Are you on the lookout for an ecommerce platform to create your own multi-vendor marketplace? When you think about such businesses, names like Amazon, Nykaa, Zomato, Justdial, etc surely might have crossed your mind.
Don’t you find the experience of just browsing through any one of these sites enticing?
Doesn’t the buyer in you feel like spending hours just browsing through a wide range of products just to look at what this particular website has to offer?
Or the entrepreneur in you thinks to capitalize on the experience a multi-seller marketplace offers to various buyers?
The latter way of looking at it is way more profitable for your pockets.
There has been a meteoric rise of online marketplaces since 2014.
The global ecommerce market sales are expected to reach the $4 trillion mark by 2020. Global marketplace platform provider revenues are expected to more than double from $18.7 billion in 2017 to $40.1 billion in 2022, driven by the sharing economy. About 30 niche marketplaces launched have received $2.3 billion in investment between 2012 and 2017. (Source )
There are many main drivers of traffic retention and popularity of multi-vendor marketplaces. Wide range of products, different vendors selling their products, user reviews and testimonials, comparison of products and vendors, etc are some of them.
Marketplaces doesn’t only have capabilities to cater to B2C segment. If you are looking to capitalize on a growing B2B market, you can start with a basic wholesale business providing goods to other retailers in the market.
Gartner’s analysts also predicted that by 2022, 75% of all B2B tail spend goods will be purchased in an online marketplace. (Source)
You see? B2B and Wholesale ecommerce is another scope to run a fruitful business online.
Why Marketplaces are a smart pick to start a business?
Marketplaces are promising and profitable avenues. They are quite enticing too if you are looking to conduct business with ease without worrying about logistics, inventory management, returns, and refunds, etc.
Stop worrying about operational expenses too. Your monetized platform will let you earn commissions on sales your sellers make.
Aren’t you looking to reap these benefits with minimum investment?
If you are looking to step up and start a multi-vendor marketplace of your own, it would be smart to check out the following ecommerce platforms that can help you get started.
Shopify is a popular platform that budding entrepreneurs resort to for taking their business online. It uses various third-party plugins to enable the Multi-Vendor functionalities to convert your basic shopping website into a full-fledged marketplace. Their drag and drop builder helps to design the storefront quickly and easily. Using the help of various extensions from the Shopify app store, you can build a marketplace to add and manage multiple vendors onto your website.
- Add and Manage multiple vendors in your marketplace.
- Approval flow to manage operations.
- You can add/manage unlimited vendors and unlimited products.
- You can also sync products from other eCommerce stores.
- Set up commissions for individual sellers and make money.
- Your sellers can have a seller profile page.
- Seller Buyer chats.
- Notifications to all entities involved in the transaction.
- All these features are not integrated with basic Shopify subscription, you need to find the right plugin from the Shopify app store.
- You need to pay extra over your Shopify subscription, so if you’re on a budget, you should take care of that.
- Support is not covered by Shopify for Third-party plugins you use in your store. You need to go after the developers of apps to find the right support.
- Make sure you have the right plugin i.e. it should cause no compatibility conflict with other plugins and crash your website.
- Need another app from the Shopify app store for multilingual, multi-currency support.
- You will have to find your own logistics partners for shipping and returns.
- You need to act as a middleman between the buyer and payment gateway company in case you need to provide a refund for an order. This can get very stressful.
StoreHippo is another ecommerce platform that can help you get started with your own marketplace. Aside from basic ‘Multi-Seller’ features, there are many other features that StoreHippo provides you with their subscription. There is no need for any external plugin. All the features are integrated. StoreHippo gives you ‘Multi-Vendor’ features inclusive in their ‘Business plan’ and ‘Enterprise plan’. Just subscribe to the plan you think will be suited for your business and get started. Choose the plan that suits the scale of your business and enhance your online store with following ‘Multi-Seller’ functionalities.
- Sellers can register on your marketplace easily with the ‘Seller Self Registration’ option. You can also add sellers at the backend.
- As an admin, you will have total control over the ‘Approval Flow’.
- Unified notifications to all entities involved in the transaction.
- Product and inventory management.
- Integrated shipping with multiple shipping partners. StoreHippo has its own logistic partners to take care of this. Returns can easily be managed because of this.
- Setting up custom tax rules and commissions.
- Support for adaptive payments to accommodate the customer’s convenience. This makes refunds easy.
- Multilingual and multi-currency support given.
- Multi-Seller feature is only provided in their “Business”, ”Enterprise” plans.
- Their ‘Business’ plan allows you to add only 100 sellers and only 100,000 products. Unlimited sellers and products are given in the ‘Enterprise’ plan.
Magento is another popular ecommerce platform that can help you run a marketplace. Like other open-source platforms, Magento also uses third party addons such as ‘Marketplace’ that can create a powerful multi-vendor marketplace. ‘Marketplace’ and other extensions like these help you achieve it. Such modules help with scalability of your Magento store, which means it doesn’t affect your existing store performance. There are no limit to vendors and products as any number of vendors and products can be added in the store.
- Separate seller /vendor profile/ micro site which the seller can customize.
- Feedback and review system with interactive star rating.
- Your buyers can contact the sellers directly.
- Setup different seller commission for every seller.
- Seller, Admin moderation and approval using an approval flow.
- Working fine with all languages and currencies.
- The seller can manage the order from the front-end after getting approval by an admin.
- You can allow the seller to add related products, up-sell products and cross-sell products from the seller’s panel.
- Magento itself is a very costly ecommerce platform. The most commonly used extension costs a minimum of $349. There are installation charges as well.
- Proper support can be an issue as developers of apps provide support after a prepaid payment. Support is paid.
- Security concerns never cease as Magento is open source.
- You need to find and negotiate with the logistics partner on your own.
There are many ecommerce platform providers that can help you get started with your own marketplace. Hopefully, this article sheds light on some of your doubts in selecting the right one for yourself.
Multi-vendor marketplaces have already gained a lot of popularity in the market and with a wide range of products they have to offer, they can surely adapt to ever-evolving consumer needs.
See for yourself, sign up for their trial versions by visiting their respective websites.