eCommerce Website Design Investment: How Much Does A Shopify Store Cost?

Are you wondering about your eCommerce website design investment?

Trying to figure out what the going rates are for an online store. 

Because it’s honestly all over the place and you simply want to know how much does a Shopify store cost? Well, I have everyone’s favorite answer. It depends. I know!

There is value in having a solid online experience and how it connects to better sales.

48% of people mentioned a website’s design is the most important factor in deciding the credibility of a business


But let me break down why it depends and hopefully give you a better understanding of what to consider when investing in your business. 

Here is an important distinction I want you to know..

First, Your eCommerce Website Design Investment Is Not A Cost

Investing in your eCommerce website design can be one of the bigger investments in your business. When your business is essentially your website, you have to pay great attention to how it’s designed for your customers. 

Here’s the thing some entrepreneurs may view investing in their site design as a cost. 

By definition, a cost is…

“Expending money or time or resources” with no expectation of an ROI.

Verses an investment

“Expending money with the possibility of a return on investment”

When you have your mind set on something being a cost. It tends to be a lower priority for you and instead of finding a quality outcome; you tend to focus on the lowest price.

This can be a challenge subconsciously if you aren’t used to investing in things that help you reach your next level of success.

Instead, you may find yourself doing a lot of DIY, falling prey to decision paralysis and not taking any action. Just to remain exactly where you are in business. If you ever set a goal and then look up 6 months from then to find yourself in the same position, this could be the issue.

I’ll get into how to plan for investing in your eCommerce website design, but let’s discuss what are the results of investing in your eCommerce website design instead of going DIY or lowest price route.

The Results Of Investing In Your eCommerce Website Design

Investing in your eCommerce website design experience can lead to some fabulous results for your business. Such as a better overall experience for your customers, higher average orders, reduction in cart abandonment, plus more. Let’s go over some of these in detail.

A cohesive brand & customer experience

There is a lot of competition in the eCommerce space, especially if you sell in a saturated industry. One way to stand out is through the experience you offer your customers. And unless you have the eye and expertise to design not only a well-looking website but an entire experience. Customers will detect the lack of expertise and choose not to buy.

But when you invest in your eCommerce website’s design & experience. You’ll have a more cohesive brand that delivers the right experiences at the right time. Leading to a seamless checkout experience for your customers.

A better marketer

Because your website is what helps to market and sell your products, it’s the 24/7 employee of your business. It’s the employee that doesn’t call out sick or request vacations. It also works for you when you’re off sleeping or hanging out with the family. With such an important position in your business. It needs to be designed to handle the challenges of running the show. 

Investing in your online store helps you to better market your products. Instead of communication through DMs or relying on social media to help you reach your customers. Having a well-designed eCommerce website will help answer your customers’ questions when they are ready to buy. Not waiting for you to respond.

Better positioning in the market 

If you are focused on becoming the go-to in your industry. Your website will be an important catalyst to get you there. By having a solid design, you’ll be able to position your business in the market to not only facilitate customer transactions but also to help investors see your business as a credible asset. This is especially important if you want to get any in-store placements, etc. for your products.

Increased Credibility

When people are handing over personal information like their credit cards. They want to feel that their information will be secure. The way your website looks and functions will give them the best impression of whether your site is credible.

Now that you have some better ideas on why investing in your website is important. Consider your goals and what you want to achieve.

Consider Your Future Business

Quick question: does your current website design reflect the future direction of where you’d like your store to be? 

If your top tier customers were shopping at your store, would you be proud? Or would you have some sort of website shame?

As a business owner, think about your needs not just for right now, but for the future of your business. If you aren’t feeling confident in your online presence now, how will you change it for the future? 

An important method to change something is to set a goal or goals to accomplish. Your eCommerce website is no different. 

Set Measurable Goals For Your eCommerce Design

Have clearly defined goals you want to achieve with your new online store’s website presence. Here are some potential goals you could focus on for your design.

  • Improve your sales conversions by a certain percentage.
  • Reduce your abandoned cart rate by a percentage.
  • Get better customer reviews and feedback.
  • Have more in-store placements or collaborations.

