How to develop a Women's Fashion App like Shein - Antino
July 10, 2024

As the e-commerce industry continues to expand rapidly, projected to surge from 4,248 billion dollars to 12 trillion dollars by 2027, it's evident that the sector is continually growing. Retailers are also actively seeking avenues to tap into this flourishing sector, often emulating the success of leading e-commerce platforms through app cloning.

However, among these platforms, an app like Shein stands out as a testament to the online fashion clothing industry, setting the industry ablaze with its next-gen approach.

Well, the evolution of fashion brands' business models has been very swift when it came to transitioning from traditional brick-and-mortar stores and adapting to various e-commerce platforms to manage sales effectively. Consequently, the creation of an online shopping app akin to Shein has emerged as a focal point for retailers in the world, recognizing the immense potential and benefits this venture entails.

Investors too have acknowledged the promise of this app idea, prompting both retailers and business enthusiasts alike to explore its possibilities. So, for those trying to navigate through this world, several pressing questions often arise:

  • How can one develop an e-commerce app resembling Shein, a platform that has surpassed even industry giants like Amazon?
  • What are the essential features and functionalities required to craft an online shopping app reminiscent of Shein's success?
  • What financial investment is necessary to bring such an app to fruition?
  • How does a fashion app akin to Shein maintain customer engagement and drive spending in the competitive e-commerce landscape?
  • Ultimately, is Shein poised to define the future of fast fashion?

Well, through meticulous market research and analysis, we have compiled a comprehensive guide to address these doubts. Rather than searching far and wide, let's look into the intricacies of these points to provide clarity and insight into this ever-growing sector. But before that, let’s take a look at the market growth of the Shein app.

Market Overview of the Shein Shopping App

  • Over the course of two years, Shein's worth has surged by an impressive 840%, solidifying its position as a major force in the fast fashion sector.
shein vs fashion group

With its vast user base, record-breaking download numbers, and staggering valuation, Shein has not only disrupted traditional fashion retail but has also set a new benchmark for success in the digital marketplace. As Shein forges ahead with its innovations and expands its footprint, it stands poised to shape the future of e-commerce and redefine the dynamics of fast fashion.

10 easy Steps to develop an app like Shein

Creating a clothing app like Shein involves several key steps to ensure its success and effectiveness in the fast-paced world of online fashion retail. Here's a guide to developing an app similar to Shein.

1. Market Research and Analysis

Conduct comprehensive market research to understand the dynamics of the fast fashion industry. Analyze consumer behavior, preferences, and purchasing patterns, both globally and within specific target markets. For example, you might discover that Gen Z and millennial shoppers value sustainability and inclusivity in fashion brands, which could inform your app's marketing strategy and product offerings.

2. Define a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Differentiate your app by offering unique features or a distinct value proposition. For example, Zara's app stands out with its "Store Mode" feature, allowing users to check product availability in nearby stores, enhancing the omnichannel shopping experience.

3. Planning and Conceptualization

Collaborate with designers and developers to create a detailed roadmap for app development. Use tools like Figma or Adobe XD to create wireframes and mockups that visualize the app's layout and user flow. Incorporate feedback from stakeholders to refine the concept and ensure alignment with business objectives.

4. Technology Stack Selection

It’s essential to select the appropriate tech stack based on your app's requirements and scalability needs. For instance, if you prioritize speed and efficiency, consider using a serverless architecture with AWS Lambda or Google Cloud Functions. Additionally, use frameworks like React Native or Flutter for faster cross-platform development.

5. Develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Build an MVP with core features that address users' primary needs. Like, ASOS initially launched with basic features such as product browsing, search, and checkout before gradually adding features like saved items and personalized recommendations based on user feedback.

6. Integration of Key Features

Implement features that enhance the user experience and drive engagement. For example, incorporate a virtual try-on feature like the one offered by ASOS, allowing users to visualize how clothing items will look on them using augmented reality technology.

7. Secure Payment Gateway Integration

Partner with trusted payment gateway providers like PhonePe, Decentro, or PayPal to ensure seamless and secure transactions. Offer multiple payment options to accommodate diverse customer preferences and increase conversion rates. For example, Shein accepts payments via credit/debit cards, PayPal, and Klarna for buy now, pay later options.

