When it comes to a multi-seller store, competing with online eCommerce giants like Amazon, eBay or Etsy is one of a task with multiple pain-points.
In words, putting products of multiple sellers together on a single page and earning commissions from sales, seems easy; right?
Not really! Managing a successful multiple-seller marketplace requires a lot to make things run as swiftly as needed.
In this article, let’s dive into the eCommerce multi-vendor marketplace ecosystem and try to figure it out a bit more!
What is a Multivendor Marketplace?
The multivendor marketplace concept basically lets an admin convert a single-vendor store into a multiple vendor store. One can create a store like Amazon, where multiple sellers are selling multiple categories of products. Or one can even focus on a specific product category like art/electronics/clothing just like Etsy.
Basically, if you are someone who is looking forward to opening a store but doesn’t want to get into the hassle of inventory, shipping, etc then a multi-seller marketplace is the suitable way to go. Simply, add sellers and earn a commission from each sale.
Why a multi-seller store instead of a single-seller one?
When managing a single-seller store, the admin, himself, has to keep a track of everything from inventory, shipping, managing store to customer service. Moreover, if you, as an owner, are looking forward to a have an online store with multiple product categories then going for a multivendor marketplace is THE DECISION. This way you can allow different sellers to sell products of different categories with ease. Apart from that, the inventory will be all upon your sellers & you can earn from every seller added to your store.
The traffic that one can get from a multiple seller store is much higher than what you’ll get from a single seller store. Talking about the sellers, they don’t need to work upon creating a new store from scratch. They just need the inventory and start selling. Apart from that, they’ll have the advantage of the existing customers.
The challenge of maintaining the balance between the Admin and the Sellers
Though the Admin doesn’t have to worry about the inventory & other perks but still to make things run smoothly, he has to get on the field.
The admin needs to pay attention to every seller selling on his store. He needs to check up on the quality & quantity of the services his sellers are uploading on his store. If the products uploaded by the sellers are not of the worth or are mostly out of the stock then no one will buy them. Admin needs to analyze and work upon immediately if any seller is lagging behind. Because ultimately, this will affect the overall reputation of the admin’s store.
Multi-Vendor Marketplace for Shopify
Multi-Vendor Marketplace for Shopify is one such application that will perfectly help you maintain the balance between the admin and the sellers. Apart from that, it will help you convert your single-seller Shopify store into a fully-functioning marketplace with flexibility & helpful add-ons.
The Admin can sell normal, digital or both kinds of products on this multivendor platform. The digital storage provided depends on the subscription plan admin is using. (Know more)
Adding Multiple Sellers
The admin can add multiple sellers to his store using the Multi-Vendor Marketplace app. He can decide the number of sellers he wants as Multi-Vendor Marketplace app comes with three different subscription plans. These plans are built keeping each admin’s need & budget in mind.
Basic Plan ($10/month): 3 Sellers
Executive Plan ($30/month): 10 Sellers
Pro Plan ($45/month): unlimited Sellers
The admin can add sellers manually (one at a time or in bulk via CSV) OR he can even allow sellers to register themselves on his store. Every seller will have a separate Seller Profile on the storefront displaying all the products sold by him.
The inventory is managed by the sellers but the admin needs to make sure that the product quality is good. Also, the products should be updated before they ran out of stock. Good inventory management is very necessary and should be precisely monitored by the admin.
The products can be updated either by the admin (manually/bulk method) or he can let his sellers add products to the store.
The admin can allow/deny the products added by the sellers before publishing them to the storefront. This will help him to keep in check if the product pictures & descriptions are up to the mark or not.
To make sure that the sellers upload good quality products with quality images & up to date inventory, the admin can enable the rating functionality.
Multi-Vendor Marketplace app allows customers to rate the sellers depending on the products they are selling. This rating can be viewed by the admin as well as the seller. So, sellers will be much more attentive regarding the products they are selling to avoid bad ratings.
Have warehouses at different locations?
It seems hard to manage inventories if you have them at more than one location. But using the Multi-location Inventory feature add-on on your multi-vendor marketplace app, the admin can easily manage his inventories situated that different locations. He can also manage orders accordingly.
The merchant will be able to select a location that will be on priority for fulfilling the orders. The admin, as well as the seller, will have the option to track the product inventory for a new product on the selected location.
Know more about Multi Location Inventory: Click here.
Multi-Vendor Marketplace Commission
The commission is the admin’s share from his Sellers. Commissions can be a percentage or a fixed value. This is the prior benefit of opening a multi-seller store.
There are four main commissions that the admin can apply. Listing them down:
- Product Commission
- Collection Commission
- Seller Commission
- Global Commission
Thus, the admin can apply different commissions on different kinds of products, category & sellers. He can even set a defined global commission for all the sellers in his store.
Membership for Sellers
Multi-Vendor Marketplace has an add-on that will let the admin add membership plans. He can make the sellers subscribe to a suitable plan for using his platform to selling products. The membership plans are made by the admin himself. He can decide the price, the number of products allowed to sell, the plan validity (monthly, yearly, half-yearly) and even the bill payment (prepaid/post-paid).
The admin can also set commission on the basis of subscription plans he has made.
To know more, check out Seller Membership
The orders placed on the multi-vendor marketplace are updated on both the admin as well as seller panel. This is important as the admin should be well aware of the order status. If the order is not shipping on time, the admin can send a reminder to the respective seller to complete the process as soon as possible.
