How to Build a Multi-Vendor eCommerce Marketplace: Cost & Features

The crowded streets and stores that once used to be crowded are now almost deserted as the world fights to curb the virus’s spread and people stay home. This has caused millions of consumers to procure everyday items like groceries, etc., online. According to a report by Statista, the retail platforms recorded a 6% increase in the global traffic, between January and March 2020. In March, the eCommerce industry noted 14.34 Billion visits on retail eCommerce websites, globally – which was up from 12.81 Billion in Jan 2020. This change, this rise in online shopping has urged businesses to invest in eCommerce Platforms!

Taking into account the industry giants and the number of retailers or entrepreneurs moving only, the only viable solution for businesses which are setting up their eCommerce store is to survive and stay competitive. We advise investors, retailers or entrepreneurs to launch a multi-vendor eCommerce marketplace as it offers various benefits. From logistics, managing inventory to adding products, a multi-vendor marketplace takes the headache away from the owner. It also invites a much larger product selection and with a multi-vendor store, the owner can focus more on scaling and marketing, rather than managing individual shops in the marketplace. The main point is that most of the investors worry about its cost – but this setup requires minimal cost and offers flexibility.

Let’s find out how to build a multi-vendor eCommerce marketplace, how does it all work & what are the features and costs you need to look out for.

Content:

How Does a Multi-Vendor eCommerce Marketplace Work?

An eCommerce marketplace model provides a platform to establish a digital network which facilitates a communication between the customers and the sellers. Basically, a multi-vendor marketplace is a platform for third-party sellers – a big online store containing multiple small shops that are run by individual vendors!

It works effectively and efficiently with store owners and vendors. Here’s how a multi-vendor marketplace works:

  • Vendors register with the marketplace either through paid registration or a free one.
  • After registering, vendors upload their products for customers to start purchasing.
  • Store admin charges a fee on the transactions.
  • Most of the payments or transactions are made to the store and then to the sellers.
  • Vendors handle the product delivery.
  • Communication about faulty products can be conveyed to either of them i.e. the store admin or the vendor.

Key Features of a Multi-Vendor eCommerce Platform

Multi-Vendor

When you’re making a multi-vendor ecommerce marketplace, you need to consider some important features, mainly with respect to the admin and vendors, but also the users. Let’s take a look at the features required for all three of them.

Key Features for The Admin

  • Powerful Payment System: A vendor payment management system is very important in the online marketplace. In multi-vendor, the admin can use automatic or manual vendor payouts. With the auto payouts features, vendors can save 90% of their time.
  • Vendor Subscription Plans: Annual or monthly subscription plans are pliable features which will help you raise your revenue. The plans can help the admin maximize profits by providing vendors with better selling opportunities.
  • Multi-Level Admin Access: When duties are assigned to the vendors, administering a broad scale marketplace becomes easier. The multi-vendor platform sets distinct levels of access to the admin panel, with vendor registrations.
  • Manifold Shopfronts: You don’t need to begin multi market places from scratch as there are global storefronts market places for countries, vendors as well as product categories. You can just open a new storefront with a demanded language, currency, vendors, products, and manage them all with a single admin panel.
  • Compatible Order Management System: There will be thousands or millions or products on your multi-vendor marketplace. With a good order management system, customers can order multiple products and make a single simple payment instead of buying each product separately. Each vendor can see orders of only their products!
  • Warehouse Management: This feature will allow the admin to track real-time inventory, add various warehouse locations and manage operations.

Key Features for the Vendors

  • Vendor Registration: Your multi-vendor marketplace should provide an easy and hassle-free registration and product listing feature to the third-party vendors. They must be able to have an exclusive profile and showcase product listings to their customers.
  • Real-time Inventory Updates: Vendors should be able to get the real-time inventory updates and receive all the information regarding their orders and stock. This will help them manage their inventory better.
  • Tax Management: There are different categories of taxes in different regions and this feature will enable vendors to input their correct tax details for the products.
  • Review & Comments: Customers should be able to post their reviews to help vendors get good credits and customer attraction. If vendors have good reviews, they can generate more income.

  • Vendor Storefront Modification: With this feature, vendors can make their mini store more attractive by building designs. They can modify fonts, colors, themes and templates of their store.

