You weigh your options, consider the pros and cons, deliberate on the platform you should choose to build your multi vendor store, and finally pick WordPress. Now what? How do you give your simple “WordPress Blog” the powerful functionality of a multi-vendor store?
Technically, you need a multi vendor store plugin to lift up the heavy weight for you. Well, things get a little intimidating down this aisle as well. You get bombarded with questions like:
What is the best WordPress plugin to build a multi vendor store?
What features should you look for?
To simplify the process for you, we have compiled some common features you should look for when looking for a multi-vendor plugin for WordPress.
1. Frontend Dashboard For Vendors
This is perhaps the most important feature to look for in a multi vendor store plugin for WordPress. Since your vendors will be uploading their products themselves, you need to provide them an intuitive and easy to use frontend dashboard so they don’t get overwhelmed by the hoards of options and settings found on the backend.
The frontend dashboard for vendors should be easy enough for them to upload products, manage orders, view order statuses and get a quick view of their current standing. They should also be able to easily add coupons and discounts from the dashboard.
The dashboard should also have SEO options for vendors to improve their visibility in search engines. They should be able to write custom SEO meta, store permalink, and description directly from their dashboard.
2. Moderate Publishing
In most multi-vendor stores, store managers need to keep things in check. For instance, you, as the store manager, need a way to make sure products are added to the right categories. You also need to make sure good quality product descriptions and images are uploaded. If things are not organized – say, an artwork is uploaded in the category of kitchen appliances – it will reflect poorly on the reputation of your store. That’s why it’s almost always essential for you to have the ability to review products before they go live on the store.
3. A Good Rating System
A rating system is extremely important in a multi vendor marketplace. In cases when the store offers an expansive range of products from a sea of vendors, customers often find it daunting to choose and pick what they need. That is when ratings and reviews come handy. A good rating system also motivates vendors to keep their products in stock, ship on time, and provide good quality in order to avoid low ratings.
4. Single Product Multiple Vendor
Most popular multi-vendor store plugins for WordPress offer a module called “Single Product Multiple Vendor”. This feature can come handy in cases when a single product is being supplied by multiple vendors.
If you have used Amazon, you would know what we are talking about. When turned on, this feature displays all other vendors that offer the same product and lets the customer compare prices and ratings. For most ecommerce multi vendor stores, this is a good feature to look for.
5. Multiple Commission Types
Almost all multi vendor stores earn through commissions on their vendors’ earnings. Setting rates and deducting commissions is thus, a key part of running a multi vendor store. And so, you should almost definitely look for a plugin that lifts up this heavy weight.
However, things are not always monotonous when it comes to commissions. For example, you may not want to charge a single rate of commission on all products. Or you may want to set specific commissions for individual vendors.
For instance, commissions may be product wise, vendor wise, category wise, or global. And so, you should look for a plugin that offers support for multiple commission types and lets you use them effortlessly.
6. Easy Withdrawals
People love getting paid, don’t they? To keep your vendors happy and loyal to you, your plugin should offer a simple and easy payment withdrawal system. They should be able to view their earnings and request withdrawals right from their frontend dashboard. The plugin should also be integrated with popular payment methods like PayPal, bank transfer and Skrill.
7. Order and Shipping Management Features
One of the most frustrating thing for a customer is when they place an order online but are not given any updates on it.
To make sure all orders are managed and shipments are processed in a timely and efficient manner, the plugin should have robust features for order and shipping management.
Vendors should be able to view orders on their frontend dashboard while admin should also be able to organize orders according to their status.
The customers should be able to view the status of their orders so they can see how close their order is towards completion. Moreover, there should be an option to send them email notifications about their order updates.
As far as shipping methods are concerned, you have two options: you can either have a cohesive shipping policy across your store or you can let your vendors set their own shipping methods and costs for their individual stores. The plugin should therefore, support both of these options.
And finally, to track shipments using tracking numbers, the plugin should offer frontend shipment tracking.
8. Individual Vendor Stores
This is another important feature to look for in a multi-vendor store plugin. By allowing your vendors to create their individual stores, you can take your store one step forward and make your vendors happier and more satisfied. For example, vendors might have their own headers, banners and unique URL. Vendors should also be able to integrate their social media profiles with their stores. Plus, look for attractive and eye-catching storefront widgets that vendors can use to customize their store.
9. Personalized Seller Reports
Sales reports have a lot to do with managing a successful multi-vendor store. By showing the big picture – that is revenue – these reports indicate how well the store management system is working.
Apart from sales reports, you should also be able to create personalized seller reports. These seller reports serve many benefits. As the store manager, you can use these seller reports to see which sellers need your help to sell more. They can also give early warning signs to vendors when they have started to lag behind. And if things are going well, they will help motivate them as well!
When looking for a plugin, you will realize that almost every plugin comes with an exhaustive list of features. However, the aforementioned are some of the most basic ones that will help lift up the heavy weight of managing and running a multi vendor store.
But…are you one of those who often come up with killer, game-changing ideas? Is your mind bursting with ideas that are too complex for a plugin to handle itself? Our team of developers at CodUpLabs doesn’t want you to get stuck with only an idea. Contact for a free consultation and let us know the amazing thoughts and dreams you have.