What is an Ecommerce Business Proposal?
An ecommerce, e commerce, or e-commerce proposal is a document that freelancers and contractors use to pitch ecommerce website projects to potential clients.
Typically, ecommerce proposals include project details, pricing information, and a timeline, as well as other important information that clients use to make a decision.
They may also be referred to as an:
- E commerce proposal template
- E-commerce site proposal
- Ecommerce website proposal
- E commerce project proposal
- Ecommerce development proposal
- E commerce web design proposal
What to Include in an Ecommerce Proposal
An e-commerce proposal is made up of many different parts, all of which come together to help you convince a client that you’re the right person for the job. Whether you use proposal software, like Bonsai, to make your template, or you make one on your own, it should include:
1. A cover page
Your cover page should feature your brand colors, logo, and the name of the company and individual you’re sending it to.
2. The project overview and goals
Next comes the project description as well as an outline of the business goals you plan to meet. These should be made up of the information you gathered during any previous client meetings or calls.
For example, if they mentioned they want you to upgrade their existing website to facilitate online credit card payments, you can use this section to explain how you plan to do that. Or, if they explained that they frequently lose customers on a specific page in their online store, tell them exactly how you plan to address the issue.
Deliverables are made up of the products or services you plan to provide to a potential client. In an e commerce proposal, this may include:
- Planning and implementation documents
- Wireframes for online store designs
- A fully functional e commerce website that allows for online payment processing
- Responsive design for mobile phones
What you deliver depends on the client’s needs and the services you offer. You may also provide other services such as writing, photography, or digital marketing in your business proposal.
4. The process and timeline
In this section of your e-commerce proposal template, outline the process and expected timeline for the project. Include specific steps and estimated time commitments for each phase from beginning to end.
For example, your process and timeline might look something like this:
- Initial design meeting with client - 1 day
- Wireframes and design - 30 days
- Project implementation - 14 days
- Testing and feedback - 3 days
- Bug fixes - 3 days
Make sure that the timeframes you provide leave you with enough wiggle room to handle unexpected issues or delays. And pay attention to whether a fast turnaround is important to the client. If so, you may want to bump up your timeline — within reason.
5. Work samples and competitor information
While the section of your proposal template is optional, it can help to sway particularly desirable clients. If you want to go the extra mile to convince a client to work with you, include relevant work samples and competitor information.
Look through previous projects to find clients or websites in a related industry or with a similar problem. Highlight your best ones to show the prospective client that you’re familiar with their business and that you feel confident and comfortable with taking on the work. A website link to a live project, a case study, or even a screenshot will do.
And, if you know they’re getting quotes from other contractors, use this section to showcase what sets you apart. For example, do you offer lower pricing or a faster turnaround? Are you more experienced in handling their unique needs or have you worked with a similar e commerce business before?
This is your opportunity to make a case for yourself, so do your best to highlight what makes you the best person for the job so you can seal the deal.
6. Pricing information
Pricing information is one of the most important aspects of your proposal template. Most clients with e commerce projects will have a budget, and this section can make or break whether they can afford to take you on.
In your pricing section, it’s important to include detailed information instead of just a random number. Break down the cost of each service so that the client knows exactly what they’ll be paying for. This will help them understand your value and services before they sign a contract.
Be sure to include:
- Your pay structure (hourly, per project, or retainer)
- Each service and its associated cost
- Which services are necessary and which are suggested
- Any discounts, additional fees, or required deposits
- An estimated total
It’s beneficial to include this information near the end of your proposal template so that you have a chance to plead your case before any money is brought into the equation.
When to Use an Ecommerce Proposal
E commerce proposals can be used in a variety of circumstances. You should use one when:
- You’re pitching an ecommerce project to a new client, such as a website with an online store
- A client wants you to integrate payment processing software into an existing website
- A client wants you to design and develop an e commerce platform
- You’re pitching a web development project that involves ecommerce stores or sales software
- A client needs you to build an e commerce website
You don’t have to use a proposal template for every client. Instead, save them for big projects and major clients where added professionalism and an impressive proposal are likely to make a difference.
Who Should Use an Ecommerce Proposal
You should use an ecommerce proposal if:
- You’re a freelance web designer or developer pitching an ecommerce project to a client
- You’re making a website design or development proposal that includes an e commerce element
- You really want to work with a specific business or company
- You want to showcase your ecommerce web development or design services in a professional package
How to Write an Ecommerce Proposal
Whether you create a proposal template from scratch or you use proposal software, like Bonsai, there are some best practices you should follow to ensure your pitch motivates the client to sign a contract.
1. Communicate with the client
In order for you to create a solid pitch, you need to have a clear understanding of what the business or company wants and whether you can meet its goals. Have a kickoff meeting with them before you make a proposal to discuss the project goals, scope, budget, and any other relevant details.
If you have questions while drafting your proposal, clarify them before finalizing your pitch so that you have the most accurate information.
2. Use proposal templates
Instead of making a new proposal for every client, draft a template that you can customize for each one. This will help to ensure that you don’t forget to include any important elements and it will save you time as well.
You can either design a template yourself or use software like Bonsai to customize a visually appealing and clean proposal.
3. Keep it simple
While a proposal should be detailed, be careful not to go overboard. The longer your proposal is, the less likely it is to be read in its entirety. Keep your content straightforward, simple, and succinct so that it’s easy to scan and absorb.
Use tables, bullet lists, and bold text to draw attention to important details and to break up large blocks of text. This will help with readability and make it easier for team members to find the information they’re looking for.
4. Stick to what the client asked for
While it’s totally acceptable to tack on some additional suggestions at the end of your proposal, make sure the focus is on what the client asked for. If you have other great ideas that you think would make the company’s website stand out, bring them up in a meeting or phone call separate from the proposal.
You don’t want to overwhelm your potential clients by focusing on too many other aspects of their website or pitching too many of your services all at once. If you do, you could miss out on making a deal.
5. Edit your proposal
Before you send your proposal package to the business or company you want to work with, review it for typos, grammatical errors, and accuracy. Pay particular attention to:
- The spelling of the company or business name
- How team members names are spelled
- Any dates you’ve referenced
Run your proposal through a spell checker and get someone else to review it for you as well. This is essential for making a good impression and giving off a professional vibe.
Creating an Ecommerce Proposal is Simple with Bonsai
You’re a busy freelancer, which means that saving time and money is important to you. That’s why Bonsai makes it easy for you to create, edit, and send ecommerce proposals. As an added bonus, they’re completely customizable, which means you can include your logo, add or remove sections like executive summary and scope, and set branded colors.
Plus, you can send, accept, and sign proposals online, making the process easy and convenient for both you and your clients.
Ecommerce Proposal FAQs
What services can you use an ecommerce proposal for?
You can use an e-commerce proposal to outline any services associated with an e-commerce project, such as:
- Web design and development
- Platform research
- Hosting setup
- Online store maintenance
- Responsive design
- Web app audits
What counts as ecommerce?
E-commerce is made up of buying and selling products or services over an electronic network, such as the internet. For example, when you purchase an item on a website and pay for it using your credit card or PayPal account.
- Graphic Design Proposal: Use this template to propose graphic design projects to potential clients.
- Digital Marketing Proposal: Use this template to propose digital marketing projects to prospective customers.
- Website proposal: Use this document to pitch website redesigns and updates to new clients.