In the last few years, the eCommerce industry has grown at a rapid rate. However, the multi-vendor marketplace is slowly but surely becoming the preferred method of online shopping by customers. Customers could now search, discover, and buy the products quickly, which means they wouldn’t have to wait or spend a lot of time scouring the internet across multiple websites to find a single product.
A multi-vendor marketplace or store, as the name suggests, is an eCommerce shopping platform that lets multiple third-party vendors sell their unique products in one spot. It is a large online store with a plethora of small vendor shops run by independent vendors. Customers have a larger catalog to choose from, and sellers have a larger base of readily available customers with a multi-vendor store.
The website’s owner is only in charge of managing the site; third-party vendors are allowed to sell their products to a large customer base. Amazon, Walmart, Alibaba, eBay, Flipkart, and other popular multi-vendor marketplaces are successfully assisting various small to large vendors to sell their products across multiple places. Both the seller and the marketplace owner benefit from the multi-vendor marketplace. Every sale results in a commission for the owner and a profit for the seller. The seller does not have to worry about website upkeep, and the owner does not have to worry about product delivery and shipment logistics.
The main difference between a multi-vendor marketplace and a typical online store is that the former has the technical abilities to support different sellers, while the latter does not. When you think of a multi-vendor website, you probably think of Amazon, Flipkart, or Alibaba. Whereas, when you think of a typical online store, consider Zara or Nike’s official website.
Creating a multi-vendor platform has several advantages
Wide range of products
Many vendors feature and sell their products on the multi-vendor marketplace platform. Customers will be engaged and more traffic and sales will be generated by any online store that offers a variety of products. It assists customers in sorting through the available products to find the right products for their needs.
Minimal upkeep costs
There is no need to spend money or resources in developing products, managing inventory, and logistics when launching a multi-vendor marketplace. The marketplace’s sellers will take care of all of these factors. As a result, the marketplace can focus on social media marketing, expanding operational processes to cater to the needs of international customers, and website upkeep.
Multi-vendor inventory management
A new eCommerce business is unlikely to be able to absorb the fees of maintaining a fully stocked warehouse of products. However, in a multi-vendor marketplace, each vendor is responsible for maintaining its inventory. This relieves the eCommerce business of a significant economic strain, which is inevitable in the early stages and allows them to concentrate on website advancements and scaling up their business with remarkable accuracy.
Customers are attracted by the availability of a wide range of vendors in a single marketplace. Customers prefer to buy various products from a single marketplace instead of visiting multiple eCommerce websites. It assists your multi-vendor marketplace in generating more traffic, which leads to increased sales and revenue opportunities.
Passive income via commissions
Because a multi-vendor marketplace can have multiple vendors or sellers, it pays you a commission on each item purchased on the platform.
What Are the Prerequisites for Launching an Online Marketplace Using WordPress?
To create a Multi-Vendor Consulting Website, you’ll need the following items.
- Domain name and hosting
- WordPress and WooCommerce
- Any ELEX shipping plugin that provides real-time rates as well as label printing. This add-on is currently supported by the following plugins: ELEX WooCommerce DHL Shipping Plugin, ELEX WooCommerce EasyPost Shipping Plugin, ELEX Stamps.com Shipping Plugin with USPS Postage for WooCommerce, and ELEX WooCommerce Australia Post Shipping Plugin with Print Label & Tracking.
- Any WooCommerce multi-vendor plugin, such as WooCommerce Product Vendors, Dokan Multi-Vendor Plugin, or WC Vendors, is compatible with WooCommerce.
- WooCommerce Multi-Vendor Support for ELEX Shipping Plugins
You can also learn how to download, install, and activate ELEX plugins, as well as how to use the WooCommerce Multi-Vendor Add-On for ELEX Shipping Plugins.
Let’s get down to business with configuring the add-on now that we’ve installed it.
Go to WooCommerce > Multi-Vendor Add-On to get started.
The settings in the add-on are as follows:
Shipping Cost Behaviour: The plugin includes the following choices for displaying shipping rates on the cart page
- Display Consolidated Shipping Charges: Adds the entire value of all products purchased from various vendors, as well as the shipping charges for each product, and the total cost will be displayed to the customer. The products, on the other hand, will be picked up and delivered by the respective vendors. Depending on the vendor, the delivery date may vary.
- Display Shipping Charges for Each Vendor: This option separates the products by the vendor and displays the total shipping charges for each vendor separately. Shipping costs are determined from the vendor’s address to the shipping address of the customer.
Show Order Details: Check this box to display order details for each associated vendor separately. You can select user roles to prevent vendors with those roles from accessing admin features. They are only able to view and access the orders and product information.
Allow Vendor API-Key: You have the option of accepting shipping carrier API keys directly from the vendor. If this option is not selected, the store owner must enter the shipping carrier API key in the plugin’s Rates and Services section. Navigate to your WooCommerce dashboard, then to Users > All Users. To configure the vendor API-Key, go to Vendor > Edit > ELEXtensions Multi-Vendor Add-On Settings.
You only need to enter the EasyPost API Key if your WooCommerce store uses the ELEX EasyPost (FedEx, UPS, Canada Post, and USPS) Shipping & Label Printing Plugin for WooCommerce.
You must enter your Stamps username and password if you are using the ELEX Stamps.com Shipping Plugin with USPS Postage for WooCommerce.
You must enter the Australia Post API Key, account number, password, StarTrack account number, and password when using the ELEX WooCommerce Australia Post Shipping Plugin with Print Label & Tracking. You must also enable the multi-vendor option in the plugin dashboard. To do so navigate to your WooCommerce dashboard, click Plugins, then Installed Plugins, then ELEX WooCommerce Australia Post Shipping Plugin, and finally Settings.
Turn on the Multi-vendor option.
If you use the ELEX WooCommerce DHL Express / eCommerce / Paket Shipping Plugin with Print Label plugin to use DHL shipping services, the options to allow vendor API – Key and emailing labels to the vendor will be unavailable. The generated shipment labels, on the other hand, are visible in the Dokan dashboard for the vendors.
Email Labels to Vendors: Check this option to send a copy of the shipping label(s) to vendors via email. The vendors will receive the shipping labels for their packages via email once the store administrator has created shipments.
After you’ve chosen your preferred option, click Save changes. Install the WooCommerce multi-vendor plugin of your choice, then create and allocate the necessary vendors to WordPress users.
You can download the various supported multi-vendor plugins supported by WooCommerce Multi-Vendor Add-On for ELEX Shipping Plugins
Let us use the ELEX WooCommerce EasyPost Shipping Plugin as an example. Consider the following scenario: we’ve added two products to the cart from two different vendors.
Case 1: Display Consolidated Shipping Charges – The add-on adds up the shipping costs for different shipping methods and displays them as a single figure.
To Wrap Up
The creation of a multi-vendor marketplace is a difficult, time-consuming, and expensive process. To be successful in the market, be financially beneficial and profit-oriented, you must consider all of the factors we have discussed. We hope this article has helped you learn how to create a Multi-Vendor Consulting Website with WordPress. The WooCommerce Multi-Vendor Add-On for ELEX Shipping Plugin, for example, can significantly simplify the process. If you have any questions about multi-vendor consulting websites, please leave them in the comments section.