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How much does it cost to start an online store?

Wiktoria Czerw
Content Editor
14 minutes of reading
How much does it cost to start an online store?
Category E-Commerce

Are you interested in starting your own online store? If so, you’re probably wondering about the costs of launching your e-commerce business. There are many factors to consider when starting your online store, and the costs will vary depending on your specific needs. This article will explore the average expenses of starting an online store and the factors that impact these costs.


How much does it cost to set up an e-commerce website?

As the e-commerce industry continues to expand, it becomes more competitive, driving up the cost of starting an online store. However, this also means that the quality and efficiency of e-commerce stores are improving. If you’re interested in creating your own e-commerce store, you may wonder how much it will cost.

Creating an online store entirely by yourself can cost as little as $125. If you hire a digital marketing agency to handle the process, you will need to allocate up to $7,500. The average cost of creating an e-commerce store by a professional range from $1,000 to $2,000. The more customized the project you plan to implement, the higher the cost will be. Keep in mind that these figures are approximate and can vary depending on factors such as hourly rates and the complexity of the project.

Several factors can influence the cost of starting an e-commerce store, including but not limited to design, functionality, marketing, and SEO. As a result, it’s crucial to pay close attention to these factors to create a high-performing online store without incurring unnecessary expenses.

E-commerce platform selection

Choosing the right e-commerce platform is a critical decision for any business owner. The software you select should allow you to create a visually appealing, highly functional, and efficient online store. It’s important to define your specific needs and goals carefully, keeping future expansion in mind. There are three primary options available for e-commerce software: open-source, paid, and dedicated.

Open-source software offers numerous advantages, such as unlimited customization options, a free script, and an active community for support. Plus, there are plenty of add-ons available, many of which are free.

Paid platforms are based on a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, where you pay an annual or monthly fee to rent the software. This model gives you access to many extensions related to shipping, payments, and other services, but you won’t have access to the code, and the customization options may be limited.

If you have a large budget, a dedicated store may be the best option. In this case, an interactive agency will tailor the functionality and design of the site to meet your unique needs and expectations. While this option can be costly, it provides the ultimate level of personalization and can be a great way to attract customers and grow your e-commerce business.

Now that you know about the different types of e-commerce software, it’s time to explore the most popular programs available and start creating your dream online store.


WooCommerce is one of the most affordable platforms for creating online stores. With it, you can expand your WordPress website to include e-commerce functionality. For this endeavor, you will spend between $50 and $300 on themes, plugins, and extensions. You will receive a fully functional store based on the chosen template. However, remember that launching an e-commerce business involves many other expenses. If you use the help of a marketing agency in this regard, it will cost you between $1,000 and $10,000 per month, depending on the services offered and the agency’s reputation.

WooCommerce dashboard


BigCommerce is a popular e-commerce platform that allows businesses to build and manage online stores. It offers a wide range of features, including customizable themes, payment and shipping options, and inventory management tools. It has four pricing plans: Standard for $29/month, Plus for $79/month, Pro for $299/month, and Enterprise for custom pricing. All plans come with a 15-day free trial.

BigCommerce customer feedback


Magento is a more sophisticated platform, and its usage incurs higher costs. If you hire a web development agency to create an e-commerce store for you, you will need to allocate approximately $15,000 to $50,000, depending on the project’s complexity. This range considers factors such as design, customization, and additional features, which can impact the overall cost of setting up your online store.

Magento availability in Adobe Commerce


Shopify is a popular e-commerce platform allowing users to easily create and manage online stores. It offers a variety of features, including customizable themes, secure payment options, and powerful marketing tools to help you sell your products online. Shopify offers different pricing plans, starting with the Basic Shopify plan at $39 per month, the Shopify plan at $105 per month, and the Advanced Shopify plan at $399 per month. Additionally, Shopify charges a transaction fee for each sale made through their platform, ranging from 0.5% to 2%, depending on your chosen pricing plan.

Shopify pricing

Domain, hosting, SSL

When launching your online store, the name you choose is more important than you might think. Your domain name is key to your brand’s identity and can greatly impact your customer experience. A short, memorable name is ideal, and selecting an extension that fits your business needs is significant without breaking the bank. .com extensions start at around $10 per year, with other options like .us or .co ranging from $15 to $50 per year.

Another critical consideration is your SSL certificate. This certificate is necessary to establish customer trust and boost your search engine rankings. SSL encrypts all communication between computers and ensures that sensitive data stays secure. With SSL, you can guarantee safe transactions and build a reputation for your brand. Expect to pay between $50 and $200 per year for an SSL certificate.

