No one can deny the widespread popularity of eCommerce and online shopping sites today. It is thanks to the continuous development of the internet and eCommerce.
However, when it comes to the method of making profits as most prominent as possible from eCommerce, it must definitely be multi-vendor websites.
If you are interested in making money online from store rental services on your website, then you should not miss this article. This is where you’ll be guided in the first step of marketplace creating – top multi-vendor platforms.
So, first of all, how does a multi-vendor website work?
About multi-vendor marketplaces
In the early 90s, when the internet was on the rise, the demand for goods of people increased.
You must be no stranger to names like Amazon, eBay, or Alibaba. Instead of setting up an online store for their products, these websites are created as an online marketplace for other vendors to sell their products. These websites are called multi-vendor sites.
And this is how they work.
For suppliers, the website will allow them to rent a booth. It shows product details, including content and images, prices, promotions, shopping carts, customer reviews, and ratings, etc. As a result, online retailers can provide visitors with the information they need for purchases.
As for the buyers, they will be guaranteed by the multi-vendor website for product quality. In particular, if the product is defective or not identical to the advertising image, they can get back the full amount that they have transferred to the store immediately.
Sounds unbelievable, right?
Yet it is real.
Multi-vendor websites act as intermediaries. That is, they will “keep” the buyers’ money until they confirm they have received the item. Then they transfer that money to suppliers.
Which features does a multi-vendor platform need?
Accessible registration/listing for vendors
First, your platform must make your site easy for the vendors to register and list products. Because, if not, they will choose other marketplaces.
Quality search feature
For vendors’ products to reach consumers most conveniently, your website needs to be supported with a versatile search engine. At the very least, it must have options for customers to select.
One of Amazon’s differentiations is buyer reviews on products. Customers may not buy products from your website, but they will still access to refer to the massive source of reputable reviews from it.
Digital vs. physical
You should choose the platform that supports the product options that suit your goals because not all platform suppliers offer both digital and physical products.
Ability to charge a commission
This is one of the essential features of a multi-vendor platform. It will enable you to generate the primary revenue from your marketplace most conveniently and quickly.
Some multi-vendor platforms are quite cheap, but in return, you will have to pay extra fees for more advanced features as your website grows. Meanwhile, others are pricey, but it is the lifetime expense. Therefore, you should also consider this aspect.
Top platforms for a multi-vendor website
This is one of the options that we appreciate because of the many advanced features that this platform offers for multi-vendor websites.
The lowest price is $1,450 for a self-hosted solution, so it will be more suitable for you when your business has grown at an average size or more. Besides, you will also have 15 days free trial and other options such as Multivendor Plus package (with more features) or Enterprise package.
Anyway, after 15 days of testing, we’re sure you’ll want to invest in this platform.
Firstly, it offers a mobile-friendly feature. That is, customers will easily access your website on their mobile, shopping easily anytime, anywhere.
Secondly, CS is very profitable if you are looking to expand your business to another region or continent. Not many suppliers have customization capabilities even though they have facilities in many countries like CS.
Even though you do not have much in-depth knowledge about running an eCommerce platform, you don’t need to worry too much. It’s because CS does not require additional apps or extensions.
Besides, what we have mentioned about the features of a multi-vendor website such as product reviews, product information, pricing, or search system, etc. is also very complete.
Shopify is probably no stranger to website developers. This platform is straightforward to use, and therefore, it is suitable for those who want to start building a website and especially converting an online store to a marketplace.
With Shopify, you will have the option of Multi Vendor Marketplace application with several features to be able to add more suppliers to your site. In particular, this number is unlimited, similar to the product number on the website.
Besides, the drag and drop builder will help the manipulation of suppliers on your site more quickly and easily. It also offers a variety of eye-catching and engaging topics of eCommerce stores for users to choose from.
What if you are using a platform other than Shopify?
Do not worry. Shopify’s application will allow you to sync data from your existing platform’s website to your Shopify marketplace. All products will also remain the same without any problems.
On your website, vendors can post and sell their digital products effortlessly like other product types. That’s thanks to this developer’s user-friendly feature.
In addition, the application also allows the seller to set delivery prices based on the price or weight of the item.
When it comes to commission, vendors have many options, including the global plan, individual plan, and category-based commission.
They will spend $29/month on the platform and an additional $10/month for the application. And when your website needs to manage more data, you should buy the extra features of this provider.
Surely, Magento is no stranger to you. Whether it’s an online store or a multi-vendor website, Magento has done its job well in developing it. As for the multi-vendor marketplace, the Marketplace package will be the perfect choice for you.
