While they might not be the first thing that pops into your head when you think of ecommerce sites, marketplaces have been around for a long time. The concept of a multi-vendor market is not just for the local farmer’s market but now also is an available platform that has spawned many internet success stories.
There are the retail-based marketplaces like Etsy and eBay, and service based platforms like Upwork (formerly oDesk and Elance) that have been generating income online for many years by allowing others to buy and sell on their sites. You might think these types of sites are outside of your budget or web design skill set, but there are several commercial website tools and plugins that can transform a basic WordPress website into a custom marketplace. WC Marketplace is one of these robust tools.
WC Marketplace is a WordPress plugin that adds marketplace and multi-vendor functionality to a regular WordPress site or blog that is already using WooCommerce for e-commerce on the site. In other words, instead of having to code your marketplace from scratch, you download this plugin and install it on your site. Configure the backend settings as needed, and launch your marketplace in no time at all where sellers and buyers can all converge.
The truth is, while plugins like WC Marketplace do take hundreds of hours of coding out of the process of launching a site like this, there are still some steps to get your marketplace making money.
You'll need to:
It will take some time to get your marketplace ready for public use. But compared with doing it from scratch, it's practically nothing.
WC Marketplace is a very complete and comprehensive plugin for WordPress. It features all the tools you would need to own and manage your marketplace.
Admins have the ability to approve, reject and ban users. They have access to messaging and forums, as well as the ability to approve and edit listings on the site. They can set commissions, and make changes to financial and other areas of the site that users cannot access.
Vendors can create profiles, add their own products and services, invoice and contact customers, and more among many other features.
Buyers can search by category or keyword, create project requests, and communicate and pay via the platform.
In short, anything those big, fancy marketplace platforms like Etsy can do, you can do on your website, with this plugin. Which is pretty phenomenal when you think about it!
You're probably not going to knock Etsy or Upwork off their spot in the internet hierarchy. But if you have a great idea for a new twist on the marketplace idea, then WC Marketplace is a great place to start. Well worth the small investment, and easy enough to figure out if you have basic web design and internet skills.
If you are looking for a multi-vendor ecommerce solution you can manage, this is one to consider!