Key Features for Users

  • Captcha Assistance: Users have the feature to reach the vendors with Captcha Assistance.
  • Compare Products: Users should be able to view or select multiple products and compare their prices.
  • Multi-Product Order: Users should be able to place the order of different types of products from different vendors, by using the same cart.
  • Join Marketplace: If any user wants to join the marketplace, they can appeal to the admin to become a vendor.
    marketplace

Marketplace Structure

marketplace

Things To Keep In Mind While Developing a Marketplace

Developing an eCommerce marketplace involves a complex structure as there are a lot of things to consider. Due to its complexity, it is better to leave the development work to a professional and experienced mobile app development company. Let’s look at the things to keep in mind during the development process:

  • User Experience: There should be easy navigation of products, with a well defined categorization and an appealing UI and visuals which will lead to better user experience.
  • Originality: The concept of the app or the marketplace should be unique and should stand out in order to gain more users. It should not be a straight-out replica.
  • Set out Pros and Cons: Explore the options, look through all the other applications in the market and make a list of pros and cons. This will help you make a high-end finished product.
  • Communication Flow: Pre-decide the flow with the development team, employees, vendors, stakeholders and customers.
  • Platform: Choose the right platform for app management, based on your budget. Select the best features to meet the future requirements of your users.

To improve the app, you need to provide personalized shopping experience to the users. Make a strategy of allowing almost any vendor to sell anything using your marketplace. Apart from these basic factors, there are several technologies and tools which will make your app provide a satisfactory experience to the users. For everything to work out, you need to hire an app development company, experienced in ecommerce app development.

Key Aspects of Building an Ecommerce Platform

  • Research and Plan
    Before starting the development process, remember that it is necessary to do the market research and plan accordingly. Start the process by analyzing the customer’s behavior, their needs and requirements and determine the user’s expectations in regards to the kind of services or products you are trying to sell. Gather feedback through market research, and then make a plan about budget, MVP, features and technologies you need.
  • Choose the Operating System
    Next step is to determine whether you want a Native or Cross Platform operating system. Determine your target audience and see which one they prefer the most. Understand their geolocation and see the location where android or iOS influences. And lastly, keep in mind that even though iOS apps take less time to develop, android apps have the broadcast reach.
  • Must-Have Features for the App
    The features and functionality of your app will determine its success. Which means, you need to make an app which is easily used and has all the features that a customer needs. Keep in mind the following features – Registration & Login, Push Notifications, Filters & Search Bars, Real-Time Order Tracking & History, Multiple Payment Options, Easy Checkout, Category Management, Offers & Discounts Management, and Feedback & Support.
    There are many other advanced features that you can consider like, AI, Machine Learning, Virtual Assistant, Chatbot, AR, Voice Command etc.
  • UX/UI Design of the App
    App’s design and look is the first thing that attracts users and influences them to spend more time on the app. But if the design is attractive yet complicated and users will not understand or access the app easily, you will lose them. Therefore, make sure to make the app pleasing looking with soothing colors, schemes and visuals but make it easy to access. Focus on – App Prototype Design, UX/UI Design, and Color & Appearance.
  • Final Cost of App Development
    Carefully evaluate the cost of the entire process so you can determine a close estimation of the total cost. As the team includes many experts like a project manager, app developers, designers etc. you need to consider their per hour or project hiring costs. Keep in mind that the final cost can not fully be determined as the needs and requirements change during the development process.

Solution Architecture

Solution Architecture

Deliverables

Deliverables

Technology Stac

Technology Stac

Technology logos

Project Management Team

Project Management Team

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Multi-Vendor Marketplace?

Truth be told, you cannot really calculate the exact cost or the final cost of developing the app. Why? Because each business and client have different demands and requirements. Moreover, the development process has many layers and the cost of the final product is influenced by various factors. Though, you can make an estimation based on an evaluation of the entire process.

The major factors which contribute to the cost of an eCommerce marketplace development:

  • Type of eCommerce Store.
  • The complexity of website or app design.
  • Number of features and functionalities involved.
  • Integration of any third-party services.
  • Cost of Development Team.

Look at the factors that influence the costs of the development process:

  • App Development Team – As mentioned above, the development team consists of the following experts – Project Manager, App Developer, UX/UI Designers, Back-end developers, Front-end developers, QA experts.
    The per hour cost of hiring these developers can range between $20 to $25, based on the location, skill and their expertise. Or you can hire a software development company on a fixed per hour price basis for the entire development team.
  • UX/UI Design – The price of developing the app’s design usually depends upon the app’s complexity, features and size. It can take about $3000 to $5000+, varying according to number of screens and features.
  • Backend and Frontend Development – The soul and structure of the app, which can cost you anywhere around $12000 to $20000+
    • The basic cost of developing an eCommerce application can cost between $15,000 and $25,000 with MVP for a singular platform. But the cost varies according to the requirements of your business and the app’s complexity.

