Magento is an open source platform, similar to WordPress, except it focuses primarily on e-commerce, and it is certainly one of the best ways to build an online store, particularly a multi-vendor one. But you can’t simply allow multiple vendors through your website without the help of an extension. That extension is the Vnecoms Marketplace Multi-Vendor Module, which lets you convert a pre-existing Magento site into a multi-vendor marketplace.
A marketplace benefits both sellers and store owners. Sellers are able to benefit from the reputation of an existing store and don’t have to open their own store. In addition, welcoming other vendors to a store increases the number and variety of products, thus increasing potential sales conversions for the store owner.
So, if you want to turn your online store into a multi-seller platform, you’ll need to add an extension to add this advanced functionality. There are many options out there. But today we are going to review the Magento marketplace extension by vnecoms.
The Magento Marketplace by vnecoms is a multiple vendor extension for the Magento Platform. Vendors can easily create and manage their own account on the mobile friendly website. They can easily add and manage their own products within the Marketplace.
Before getting into the details, let’s take a quick look at the features of Vnecoms multi-vendor marketplace:
- 3 Extension Modes
- Vendor Group, Commission, Product, and Transaction Management
- Vendor Credit Account
- Withdrawal Management
- Simple Vendor Registration and Login
- Easy Vendor Attributes Management and Account Approval
- Responsive Vendor cPanel
- User-friendly Dashboard
- Configurable Product
- Downloadable and Virtual Product Supported
- Product Custom options
- Full control over products approvals and order management
- Easy Shipments Management
- Vendor Credit memo Management
- Multiple shopping carts for each vendor
- Split order to multiple orders
- Support all Magento themes
- Multiple websites support
- Multiple Language Support
- Fully Customizable
- Responsive Customer Support
Now, let’s take a detailed look at the features this multi-vendor extension has to offer.
There are three modes of the marketplace extension:
In this mode, all products in a shopping cart from vendors will be processed together as one order. Vendors can only see specific information about the order. Vendors cannot see products of other vendors from their order.
In this mode products on shopping cart will be separated by vendors and they will be processed by each vendor. Vendors have full access to their orders, invoices, shipments, credit memo.
- Advanced X
In this mode products on shopping cart will NOT be separated by vendors. One shopping cart is used for all vendor products, one-time checkout for all vendor products and orders are still split by each vendor. The vendor can have full access to his orders, invoices, shipments and credit memo. This mode only works with some payment methods, not all.
SUPPORTED PRODUCT TYPES
This Magento marketplace extension supports a wide range of products from Physical Products to Virtual Products, from Grouped Products to Bundle Products. It also supports Downloadable Products.
FEATURES FOR ADMINISTRATION
Flexible Commission Calculation
The admin can create multiple commission rules to charge vendors. For example, marketplace owner can charge 5% per order for marketplace commission and fixed $2 for each order for a transaction fee. The owner can use flexible conditions to filter products that will be applied by the commission rule. The commission can be fixed price or percent of the product price.
The Magento marketplace provides the ability to manage vendors by the group. You can assign a different set of rules for each vendor group. You can also set up different commissions for each group e.g. Free vendors will need to pay 15% for each order, but let’s say Gold vendors, who pay $100/month, will not need to be charged any fee per order.
Flexible Vendors Management
The marketplace administrator can manage all vendors from Magento back end. Marketplace owners can also manage all vendor’s attributes from admin panel. You can add new vendor’s attribute to display on vendor registration page.
Easy Transactions Management
The marketplace owner is able to manage all credit transactions from all vendors. The admin can create new transactions to add or subtract vendor’s credit for troubleshooting precautions.
Vendor Account Approval
After a vendor registers for an account on the marketplace, they will need to verify their email account and wait for an admin to approve the account for additional security. The Administrator can disable this step from the configuration as well. Admins can also filter pending vendors by approving or disabling vendors.
Vendor’s Product Approval
All newly added products may need to be approved by Admin before it can be published live on the marketplace website. Admins can disable the product approval from the configuration.
Advanced Vendor Grouping
With Advanced Vendor Group Plug-in, you can set limitations for each vendor group. For example, all vendors in the Bronze group can only add 20 products, does not allow to manage categories, does not allow to customize their pages etc. etc. This is a very helpful Magento plug-in of this multi-vendor extension for setting different tiered memberships.
