How to Create a Multi-Vendor Ecommerce Website Like Alibaba

  • December 10, 2019
  • 12 min
create multi vendor website

If you've ever wondered how to create a website like Alibaba, you've come to the right place. As a best-practice example of what's possible through ecommerce, there's a lot that we can learn from them, whether it's from the way that they've designed the site or whether it's from the user journey and the aftercare that the company offers.

Alibaba is an ecommerce giant, and so it's no surprise that so many people want to build website like Alibaba. The important thing is not to build an Alibaba clone; instead, when you build website like Alibaba, you should aim to take the features that you like and to ditch those that you don't. Instead of trying to build website like Alibaba, be more ambitious and start building a multi-billion dollar brand of your own.

So if you want to build website like Alibaba, you've come to the right place. We aim to cover all of the questions that you might have, from "how much does it cost to build a website like Alibaba?" to "who can help me to get the job done?" and "what else do I need to know?" Let's get started. 

What is Alibaba?

how to develop website like alibaba

Before you start to build an ecommerce website like Alibaba, you'll want to understand precisely what Alibaba is. One way to describe it is like a Chinese cross between Amazon and Google. Founded in April 1990, the company has branched out from ecommerce and retail to create a B2B ecommerce website design to promote its B2B sales services.

As of today, twenty years after being founded, the company is providing consumer-to-consumer (C2C), business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) services at an unprecedented scale, which is one of the reasons why its IPO set so many records. It's currently one of the ten most high-valued brands in the world. 

One of the exciting things about Alibaba is that it's evolved. That's why questions like "How much does it cost to build a website like Alibaba?" are hard to answer. Alibaba wasn't built in a day; instead, it slowly evolved, going from being a relatively simple ecommerce site to providing a range of products and services, from developing AI capabilities to investing in potential new areas of business. 

Key features Alibaba offers

When you're looking to build website like Alibaba, the most critical question is which of the site's features are you looking to emulate? Because Alibaba has such a wide range of products and services on offer, you can learn from everything from the way the business is structured to the nuances of their B2B ecommerce website design. Let's take a look at just a few of the key features.

Monetization

monetization for multi vendor website

If you want to build an ecommerce website like Alibaba, one of the best things that you can do is to focus on diversifying your income streams. That's because Alibaba makes much of its money from its ecommerce infrastructure. On top of its profitable B2B ecommerce website design, it also makes money from different subsidiaries, from shipping and instant messaging to movie production, cloud computing, investment, and more.

So if you want to build website like Alibaba, it's not enough to focus on ecommerce. Think of any added value you can provide your customers and address a trusted B2B ecommerce website development your request. At Alibaba, 85.5% of its revenue comes from ecommerce, and so it will always be their core business. So to build an ecommerce website like Alibaba, one of the best things to do is to prioritize its features to understand the actual value behind the platform.

Security of transactions

security of transactions for ecommerce website

One of the exciting things about Alibaba is that they have their own secure payments service called Alipay. It's specifically designed to protect buyers and sellers by acting as a middleman, holding payments in escrow until the goods have been received. If you're looking to build an ecommerce website like Alibaba, you'll want to see whether there are ways for you to emulate these secure transactions.

It's essential to do this because it helps to encourage shoppers to place their trust in the website. Trust is vital when you're trying to build website like Alibaba, and indeed it's crucial for any ecommerce site. That's why it can be a good idea to brief whichever Magento development company you decide to work with to go out of their way to engender trust amongst your visitors. 

Search inside the platform

search for ecommerce website

When you build website like Alibaba, you'll want to go out of your way to imitate their powerful search engine. With so many different products and services on offer across their gigantic website, their search engine is good because it has to be good. If it weren't good, nobody would be able to find what they were looking for, unless they just happened to chance across it.

If you've been asking yourself "how much does it cost to build a website like Alibaba?", one thing that you'll want to note is that much of the cost will come from the search engine – or at least, it should do, if you want people to be able to find what they're looking for. Creating a decent search tool becomes more important, the bigger your site grows, and the more you diversify your product range.

Insane tracking

tracking for ecommerce website

This all comes back to the idea of encouraging people to trust your ecommerce site. If you want to build website like Alibaba, you need to provide granular levels of tracking so that people can see where their orders are in real-time. Being able to track orders makes people more willing to spend their hard-earned money, and while if you're wondering how to create a B2B ecommerce website, this might be a little less relevant, it's a must-have if you're B2C and you want to build a website like Alibaba.

Having a tracking system is one thing, but having a good tracking system is something else entirely. If you've been asking yourself, "How much does it cost to build a website like Alibaba?", you'll want to set aside a decent proportion of your budget to build out a more comprehensive tracking system. Just using the default tools in any given piece of ecommerce software isn't enough if you want to stand out from the competition as Alibaba does.

Direct contact with sellers

multi vendor website development

Another important step when you create website Alibaba is to make it easy for buyers and sellers to contact each other. This is another trust-building exercise, and in many cases, communication is needed before a transaction can be completed. For example, perhaps a customer wants to ask a question about an item before they buy it.

The good news here is that when it comes to how much does it cost to build a website like Alibaba, you won't have to pay through the teeth to create a decent messaging system. The hardest thing when you create website Alibaba is to get the search and tracking functionality just right and to provide arbitrage services between buyers and sellers for when something goes wrong.

How to Choose a Platform to Develop Alibaba

how to choose ecommerce platform for b2b website

One of the most important aspects of knowing how to create website like Alibaba is knowing which ecommerce platform to use. On top of that, knowing how to create a B2B ecommerce website is one thing, but being a B2C company looking to develop website like Alibaba is something else entirely. On top of that, it's not as simple as being able to create website like Alibaba because they don't use standard ecommerce software, opting instead for a custom build.

Luckily, if you're wondering how to create website like Alibaba, there are options out there. Most ecommerce platforms will allow you to specify different user levels to emulate Alibaba's functionality, and most of them will enable you to create website like Alibaba by modifying the source code to install new features and functionality.

For our money, whether you're wondering how to create a B2B ecommerce website or whether you're a B2C brand who wants to create website like Alibaba, your best option is to go with Magento. It's one of the most versatile ecommerce platforms on the market, and it offers most of the functionality that you'll be looking for by default. Being able to create website like Alibaba from here mostly means adding a few plugins and additional features before customizing the theme to make it work for you.

How to Choose Your Development Partner

how to choose software development partner for ecommerce project

If you don't know how to create website like Alibaba, the single best strategic decision that you can take is to partner with someone who does. Knowing how to create a B2B ecommerce website can also be an advantage, even if you're B2C. They can often use B2B techniques, especially when it comes to imitating the interface that Alibaba offers for its sellers.

Of course, you'll have plenty of time to ask questions, and this is a great time to ask your potential agency if they know how to create website like Alibaba or how to create a B2B ecommerce website. If they can't answer your questions to your satisfaction or if they don't know how to create website like Alibaba, then perhaps it's time to look elsewhere.

One thing to remember is that the quality of the finished product depends upon the quality of the brief. If knowing how to create website like Alibaba is mission-critical for you, then you need to make sure that you include it in brief. This will help to ensure that only agencies who know how to create website like Alibaba will apply for the job in the first place.

Wrapping things up

Now that you know everything you need to know to build an ecommerce website like Alibaba, it's over to you to engage a B2B ecommerce website design agency that can help you to make your plans a reality. By now, you should have all of the information that you need to get started, and if you're still looking for help, then be sure to reach out to us here at Zfort Group. We'd be more than happy to help!

Author

Tatyana Topal
Tech Journalist

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