A multi-vendor store is an e-Commerce website with multiple sellers offering their products. The sellers usually pay a certain amount of commission to be listed in the marketplace. The owner of the website gets the benefit of sales without investing in their own inventory and the sellers get access to multiple buyers, it’s a mutually beneficial relationship. The three main parties involved in any such store are the admin, vendors, and customers. The vendors would have to be registered to gain access to the website. Some popular examples worldwide are E-bay, Amazon, Ali Express, etc.
Advantages of a Multi-Vendor E-Commerce Store
There are numerous benefits of starting a multi-seller website, some of the advantages are highlighted below
The primary benefit is that the owner does not have to make any investment in inventory themselves and resultantly the funds can be diverted to other causes such as branding and marketing. It also removes the risk of inventory management as the vendors themselves are responsible for logistics.
Introduction of new products and categories is as simple as adding more vendors. Hence the catalog can be easily managed at any stage of the business. Small sellers, in particular, would be willing to join to gain access to the large potential consumer base especially considering setting their own store would not be economically feasible.
3. Large Customer Base
Multi-vendor stores usually attract more customers due to the variety of product offerings, lower prices; vendors usually keep their prices low to compete with other vendors on the site and lastly because consumers perceive such sites as more secure.
Setting up your Store
The primary decision regarding the store would be the selection of the platform. A number of platforms exist like Magento, CS-Cart, Shopify, etc. However, most individuals would prefer to opt for an open-source multi-vendor marketplace making Magento an ideal option. In fact, the multi-vendor extension on Magento 2 has enhanced functionalities. Currently, almost 25% of all stores use Magento CMS.
The first step would be to get in touch with a web development company, preferably one that has past experience with multi-vendor stores. In Saudi Arabia, Dtech Systems is a leading web development company that has developed multiple multi-vendor stores for clients.
Although the exact functionalities would vary for each store depending on the platform and plugins used however certain features are common across all platforms. A brief overview of the essential features is provided below
All of the multi-vendor modules provide separate seller dashboards. The interface is usually kept simple and friendly providing the vendors’ information regarding their product catalog, orders, messages, reviews, low stock notifications, etc.
Certain basic features such as the ability to add simple, configurable, virtual and downloadable products should be available. Similarly, the admin/ owner should have the option to approve/ disapprove products before its display on the website. Some platforms like Magento even offer the ability to edit products in bulk.
The store administrator should have the option to manage all the orders at the backend. This would be necessary to supervise the quality of service and the timely delivery of orders. Having control of the orders can assure customer satisfaction. The minute functionalities differ depending on the platform and extensions used. For example, when using Magento with the webkul marketplace extension, the admin also has the ability to approve or disapprove each order before the vendor is notified.
Rating and Reviews
Ratings and reviews form the foundation of any multi-vendor marketplace. They reduce the customer’s perceived risk and add credibility to the vendors and the website. Positive reviews would encourage further purchases and negative ones would highlight problem areas to the vendors. Having the ability for the admin to manage these reviews at the backend is an added advantage that is available with most platforms including the Magento review system.
This should have provided a direction regarding starting your own multi-vendor store. A credible web development company should be enlisted for creating your store. Dtech Systems is a web development company based in Riyadh. Its team particularly has experience working on multi-vendor stores using the most favored platform i.e. Magento because of its increased functionalities. A number of marketplace extensions are available for Magento which can be selected by the chosen developer depending on the required features. Contact us for more information on setting up your own multi-vendor store.