Build Your Own Marketplace Website for Beauty Care Items Using Dokan

Online business is growing at a rapid pace. It estimates that within 2021, over 2.14 billion people worldwide intend to buy goods and services online, up from 1.66 billion global digital buyers in 2016.

It clearly shows the massive opportunity of spreading your brand through a Marketplace Website.

Therefore, to make your journey smooth a ton of online store builder is available in the market.

If you are comfortable with WordPress then you can easily go with the WooCommerce to build your eCommerce business site.

In this article, we will show you how to build a marketplace website for multiple sellers to sell their beauty products on a single platform with the best Multi-Vendor Ecommerce Solution Dokan.

76% of USA Consumers Purchase Online

Yes, more and more people are starting to rely on eCommerce sites. And it's over 76% in the USA!

An eCommerce store is a great way to make money online.

Over the past few years, e-commerce business has a significant impact on traditional retailing and this will continue in the following years.

wordlwide ecommerce sale
Source: Shopify

With WooCommerce it's very easy to start your own eShop without being a technical gig.

Beauty Business Opportunities across the World

Beauty products business grows very fast worldwide. The demand for all type of beauty and skincare items is increasing dramatically everywhere over the world.

This rising demand for cosmetics broadens the scope for growth and earn more revenue from the beauty shop.

Moreover, this business covers a vast array of business areas such as anti-aging clinics, aromatherapy, beauty salon, beauty spa, cosmetic store, hair salon, and even makeup artists are part of it.

According to marketresearch.com the global cosmetic market is expected to reach $429.8 billion by 2022.

global-cosmetics-market-size-and-forecast

You can develop your own brand products and sell them online or build a platform where other manufacturers can sell their products.

How does an Online Marketplace Work & What Do You Need to Start with

The multi-vendor eCommerce site has gained massive popularity in recent days. And a marketplace website works as a digital platform to buy and sell products, any kind of actually!

In order to start your own marketplace website, you should go through an organized way.

Follow these steps to build your own marketplace website.

  1. Buy a domain name and get web hosting
  2. Install and set up WordPress
  3. Install and activate WooCommerce
  4. Set up Dokan multi-vendor marketplace plugin
  5. A Suitable WordPress Theme
  6. Promote your marketplace with Proven Marketing Strategies

How to Create an Online Marketplace with WordPress (6 Easy Steps)

WordPress helps you to create the foundation of your site and WooCommerce transforms it into an eCommerce shop. And Dokan lets you turn it into a multivendor marketplace.

Now, follow the details process step by step to starting your online beauty store.

Step 1- Buying a Web Hosting and Domain Name

A domain name is the identity of your site by which someone will find you on the web like www.wedevs.com.

Well, you can easily get your perfect domain name from the sites like GoDaddy or Namecheap.

Later you have to buy a hosting for the domain. Among many web host provider, some good ones are-

  • Bluehost
  • Host Gator
  • Dream Host

Find the details guide on Hosting for WordPress and WooCommerce Sites.

Step 2- Install the WordPress

WordPress becomes very popular among entrepreneurs due to its ease of customization, flexibility, rich plugins, and add-ons gallery.

Also, the CMS of WordPress is very user-friendly. WordPress opens a new door for the nontechnical persons to set up their own websites by themselves. Referencing from W3Tech, around 31.3% of total websites are using the WordPress CMS.

Most of the hosting provider has a one-click install feature for WordPress.

So, it's easy to install WordPress on your website.

Step 3- Set up and Configure WooCommerce

Converting a simple website into an eCommerce site is easy and free in WordPress.

Consequently, you have to install and activate the free WooCommerce plugin in WordPress to set up your eShop.

Now, just follow the simple navigation and convert your WordPress site into eCommerce.

  • Admin Dashboard > Plugin > Add New >

Click Search and Type ‘WooCommerce'

  • Install Now > Activate
WooCommerce Installation

If you are a beginner, check out this complete and step-by-step WooCommerce Tutorial to set up your eShop.

After installation, you have to configure your WooCommerce site as per your requirement.

Congratulation! your online store is ready to trade.

Turn Your Single Store into a Beauty Products Marketplace Website

Dokan-marketplace-website-builder
Dokan– The top multivendor marketplace builder for WordPress

After configuring WooCommerce, you can sell your beauty products from your stock.

