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How to turn your WordPress store into an Amazon-like Marketplace?

Open any successful e-commerce site, what’s the most common thing about them? A myriad product from multiple Sellers? Yes, that’s the most striking feature of any top online marketplace.
The constantly rising yearly revenue of Amazon has inspired several others to follow the herd. According to last year’s report, its net revenue was 135.99 billion US dollars which is a good increase from 2015’s net revenue of 107.01 billion US dollars.
We can take the example of a relatively new one Envato, a marketplace for digital products like creative assets for web designers, digital artists, and other web-related plugins. In 2015 alone, Envato had reportedly made a pre-tax profit of $US 33 million. Themeforest being its biggest piece of the pie.
This article intends to help you set up an Amazon-like store in WordPress.

Leadership in telecommunications is also essential since we are now in the age of e-commerce.
-Michael Oxley

Checklist…

1. WordPress
2. Hosting service
3. WooCommerce (free plugin)
4. A WooCommerce-supported theme for e-commerce stores. (Can be either free or premium)
5. Dokan Pro plugin
6. Dokan lite/core (free plugin)
7. DHL/ FedEx shipping plugins by ELEX
8. Multi-vendor addon. (free plugin)
9. Payment gateway plugin

Prime requisites of an online marketplace?
1. Selling different types of products through the website.
2. Selling products from different vendors.
3. Earn commission from the vendor on every sale made through the site.

Initiate…

The first task is to create a robust and cost-effective framework for your store. And for that, we would recommend WordPress, a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL.

Then, you would need a domain name and host. This step involves some amount of investment. There are a number of domain registrars that offer decent services, but as per your need, you must select the right one. This article on the best hosting solutions would help you decide on the right one. And you must also be aware of how a hosting plan influences your store.

Decide the look…

ecommerce store
Then comes the part of deciding how you want your store to look. This can be a time taking process as there are a huge number of powerful and elegant themes available for creating a marketplace. While choosing the theme you must keep in mind the plugins you are going to need for your store. For every theme might not be compatible with every plugin.
Now, since we are aware of the plugins which you are definitely going to need, we would suggest the following themes –
If you don’t want to spend on themes, the go for these free options – Storefront, Hestia, Zerif Lite, Shapely, etc.
Or else some of the premium themes which are specifically created to support multi-vendor marketplace – Marketica, Electro Electronics, REHub.

Create a marketplace…

Now that your site is up and running, it’s ready to be turned into a marketplace. For this purpose, we would suggest WooCommerce, because it’s free, straightforward and has a good number of free and premium extensions to back it up But, most importantly, it’s now handled by Automattic itself. WooCommerce comes with a lot of functionality and a number of basic requirements like free shipping, flat rate, sales price, variations, etc. can be set up within WooCommerce itself.

Get your vendors…

dokan multi-vendor plugin
Now, we come to the most important part of creating an online marketplace, i.e allowing different vendors to sell their products. This is definitely the most important trait of an online marketplace. The plugin that can help you easily achieve this is the Dokan plugin. You can get detailed documentation about it here.

Why should you go to a multi-vendor site?
1. There would be a number of product options for the customers.
2. It widens the demographics you can appeal to.
3. It earns you an easy commission.
4. The marketing base widens.

Why use Dokan multi-vendor plugin?
1. It supports a wide range of product types like -simple, variable, downloadable, virtual,
subscription and bookable products.
2. It plays well with a large number of themes that are compatible with WooCommerce.
3. A rich frontend dashboard for both customers and vendors which lets them easily manage
inventory, sales, orders, coupons, and discounts.
4. Useful analytics which includes detailed reports and statements regarding the store.
5. Vendors can easily manage the SEO settings for their store page.
6. Vendors can integrate their social media profiles.
7. It’s very easy for the admin to communicate with the vendors by broadcasting important
announcements for either all the vendors or specific vendors.
8. As an admin, you can broadcast important announcements for all vendors or specific.
9. Admin has the power to activate or deactivate a vendor’s selling rights. Admin can also
choose to promote a vendor to “trusted vendor” which would allow them to publish products
without the need for a review.
10.A good review and rating system.

Start selling and shipping…

Now that you have multiple vendors and enough products to sell, you are ready to start selling. Unlike your virtual products, physical products are required to be shipped. So, now you are required to install some of the shipping plugins on your site.
Again, the shipping service you would be selected has a lot to do with the base location, types of products you sell, etc. Moreover, there are limited shipping plugins that play well with the multi-vendor scenario. We can suggest the shipping plugins like – ELEX WooCommerce DHL Express / eCommerce / Paket Shipping Plugin with Print Label;
In order to integrate with the above shipping plugins, you are required to install a free Multi-vendor addon.
After all the above plugins are installed, with just a few clicks, your store is completely ready.

Accept payments…

Provided you are not planning to operate solely on “Cash on Delivery”, a payment gateway is another must-have plugin for your WooCommerce store. While selecting the payment gateway, you would find yourself at another crossroad as there are multiple options and each has its own set of pros and cons. You can go through this article in order to know what factors to consider while choosing the payment gateway. Then, go through the top payment gateways, and select the one that fits you best.

Ending note…

This was a set of all the essential plugins. However, when you actually create an online marketplace, you might be required to incorporate other functionalities like – Caching plugin, Dynamic Pricing, and Discounts, Cart Notices, Catalog Mode plugin, etc. Considering your capital, expected revenue, target audience, select the right set of plugins and you are all set to go.

 


Explore our blog section for more articles.

You can also check out other WooCommerce and WordPress plugins in ELEX.

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