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multi-vendor eCommerce guide

Guide to development for multi-vendor eCommerce website & apps

Taru M. Taru M.
Published: 29 Apr, 2022

As the marketplace platform has gained so much popularity and importance in online shopping, many entrepreneurs want to develop their own marketplace website.

The decision to create a multi-vendor eCommerce website is not easy as it sounds. A multi-vendor marketplace could be very lucrative, but at the same time, it also comes with its own set of challenges.

There are a few important things that one should keep in mind before starting with your own marketplace website, and you can also hire an eCommerce website development company. In this article, we will be discussing the key points that you should know as a beginner for starting a multi-vendor eCommerce website.

Key features that multi-vendor eCommerce app must have

Control to Vendors

If you want to build an eCommerce store where different people can do business, then giving them control over their products is essential. So, your multi-vendor eCommerce app must allow sellers to add their products, manage inventory, update prices & images, etc.
The more control you give them over their products and processes, the better your chance for success.
It will also help sellers manage their orders easily by providing complete information about each order, such as product name, customer name, total cost, delivery address, etc.

The more control you give them over their products and processes, the better your chance for success.
It will also help sellers manage their orders easily by providing complete information about each order, such as product name, customer name, total cost, delivery address, etc.

Product Management

The product management feature allows sellers to add or remove products from their online shop. Also, the system keeps track of the inventory from different vendors and provides updates on stocks. The seller can update the inventory at any time during sales.
This feature helps the admin as well, chiefly to track each vendor’s activities and transactions separately.

Automotive Tasking

Automation is a crucial feature for any business. It can increase the efficiency of your system and free up time for you to do more creative and challenging things. Therefore, ensure that your multi-vendor eCommerce app has an automated system for managing inventory, billing, shipping, etc.

Benefits of Multi-vendor marketplace

Increased range of product offerings for customers

It is an advantage to both vendors and customers as the former can browse through a variety of items and make their pick. While the latter gain exposure to wider audiences that they may never have targeted without a multi-vendor marketplace.

Reduces maintenance costs for vendors

Creating and managing an online store is a costly affair, and the vendors save on that cost when they sell on a multi-vendor marketplace. They also get help with their marketing efforts, which is usually taken care of by the marketplace owner.

Higher revenue opportunities for marketplace owners

Marketplace owners can earn revenues by charging commissions on sales or set-up/registration fees to vendors. They can also generate revenue through advertising and affiliate marketing.

Gives vendors access to more traffic and exposure

The customer reach for any seller is limited by the physical location of his shop/store or website. It can be quite limiting for businesses that make handmade or artisanal products. An online multi-vendor marketplace helps these sellers reach out to customers all over the world who may be interested in these products but do not know where to get them from.

Lower overhead costs for sellers/vendors

Sellers don’t have to pay any upfront fees on the platform – they only need to pay commission when they make sales. Usually, the customers come from the multi-vendor platform’s own marketing efforts. Hence sellers can focus on their own marketing efforts on other channels.

Best platforms for multi-vendor websites

There are many platforms for creating multi-vendor eCommerce businesses, including free ones, but not all of them are equally useful. Some offer too few features and options, while others are too complicated.


An affordable and one of the most user-friendly platforms on the market; it supports multiple users and has many built-in features, including SEO tools, and is easy to use and manage. It also provides an enterprise solution for large scale businesses that want customised features for their website.


It is another top-rated eCommerce platform that is used by over 250,000 websites around the world. It is an open-source platform that provides a full set of eCommerce features; its community version is free and open-source; however, it requires technical knowledge or assistance from a developer.


Another platform that is free and open-source, flexible enough to let you build the kind of store you want, and is extendable via hundreds of free and paid WooCommerce extensions. If you need help choosing a theme, finding an extension or setting up your WooCommerce site, you can hire an eCommerce website development company.


It is a simple and easy-to-use platform capable of building a professional-looking multi-vendor eCommerce website. It also has more than 3000+ modules and themes that you can use to add more functionality to your website or give it a new look. Prestashop also provides many templates for free, where you can easily install them on your website with just one click.

Strategies to create a development plan for the multi-vendor eCommerce app

Research and know your target audience

This step is critical because it helps you know what they are looking for, what they feel about the product/service you want to offer, and how much they are willing to pay for it.

Research can be performed at ease by following the steps below:

  • Create a list of questions to ask potential customers about your idea.
  • Use an online survey tool such as SurveyMonkey or Zoho Survey to create and host your survey. These tools make it easier for you to create a survey and help you gather results quickly. You can also use Google Forms for this purpose.
  • Send the survey link via email or social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Once you have gathered responses from people who fit your target demographic, analyse their answers. As a result, you will understand if there is a gap in the market that needs to be filled or if there is a demand for what you have in mind.
  • To get started with multi-vendor eCommerce development, first, you need to create a business plan. It is one of the most challenging and crucial steps of starting any business, as you need to consider all the factors that may affect your business in the future:

1. The cost of setting up your online store

2. Your capacity for managing vendors

3. Sales goals and objectives

4. Budget for marketing and advertising your platform

Look at your competitors.

