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With the rise of e-commerce, more and more businesses are looking to expand their online presence by creating multi-vendor websites. These platforms allow multiple sellers to list and sell their products on a single website, providing customers with a wide variety of options to choose from. Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is a prime example of a successful multi-vendor website that has revolutionized the e-commerce industry. If you’re thinking of building a similar platform, you may be wondering where to start. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to build a website like Amazon, covering everything from choosing the right platform to designing and launching your website like Amazon. But before that, let’s discuss in detail what a multi vendor marketplace actually is.

What is a multi vendor marketplace?

An online storefront that allows numerous sellers to promote and sell their goods is known as a multi vendor marketplace. Without producing items or keeping an inventory, they serve as a link between vendors and consumers and are compensated with commissions for each sale. The marketplace owner concentrates on expanding its storefront to accommodate more merchants and maintain a healthy balance between supply and demand, whereas the individual sellers concentrate on developing and expanding their customer bases. 

Why is the multi-vendor marketplace model a great business opportunity?

Post-pandemic the multi-vendor marketplace model in particular has experienced a boom in growth in the e-commerce sector. Due to the advantages of the multi-vendor model, more entrepreneurs and vendors are moving their operations online.

After Walmart and China’s State Grid, the multi-vendor marketplace giant Amazon raked in a staggering $470 billion in revenue in 2020–2021, making it the largest online retailer and marketplace in the world. All we are trying to say is that you should launch your multi-vendor marketplace like Amazon right away.

Amazon: 27 years of success and counting

In 1994, when Jeff Bezos and his ex-wife MacKenzie launched an online bookstore, the retailer’s tale really began. Three years after starting their company in the garage, it had developed into a second distribution operation. The business first focused on a specific area before expanding to include products like CDs, DVDs, and clothes.

The multi-seller e-commerce platform started to broaden its horizons and extended to China in 2004. Today, Amazon has over ten distinct websites across the globe, including regional sites for Turkey, Australia, Germany, and other countries. Amazon began mass producing its own electronic book, the Kindle, in 2007. The business made the decision to purchase Massachusetts-based warehouse robot maker Kiva Systems in 2012, demonstrating their commitment to automation. Faster product delivery has become a reality.

Over 600,000 people were employed by Amazon in 2019, filling more than 250 million square feet of space. In contrast, 1.4 million people worked on Amazon’s e-commerce site globally in 2021. The internet juggernaut works in a variety of industries, from books to cloud computing services, and values its customers above everything else.

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USPs of Amazon – Why is a Website Like Amazon Convincing for Sellers and Buyers?

Since its inception, Amazon has focused and worked on four core principles: 

  • Analyzing customer obsession
  • Welcoming innovative ideas
  • Improving operations 
  • Future-forward planning

Amazon pursued its goal of being the “world’s most customer-centric company” while simultaneously focusing on these ideals. They have therefore placed a higher priority on customer obsession than rival analysis. Customers welcomed Amazon back with open arms in response. Here are a few aspects of Amazon that caught the attention of customers. 

User-friendly Web Design

Innovation and vibrant colors are not key design elements of the Amazon marketplace website. It represents user convenience first and foremost. The company’s main goal is to give its customers the most value possible while keeping them focused on product research and purchases.

Here are some strategies that businesses adopted when creating a website like Amazon.

  • High-definition images and videos foster a sense of presence and actual purchase. Customers can then view the chosen product in its natural context from a variety of perspectives.
  • Users can learn more general information about the product they are interested in by reading detailed descriptions. The value of specifications, item summaries, and important features cannot be overstated.
  • The mobile-friendly strategy improves the amount of smartphone transactions. On social media, people discover products that they want to purchase as soon as possible.

Convenient Payment Methods

Multiple payment gateways are available to Amazon customers, further streamlining their shopping experience. Credit and debit cards including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, and JCB are accepted by the platform.

Additionally, users can buy things with the aid of gift cards in various denominations that are only good for specific things.

Safety and Security 

Because Amazon is a multi-vendor marketplace website, both buyers’ and sellers’ concerns are taken into consideration. Both parties share a common concern about security, which Amazon has addressed with AWS cloud security. By doing this, Amazon can keep an eye on all activity and safeguard any shared data. 