However, if you dream large you can easily convert your single beauty store into the multi-vendor marketplace website like cosmeticsmegastore.com or thebeautymarketplace.com.

A journey towards the biggest revenue starts from here!

Dokan fuels your further journey of transforming your single store into a broad marketplace website.

Moreover, with Dokan you will get all the freedom to customize your own multivendor beauty care products marketplace as per your brand strategy.

You can add unlimited vendors to your marketplace and give them the access to upload their product and manage the order and shipping through it.

Here comes the most amazing feature of Dokan!

Dokan gives a unique URL and individual store page to each and every vendor. Vendors can customize their stores independently according to the admin's permission.

Therefore, you can easily ensure the security of your marketplace as you need not share the access of backend WordPress dashboard to the vendors.

WooCommerce is the best eCommerce platform for WordPress. Dokan lets you turn your single WooCommerce store into a customized multi-vendor marketplace and earn with each sale!

How to Configure Dokan

You need to follow almost similar steps like WooCommerce to set up and configure the Dokan to transform your WooCommerce site.

The Dokan lite is free. Also, you can get the premium version of the Dokan Plugin to expand the flexibility and customization options.

Just follow the simple navigation and convert your eCommerce into a multivendor site.

  • Admin Dashboard > Plugin > Add New > Click search >
  • Type “Dokan” > Install > Activate

Configuring Dokan is very easy by using its own Wizard. For more clear idea, you can see the Step-By-Step Guide for configuring Dokan.

Earning from Your Beauty Care Product Marketplace Website

You can set the flat commission rate for all vendors and product category.

Also, you get the flexibility with Dokan to set individual commission rate for different product sellers or special category.

Here, you can define the commission rate at the time of configuring Dokan or later whenever required.

For proper understanding about the commission system of Dokan, we recommend you to read the article How to Earn with Dokan Plugin Using Different Vendor Commissions at your expediency.

Step 4- Select A Suitable Free WooCommerce Theme for WordPress

Dokan-Compatible-Theme

Now your marketplace structure is ready and you have to decorate it.

We recommend our Dokan Theme for your multivendor Beauty Product Marketplace to give an elite look to the site.

Also, you can choose any Dokan compatible theme from ThemeForest specially designed for the best multi-vendor marketplace builder Dokan.

Read the detail features of 30+ Fully Compatible Themes for Dokan Multivendor at ThemeForest

Setup Admin Shop & Upload 1st Product on Your Marketplace Website

You can establish your own shop in your marketplace and sell products just like single WooCommerce store.

There are 2 ways to do this-

  • Register as a vendor
  • Enable yourself to add products

To make the admin capable to upload images from FrontEnd you have to follow the steps properly.

WordPress DashBoard>Users>All Users>Enable Adding Products

Admin-store-setup

Now you can easily customize your shop by navigating:

WordPress Dashboard>Visit Site>Vendor Dashboard>Setting

Vendor-Dashboard-Marketplace-Website

To add new product in your shop, click on the Products tab and upload product image and other information.

Add-New-Product-Marketplace-Website

In this way, you can add product from the Shop Frontend.

Congratulation your shop is ready to go! It will look like

Owner-Shop-Marketplace-Website

Special Note: It's not mandatory to set-up the admin's shop unless you intend to sell own products.

Admin can also add products from WordPress Backend>Products>Add New

Add new product from backend

Step 5- Invite Vendors to Your Site

Amazing! You have created your own multivendor marketplace for selling beauty products.

Now the major challenge is getting vendors. Send invitations to your vendor community to register on your site and start selling immediately.

The vendor registration process is very easy to go.

How to Become a Vendor for Retail Stores to Sell Beuty Items

Just clicking on the sign-up button, anyone can register as a vendor submitting some basic information.

Vendor SignUp Tutorial
Vendor Sign Up Tutorial

Then you will get a request for the approval of joining on your marketplace as a seller.

As the marketplace owner, you have to approve the application from the backend. Until then, the vendor cannot upload any product to the marketplace.

Therefore, follow the easy navigation to permit your vendor uploading their products.

