The cost of running an e-commerce store in South Africa.

Opening an online store is often touted as a cheap option – especially when compared to the costs of a real store. With no building to rent, fittings to install or sales staff to employ, going online does seem like a more affordable and the easier path. But what are the costs really?

As with any new venture, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into. Entrepreneurs’ dreams often fall flat because of unforeseen costs and hidden expenses. It’s particularly important to make sure that your young business can support these costs from the get-go.

More and more South Africans are becoming used to doing their shopping online, but it’s still a reasonably fresh trend. This means that there are more opportunities for early-adopters to reap the benefits, but it also means more opportunities to bump your head! Avoid those bruises by partnering with the right people from day one.

Four key considerations when picking your online store platform:


1. Can you carry the cost?

It can take a while for sales on your online store to really take off. Do you have the capital to keep your store up and running until it begins to make money? It’s especially important to budget correctly if your online store will be your only source of income.

To make sure you’re not left in the lurch financially, make sure to choose a platform that won’t break the bank while sales are slow. And when it comes to online stores, more expensive isn’t always better.

We put together a handy table of the different e-commerce platforms available in South Africa so that you can see exactly how much they cost.

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