8. Quality Assurance and Testing

Conduct thorough testing across various devices, browsers, and operating systems to identify and rectify any issues. Use automated testing tools like Appium or XCTest for efficient regression testing and ensure compatibility with the latest OS updates. Learn from the example of Shein, which continuously optimizes its app based on user feedback and performance metrics.

9. Launch and Marketing Strategy

Plan a multi-channel marketing campaign to generate awareness and drive app downloads. Utilize social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok to showcase your app's unique features and engage with your target audience. Offer exclusive discounts or promotions to incentivize users to download and try out the app.

10. Iterative Improvement

Support a culture of continuous improvement by regularly releasing updates and enhancements based on user feedback and market trends. Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) such as user retention rate, average order value, and app store ratings to gauge the app's success and identify areas for optimization.

By following these steps and incorporating relevant examples from successful fashion apps, you can develop an app like Shein that resonates with your target audience and drives sustainable growth in the competitive fast fashion market.

While understanding the basic steps of app development is crucial, the real challenge lies in making your app stand out in a crowded market. So, let's look into what features and functionalities can truly make your app successful in this and the coming years.

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Must have features to develop an app like Shein

Well, replicating a leading shopping app's features might seem like a shortcut, but success won't come unless you inject something unique into your app. Merely launching another clone won't just cut it. That's why it's crucial to prioritize the right features and functionalities to make your app stand out.

Here's a curated list of essential features you should consider incorporating into your online shopping app, inspired by Shein.

User-Friendly Login

Simplify the login process to provide a dynamic user experience. Rather than asking for excessive details, allow users to sign up quickly with just their name, email, or phone number. You can also consider integrating social media login for added convenience.

Efficient Search Functionality

Integrate a robust search feature that allows users to find products quickly. Implement multiple search filters, enabling users to narrow down their search by categories, prices, styles, brands, and sizes. This makes sure users can easily discover products tailored to their preferences.

Convenient Cart Management

Allow users to add products to their cart effortlessly while browsing. Provide a streamlined checkout process with a clear breakdown of prices and delivery details to enhance the shopping experience.

Diverse Payment Options

Cater to diverse payment preferences by integrating multiple payment methods such as credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, and cash on delivery. Offering flexibility in payment options enhances user convenience and encourages conversion.

Must have features to develop an app like Shein

Engaging Push Notifications

Utilize push notifications as a powerful marketing tool to keep users engaged. Notify users about special offers, discounts, promotions, and new arrivals to drive app engagement and increase sales.

Order Tracking

Provide users with real-time updates on their orders, including delivery dates and status. This transparency enhances trust and satisfaction among users, improving their overall shopping experience.

In-App Chat Support

Offer 24/7 customer support through in-app chat functionality. Allow users to get instant assistance and answers to their queries, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Review and Rating System

Encourage user feedback by allowing them to share their shopping experiences through reviews and ratings. This not only helps users make informed decisions but also provides valuable insights for improving your app and services.

These essential features form the foundation of a successful shopping app like Shein. However, if you're competing with giants like Shein, consider incorporating additional exclusive features to further differentiate your app and attract users.

Additional Modern Features For Building a Shopping App like Shein

Incorporating modern features into your fashion shopping app, akin to Shein, can significantly maximize its appeal and user experience. Let's explore these features that can set your app apart.

Free Coupons on First Order

Offering enticing discounts on the first purchase can attract new users and drive initial sales, helping you expand your customer base rapidly.

Continuous Fresh Arrivals

Regularly updating your inventory with over 1000 fresh arrivals keeps users engaged and encourages frequent app usage.

User-Friendly Category Selection

Simplify the shopping experience by allowing users to easily navigate through select categories, ensuring they find what they're looking for effortlessly.

Fashion Blogger Recommendations

Incorporating expert fashion advice and style tips from renowned fashion bloggers within your app enhances the shopping experience, providing users with valuable insights and inspiration.

Fastest Delivery Assurance

Assure users of the fastest delivery times to instill confidence and trust in your app. Customize the app interface to prominently display this feature, ensuring users can place orders with ease.

Additional Modern Features For Building a Shopping App like Shein

New Product Categories

Highlight new arrivals directly on the homepage, enabling users to discover the latest trends and additions to your inventory quickly.

Social Sharing of Styles

Integrate social media platforms to allow users to share their favorite fashion styles and products with friends, enhancing engagement and virality.