  • Admin Dashboard> Users> All users>
  • Select the newly added vendor> Edit
  • Scroll down and select ‘Enable Adding Products' from Selling tab> Update User
dokan-new-user-product-upload-feature

If you want, you can permit them to upload the product immediately, just after the registration on the marketplace.

So, it will make your market management easier. You can activate this feature from Dokan's Selling Setting Menu.

Hence, create a full-featured multi-vendor marketplace and give your site a new height with Dokan Pro using Powerful Advanced Functionality.

Step 6- How to Add Products to WooCommerce based Marketplace Website

As we mentioned before, Dokan facilitates each beauty seller with an individual eShop.

So, a vendor can arrange the shop as per his brand acquisition.

If you are the owner of Marketplace, you get the power of managing and controlling the activities of the vendors accordingly.

After the admin's approval vendors can customize his beauty shop by login to the online beauty products marketplace.

Vendor Dashboard will show the following information. A vendor can get all the information at a glance regarding Sales, Earning, Pageview, Order Details, Product Status and so on.

This is one of the most amazing features of Dokan that makes it superior comparing to other marketplace builders.

Vendor-Dashboard-Marketplace-Website

Here, vendors can set the banner, basic information and other details of their shop from the setting tab.

Product tab let the vendors upload beauty products to their eshop.

However, the Vendor Dashboard has many more features to make the shop owners activities easy.

vendor-shop-marketplace-website

You can make the consumer's experience better showing the seller or store list on the menu bar.

With this privilege, customers can easily pick their required products or preferred sellers easily from the list.

To add a store list in the menu bar follow the below steps.

  • At first, go to your Admin Dashboard > Appearance > Menu
  • Select Store list > Add to menu > Save Menu
Add storelist in menu bar

An admin of Beauty Product Marketplace can see all the stores of his marketplace by visiting the store-listing.

store-list-marketplace-website

Cash Withdrawals from Multivendor Marketplace by the Vendors

After a successful purchase of beauty products, the amount will be shown on vendors dashboard.

As a vendor can withdraw the money sending a request to the admin.

However, admin can set the minimum limit of withdrawal for the vendors from the backend. You can manage all withdrawal request from the backend dashboard.

Furthermore, get all the information on Managing Withdrawal Requests regarding Marketplace Admins and Beauty Product sellers for a smooth transaction.

5 Experts Tips to Quickly Grow Your Beauty Products Marketplace Website

You should have strong marketing plan to span your business widely. Here, we enlisted 5 advanced SEO tricks suggested by the experts for your business advancement.

Utilize a Blog for Your Beauty eShop

You can add a blog to your eShop and tell stories about your products. It's a proven effective way to convert your visitors into loyal advisor.

To rank, you need backlinks and you need to match the user’s search intent. If someone is searching for the best white shoes for their wedding, product pages won’t rank for that – articles will.

Bill Widmer, Content & SEO Expert, BillWidmer.com

eCommerce Entrepreneurs should prefer Content Marketing to maximize their revenue.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is the best crowd to scream your brand voice. Instagram Marketing is a proven effective way to promote eCommerce Marketplace.

Nowadays, customers want to know and interact with the brand at multiple touch points. They also want to know the brand’s story.

Shane Barker, Digital Strategist, Shane Barker Consulting

Personalize Email Marketing

There are a lot of ways to segment in ecommerce (age, interests, gender, and so on) so use that data to only send relevant messages to your audience instead of sending the same message to everyone (as most ecommerce do right now)

Emil Kristensen, CMO and co-founder, Sleeknote

Expert Email Marketing Automation Strategies can help you to boost your Marketplace revenues

Update Your Marketing Approach

We have been able to increase website conversion rates from- 1% to 4% simply by interviewing customers who bought, those that didn’t, and understanding our customers on a deep level

Eric Carlson, Co-Founder, 10xFactory

You should review your marketing strategy at least once per year to check all of your objectives, business goal, target audience, market research, and other activities still fit your business.

Add CTA Buttons to Your Marketplace Website

Add the Call-to-action button on your eCommerce marketplace to tell your visitors to take actions.

Using a CTA, you can tell people what you want from them or encourage them to go forward to meet their needs

Adding CTA is the best practice to engage your audience in your marketplace.