      Milestone Plan

      marketplace

      Sample Scope of Work for a Multi-Vendor ECommerce Platform

      ECommerce Platform

      Customer Website

      • Sign up/Login:
        • Sign up via Email/Mobile number: The customer will have to enter the email ID/mobile number in proper email/mobile number format for sign up. Customers will have to select the password during sign up.
        • Sign up via Facebook:
          Customers will have the ability to directly sign up via personal Facebook account. The Facebook API to be invoked and all the personal details to be fetched from the Facebook account.
        • Account activation:
          Customers will receive the confirmation link to the email, upon clicking the link the account to be verified and activated for accessing the services.
        • Log-in:
          Customers will have the ability to login via the email ID/mobile number and password entered during sign up. Customers can also log in directly via the Facebook account.
        • Remember me:
          Customers will have the ability to check on the checkbox present on the screen to allow the platform to remember the login credentials. Their credentials will get saved to the backend and will automatically pop up whenever the user signs in.
        • Forgot Password:
          The customer will have the ability to reset his account password by clicking on this field. A link to be sent to the email ID for resetting the current password.
      • Search by product
        • Ability to view and select the product category/service. Category to be defined by the admin.
        • Ability to view and select product subcategory. Subcategory to be defined by admin. There will only be a two-tier level of category selection.
        • Users will have the ability to search for the items/products/services from the search bar by their name.
        • Ability to view a list of all the products/services based on the category/subcategory selected.
        • Ability to apply filters to the list based on the product category, price, etc.
        • Ability to view details related to each product:
          • Name
          • Pictures
          • Description
          • Price
          • Ability to select a product/service.
          • Ability to view a list of all the vendors who have the product/service listed on the platform.
          • Ability to view details related to each vendor.
          • Ability to select a vendor.
      • Search by Vendors
        • Ability to view a list of all the vendors listed on the platform.
        • Ability to view details related to each vendor.
        • Ability to select a vendor.
        • Ability to view and select the product/service category. Category to be defined by the admin.
        • Ability to view and select product subcategory. Subcategory to be defined by admin. There will only be a two-tier level of category selection.
        • Users will have the ability to search for the items/products from the search bar by their name.
        • Ability to view a list of all the products based on the category/subcategory selected.
        • Ability to apply filters to the list based on the product category, price, etc.
        • Ability to view details related to each product:
          • Name
          • Pictures
          • Description
          • Price
          • Ability to select a product.
      • Cart
        • Users will have the ability to add a product to the cart.
        • Users will have the ability to add multiple products to the cart.
        • Ability to add/delete products from the cart.
        • Ability to add instructions if any (free text field with character limit to be provided).
        • Ability to enter the delivery location manually or by dropping the pin on the map. Pin will be dropped only in the case of mobile applications.
        • Ability to view total cost. The total cost to be calculated based on the products added to the cart and price related to each.
        • Ability to place an order request. The request will go to the vendor for acknowledgment and processing.
      • Notifications
        • Customer will receive the push/email notifications:
          • Order request accepted
          • Invoice (email only)
          • Order status update like order ready for delivery/order delivered
      • Payments
        • Ability to make payments through CC/DC cards saved on the platform.
      • Others (Side Menu)
        • Profile:
          • View profile: Customers will have the ability to set/edit the profile from this section where they can view the details entered during sign up like name, address, email ID, contact number, etc.
          • Edit profile: Customers will have the ability to edit the above parameters from this section.
            Password: Ability to set/edit password from this section.
          • Orders: Customers can view a list of all the past and upcoming order requests placed via the platform with details like order ID, the order details, products, date and time on which the request placed, and other additional details will be displayed.
          • Payment Info: Customers can view a list of cards saved on the system. They will have the ability to add/update/delete the saved cards.
        • Contact us:
          • Customers can view the contact email ID and support number about the platform.
          • Customers can contact the platform outside the platform for which network charges would apply.
          • Sign out – Ability to sign out of the application.
      • Vendors Web Panel

        • Sign up/Login:
          Sign up via Email: Vendors will have to enter his email ID in a proper email format for sign up. Vendors will have to select the password during sign up.
        • Personal details: Vendors will have to enter their personal details like: name, country, city, etc.
        • Account activation: Vendors will receive the activation link the email, upon clicking the link the account to be activated for accessing the services.
        • Additional details: Ability to upload relevant documents for approval from the service owner.
        • Log-in: Vendors will have the ability to login via the email ID/mobile number and password entered during sign up. Vendors can also log in directly via the Facebook account.
        • Remember me: Vendors will have the ability to check on the checkbox present on the screen to allow the platform to remember the login credentials. Their credentials will get saved to the backend and will automatically pop up whenever the pharmacy signs in.
        • Forgot Password: Vendors will have the ability to reset his account password by clicking on this field. A link to be sent to the pharmacy’s email ID for resetting the current password.
      • Listings
        • Ability to view and select a category.
        • Ability to view and select a subcategory.
        • Ability to enter a list of all the items based on the category/subcategory selected.
        • Ability to enter details related to each item:
          • Name
          • Picture
          • Description
          • Price
        • Vendors will have to define a specific number for each product and in case the quantity of an item goes below that particular number, the supplier will be notified accordingly.