Look at the multi-vendor eCommerce website and multi-vendor eCommerce app
of rival brands in the market space. Compare prices and determine what makes your competitors’ products or services different from yours.

Define how you can stand out from the rest and make a mark as a leader in the industry. Focus on creating a user-friendly app that offers excellent customer service and support.
Make sure that all your efforts give consumers what they want and build a strong brand image for yourself.

Choose a domain name.

The next step involves carefully choosing the right domain name for your multi-vendor eCommerce website. This process might take some time since you have to select from a wide array of options. It would turn best if you keep a few things in mind during this process:

Your domain name should result from careful research. So, don’t rush into anything during this process. You might have multiple ideas for your website, but you have to choose one appropriate for your business.

Make your domain name simple and memorable. The idea behind selecting a good domain name is to ensure that people can easily recognise it. If the domain name is too complicated, then there are high chances that people might forget it.

Deploy powerfully built server

If you plan to build a big marketplace that sells multiple products, you must consider purchasing a dedicated server. A robust server will enable you to get more traffic and sales from your customers.
Keep in mind that a weak server leads to low load times and crashes of your site. That’s why you should invest in a solid server or use a reliable hosting provider.

Now, you can use two types of servers to host your multi-vendor website: Windows and Linux.
Linux servers are more common and preferred by most developers due to their lower cost and compatibility with open source technologies like PHP and MySQL databases.

However, if your website has been developed using Microsoft technologies such as ASP or ASP.NET, then you will need to use a Windows Server.

Ensure the security of your site

When building a multi-vendor eCommerce app, it is important to consider its security features. Here are some ways you can boost the security of your site:

  • Don’t store credit card information on the site
  • Use firewalls to protect sensitive information
  • Upgrade software regularly
  • Encrypt data with SSL
  • Consider using a payment gateway

It is essential to follow these steps to secure your website:

  • Create a strong password to prevent unauthorised access to your admin panel.
  • Keep your software up-to-date. Thus protecting your site from hackers and viruses.
    Use SSL/TSL certificates for security purposes.
  • You can also restrict the login attempts for your admin panel, so no one can try to hack into your system by guessing the password multiple times in a row.
  • If you are using WordPress or Magento, make sure your file permissions are set properly so that no one can access your files remotely through FTP or SSH.

How to choose a multi-vendor platform for your business?

Choosing a multi-vendor platform is not as simple as you might think. There are various factors to consider, such as the features and capabilities of the platform, its scalability, usability and learning curve, cost, and vendor support.

The right multi-vendor platform can make the difference between a profitable business and one that struggles to survive.

Here’s are a few things that you should consider while choosing a multi-vendor platform:

Features and capabilities

What features do the platform offer? Does it have everything you need to build your business? Does it have features that might be useful in the future? You can add more features later if desired? Is it easy for customers to find products, place orders, and count on fast delivery? Does it provide payment options that customers want?


If your company grows quickly or experiences sudden surges in demand, will the multi-vendor platform be able to handle those changes without any trouble? Can new vendors be added easily when needed? Can new categories of products be added when required?


How complicated is it for sellers to manage their stores on a multi-vendor platform? How easy is it for buyers to quickly find what they want and complete purchases? A complex system can lead to mistakes that affect customer satisfaction and sales.

How much does it cost to get a multi-vendor eCommerce website developed?

The cost of a multi-vendor eCommerce website can vary widely depending on your requirements. You could get a custom design for a simple marketplace site with a few pages and basic features for as little as $10,000.

However, if you want an elaborate and complex website with hundreds of pages and dozens of advanced features built-in, then it could cost upwards of $80,000 or more.
To get an accurate estimate for your specific project, you’ll need to look at the various factors that influence price and decide which ones are most important to your business.

There are 3 main factors that determine the cost of a multi-vendor eCommerce website:

The number of pages you need: Most websites have 5-10 main pages, but if you need 50 or more, it will take longer to build them all out (and therefore cost more).

The complexity of each page: If your website has many elements on each page, it will take longer to build them all out (and therefore cost more).

The number and complexity of features: If you want things like customer reviews or social media integration built into the site, this will, too, increase costs.

Final Thoughts

Build your marketplace where you can offer a wide range of products in different categories. Offer the best customer experience possible. Research your target market and figure out their true needs.

The “sharing economy” has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years — and it’s not just Uber and Airbnb. The marketplaces that have successfully tapped into “shared value” are now impacting all sorts of industries: food delivery, healthcare, transportation, consumer finance and loans, professional services — the list goes on.
Contact us. We will help you develop a multi-vendor eCommerce website & app that customers will love to their core.

It takes a strong vision, multi-faceted planning, and a lot of hard work to get your multi-vendor marketplace up and running. But if you’re confident, go ahead as this is the perfect time to jump in.

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Taru M. Author :
Taru M.

For over 18 years, Taru M. is a successful technology entrepreneur by profession and a tech enthusiast by spirit. She takes pride in offering expertise in her domain to business people's success across the globe. As a business woman and technology expert, she manages to keep her balance along with her family responsibilities. She did her masters in computers, and her work delivery shows the expertise of her education. Connect with her via Linkedin profile to know more about her exciting personality

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