Vendor Membership plug-in is one of the top plug-ins that allows the store owner to make money from your vendors. This plugin allows admins to charge their vendors a monthly fee. The vendor can upgrade/renew his account by purchasing a packaged product. Each vendor membership package will be a virtual product with two attributes “Related Vendor Group” and “Period (months).” After the vendor pays for the membership package the account will be upgraded to the corresponding group and the expiry date. If the vendor is already in the group, the system will update the expiry date only.
FEATURES FOR VENDORS
In the Marketplace extension by Vnecoms, the vendor login page is different from the customer login page. Vendors can use their vendor identifier or email to log in.
Vendor Account Registration
The marketplace extension allows vendors and sellers to register for an account to start selling products on the marketplace website. The Admin can disable this feature from the configuration as well. The Admin can also easily add new fields on the registration form by adding new vendor attributes from the admin panel.
Vendor Forgot Password Option
If a vendor does not remember his password, he can recover it simply by clicking ‘Forgot Password’. He simply needs to enter the vendor identifier or the email assigned to the account and then an email providing the new password will be sent out.
Responsive Vendor C-Panel
The Multiple Vendor Marketplace Script allows vendors to manage their products and orders on any device from anywhere. This feature is very helpful for the vendors to manage their store.
User-Friendly Vendor Dashboard
From the vendor dashboard, vendors can have an overview about their store. The vendor will able to see the credit amount, total sales, last 5 orders, last 5 transactions, last 5 reviews and more.
Vendor Credit Account
Each vendor has his own credit account. After a customer pays for an order, the money is added to vendor credit account. Vendors can see their credit amount from the dashboard. The vendor can withdraw the money from his credit account to his bank, PayPal, etc. After a vendor submits a withdrawal, he can see all withdrawal requests from his status report.
Easy Product Management
A vendor is able to manage his products from the vendor control panel. Vendors have full access to their products. Vendors’ products may need to be reviewed and approved by the administrator.
Custom Product Options
The vendor can add custom options for his products. The vendor can set a price for each custom options to charge more fees to the customer.
Vendor Manages Orders
Vendors are allowed to manage only their orders. They can see the list of orders. They can set the filter to get the orders they want. They can also view order information, add comments to order and create shipments for each order.
Vendor Manages Invoices
Vendors can create invoices for their pending orders. Vendors are able to see the list of invoices and can print them together or separated. They can view invoice information and also add comments to invoices.
Vendor Manages Credit Memos
Vendors can create a credit memo for their orders. Vendors are also able to see the list of credit memos and print them together or separated. They can also view credit memo information and add comments to credit memos.
Vendor Home Page
With the Vendor Home Page plug-in; vendors have their own page to display their products. This page has the same design as the marketplace website and only display all vendor’s products and the vendor profile.
Products by Categories
The Category plug-in allows the vendor to manage and display products by categories. This helps the customer to easily find products. The vendor can manage multiple category levels.
Image Banners for every Vendor
With the Banner Manager Plug-in, vendors are allowed to manage image banners for their website. Vendors can add images and adjust them on any position of their page. The Banner Manager plug-in supports many kinds of jQuery sliders. Vendors can add multiple banners to any of their pages.
Featured Products Plug-in
The Featured Products plug-in allows vendors to set products as `featured` and display it on the homepage, category page or another static page. Vendors just need to edit the product and set the featured attribute to ‘Yes’.
Select and Sell Feature
Select And Sell is a plug-in of Magento multiple vendors extension that allows vendors to create products very quickly by copying and modifying data from existing products.
Vendor FAQ Page
The Vendor FAQ plug-in allows vendors to create a separate list of question and answers, which is specific to a particular category. This module enables vendors to solve customer queries quickly by providing relevant FAQs. The customer can send questions from the FAQ page. Vendors can add/edit or update FAQs through their vendor C-Panel.
Vendor Store Locator
The Vendor Store Locator plug-in is an amazing tool for vendors who have physical locations as retailers. The module helped in adding store addresses to the website and navigating visitors to the required location. With the Vendor Store Locator extension, vendors can easily display all of their stores on the map. Vendors can create as many locations as needed. They just have to specify the address of their store and it is automatically detected on the map. The store locations URL can be added to the vendor profile so customers can easily find it. Customers get to know all existing locations on the map and view the detailed information about them by clicking the store icon.
