First multi vendor platforms appeared in 2000 and quickly gained popularity among customers due to advanced service level, such as home shopping, one portal for many retailers, promos and discounts, or various payment methods. Moreover, multi seller websites offered products and services not only to final customers, but also to other businesses, and B2B platforms became as popular as B2C ones. Virtual online shopping malls enable customers to shop in different malls literally from their sofas. E-malls have all the advantages of physical stores: you can see the product from all sides, learn its price, manufacturer, expiry date and available color/model variations. Certainly, you cannot taste, smell or try it on, but in most cases its taste, fragrance and precise measurements are marked in the product description.

Needless to say, that all these e-malls use more or less efficient multi-store ecommerce software from commercial builders or, in rare cases, custom-built by independent coders. Marketplace owners are free to choose the solution that suits best their needs in terms of user-friendliness for customers, vendors and admin himself, price and features. To make such a landmark decision is not that easy, and it’s worth taking your time to think everything over and test several most common (or more or less appropriate from the first sight) applications. Each and every software builder offers a free testing period of one month or 2 weeks. In most cases you can download a basic version and use it during this time to better understand its work and functionality. It’s more than enough to get an overall idea of the program and to understand whether you’d like to buy it or not.

Price is also important as far as many ecommerce start-ups are auto financed. Some businessmen prefer to pay once for software development instead of buying/renewing the license every year. If you’re determined to build your own online marketplace at whatever the cost, opt for a ready-to-use solution with additional features. It means that you’ll have access to 24/7 support, regular updates and discount for paid add-ons. Every time you’ve got a question concerning the use of your new multi-store ecommerce software, a tech geek from the builder’s support team will contact you asap and resolve the problem. It’s as simple as that – you pay, the builder develops and supports.

Finally, you’ve chosen the best marketplace script, and it’s high time to start using it and building your own precious e-mall. It should be attractive and appealing for every one – you as its owner and, perhaps, manager and admin; vendors and certainly consumers. The things that can please each of these 3 groups are not the same. For example, the multi vendor shop admin/manager would like to have easy-to-use tools for vendor management, payment processing and statistics. As a vendor, you would be interested in high level of data and connection security, high connection speed, reliable data storage, numerous design patterns for your web shop, single-page checkout, customer page with his personal information, and marketing instruments. And as a customer, you dream of numerous vendors with interesting products, beautiful product pictures, high download speed, security of your personal data and payments, and of the most important thing – intuitive and user-friendly interface. So, the chosen solution should really be universal and comprise at least all the above mentioned features.

Best marketplace script

As far as e-malls usually sell all over the world, the vendors should have the possibility to add any payment method they want. Some countries have their special credit cards which aren’t usable elsewhere. The same is true for delivery – the merchants need to add any delivery partners, so your software should support this function. Best virtual online shopping malls offer vendors numerous design patterns for various types of selling business, whether it’s food, travel, electronics, flowers, arts or services. In fact, this option helps merchants to save a little time: instead of surfing the Internet for cute photos for their e-shop homepage, they can use the preinstalled patterns designed by the software builder. A nice feature when every minute counts!

The problem of Internet security is an acute one both for vendors and customers, and, being the website owner, you’re responsible for it. Take your time to find a sustainable and time-honored website hosting and data storage provider. Many of them also offer cloud storage that becomes more and more popular nowadays. A simple SSL certificate will guarantee data encryption and its secured transfer. Sometimes the same company offers hosting, SSL certificate and data storage services.

As soon as you tune the main features and open your e-mall for public, chances are you’ll find a lot of imperfections and even faults in the website operation. It’s not a big deal – every startup faces with small and medium defects, and it’s quite normal. Take it for granted and never try to repair them immediately. In fact, it’s better to wait a bit and collect several remarks from your vendors or customers about every little problem. Some remarks can appear useless and irrelevant, while others will help you to improve the marketplace functionality and simplify the work for merchants and customers. Perhaps, it will be the feature they’re looking for, and it will bring you more loyal vendors and, consequently, customers. Finally, that’s the aim of any business – gain money and popularity, and you’re not an exception.

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