The eCommerce business models are not limited to selling from the procured inventories. Instead, you can also start a multi-vendor marketplace website. This business model will allow you to include vendors who will procure and sell their inventories. You will be making money from the commission these sellers pay you for letting them set up their storefronts on your website. Just like Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, and Etsy to be precise.
You might ask what it takes to build such a multi-vendor marketplace. Nothing fancy but a good multi-vendor-marketplace software is enough to let you build your platform. Most of the time, you don’t even need to write a single line of code by yourself, as these solutions are mostly ready-made. Here is a list of top 5 multi-vendor software and best shopping cart software solutions in the market that you can use to set up your marketplace platform based on your niche.
1. CS-Cart multi-vendor solution
CS-Cart is a well know eCommerce solution provider in the global market. It is popular for its multi-vendor solutions in different domains. Beside a regular marketplace solution that mimics eBay-like features, they also offer the solutions to build rental marketplaces like Airbnb.
Compared to other multi-vendor marketplace software in the market, CS-Cart offers the best UI design and collection of all essential features to run a marketplace with multiple sellers. The admin can set membership plans (like Amazon FBA) for the sellers using which any seller can sign on the platform and set up the storefront on the go.
LAMP Stack: Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP
Cloud-hosted and managed services
A 15 Days Free trial is available. Besides, it offers three premium plans a different set of features:
- Multi-vendor: $1450
- Multi-vendor Plus: $3500
- Multi-vendor Ultimate: $7500
2. ShopyGen Multi-Vendor Script
ShopyGen offers a collection of different eCommerce solutions for different needs, multi-vendor scripts are one of them. Similar to CS-Cart, ShopyGen too has the product, services, and rental marketplace solutions. You can create a product marketplace like Amazon, P2P rental marketplace like Airbnb, or a Service marketplace like Thumbtack.
Compared to other multi-vendor solutions in the market, its product marketplace script, AKA Gencart has a more powerful tech stack, which makes it ideal for creating massive marketplaces. You can create membership subscription plans for not just sellers but also the customers, something like Amazon Prime. Besides, each seller gets a dedicated dashboard on the front-end to manage the store.
MEAN Stack: MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS, and Node.js
Self-hosted solution with free software updates for one year
Genstore Standard: $699 one-time cost
Genstore Premium: $1999 one-time cost (with additional mobile apps for Android and iOS)
3. Yo!Kart Marketplace
Yo!Kart is a new name in the eCommerce solutions market but it is no less than any of its competitors. It offers an assortment of different ready-made and customized multi-vendor solutions for different niches. Whether you want to build a B2B marketplace, product marketplace, or digital products marketplace, you can find a personalized template for each.
The unique selling point of Yo!Kart is its life-time ownership model without a recurring fee. Like Genstore in the above section, Yo!Kart too is a self-hosted solution and offers loads of ready-made templates. It comes inbuilt with essential marketplace features like commission management, refund management, seller earning tracking, and more than 15 payment gateways.
Self-hosted and no recurring fee
Go Quick: $999
GoCustom Lite: $3999
4. Magento Marketplace Extension
Magento needs no introduction when it comes to popular eCommerce platforms. Unfortunately, the solution does not have multi-vendor support inbuilt out of the box. However, since it’s an open-source solution, it is possible to convert a traditional Magento store into a multi-vendor marketplace by merely installing a Magento-extension.
There are dozens of multi-vendor extensions available for Magento from the community developers. You can use any of them for your purpose. To name a few, Magento marketplace extensions are available from popular Magento developers like Webkul, Creative Minds, and Knowband.
Magento uses the LAMP stack. However, it uses different frameworks for Magento 1 and Magento 2 versions. For example, Magento 1 is based on Zend Framework 1 while Magento 2 on Zend 2 and Symfony.
Both cloud and self-hosted versions of Magento are available in the market
Magento community edition is a free-to-use eCommerce platform. However, the multi-vendor extensions are premium. Most of them are available for one time cost ranging from $300-$700.
5. PrestaShop Marketplace module
Similar to Magento, PrestaShop too is an open-source eCommerce platform, popular mostly among European entrepreneurs. Although it doesn’t support multi-vendor features by default, you can simply install a custom PrestaShop module to add the features. You can find tons of multi-vendor modules on the official PrestaShop marketplace.
Most of these modules are similar in terms of features and price. However, the scalability and quality may differ, that’s why it would be a bit of advice to purchase PrestaShop modules from certified community developers only. PrestaShop could be your cheapest bet to own a multi-vendor marketplace.
PrestaShop is based on LAMP stack like Magento
Both self-hosted and cloud options are available for PrestaShop
The PrestaShop eCMS is Free to download. However, the multi-vendor marketplace modules are available at a one-time purchase cost.
Important features of a multi-vendor marketplace
Although all these multi-vendor marketplace software are fully feature-packed, it is important to check for yourself that they provide at least the following essential features for sure:
- Seller account registration and dedicated seller dashboards
- Buy products from multiple vendors in one shopping cart
- Ratings and review management for products and sellers
- Subscription and Membership management for sellers
- Marketplace and Seller earnings analytics
- Commission management
- Seller-admin support system
- Customer-admin support system
- Customer-seller support system
- Refund management system
- Product listing approval system
- Custom restrictions on sellers
- Seller payouts management
- Multiple payment options
Above are some non-negotiable requirements to run a full-fledged multi-vendor marketplace. Even if you have some other solutions in mind, you should make sure they align with these features. The requirements of such websites come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on a niche, you might need some extra features that might not be present out of the box. However, if a solution is open-source, you can always customize it to fit your custom needs. Hence, choosing open-source multi-vendor marketplace softwarewould be a wise choice here. You should check the demo and trials of all the options to find the one that fits your requirements.
Jessica Bruce is a professional blogger, guest writer, Influencer & an eCommerce expert. Currently associated with ShopyGen as a content marketing strategist. She also report on the latest happenings and trends associated with the eCommerce industry.
Follow me on Twitter @Jessicabruc (https://twitter.com/Jessicabruc)