It is not surprising that WordPress is powerful and flexible to set up and run an e-commerce website. Especially, with the combination of WooCommerce, WordPress can help you start a professional online store with much ease. But what if you want to hold a marketplace with multiple vendors? In the following, we have listed the steps of how to set up WordPress marketplace for multi-vendor selling.
In fact, the typical online store or the e-commerce site only has a single vendor selling different products and services. As for marketplace, this is an online selling platform that has multiple stores and vendors. With it, vendors can create accounts to sell something. And you can get some commission from their sales as the revenue. Frankly speaking, if your marketplace is successful enough, you can earn a large sum of money with much ease.
Face the Challenges
Before creating the WordPress marketplace, you should face the below two main challenges.
- Choose a proper niche – Your website is not Amazon. It is truly hard for you to set up a marketplace that can sell items of any kinds and niches. In this case, it would be better for you to choose a proper niche, such as cloth, hand-made items, books and many more. Also, the domain name and the website title should be able to reflect the niche you select.
- Choose a powerful hosting package – You are going to start a large platform for the multi-vendor selling. In this case, the common WordPress hosting solution might be hard to meet your needs. This time, we think the powerful VPS hosting can be your first option. Even, with the growth of your marketplace, the dedicated server hosting is worth considering. Note that the reliability, security and speed are the core factors when you choose the hosting package.
Install WooCommerce + WC Marketplace
After purchasing the hosting solution, registering a domain name, you should install WordPress. And then, you can start creating the marketplace with the help of two plugins – WooCommerce and WC Marketplace.
Here, WooCommerce is a professional WordPress e-commerce plugin, which works as the base of your marketplace. As for WC Marketplace, this is a useful extension of WooCommerce that allows you to start a multi-store marketplace easily.
If you want, you can set up WooCommerce general settings for some special purposes. But here, we will start from the configuration of the WC Marketplace plugin.
Set Up for the General Options
Now, you can click the WCMP > Settings button to set up a variety of setting options. For the general settings, you can decide the below options.
- Allow everyone to register as a vendor, or, keep your marketplace an invite only one.
- Approve the vendors manually or automatically.
- Enable the knowledge base section on the dashboard of each vendor.
- Allow different vendors to sell the same thing.
- Allow the vendor rating system.
- Showcase the policy section in the single product page and the support channel details in the “thank you” page.
After moving to the Policies part, you can allow your vendors to decide the policies for their stores, shipping, refund, cancellation, return and exchange. You can also set these policies on your own.
The last general setting is about the support details. Here, you can enter your own email, phone number and physical address that allow anyone to contact you for help. In addition, you can also allow vendors to add the store specific support details for their customers.
Decide the Vendor Pages
From this part, you can decide all the pages for your vendors, including the dashboard page, registration page, announcement page, shop front-end, vendor policies page, vendor shipping page, vendor billing page and many more. Surely, you need to create and publish these pages in advance. Note that the endpoint of each page is pre-determined. If you do not have any special requirements, you can leave them unchanged.
Note that this plugin allows you to set up for the vendor registration panel. Here, you can decide the form fields based on your needs, such as the email, text box, list, check box, URL and many more.
Next, you should determine the vendor dashboard setting. Here, you have the freedom to decide the color scheme for your vendor dashboard. For instance, you can choose the colors for background, menu, menu hover and many more. In addition, you can choose among the three shop templates and allow vendors to edit the template.
No matter which template you choose, your vendors can decide the shop front-end from their dashboard easily.
Decide the Front-end
Here, you should set up which vendor details you are looking to reveal for your users.
- Showcase the “Sold by” link on the shop or store. You can replace the “Sold by” label as you want.
- Display the vendor details on the product page.
- Show the “Report abuse” link on all the product pages or just the vendor’s product pages.
- Enter the blocked vendor notice
Note that you can configure the front-end settings the way you like.
Set Up for Payment Settings
From this part, you can decide how you earn from your users. Here, there are two revenue sharing mode options – admin fee and vendor commissions. As for what to pay, you can decide the below points.
- Choose the commission type – percentage, fixed amount, %age + fixed amount per transaction and %age + fixed amount per unit.
- Decide the commission percentage and the fixed amount value.
- Share the coupon discount.
- Transfer the tax and shipping charges to your users.
Also, you can choose the payment methods, set the payment gateway charge to your users, disburse vendors commission automatically and allow vendors to request for the commission withdrawal.
Here, as the payment methods include the PayPal Masspay and PayPal Payout, you need to enter your PayPal details.
Choose Some Capabilities
Now, you have to decide the user capabilities. Here, you can allow vendors to submit products, publish products without your approval, edit the published products, submit coupons, publish coupons, edit coupons and upload the media files.
In addition, you can showcase Inventory, Linked Products, Shipping, Attributes and Advanced in the product side panel. Even, you have the freedom to decide the product types among the options of Simple, Variable, Grouped, External and Affiliate; select the type options between Virtual and Downloadable; allow the comment box and many more.
Besides, you can give vendors the right to view and to add the order note, allow them to export the order data, send the order information to their emails, allow them to add the external store URL and to hide some shop details.
Run Your WordPress Marketplace
Now, you have already set up the marketplace using WordPress successfully. If you are not satisfied with the current appearance, you can install a well-designed marketplace theme as you like.
In addition, you’d better optimize your marketplace for the following aspects.
- Security, security, security – This is the core aspect for a reliable marketplace.
- SEO – This decides the online ranking of all the stores on your site.
- Speed – The caching system and CDN are highly recommended.
After promoting your marketplace for a while, you can enter your admin and click the WCWP > To-Do List button. Here, you can find all the tasks that need your attention and action. These include the user applications, product publish, coupon submission and withdrawal requests.
From the Commissions section, you can know who have paid you the commission, along with the product, amount, status and date.
Even, you can get a report of how much you have earned during the last year, the last month, this month, the last 7 days and the custom range.