Online marketplace is a very good idea to create profitable business. Due to this technology the number of people who make purchases on the Internet increases every year. According to a stat, last year more than 1 billion people around the world bought something from online. Thus, the eCommerce industry is ready to develop and expand. eCommerce is a serious business that requires an appropriate, clear and consistent approach. Multi-Vendor eCommerce website is the most profitable marketplace for creating a huge shopping center where each can place a large number of different stores. This is the most powerful online trading platform. In this article, we will discuss the beginner guide to setup a multi-vendor eCommerce website.
Following are the tips that you can follow to create multi-vendor eCommerce website from scratch.
1. Carry out Market Research to create multi-vendor eCommerce website
The very first step to create a multi-vendor eCommerce website is to find your target audience and understand their buying patterns. Come up with the products that are reasonable for your target audience. Target your audience with age bracket to set up your own multi-vendor eCommerce website. If you can target age group from 18 to 45, and find their right choice you can generate abundant sales right from the beginning.
2. Choose an appropriate domain name to create multi-vendor eCommerce website
The most important and crucial decision to create a multi-vendor eCommerce website is to choose the appropriate domain name. Your domain name should be an outcome of aggressive brainstorming and should strike a chord with your potential customers. Always remember that your customers will have no preconceived idea about your brand name when they hear it for the first time.
Before choosing your domain name, stick to a few ground rules like:
- Keep it short, simple and easy to remember for your audience.
- To avoid trademark issue, check for the availability of the selected domain name.
- Try to buy .com domain, as it is universally recognized.
There are so many web hosting company like GoDaddy, DYN etc. You can contact with them and check the availability of your preferred domain name.
3. Choose a robust server to host your multi-vendor eCommerce website
Choosing the right server to host your site has the same importance as like choosing an appropriate domain name. It can be a critical determinant of the success of your online multi-vendor eCommerce website. When all visitors from different geographic location will visit to your site and the traffic will be very high then it will be very difficult to handle your site without a robust server.
You can also consider Cloud Hosting options, if your site traffic is very high and difficult to manage. In cloud hosting you will get the following facilities:
- It is very cheaper, as there is no installation charge.
- Cloud server is very easy to install.
- There is no down time issue, even the traffic volume is very high.
- You can access data anytime, anywhere when require.
4. Choose your platform carefully
Choosing the platform is another important part to create a multi-vendor eCommerce website. You can read our article to choose the right platform. Meanwhile we will review some platform here also.
If you choose WordPress as your platform to create multi-vendor eCommerce website, there are three available plugins you can choose from.
WooCommerce is an open source eCommerce platform which is free to download and offers you with an enormous amount of extended features. It is a WordPress plugin that has user-friendly features and functions to provide a better experience to have a perfect eCommerce startup. The seamless integration with WordPress makes it a breeze to install and manage, which is one of the main reasons as open source eCommerce platform of choice.
Here are some of the features:
- Huge numbers of themes available.
- Lot of shortcodes to embed products on any page.
- Split products according to categories.
- Customize store based on location.
- Products ratings and reviews option.
- Add unlimited products and corresponding products images.
- Selling option of both digital and physical products.
- You can add affiliated products to your store directly
- Add unlimited products variations.
- Multiple shipping options (including free shipping)
- Tax options.
- Different payment gateway to accept credit/debit cards.
- Support multiple currencies.
Dokan is a commonly used multi-vendor WordPress plugin that leveraging the power of WooCommerce. It is the ideal plugin to built the multi-vendor marketplace like Amazon or eBay.
Till now, Dokan has created more than 10,000+ online marketplaces world-wide and has downloaded more than 173,000 times.
With Dokan every seller will get a unique URL for their store to manage products and orders from the front-end site.
As a site owner, you will get a commission from each sale. This is the platform where both the seller and site owner will earn money. The main advantage of Dokan is it support PayPal, PayPal Adaptive, Stripe, Bank Cheque, and Cash on delivery.
