eCommerce Blog on Running an Online Marketplace

10 Best eCommerce Software Platforms for Multi-Vendor Marketplaces in 2021

Top 10 Multi-Vendor Marketplace Software in 2020 - CS-Cart Blog

If you are looking to expand your eCommerce business, building a multivendor Marketplace is the next venture to include in your strategic plan.

Multishop eCommerce websites (eCommerce marketplace) represent a staggering opportunity for businesses across a variety of sectors. The new research results from iBe, the pan-European financial services advisory firm, said that currently half (50%) of online retail sales come through marketplace channels worldwide. iBe also predicts that sales driven from multivendor sites are likely to exceed $7 trillion in the next five years (compared to today’s $1.7 trillion) which hails a new era in eCommerce.

This rise is driven by more and more companies embracing multivendor websites to increase product range, expedite cross-border expansion, and improve logistics, costs, and operations.

However, to effectively run a marketplace you need eCommerce software that is designed grounds up to have full control over the administration vendor relationship as it is the key to successful multishop project completion.

Best eCommerce Multi-Vendor Software platforms in 2021

In this article, we will go over the most essential features a marketplace script should have and give a brief review of top popular multivendor eCommerce software:

Contents

What is multi-vendor marketplace software?
How are multi-vendor solutions different from eCommerce platforms?
Unique features of a multi-vendor marketplace software
Top multi-vendor marketplace software in 2021

CS-Cart Multi-Vendor Software
Yo!Kart Multi-Vendor Solution
Arcadier
BigCommerce Multi-Vendor
Magento Marketplace Extension
WCFM Marketplace
WordPress Dokan Plugin
Cocorico Multi-Vendor
X-Cart Multi-Vendor Software
IXXO Multi-Vendor
Which multi-vendor marketplace platform is right for you?
How to build a marketplace website
FAQ

What is a online marketplace?
How does a marketplace work?
What is a three-sided marketplace?
What is a peer to peer marketplace?
What makes a marketplace successful?
What is the difference between marketplace and e-commerce?
How do I start a multivendor marketplace?
How much does it cost to build a marketplace?
How much does it cost to build a marketplace app?
How long does it take to build a marketplace?
How does an online marketplace make money?
How do I find a vendor?
How do you connect with vendors?
How do I get more vendors?
Which online marketplace is best?

What is multi-vendor marketplace software?

Multivendor eCommerce software is a web program for building an eCommerce website where multiple independent online vendors can sell their products. Marketplace sellers can both sell on their micro vendor websites or through a common storefront. Usually, marketplaces offer vendors a seller app to add products to the catalog and manage their accounts.

So, a multivendor marketplace script is usually a complex of components: the multivendor platform, a vendor app, a customer app, and a moderate hosting (if it is a SaaS marketplace platform or the company provides their own cloud hosting).

How are multi-vendor solutions different from eCommerce platforms?

Multivendor solutions are eCommerce software. It is a broad term and includes both single-seller shopping cart software and multivendor platforms.

The difference between multivendor eCommerce software and a single-seller eCommerce software is simple: the former is intended for building large websites with multiple online vendors, and the latter is for starting a traditional online shop with only one seller—the shop owner.

Unique features of multi-vendor marketplace software

Selecting the right multivendor eCommerce software starts with determining the key features your business model requires from the marketplace script. And though there can be a ton of different business needs and platform functionality to serve them, one thing to remember is the script features should be able to accommodate the various scenarios of an admin-vendor and vendor-customer relationship system. So, below we are listing non-negotiable features to look for while choosing a multishop eCommerce software.

Multivendor website features for marketplace vendors

Multivendor website features for an admin

Top multi-vendor marketplace software in 2021

CS-Cart Multi-Vendor Software

The CS-Cart multivendor eCommerce software was developed with the primary focus on providing administrators full control over their vendors and giving the owner the maximum flexibility in configuring monetization options. Therefore, it has all the features mentioned above. 

The administrators have everything they need to accommodate the new web vendors on the website.

Each new store seller picks the most suitable vendor plan with pre-set conditions and gets a separate micro-store with a personal fully-featured dashboard and reporting. Vendors have everything they need to operate their stores and they do so with ease even having no previous experience with a marketplace script.

