Maria James

Why Does an eCommerce Site Cost More Than a Showcase Site?

The craze around eCommerce sites does not weaken, and more and more entrepreneurs are considering this option to embark on the great adventure of business creation. It must be said that the figures do not leave anyone indifferent. In 2016, French electronic commerce recorded a turnover of more than 72 billion euros for an increase of 14.6%. According to the Federation of e-commerce and distance selling (Fevad), one billion online purchases were made at the rate of 33 transactions per second for an average amount of € 72. This upward trend should continue in 2017 with a forecast growth rate of 11% to reach 80 billion euros in turnover. Fevad explains this development by the gradual enlargement of the clientele and the increase in the frequency of purchase.

This favorable environment has catalyzed demand: the creation of merchant websites is today an attractive option for entrepreneurs. However, it is clear that many of them are very quickly discouraged when they initiate the phase of the estimate, even by bringing several providers into competition. Setting up a viable eCommerce site is expensive, it’s a fact. A quick look at the rates applied by web agencies and other freelance developers is usually enough to realize this. Why ? You should know that the eCommerce site is only the tip of a monumental iceberg: the eCommerce ecosystem. Tentacular, dynamic and constantly developing, this ecosystem mixes the online payment system, logistics, commercial management, technical and scalable maintenance, transactional emails, the command workflow, advanced research…

A pile of produced files has never made an eCommerce site !

It is not enough to stack the pages and sheets produced with a “” button to transform a showcase site into an eCommerce site. Two parts of the ecosystem must be distinguished.

#1 The “technical” part of an e-commerce site

This is in essence all the technical solutions, software and infrastructure necessary for the operation of the long-term and smooth eCommerce site :

  • Accommodation of the site ;
  • The establishment of an online payment system ;
  • Logistics: management of the supply of goods, storage space, order processing, delivery methods, return management, notifications in the event of a stock shortage ;
  • Commercial management: in particular the synchronization of the site with accounting software, the management of suppliers… ;
  • Technical and evolutionary maintenance of the eCommerce solution.

ecommerce site

#2 The “marketing” part of an eCommerce site

We are referring here to all the marketing components which will contribute to generating qualified traffic and then boosting the conversion of visitors :

  • The permanent updating of the product catalog, cross-selling, competition games, promo codes… ;
  • Customer emailing and newsletters ;
  • Natural referencing and paid advertising campaigns ;
  • Analysis of audience statistics ;
  • The creation of additional content through a blog for example to improve its communication with its persona buyer, but also its SEO ;
  • Management of Adwords campaigns ;
  • Management of price comparators (Kelkoo,, The Guide …) ;
  • Affiliation campaigns (Zanox or Effiliation) ;
  • Direct sales via the main market places (Ebay, PriceMinister, Rue du Commerce) ;
  • Presence on social networks ;
  • Ergonomics and design (UX and IU) ;
  • Etc.

Forget the eCommerce site … think “eCommerce company”

The list is far from exhaustive, and this largely explains the price differences that can be observed between a merchant site and a showcase website. Certain functionalities and actions are essential and greatly condition the viability of your eCommerce site. Indeed, without certain decisive components to save money will be accompanied by enormous risk taking and here comes the role of an eCommerce development company. The website compiled the most eloquent statistics on the consumption behavior of Internet users in 2016 as well as on the importance they attach to each element of eCommerce sites. Here is a concise summary :

The design of the e-commerce site

  • 93% of consumers consider visual appearance to be the key element of the purchasing decision ;
  • 52% of buyers leave the site and do not return there because they do not appreciate its aesthetics ;
  • 42% of users form an opinion on an e-commerce site only based on its visual aspect.

design of ecommerce

Customer services

  • 68% of American buyers start a conversation on a cat ;
  • Instant discussion on an eCommerce site boosts conversions by 20% (B2B) ;
  • 63% of American buyers prefer to make regular purchases on sites where an instant discussion tool is made available ;
  • 27% of the millennium trees do not forgive a management error in customer service, compared to less than 13% for the Baby-Boomers.

Return policy

  • In France, less than 58% of buyers are satisfied with the ease of online returns ;
  • 63% of American Internet users check the return conditions before making a purchase.

Payment security

  • 61% of French users have already abandoned the purchase of a product because they suspected a lack of reliability ;
  • Adding SSL VeriSign or Symantec, Blue Fountain Media increased sales by 42% ;
  • VWO increased its conversion rate by 32% by adding a “” badge

In the end, creating, managing and making profitable an eCommerce site is a greedy project that requires specific skills and human and temporal resources. Subcontracting can quickly become inevitable :

  • Catalog photos: buy professional equipment and train a photographer (and Photoshop) or subcontract ?
  • Write the content of all the sheets produced and the blog or subcontract ?
  • Do your own daily reference or subcontract ?
  • Analyze its statistics on Web Analytics and deploy the appropriate strategies on the job or subcontract ?
  • Do a developer and network administrator training to manage bugs and server failures or subcontract ?