Get an E-Commerce Proposal Template (Free Download)

What's in This Template?

  • Simple example content that's easy to adapt and helps you land more ecommerce projects
  • The five part persuasive structure that's been proven to get your prospect's atttention and convince them you're the best person for the job
  • A bundled pricing section that keeps clients focused on value (instead of price)
  • And more!

E-Commerce Proposal Template: Less Hassle, More Clients

For your potential clients, deciding which e-commerce expert to hire is a huge decision. And it's only becoming even more important as more business shifts online.

They have to think about how the virtual store will look, which features they need and payments they'll accept, as well as how they'll handle shipping and inventory management. You swim in these details every day. But for an outsider, it can be overwhelming.

A solid proposal will simplify the process.

In it, you'll use straightforward language to explain the project and how your services will give the client what they really want: a profitable e-Commerce store.

How do you pull it off?

Let's talk about that now!

What is an E-Commerce Proposal?

An e-commerce proposal is simply a document that recommends a solution to a client's business problem. It's structured to keep their attention while they read through it, convincing them that you're the best expert for the job.

For the vast majority of the people you'll be working with, that's either: 1) adding an e-commerce store, or 2) tweaking their existing store to make it more profitable.

Far too many e-commerce experts make this more complicated than they need to. They get bogged down in technical details and jargon – without ever explaining how those things benefit potential clients.

Effective proposals don't make those assumptions. They identify the client's business problem, recommend a solution, and package it all in an attractive way.

Key Sections (and Structure) of a Winning E-Commerce Proposal

E-commerce is a huge, generic term. It encompasses projects ranging from single-page websites with one product… all the way to enormous catalogs with thousands of SKUs, customizable filters, and search options.

So it makes sense that your e-commerce proposals will adapt to the scope (and complexity) of the project.

With that said, some proposal elements are worth having in every single one you submit. This is what the best clients are always looking for. Being sure to include it increases your chances of getting hired.

I divided up the key elements into two common situations to make this as easy as possible. The first is for projects where you're adding – or tweaking – e-commerce capabilities on an existing website.

Here are some crucial things to hit on in those proposals:

Adding/Tweaking E-Commerce Capabilities to an Existing Website

  • [Client]'s E-Commerce Goals. Start by talking about what's already on the client's mind: their business problems. Why do they want to add an e-Commerce store to their website? Why now? It might be rising rent for their brick and mortar stores, changing customer tastes, or getting beat by competitors who offer more convenient shopping experiences.
  • Your New E-Commerce Store. This is a broad overview of what the e-Commerce store will look like, how it will work, and how it will help the client's business.
  • Scope of Services. Get a bit more specific about the e-Commerce store website design, shopping cart, product pages, the fulfillment process, and special features like sizing charts and measuring videos. Also mention what's not included – like product copy or photographs.
  • E-Commerce Platform and Hosting. Use this section to compare different third party e-commerce platforms (Shopify, Woo Commerce, Magento, etc.) and hosting options. Walk through the key features and pricing of each. Then make a recommendation based on the client's business needs.
  • Investment. Lay out how much it will cost to provide your e-Commerce solution. You can use a table to divide the amount into three sections: project fees, platform fees, and upsells/add-ons.
  • Getting Started. Give the client a single, simple step they can take to accept your proposal.

Another common project type for e-commerce experts is comprehensive site design and development. These are the situations where you're building the entire website and making it e-commerce ready.

Here are the key elements for those larger projects:

Designing, Developing, and Launching a New, E-Commerce Ready Website

  • Project Overview or Executive Summary. Talk about the business challenges driving the client to want an e-Commerce website. The better you can show that you understand their target customers, competitors, and current situation in the market, the more compelling your proposal.
  • Project Scope. Get specific about what you are/aren't including in the project. It might be easier to break down the project into smaller elements (like site user experience, content, design, and functionality/programming). Also list any exclusions from the scope to avoid confusion later on.
  • E-Commerce Platform and Hosting.
  • Our Phases and Steps. Break down the entire project into phases (plan, design, build, etc.). Discuss briefly what will happen during each phase, and the deliverables you will send over to the client. This will help them visualize the process.
  • Billing Plan. Lay out how much the initial deposit will be, as well as the percentages of the total amount to be paid when specific project milestones are complete.
  • About Us. Talk about your skills, experience, team members, and business philosophy that make you uniquely qualified to help the client with their e-Commerce website.
  • Our Portfolio. Include a few case studies of past clients you've helped with similar business challenges. It's a great idea to include before and after photos of their websites, as well as any hard sales numbers from the new online stores.
  • Next Steps
  • Terms and Conditions. Your contract with the client. Have your lawyer look this over beforehand.

You'll notice there's some more information for these types of e-commerce projects. That's because it's crucial to explain how such an involved process will go down, as well as the different pieces fitting together in a way that clients can visualize.

Questions to Ask Before Writing Your E-Commerce Proposal

The savviest e-commerce experts understand that the proposal process starts well before putting finger to keyboard.

