Multi-Vendor Marketplaces For Magento 2
Time to read: 7 minutes
Amazon, eBay, and Etsy are the most famous multi-vendor marketplaces on the internet. The commercial success of those projects makes many merchants consider how to implement a similar business model. Indeed, the annual net revenue of Amazon, for example, reached $ 386 billion in 2020. Who could resist such a temptation?
However, everyone would agree that the eCommerce giants did not arise overnight. They spent enormous amounts of time and money to become what they are today. No out-of-the-box eCommerce solutions were available at the dawn of their business, and they had to build their multi-vendor marketplaces from scratch. It is unlikely worth spending years and millions to go in their footsteps these days.
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Time has changed: ready-to-use eCommerce platforms such as Magento offer much faster and cheaper ways to replicate the success of the leading online marketplaces. In doing so, only a couple of things should be realized (the task is not rocket science). You need to understand how eCommerce marketplaces work and select a decent multi-vendor extension to launch your project.
We will guide you over both topics by using one of the popular marketplace multi-vendor modules for Magento 2 as an example.
How Multi-Vendor Marketplaces Work
A multi-vendor marketplace is an eCommerce website where every seller has an individual account. Such a business model is becoming more and more popular due to some significant advantages it represents to both the platform owners and participating vendors. The sellers have no need to create their own e-stores since a ready marketplace they use is backed by the platform owners’ reputation. On the other hand, multiple vendors provide both the variety and quality of products that increase the sales conversion from which platform owners benefit a lot. This is a win-win strategy, right?
Either custom-made eCommerce marketplaces or Magento-based multi-vendor solutions have the following general features:
- Customer login system
- Site search
- Call to action
- Discounts and special offers
- Product catalog
- Contacts of sellers and delivery services
- Secure payment gateway
- Online chat
- Social-media sharing function
There are many open-source eCommerce platforms on today’s market. The solutions allow turning your website into a marketplace with special multi-vendor modules. We consider such a variant of building eCommerce marketplaces the most reasonable due to the following reasons:
You can create a viable marketplace in a matter of hours;
You can customize your marketplace with individual designs to improve UX;
You can use Amazon-like marketplace functions with all their benefits;
You can scale up the functionality of your marketplace according to the needs of your business;
You can benefit from better indexing of your site since the majority of plugins are SEO-friendly;
You are supported by the developers of plugins.
We recommend Magento because this multi-vendor platform allows creating highly scalable marketplaces while the other open-source solutions support just basic configurations of eCommerce websites.
Magento is famous for its smooth functioning, secure operation, and numerous opportunities for customization. Besides, Magento holds leading positions in the eCommerce market for many years. The stats on Magento performance really impress:
- 0.7% of the entire global internet belong to Magento-powered websites;
- Magento occupies 12% of all available eCommerce projects;
- More than 250K websites use Magento;
- Magento projects grow three times faster in comparison with other eCommerce rivals;
- Ford, Land Rover, Omega Watches, Bulgari, Cristian Louboutin, Pepe Jeans, Liverpool FC, and many other super-brands use Magento;
- The number of online customers served by Magento increased by 200% between 2016 and 2020;
- More than 5000 extensions are available for Magento;
- About 300 K Magento developers are available worldwide.
Example: Webkul Magento 2 Marketplace Multi-Vendor Module
Magento app store offers numerous multi-vendor solutions to create a fully-fledged marketplace. The choice depends on your budget and the scale of your business. We propose to consider one of the most highly-rated multi-vendor marketplace modules for Magento 2 as an example. This extension can turn your Magento e-store into a complete multi-vendor shopping mall capable of managing the inventory, shipping, vendor accounts, customer collections, and many more.
All Magento 2 templates, as well as responsive web designs, are compatible with the Webkul marketplace multi-vendor module. The latest release of Magento 2 is supported with the extension. The price of $349 is reasonable once it sits somewhere in between the highest and lowest ones from other extensions similar in functionalities. The module integrates numerous shipping and payment solutions such as DHL, UPS, FedEx, PayPal, Stripe, Mangopay, etc. Besides, this multi-vendor marketplace extension enables admins to set up different commissions for sellers.
The solution provides both sellers and admins with numerous flexible options to run their businesses. Admins are encouraged by the variety of back-end management features while sellers can customize their separate front-end profiles with individual shop URLs, logos, banners, and unlimited product catalogs. Customers, in turn, can rate and review all the vendors with a fast and intuitive interface.