          Once the product goes out of stock it will no longer be visible on the customer frontend application unless the admin updates it.

          Ability to remove items/products from the listing.

        • Order management:

          • Ability to receive an order request.
          • Ability to view order details.
          • Ability to acknowledge an order request.
          • Ability to provide a reason for rejection.
          • Ability to update status as order in process, out for delivery.
        • Shipping Labels

          • Ability to view the list of active orders received.
          • Ability to select orders for which the shipping labels will be generated
          • Ability to generate the shipping labels
          • Ability to view and print the shipping labels

            Note: The shipping labels will also generate a barcode which will give the order details upon scanning. These shipping labels will be attached to the orders after they are packaged by the vendors.

        • Notifications

          • Vendors will receive email notifications:
            • New order request
            • Order details

        • Payment
          • Vendors will have the ability to view the earnings via the platform.
        • Side menu
          • Profile:

            • View profile: Vendors will have the ability to set/edit the profile from this section where he can view the details entered during sign up like name, address, email ID, contact number, etc.
            • Edit profile: Vendors will have the ability to edit the above parameters from this section.
            • Password: Ability to set/edit password from this section.
          • Orders: Vendors can view a list of all the past and upcoming orders on the platform with details like the order ID, customer name, date and time on which the booking request was made.
          • Contact us:
            • Vendors can view the contact email ID and support number about the platform.
            • Vendors can contact the platform outside the platform for which network charges would apply.
          • Sign out – Ability to sign out of the application.

          Admin Panel

          • Dashboard view
          • View daily revenue
          • Total users registered
          • Total order requests placed
        • Customer Management
          • View list of all customers
          • View details of each customer
          • Block/unblock customers
        • Vendors Management
          • View list of all vendors
          • View details of each vendor
          • Block/unblock vendors
          • Manually approve documents uploaded by vendors
        • Services/Pricing
          • Set/edit category/sub-category
          • View details of each vendor
          • Set/edit delivery fee
          • Set/edit commission fee to be charged on each transactional value.
        • Order request
          • View ongoing/upcoming/past orders
          • View details related to each order
          • View customer’s details
          • View vendor details
        • Accounts
          • View total transactions
          • View total earnings
          • View earnings of the month/day, etc.
        • Payment
          • View payments received from customers.
          • View payments accrued against the vendors
        • Notifications
          • New user registered
          • Send email/push notifications to all users
        • Reports
          • View reports based on user registered, products posted, orders placed.
          • View reports based on content posted and filter it by date and region/user.
          • Export reports to CSV.
        • Analytics
          • Ability to view the detailed analytics based on the total users registered in a definite time span, total revenue generated, total orders placed.
          • Ability to apply filters to each section.
          • Ability to view the filtered list accordingly.
          • Graphical representation of each analytic.
      • Summary

        It’s fair enough to say that eCommerce or online marketplaces have changed the face of shopping. Online shopping apps or websites have taken it to another level with advanced technologies like AI, AR, VR, in-app voice commands etc.

        The market is booming and if you want to build a space for your business online, make a marketplace to take your business further and increase revenue, it’s advised to build a multi-vendor marketplace. Multi-vender marketplace opens up doors to new opportunities. Moreover, you tap wider market, users, gain vendors and it’s easier to manage all the shops online at one place.

        So, if you have a great idea for the app development, you are advised to hire an experienced app development company which can help you transform it perfectly – with all the right features, designs and technologies.

        How ATEAM can contribute

        The app development process involves more than just the design and code creating steps. We cater to every aspect of the client’s requirements and understand all fundamentals, including technical documentation, functional requirements and user stories, which is why our clients trust us. Over the years, aTeamIndia has provided app development services to companies across various markets including finance, healthcare, construction, retail, consumer products and many more.

        With a team of experts and resources, aTeamIndia extends a hand for helping you bring your dreams to life.
        We will help you find the right platforms for your business, guide you through the process, offer many options at your disposal with full-scale eCommerce solutions. Reach a bigger customer base, increase your revenue, gain success with the right development partner.

        aTeam welcomes you at any stage of the development process and assures you a successful launch of the product. We have the team and experience to deliver fantastic applications with innovative features.

        Our team looks forward to serving and helping you achieve your business objectives.

        Talk to our expert today!

        Contact us at sales@ateamindia.comor fill the form here.

        Reach our team to have a discussion about your requirements and let us build something great together.

WRITTEN BY
Technical Consultant at aTeamIndia | Marrying Ideas & Technology to scale business | helping SME's and start-up's define Digital Transformation strategies.

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