Want to automatically notify your sellers and get notified about the new orders placed on the store via SMS? Then check out SMS Alert feature add-on for multi vendor marketplace app.
SMS Gateway used for the same is Clockwork Integration.
This add-on will send an SMS regarding the new orders placed to the admin as well as the sellers to be updated on time & start the after process asap.
Coming to Shipping, the admin can set different shipping methods from his end for his seller. The sellers can choose from giving shipping methods to ship their orders. All the related details are well updated on the admin’s end too.
The multi-vendor marketplace app has many shipping add-ons depending on the sellers & country in which your service is shipping to. Dropping them down:
- Multi-vendor marketplace SHIPPING
- USPS Shipping
- ECOM Express Shipping
- Canada Post Shipping
- AirSpeed Shiping
- Australia Post Shipping
- Store Pickup (To let your customers pick their orders themselves and save the shipping charges.)
The admin can enable as many shipping methods as he wants and the seller can choose the one they want to go for.
Want to split the cart seller-wise whenever a customer places an order for products from different sellers?
Check out Split Cart Feature app for multi vendor marketplace.
Paying the sellers on time is one of the crucial aspects if you are looking for a long term relationship with them. Otherwise, they’ll fall from the crack thus, resulting in the admin’s own loss.
In the multi-vendor marketplace, the admin can configure different payment methods. the sellers can choose the method via which he wants to be get paid.
The multi-vendor has some online payment methods & some offline.
Online payment methods: PayPal & Payfast
Offline payment methods: Bank Wire Transfer & Internet Banking
If the admin wants to auto-pay his sellers once the order gets fulfilled or delivered then he can configure PayPal Payout Payment Method for the same.
The multi-vendor marketplace app also has an add-on for automatic payment process:
The admin can confirm seller policy, i.e., whether he wants it to be normal or advance. Using the advance seller policy, each seller can have their own set of rules and conditions.
Since the customers can place an order with products from different sellers, it is better to have the same return & guarantee policy to avoid confusion for the customers.
Add-ons for Customer Service
The multi-vendor app has multiple add-ons to enhance the experience of the sellers selling on your marketplace.
With customers come customer queries. If you are running a store, you have to have a good customer support system which will let you get back to your customers as soon as possible. Because not many organizations go beyond client expectations without the client even expecting them.
Moving on, Use the Ask a Question feature app to let your customers ask questions regarding the products simply by clicking the ‘Ask Me’ button on the product description page. Moreover, both the admin and the seller will be able to monitor the queries of different customers.
To know more about Ask a Question feature app, click here.
Let your sellers be socially available!
Many sellers want to connect their store profile with their social media accounts to increase their engagement with their customers. It’s a good way to connect with your customers & establish a good-will. Thus, using the Social Network Tabs feature add-on, the admin can let his sellers connect his seller profile with social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, etc.
To know more about Social Network Tabs feature app, click here.
Sellers out of town?
Everyone needs a break and so as your sellers. But what if your customers are placing orders for products of a seller who is currently unavailable?
Seeing that the orders are not fulfilled on time, your customers may leave a negative review or may not come again to shop from your store.
Save yourself from this chaos by enabling the Seller Vacation App using which your sellers can disable the products for the time period they’ll not be available to fulfill them, or they can even keep selling them with a message (message will be displayed on the product description page) regarding the same.
To know more about Seller Vacation App feature app, click here.
Do your sellers have their own Shopify store?
If your sellers also have their own Shopify stores then they can sync their products with admin’s Shopify store with ease.
This can be achieved by using the Create an app for seller feature add-on. This add-on will not only help with syncing products but also the inventories and orders. Moreover, the admin can charge his sellers for integrating their store with the admin’s store, i.e., for using this add-on feature.
To know more about Create an app for seller feature app, click here.
Connect your Multi-Vendor Marketplace with different platforms
There are multiple connector add-ons using which the admin can sync or integrate his/her marketplace with different platforms. These connectors will let you sync products, inventories, and orders in a hassle-free way.
Listing the available connectors below:
Need help with store management?
If you have grown a lot in this business & need helping hands for managing the marketplace for you, then you can add staff members. The staff members can be added by you with different permissions that you want to allocate them. Like if you want a staff member to just manage the orders then allow him only the access for the order section.
Enable the Admin Staff feature app for the same.
The admin will have total control over the activities of the staff members. Moreover, you can enable/disable/delete the staff members anytime you want.
Want your sellers to add staff members for themselves?
Use the Seller Staff feature add-on for the same with similar facilities as the one you get in the Admin Staff feature app.
Make your store multilingual
Your store is out there for millions of customers belonging to different natives, speaking different languages. It’s important to make your store multilingual so that you can cover a larger audience. This step is necessary if you actually want to grow & give your customers the best shopping experience. Because if you’ll not, someone else will!
Keeping this in mind, the multi-vendor marketplace has a feature add-on by the name Weglot Translation. Weglot Translator detects and translates all your content in any language and provides the best result.
Moreover, this add-on is free of cost but you need to pay the charges applied by Weglot. (Know Weglot Prices)
Multi Vendor Marketplace App has a lot more than what I’ve mentioned above. To discover more, check out the following blog: Multi Vendor Marketplace for Shopify
So winding up this article with a note that though managing a multi-seller marketplace seems quite back-breaking. But if you work upon each component with full effort & concentration, you’ll surely triumph!
If you have suggestions to make something better, do let us know.
In case of any issue or suggestion, create a ticket at Webkul UV desk.
Until next time. 👋