Whether you decide to expand your business from a simple shopping cart to a multi-vendor store, or to create a digital mall from scratch, you'll certainly take your time to think over all the necessary steps to get it successful. If this decision results from your inner desire of independence and freedom from office routine, you can still be overwhelmed by plenty of feelings, the most important of which is something like: "Finally, I did it!" Perhaps, it's better to take a small pause and have some rest and then start a new project with renewed energy. Your intention to turn to online multi-seller marketplace will surely bring you some new experience. The popularity of digital business is growing day by day, and the absence of any physical premises is one of the reasons. You don’t need to have inventory, as far as it’s not you who’ll sell and, finally, ship physical or digital goods to customers, it will be your vendors.

To build an online marketplace, you’ll need a reliable and proved platform. I don’t advise you to try to write it on your own – nowadays there exist dozens of full-scale solutions, for every shop size and every pocket. Current e shop mall founders are really lucky – they’ve got tenfold wider choice of building software than those who started their ecommerce business 4 or 5 years ago. The developers try to do their best to draw customers and usually offer a free trial period of 1 month, hoping that during that time the client would get used to their solution and wouldn’t like to change it for another one, which means learning once again, wasting time on another adaptation to new design, features and logic.

But how can a novice businessman know what features he will need in 2, 5 or even 10 years? Due to quick economic changes he cannot precisely estimate the development of his e-shop – how big will it be in 2 years? In 5 years? The same applies to the choice of multivendor marketplace – it’s difficult to its owner to make predictions about his hi-tech needs. So, it’s seems more reasonable to choose several indispensable features and select the program according to them. To be sure you make the right choice, decide on a customized and scalable solution that offers many add-ons – maybe you’ll never need them, but it’s better to have an opportunity to enlarge your online marketplace without changing the IT platform provider. According to developer and the package you opt for, the add-ons can be payable or free.

Now, let’s see if there’re any intrinsic features for multi seller stores’ building that you should bear in mind while studying all the offers. First of all, you’ll have several or even many sellers. Each one will bring his own products to your marketplace, and each one has the same idea – to sell more and gain as much as possible, and win the hearts of customers at the same time. Actually, the most of your acts and operations would be built around these key goals – to draw prospects, to sell to them and satisfy them, so that they will bring other loyal clients and, of course, to multiply the number of vendors.

As the administrator and storefront owner, you’ll rent the place in your e-shop for a definite rent charge, and offer your vendors the possibility to load their products and start selling immediately, without all these introductory steps and tuning. That’s why it’s so important to make your storefront appealing and catchy, and also user-friendly. No customer would spend hours trying to understand sophisticated navigation on your website, or put a strain on his eyes trying to look over the blurry product images. Be sure to provide as flexible shipment platform, so that your sellers could select the necessary shipment methods or add their own ones. One-page checkout and numerous payment methods (at least by cash, credit card, cheque, bank transfer and e-wallets like PayPal) will also be highly appreciated by sellers and by customers.

Open source marketplace script

The usability and speed are also crucial to your marketplace success. It is pity to say it, but contemporary Internet customers have so little patience that even several seconds of waiting can discourage them from shopping on your website. So, take seriously the choice of your Internet and hosting provider, and consider the possibility to get cloud product search. The navigation in your online marketplace should be quick as a flash, and plain as day, so that anyone could grasp it in a second. Taking into account the number of features a suitable solution must have, some start-up owners prefer to opt for an open source marketplace script. In this case they get the program code and are able to modify it any moment according to their needs. Finally, even such ecommerce giants as Airbnb, AliExpress and EBay are in constant revision and tweaking of their multi-seller platform in order to provide a smoother shopping experience to customers.

Whether you’re building a small local online store or an international project, think about multi-currency and multi-language site versions. This will simplify the access for foreign shoppers and can bring you loyal customers, as well as vendors all over the world. Keep in mind that more than 37% of customers make impulse purchases. That’s a great opportunity to take advantage of promos, season sales, gift certificates and other marketing events that tempt visitors. Don’t forget about colorful and detailed product images – these are also powerful temptations.

A reliable and well-structured admin panel with multiple statistics tools will help you to get your webstore well-managed and to pay out your vendors accurately and in time. All this together with streamlined customer service will inevitably bring your e shop mall to success.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any related questions or need our assistance.

Learn what Multi-Vendor is and
how it works in this 5-minute video:

Try Multi-Vendor for free