How much will a new website cost?
This will vary depending on the time required to ensure your store meets your demands. We want to ensure that your store is perfect for your needs, so we are happy to quote for individual ecommerce stores. This will require a chat with you in order to determine your particular requirements. As a guide, ecommerce store pricing starts at approximately £3000. We can also design websites that do not have an ecommerce component, and these would start at approximately £1000, depending on requirements.
Are there ongoing costs?
Every online website has both initial costs of design and setup (billed by Comtec), and then ongoing hosting costs (billed by third parties for the ongoing costs of hosting your store); these will essentially be monthly payments to Shopify, or Squarespace, as it is those companies that host your site, as well as any extra 'apps' you have used to increase the functionality of your store. You will also have to pay a small fee every two years for your website name (known as the 'domain name'). Apart from this, there are only the usual credit card processing fees when an order is received (this, as with all retail stores, is taken from each transaction and paid to the credit card processing company - typically a small percentage of each sale e.g. 2% - Shopify will process this for you, so you will not need to register as a merchant with your bank). Comtec will not charge any ongoing fees once we have handed over your store, unless you ask us to complete other work for you in the future, or wish to utilise the monthly maintenance services.
How about ongoing store management?
Managing an online store is very similar to managing a 'bricks and mortar' store. There are the same requirements to make products available for sale, marketing, stock control and administration. If you should need help with any aspect of the store management, we can usually help. For example, if you are finding it tricky to get your imagery just right, we can sort that for you, or even design and create newsletters for your customers. Similarly, you may need help integrating with your logistics provider e.g. Royal Mail, or valuing your stock.
Why should I work with Comtec?
Not only have we been designing ecommerce stores for many years, but we also practice what we preach. We are the only online ecommerce provider we are aware of that has direct experience of growing an online brand. We have taken our own brands from zero sales, to now shipping many thousands of products to over 100 countries, every year. As part of this process we have become experts in the Shopify ecommerce system (we are authorised Shopify Partners), as well as the Squarespace platform (again, we are Certified Squarespace Circle members).
Because of our experience running our own ecommerce stores, we are more aware of the issues that may face you as you build and grow your store, from image sizing and tax settings, right through to stock forecasting and logistics integration. Again, we are one of very few businesses certified with the NCSC/GCHQ Cyber Essentials qualification, thereby ensuring that not only are we safe and secure, your data also remains safe within our business.
What don’t you do?
We can set most things up for you, but there are a few things we don't provide on an ongoing basis. These include, advertising on Google Ads or Facebook, for example (although we can set up systems for you). At the present time, we also don't integrate with your existing stock system if you have a 'bricks and mortar' retail store (this will be available soon). Finally, if you require a logo designing, you will require the services of a graphic designer to complete that for you.
What is the process in designing a new store?
Initially, we will need an insight in to your business - specifically who your audience is, the products and services you sell, and what sort of style you would like your store to have. This gives us a good grounding for initial designs for your new store, as well as enabling the selection of a suitable store theme. Once we are all happy with the theme, we fine tune all the graphical elements to the store (we will need your logo and product imagery at this point), integrate with payment providers, add a selection of your products, as well as configure your domain names.
We then invite you to take a look around the store, suggesting areas to adapt. Once these changes take place, we provide you with store training, enabling you to manage your ecommerce back end systems, and add new products when required.
What is Shopify?
Ecommerce is a hugely complex area, involving multiple systems all integrated together. Shopify is one of a small number of companies who have successfully managed to ensure all aspects of an ecommerce store function flawlessly together. You can manage your products, services, postal systems, tax settings, customer details and many other areas, all in one 'back end' system. Importantly, the store is located on the Shopify servers, meaning that they manage the technology systems for you, giving you more time to actually sell your products and services. For that reason, we would always recommend Shopify as a secure and easy to use system. However, in certain circumstances, we can also build Squarespace stores for you (as we are Certified Squarespace Circle members), particularly if you do not require any ecommerce functionality at this point.