There are several multi-vendor sites or online marketplaces that are reaping huge benefits today. A marketplace like eBay allows vendors to create their profile on the site and offers them a platform to sell their products to the global buyers. Customers can choose products offered by different vendors and makes payments using the same payment gateway implemented by the marketplace. The payment is divided among the vendors after deducting the commission by the marketplace. This is a typical business model of a multi-vendor e-commerce marketplace.
There are some common platforms that provide a multi-vendor interface to help build an online marketplace.
1.) WordPress with Marketify: Using the WordPress Platform with the Marketify theme, you can quickly build an online marketplace. One just needs to set up the WordPress and implement the Marketify theme to get the site ready for start selling. The theme can be integrated to sell downloadable products. Users can also log in using their social media profiles to quickly start the buying process. It also allows the inclusion of audio and video previews for users to quickly learn about the products available for sale. Customers can also be allowed to rate and review the products. However, one needs to have some technical knowledge to implement the theme. But one can get a lot of support from the theme creator.
Costs: WordPress is available for free and the cost of Marketify is $63.
2.) Magento with Marketplace: Magento is open-source software for building e-commerce stores more specifically. It could be the best platform to build a multi-vendor online store with the help of the Marketplace extension. The extension has a multi-vendor module that allows you to transform your existing Magento e-commerce site into a multi-vendor marketplace. The extension allows the creation of a number of vendor profiles and allowing each of them to post and manage their content online. They can also upload and modify their logo, images, products etc. More importantly, it allows setting up different commissions for different sellers in your marketplace.
Costs: $349, besides the Magento licensing fee.
Example: Fresh Fashion – Designed & Developed By : PixelCrayons.com
3.) Drupal with Ubercart: Drupal is an open-source CMS, pretty similar to WordPress. It allows you to create your blog or website to start publishing your content and sell products. However, Drupal alone cannot allow you to build a multi-vendor marketplace and for this, you need the Ubercart Marketplace Module. For using this module, you need to have a little technical knowledge of building a website and the designing experience is also a plus. The module, however, brings powerful tools and powerful admin for managing profiles.
4.) CS Cart: This powerful e-commerce software gives you a complete control on your content and the regular maintenance and the security of your site. The standard CS.Cart software doesn’t allow to create a multi-vendor marketplace. However, the company offers a separate package for building a marketplace for unlimited number of vendors to start selling using the platform. It comes packed in a separate package and you don’t need to install any plugin for the purpose. Customers can choose products from several vendors and can purchase them at a time through online payment processing.
Costs: $1450 one-time or $590/year
5.) Sharetribe: The Sharetribe system is designed particularly to help build multi-vendor sites. It offers you two kinds of packages: starter package with maximum 300 members and advanced package with up to 100,000 members. Besides product sales, it also offers choices for rentals, services and others. It is easy to set up and hardly takes a few minutes for the same. Sharetribe allows accepting payments through any credit card, internet banking or even through PayPal. Vendors are allowed to create their profiles, upload content, images, logos etc to start selling. It offers a perfect order management system for vendors to cater to the customers and build relationships with them.
Costs: $39 per month (starter package), $239 per month (advanced package)
The technology provider should have the knowledge and experience of creating a multi-vendor marketplace. The focus should be on choosing a development company that can build a safe and secure marketplace with an easy to manage admin, both for the marketplace owner and different vendors. The expertise in designing shopping cart in which products from different vendors can be chosen at a time is also an important consideration. Finally, the payment processing and the distribution of revenue between the marketplace and its different vendors should also be a smooth and error-free process.
PixelCrayons is a best digital agency that has a vast experience in the e-commerce and online marketplace domain. The company has a team of developers who are well versed in the new technologies and can build multi-vendor sites in affordable budgets.
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