The better you can understand the potential client's situation beforehand, the easier it is to tailor your proposals. Your document stands out from the pile. Do it really well, and clients feel like you're reading their minds!

It's always a great idea to do your own research about the client to understand their current situation. But you can supplement that with a quick “discovery call” before writing your proposal.

Set up a quick call or meeting with the potential client. Asking the right questions will help you understand them like no amount of Google searching ever will. It also shows them that you're truly invested in helping them get what they want.

Here are some key questions to help you get started:

  • Do the products have multiple options (sizes/colors/etc.)? If so, how many on average? (helps get a more realistic view of how many SKUs … a few products might turn into thousands)
  • Do you have a merchant account or online payment gateway?
  • Do you have any experience with e-commerce platforms (Shopify, Woo Commerce, etc.)? Which ones? What did you like/not like about the experience?
  • Do you have existing photography for your products?
  • Do you want to integrate customer ratings and reviews?
  • Does your site need to be multilingual? Accept multiple currencies?
  • How are you handling taxes? (different tax rules and zones)
  • How do you plan on shipping/delivering the products? (sometimes, business owners want to create tiered shipping rules that can get complex)
  • How often do you plan to update the content? Do you want to be able to make updates yourself, without the help of a developer?
  • How will products be separated or categorized?
  • How will you host the website?
  • Roughly how many categories and products will the site support?
  • Should your store allow room for growth? (for instance, even if they aren't bundling products or shipping internationally now, they might want to start in the future)
  • What makes an e-commerce site successful in your mind? What are the key metrics you are using to assess this?
  • What sort of reporting do you need for order fulfillment?
  • Which payment and shipping options will the site need to support? (credit cards, PayPal, checks, etc.)
  • Will any products be customizable for the customer?
  • Will any products require recurring billing?

Getting Started...

The guidelines above are kind of like the product templates you create for e-commerce stores. They will save you time while still allowing plenty of room for flexibility.

With that said, there's no substitute for firsthand experience. Creating, submitting, and listening to feedback will help you write e-commerce proposals unlike anywhere else.

Want to get started?

You don't have to tackle it all on your own. Check out the free proposal template below for more help.

Preview: Ecommerce Proposal Template

Ecommerce Proposal Template Cover Image

The Challenges Facing {client_name}

The Challenges Facing

To thrive in the highly competitive market, {client_name} needs an attractive digital platform where visitors can learn more about {client_name}’s products and buy them easily. A 100% customized e-commerce store will get visitors' attention and make it more likely they become leads and customers. The right e-commerce website will:

  • Deliver a beautiful, logical shopping experience to engage {client_name}’s visitors and improve conversions
  • Increase {client_name}’s revenues through strategic up-sells, cross-sells, and product recommendations
  • Automate inventory management processes and free up time for {client_name} to focus on other aspects of its business

If {client_name} doesn’t invest in an e-commerce store customized to meet its unique needs, it could lose customers. A poorly designed online store gives visitors the impression that {client_name} isn’t the best choice to fulfill their needs, which could hurt {client_name}’s market share and slow its long-term growth.

Overcoming {client_name}’s E-Commerce Challenges

Overcoming Challenges

{my_company}’s services will create the following results for {client_name}:

  • Created an online store tailored to {client_name}’s unique needs – In the competitive [INDUSTRY] market, it’s critical to grab visitors’ attention right away and convey the unique value you can offer. Unlike many other e-commerce designers, we don’t use design templates. We create our designs from scratch, giving you complete flexibility over the end product. You come away with a distinctive, engaging look.
  • Delivered a turnkey, revenue-generating solution – You don’t have hours to spend learning how to make your store work or worrying about the technical details. That’s why we offer a turnkey e-commerce solution. We’ll handle all the heavy lifting, and you’ll end up with a fully functional store ready to process sales from the moment it goes live.
  • Streamlined {client_name}’s online store for ease of use and easy updates – An online store’s inventory is constantly changing. We’ll specifically design your store with that in mind, making it simple to use and modify as you grow. You’ll be able to effortlessly manage your inventory and make more sales with pinpoint precision – even if you aren’t tech savvy.

Recommended Services

To meet {client_name}’s needs, as outlined above, we recommend the following services as part of this project:

Design of {client_name}’s Online Store

{my_company}’s team will meet with {client_name} to hear its vision for an online store and offer input to help {client_name} accomplish its business goals. Then, once a strategy is finalized, {my_company}’s designers will get to work creating a 100% customized e-commerce store to achieve {client_name}’s vision and showcase its products in an appealing way.

Setup of {client_name}’s Online Store

{my_company}’s team will import all of {client_name}’s products from its current e-commerce platform into the new online store. {my_company} will export products from the legacy system, making sure to map product attributes like size and color, as well as to retain {client_name}’s preferred product organization structure. This ensures a seamless transition to {client_name}’s new online store.

Launch of {client_name}’s Online Store

After finalizing the new e-commerce store design and importing {client_name}’s product line, {my_company} will ready the store for launch. {my_company} will structure the store to target search keywords for the SEO benefit. {client_name}’s store will be fully functional and ready to accept orders immediately upon launch.

