimisation service page.

Search Engine Marketing

A description on SEM can be found on our Search Engine Marketing service page.


As much an extension of Search Engine Marketing as it is about improving the customer's user experience, copywriting is essential to a professional e-commerce store. At the very minimum, a professional copywriter should be brought in to help write content for the landing pages set out in the SEO and SEM strategies.

Custom Shipping

You might be surprised to find that many e-commerce stores do not have shipping plugins already developed. If you're committed to a specific courier company or shipping provider, it may be that you'll need to have a shipping module developed. Luckily for you (the client), various companies like Temando are popping up in Australia to handle the complex issues of shipping.

Custom Payment Gateway

You'd like to setup a Paypal account to receive funds? Easy! You'd like to setup a Hosted Payment Gateway with ANZ, NAB, Bendigo Bank. Sure. You'd like to integrate with your credit union? ....... let me get back to you. Some banking institutions just aren't popular enough to draw programmers into developing the plugins. At that stage, you'll need to decide whether you pay for a custom payment gateway, or switch to another bank. Contact us to see if your bank is easy to integrate with.



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