Multivendor website owners also express their satisfaction with the security level of the multishop eCommerce script. They say they do not have any security issues during the entire period of using CS-Cart eCommerce software.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: from $1,450/one-time

Capterra Rating: 4.7

Yo!Kart Multi-Vendor Solution

Yo!Kart is a cloud-based multivendor eCommerce software that is gaining popularity over the last couple of years. However, being one of the youngest multishop solutions (emerged in 2015), it is still not recognized by some technology.

Yo!Kart has multiple functions to run a successful multivendor eCommerce website with ease such as simple payment arrangements, mail marketing tools, social media platforms integration, great interface, and highly appreciated user experience. Ranking in search engines pages is a piece of cake with simple yet thorough SEO optimization tools included in Yo!Kart. Yo!Kart offers user-centered design, a vendor app, and a mobile marketplace app.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: from $999/one-time

Capterra Rating: 4.5

Arcadier

Arcadier is the SaaS marketplace eCommerce software that enables enterprises, SMEs, local communities, government agencies, and entrepreneurs to build and manage their multivendor sites quickly, efficiently, and affordably.

Unlike most other marketplace SaaS platforms that offer a templated solution for all purposes, Arcadier eCommerce software allows users to choose from a bunch of options—from buying and selling goods or booking services to renting spaces and items and several other business models.

Besides these, they also offer several unique features like multilingual capabilities, private marketplaces, and social logins. The ability to edit JS code (which opens the possibility of additional customization and the ability to add our own payment service providers).

They’ve also got a Freemium plan where the pricing plan scales up with the number of transactions on the eCommerce multishop website.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: from $68/month

Capterra Rating: 3.9

BigCommerce Multi-Vendor

To convert your BigCommerce store to a full-fledged multivendor website, Webkul has developed “BigCommerce MultiVendor Marketplace” that converts your single admin online store to a multi seller platform. It facilitates the process of adding product vendors and keeping track of their orders and sales.

The multivendor platform is equipped almost with all the features described above including features for creating various plans for the sellers, better payout system for managing the payment process to marketplace vendors.

The developers of the plugin put an emphasis on flexible product approval functionality. They made the product management more simple and efficient. It is very handy for a seller to add a product. It gives you an option for auto-approval of the product whenever a merchant adds a product. If you want to approve a product manually then an admin can approve the product manually by configuring some settings. With this functionality, product approval becomes very easy.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: $10/month 

Capterra Rating: 4.3

Magento Marketplace Extension

Marketplace Module is a popular extension for Magento which turns it into a fully-functioning multivendor eCommerce site.

Magento is open source marketplace software but unless you’re a specially trained Magento developer or a whip-smart coder you’re going to have to invest in bringing on talent to create and publish your store.

Magento eCommerce software offers a complete dashboard of its own to your online vendors. This dashboard has all the options needed for a merchant to manage their products, see customer reviews, check out wishlists, newsletter subscriptions, and more. It also includes a profile page for each eCommerce seller to display their information. This profile page also shows the customer reviews and ratings publicly.

The solution also offers a flexible commission system. It allows you to charge a different commission from each vendor depending on their products. Or, you can fix the commission structure to be the same for all vendors.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: $349/one-time

Capterra Rating: 4.3

WCFM Marketplace

WCFM is a multivendor WordPress plugin by WC Lovers.

The core version of WCFM is available for free on WordPress Plugins and offers quite a lot in terms of features.

The plugin core offers both the basic vendor management you usually expect as well as more advanced features like reverse withdrawals, seller verification and multiple marketplace sellers offering a single product.

Among the WCFM customized features like Flexible Commission, Refund Request, Withdrawal & Reverse Withdrawal, Ledger Book, Zone & Country Wise Vendor Shipping, Store Inquiry & Review, and Stripe Split Pay.

There is no official list of supported WCFM themes, but the developers claim it does support all WooCommerce themes.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: Free

Capterra Rating: 4.4

WordPress Dokan Plugin

Dokan is the best front-end multivendor solution on WordPress, powered by WooCommerce. It helps you to build your own marketplace similar to Amazon and eBay.