Training Session to Help {client_name} Manage Its Online Product Catalog

Once {client_name}’s e-commerce store is up and running, {my_company} will set up a time to meet with {client_name}’s team to show them how to tap into its full potential. This training will cover dynamic inventory management, tracking and interpreting key sales performance metrics, and troubleshooting potential issues. {client_name}’s team will come away from this session with all the knowledge they need to take over managing the online store with confidence.

Turnkey Online Store Solution

Strategy consultation – Our team will meet with you to learn more about your brand and your online business goals. We’ll also offer recommendations to help you achieve your goals through e-commerce. Then we’ll agree on a strategy for an online store to showcase your products in an appealing, memorable way.

E-commerce website design – Our team will get to work designing a 100% customized online store. This store will feature a distinctive look. It will also grab your target customers’ attention and make it effortless for them to become buyers.

E-commerce website setup – We’ll import your product line from your current e-commerce platform into your new store. This process, which includes exporting your products from the current system, as well as preserving product attributes and product organization, removes the burden of switching to a new platform on your own.

E-commerce website launch – Once design and importing your product line is complete, we’ll take your online store live. This store will be functional the moment it launches. You’ll be able to make sales from day one without dealing with the headaches of transitioning to a new store on your own.

E-commerce store training session – We'll set up a time to meet with your team and show them how to manage your online inventory, check key performance metrics, and improve your e-commerce store over time. This paves the way for a seamless transition so you can take over operating the store without a hitch.


Why Choose {my_company}?

{client_name} needs a compelling digital platform to engage visitors and turn them into buyers. But it can’t set aside the demands of running its business to design, develop, and launch an online store. Hiring a company like {my_company} eliminates those frustrations. We obsess over creating an online shopping experience that isn’t just beautiful and usable, but matches {client_name}’s vision perfectly. We’ll bring the following strengths in our work for {client_name}:

  • {my_company}’s designs look and work great on every platform – When someone visits your online store for the first time, you can’t afford to make a bad impression. That’s why we make the experience awesome no matter where a visitor comes from. Our designs are responsive and mobile-friendly, creating pleasant shopping experience on PCs, tablets, and mobile phones.
  • {my_company} builds your e-commerce store using open-source software – A lot of e-commerce designers create online stores for their clients using premium software. It’s a nasty surprise when clients find out they have a new monthly expense just to keep their store running. We save you money by using free, open-source software; you get the functionality of premium software without the cost.
  • {my_company} shows you how to keep your store running for the long haul – Our team understands that while we design your online store, you’re the one who will spend a lot of time running it. All of our design decisions are grounded on a foundation of keeping things intuitive and easy to use. We’ll show you how to manage your store and expand it to keep up with your business – even if you aren’t tech savvy.

Statement of Work

Should {client_name} choose {my_company} to execute this solution as proposed, our timeline for this project is as follows:

Phase Activities Completion
Strategy Meeting between {client_name} and {my_company}; identification of {client_name}’s top online business goals and e-commerce recommendations delivered by {my_company}. 03/31/XX
Online Store Design Creation of 100% customized online store by {my_company}’s designers to match {client_name}’s vision. 05/15/XX
Online Store Setup Importing {client_name}’s product line into the new online store; exporting {client_name}’s product from the legacy system, maintaining product attributes and {client_name}’s preferred organizational structure. 05/21/XX
Online Store Launch Launch of {client_name}’s online store. 06/01/XX
E-Commerce Training Training of {client_name}’s team by {my_company} on how to manage online store inventory, add and subtract items, analyze key performance metrics, and expand the store to grow with {client_name}’s business. 06/15/XX

Next Steps

To take advantage of this proposal and proceed with the project as outlined, {client_name}’s next steps must be to:

  • Accept the proposal as-is
  • Discuss desired changes with {my_company}
  • Finalize and sign the contract
  • Submit an initial payment of 50 percent of total project fee

Next Steps

Once completed, {my_company} will contact {client_name} to schedule a project launch meeting to make introductions and gather information before beginning the work.

We’re happy to make changes to project scope on {client_name}’s request at any time, but may be subject to additional billing.

Terms and Conditions

Once project fee is paid in full to {my_company}, any elements of text, graphics, photos, contents, trademarks, or other artwork furnished to {client_name} for inclusion in website are owned by {client_name}.

{my_company} assumes {client_name} has permission from the rightful owner to use any code, scripts, data, and reports are provided by {client_name} for inclusion in its materials, and will hold harmless, protect, and defend {my_company} from any claim or suit arising from the use of such work.

{my_company} retains the right to display graphics and other web content elements as examples of their work in their portfolio and as content features in other projects.

This agreement becomes effective only when signed by agents of {client_name} and {my_company}. Regardless of the place of signing of this agreement, {client_name} agrees that for purposes of venue, this contract was entered into in [STATE] and any dispute will be litigated or arbitrated in [STATE].

The agreement contained in this contract constitutes the sole agreement between {client_name} and the {my_company} regarding all items included in this agreement.