Imagine a scenario where online shopping on platforms like Amazon doesn’t exist at all. You’ll have to roll back the years when ecommerce web development was in its nascent stage and the dotcom boom had just begun.
Was shopping for a variety of items difficult back then?
Not really. You went to a convenience store or a market to get everything on your shopping list. People still do it today.
But speaking of today, there is a much faster, better, time-saving, effortless way to shop—online. And Amazon is arguably one of the best online retailers to help you do it.
This post has been specifically written to educate you about Amazon. In fact, it’ll reveal to you why their services are revolutionary and what separates them from other eCommerce venture.
But more importantly, you’ll learn how to create a website like Amazon and what are the costs involved.
A Few Amazing Facts about Amazon
There are hundreds and thousands of eCommerce websites that sell millions of products every day. And more eCommerce ventures spring up to contribute to the industry every year.
There’s tremendous scope in the industry. According to a study by Statista, global eCommerce retail sales will touch at least 653 billion USD in 2018. This figure was at 317 billion USD in 2013.
Going by the trend, one can predict that eCommerce is going to hit the trillion figure much sooner than later. A mega-contributor to such rising figures, amongst a few other of competitors, is Amazon.
So, why should you emulate this eCommerce giant?
Here are a few facts:
- It’s the largest online retailer in the world in terms of market capitalization and revenue
- Second only to Alibaba Group in total sales
- Most valuable firm in the US in terms of market capitalization
- World’s fourth most valuable public company
- 70% rise in market cap to hit 700 billion USD as of February 2018 as compared to 2017
You should fathom from the figures above and more on Satista that Amazon is bound to grow in the future. Although its remarkable statistics combine figures from all subsidiaries, the majority comes from retail products, subscription selling services, and third-party selling.
Amazon? What’s So Special About Them?
Amazon sells millions of products worldwide, every day. With such high numbers to boast, one can guess that their business model must be unique.
Indeed, it is. They provide stellar user-experience and customer service apart from employing the best technological advancements. As a newbie, you might not be able to emulate what Amazon does due to the lack of resources, but you can still learn a lot about the Amazon eCommerce strategy to keep consumers satisfied.
- Excellent Customer Support
The top eCommerce companies know how important it is to keep customers happy. Amazon has been at it for years now. In fact, they’ve been consistently placed amongst the top three customer-centric companies in the world year after year. And just so you know, brands like Google and Apple are below them.
- Intelligent Systems
Shopping is a task that shouldn’t be taken lightly. What this means is, you’ll always have second thoughts about a product.
Is it good enough for you?
Is it exactly what you want?
You know, pre-purchase insinuations where you have second thoughts and crave second opinions.
Amazon retail simplifies this sticky situation. Once you sign up, Amazon’s intelligent algorithms and AI get to work by displaying products on their homepage and also prompt you about the displayed items’ relevance.
They sift through your browser history and buying patterns in order to suggest recommendations. The ordeal is like having a personal shopping assistant by your side.
- Improvement is Key
The world is changing every day with new developments being engineered, tested, and integrated into existing systems for refinement. You see, there’s always room for improvement.
The Amazon eCommerce business model constantly strives for improvement. Case in point—Amazon Prime. A customer is eligible for free shipping, discounts, amazing deals, and access to music, videos, and e-books for an annual fee.
There’s Amazon Fresh where you can get fresh local produce and groceries—above the minimum order threshold—delivered on the same day or the next morning.
They also plan to introduce drones in the future that can deliver products under 30 minutes.
- Premium Privileges
You already know where this is heading. As explained above, Amazon Prime was an instant hit when it was launched. In 2013s holiday season alone, more than one million customers signed up for Amazon Prime in a week.
As for the merchants, they can stash their products at one of Amazon’s fulfilment centres under the Fulfilment By Amazon(FBA) feature that qualify their products under Amazon Prime.
- Comprehensive Review System
Product reviews are crucial in eCommerce today. Opinions about a certain product from other consumers increase the trust factor. How else will consumers know about a product’s strengths and flaws if they’ve never used it before?
Almost all shopping sites like Amazon have a review system in place. But you won’t really know if the reviews are fabricated to increase sales. Moreover, some are inconclusive. And some products won’t have reviews at all.
The Amazon review feature doesn’t carry any of these issues. You get legit reviews from at least a handful of customers, if not more. Besides, you also get to interact with each reviewer through comments and question the supplier about the product.
Learning From Amazon: Things To Remember While Building Your Own eCommerce Venture
Now comes the part where you’ll explore avenues and ideas to come up with your own amazing eCommerce platform like the Amazon website.
Be sure to derive inspiration, rather than replicate, from whatever is discussed below. Understand how everything works individually and come together. Consider them as the building blocks of Amazon eCommerce or in your case, the blueprint for sites like Amazon.
- Finalizing A Framework
You already know by now that the Amazon site is extremely flexible as it keeps adding more features. Moreover, it’s stable as it handles large volumes of traffic and transactions.
It’s fairly obvious that it’s built on a sturdy framework to handle extreme loads and regular improvements. Your eCommerce should also possess the right architecture upon which everything will rest.