News by Vendor
The Vendor News plug-in helps vendors make their store more interactive and keep visitors abreast of the latest business updates, developments, and achievements. It is used to display fully-fledged news on the page. The module has a number of flexible tuning options including the possibility to create categories, add comments to each news item, add pictures to news and much more. Also, this extension can be used as a blog on vendor page. It can also be integrated with social networks like Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.
Vendor on Vacation
The Vendor Vacation plugin allows vendors to show a notice message on their store/product pages if they are on vacation.
Custom Order Number
This extension enables vendors to have custom prefixes, starting number and increment rate to titles of orders, invoices, shipments and credit memos. With this plug-in, vendors can easily work with their documents.
FEATURE FOR CUSTOMERS
The Price Comparison plug-in allows customers to compare prices from different vendors since the marketplace website may have some vendors which are selling the same products and each vendor may have their own product pricing.
Search by Vendor
Vendor Catalog Search is a plug-in of Magento multiple vendors extension which allows customers to search for products inside a vendor’s store. The search bar only returns products from current sellers.
Vendor Review / Rating
Vendor Review plug-in allows the customer to leave a review for vendors after processing a purchase from that vendor. This review/rating can be seen by other customers. The vendor rating is shown on the vendor’s profile so customers can base their buying decisions on real reviews and ratings. The vendor can view all reviews which customers left for them and only the Admin can edit/delete vendor reviews.
Instant Messaging System
With the Message Plug-in, customers can send messages to the vendor. Customer and vendor will get a notification email when a message arrives. Vendors are notified about unread messages when they log in to the vendor dashboard. Vendors can manage all their messages and send replies to customers. Customers can manage all their messages and send instant replies to vendors.
SHIPPING AND PAYMENTS
Supported Payment Methods
The Magento marketplace extension supports all the same payment methods as the standard Magento system. Customers can pay through Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover, Switch/Solo, checks/money orders and other payment solutions.
PayPal Adaptive Payment
The PayPal Adaptive Payment plug-in allows you to handle payments between a sender of a payment and one or more receivers of the payment.
There are two payment types
Parallel payment: If you own a shopping cart, you are not required to receive payments directly. You can facilitate payments between the sender and receivers that provide the actual goods. With parallel payments, the sender can see the transaction to each receiver.
Chained payment: The sender pays the primary receiver an amount, from which the primary receiver pays secondary receivers. The sender only knows about the primary receiver, not the secondary receivers. The secondary receivers only know about the primary receiver, not the sender.
Vendors can create shipments for their orders. Vendors are also able to see the list of shipments and they can print them together or separated. Vendors can view shipping information, add comments and track numbers to shipments.
Multiple Flat rate Shipping
Vendor Multiple Flat rate Shipping feature allows the vendor to setup multiple flat rate shipping. The flat rate shipping can be easily added. From front-end checkout, customers are required to select the shipping method for each vendors’ products.
The Vnecoms has stopped providing the Platinum and Standard package of Marketplace due to the preparation of the Marketplace on Magento 2.0 releasing, from 30th of July. Now only Custom package, that costs $349.00, is available. Also, special discounts can be availed by purchasing additional plugins to enhance the functionalities of the marketplace.
The details of the discounts are as follows:
- + $30 Discount for adding any 3 plugins
- + $70 Discount for adding any 5 plugins
- + $100 Discount for adding any 8+ plugins
With no intention to overpraise it, the marketplace extension by Vnecoms seems to be the best in terms of price, functionality, and usability. The vendor is created as a user role in admin back end, and the back end is nicely styled not to scare people away with Magento standard back end theme. Vendors can manage orders, create shipments, ship products. Store admin is able to create flexible commission rules (per order, per transaction, etc.), create vendor groups with group-wise commission rate, manage all the transactions, products, orders, invoices, etc. The extension allows to have a single order for many vendors or split the order by vendor so that user will submit payment for each vendor separately.
At this price point, you won’t get many features for $349. To increase the functionalities, the add-ons have to be purchased additionally and most of them are really vital for a successful marketplace platform.