Advantages of Multi-Vendor Marketplace Modules
Below we indicate peculiarities of the Webkul multi-vendor module not to be too abstract about the topic. Of course, Webkul extension is never a panacea since dozens of similar solutions are available on the market. Nonetheless, we’d prefer to focus on a real example of the actually existing extension with which we are familiar well enough in practice. Hence, the following description implies some sort of generalization based on the Webkul module in particular.
In order to comprehensively outline all capabilities of the marketplace multi-vendor extensions, their features are worth dividing into several groups as follows:
Since this marketplace multi-vendor extension is developed with the codebase of Magento 2 App Programming, the solution appears as scalable as the Magento 2 platform itself does. It means no performance issues for your e-store while all standard cash handlers are supported. The same relates to the MySQL replication and server settings as well. The module is tested with all native Magento 2 debugging tools. In other words, any number of product catalogs and vendor profiles cannot affect your multi-vendor marketplace performance.
Read more on Magento performance testing.
Flexible commission management is what makes any multi-vendor marketplace attractive for sellers. Especially when the global scale is reached. The Webkul module enables marketplace owners to manage seller commissions at two levels: a global level and a vendor one. The admin panel allows monitoring all aspects of the seller commission management in one place. The seller’s info, commission percentage, total sales, received amounts, and other metrics are available in the admin dashboard.
Efficient handling of orders is barely imaginable without alerts and notifications. Both sellers and customers expect to be timely informed by a marketplace about everything they do on the website. Product approvals, seller support alerts, admin notifications all can let your business run smoothly. The Webkul multi-vendor module provides notification management at scale. All possible email notification templates are available and ready to use. Both real-time SMS notifications to sellers and web push notifications to customers lead to the mutual satisfaction of all participants that, in turn, results in your marketplace’s growth.
Managing orders and invoices belongs to the function that can be delegated to sellers by admins. It means vendors can process orders from the backend panel. It goes in parallel with the My Order History section in the marketplace. Any order status can be displayed as well as any related order function can be managed: creating and printing invoices, arranging shipments, sending email notifications to customers, etc. Thus, sellers have full control over their order histories provided by the multi-vendor module in conjunction with available shipping addons.
Reviews & Ratings
The word of mouth boosts sales much better than any paid advertisement does oftentimes. Any decent multi-vendor marketplace must provide buyers with opportunities to leave their product/seller reviews on the site. This is how vendors’ ratings appear. Of course, review moderation belongs to admins only. The multi-vendor module allows admins to manage vendor reviews by approving only actual buyers, not guests making reviews on the marketplace.
Google search bots provide good indexing of a website if it has the so-called Search Engine Friendly URL. On the other hand, customers appreciate reliable and easy-to-remember URLs. Both properties belong to the seller profiles and product pages that have unique URLs created via the multi-vendor marketplace extension. Besides, optimization of search engine visibility for your Magento 2 store is possible with numerous SEO-friendly functions such as meta description of products, vendor pages’ meta titles, meta keywords for seller profiles, SEO-friendly seller pages, etc.
Read our guide on Magento SEO for more details.
Reaching the right target audience is the objective of any marketing campaign. Both admins and vendors can use various audience data in doing so. Admins can use Google Analytics to understand how customers interact with the multi-vendor marketplace. Besides, they can allow sellers to use this analysis tool to study the data of their vendor pages. Therefore, both admins and sellers can develop their marketing strategies based on data from Google Analytics.
The above-mentioned features of the multi-vendor marketplace module for Magento 2 constitute just a part of all available capabilities of the solution. We indicate such a general functionality to demonstrate how flexible and multifaceted the creation of a multi-vendor marketplace can be. And this leads us to the following fundamental question:
Where To Start?
After gaining a common understanding of what multi-vendor modules can provide for Magento 2 marketplaces it is worth considering who can help implement all that rich functionality into your e-store. Just the variety of capabilities available with multi-vendor modules hint at some professional Magento developers having deep expertise in marketplace creation.
Worth their assistance spending money? Can’t just trial and error be enough? If your goal is something similar to the success of Amazon and eBay, the questions appear rhetorical. Futile time and effort spent on building a multi-vendor marketplace without a rich practical experience can never be compensated by anything.
Contact our Magento experts right now to make the first move in the footsteps of multi-vendor marketplace giants whose way appears much easier with Magento 2 multi-vendor modules.
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