The installation process of the plugin is easy, doesn’t require any technical skills, and takes only about 10 minutes. The experience was made easy with the plugin because of the guided setup that removed much of the confusion.

Dokan comes with a range of extensions that enhances the core capabilities of the marketplace plugin. You can select these extensions depending on your requirements and set up the WooCommerce multivendor website.

For example, “seller verification” is an extension that lets you check the authenticity of your sellers by obtaining their social profiles, phone numbers, and photo verification. Dokan Simple Auctions allows vendors to create auction stores so they can create their own versions of eBay. Dokan Subscriptions charges your vendors with product limits.

Dokan is mobile-friendly, vendors can manage orders, see if an order is processing or pending, and even ship products to the billing address on the go.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: Free/Donation

Capterra Rating: 4.2

Cocorico Multi-Vendor

Cocorico is an open source multishop solution for services and rentals. It is a very powerful solution for in-service and rental marketplaces, such as Airbnb, Blablacar, or Drivy. It’s well suited to developers, well-funded entrepreneurs, or larger businesses.

With Cocorico you get quite a few more advanced features than you could expect from the big players’ marketplaces, such as a fully integrated and functional calendar, advanced yield management rules, handling of third-party payments and deferred payments, cancellation management, individually customizable commissions for buyers and sellers, and much more.

The platform is suitable only for medium and large-scale projects. As for customization, the platform users report that there are a few companies that can adapt the platform to their specific business needs.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: Free

Capterra Rating: 4.1

X-Cart Multi-Vendor Software

X-Cart Multi-Vendor is an open source marketplace eCommerce software. It has tons of ready features for marketing (promotions, special offers, reporting, and analytics)—expanded sales channels, handy store management, excellent customer experience, and more.

X-Cart delivers tools to small and large businesses that require eCommerce software. It allows online vendors to sell multiple products through your one storefront. All customers are able to place products from multiple vendors in a single shopping cart, and the vendors can view orders, change shipping methods and assign products to different categories.

The website admin can set up shipping protocols, modify any product, and register new vendors. The idea behind the admin interface is to give you full control over everything that goes on in your shop. It’s a rather powerful platform, and I can see businesses of any size using this with success.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: by request

Capterra Rating: 4.3

IXXO Multi-Vendor

IXXO is an eCommerce software business formed in 2002 in Germany that publishes a software suite called IXXO.

IXXO is an ideal eCommerce software for those who want to open and manage a high-volume marketplace as IXXO offers unlimited products and unlimited web vendor capacity.

The software packs an impressive array of seller-oriented features, themes, and templates that are optimized for both desktop and mobile platforms, marketing capabilities to help both you and your merchants to create and implement effective marketing strategies, and comprehensive SEO tools to help improve online visibility and generate/increase online traffic.

IXXO is an intuitive eCommerce software. It allows marketplace owners to configure seller privileges on a per vendor basis. This allows the owner to assign the basic vendor features to vendors who have no e-commerce experience and more privileges to merchants who are familiar with running an online store.

IXXO includes online, and 24/7 live support. The support team works and responds in a prompt and friendly manner.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: from $845/one-time

Capterra Rating: 5

Which multi-vendor marketplace platform is right for you?

In the table below, we made a multivendor eCommerce software comparison based on the user feedback, information on the platforms’ websites, and our impression.

Feature-richness out of the boxGreat customizabilityEasy to deployEasy to useScalabilityProduct supportAdvanced seller management
CS-Cart
Yo!Kart
Arcadier
BigCommerce
Magento
WCFM
Dokan
Cocorico
X-Cart
IXXO

How to build a marketplace website?

How to create a multivendor website? Well, initially, you have two options to choose from:

The first option is really challenging not only in terms of effort but also in terms of money and time. Building an eCommerce multishop platform from scratch will require years of development. And a multivendor project is not about a long start.

The second option is preferable: these days, there is plenty of ready multishop software. We’ve just reviewed a small part of them. These multishop solutions are developed by professionals—experts in eCommerce, so you will get a ready-made package to start your own multivendor website.

