Technologies range for the backend as wells as for the frontend is broad. Add here a long list of databases and CMS. And even an experienced web developer can get into a stun. Nevertheless, you can use the ready CMS with a set of plug-ins and run the multi-vendor peer-to-peer marketplace. Merehead does not recommend WordPress and its plug-ins (WC Vendors, Marketify etc.) or other ready-made platforms for launching own multi-vendor marketplace. Why? The answer is very simple: you can develop a platform, but its performance, optimization, and customization will be worse than hell. Previously, we discussed the importance of targeting and niche.
For a startup, it is important to do a lot of iterations and try different options to determine what the right is for your audience and what is not. Unfortunately, contrary to the erroneous view, WordPress is not suitable for such projects. Its task is blogging - and with this platform, WordPress does very well. However, in this article, we consider all possible options in cold-blood. Nevertheless, the price of a multi-vendor marketplace with a ready-made template and a typical design costs about from $3000 to $5000. If you want to use a unique graphic design, add $1200- $2500.
We at Merehead take care not only about the development but also about the future of the project and its success. Relying on 9 years of experience, we can talk our recommendations to help you to grow and choose between website or mobile app.
With Wordpress, you make a website, but its future is dull. Even within the MVP project - we do not recommend using WordPress. You better choose the minimal set of features but with the opportunity to scale and grow. Wordpress is killing it.
Frameworks for the multi-vendor marketplace. Laravel or NodeJS will be one of the best solutions. Custom development and iteration will help to achieve not only a quick response from the server but also a better user experience. MVP marketplace development takes from 3 weeks to 2 months. As a result, you can get the first registration of vendors, first money and a new portion of enthusiasm and a great desire to grow.
There is a lot of fuss around security now. Integrity of personal data, protection against hacker attacks in large projects should be put on the first place. When choosing the technology, there must be a private and protected GIT repository, code review, a protected firewall, and no one possibility and holes for SQL-injections or XSS-attacks. In addition, with proper programming, the supplier development agency must use 2 environments. Private (for development) and public/release (available to users).
Contrary to the erroneous opinion, the design is the first thing a user sees. Through the design, we intuitively feel to trust or not to this resource. Whether it was professionally executed or not. The template that has been downloaded by a thousand users before can seem like a good choice but, not for the multi-vendor online website marketplace.
With MVP multi-vendor marketplace development, it is important to choose the most optimal number of functions and pages to get the first feedbacks, registrations, money, and traction overall. We recommend having a catalog, registration, and authorization, the ability to post products, statistics, and payment. For the administrator or the owner, it will be useful to have a private system that will block sellers, see the statistics, goods and approve or decline them. This set for the marketplace will cost about $5000.
Not much different from the solution with the WordPress usage. But! You'll get a flexible and easily-scalable opportunity to work with the website, improve it and do it for people. Only in this way, you'll get first registrations and money. We’d also considered best ecommerce platforms here.
Websites like Etsy cost around $70,000, working with an agency from Eastern Europe that takes $25 per hour. The solution from a partner in the US or the UK will cost you "a pretty penny". And you can count on an investment of $250,000- $400,000.
Searching on a multi-vendors site's marketplace is very important. Imagine that you have a database, does not matter SQL or NoSQL, with 20 million items and you need to implement a live search, like in google suggestions. At least you need to use Elasticsearch. Using the methods of working with databases as with small websites - you will find a failure. The server just will be off. Work with high-loaded projects requires complex work with the database, code optimization, and database queries. When it comes to overloaded projects, it is often necessary to use several server programming languages. Python, PHP, or Nodejs to provide optimal results.
The performance and loading pages should not exceed 2 seconds for the user. And of course, the mobile responsive version should work flawlessly.
There are several schemes for monetizing the multi-vendor online marketplace. Nobody forbids you to use them alone or to combine.
- Fee, Based on Item Cost
The most popular scheme and besides is fair enough. If the marketplace brought some customers to the vendor - the vendor has to share the profit. The percentage or fee is highly dependent on the industry and ranges from 3% to 20% of item cost. Do not be greedy raising your commission.
Marketplace projects are a long-term game for the future; first of all, you have to attract a decent number of vendors and customers. In this case, we recommend putting 0% commission. Agree, having a store with hundred-second items, would not you prefer to be placed on such a resource to be able to have any additional customers? I will answer - yes and immediately. For vendors, it sounds like a fairy tale, and they rush to sign up.
Pay for clicks or impressions for advertisers. With 25,000 visitors a month and an average of 5.3 views, you get 132,500 impressions. I am sure that a lot of companies will want to use your audience to attract additional attention to their products or resources.
By the way, in this monetization scheme, you can work with both external websites and with internal vendors that are already placed in your marketplace. Both options have good monetary indicators.
- Freemium and Memberships
Your target audience is vendors with 10 up to 1500 products. In that case, why not take a fee that will depend on the number of goods. For example, vendors with up to 100 goods are free. They can try your platform, features, and results. Membership for vendors with up to 250 products costs $39 per month. Up to 1000 - $99 per month and so on.
Options with memberships and the expansion of functionality are very well shown in the job marketplaces like LinkedIn and Xing.
One of the most complex and intricate items. When it comes to marketing all the options are good and all of them work. The best experience can be achieved only by combining them all together with the right monetization and attracting customers. The success is achieved many times easier. Following tactics and strategies you can use in terms of restaurant website also. So, our list of the most effective digital channels for multi-vendor ecommerce marketplace marketing:
2. Email Marketing Campaigns. Inbound and outbound.
3. PPC campaigns (Adwords, Facebook).
4. Ads on 3-rd party resources.
The most cost-effective marketing option for you multi-vendor website. But the cost of it is reduced only with time. You will get a decent result not earlier than in six months. Do not get me wrong, the first results should be in the first or second month. However, only after half a year, you can count on a very pleasant result. This is primarily due to the peculiarities of search engines. They are very wary of young projects that previously had no history in the search rankings. SEO should be neat and safe.
1. The most advantageous in the conversion rates
2. Increases website and brand visibility on the Internet.
1. Requires a lot of time
2. Monthly investments
- Email Marketing Campaigns
Having the first registrations is very important not to lose them and to keep the interest of your audience. Integrate your multi-vendor online marketplace with CRM such as Salesforce, HubSpot is vital. Email workflows increase the return at times, even for crypto exchange platforms. Campaigns can be divided into both inbound and outbound. Both options have the right to exist. Cold emails show poor results last time, but as I said earlier - we do an unbiased review, considering all possible options for you.
1. Conversion cost is one of the lowest among all channels.
2. Investments are almost unnecessary.
3. Increases brand visibility
4. Work with the audience.
1. Too hard to find and email marketing expert.