Final Thoughts on Marketplace Website

In short, rising demand for beauty products and online purchase span the umbrella of eCommerce business worldwide.

You can expand this opportunity developing a wide marketplace where along with you other beauty product sellers will sell products collectively.

Accordingly, both you and the consumers will be beneficial from this incredible idea. Consumers will get plenty of options to get the right products for them. It increases the quantity of selling products.

As an owner, you can sell own products and get a commission on each sale from other merchants.

Furthermore, Dokan is one of the best multi-vendor marketplace website builders powered by WooCommerce with 20,000+ active installations. And you don't need to spend a single penny to build your marketplace.

Hence it is the easiest way to set up front end Beauty Product Marketplace and earn money through commission.

When It Is Not the Right Time for You to Start a Multi-vendor Marketplace?

Technical knowledge is required to start a multi-vendor marketplace. This is the way we used to think. But the concept is a myth as even a non-technical person can easily create a marketplace nowadays. This platform is different from the traditional marketplace. This is even different from running an online store. Multiple vendors come under one virtual roof in this system. People who lack a basic understanding of this should learn or research a little more about what are the things required to start a multi-vendor marketplace.

Continue reading “When It Is Not the Right Time for You to Start a Multi-vendor Marketplace?”

Most Effective E-commerce Store Optimization Tips for the Holidays

We all wait for holidays don't we? It is the happiest and most enjoyable time for us all. And evidently enough we enjoy buying all kinds of stuff on holidays. So if you are an e-commerce store owner you would definitely want your store to be easily reachable to these preying customers in this holiday period. But for this, you would require some effective store optimization techniques to be applied.

Vendors obtain at least 30-40% more customers in the holiday period than usual

As stats suggest, in the holiday period, people are more likely to shop more than usual. Most people look out for special offers and discounts on the holiday season. But if you can't keep your store optimize for the holidays than you will be missing out on all those curious & potential customers causing a substantial loss in your e-commerce business.

So if you are looking for ideas to optimize your e-commerce store for the holidays to come, then this post will definitely come in handy for you.

So without wasting much time, let's get on with the tips for store optimization below.

Useful Store Optimization Tips

WordPress Storefront

Customize your store outlook based on each holiday

A holiday won't feel like a holiday if you can't feel it. So when someone visits your store, the visitor must feel the special occasion that you are celebrating. Decorate your e-store according to the holiday going on. Like for example if its Christmas holiday, then you could design your storefront theme with Christmas tree or Santa Claus. This will make the visitor feel the occasion just like everyone else. This concept of the customized outlook for different holidays will make them feel much more welcoming as well.

Holiday offer

You can do the same for events like Black Friday, New Year's Eve, Thanksgiving etc. Also, it is essential to put up intrigued tagline's and signs that would make the visitor want to browse the special offers you are offering this holiday season.

Keep proper track of your inventory

increase sales for WooCommerce Store

The holiday period is naturally going to be a rush hour for all the e-commerce store. So you need to be well aware of the stock you have. So keeping track of your inventory should be given a lot of emphasis on in the holiday season. Based on the running campaigns and special offers on the product you would require to predict the number of units you would need to order from the manufacturers or retailers. With proper inventory tracking, you wouldn't have to worry about the shortage or wastage of product in the rushing time of the holiday.

One best way to predict the stock required is by analyzing the data collected from the previous holiday season. Based on that analytics you can identify the popular product of the last holiday season. Since this would give you a good idea of which product was popular during last time hence, therefore, you can pick those products aside and plan on running similar campaigns with those popular products on your store for the next holiday events. Also, this will help you decide on the stock you might require before the holiday shoppers start to barge in.

Categorize holiday

Top WordPress Theme, Plugin and Hosting Deals For Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2018

Categorizing your store with holiday focused pages is really something to give proper focus on. There are several holidays that run all over the years. So having all the holiday deals on the same page would just confuse the visitors. So separating the pages categorizing them based on each holiday will be the best way to offer your special products to your customers. This would create a great impression on the mind of the visitors about your store. This helps improve the user experience as well as this makes the shoppers find the deals, offers or discounts categorized under each holiday separately.

