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Do you want to create an online multi-vendor marketplace using WordPress and WooCommerce? Then this is the perfect step by step guide for the same. Here we are going to take a look at how easily you can create a WooCommerce Multi-vendor website using some plugins that will make our job easy.
To create a multi-vendor website, you need to follow the following steps:
Get a Domain name and Hosting service
The major step in setting up a website is to get a domain name and a hosting service for the same. A domain name is a virtual address that hosts your store. Example: www.sampledomain.com. The domain name can be obtained from a web hosting service that is specialized in WooCommerce hosting. Popular hosting ones are Bluehost, GoDaddy, etc. Most of the web domain name provider gives you an SSL certificate too. An SSL adds a special security layer for your website. You can choose from the popular best-suited plan for your domain name and hosting service.
Install WordPress and Get WooCommerce
You can easily download WordPress from WordPress.org and then install the same. Once you install WordPress, you can go to plugins and search for WooCommerce. You can download and install WooCommerce.
Once your WooCommerce store is set up then, you need to add products and set up other details like shipping, payments, etc. on the WooCommerce settings.
Choose a Theme best suited for your Multi-vendor Marketplace
It is important to make your website much more interesting and a feast for the eyes. To do the same, it is important to select a theme that is best suited for the multi-vendor store. WooCommerce provides mindblowing themes for your stores in free and premium rates.
Turn your WooCommerce Website into an Online Marketplace
If you want a multi-vendor store, then you need to install a multi-vendor plugin to make it a marketplace. The plugins like Dokan, WCVendors, etc. help you set up a simple and easy to manage multi-vendor marketplace without much hassle.
Doing so, you give each vendor the full control over the website to sell and market their products. As a multi-vendor marketplace owner, you can also choose the business model, the product types, then the commissions, as well as the payment methods.
Let us take a look at how you can set the multi-vendor plugin Dokan and set up a complete WooCommerce multi-vendor marketplace.
Install Dokan and set up a multi-vendor marketplace
Dokan is one of the popular multi-vendor plugins that has gained popularity over time. The simplified front-end interface is one of the major reasons for the popularity of the plugin. Its exceptional features also make it more viable for all multi-vendors marketplaces to work with. Dokan helps to augment the capabilities of the multi-vendor marketplace with exceptional features that makes it much more easy to work with multiple vendors.
To go about installing Dokan, we need to download it first.
Once Dokan is installed on your WooCommerce store, then you can go ahead and do the initial settings in the setup. Dokan settings comprise the important details that need to be aligned to set the store completely. You can either set it up during the installation or go to Dokan->Settings in the Dashboard.
Each setting has certain values to be fed to make the functioning of the store go easy.
General Settings -Dokan
In the general settings, you can set, the Vendor name, the logo for the specific Vendor, the banner image for the store, etc. Also, various vendor store notifications can be set in the general settings.
Here the settings are primarily made for the Commission type (Flat /Percentage), the amount received by the admin upon each sale. Also upon Shipping, who receives the shipping fees (Vendor or the Admin) and also the tax fees. The settings also consist of the Vendor capabilities too.
The above settings, let the marketplace owner set the payment options for the vendor. The settings can be on the withdrawal methods, the minimum amount withdraws limit, etc. Even the marketplace owner can decide when to process the payment for the vendor depending on the order status. Also, set the Withdraw Threshold too. You can even hide the withdraw option when the vendor is automatically receiving the commissions.
The Page settings let you set the data that is needed on the front-end vendor page.
Here the Vendor store appearance settings can be included and then set it accordingly to ensure that the products are displayed correctly.
Any seller or vendor needs to fill in the necessary details to market their products. Unless until the seller is a genuine one, your marketplace is always at a risk.
Verification email gateways
In the Verification email gateways, you can set the settings to recover the accounts and other SMS Verification data for the vendor.
Whenever a vendor registers with the multi-vendor marketplace, they are notified with email verification. The settings for the same can be initiated here.
