How Much Does an eCommerce Store Cost to Run?

Shannon Correia October 25, 2021

So, you’ve decided to run your very own eCommerce store. Congratulations! Now let’s get to the serious stuff - your budget. While having an online store can save you thousands in comparison to a traditional brick-and-mortar setup, there are a number of costs you need to budget for. In this article, we’ll be sharing insight on what you’ll need to invest in your online store, and give you an overview of the costs associated with some of the most popular eCommerce platforms.

How much does it cost to run an eCommerce store?

Platform Fees

There are several eCommerce platforms that you can use to run your online store. Each has its pros, cons, and packages suited to both big and small businesses. These costs are often ongoing, with monthly payments to run and manage your store. In some instances, the cost will be affected by the number of features, plugins, and integrations you choose to include.
Businesses utilizing these platforms save in terms of paying hosting fees which are usually included in the package. Additionally, with easy to create and customize websites, you’ll be saving since developers and designers aren’t needed.

Here’s an idea of how much the top eCommerce platforms cost:

Shopify - from AED 106 per month
BigCommerce - from AED 108 per month
WooCommerce - free, with separate hosting fee and costs for additional features
Wix eCommerce - from 62 - 128 AED per month
Magento - pricing based on annual Gross Merchandise Value and Average Order Value
Squarespace - from AED 44 - 146 per month

Securing a Domain Name

Your hosting platform may or may not include the cost of a domain. Having a custom domain name means you’ll have a clean URL which is important for brand identity, SEO, and credibility. You can get a domain name for a low price, with .com sites costing from around AED 4 and AED 120 / year for .ae.

Cost of Resources

Time is arguably the most important resource. In business, time is money, after all. Therefore working out the cost of time in terms of labor is key. From buying stock to uploading it, marketing it, and packaging it, you’ll need to account for that, whether you’re a one-man person or a team. Depending on which eCommerce platform you use, the administrative tasks and management of business operations can be simplified, however, one still needs to record these processes and measure performance.

Budgeting for Inventory

Online stores provide you with numerous cost-saving opportunities. A popular example of this is drop shipping, whereby you purchase your products from suppliers when your customers place an order. That way, the business is more liquid since your money isn’t tied up in stocks and you don’t need to pay for storage costs either. If you’re using this business model, you’ll already be saving. If not, you’ll need to include the costs of buying and storing your stock.

Price of Payment Processing

Payment processing is often calculated into the cost of eCommerce platforms. It usually costs 2-3% and AED 1 per transaction. This, therefore, needs to be included in your markups.

Shipping Costs

One way or another, the products you sell need to reach your customers, and the sooner the better. Courier companies can be costly, but entering into a mutually beneficial partnership with one can lead to reduced prices and reliable deliveries. It has become custom to offer free delivery with purchases that cost a certain amount, so working that into your costs will be necessary if you choose to offer the same kinds of deals.

Marketing Budgets

And finally, we have digital marketing which is a massive part of eCommerce. Without it, it’s just an online store that would get lost among the billions of stores just like it. For starters, there are branding costs - you’ll need a logo and consistent design in terms of color selection, fonts, and so on. These can easily be added to your web-building theme. Next, you’ll need to get visual footage of your products to share digitally. These need to be high quality and diverse to engage and excite audiences. Then there are the marketing campaigns and paid advertising costs. This doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg - although it can. It pays to go the quality route.

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How Much Running an eCommerce Store Costs

There is no definitive amount, but if you were to utilize every resource at your disposal, it is possible to run an eCommerce store for under AED 50. The key is knowing where to save and where to spend. There are many elements involved in online stores, all of which need to be taken into careful consideration in order to protect and promote the brand for optimal success and growth in the market.

Ready to get your eCommerce site up and running?

Speak with us at Nexa. We’ve got all you need to give you the best start - or boost - to your online store. Ready, set, click.