Some of the popular holiday categories that you can create on your store are:

  • Halloween Deals
  • Exclusive Black Friday Offers
  • Cyber Monday Sale
  • Christmas Gifts
  • Best New Year's Deal

Make your site fast and mobile responsive

Nowadays, Potential customers enjoy shopping via their smartphones more often than not. This number increases even more in the holiday season. So if any visitors find your site to be slow or less responsive on their mobiles, tablets and on other portable devices this might irritate them to a great deal resulting in losing out on some very potential customers in the process who might never come back to your site ever again.

So keep your site fast reliable and well responsive to all the portable devices is really imperative not just for the holiday season but all throughout the year. So to optimize the speed of your store you can use some free tools like GTMetrix, Think with Google etc. to test the speed of your store.

Also, too many large images on your store make it load slowly especially on mobile phones. So using images of optimum sizes on your store is advisable. Compressing the images while uploading to your site is the trick you can apply. So these are some of the ways you can speed up your store decreasing the loading time and improving mobile responsiveness.

Test & review all your extensions

Holiday logo weDevs

Before the holiday season starts keeping your store up-to-date is highly essential. You need to make sure all the extensions are working properly and the themes are playing its part. You do not want to deal with complains of bugs and software conflicts during this rush hour of the holiday period. This will affect your business in a big way.

So finish running all the test required before the holiday campaigns start so that even if there are issues, you get enough time to resolve it with time in hand. Also, if you come across something that needs a lot of time and work to fix, you would want to keep that aside for the time being and focus on the ones that can be fixed before the holiday season begins.

In case, you have a WooCommerce store and you want to retarget customers that are coming to your store from social networks like, Facebook, Twitter etc. then you can try out WooCommerce Conversion Tracking for a better remarketing and retargeting campaigns once the holiday season is over.

Clean up the database

Your database might be loaded with a number of unnecessary stuff. You might just want to get rid of those useless things that you might never use before the holiday season kicks in. You can remove unimportant things like post revisions, logs, spams, trash remarks and more. This will improve the speed of your store, something you need in the holiday season

For cleaning up such unwanted databases to keep your store fast and active, you can use some very useful tools such as  Advanced Database Cleaner, WP Database Cleaner, etc. These tools will keep your store all cleaned up and fast for the holiday campaigns.

Plan for holiday email promotions

Email Promotions

Letting your potential customers know about the upcoming holiday deals or offers is really important. This keeps the customers well-informed about the offers and can compare it with other stores before time. So you should always stay active with your email promotions when you are nearing the holiday season.

If you already have a long email list, it's even better, start your email promotions targeting the old customers and leads first. But make sure you send them emails with offers that quotes the best deal that they can find online. So that once they compare outside they find your offer to be the best one of all. Through email promotions, you can remind them about a deadline for all these offers you are presenting them. This will create urgency on their mind if they are actually interested in your offered deal. Make the email as personalized as possible so that they feel this deal is being offered exclusively for them.

Also, try to inform the customers about the uniqueness of your holiday offer.  If possible add custom-made holiday theme banner image inside your e-mail. Images in email promotions always look interesting and keep the audience engrossed.

Promote deals with a coupon code or gift card

Coupon code weDevs

During the holiday season, one of the best ways you can boost your sales is by offering a gift card or holiday coupons. One of the best advantages of a gift card is that you can present it to anyone avoiding the hassle of buying a gift that they might not like.

With coupon code promotion, you can offer a certain percentage of discount on any product in the holiday season. It is suitable when you plan to offer discounts to all your customer at the same time. They will just need to apply the coupon code on the designated place while checking out. So offering a coupon code to your customer on holiday season can prove to be an effective way to boost your holiday sales.

Focus on customer support

Customer Relationship

Like most customer-based business, providing better customer support leads to more sales. So giving less importance to this important section of e-commerce business will hamper your closing deals. So with the increase in the number of holiday sales, there is every chance you will get bombarded with queries or urged for assistance regarding any product they might want to buy. So for such instance, if your customer service isn't up to the mark in this busy time, then you are bound to miss out on a healthy portion of the holiday business.

