How to Make Marketplace Website Using WordPress

Are you planning to start your very own online marketplace? Do you want to know how to make an online marketplace website using WordPress? Then, you’ve got to come to the right place.

WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) that allows you to easily create and manage any kind of website without writing a single line of code. It’s a free and open-source platform that you can also use to create an online marketplace like eBay, Amazon, and Flipkart.

It provides you with everything that you need to create your online marketplace. Such as an extensive range of themes and plugins, customizable designs, high security, SEO-friendly, and more.

In this article, we’ll show you how to easily make an online marketplace using WordPress with an easy-to-follow guide.

Let’s get started!

What is a Marketplace?

A marketplace is an online eCommerce platform where multiple users can sell and list their products or services for sale in one place. It’s a perfect platform to connect sellers with buyers.

You’ll find all sorts of products and services on sale within a single roof. Just like any big shopping mall, you’ll find multiple vendors setting up their stores and selling their products.

Amazon Multivendor Marketplace
Amazon Multivendor Marketplace

However, don’t confuse the marketplace with an eCommerce website. As the marketplace website is one of the types of an eCommerce website.

The main difference is that in a marketplace you sell products from multiple sellers. Whereas in an eCommerce website you sell products of a single vendor to multiple customers.

As a marketplace owner, you don’t have to worry about inventory, packaging, or anything else. As you just need to allow your users to list out their products on your website.

Plus, the best thing is that you can earn some money by earning a commission for each sale on your marketplace.

Some of the popular online marketplace currently available are Amazon, AliExpress, eBay, Etsy, Flipkart, and many others.


What are the Requirements to Make a Marketplace Website?

Before we look at the steps to make a marketplace website, let’s first look at the things that you need. Here are some of the following things you may need to make a marketplace website:

  • Domain Name – Make sure that you choose a simple yet catchy domain name. It makes it easier for your visitors to find and connect to your marketplace on the internet.
  • Good Web Hosting – Your marketplace will have several vendors on your platforms promoting their products. This can lead to a higher number of website visitors, you’ll need fast, stable, and secure WooCommerce hosting.
  • Install WordPress – To build your marketplace, you’ll need powerful CMS platforms like WordPress. WordPress gives you access to thousands of plugins that will help you with everything to make a website quickly and easily. Hence, you need to install a WordPress.
  • SSL Certificate – You need to have an SSL certificate on your website because it provides increased security, privacy, and data protection for your marketplace and users’ information. Also, Google makes sure that SSL-enabled websites rank higher on the search results.

How to Make a Marketplace Website Using WordPress?

Here we present to you a comprehensive guide on how to make an online marketplace website using WordPress. We’ve put forward a step-by-step process to teach you how to start making money from your marketplace.

Let’s begin with the first step – choosing the right niche for your online marketplace.

Step 1: Choose the Right Niche for Your Online Marketplace

The very first thing you need to do is choose the right niche industry for your online marketplace. There are so many options that you can go with such as clothing, home decors, books, electronics, furniture, jewelry, digital products, and more.

Merchant (Flipkart)
Flipkart – Popular Online Marketplace

You should go with selling such products that you are passionate about. In this way, you can emotionally invest yourself in your business and product. Besides that, it’ll help you better deliver its goal and mission into the market.

After that, you should also be able to study the current trends and market status before joining it. You should stay up-to-date on recent trends in products and services. This way it makes it easier to decide which industry you should join to start your online marketplace.

For instance, if you’re a tech enthusiast who loves new gadgets and all then you can start your own tech-related business. Similarly, if you’ve got a keen interest in books and literature then you can start your online book store.


Step 2: Install Required Themes and Plugins

After you’ve chosen your niche, it’s time to install all those necessary themes and plugins that help you build a powerful marketplace website. The very first thing that we’re going to install into our WordPress would be the WooCommerce plugin.

WooCommerce is the popular WordPress compatible open-source eCommerce plugin. It helps you turn your website into a full-fledged eCommerce store literally in a few clicks.

To install WooCommerce, all you need to do is navigate to Plugins> Add New> WooCommerce> Install> Activate.

Install WooCommerce

Now that we’ve installed WooCommerce, it’s time to install a theme

When you’re installing a theme, you need to make sure that the theme that you’re going with is seamlessly compatible with the WooCommerce plugin.

In that case, we’d like to suggest the Astra theme to you all. Astra is a lightweight WordPress theme that comes with tons of pre-starter templates that load fast and are built for performance.

To install the Astra theme, you need to head over to Appearance > Themes > Add New and search for Astra. Then, click on the Install button and then Activate the theme.