Transparent Policies

Amazon’s straightforward and open business approach is the primary factor in its enormous popularity and financial success. For buyers or sellers, there are no unstated terms and conditions. They are not required to pay any further fees for any action. Selling fees, listing fees, and subscription costs on Amazon are fixed rates with no additional charges. As a result, it has grown trustworthy, enabling both buyers and sellers to successfully run profitable businesses. 

Amazon profits

Amazon’s marketplace broadens the selection on its website. Additionally, the marketplace receives commissions from independent vendors on each sale:

  • The two selling plans that Amazon offers are “Professional” ($39.99/month) and “Individual” ($0.99/item sold), both of which are free.
  • Depending on the category, the referral fee for each sale is 15% (on average).
  • Costs associated with pick, pack, and weight charges (for items kept at Amazon’s fulfillment centers).
  • The buyer’s money is sent to the vendor by Amazon. No credit card data is transmitted by the marketplace.

Buyers are not charged for using marketplace features; sellers cover their costs. This trait is significant. When developing a multi-vendor selling website, such as amazon does, be sure to pay close attention to how to accept payments, protect data, and support multiple currencies.

What Can Go Wrong? – Challenges in building a website like Amazon 

Now, it’s true that a website like Amazon opens doors for opportunities, but it won’t be a bed of roses. You will definitely face difficulties and challenges when you make a website like Amazon.

  • Dominant Competition 

Amazon did not rise to the top spot in the market in a single day. To outperform its rivals, Amazon had to spend years making improvements to its offerings. Amazon Marketplace’s dominance now is solely attributable to its technology application, product variety, and user-friendly interface. 

So, when creating a marketplace similar to Amazon, keep in mind that there will be tough competition at first. To beat the competition, you can steadily improve your services. 

  • Pricing Issues 

Another frequent problem in marketplaces is the pricing problem. To remedy this, you can use pricing tools to set sensible prices for the goods offered on your multi-vendor marketplace, like Amazon. Buyers may become distracted due to inappropriate pricing. 

  • Logistic Issues 

Marketplace websites like Amazon typically run on a very big scale, and occasionally they also offer worldwide services. Markets may consequently experience logistical issues. You will need to define supply chain processes because the current state of the global supply chain is somewhat twisted. 

  • Diversified targets 

Marketplaces target various buyer demographics because they are extremely large-scale operations. Because of this, online stores like Amazon struggle to pinpoint their target demographics. The target audiences for various products or categories on marketplaces typically vary. As a result, a variety of marketing techniques and technologies are applied here. 

  • The Chicken-Egg Problem 

It is a problem that marketplace websites like Amazon frequently encounter. Marketplace owners have to decide who to persuade first when they launch—the sellers or the shoppers. The market requires both sides equally, and if one is absent, the other is useless. Only when there are buyers can there be sellers, and only when there are enough things available will buyers visit your marketplace. Market owners can easily resolve this issue after the initial phase. There are several ways to tackle this issue as well (single side, BYO – buy your own demand/supply, etc.). 

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What Do You Need to Start Your Own Amazon?

While Amazon may have been in the right place at the right time, there are many other factors that contributed to their rise to dominance in the e-commerce sector. But don’t worry, if you follow the instructions below, you can easily create a website like Amazon and be hailed as one of the greats, earning a place in the hall of fame.

Step 1: Determine your products and potential customers 

To launch a marketplace similar to Amazon, you must first decide what to offer and to whom in order to gain the necessary information. This market study will highlight the key trends, issues, dangers, and opportunities for your company. 

To offer your goods or services to a specific niche, you might select a vertical marketplace. However, a horizontal or global marketplace gains more exposure because it features a large selection of products that serve a variety of customers’ needs. 

Step 2: Pick a domain and platform

You must reserve a domain name once the products and customers have been determined. To make it easier for people to remember, your domain name must be short. It should also be distinctive in order to stand out. 

The next step is to pick a hosting platform for your marketplace website like Amazon. At the moment, mobile devices drive the majority of traffic to markets. Therefore, your multi-vendor website like Amazon must be optimized for mobile. Due to its robust adobe features, you could choose Adobe Commerce for this. Adobe Commerce allows for countless customizations for your multi vendor marketplace website like Amazon because it is an open-source platform. Additionally, it satisfies the security specifications needed for extensive business operations. An Adobe Commerce website can manage periods of excessive traffic in a planned manner. 

