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Building a Thriving Shopify Marketplace + Top Tips

How to create a Shopify marketplace

Creating a Shopify Marketplace is a strategic move to expand your eCommerce business. By transforming your Shopify store into a multi-vendor platform, you can host multiple sellers and a wide array of products, thereby enhancing your customer’s shopping experience.

This guide will walk you through the process of building a Shopify Multi Vendor marketplace and provide insights on how to overcome the challenges that come with running a multi-vendor platform.

If you’re interested in finding must-have Shopify apps, check this guide:

We are going to be using ShipTurtle in this tutorial. It’s one of the best multi-vendor Shopify apps I’ve used, and I’ve used them all.

Creating a multi vendor marketplace with Shipturtle

1. Create a Shopify store

On this blog, I will assume you already have a Shopify store. But if you don’t, you create a Shopify store here.

2. Get the ShipTurtle app from the app store

shipturtle shopify

Ship Turtle is the best app for creating a marketplace on Shopify by a long shot. I’ve used them all since I created my first marketplace 2 years ago. Their support is amazing, the platform actually works, and they have an insane amount of features above any others.

Not to mention, their user interface is the best out of all of them too.

Feel free to check out their demo website here so you can give their app a go.

how it works

Advice on other Shopify marketplace apps

Never use Webkul software, I’ve had an insane amount of bad experiences with them, one of which actually caused my store to pay out ALL of my PayPal money to the vendors, and I never got anything back, not even an apology from them.

The fault was that their app “malfunctioned“. Their app is full of malfunctions that cost me a lot of money, and lost a lot of trust in my vendors. Never mind the rest of the issues I had.

Features of Shipturtle

  • Vendor Dashboards
    Dedicated Login
  • Shipper Integrations
    100+ Global Shippers
  • Commission Automation
    4 level Rules
  • Payout Integrations
    Stripe, Paypal
  • Vendor Website Sync
    Inventory & Orders
  • White Labeling
    Your brand – everywhere
  • Inhouse Fulfilment
    Hybrid model optional

All features on Shipturtle Lite

  • Shipping Integrations
    100+ Global Carriers
  • Invoicing
    Manage Taxation
  • Return Order Flow
    Smooth Returns
  • Branded Tracking Page
    No customer panic
  • Inventory Management
    All in one OMS
  • Bulk Utilities
    Process 100+ orders in seconds
  • Reconciliations
    Payment & Shipment Cost

Pricing

Shipturtle has a few pricing options that work great for the level of growth you are at. The cheaper plans work great for small stores, and the more expensive plans work great for large stores.

shipturtle pricing

3. Set up Shipturtle

It’s quite straightforward, really. All you need to do is go inside Shipturtle and set everything up to suit your store’s needs.

They also support digital products, which is a great feature for any digital-based store.

shipturtle dashboard

4. Create a vendor login page on your store

Once this is created, you can inform your vendors that they can now log in to their accounts to create products. Vendors get a whole range of settings to choose from, including vendor dashboards, vendor-customer chat, vendor shipping rates and much more.

You will find some code given to you by Shipturtle in the settings on their app for the vendor login and signup.

You can create a page by going to your “Shopify dashboard” > “Online store” > “Pages” > then create a page and include the Shipturtle shortcode. Or if you have a page builder Shopify app, you can use this instead.

Once you have your page set up, you will need to copy the code from the Shipturtle app onto your page.

5. Set up automatic payments for your vendors

ShipTurtle has a payments section where you can set up the payment processor, such as PayPal or Stripe.

Building a Shopify Marketplace: Alternative key steps

  1. Choose a Shopify Multi Vendor App: Shopify does not come with multi-vendor functionality by default. Therefore, you need to choose a Shopify app like Shipturtle, which can convert your shop into a fully functioning marketplace. It facilitates the process of adding sellers and keeping track of their sales. Sellers can create their own shop with a variety of products. You can easily set individual commissions and global commissions for all the sellers.
  2. Address Key Pain Points: Running a Shopify Marketplace involves managing multiple seller profile pages, delivering high-quality customer service, and ensuring accurate and timely order fulfillment. You need to consider these key areas to successfully manage a Shopify Marketplace:
    • Payment: Sales on marketplace websites need to be split between the seller and the marketplace. Shopify offers add-on apps like Stripe Connect that can help marketplace admins manage payments, seller earnings, and commission fees.
    • Commissions: Marketplace websites make the bulk of their revenue by collecting commissions on items sold on their platform. You need to determine what your commission rate will be and ensure that your commissions are being applied fairly and evenly across your marketplace.
    • Shipping: While you won’t be the one actually shipping or fulfilling orders, you need to ensure that the shipping methods used on your marketplace are aligned. Uniform shipping methods make tracking orders and ensuring timely delivery easier to manage.
    • Customer Support: Coordinating customer service efforts with your sellers might be the biggest pain point marketplace admins face. You need to determine your customer service policies and apply them across your website to deliver a quality customer experience.
  3. Leverage Additional Tools: Shopify offers a suite of tools and apps that help business owners manage their marketplace. For instance, the Multi Vendor Marketplace app for Shopify offers features like global commission setting, CSV file seller addition, product approval, and more.
  4. Work with a Shopify Plus Partner: If you need custom solutions to handle specific issues on your Shopify marketplace, consider working with a Shopify Plus Partner. They can help you develop custom tools and solutions to manage your unique needs.

Why Choose Shopify for Your Marketplace?

Shopify is a reputable eCommerce platform used by over one million businesses, including giants like PepsiCo and Staples. It offers a cost-effective solution for businesses looking to develop a marketplace quickly and efficiently.

With its ease of use, even those with little technical expertise can create high-functioning eCommerce stores and marketplaces.

FAQ

What is a Shopify Marketplace?

A Shopify Marketplace is a multi-vendor platform where multiple sellers can list and sell their products. It’s like transforming your Shopify store into a mini Amazon or eBay, where different vendors sell under one roof.

Can I set different commission rates for different sellers in my Shopify Marketplace?

Yes, with the right multi-vendor app, you can set individual commissions for each seller in your marketplace. You can also set a global commission rate that applies to all sellers.

How does payment work in a Shopify Marketplace?

In a Shopify Marketplace, the payment from sales needs to be split between the seller and the marketplace. Shopify offers add-on apps like Stripe Connect that can help manage payments, seller earnings, and commission fees.

How do I manage shipping in a Shopify Marketplace?

While you won’t be the one shipping the products, you need to ensure that the shipping methods used by your sellers are aligned. You can set shipping policies and rates that all your sellers must adhere to.

Final Thoughts

While Shopify might not offer default marketplace solutions, it is a powerful eCommerce platform that can be used to create a sleek, professional online marketplace. With the right tools and strategies, you can transform your Shopify store into a thriving Shopify Marketplace, providing a platform for multiple vendors to sell their products and offering your customers a wider range of choices.

Remember, the success of your Shopify Multi Vendor marketplace largely depends on how well you manage the complexities associated with multiple vendors, products, and transactions. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your marketplace’s operations and to leverage the right tools and strategies to streamline these operations.

With a Shopify Marketplace, you’re not just selling products; you’re creating a community of vendors and customers. This community can significantly contribute to your brand’s growth and reputation, making your marketplace a go-to destination for a diverse range of products.

So, are you ready to take your eCommerce business to the next level with a Shopify Multi Vendor marketplace? Start today and unlock the potential of a multi-vendor platform.

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