When choosing hosting for your online store, it’s essential to consider the size and complexity of your business. Shared hosting is a good option for smaller stores built on WordPress, with costs ranging from $50 to $100 per year. VPS or cloud hosting is a better choice for larger stores and can cost anywhere from $20 to $100 per month. If you have a lot of traffic, a dedicated server may be your best option, but it will be more expensive at around $100 to $300 per month. Here are some hosting companies you can choose for your store.


Hostinger is a leading hosting platform that offers a range of impressive features to help you build your online presence. With a free domain, SSL certificate, WordPress installation, and 24/7 customer support, Hostinger is the perfect choice for those who want to kick-start their e-commerce journey. Starting at an affordable price of just $2.99 per month, Hostinger is an ideal solution for businesses of all sizes.

With Hostinger, you’ll have access to an intuitive dashboard that makes it easy to build WordPress websites and enhance your skills. Moreover, you’ll experience fast page loading times, ensuring your website runs smoothly and efficiently. Hostinger is the go-to platform for those looking for a reliable and user-friendly hosting solution.

hostinger.com – home page with an eye-catching discount


Bluehost is a popular web hosting platform that offers a range of hosting plans for small businesses. Their pricing is affordable, and they offer four different plans to choose from: Basic, Choice Plus, Online Store, and Pro. The Basic plan starts at $2.95 per month and includes one website, 10 GB of website space, free CDN, a free domain for one year, and free SSL for 1st year.

home page displaying Bluehost's offerings


SiteGround provides top-notch customer assistance that is perfect for those beginning their online journey. Their knowledgeable staff is quick to respond to any inquiries you may have. As a subscriber, you’ll receive valuable benefits such as a free SSL certificate, automated backups, and the ability to handle up to 10,000 visitors per month. Pricing for this platform starts at an affordable $1.99 per month.

home page showing SiteGround offers and discounts

E-commerce store configuration

Once you’ve installed the software, the real work begins. You need to make big decisions regarding shipping costs, payment options, visual design, navigation, and privacy policies. If you choose to enlist the help of a professional marketing agency, you can expect to invest anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000, depending on the level of customization you require. Remember that your website’s structure should be tailored to your unique goals, industry, and product offerings. Take the time to carefully consider the functionalities you’ll need and their impact on the final price. By doing so, you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful online store.

Graphic and functional projects

In the world of online business, one of the most challenging aspects is creating both an aesthetically pleasing and functional website. With numerous options available, you can choose between affordable or pricier solutions depending on the design’s complexity, innovation, and standard.

A subscription-based platform offers various ready-made templates as part of its service, with the option to optimize some elements on your own or hire a specialist for an additional cost.

Custom designs on the WordPress platform, with the help of a digital agency, typically range from $2,000 to $10,000. Investing in high-quality graphic design is crucial for your e-commerce business’s success. It directly impacts customers’ purchasing decisions and their likelihood of returning to your store. Additionally, prioritizing User Experience (UX) and Search Experience Optimization (SXO) is important for online sales success. Optimizing your online store for UX and SXO will attract new customers and enhance your store’s visibility in Google search results, providing long-term benefits for your business.

Additional functionality and plugins

Enhance your online store’s capabilities with additional functionality and plugins. Choosing the plugins that align with your business needs is essential to ensure cost-effectiveness. For instance, popular systems like WooCommerce or Magento offer single plugins within a range of $25 to $250 without implementation costs. While more costly plugins are available in the market, requiring advanced solutions and offered by SaaS-based platforms with individual pricing, implementation costs can be significantly higher.

One of the functionalities that you cannot afford to overlook is payment gateways. Payment gateways allow customers to pay for their purchases using electronic payments, and they are automatically redirected to their bank’s website. With subscription-based platforms, the implementation of this solution is free. If you are using other software, you will have to pay around $50 to $100 for it.

Managing an online store

Managing an online store requires careful budgeting to ensure that all expenses are accounted for. This includes website management, which encompasses crucial tasks like security, optimization, updates, and adding new products. Depending on the size of your e-commerce store, these costs can range from $200 to $2,000 per month.

In addition, promoting your online store through advertising, SEO, and other marketing activities is crucial to attracting and retaining customers. It’s important not to save on these efforts if you want to see success.

