Branding on a Budget- Building an Ecommerce Site

Hi, I’m Syama, CEO of Scaling Retail. Today we’re going to chat about “Branding on a Budget – How to Build Your Ecommerce Platform.” Now, it’s really challenging, I know as a sort of designer and brander, even a retailer looking to launch online. How do you actually get this off the ground without spending so much money, or even hiring a big agency to do this? Now, it takes a lot of planning, but you can get it done.

Step number one, give yourself enough time to actually complete this project. This also goes hand in hand with how much you’re going to be able to spend. Some of the key areas that you’re going to want to allocate funds or time for are going to be copywriting, things like photography for your website, understanding and doing the user experience flow and layout, as well as actually making the time to upload everything, and quality-control the whole thing. So you’re looking here at a minimum of six weeks on your own of really pulling everything together.

Now, when it comes to actually putting things together on the website, you have options. You don’t need to hire a big graphic designer or someone who’s going to take a lot of time and money and an agency that’s going to pull it all together for you. Anywhere between 5, 10 and 25 thousand, you can actually find competitive places to outsource this work to. One of my favorite resources is the Shopify Expert section. This gives you access to a lot of designers that are specifically working with the Shopify platform.

Now, if you’re working on another platform, you can also find other great outsource designers to help you make those customized changes to that platform. But, I warn you. You get what you pay for, right? So if you’re not a graphic designer, and you’re not someone who’s used to building these kinds of things, you certainly don’t want to be the one, from start to finish, build it all for yourself. I suggest taking a look and figuring out if I have $500 to spend on my website, I’m going to spend that money getting a designer, or someone on budget to maybe put it together on the site, so I don’t make any mistakes. If I have $1,000 to spend on my website, well, I’m going to bootstrap that and maybe take a look at hiring someone to help me write a little bit of the key messaging or the key copy on my site and get someone on budget to kind of help put things together.

Now, again, you get what you pay for. I always recommend to my clients that they put aside, on average, between $5,000 to $10,000, if they really want something stellar off the ground, right? But you can bootstrap this and do it on a budget. The best way to start to forecast that is to just give yourself enough time. Think of it from this perspective. You have access, at any given moment, to thousands of creative people who could actually help you build your site. However, they all might be busy. Some of them might be free, and some of them might be looking to make some money on the side. It’s all about timing and planning it out. If you’re not able to plan it out long in advance, you’re going to end up pulling from low-hanging fruit. And you might not end up with the best possible scenario.

I have to tell you, I’ve had some clients that had great experiences giving themselves three months out to build out a website, and actually ending up with agency-quality graphic designers, and agency-quality developers at a very discounted rate, because they were able to do their due diligence, find their proposals, and find somebody who would work well with them within their budget.

So, I guess the big takeaway here, guys, is put aside the money that you can to build out your website. Remember your website is the first touchpoint of your brand. But you also want to give yourself enough time, the more time you have, the better off you’ll be if you’re doing it on a budget. If you can spend 50 grand, 25 grand, you can send it over to an agency. They’ll get it done for you, no problem. But if you are looking to bootstrap it, give yourself enough time, and give yourself the right allocation of budget in the right areas. I guarantee you’re going to have a real quality product at the end of the day.

Alright, guys, good luck on building your website. For more tips, check out my book, “Creating Fashion Websites That Sell.” It will walk you through step by step some of the best ways in order to optimize and build that site on your own. And good luck, I’m here for you as a trusted resource. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel, or email me at Thanks so much.