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What It Takes To Build A Platform Like AliExpress

The CBRE agency claims that on average eCommerce resources manage to obtain a profit of 25%-30%, and traditional stores in their turn can hardly make 10% at most. The brightest example of successful online platforms is AliExpress.

Nowadays, services of this kind are truly demanded, so it would be a great idea to create your own B2C marketplace. Our task today is to figure out the details of the development process.

What must be considered

It makes pretty much no sense to build an exact copy of AliExpress, otherwise, you shall not expect any good response from the targeted audience. Here is a piece of advice for you:

  • Make sure your future platform is somewhat special. It could be a certain niche, or maybe, some unusual and exciting functionality. You shall be creative to provide potential clients with something amazing and useful to be able to differ from other similar resources.
  • Think through your monetization strategy. Clearly, during the preparation stage, your task is to calculate what is the average cost to develop an app. Then, you have to consider the options to recover your investments and drive decent revenue. In the case of B2C marketplaces, you can do premium listing, ads, commission fees, sponsor programs, etc.
  • Evaluate the demand. After having decided on the niche to focus on, it’s a must to make sure there’s a good demand for the chosen kind of marketplace.
  • Find out more about your future users. You shall learn more about purchasers, as well as sellers who will take advantage of your platform. The idea is to have something special for both parties.
  • Figure out the legal component. To launch such a business, certain documents have to be issued and some regulatory approvals shall be obtained. It’s better to do research in advance to understand what exactly is required in your specific case.
  • Find developers. The development agency you hire is supposed to have the necessary expertise to professionally take care of all stages of developing, launching, and maintaining your marketplace.
  • Decide on how to attract purchasers and sellers. You could learn the strategies of other dropshipping resources and apply them to social networks. Another idea would be to create a landing page for promotion and advertising purposes. Moreover, why not find some well-known partners to jointly launch publicity campaigns?

Vital features for an AliExpress-like platform

The below you can find the key AliExpress features that ensure its huge popularity:

  • registration
  • account creation
  • product listings creation
  • searching mechanisms
  • checkout process
  • order management
  • payments
  • online chat
  • reviews and ratings
  • notifications

Simple as that, right? However, those “simple” features are implemented in such a way that they manage to perform critical tasks. For instance, they serve for users to safely get registered and provide certain vital personal details.

Advanced searching tools help easily find the needed items in accordance with users’ preferences. The audience is able to check the description of every good to see, whether it fits them. Reviews and ratings serve this purpose as well.

In general, the ordering process has to be convenient and simple, so people don’t get lost on the way. And, it would be a huge benefit to offer users multiple options of delivery and payment. The sellers shall have everything they need to manage the orders, performing the actions for selling items.

Creating a resource like AliExpress

Before getting down to the development process, it’s essential to figure out such components, as:

Development technique: Are you intended to build the website from scratch, or would you rather apply for read-made templates? It’s a pretty serious question to answer. What about the CMS to use? You might want to go deeper into those issues to make sure you make the most relevant and optimal decisions.

Payment gateways: As we’ve already mentioned, providing several payment alternatives is critical and even imperative. These days you can hardly find a platform having only one option for financial transactions. The greater payment diversity you manage to offer, the more people you’ll successfully attract.

Technical performance: Today users don’t wait more than 3-4 seconds till the site gets loaded. They simply leave it and visit their competitors. Thus, the website load speed is critical to take care of even when the load is high.

Monetization: The good thing here is that you can apply for a combination of several money-driving approaches to get regular profits. Still, all these aspects have to be carefully thought through in advance.

The development itself will demand your special attention to the following aspects:

  • Concept finalization. The original raw idea has to be translated into a working business concept. You have to have a clear understanding of all the requirements, features, and other elements related to your project.
  • Prototyping. It’s okay and even smart to start simple. The prototyping stage is for you to visualize the final product and to see how it operates. By means of doing so, you’ll be able to realize all advantages and disadvantages of your future marketplace, so you could adjust it accordingly.
  • MVP creation. When your original idea is tested and required adjustments are made, you’re good to carry on with building an MVP model. Of course, you could create a fully-featured solution right away, but still, it’s better to start with MVP having basic features only. Thus, you’ll see the feedback from your first users and will be able to gradually enhance your already-functioning resource.
  • Continuous improvements. When the platform is up and running, you only need to continuously track the performance and analyze key metrics to improve the marketplace and attract even more happy users turning them into your loyal audience.

The required technology stack

Definitely, you shall need to apply for specific technologies to successfully realize your project. The below list might turn to be pretty useful:

  • React, Angular, and Vue.js (frontend development);
  • Ionic, NativeScript, Cordova, and Flutter (mobile app development);
  • js (backend development);
  • MongoDB, MySQL, and Oracle (databases);
  • Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Heroku (cloud solutions).

The presented above tools shall assist you to effectively and quickly design a decent resource without wasting your funds and time.

And, there’s one more thing you have to understand. Impactful development is only one step to success. What must be done next? It’s all about adequate promotion, so you shall be prepared for high expenditure. On average, the designing price the hired developers put usually increases twofold due to promotion costs.