There are many factors that influence the final cost and amount of time required for the development and deployment of an AliExpress clone. These include the development approach, features you want to implement, hosting, and security options.
Let’s discuss each aspect in more detail.
1. Web Development Approach
Basically, you have two available options there:
- Ready-made solution
- Custom development.
The first variant is cheaper and has a fixed price. This is the most appropriate option if you aim to launch your website in a matter of days. For example, you can use Sharetribe, one of the popular marketplace software providers.
However, choosing a ready-made solution, there can be certain scalability limitations. Besides, you may face the lack of required functionality or vice versa, get lots of unnecessary functions.
At the same time, with the custom software development approach, you will get the platform that caters to your specific needs, providing the exact functionality you need.
Choose off-the-shelf development if you:
- Need to launch your website quickly;
- Find that the features which the platform provides cover at least 80% of your business needs.
Select custom web development if you:
- Ready to build a marketplace platform that will serve for years to come;
- Need further growth and frequent modifications;
- Need an ultra-secure web solution;
- Require unique features and integrations with other systems.
Surely, the costs of creating a marketplace platform vary greatly depending on the specifics of the business and the needed functionality. So, it is quite challenging to give exact numbers. However, it is not difficult to make approximate calculations.
As for the cost of a tailored solution, it depends greatly on the geographic location and experience of a service provider.
The hourly rate for a senior web developer located in North America is about $100. At the same time, if you turn to web developers from Eastern Europe, they will charge you $35-60 per hour.
For example, in Ukraine, the approximate cost of developing a website like AliExpress will be a minimum of $78,300. In Western Europe, prices will definitely be higher.
In general, the final marketplace development cost depends on the following aspects:
- The complexity of your web solution;
- The development approach you pick;
- The location of your web development partner and their hourly rates.
It is a good idea to start building an e-commerce website like AliExpress with a prototype or a minimum viable product. In such a way, you can check the viability of your business idea without wasting too much time and money.
Bear in mind that the launch of a prototype or an MVP does not require implementing all the functionality of the website like AliExpress at once. First, define the very basic feature set that will help you gain early adopters.
The basic feature set, due to which a clone of AliExpress will work, is as follows:
- Vendor’s and buyer’s personal accounts: Thanks to this feature, new users can register on your marketplace like AliExpress. Of course, the process of registration should be convenient and fast.
- Product search: Online marketplaces such as AliExpress usually offer search by products. You also need advanced search filters.
- Shopping cart: This feature enables shoppers to add things to a shopping cart, change their quantity, see the final price, and proceed to checkout.
- Payment gateways: The AliExpress website supports many payment methods. For example, it supports payment cards (Visa, MasterCard), QIWI, WebMoney, Western Union, and other payment systems.
- Product listings: You need a section where vendors post and manage their listings. Also, sellers should go through a verification process before posting their advertisements.
- Order status tracking: This option is essential both for shoppers and vendors. This feature means tracking the status of the order and sending refund requests.
- Messaging system: This system simplifies the communication between shoppers and sellers. Usually, AliExpress-like marketplaces use a built-in chat for this purpose.
- Ratings and reviews: An AliExpress-like platform must include the option for collecting feedback from users. This feature assists purchasers in checking if the seller from whom they buy is reliable. The more credible your platform is, the more users will sell and make purchases on it.
- Tech support: Both buyers and sellers should have an opportunity to receive tech support and answers to their questions. With this feature, you can provide users with timely assistance.
3. Tech Stack of Aliexpress
The tech stack of AliExpress includes proven and widely used tools:
- Programming language: Java
- HTTP server technologies: Nginx, Squid, HAProxy
- Databases: Redis, LevelDB, Hadoop, MySQL, Oracle Database, Apache Hbase
- Server library: Spring
- Operating systems: Linux, Red Hat Linux
- Server software: Apache Zookeeper
When you develop your AliExpress-like platform, choose technologies that suit the goals and architecture of your web solution.
4. Hosting and Security
As soon as you are ready to launch your software, you need to make it visible and accessible for users. For this task, you need to pick a reliable hosting provider.
If you opt for out-of-the-box solutions discussed above, the service providers may offer you hosting services. But if your choice is custom software development, you should focus on the following aspects:
- Terms and conditions of a hosting provider;
- Cost (do not try to select the cheapest option);
- Privacy and security rules;
- Opt for well-known and popular hosting brands.
Below you can see the TOP-10 hosting providers and their performance indicators provided by HostingFacts. The minimal rates per each option are mentioned there as well.
When creating a website like AliExpress, you should pay attention to many aspects. The key factors influencing your final costs are a software development approach, the functionality you want to implement, hosting, and security.
Indeed, the architecture of AliExpress comprises many pages and various features. If you want to build an e-commerce website with similar features to AliExpress, your web development partner will give you a precise quote.