Before the twenty-first century, there are only three important aspects of a good market or retailing system: sellers, buyers, and the products. However, as the world turns into a digital-based universe, the online retailing system suddenly becomes a hit. The system does not only depend on who the sellers are or what products are sold, but also how to combine both aspects in the right platform so that the prospective buyers can find them easily.
Such condition requires a digital marketplace. Compared to the conventional market, digital marketplace is preferable because of its efficiency. Multiple sellers nowadays can sell their various products to the buyers around the world. All of those aspects are bundled in a single digital system, namely multi vendor marketplace.
In a simple term, multi vendor marketplace can be defined as an online retailing website managed by an admin or a store owner that allows the interaction between sellers and buyers. On this website, the sellers or vendors can show their products, while the buyers can compare a wide range of products from different sellers. More than that, here are seven essential things you need to know about multi vendor marketplace.
Important features of multi vendor marketplace
As a middleman website where different sellers and prospective buyers meet, a multi vendor marketplace needs several important features that can be optimized by the store owner, the sellers and the buyers. Some features that can be used by the store owner include the landing page, marketplace module configuration, inventory management, as well as selecting various themes and designs for the website.
In the marketplace, the sellers can upload pictures and detailed descriptions of the products they sell. They can also build a seller’s profile where all products are stored in an online catalog. Such configuration leads to the features that can be used by the buyers. Those include searching the products they want to buy, comparing the details and price of the products, and reviewing the sellers based on their service and quality.
The advantages of multi vendor marketplace
Besides making the retailing service more efficient, there are some other advantages of a multi vendor marketplace. Building an online multi-vendor store gives the opportunity for the store owners to get a commission on every transaction. The website will also get a great number of traffics due to frequent activity done by multiple vendors and their buyers.
As for the sellers, they can sell the products in an online marketplace that is considered well-known and full of support. This can be done even without deep knowledge about digital retail.
Sources of profit in a multi vendor marketplace
Some people might wonder how this kind of marketplace can make a profit for the store owner. There are actually several kinds of profit sources in an online marketplace. The sources include commission or transaction fees, listing fees, membership fees, lead fees, as well as ads and featured listing involved on the website.
Platforms for multi vendor marketplace
A wide variety of platforms with different supporting features are available in the marketplace. Some of the most popular platforms for multi vendor marketplace are Marketify, Magento, WooCommerce with WC Vendors, Sharetribe, and CS-Cart Multi-Vendor Edition.
Those platforms offer various beneficial features and allow the vendors to sell both digital and physical products. Other additional features include search functionality, review system, as well as pricing and commission system. Consider several aspects such as types of products and target customers to choose the best platform for your multi vendor marketplace.
Plugins for various platforms
In addition to multi-vendor platforms, plugins play an important role in supporting the workflow of a marketplace. Plugins are usually compatible with a particular platform so that both of them can perform the optimal service in the marketplace. WooCommerce and WC Vendors, for instance, come with two most popular plugins: Product Vendors and Dokan. Other platforms allow various plugins to support the marketplace system.
How to install a multi vendor marketplace
Different platforms have slightly different installation stages. However, in short, a multi vendor marketplace installation can be done manually by choosing the platform for the marketplace, downloading and extracting the extension or plugins, uploading extension files, providing categories for vendors and suppliers, and selecting categories of products before the service are launched to the users.
How to manage a multi vendor marketplace
Managing a multi vendor marketplace needs some basic skill and understanding of digital commerce. The first important step is inventory management that includes adding and stocking products to sell, then introducing them to the customers.
After the inventory is well-stored, several advance steps that a store admin needs to do are charging seller fees for every vendor that joins the marketplace system, managing and shipping orders for the customers, and managing the rating systems, commission rates, sales report, and vendors’ paying system. Those management qualifications can be performed by the right choice of platforms and plugins for multi vendor marketplace.
Those are some essential things that serve as your basic knowledge of multi vendor marketplace. By understanding necessary aspects of the digital marketplace, you can prepare for joining the new era of retailing service.