The online marketplace that comes with multiple vendors has been around for such a long time. The most famous and probably the largest marketplace might be eBay. Different from the online store or the e-commerce website that only has a single vendor selling and marketing different products or services, a marketplace is a large website that brings a lot of sellers into one platform, giving your site visitors the enough chances to find their target items for purchasing.
Frankly, the marketplace can bring a lot of benefits for you, your vendors and customers.
- For Site Owner – It is a great way for you to generate some online revenues. You can take a cut or a percentage of the profits generated by your vendors, and can charge them some fees for leveraging your marketplace. In addition, having more vendors working altogether can accelerate and boost your site, especially if you only have listed a few available services and products.
- For Vendors – They can sell what they want without the need to establish a complicated platform. Instead, they only need to become a user of your site, and can start their online business with ease.
- For Buyers – With a lot of products that come with different niches displayed, customers can shop online with the significant convenience.
As for the creation of a marketplace, we sincerely recommend you to use the CMS of WordPress. In the following, we have showcased the simple steps about how to start your own WordPress marketplace within 10 minutes.
The Necessity Preparations for Setting Up A WordPress Marketplace
Before starting the creation, you firstly need to finish the below tasks.
- Choose the top-quality WordPress hosting provider. Frankly speaking, a truly professional and quality marketplace needs to hold the large daily traffic and immense web contents. In this case, the commonly selected shared hosting might not be enough, and it would be good for you to choose the VPS package that ensures a large allocation of server resources. If you want to grow your marketplace as large as eBay, you might even need a dedicated server.
- Choose a well-designed WordPress template that offers some marketplace functions, such as the freedom to add custom styles and themes for different vendors.
- Increase the overall security of your marketplace using the security plugins, installing the private SSL certificate, enabling the CDN service and many more. After all, the marketplace holds the sensitive information of your vendors and their exclusive customers.
Make Your Site An E-Commerce One using WooCommerce
To begin with, you need to transfer your common WordPress blog into an e-commerce platform that comes with the selling functionality. For doing so, there are a lot of e-commerce plugins you can use. However, bearing the purpose of adding the marketplace or multi-vendor feature in the later step, we recommend the WooCommerce plugin.
WooCommerce is a free tool that is fully compatible with WordPress. While coming with the endless freedom and the ultimate user-friendliness, this tool now supports more than 30% of the online stores.
After installing the WooCommerce plugin to your site, you firstly need to set up some of the most basic settings for your marketplace. To do this, you can click WooCommerce > Settings.
In this part, you can decide your base location for the online business. Especially, if your marketplace is for the global customers, the tax rates can be calculated easily based on your entered location.
In addition, you should determine some currency options that affect how the prices will be showcased on your marketplace front-end.
In this part, you need to decide the measurements for each physical item, including what unit to define the product weight and what to define the length.
Besides, you can enable the product review system so that people can get more trustworthy information of the sold items listed by your vendors.
Here, you need to enable taxes along with the automatic tax calculations. After that, you should determine to calculate the tax based on the shipping addressing, billing address or the base shop address, to calculate the tax based on what class and to display the prices including or excluding the tax in the front-end and during the checkout.
This time, you need to edit and publish two special pages that act as your Cart Page and Checkout Page. After that, you need to decide some checkout settings, such as whether to apply coupons automatically from these two pages, whether to calculate the discounts sequentially, whether to allow the guest checkout without the need to create an account and whether to force the SSL for the better security.
As for the shipping options, you need to enable the shipping and shipping calculator, and then, choose the default shipping address. If you do not want to ship the items to somewhere, you can set the restrictions from the below drop-down list.
Add the Marketplace Feature with Multi-Vendors
Now, you have already added the e-commerce functions into your WordPress site by configuring the core settings of WooCommerce. Note that you can continue setting up some minor and detailed configurations to fully meet your needs.
Next, you need to add the marketplace feature into your site so that it can handle multiple vendors selling different items. For this, you need to install the WP Marketplace plugin. This is a free extension of WooCommerce that comes with a long list of useful features. With it, you can easily transfer your site into the marketplace, allowing and managing the outside vendors effectively.
Here, you can click the WooCommerce button again in the WordPress admin panel. This time, you can find a new button named as WCWp. Just click it to decide some settings.
Firstly, you need to decide whether to allow all the people to register as your market vendor, or keep your marketplace as an invite-only one. In addition, once people apply to be your vendor, you should decide to manually or to automatically approve them.
Also, it is possible that your vendors may fail to configure their stores in the right way. If so, you can add a Notify section in the dashboard to inform them. If some of these vendors are the newcomers, you can also enable the University option to share some selling tutorials and guidelines.
Besides, if you want, you can also enter and publish some policies covering all the aspects of refund, cancellation, exchange, return and shipping with your customized details.
If you want to broadcast some messages for all your vendors, you are allowed to add the announcements that will be displayed on the vendor dashboard.
Last, you can even enable the customer support to all the people making deals on your marketplace and enable them to review your vendors.
Product Page for Vendors
Now, you need to choose what can be shown on the “Product Add” page for your vendors, which include the items in the left-side panel, product types, type options and some miscellaneous. Personally, we think you can show all of them.
Next, you should determine which details of your vendors can be shown to customers. For instance, you can choose to show their names, change the texts of some special labels, decide the label color and show the related products.
Check front-end display for the demo vendor in the following.
This part decides how you can earn from your vendors. Firstly, when choosing the revenue sharing mode, you should pick up the Admin Fees option so that you can charge from your vendors. After that, you need to determine the commission type of percentage or the fixed value, decide whether to transfer the tax and shipping charge to your vendors and determine whether to bear the cost of coupons. In addition, do not forget to choose the way and the time for your vendors to pay you the fees or commissions.
This time, you should determine what your vendors can do and cannot do. For instance, you can give them the right to submit and publish the products without review, to create and release the coupon code, to add specific messages for the customers and many more.
Frankly, we recommend you to keep all the default capabilities set by this plugin, and enable some new ones carefully.
This is the last setting area, from which you should choose your preferred pages to display the vendor dashboard, transaction details, order details, vendor shipping and many more. Note that this plugin has already created these pages for you, so you do not need to publish some new ones but just need to save the settings.
It’s done! You have created a WordPress marketplace already. Now, people can sign up as your website vendor, display and sell the products they like, as well as edit their virtual store and check the sales report from their exclusive dashboard.
If you want to check the sales report for each vendor, you can click WooCommerce > Reports.