The general algorithm is as follows:

  1. Prepare a hosting on which you will install your multishop software. You need hosting only for on-premise software. If you decide to use the SaaS marketplace platform, then just start from step 2.
  2. Buy the multivendor eCommerce software. It can be a self-hosted platform or SaaS.
  1. Start a marketplace website
  1. Make a basic setup.
  1. Start attracting vendors.

FAQ

What is a multi vendor marketplace?

A multivendor eCommerce website is a trading platform where independent sellers showcase their products on a common storefront and customers choose the best offerings.

How does a marketplace work?

The marketplace owner attracts merchants to the platform by offering them special conditions or bonuses. Merchants sell the products to buyers and get the revenue. The multivendor website owner gets commissions for every sale.

What is a three-sided marketplace?

A 3-sided marketplace where one side of the platform is providing users that the other side monetizes. Otherwise known as B2B2C. For example, a restaurant aggregator is a 3-sided marketplace: the platform gathers restaurants in one place and customers come to the platform and choose a restaurant.

What is a peer-to-peer marketplace?

A peer to peer marketplace platform is a C2C multivendor website that connects people in need of a product with people who have that product and are ready to sell or rent it out. On these platforms, people can rent out a product in exchange for money or a similar product, usually temporarily.

What makes a marketplace successful?

Three things make a multivendor business successful:

What is the difference between marketplace and eCommerce?

Usually, an eCommerce store is a website that sells products from one e commerce seller only—the webshop owner. A marketplace is a multivendor website where multiple independent merchants sell their products to end customers or businesses.

How do I start a multi vendor marketplace?

To start a multivendor business, go through these steps: 

  1. Invent a business strategy
  2. Choose a niche
  3. Buy the multivendor eCommerce software
  4. Launch your marketplace MVP as fast as you can
  5. Start attracting vendors
  6. Analyze the results
  7. Correct your course if needed
  8. Start a marketing campaign

How much does it cost to build a multi vendor marketplace?

The final cost of building a multivendor website depends on many factors:

If you choose a SaaS marketing platform, then there’s no final price—you will have to pay the provider till the end of times.

If you go for a licensed on-premise platform with a one-time fee, prepare at least $1,450 for the license and from $15 to $60 for a hosting monthly.

How much does it cost to build a marketplace app?

Many companies that offer multishop platforms also provide you with a seller app for free. Some also offer an application for customers. For example, with CS-Cart Multi-Vendor Plus, you will get a customer app for free—we will build it and upload it to the app stores. Developing a marketplace app from scratch can cost you thousands of dollars.

How long does it take to build a marketplace?

With modem eCommerce software, you can launch a marketplace MVP in a week or less.

How does an online marketplace make money?

The marketplace takes commissions from merchants for every sale. Also, sellers often pay monthly for selling on the platform. Some multivendor websites also offer ad placements on the storefront.

How do I find a vendor?

There are three basic ways to find merchants for your multivendor website:

  1. Attract them from other marketplaces like Amazon
  2. Get potential sellers on online and offline resources: business directories and aggregators, hobby clubs, networking groups, trade associations, online forums, offline stores, and workshops
  3. Start an ad campaign to attract sellers by offering them profitable terms

How do you connect with vendors?

Connect with vendors directly in social media, online communities, hobby clubs, networking groups, trade associations, online forums, offline stores, and workshops.

How do I get more vendors?

You can offer vendor profitable terms for using your multivendor platform. You can even allow them to sell without commissions and obligatory fees for a limited period of time—let’s say, for the first year after the registration.

Which online marketplace is best?

The best marketplace eCommerce software must be feature-rich, scalable, and easy to use for you and your merchants. We recommend taking a look at CS-Cart Multi-Vendor or IXXO.

CS-Cart Multi-Vendor is a professional marketplace eCommerce software that is available for a 1-time fee. It is a licensed on-premise solution with open source code and unlimited scaling possibilities. Over 1,300 multivendor projects have been launched on CS-Cart and the number grows daily. You can view some examples of live marketplaces built on CS-Cart MultiVendor on our website.

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