According to Statista, eCommerce sales worldwide are to get well over $600 billion by 2022. Yet online sales account for less than 10% of all retail sales in the US. Therefore, the potential for growth is tremendous and launching your eCommerce business now means you can grow it rapidly. The best thing is that you can do it with a very limited budget. Creating a website will be one of the most important things to do when entering this market. Luckily, you can build an eCommerce website on the cheap if you use the right techniques.
7 Ways to Build a Cheap eCommerce Website That Will Look Great
1. Embrace outsourcing
Businesses can benefit from outsourcing in many ways because doing this can help you save money on literally everything. This includes website building as hiring a professional agency from India or the Philippines is guaranteed to be cheaper than doing the same in any EU country or the US.
You often can find agency portfolios on various online freelance marketplaces, like Upwork or Guru. However, when dealing with businesses located abroad, you’ll need to make a few additional considerations.
Safety and payments are your main concerns. You need to verify that the company you are about to hire can be trusted. Usually, you’ll be able to do this through reviews and references. If there aren’t any available, think of what that means for a self-proclaimed web design service.
Payments aren’t much of a concern these days as you can use e-wallets. But make sure that you’re on the same page before contracting the service. Also, don’t forget to check the fees set by your chosen payment system.
2. Get cheap but reliable hosting
Cheap hosting is a must when you are looking for ways to cut down your initial costs to the maximum. However, today you can find affordable deals from highly respected and reliable companies.
You should look for those by studying reviews from independent agencies that offer ratings of the most popular hosts. Web Hosting Media is one of those and along with the reviews of top eCommerce hosting services it offers helpful advice on other matters related to choosing the best type of server for your website.
3. Forego originality
Having a unique page design created specifically for you is amazing and will no doubt make your business look more professional. However, if your main goal is to make a cheap eCommerce website, you’ll have to embrace ‘mass market’. This means obtaining your theme, and perhaps some other stuff, from public libraries.
For example, WordPress has a theme library that contains over 7,000 items. Many of those are completely free. There’s something similar available for every major website building tool. That’s what allows you to build a website from scratch at zero cost.
Don’t discard existing themes right away as some of them are really good. In fact, as many of them are created by professional web designers, you might get a better theme from a library than one put together by a stressed college graduate.
4. Make the typography work for you
You can’t get cool videos and HD photos when you are trying to make a website on the cheap. However, one thing you’ll definitely have on your pages is text. So, make it your main attractive visual feature.
Typography is all the rage in design today. Therefore, you’ll find plenty of amazing fonts. Many of them are cheap and some of them are free. The trick here is to combine fonts on your website in the most flattering manner. This will make the pages look stylish and luxuriously minimalistic instead of, well, cheap.
5. Go for simplicity is design
When using typography as your main web design element, you’ll need to use simple layouts and color schemes to make those artful fonts stand out. As the minimalistic design is most popular today, this plan should work beautifully and cut your costs quite a bit.
As an eCommerce website you won’t be able to not use images as it’s essential to provide quality visuals of your products. Therefore, make these shots the ‘centerpieces’ of your pages. Don’t forget to optimize them as images have to load fast.
6. Have your website designed by students
Many web design students do some freelance work to help pay their tuition. Their rates are rather low, but they are usually brimming with creative talent. By hiring a student, you are giving them a chance to show off their skills and potential. This means you can get a website that will include more expensive elements.
Of course, you’ll need to make sure that the student is skilled enough to create a good website. To do this, ask for their portfolio. You can also find students by going through the web design school. This way, you’ll be talking to teachers, who can point you toward their very best students.
You can also get more out of this deal if you can talk the professors into giving the student extra credit for their work on your website. This will give the future designer more motivation to do a truly excellent job.
Crowdsourcing means using platforms, like DesignCrowd to get your website design. Note that this will help you get a cheap eCommerce website, but it’s not the cheapest option out there. Usually, crowdsourced sites cost about half the price set by a professional web design agency.
However, the quality of the product you get from these platforms is very high, and you can be sure that your website will be original and well-optimized.