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Amazon Clone Website — How to Create a Website like Amazon?

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Yuri Musienko
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Amazon is the largest online store in the world with over 2 billion users every month. This article will show you how to create your own Amazon clone, an online marketplace with similar functionality and much the same design. We will also indicate how much it costs.

Online store niche

American entrepreneur Jeff Bezos launched the first version of the site in July 1994, and then it was an online store that sold exclusively books. With the growing popularity of the site, its assortment expanded: in 1998, music recordings and video products appeared on sale, in 1999 - household appliances and other household goods. Amazon now has over 30 product categories.

When creating your clone, your best bet is to follow a similar path, focusing initially on a specific niche. This way, you avoid direct competition with market leaders and can develop more effective design and marketing strategies.

This is how you can choose a niche:

  • Using bestseller listings. Almost all major online shopping stores have sections with lists of the best-selling products by category. For example, on the Amazon website, this is the Best Sellers section.
  • Using search query analysis tools. Using Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner or other similar services, you can research what products people most often search on the Internet in the desired region.
  • Using analytical tools. On such platforms as SaleHoo Market Research Labs, Dropship Spy, Spocket, Sell The Trend, Jungle Scout and their analogues, you can compare the demand, price and competitiveness of specific goods.
  • Based on research and polls. You can also search for results of surveys, marketing research, sales statistics and other data on which products are in demand among customers and at the same time are poorly represented on popular online trading platforms.
  • At your own discretion. If you're pretty good at something, or just have a desire to work in a specific niche, go for it. But remember that this can be very risky.

Your startup business model

Amazon is a multi-vendor online marketplace where anyone can be a buyer or a seller. Access to the platform is free for buyers. For the majority of sellers, access is also free, but there are commissions and fees for listing a large volume of goods. By creating a clone, you can use a similar business model without any changes.

You can monetize your platform as follows:

  • On Amazon, these are referral fees (sellers pay for every product sold), for every product sold ($ 0.99 flat fee), downloads (for example, a video game, music album, app, etc.). Also Amazon has shipping fees.
  • Listing fees. If the number of published positions of one supplier of goods exceeds 100,000, then for each subsequent advertisement he must pay $ 0.005 (fee for a unique ASIN).
  • Subscription fee. Amazon has an Amazon Prime subscription that gives users certain benefits, such as free shipping for two days, early access to discounts and promotions, and access to Amazon Instant Video, Prime Music, and more. Subscription price - $ 12.99 per month (plus taxes).
  • Contextual advertising on the site. This can be a place on the first screen, the first position in the listing and search results, banners.

Main features of Amazon clone site

In order for an Amazon clone to do what users want, you need to implement the appropriate functionality in it. Here is a list and description of the functions for each user role: seller and buyer.

Functionality for sellers

Registration and profiles. On Amazon, the new supplier must provide first and last name, registered office, billing information, tax information, and information about the item being sold. The collection of this data helps to link the seller's user profile to a real person or brand, which is needed to protect user rights, fight fraud, and pay fees and commissions.

Amazon clone website

Listings and cards of products. Sellers should be able to create and manage new product cards. This functionality should be simple and intuitive. The product card must contain detailed information about the product, price, images, rating and reviews. As an additional function, you can implement the function of comparing prices for a specific product.

Here are the specific things that should be on the product card:

Amazon clone website

Customers’ order management. From this Amazon clone site page, sellers can print packing lists, enter their own order IDs, contact customers, and view product detail pages on the store site. Each order on the site must have a unique identifier.

Delivery management. Sellers should be able to specify how they can deliver the goods to the buyer. Here they usually indicate the cost of each delivery option and the method of settlements with the buyer.

Payment system. On this page, the supplier can specify and connect the payment methods available to him, view the history of transactions and refunds.

Ratings and reviews. The seller should have a page to track reviews of their business, brand, and product. On Amazon, this dashboard consists of two tables: the rating of seller reviews for the last year and reviews for the current day. Here, sellers can also contact buyers who left a review, publicly respond to reviews and ask the administration to remove incorrect reviews.

