Multi-vendor online shops, aka marketplaces, are gold mines when done right. The big dogs are Etsy and eBay, but you can find popular niche multi-vendor sites such as ThemeForest. The idea behind multi-vendor sites is to allow people, or companies, to create profiles and post their products for sale.
CS.Cart is a popular and powerful ecommerce software that allows you to run your site off of your own server, improving security and giving you complete control over your content and maintenance procedures. The standard packages from CS.Cart doesn’t let you make a multi-vendor site, but luckily the company provides a completely separate package for making this happen.
This is wonderful news since you don’t have to integrate a separate plugin – it’s all packaged into one nice platform. It’s a little more costly compared to the Magento add-on, but it tends to even out when you start thinking about the Magento licensing fees. Overall, the CS.Cart Multi-Vendor platform provides a sleek, single storefront for vendors to make profiles and sell products.
Customers can place products from multiple vendors in their shopping carts, and you can have an unlimited number of vendor accounts. Not to mention, the vendor admin area allows vendor-specific shipping methods, payout recording, and powerful product display tools.
WordPress with the Marketify Theme
A somewhat quicker way to implement a multi-vendor system is by using the WordPress platform, paired with the Marketify Theme, which is much easier for beginners since you just setup WordPress, implement the theme and start building the site from there. I like this method, since the theme is affordable, and you receive plenty of support from the theme creator.
The theme integrates well with Easy Digital Downloads, for selling downloadable products, and your users can login with their social accounts to expedite the entire process. Ratings and review functionality is available for customers, and some beautiful video and audio previews are included for helping customers make decisions. Overall, I’d say this multi-vendor option works well for any type of business, and although it may require a little technical knowledge, it’s not that hard to learn how to upload a theme onto a WordPress site.
Magento with Marketplace
Magento is an open source platform, similar to something like WordPress, except it focuses primarily on e-commerce, and it is certainly one of the best ways to build an online store, particularly a multi-vendor one. You can’t simply allow multiple vendors through your website without the help of an extension. That extension is the Marketplace Multi-Vendor Module, which lets you convert a pre-existing Magento site into a multi-vendor marketplace.
With the extension, you can offer separate seller profiles for the vendors to login and manage their own content. The sellers can modify various items in their profiles such as logos, images, media, product collections, and feedback. I particularly like that the extension lets you provide different commissions to every vendor. This offering requires a little cash upfront, but it’s actually reasonably priced for the sheer number of features that come along with it. It’s also rather easy to setup compared to some other options like or IXXO.
This offering requires a little cash upfront, but it’s actually reasonably priced for the sheer number of features that come along with it. It’s also rather easy to setup compared to some other options like or IXXO.
Unlike most other marketplace SaaS platforms that offer a templated solution for all purposes, Arcadier allows users to choose from a bunch of options- from buying and selling goods or booking services to renting spaces and items and several other business models.
Besides these, they also offer several unique features like multilingual capabilities, private marketplaces, and social logins. I particularly love the ability to edit JS code (which opens the possibility of additional customization and the ability to add our own payment service providers).
They’ve also got a Freemium plan where the pricing plan scales up with the number of transactions on the store!
Yo!Kart is one of the lesser known multi-vendor platforms, but it pulls its weight as a viable competitor. The intuitive interface is fully customizable, and it provides easy navigation for vendors and admins alike. Yo!Kart has a nice vendor profile area where people can upload products, modify listings and change pricing. All changes are first sent to you, the moderator, before anything is published on the site.
An interesting feature is where the buyers are not shown the vendor details while shopping. I figure this might have something to do with preventing any unfair treatment of certain vendors. Anonymity could possibly serve some vendors well. Similar to most other options in this article, the Yo!Kart system lets customers place orders from multiple vendors in the shopping cart.
X-cart delivers tools to small and large businesses that require an ecommerce platform. The package we’re focusing on today is called Multi-vendor, and it allows vendors to sell multiple products through your one storefront. All customers are able to place products from multiple vendors in a single shopping cart, and the vendors can view orders, change shipping methods and assign products to different categories.
The website admin can set up shipping protocols, modify any product in the marketplace and register new vendors. the idea behind the admin interface is to give you full control over everything that goes on in your shop. It’s a rather powerful platform, and I can see businesses of any size using this with success.
OpenCart with Multi-Vendor / Drop Shipper
Opencart, the open source shopping cart solution, works wonders for standard online stores, but can it serve you well when designing a marketplace? It sure can, but it requires the Multi-vendor/Drop Shipper extension.
This provides a secure dashboard for all of your vendors, and you can manage the products from every single seller on the marketplace. The quick monthly payment feature is a nice touch, and the vendors even receive automatic email notification when a buyer pays. As another open source solution, Opencart requires a little technical knowledge, but it works for all business sizes.
BuildaBazaar is an e-commerce Saas platform built by Infibeam with operations in India and Middle East. The technology infrastructure of Infibeam was extended as an e-commerce platform and launched as buildabazaar in 2011. It is a self-service platform where users can create an e-commerce store, upload their product catalog, customize their site and sell their products. Buildabazaar is offered as a SaaS platform for creating online retailing websites and travel booking sites.
Buildabazaar is a cloud-based ecommerce platform, which allows users to create an online retail store. The platform provides tools, called as ‘widgets’, to customize the appearance of the store and an administration panel for managing inventory, orders and shipments. Buildabazaar also provides integrated payment gateway and tie up with logistics providers. Buildabazaar has also extended its ecommerce platform for travel agents to build travel booking sites for flights, hotels, buses and car rentals.