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If the e-commerce platform does not include all elements of a web store, or you prefer a solution better suited for you, you may also need to budget for the following:
— Site Search: $2000-10,000 per month
— Personalization/ Product Recommendations: $1500-3000 per month
— Ratings & Reviews: $1500-3000 per month
— Web Analytics: Free to $15,000 per month
Depending on your business you may have to figure in costs for mobile commerce and selling internationally. And don't forget the cost of the team that manages the e-commerce site, and training expenses to make your personnel better at their jobs.
Once you have projected revenue and expenses, you should project those out over three to five years in a profit and loss format. Seeing it all together and over a period of time will provide a better understanding of how your business works financially.
Bernardine Wu is founder and CEO of FitForCommerce, a best practices e-commerce consulting firm that helps e-retailers define requirements and select e-commerce technologies.