Small and beginner stores can perform management tasks independently by using free guides to learn about SEO, customer acquisition, and web analytics. This approach not only saves money but also increases business efficiency. However, if you plan to run a larger online store, you’ll need to hire employees to handle orders, shipments, and promotions.

Hiring marketers, graphic designers, copywriters, or accountants is crucial for expanding your business. Keep in mind that the minimum wage varies by state in the US, with the federal minimum wage at $7.25 per hour in 2023. Building a competent team can be challenging, but it’s necessary for generating profits and developing your business. Remember that investing in your team is an investment in the future success of your online store.

Product costs

If you are new to e-commerce, you might not know the costs of adding new products to your store. If you don’t have someone on your team who can handle this task, you’ll need to outsource it to a freelancer. Adding a single product can cost you at least $5, which doesn’t include the fee for creating a product description. If the manufacturer doesn’t provide product photos, you’ll need to arrange a professional photo shoot which could cost you anywhere from $10 to $50 per photo. So, to add a product to your online store with all the necessary elements, you can expect to spend between $30 and $100. Starting an e-commerce business can be discouraging, especially with these costs. But there’s a solution: dropshipping.


Dropshipping is the answer if you’re looking for a smart and efficient way to run your business. This sales model allows you to offer a wide range of products without the need to invest in inventory or warehouse space. Instead, you work with a trusted wholesale supplier who ships the products directly to your customers. By eliminating the hassle of order fulfillment, you can focus on growing your business and increasing your profits. With the right marketing and promotional tactics, dropshipping can generate steady revenue streams with minimal effort. Plus, the wholesale supplier sets the margins, so you can save money while still providing high-quality products to your customers.

Store promotion

Marketing your online store is an integral part of your strategy, and you’ll probably spend a significant amount of your budget on it. If you fail to advertise your online store effectively, you won’t attract new customers or increase your sales. The opportunities in this field are endless, and it all depends on your financial capacity and objectives. Although many digital marketing activities can be implemented for free, hiring a marketing agency can lead to better outcomes. What factors determine a successful promotion for an online store?

Facebook Ads and Google Ads

Paid advertising is a powerful tool to drive traffic and boost sales for your online store. With Facebook Ads and Google Ads, you have two great options to reach your target audience and increase your brand visibility.

The cost of your ad campaign depends on various factors, such as your product niche, target audience size, and the keywords you choose. It’s hard to give an exact estimate, but with an annual budget of $1,000 to $50,000, you can create effective campaigns that drive high-quality traffic to your website and generate profitable conversions.

search results – example of Google Ads advertising

Social media

Social media enables you to effectively promote your products by targeting a specific audience. Managing popular platforms is relatively easy, so there’s no need to hire an agency. Collaborating with influencers is the most expensive way to promote through social media. The cost of such services depends on the influencer’s reach, number of followers, and the campaign duration, ranging from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars per month.

Facebook – social media marketing on the example of Zara


If you’ve been online for a while, you’ve likely heard about the power of SEO in driving traffic to e-commerce stores. But have you ever considered the cost of implementing SEO?

The cost of SEO implementation depends on various factors, including the popularity of your business, your current ranking on Google, the state of your website, and the keywords’ competitiveness. You can either take on the task yourself or outsource it to a professional agency to ensure the best results. The cost of outsourcing may range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per month, depending on your requirements and budget. With SEO, there is no set limit to how much you can spend. By investing more resources, you can benefit from more comprehensive strategies that lead to higher rankings for a wider range of keywords.


Various factors influence the cost of establishing an online store. These factors range from small details, such as product addition costs, to significant initiatives, such as selecting the right e-commerce software. Your decisions can have a significant impact not only on your budget but also on your business’s effectiveness. To optimize your brand’s potential and prevent unprofitable investments, partnering with an experienced marketing agency can be of great assistance.

With our company’s support, you can minimize the expenses involved in launching an online store. Additionally, our specialists in commerce and promotion will tailor their actions to suit your needs and budget, ensuring long-term strategy efficiency. Their expertise and skills will help prevent costly errors, bringing you closer to industry leadership.

Wiktoria Czerw
Content Editor

Wiktoria is a language and editorial enthusiast whose passion for content drives her to create unique, SEO-optimized texts. She has always been intrigued by linguistics, and she now applies this passion to her profession by ensuring every sentence is accurate and logical. Wiktoria is known for her precision and timeliness – every detail matters to her, and she strives to perfect the content in every possible way.

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