Your architecture must be stable and well-built to provide:
- Room for improvement
Your eCommerce venture must possess the same scalability factor as Amazon eCommerce. By using the right technologies and a solid architecture, you can ensure that you can keep adding more features without causing any glitches.
- Impenetrable Security
A lot of data in the form of personal and financial information will be the bread and butter of your eCommerce operations. Such information should be protected at all costs from hackers.
Credit card encryption and protection of scripts will be one of the objectives of your framework’s build.
- Processing Speed
Just take a look at the Amazon store, every query or transaction is processed instantly without any lags. A well-built architecture ensures this because no customer wants to wait.
If scripts load slowly consumers will move onto another eCommerce platform and that will negatively affect your revenue.
- The Design Hack
The online population might be divided on the subject of Amazon’s design. Some might say that it’s not the best while others would disagree.
But just think about the viability of the present design. They have millions of products and customers. And every customer would want to come on the platform, search for an item quickly, review it, and make the purchase.
In that manner, Amazon’s design is truly efficient and makes shopping very simple for consumers. So, you should strive for something similar by hiring eCommerce web development firms that excel in UI/UX by employing the hottest web design trends.
- Website Development
You’re in to develop shopping websites like Amazon which is a complex project. As a result, choosing the right technologies and the best eCommerce web development team will be crucial.
You will, at this point, consider Content Management Systems (CMS), such as Joomla, WordPress, and many others for the build. You could build one; there’s no denying that. But building complex websites like Amazon with CMS will not be the best option. And here’s why.
- All About Speed
You already know by now that CMS is applicable to all forms of web development. And having such a wide scope results in integrations of different types of modules.
These modules might not be the right fit for your project. They subject websites to extra load and slow down the speeds.
If you plan to stick to a handful of customers forever, CMS might be beneficial. But if scalability, traffic, and flexibility just like Amazon’s is your goal then stay away from CMS.
- Bittersweet Plugins
CMS plugins have a major role to play in its popularity. They save time, money, and effort as readymade scripts are available for desired features and functionalities.
But here’s the thing, they often have conflicts amongst themselves resulting in website glitches and slower speeds. The more plugins you use, the more unstable your website becomes.
- Elevated Risks
The conflicts between plugins leave cracks and gaping holes in a system’s security system through which valuable data can be stolen.
If CMS is not the right platform to develop your website, what is?
Just take a look at Amazon’s website—it’s exceptionally stable. Moreover, it’s capability to process a large number of queries and transactions is extraordinary. Your website needs to have the same qualities.
All of the data on your website must be protected by encryption so that even if the data is compromised, hackers have no chance of using it for unfair means.
So, a great alternative for CMS would be PHP. It’s flexible and can carry tremendous amounts of load.
What’s more, this server language is one of the best in the world in terms of security and scalability. And to go with this, you should use the Laravel framework which is based on PHP.
As for the operating system, you could go with Linux as it supports LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, Python/PHP/Perl) technologies.
Web hosting and the choice of servers will also determine the efficiency of your website. Always go for trusted hosting providers, such as GoDaddy and HostGator for speedy, uninterrupted services.
Perfection is the finishing line of a never-ending marathon. You can never cross it, but you can always be just a step away by perfecting your run. –Click To Tweet
As an entrepreneur, you’ll always be improving your product to deliver excellence and keep customers coming back for more.
Testing is the only way to ensure that your eCommerce venture is at the top of its game. Amazon has an army of quality and testing professionals in its ranks to test their website and services every day. So should you.
Not an army perhaps but a few who are exceptional at testing. Your product should be stable before launch. Of course, testing is also done by consumers who run into glitches and bugs while using your website. However, since your aim is to generate revenue, you must ensure that customers don’t have to do it at any cost.
- Launch and Promotion
Now that you’re hell-bent on emulating the Amazon online experience, you’ll need people to start noticing before the product is launched. Now, there are two groups of customers you’ll need to attract—suppliers and consumers.
These are the individuals who sell their items on difference eCommerce platforms. Start by designing newsletters mentioning all the benefits your company can offer. Once you amass supplier emails, send the newsletters immediately and encourage them to spread the word.
The consumers are the people who will buy products on your website. Note that they’re the most important because if you don’t have them, suppliers won’t sign up either.
You will have to spend some money and resources to get them on board but it’ll be worth everything. Start by investing in eCommerce SEO. The content on your website has to be optimized so that consumers find them on top of search results.
You can also use Google Adwords and Facebook Ads to reel in buyers, but be sure that you hire a Digital Marketing and SEO expert to run all the marketing and promotion campaigns for your company.
The cost of developing a website like Amazon can be anything between $10,000 to $50,000 USD. This figure may even be higher depending on the complexity of your project. The time for development may also be as much as 5-6 months.
But, hey, it’s something you’re passionate about. So, why not go for it?
And if you’re worried about big eCommerce giants killing your endeavour, here’s what the amazing founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos has to say, “great industries are never made from single companies. There is room in space for a lot of winners.” –Click To Tweet