How to Start a Multi-Vendor Marketplace with Dokan Plugin
From ancient times, people used sale to earn money and exchange goods. Today it’s one of the most promising business fields. This is exactly why so many people worldwide run their own online stores or plan to start shops in the future. Besides ordinary online shops dedicated to one specific niche, owned and lead by one brand or individual, there are multi-vendor markets that gather different sellers and shops under one umbrella. Amazon, Aliexspres and Etsy are the first examples that cross our minds. Millions of people use these platforms to sell and buy items without leaving the sofa. You’re probably one of them. This kind of markets not only save time but also offer an endless assortment of items in one place. As a convenient, promising way of gathering different sellers and brands, multi-vendor markets are constantly on the rise. Luckily, thanks to many professional online store WordPress themes and practical plugins, anyone can start a multi-vendor marketplace without hiring a developer.
What’s a Multi-Vendor Marketplace?
In a nutshell, multi-vendor marketplace is a website type where various vendors place their products or offer services while the website owner moderates the website and approves the content. Moreover, as customers buy the items, the website owner gets a commission from every sale. These sort of online markets benefit not only owners and sellers, but customers as well. Let’s start with website owners. Multi-vendor markets allow them to gain profit with minimum effort. No complicated procedures, stress or deadlines. They just need to sit and wait for new sales as each one brings a commission. As for the sellers, they are benefiting as well. Without investing the energy into building and maintaining the website, vendors have the freedom to focus on products and end-buyers only. Lastly, customers can choose between versatile products and brands, without limitations traditional shops have. But this is not all. Strong competition on this kind of sites means that hundreds of sellers out there, need to offer only the high-quality products that bring value to buyers. That’s the only way to stand out in the endless ocean of sellers who offer similar items.
Best Way to Create WordPress Multi-Vendor Marketplace
If you’re not a developer or don’t have time to build your multi-vendor marketplace from scratch, you need only two things to start big: WooCommerce and Dokan plugin. WooCommerce plugin is an essential tool for creating any sort of online store. But only when you combine it with Dokan plugin you will have a winning formula to launch your multi-vendor marketplace in a flash. But first thing first. Before you open your marketplace doors for sellers and vendors, you need to choose your domain name and find a hosting service that fits your needs. Make sure your hosting package supports WordPress themes. The next step is easy and hard at the same time – choosing the perfect WordPress theme. Possibilities are endless so it’s sometimes hard to decide for one theme only. But if you set your goals properly, have a clear vision about your brand image and your website’s functionalities, you will find the perfect theme match with ease. Now, let’s dive deeper into plugins you need to make your multi-vendor marketplace thrive – WooCommerce and Dokan plugin.
During the years WooCommerce became a true paradigm for creating online stores of any kind. The reason behind its success and popularity is its ease of use. Plus, the constant growth of its users is a good motivation to its author to keep the plugin fresh and to offer frequent updates. Moreover, anyone can use this plugin since creating an online store with WooCommerce requires zero coding knowledge. Also, it’s free and feature-rich, giving user the flexibility to set any functionality their shop might need. Moreover, almost all free and premium WordPress themes are compatible with WooCommerce.
Now, let’s see what exactly this plugin brings. Basically, it allows us to create product pages. These are not the pages you can find under Pages or Posts. To start creating your WooCommerce product pages, find a new field Products on the left menu. This is a place where you can showcase your products in detail. Each page represents one product and its characteristics. Depending on your niche, you can sell products in all shapes and sizes. You can as well offer product variations or even sell affiliate goods from online marketplaces. After you decide on the product page, start adding products with WooCommerce plugin.
Besides product pages, this plugin covers Shop pages as well. Here you can see all the added products, user cart and checkout page. Each of these pages is equally important for your online store, so take your time and pay attention to each detail you want to share. Another great thing about WooCommerce is its flexibility. It supports different payment options. In other words, it allows your website to accept major credit cards, alternative payment methods, and cash on delivery. Also, it supports PayPal, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay and Google Pay. A big advantage of this plugin is related to its shipping options. You can either offer free shipping or flat rate shipping, or limit your shipments to specific countries. In addition to this, you can add delivery and shipping options or even support strategies like buy-one-get-one or offer free gifts. Find all settings in the left menu under WooCommerce field.
After everything we already said about WooCommerce plugin, you probably know you can create any type of online store with it. But for building professional multi-vendor markets, you will need a step forward. Particularly, besides WooCommerce you need Dakon plugin. Why? Let’s see.
Features that make WooCommerce a must-have plugin for multi-vendor markets:
- Ease of Use
- Different Payment Methods
- Allows Many Shipping Options
- A Variety of Pages You Can Create
Dokan plugin is an essential element for creating multi-vendor markets. In a combination with WooCommerce, it allows you to transform your website into a huge online marketplace where anyone can display and sell products. But before you install this plugin and start growing your online business, check out if your WordPress theme is compatible with Dokan. To install this plugin, make sure you cover these system requirements PHP 5.6 & MySQL 5.6 or their later versions, WordPress 4.9.0 (or its later versions) and of course – WooCommerce plugin (3.3 version or later).
What makes Dokan plugin a must-have element of any multi-vendor marketplace is the set of features it brings. Basically, it allows sellers to register their shop and create their profile on your website in order to present and sell items. Although Dokan plugin can’t work without WooCommerce, the sellers actually won’t go to the theme’s backend to add and display their products. Dokan brings a special, intuitive dashboard page where each seller can add and manage each product with complete ease.
Here you can set everything related to your online store. From following sale reports, managing reviews, sharing additional information on your shop and products, its location and working hours to checking out orders and earnings. Dokan also allows you to connect your shop with social networks which can improve communication and interaction with customers. In addition to this, you can manage your store’s SEO. With a few simple steps, you can optimize your store for the better Google ranking. Add keywords, write meta description, define your SEO title, and more.
Have in mind that each product you post has to get the official approval from the website owner. But, in a case you use Trusted vendor option, your products will be automatically shared on your store.
Lastly, both the website administrator and seller will have the option to follow the detailed analytics about the number of sold products, popular shops, total earnings, etc.
Features that make Dokan a must-have plugin for multi-vendor markets:
- Intuitive Dashboard
- Trusted Vendor Option
- SEO Options
- Connect Shop with Social Media
Let’s Wrap It up
Multi-vendor market websites are on the rise for a reason. The convenience they bring for sellers and customers is the secret behind their popularity. They not only save time and energy, but provide visitors with a huge number of products they can choose from. The best part is you need only two things to start building your multi-vendor market today: WooCommerce and Dokan plugin. We hope this article brought you some interesting insights about these plugins. Good luck with your new multi-market business!
We hope this article was helpful. If you liked it, feel free to check out some of these articles as well!