Install Astra Theme

Besides the Astra theme, there are other popular eCommerce WordPress themes to look at such as Storefront, Zakra, Kadence, Shoppe, OceanWP, etc.


Step 3: Configure Dokan Plugin to Make Multi-Vendor Marketplace

Once you’ve completed these first two steps, it seems you’ve already built a solid foundation for your online store.

But now it’s time to turn your online store into a marketplace on your WordPress website. In order to turn your WooCommerce store into an online marketplace, we’ll need to install and activate the marketplace plugin.

If you look closely then, you’ll find several marketplace plugins on the market that you could consider installing. Some of them include Dokan, WCFM, WC Vendors Marketplace, WCFM Marketplace, etc.

But for now, we’re going with the Dokan WordPress multivendor plugin.

Read here why we recommend Dokan.

What is Dokan Multivendor Plugin?

Dokan is a popular WordPress multi-vendor marketplace plugin that lets you create your own multi-vendor marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. It is the most popular product developed by WeDevs that helps you build a full-fledged multi-vendor online marketplace.

Dokan Multivendor Plugin

You can get this plugin in both free and premium versions. You can download its free version called Dokan Lite from the WordPress plugin directory.

With its free version, you’ll get free updates, community support, and all the basic features for expanding your business online. However, the free version isn’t good enough to let you build your full-fledged marketplace on your own.

Hence, you need to purchase one of its premium plans to build a complete WordPress marketplace. With its premium version, you’ll get an advanced frontend dashboard for vendors, admin reports, coupon creation, shipping management, storefront widgets, product bulk edit, and more.

How to Install and Active Dokan Multivendor Plugin?

Before we purchase and install the premium plugin, we’ll have to install its free version which acts as a core plugin to make the premium version functional. 

However, if you wish to install the core plugin later, you can do that too once the premium version is installed.

To install and activate the free version, first, log in to your WordPress dashboard and then navigate to the Plugins > Add New button.

Install Dokan Lite
Install Dokan Lite

After that, search for the Dokan plugin in the search field. After you’ve found it, click on the Install Now button followed by the Activate button.

Now to install the premium plugin, you’ll first have to purchase the premium version of Dokan. Once it’s purchased, download it to your local device in the form of a zip file. 

Next, you’ll upload that downloaded zip file into your WordPress site. For that, navigate to Plugins > Add New, and then click on the Upload Plugin button.

Upload Dokan Pro into WordPress
Upload Dokan Pro into WordPress

Once you’ve uploaded it, click on the Install Now button. After the installation has been completed, click on the Activate Plugin button. This will then make your site ready to create your very first marketplace.

Activate Dokan Pro Plugin
Activate Dokan Pro Plugin

This is how you fully install and activate the Dokan multivendor plugin on your WordPress website.

Dokan Welcome Window
Dokan Wizard Setup

Once you’ve installed it, don’t forget to set up the configuration wizard. In doing so you’ve to configure the following settings:

  • Provide vendor store URL
  • Add Google Map API to display a map on the store page
  • Set your commission type to a flat rate or percentage
  • Assign your percentage amount from each order
  • Enable PayPal or bank transfer as a payment gateway
  • Set a minimum balance required for your vendors to make a withdrawal request

Once you’ve completed your setup wizard, you’re ready with your marketplace. If you want to configure more settings, you can click on the More Settings option, or else you can directly Visit your Dokan Dashboard.

Dokan Setup Wizard Completed
Dokan Setup Wizard Completed

What is Dokan Dashboard?

A Dokan Dashboard holds all the precious information regarding how well your marketplace is performing. With this, you’ll find on your dashboard the number of vendors registered, amount of commissions, sales per month, number of withdrawals, and more.

Dokan Dashboard
Dokan Dashboard

This dashboard is run by the main administrative head who owns the marketplace. It’ll allow the admin to control what vendors can sell or what customers can see on the website.

Also, it gives you a quick overview of your store’s insights without having to check each vendor’s profiles to investigate their sales, reviews, updates, and more.

However, if you want to know more about this multivendor plugin, check our article on Dokan Review.


Step 4: Add Vendors and Products to the Marketplace

With that let’s add vendors to the marketplace, for that, navigate to the Dokan > Vendors from your dashboard and click on the Add New button. 

Add New Dokan Vendor

After that, it’ll open a popup form asking you to provide all the necessary information to add new vendors.

Add New Vendor Form

Once you’ve provided all the details, you can send a notification to the vendor via email that they’ve been added to the system.

Lastly, don’t forget to activate the button to allow your vendor to start selling in your store.

Select Vendor Commission

With that, it’s time to let your vendor start adding products to their store.

For that, the vendor needs to navigate to their vendor dashboard and click on the Products menu. Then, click on the Add New Products button from the top right corner.