In terms of product information management, it allows your website to provide all the necessary information such as user reviews, wish lists, and newsletter subscriptions, etc. With a lifetime price of $349, this is the simplest and most economical option for your new website.
But what if you have a pre-existing website?
The answer is the extension of the Marketplace Multi-Vendor Module. It will transform your existing store into a multi-vendor website.
Above all, we appreciate its flexible commission system.
Each provider will have a different fee depending on the type of product. Therefore, vendors will find it more reasonable and choose your marketplace.
If you do not want that, you can still set up to change the equal commission for all stores easily.
BigCommerce impresses people by making it as easy as possible for them to manage the market. From the control panel, you can see a variety of categories such as vendors, their products, orders, ratings, and more.
It is one of the features that will create credibility for your marketplace.
That is, you can check and decide whether a product will appear on your website or not. As a result, customers can buy goods with almost absolute security.
Like Shopify, you will not create a multi-vendor website directly on the BigCommerce platform but purchase their accompanying applications. That is the Multi Vendor Marketplace application.
It has all the necessary functions of a marketplace for vendors to upload and sell their products. They will have a separate dashboard when they log into the website. Here, they can manage merchandise and order status.
Especially when their store gets bigger, they can take advantage of adding admins to manage the store more efficiently.
Vendors can enable and disable admins as well as request a “Withdraw” for the admin after selling products.
And there’s another attribute that you need to pay attention to that not all suppliers on the multi-vendor platform market apply it. BigCommerce uses the commission structure through the subscription plan and membership plan for sellers.
The total cost you need to pay to build a multi-vendor website based on BigCommerce will be $39.95/month. In particular, the platform costs $29.95, and the Multi Vendor Marketplace application is $10.
Besides physical items, if the product you want to focus on is services and rentals, then this multi-vendor platform will be your best bet.
In other words, Sharetribe allows you to create a marketplace for products, services, or rentals, and it is exceptionally flexible in this area.
Even so, it is not for everyone. Instead of focusing on multi-vendor marketplaces, this platform helps create a peer-to-peer environment. Hence, if you are individual sellers, you definitely cannot ignore this platform.
This is clearly shown on the profile page of stores. With full of options, it still delivers the image of an individual profile. And, you will also pay a relatively cheap fee, $149 for the most inexpensive package, based on the number of subscribers (1,000 people) on the website.
Collecting commission fees is also a feature making the exception of Sharetribe. You have two options, including setting a certain percentage or minimum fixed rate. Or, you can combine both.
6. Marketify of WordPress
With WordPress, there’s nothing easier than creating a multi-vendor website with Marketify Theme.
Perhaps this is the most affordable option for you on this list – $63. In the meantime, you will also be well supported by WordPress, which is famous for its vast community of developers. You will not have to worry about installing this service of WordPress.
With the support of the developers, your website will be embellished on images and sound, specifically in the previews. As a result, customers can visualize the product in usage.
In order for customers to log in and purchase products, you will need to use the Easy Digital Downloads plugin for $299. It also offers you more advanced features, turning your website into a multifunctional marketplace.
Furthermore, if the product you want to target is very diverse, we recommend you purchase Search & Filter Pro. It is a WordPress plugin, making finding products less time-consuming. The price of this plugin is $75.
Still, if you focus on the physical product market, then you should not consider this option. It is for digital products with the Easy Digital Downloads plugin.
With the WooCommerce platform, your multi-vendor website will become one of the top choices for vendors in the market.
You might not know this, but this option is also a plugin for WordPress so that you can take advantage of all the features, flexibility, and massive support of this open-source tool.
When it comes to WooCommerce extensions, WC Vendors Pro is the choice for you for $199/year. It is beneficial when your website grows bigger. Therefore, we also recommend a lifetime subscription for $599.
And this is what you need to know.
This plugin not only makes it easier for suppliers to register and manage on your website, but it is also very beneficial for buyers.
That is, customers can review the product on the website. It will then gather those assessments into the snapshot so that others can see it more easily and more objectively.
In general, it will satisfy vendors and buyers while providing countless additional extensions that support, such as search functionality or digital or physical products.
Regarding commissions, it allows you to set up structures so that you can make money smoothly. You can set a flat percentage on each order and make another profit with an additional fee.
With the multi-vendor platforms we have suggested, creating a marketplace like the Amazon website will no longer be challenging for you. For more advanced steps, feel free to contact us or visit our site. Don’t hesitate to like and share the article with others if you find it useful. Thank you.