Scheduled Delivery Options

Offer users the flexibility to schedule their preferred delivery time and date, accommodating their availability and convenience.

Real-Time Order Tracking

Provide users with real-time updates on their order status and delivery progress, ensuring transparency and peace of mind throughout the purchasing journey.

Dynamic Offers and Discounts

Keep users engaged by introducing daily offers and deals, creating excitement, and incentivizing repeat purchases.

Virtual Try-On Feature

Stand out from the competition by leveraging augmented reality (AR) technology, allowing users to virtually try on products and visualize how they look before making a purchase decision.

By adding these innovative features to your fashion shopping app, you can create a compelling and promising solution that resonates with users. As you consider implementing these features, it's essential to factor in the cost of developing an e-commerce app like Shein.

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How much does it cost to develop an app like Shein?

E-commerce platforms like Shein have revolutionized the way people shop for fashion online. With its user-friendly interface, vast product catalog, and personalized shopping experience, Shein has become a go-to destination for fashion enthusiasts worldwide. Entrepreneurs and businesses aspiring to enter the e-commerce space often wonder about the cost implications of developing an app like Shein. So, let's take a look into the factors that influence the cost and provide a comparative analysis across different platforms.

Factors Influencing the Cost of Developing an App like Shein

Feature Set

The features and functionalities incorporated into the app significantly impact the development cost. Shein's app includes features such as personalized recommendations, social sharing, secure payment gateways, order tracking, and seamless navigation.

Design and User Interface (UI/UX)

Shein's visually appealing design and intuitive user interface contribute to its popularity. Investing in professional UI/UX design ensures a positive user experience, but it also adds to the development cost.

Platform Compatibility

Shein offers its app on both Android and iOS platforms, catering to a wide audience. Developing a cross-platform app allows simultaneous deployment on multiple platforms, reducing development time and cost compared to separate Android and iOS apps.

Factors Influencing the Cost of Developing an App like Shein

Backend Infrastructure

The robust backend infrastructure required for managing inventory, processing orders, user data storage, and implementing AI algorithms for personalized recommendations adds to the development complexity and cost.

Integration with Third-party Services

Integration with third-party services such as payment gateways, social media platforms, analytics tools, and logistics services enhances the app's functionality but adds to the development cost.

Security and Compliance

Ensuring data security, compliance with privacy regulations (such as GDPR and CCPA), and implementing measures to prevent cyber threats are essential considerations that influence development costs.

Comparative Analysis of Development Costs

Aspect Cross-platform App Android App iOS App
Development Time Moderate Longer Longer
Cost $30,000 - $100,000+ $25,000 - $80,000+ $25,000 - $80,000+
Maintenance Effort Low Moderate Moderate
Platform-Specific Features Limited Extensive Extensive
Market Reach Broad Android userse iOS users
Development Flexibility Limited Extensive Extensive

Note: The cost estimates provided are rough ranges and may vary significantly depending on various factors such as project complexity, feature set, design requirements, geographic location of the development team, and prevailing market rates. It's advisable to consult with app development experts to obtain accurate cost estimates tailored to specific project needs.

How can Antino help you build a next-gen app like Shein?

Treading on the path of creating an app like Shein requires a meticulous approach, covering everything from market research to development and marketing strategies. To pass through this intricate way successfully, it's essential to enlist the expertise of app developers who specialize in e-commerce.

Therefore, we, at Antino, leverage our capabilities, so you can save time and effort in conducting market research, identifying key features, and devising effective strategies to develop your app. 

This investment ensures you have a dedicated team of professionals who can help you tackle the complexities, incorporate essential features, and ultimately build a successful app in the highly competitive online fashion market. If you’re still in doubt, have a word with our experts right away!


How much does an apparel app cost?

The cost of developing an apparel app varies widely depending on features, complexity, and development team rates, ranging from $10,000 to several hundred thousand dollars.

How can we use AI to develop a fashion app?

AI can be used in a fashion app to offer personalised recommendations, virtual try-on experiences, trend analysis, and automated styling suggestions, enhancing user engagement and satisfaction.

Looking to design your next app?
Talk to us and we will set you in the right path something something.
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Peeyush Shrivastava
(AVP- Technology, Antino)
Peeyush is a seasoned software engineer with a notable history of developing high-end applications. His expertise spans across iOS design, iOS development, Objective-C, and Cocoa Touch.