Multi-vendor marketplaces are on the rise since the better choices at better prices are right what the modern customers are looking for. Even despite the recent pandemic, the idea to build a marketplace with WordPress (or maybe another tool chosen according to your business needs) is quite promising. The pandemic has changed the customers’ habits and behavior patterns, made them more frugal and conscious in their purchases. Marketplaces open up great opportunities in a new reality for buyers, sellers, and the creators of marketplace platforms themselves.
In this article, we will share some actionable tips on how to build a web marketplace from scratch.
What Is a Multi-Vendor Marketplace?
According to the Multi-Vendor Ecommerce Website for Selling IT Services research “A Multi-vendor eCommerce website assists to sell services directly to customers and can assist to earn profit by inviting different vendors to sell their services on the website. It has been seen that people mostly search for a website where they can get different services under one roof. This increases the demand for a multi-vendor shopping cart system which helps a customer to access multiple company’s profiles at a time.”
This is an overarching definition that simultaneously encompasses the way a multi-vendor marketplace works, as well as its benefits for everyone involved. However, let's take a closer look and thus get the first insights on how to build a marketplace website.
How Does a Multi-Vendor Website Work?
Let’s start by explaining the multivendor marketplace business model. What drives you when you ask the question of how to build a marketplace from scratch? Yes, you are right, this idea does not require you to have your personal goods or provide services on your own. Other companies that already have established supply and sales schemes do this, and you only provide them with a place to meet with their potential customers.
That is, any marketplace directly or indirectly repeats the Uber business model (the first on-demand multi-vendor marketplace in the transport services market). Uber does not have its own transport fleet - instead, it provides drivers with the ability to transport passengers at the request of the latter.
This approach offers significant benefits for marketplace creators, as well as sellers and buyers who get the opportunity to meet each other in a competitive but fair environment.
- The marketplace owner invests only in the development, as well as support and promotion of the solution in a specific market. This amount is significantly lower than purchasing goods, establishing a supply chain from scratch, or organizing the provision of any services.
- Sellers get another opportunity to showcase their products or services. They can also use your marketplace as a primary or secondary sales channel. It is also a great option for newly created retail businesses that cannot yet afford to create a custom website from scratch. What’s more, a properly organized marketplace has an equal share of sellers and interested buyers, that is, the cost of attracting a customer is much lower on the marketplace than on their own website.
- Buyers, in turn, get access to a large number of relevant offers. They can choose the best products and services based on price, quality of service, and other important parameters. As a rule, a marketplace has a quality control system for sellers, that is, the likelihood of successful, profitable, and repeat transactions also increases. Plus, many buyers choose the marketplace for their first interaction with the company.
How Long Does It Take to Build a Marketplace?
Practice shows that the time required to create such a solution is a fluctuating indicator. The first factor on the list is the necessary programming skills, for example, if you want to build a marketplace with WordPress. This is a fairly intuitive solution that will suit even beginners who are ready to invest time and effort. Therefore, before deciding to build your web application yourself, check out the exhaustive guide on how to build a marketplace with WordPress in 2021.
However, WordPress is not the only technology you can use. Depending on the specifics of your idea, you may need a custom creation from scratch, which is a task for professional developers. In this case, you'd better choose a vendor who already has experience in your field and in creating marketplaces, as this will reduce both time and money costs for development.
Also, do not forget that the work on the marketplace does not end with its technical development. You will need to constantly support your solution, scale it, take into account the wishes of users, and find new ways to promote and popularize it. On average, the creation of a marketplace can take from one month to six months, plus constant work on support and improvements.
However, building your marketplace with WordPress may be quite a reasonable decision in terms of price, time, and quality, so let’s find out how to build a marketplace website using this technology.
How to Create Multiple Vendors Marketplace in WordPress?
Here is how to build a marketplace with WordPress step by step.
- Start by creating an online store using WooCommerce
So, the first thing you need to do is redeem the domain and hosting and then connect the WooCommers plugin. This is a basic plug-in for creating an online store, however, it does not provide opportunities for a multi-vendor marketplace, however, there is a way to fix this (we will do it as the third step).
- Choose a theme
Now, let’s choose a perfect theme for your multi-vendor marketplace. There are a lot of stunning themes to choose from, however, let’s focus on the best ones according to their rating (4+ out of 5) and WooCommerce compatibility.
Multivendor WordPress Templates Comparison
|Features||As for the features, this theme is good for large retail marketplaces with plenty of physical goods. There are features for promo codes, flash deals, and affiliate marketing in addition to the basic set of functions that can be easily customized.||This is one more responsive theme that doesn’t require coding skills to be set up and customized. The theme is perfectly suitable for a clothes marketplace.||This is an all-in-one theme that is perfectly suitable for a multi-vendor marketplace regardless of the niche. You also don’t need to code but you will still get access to the full range of eCommerce features with a specific focus on product layouts, galleries, and promotion opportunities.||As for this theme specifics, it is perfectly compatible with a WC Vendors plugin. Surely, there is a set of essential features that will allow you to deploy a multi-vendor marketplace or an online store in several clicks.|
|Design||The theme comes in pink and blue color palettes. The layout is responsive.||There are a lot of stunning design options in-build so that you may improve the product’s layouts, experiment, and make the best choice.||There are 27 homepage designs to choose from.||There are 3 responsive design alternatives to choose from.|
- Turn your store into a marketplace with the WC Vendors plugin
After you have made the choice with your theme, make sure to activate the WC Vendors plugin. It will allow your vendors to use your marketplace as a selling platform.
- Add features for sellers and buyers accounts creation
Next, you need to return to your WooCommerce setting and put corresponding checkmarks to allow your sellers and buyers to create accounts on your platform to start interacting with each other.
- Decide on a monetization strategy and add a payment system
With the WC Vendors plugin, you will be able to receive a commission from each sale, so it makes sense to opt for affiliate marketing opportunities as well to increase your profits. As for the payment system, PayPal is set up by default, however, you may integrate additional payment gateways for a fee.
- Test, launch, and promote your marketplace
Perhaps this step is the most time consuming since it implies constant work. At the last stage, you need to test the operation of the marketplace, make sure that all the settings are correct, and start developing your online presence. Perhaps the marketing strategy for a marketplace deserves a separate article, but in short, social media and targeted advertising are the most affordable ways to quickly attract qualified traffic.
The Cost to Build a Marketplace With WordPress
So, the cost to build a marketplace with WordPress is unlikely to exceed $100-200 if you do everything yourself. Surely, WordPress development with the help of professional programmers will cost several times more so consider this option if you need to get it done quickly and without investing your time. Professional developers may also suggest better alternatives to make your marketplace truly competitive and promising.
Of course, WordPress makes it possible to build a marketplace quickly, easily, and on a budget. However, keep in mind the specifics of your idea, as unique ideas require a unique approach. If the capabilities of WordPress are not enough to fully implement your idea, use WordPress as a tool to validate it and collect the first response from the target audience, and then move along the path of custom development.