Whatever your goals are, be clear about them and share them as you are working with a professional to help you craft your online store. 

A strategy-based web designer is going to make sure your foundation is solid before crafting your website experience. Here at The May Creative, I begin that journey with the Brand Strategy element of your brand. Brand strategy ensures that your brand aligns with your target customers and attracts them with the right positioning, messaging, and visual experience to convert.

Now let’s dive into investing into your eCommerce website design on Shopify.

How Much Does A Shopify Store Cost?

Going back to the first point, your eCommerce store’s website design is an investment in the future of your business. Now there are a couple options for creating your Shopify store, DIY or working with a professional.

DIY is great if you are a newer business owner testing things out. If you are a newer business owner, investing in a custom eCommerce website may not be the best option for you right now. Here are some questions to ask yourself.

  • Do you have a clear idea of the products you are going to be selling?
  • Do you understand your core customer and their wants?
  • Have you proven that your product will sell in the market? By consistently selling your current products? Or doing market research.
  • Do you have your products even ready to be sold?
  • Have you figured out shipping and taxes?

If you are still deciding or unclear about any of those above questions. One of the first steps I recommend you take is getting clear about your goals and what type of experience you’d want to craft. You can do that by booking an eCommerce consulting hour that helps you get clear on the direction you are taking your business.

The Cost Of DIYing Your Shopify Store

Will vary because you have to consider a few things. You can get started on Shopify for $29 a month for the standard plan and then scale up as needed. You’ll also have to factor in any additional paid apps you add to your store. When it comes to the design of the site, you can either go with a free Shopify theme or pay for a premium Shopify theme, which averages $180 through Shopify. 

Now that you have those things, you’ll also have to consider:

  • The time to set up your online store.
  • Writing your online store copy (written text) for product pages and company pages.
  • Handling any technical setups and designing a store customers want to shop.

This will vary based on your motivation and ability to execute on these tasks. But it will be one of the lowest investments you’ll make in terms of money invested. 

Want to dig in deeper if you Should DIY your eCommerce Website then listen to episode 22 of eCommerce Cultivated.

The Investment to Working With A Shopify Expert

Again, it will be different based on the goals you want to focus on for your business. And who you work with, some charge less than others. Anyone who specializes in eCommerce is going to charge more as they are more experienced in the industry and can better direct outcomes for your business.

With that said, if your brand is growing, most likely are your needs. Depending on the type of eCommerce designer you work with, the investment can truly vary. First, look at your marketing budget. These are the funds you set aside from your business for marketing. The average industry standard to set aside funds for marketing is 10%–14% and higher.

For example, if your store revenue is $100K per year, you can expect to set aside at least $10,000 for marketing that can be used towards your website.

You also have to factor in how much reasonable ROI you’d like to achieve. Working with a strategic Shopify Expert who specializes in your industry can amplify your results. So it’s not unheard of for some stores to invest $18K or more in their overall presence. It really comes down to the goals of the business and how it will affect the overall sales. Plus factoring in any additional elements you’ll need for your online store, such as strategy, branding, packaging, custom coding and marketing.

You may be shocked by those numbers, but think about your desired ROI if you invested $10K and made an extra $50K a year, then the investment was worth it. Because your customers are having a better shopping experience and you can focus more on the business. Which, as the leader, when you focus on the vision of the business, leads to better and bigger profits.

On average, you’ll find that investing between $5,000 – $50,000 or more in your Shopify website is pretty common. Factors that can affect the investment are whether you’re using a premium theme that is customized or you’re having your store built from scratch. Plus any other complex elements to make your store unique such as designing & building a unique customer flow, custom coding, etc.

Ultimately, investing in your online store when done right will help you to reach the next level of your business goals. Use The Shopify Planning Guide to help you figure out what will help you reach your desired result. Then let me know if you have any questions. Get your complimentary copy below.

karen-founder-tmc 3

Hi, I'm Karen, the founder + strategist/Shopify expert behind The May Creative. I help eCommerce brand owners in luxury, lifestyle and beauty industries craft an elevated Shopify website experience. So they can take their store to the next level. Connect to learn more about working together. Or check out the other articles below and listen to the podcast.


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