Another open source eCommerce platform which is filled with WordPress plugin. WP e-commerce platform have been downloaded more than three million times to boost up the e-commerce solution through WordPress functions. It’s a WordPress plugin that doesn’t get nearly as much attention as WooCommerce and Dokan.
WP eCommerce has the following features:
- Easily add products to your products catalog.
- Possible to monitor sales and reporting.
- Configure taxes and shipping zone.
- Support all payment gateways.
- Customer support.
- Tax APIs
- Recurring Billing and Refund APIs
5. Choose the suitable right theme
You have to choose a powerful, professional, good-looking and user-friendly theme for your eCommerce store. Keeping the right theme responsive across devices, while also loading in the blink of an eye. There are tons of of WordPress themes out there.
Before buying a theme, or investing your time in customizing one, be sure that the theme will represent your brand.
6. Concentrate on the security of your website
Cyber security is an important issue for multi-vendor eCommerce website. You have to enhance the cyber security of your WordPress website. Read more on cyber security.
There are many plugins available that offer security on WordPress website like:
- Wordfence Security
- iThemes Security
- All In One WP Security and Firewall
7. Use the power of online marketing
In this digital era you have fight to afloat in the online business. Online marketing is the killing arm to stay in the digital space.
Below are the few tips of the digital marketing options to keep your business viable:
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization becomes the most important aspect of any website. With SEO you can make your site understandable to your users. The two most powerful SEO plugin for WordPress are: Yoast SEO, All in one SEO pack.
Social Media Marketing
Social Media aces at making every possible thing “viral” and your eCommerce store can be no exception. Set up a business page in Facebook for your each eCommerce store and post regularly for marketing purposes. You can also give some offer in social media to boost your sales.
It has become the common believe that e-mail marketing are outdated channel, but a study says that 70% of the online customers check their e-mails regularly. That’s why e-marketing is still playing a vital roll in online marketing. By sending newsletters, drip campaigns, and re-marketing campaigns can be the best means to reach your products to customers.
8. Take care of your eCommerce website speed
There are many reasons to speed up WordPress eCommerce store. Some of them are as following:
- If you concentrate on your site’s google rank, then you have to focus on loading time. of your sites. Because Google Search Engine rank a website with fast-loading times higher than the slow-loading ones. So, to improve your SERP’s position improving speed should be your one of the priorities.
- According to the research by Akamai, if your site takes more than 2 seconds to load, 47 percent visitors will bounce off the site. So, to keep the interest of your visitors to your store you should speed up WordPress.
- If you are running a eCommerce store or going to start a eCommerce store, you must know that online buyers are very impatient. They expect to load a page within a second. So, to make your business profitable and considering online buyers you should speed up WordPress.
You can use the following plugins to speed up your WordPress website-
- WP Super Cache
- Optimus- WordPress Image Optimizer
- Optimize database
- WP Super Minify
Read more here to speed up your WordPress website.
9. Backup your website regularly
When you will run a eCommerce website with a good volume of content and regular visitors, you have to think to hold those potential visitors. You should not take any risk to lost all these things.
A proverb goes that – Prevention is better than cure. So, you should regularly backup your websites to prevent any accidental loss of data.
There are lots of excellent WordPress backup plugins available that will back up your pages, posts, product descriptions, and whatever else you have on your site. Some of them are:
- UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration
10. Payment Mode
The more payment option you will offer, the more customers you can draw. Multiple payment option also remove the probability of a consumer being lost. So, give your customers all the payment options like PayPal, Direct Transfer, Cheque Payment and even Cash on Delivery.
Following are the few plugins that gives more payment options to your customers.
- Woocommerce Payment Gateway by Novalnet
- Stripe free Payment Gateway for WooCommerce
- SimplePay WooCommerce Payment Gateway
Creating a multi-vendor eCommerce website is not a simple process. We just showed you the first step on above discussion. Now you have to walk through. Hope this will help you as a beginner.