Amazon clone website

Statistics, reports. Reports typically show order history, order status, sales channel information, and product details. Basic data are usually presented in the form of clear tables and diagrams. There must be a function for uploading data to an external media (usually this is a paid function).

Notifications. On this page, sellers choose how they want to receive notifications (mail, phone, push) and what they need to be informed about (new order, review, message, update, offer, advice from the site, etc.).

Amazon clone website

Functionality for buyers

Registration and profiles. The registration procedure for buyers is much easier. They only need to provide their email or phone number. Other marketplaces also allow you to sign up with your Google or social media account.

Amazon clone website

Product search engine and filters. This functionality should be as simple and straightforward as possible so that any user can find and select an item in a couple of clicks.

Rating system and reviews. This functionality helps buyers evaluate the quality of the product, delivery and service, as well as match the description. Usually all registered users can rate the product, sellers - those who interacted with them.

Ordering goods. This is the process of registration, and the choice of delivery method, and payment for the goods. To reduce the number of refusals, it is recommended to enable unregistered users to place orders.

Subscription management. The ability to subscribe, if there is one on your site, as well as see its current status (how many days until ending).

Wish list. This page allows you to see the products that users have added to their wish list, manage quantities, delete products, see the subtotal, and proceed to checkout.

Notifications. Buyers receive informational messages about their orders, delivery status, payments, promotions and other important things.

Approaches and cost of running an Amazon clone

Amazon clone website

Custom development. The best way is creating a clone if you plan on operating in a highly competitive market. Because this is the only way to develop a website with a personalized design, a high level of security and the potential for scalability. Plus, custom development is more profitable in the medium to long term as you pay once instead of every month while your online store is running.

Here is the estimated cost of building a site like Amazon:

Amazon clone website

SaaS solutions. A good way to launch an online store if you don't want to spend time and effort on development, hosting, integrations, support and compatibility issues - all is handled by the SaaS service provider, marketing and sales are on you. Cost is from 100 to several thousand dollars, depending on the template, connected functions and load on the site (traffic).

WordPress. The cheapest option since many Amazon clone themes are free. Cons: stereotyped design, low security, instability and limited functionality. This option is only suitable for the start and only in those markets where there is more or less worthy competitors.

Amazon clone development process

Architecture development. This is the structure of pages and the software part of the site, presented in the form of a hierarchical scheme. It helps to visually represent all sections of the site, so you can immediately see which pages need to be created, which is very important during development. Building a complex site like Amazon without prescribing an architecture is like building a house without a drawing.

Website design development. When users visit the site, they should immediately understand what to do and how. To do this, you need to develop a UI / UX design that will take into account the main user behavior patterns and web design trends in 2021. The design concept can be presented as wireframes for the future product.

Selecting a technology stack. This is a set of development tools that will be used to create a site. It can be different as each development team can use different tools to achieve the same goals. Amazon used tools like this:

  • C++ — request processing;
  • Perl and Mason — content compilation.
  • Linux — Operating System, sharpened for servers.
  • Oracle — a database for complex projects, responsible at Amazon for storing purchase information and business user data.
  • С++ and Java — are also responsible for highload, that is, they make it possible to process large amounts of data quickly and reliably.
Building and testing MVP. Amazon is a huge site with tons of features, integrations, and all kinds of extensions. Platform took more than 25 years to reach its current state, but in 1994 the company began with the creation of MVP, after which the project has been tested for a long time, and was supplemented by enhanced functionality. You need to do the same.

At the same time, in addition to the mandatory testing stages performed by QA engineers, it is also recommended to conduct beta and A/B testing, which will help you understand what users like best. For example, what color palette to use, is it worth dividing the checkout process into several stages, or let everything happen on one screen, etc. After testing is complete, you can start selling.

Amazon Clone Website — How to Create a Website like Amazon? key takeaways:
  1. Online store niche
  2. Your startup business model
  3. Main features of Amazon clone site
  4. Functionality for sellers
  5. Functionality for buyers
  6. Approaches and cost of running an Amazon clone
  7. Amazon clone development process
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