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How do you build an e-commerce marketplace like Amazon and how much does it cost?

Arateg is a custom software development company based in Minsk, Belarus. We take care of tech, so you can focus on core business.
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According to Digital Commerce 360, the world’s leading marketplaces—including Tmall, Amazon, and Taobao— sold $2.67 trillion in 2020. Analysts found that the sales on marketplace websites such as Amazon and eBay accounted for 62% of global web sales in 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the fast adoption of multi-vendor e-commerce marketplaces. Since retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers were forced to digitize business processes, most of them began using online marketplaces.

This article considers how to build an e-commerce marketplace like Amazon and how much it costs. You will find out the average time and budget estimations from our software engineers.

Design of an e-commerce marketplace like Amazon

A user-friendly design is essential for any software system, especially for an online marketplace like Amazon targeting a wide audience. WebFX revealed that design has a 75% impact on customer credibility to the website.

Experts at SWEOR found that 88% of users will not revisit the website after having a poor experience. Therefore, it is important to focus on this project stage to create an engaging design and meet end-user preferences.

For this purpose, we recommend that you develop a custom design implementing a unique branding theme. While market-ready templates allow for reducing expenses, they have to be customized to business needs while achieving responsiveness.

In addition, as the number of e-commerce marketplace platforms is witnessing fast growth, the chances that your competitors will have practically the same design significantly increase.

When making a design, you should build an intuitive user interface and enable smooth navigation, so that people can find or do what they need without thinking. If you aim to launch a web solution, responsiveness should be a top priority.

Since today around 54.8% of web traffic comes from mobile devices—not counting tablets—it is crucial to provide consistency across all screens and operating systems. This will allow you to attract more users and improve their satisfaction.

To explore the top 7 principles of developing a user interface (UI) / experience (UX) design, read the article on this topic.

Time: 200 hours

The key features of an e-commerce marketplace like Amazon

An online marketplace like Amazon consists of two modules—serving vendors and customers—that contain certain functionality to meet the needs of both parties.

Features for vendors

1. Registration and authorization

To add their goods to a marketplace platform, manage orders, and accept payments, sellers have to register by filling out information such as name, address, company description, and terms of delivery. The registration process should also include verification of vendors, from their banking details to services they provide.

Time: 30-40 hours

2. Inventory management

Inventory management is an essential feature of e-commerce marketplace websites and applications that allows vendors to record each product arriving at or leaving their warehouses. As a result, marketers can easily control the availability of goods in stores with this information displayed in the catalog.

What’s more, you can enable sellers to track inventory history, manage listings and livestock, as well as automate price updates.

To deliver this functionality, an online marketplace development company can make platform integration with APIs of third-party services—for example, eBay Inventory API, Zoho Inventory API, or API2Cart—to save you time and costs.

Time: 120 hours

3. Order management

When building an online marketplace like Amazon, it is important to provide sellers with the possibility to track and process orders. Employing this functionality, vendors will not have to manually record each order, which may consume a lot of time and lead to human errors.

In addition, you need to design templates for order generation and replies to enable fast purchases. To ensure control over the order process, an e-commerce software development company can make system integration with a turnkey service, for instance, Salesforce Commerce Cloud Orders or BigCommerce Orders, this way reducing costs and release cycle.

Time: 200 hours

4. Data analytics and report generation

Data analytics allows marketers to make valuable insights into consumer behavior, involving the number of unique daily users, sessions, LTV, as well as audience by age, country, interests, etc. It is possible to customize this functionality to business-specific needs.

For example, you can enable providers to track online transactions in real time, generate sales reports for different periods, and identify products of the highest and lowest demand. As a consequence, it will be much easier for vendors to specify the key metrics that affect user purchasing decisions.

In order to implement this functionality, you can integrate an e-commerce marketplace platform with analytics programs such as Google Analytics, Firebase Analytics, Kissmetrics, Brandwatch, or Sprout Social. You can also employ a combination of several tools, so that sellers can get the most detailed statistical reports for making demand forecasts.

Time: 400 hours

5. Data visualization dashboard

By implementing a user dashboard for an e-commerce marketplace website or app, you will enable vendors to visualize data on customer behavior, sales volume, and various valuable metrics to analyze the performance of products.

Time: 200 hours

6. Admin panel (app inside an e-commerce marketplace)

An admin panel allows marketers to manage content: upload files (images, video ads, product overviews, etc.), add, edit, and delete information. Furthermore, it allows for assigning data access permissions, adding and blocking users. You can also enable vendors to reply to user comments and testimonials via an administrator panel.

Time: 2000-2500 hours

Features for consumers

1. Registration and authorization

Registration and authorization are must-have features of an e-commerce marketplace platform. When building a marketplace, it is crucial to provide users with the possibility to sign up in any convenient way, including mail, phone number, and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). With the view of enforcing data security, it is important to enable two-factor authentication.

Time: 40-80 hours

2. User profile

A profile contains basic customer information, involving name, age, contacts, as well as payment, billing, and shipping details. If you decide to implement a “Wishlist” feature to allow users to add products to the list of favorites, you should provide the possibility to view it from a personal account.

Time: 80 hours

3. Catalog of goods

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