Most of the vendors hold social media accounts. On this page, you can connect all the social media pages that the vendor has.
Once these settings are enabled, your vendor store is ready to be registered.
Dokan Vendor Registration
After the settings, when you go to the My Accounts page on your store, you can see that it provides a vendor registration option. The setting appears, with Dokan as the multi-vendor plugin.
When a vendor selects to register with the marketplace, the vendor is provided with a list of options for verification purposes before becoming a vendor with the Marketplace.
With this, the vendor gets registered. The Vendor can now set up the store.
A complete store set up, in a step by step manner is performed.
If the vendor is interested to provide the shipping details, then the Default shipping cost must also be added.
Finally, the payment setting for the specific vendor is also added to ensure the vendor receives the payments from the marketplace on the orders purchased. Then the store is ready for hosting on the WooCommerce Multi-vendor marketplace.
Now the vendor can also move ahead for the rest of the settings that are done before setting up the store with products to purchase.
Setting up the Vendor Store
Now, once the Vendor is all ready and added to the multi-vendor marketplace, it is important to set the important details about the store. The dashboard helps to do the same quickly.
Also, the payment, social media links of the vendor and the SEO settings are enabled to ensure that the store functions like a normal individual online store.
Enable the Vendor Store from the Admin side
Now as the formal settings are done, owner of the WooCommerce multi-vendor website has to approve the vendor store.
Now the store is ready for the products. Vendor adds the products to the store.
To add the products, the vendor uses the dashboard to do it.
On clicking Add Product, the product data that needs to fill appears.
You can fill in the necessary data that describes the product. You can repeat the process for adding the rest of the products.
Now the product gets added to the store.
The vendor can view the store and the products added in the store in the store-listing.
Each vendor upon selecting will show their products.
Setting up shipping
Now that the store is ready for purchasing it is important to decide upon the shipping of the products. To set up multi-vendor shipping, it is important to note that each Vendor might be shipping from varied locations to varied locations. To simplify the process, it needs to be synchronized with a shipping plugin. Dokan does not support various shipping options. Now you can make use of the Shipping plugins that are easy to integrate with WooCommerce like the ELEX WooCommerce DHL Express / eCommerce / Paket Shipping Plugin with Print Label,
Even though these shipping plugins work well with single stores, to make it compatible with a multi-vendor store place, it is ideal to use an add-on that helps to the same. One of the popular add-on for a WooCommerce multi-vendor is the WooCommerce Multi-Vendor Add-On for ELEX Shipping Plugins.
The add-on facilitates to provide multiple vendors with multiple shipping addresses.
For example: Suppose a customer from NewYork is purchasing from Vendor1 who is located in Spain. The shipping cost may differ a lot. The same customer might purchase another product from Vendor 2 who is located in another location like London. Again the shipping cost varies. During checkout, it is done simultaneously for Vendor 1 and 2. Now the shipping has to be processed from two different locations. Hence the shipping rates are different. To fetch the real-time shipping rates, the WooCommerce Multi-Vendor Add-On for ELEX Shipping Plugins helps. It also helps to set a consolidated or unconsolidated shipping data for the products and vendors.
Using the WooCommerce Multi-Vendor Add-On for ELEX Shipping Plugins, the shipping can be displayed well enough to understand.
On checkout, you get different shipping options for the orders. You can also see different shipping rates displayed for each order.
The orders are received.
Once the order is processed, then the DHL plugin generates packages for the orders :
A DHL shipment for the order is created :
A shipment label is generated by DHL for the orders:
On every order processed, the owner of the WooCommerce multi-vendor store receives a commission, which is set at the time the Vendor is registered.
Once the WooCommerce multi-vendor store is set up, it is easy to add many more vendors to the store and then manage.
A multi-vendor store is a simplified solution to provide a wide range of products to the Customers as well as an opportunity for small- to-big vendors who wanted to set up an online store.