Add New Product Button

This will then open a new window that allows you to fill out a form to create a new product. You need to provide all the information about the product like product name, image, price, and description. After that, you can now click on the Create Product button. 

Add New Product Window
Add New Product Window

In this way, vendors will be able to easily add new products to their stores in your marketplace.


Step 5: Set up Other Marketplace Options

So, by far our marketplace is almost ready, we’ve our vendors and the products. But before we go live, let’s look at other configurations to set up in our marketplace.

We’ll look at how we can enable the registration option for anyone who wants to become a vendor on our marketplace. By default, when you install WordPress, the registration form is not enabled. Hence, you’ve to enable the registration feature to view the vendor and customer registration form.

Navigate to WordPress Dashboard > Settings > General Settings. Then, check the box that says Membership – Anyone can register and click on the Save Changes button to save your settings.

Enable Vendor Registration Option
Enable Vendor Registration Option

Once you check that box, you’ll allow your vendors to register themselves in your store.

Frontend Registration Look

The next thing we’re going to look at is how we can accept our payments. WooCommerce makes it quite easier for you to set up your payment option.

WooCommerce offers different payment options like direct bank transfer, cheque payment, and cash on delivery. You can configure it by navigating to WooCommerce > Settings > Payments.

WooCommerce Payments Settings
WooCommerce Payments Settings

However, you can integrate with credit cards, PayPal and Stripe. At the same time, these payment gateways seamlessly work with the Dokan plugin too.

After that, we shall look at how we can enable taxes on our sales. Plus, Dokan provides built-in support for WooCommerce taxes. In this way, vendors will be able to select the tax classes set by the admin.

For that, head over to WooCommerce > Settings > General.

WooCommerce General Settings
WooCommerce General Settings

Following that, scroll down a page and check on the ‘Enable tax rates and calculations’ box beside the Enable taxes option. With that, don’t forget to click on the Save Changes button.

As soon as you save it, you’ll notice that a new Tax tab will appear under the WooCommerce settings.

WooCommerce Tax Setting Options
WooCommerce Tax Setting Options

Inside that Tax option, you’ll find many settings options and components that you can configure. However, make sure that you’ve good knowledge about tax and its components before configuring it.


Step 6: Test Your Store

Dokan Store

With the completion of the setup, it’s time to test run your online marketplace. All you need to do is visit your website in a new browser window and create a few accounts and register as a vendor. Once you’ve done that, you can add products and see what your store page looks like.

Finally, don’t forget to optimize your marketplace to achieve a brilliant user experience, performance, and SEO.


What are the Pros and Cons of Online Marketplaces?

Just like every other thing, an online marketplace also comes with its own set of pros and cons. Especially after we looked at the steps to create a marketplace using WordPress, it makes it easier to decide how good it is.

Hence, let’s look at the pros and cons of online marketplaces:

Pros of Online Marketplaces

  • Allows you to sell from a single product to several thousand products
  • Let’s sell different product types like physical products, downloadable products, bookable products, etc.
  • Gives you the opportunity to earn some commission on each product sold
  • Best for smaller store owners with no investment to build an online store and gives higher visibility
  • Gives your buyers an option to buy the same product from different vendors at competitive pricing 

Cons of Online Marketplaces

  • Takes time and effort to build
  • Can be expensive to set up an online marketplace
  • Competitive business platform with other popular marketplaces like Amazon and eBay
  • Requires good technical knowledge of WordPress and online marketplace

FAQs

1. Is WordPress good for creating a marketplace website?

No doubt, WordPress is one of the best marketplace CMS that offers unlimited customization options, scalability, and flexibility for your online store.

2. What are the WordPress alternatives to create an online marketplace website?

To be honest, WordPress is a pretty good platform for creating any kind of website including a marketplace website. However, some of the other best alternatives to WordPress for creating an online marketplace website are Shopify, Wix, Magento, etc.

3. What are the different multivendor marketplace plugins available for WordPress?

Other than Dokan, there are quite a good number of WordPress multi-vendor marketplace plugins available in the market. Such as WCFM Marketplace, WC Marketplace, WCFM, etc.


Conclusion

That’s it! With this, we come to the end of this article

We hope this article helped you to make an online marketplace using WordPress. Now, you can easily create any kind of online marketplace in WordPress following these steps. 

In case you’ve any more queries about making an online marketplace using WordPress, then feel free to ask us. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Also, share this article with your friends and colleagues. 

You may also like our article on the best Google reviews WordPress plugins & most popular WordPress themes. Be sure to go through it once. 

If you like this article, then please share it with your friends and colleagues. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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