The leading domain and hosting service companies are listed below.

  1. Namecheap
  2. Bluehost
  3. Hostinger
  4. DreamHost
  5. A2 Hosting
  6. iPage
  7. HostGator
  8. SiteGround

Take our word for it and get your hosting and domain names from the same provider. Please do not utilize free hosting for your website like Amazon as they are unstable, unsecure, and unreliable. We cannot stress this enough.

Step 3: Choose UX/UI and Required Technologies

Amazon’s technological stacks and UX/UI are among the best in the marketplace business. You must therefore carefully choose the themes and design of your Amazon like website to reflect this. Make sure the color scheme is not overly vivid or understated. Most essential, your store itself should complement the concept and design. 

There are various free eCommerce themes that could be quite useful for your needs and aid in the creation of a website like Amazon. We’ve gone ahead and prepared a list for you:

  • StoreFront 
  • Hestia 
  • Woostify 
  • Leto 
  • Zigcy Lite 

Next, knit each page with extreme care. 

  1. The homepage ought to be beautiful and condensed.
  2. Simple listing pages with several filtering and sorting options are ideal.
  3. Product pages should include distinct blocks for ratings and reviews and be helpful.

An all-encompassing advanced search, wishlist, and basket are crucial for a marketplace website like Amazon to improve the user experience. At any time during their browsing, it will assist the customers in conducting a search or moving forward with the checkout. You will require technical assistance due to the high quality design of these sites. 

Step 4: Plugin Buyer features 

Add buyer features when you’ve finished designing the store. To make your website like Amazon appealing, you can add an infinite number of features. But the essentials features which are a must for your website like Amazon are:

  • Easy sign-ins
  • Registration with social accounts
  • One-click ordering
  • Simple (1-2 step) checkout
  • My account page with complete order history
  • AI-powered notifications
  • Geo-location tracking for easier order placements
  • Previously purchased products
  • Best selling and recommended products 

Make this buyer feature the main priority on your multi-vendor website like Amazon because buyers account for more than half of the traffic on marketplaces. 

Step 5: Focus on Seller Features 

A marketplace with multiple vendors, like Amazon, now serves as a conduit between customers and sellers. Marketplace websites like Amazon mostly rely on seller revenue from listing and selling fees. Therefore, pay attention to the seller’s features. Here are a few seller requirements: 

  • Easy product listings
  • Bulk inventory uploading
  • Expand with integrations 
  • One-click category selection
  • Category Suggestions
  • Simple seller Dashboard
  • Smart price calculators 
  • Detailed price break-ups for profit calculation

In general, more vendors will sell through your platform if your marketplace website like Amazon offers more seller options. 

Step 6: Add Admin features 

The admin tools for your website like Amazon are the next step in its general management. Here, you can add as many features as you want, but the necessities are: 

  • Automated vendor management
  • Commission calculators
  • Vendor payouts
  • Checklist for product approval
  • Detailed transaction reports
  • Tax calculators
  • Return days calculator
  • Refund management
  • Analytics
  • Multi-language support
  • Vendor and buyer support gateways

With them, store administrators may better control and effectively manage the marketplace. 

Step 7: Add shipping and payment options

All parties benefit from shipping and payment options on a marketplace website like Amazon. So, establish connections with trustworthy shipping companies. If you wish to conduct business internationally, you must be aware of potential supply chain hiccups. 

Additionally, include adaptable payment methods in your marketplace so that anyone can use it. You can use some common payment methods like:

  • Cash on delivery
  • Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL)
  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • Braintree
  • Credit and debit cards
  • Cheque
  • Bank transfers
  • Digital payments
  • Cryptocurrency 

Step 8: Go through Quality Assurance testing 

Your store is now ready; simply conduct a quality assurance test to determine whether or not your marketplace website like Amazon is up to par. How well the buyer, seller, and admin functionalities operate will be shown via QA testing. You can determine whether each payment option is functional or not.

Step 9: Launch and promote the store 

Launching and marketing the store is the last step in creating a marketplace website like Amazon. Here, you must determine the platforms to use for the store’s launch in order to increase your audience. 

