Creating a marketplace using WordPress website allows you to make money by sharing your online marketplace platform with potential marketers and advertisers. The online marketplace is becoming popular due to low overhead costs. This article will show you how to easily create an online marketplace without spending a fortune using the WordPress platform.
How do you start an Online Marketplace using WordPress?
The first thing you need to do is ensure that you are using the right website. There are two kinds of WordPress platform: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.com is a limited blog hosting service while WordPress.org is a self-hosted platform. For the task at hand, the best WordPress platform to use is WordPress.org due to its freedom and access to all WordPress features out of the box.
To build an online marketplace you will need the following items while using self-hosted WordPress.
- A domain name
- Web hosting account
- SSL Certificate
- Online marketplace add-on
We will take you through the entire setup process step by step which will take about 40 minutes.
Step 1. Setting up Your e-commerce Platform
First things first which means you will need to buy a domain name and a web hosting account. Although you don’t need a web hosting, you will need to seek Woo-Commerce type services since this is the software that is used in the e-commerce platform. An average domain name costs $14.99/year, web hosting 7.99/month, and SSL certificate 69.99/year. If you are just starting, this may seem like a lot of money. Fortunately, the Blue host which is the official WordPress and Woo-Commerce hosting provider offers users free domain + SSL and discount on their cloud WordPress hosting. You can get started for $6.95 / month.
Step 2. Turn Your Woo-Commerce Site into an Online Marketplace
The first thing to do is installing and activates the WC Vendors plugin, which is a marketplace solution for Woo-Commerce. The plugin simplifies the process of building a marketplace website by converting Woo-Commerce into a multi-vendor platform. The beauty of it is that each vendor can sell their products while you keep full control of your website as the marketplace owner. You can also choose payment methods, business models, or product type. After activation, go to WC Vendors » Settings page to configure marketplace settings.
The first thing you will see is the general items. Ensure that the ‘Vendor Registration’ box is checked for users to sign up as Vendors on your website. Other items can be reviewed to and the last thing you need to do before existing customers so click the ‘Save Changes’ button to store your settings.
After that, click on the ‘Commission’ tab to set a commission rate for vendors across your website. The commission is the amount of money you will pay the vendee for each sale. You can override the global set commission for individual vendors and products.
The next thing is to click on the ‘Capabilities’ tab to set site rules for vendors. The general capabilities – including permitting vendors to view and edit products and orders. You can leave it that way since the default options would work just fine for most sites.
After selecting the products to be viewed by genders, switch to the ‘Products’ section to select the type of products vendors can add. For instance, limiting vendors to only add digital downloads or a physical product. You can also select which data Vendors see and use on the ‘Add Products’ page.
Finish by, switching to the ‘Orders’ section under ‘Capabilities’ to select the kind of information vendors to see concerning orders.
Step 3. Enable Account Management in Woo-Commerce
Head to Woo-Commerce and then Settings page. Click on the ‘Accounts’ tab. Here, you can check the boxes next to the customer registration option. This allows your customers to create an account in Woo-Commerce. Don’t forget to save your changes.
Step 4. Setting up Navigation Menus
When done with your multi-vendor marketplace setup, the next step is to make it easy for your users to navigate their way around your website.
You can do this by going to the Appearance » Menus page. This is where you add your user account and checkout pages to the navigation menu. Again, don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Menu’ button to save your changes. You can simply create an account if you don’t have one by entering short codes in the post editor.
Step 5. Testing Your Marketplace Website
You are now ready to test your online marketplace website. To do this visit your website in a new browser window and create a new account by clicking on the My Account link at the top. This allows both customers and vendors to log in to their accounts as well as create a new account. When users create a new account, you will be notified with an email.
To view applications from new vendors, go to Users » All Users page. Here you will see all new vendor requests as ‘pending vendor’. You can choose to approve or deny applications by clicking the link under their username.
If you choose to approve vendors can, they can log in to their accounts and start adding their products by visiting their vendor dashboard. They also get access to orders and sales reports.
Your vendors will have to set up their shop settings by clicking on the ‘Store Settings’ link first.
The vendors will also need to provide their email addresses depending on the payment methods you’ve set up (PayPal or Stripe). Bank account information also needs to be provided by vendors for direct manual payments.
You will receive an email notification when a vendor adds a new product and an icon will be displayed next to the products menu. This allows you to edit a product to approve or delete it. A product will be shown once sold by the vendor. And this how you can start your WordPress marketplace easily using WordPress.
Creating a marketplace with your WordPress website allows you to monetize your website for some easy cash. As you have seen, the process isn’t that hard to start and finish and it only takes 40 minutes or less. I trust that this guide was helpful to you and you are ready to start your marketplace using WordPress.
Naman Modi is a Professional Blogger, SEO Expert & Guest blogger at NamanModi.com, He is an Award-Winning Freelancer & Web Entrepreneur helping new entrepreneur’s launches their first successful online business.
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