When your website like Amazon goes live, it’s time to spread the word. You can enlist the aid of commercial campaigns, influencer marketing, social media marketing, and video marketing. For greater advice on it, you may even enlist the aid of marketing experts or an eCommerce Development Company, like Trango Tech.

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How Much Does It Cost to Create A Multi-vendor Marketplace Website like Amazon?

Now let’s talk about the project estimation for your multi-vendor Amazon-style marketplace. An estimated $64,000 is needed to create a multi-vendor website like Amazon. The cost can go up a little bit if you add an extension to the business.

Additionally, building a website like Amazon marketplace from scratch will take about 6 to 10 months. The cost to construct a website like Amazon is roughly displayed in the table below.

Note: Duration and cost may vary based on the features you want to include in your store and how complex your project is.

Feature Man-Hours Consumed Cost To Hire (per hour)
Design $35 per hour
UX Design & Development 60 $2100
UI Design & Development 80 $2800
$4900
Architecture $50 per hour
Project Setup 10 $500
DB Structure 30 $1500
$2000
Integration $50 $50 per hour
Payment (Stripe or PayPal) 60 $3000
Shipment (Shippo) 30 $1500
Authorization & Security 70 $3500
User Profile 40 $2000
Home Page 80 $4000
Search & Filters 90 $4500
Product Page 40 $2000
Reviews & Ratings 40 $2000
Shopping Cart 60 $3000
Push Notifications 30 $1500
Buyer Panel 100 $5000
Vendor Panel 200 $10000
Admin Panel 150 $7500
Wishlist 30 $1500
$51000
Non-Developmental Activity $35 per hour
Project Management 60 $2100
QA Testing & Assurance 80 $2800
Code Review 40 $1400
$6300
Grand Total $64,000

 

To Sum It Up

A multi vendor marketplace is an online platform that facilitates multiple sellers to showcase and sell their products. Post-pandemic the eCommerce industry especially the multi vendor marketplace model has seen a surge in growth. The benefits of the multi vendor model have led to an increase in entrepreneurs and sellers taking their businesses online.

To start a marketplace website like Amazon, you start by analyzing your products and potential customers. Then  choose a domain name and platform, choose UX/UI and required technologies, and choose themes and designs that complement your store. StoreFront, Hestia, Woostify, Leto, and Zigcy Lite are all popular multi-vendor marketplaces you can check out for your website like Amazon. To improve and enhance CX, add buyer features such as easy sign-ins, one-click ordering, simple checkout, AI-powered notifications, geo-location tracking, previously purchased products, best selling and recommended products, seller features such as easy product listings, bulk inventory uploading, etc. Admin features such as automated vendor management, commission calculators, vendor payouts, checklist for product approval, etc. Build partnerships with reliable shipment providers, add shipping and payment options, run Quality Assurance testing, launch and promote the store, and finally, hire marketing professionals like Trango Tech, to boost your eCommerce sales and make your mark.

FAQs

Q: What is a multi-vendor website?

A: A multi-vendor website is an e-commerce platform that allows multiple sellers to list and sell their products on a single website. Each seller has their own storefront and is responsible for managing their own products, pricing, and shipping. The platform operator usually takes a commission on each sale.

Q: What platform should I use to build my multi-vendor website?

A: There are several platforms available for building multi-vendor websites, including WooCommerce, Magento, and Shopify. Each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to choose the one that best fits your needs and budget.

Q: How do I attract sellers to my multi-vendor website?

A: To attract sellers to your platform, you need to offer them something that they can’t get elsewhere. This could be a large and engaged customer base, a low commission rate, or unique marketing opportunities. You should also invest in marketing and advertising to increase awareness of your platform among potential sellers.

Q: How do I ensure the quality of products sold on my multi-vendor website?

A: To ensure the quality of products sold on your platform, you should implement a rigorous vetting process for new sellers and their products. This may include checking their business credentials, conducting background checks, and verifying product quality. You should also provide customers with a way to leave feedback and ratings for each seller and product.

Q: How do I handle payments and shipping on my multi-vendor website?

A: Most multi-vendor platforms have built-in payment and shipping systems that allow sellers to manage these processes themselves. You should set up a payment gateway that supports multiple payment methods, and provide sellers with access to shipping and fulfillment tools to help them manage orders efficiently. You should also have a clear policy in place for handling returns and refunds.

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