Due to this reason, you must keep your support team well prepared and ready to help the potential clients on any kind of queries they might have. If required train your support team separately before the holiday campaigns start. Provide them with a proper idea of the product that you are going to focus on selling this holiday. So with better customer support, the chances are that you will leave your customer more satisfied than ever. And we all know satisfied customer means more business for the future. So not just during the holiday season, e-commerce store should always focus on improving their customer service no matter what.

Bonus: SEO Tips to Optimize your Store this Holiday Season

SEO for Dokan

Optimizing SEO plays a big role in the traffic of your e-commerce store. So here is how you can optimize the SEO for your store.

  • Optimize your holiday season offer/coupon pages
  • Update and share old content (With a Few Changes, if Necessary)
  • Leverage the power of social media to drive inbound traffic
  • Write posts about your newest (trending) products
  • Optimize for speed and mobile
  • Get Yoast SEO for WooCommerce
  • Put measurement plan in place

Plan Carefully to Have a Fruitful Holiday Season for your store

As an e-commerce business owner, you would want to run holiday campaigns that get you more sales. And all these tips mentioned above will make your process of generating sales streamlined enhancing your idea of running a successful holiday campaign.

But just optimizing your store and running a campaign for the holiday might not be enough. You would probably need to plan the store optimization process beforehand with time in hand. Early planning for store optimization and campaign for the holiday would enable you to make any last minute adjustment required for the store by your developers. It would give your developer enough time to test, review and make improvements required to present you with a solid e-commerce store design before the holiday period actually starts.

So planning in advance is the key to a happy holiday season for your e-commerce business. So start early applying these tips of store optimization and enjoy a productive holiday season improving your business sales.

So how did you like our tips to optimize the e-commerce store? How do you want to optimize your store for the holiday? Lets us know in the comments below.

Best Free WooCommerce Plugins for Building Your Store

Are you unhappy with the performance and ROI of your online shop? Don't get frustrated you are in the right place. In this article, we recommend you some awesome solutions to your problems. We also suggest you some best WooCommerce Plugins which are free. With our suggested tips, you can make an incredible online store. Continue reading “Best Free WooCommerce Plugins for Building Your Store”

Dokan Nails Prestigious FinancesOnline Award 2018

Dokan Bags 2 Prestigious eCommerce Software Recognitions from a Leading Directory for Business Software – “Great user experience” and “Rising star”. FinancesOnline has honored Dokan with this prestige. These are significant recognition as users satisfaction has always been Dokan’s first concern. Dokan was also ranked as one of the top ecommerce platforms in the market.

Continue reading “Dokan Nails Prestigious FinancesOnline Award 2018”

Build a Multi Seller Photography Business Website like 500PX With Dokan

Internet becomes a place of opportunity to earn money. If you are a photographer and have an active community then it can be a great way to funnel your passion into a business. We know, you are thinking that we are joking. No, we are not making fun with you. By selling your stock photographs, you can earn handsome amount of money. Our suggestion is that, build a multi-seller photography business site. This will help you to earn money along with your photography community.

How stock photography become an opportunity to earn?

The Internet is an open space for earnings. For the photographers, stock photography business can be the key source of earnings. Stock photography means the supply of photographs which licensed for a certain purpose. Buyers mainly buy the license of the photos to serve his purpose.

Market Opportunities for the stock photography business

You may ask that how stock photographs become an opportunity to earn? The reason is that it is really very easy to buy a stock photograph for doing certain work rather than hiring a photographer. In this digital era, everyone needs pictures to share thought ideas in the digital media. Those who need stock photographs on a regular basis are listed below,

  • Marketeers
  • Web designers
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Musicians
  • Bloggers
  • Many others

So, you may now see the opportunities in the stock photography business.

Should you launch your multi-seller photography business website?

Multi-seller photography business already ruled by so many big fishes like Dreamstime, iStock, Shutterstock, Bigstock, and 500PX. Furthermore, it is really easy to earn money from their site. Anyone can signup in their site and start selling the way they want. But you may ask why do we influence you to build that kind of site? Here is your answer,

Benefits of doing business through existing big marketplace

Everything has its own pros and cons. At first, let's look at the advantages of doing photography business through those sites,

  • They already have their own customer base.
  • At the beginning stage, it's not needed much more money and time.
  • The risk is very low if the plan not works there is no harm.

Demerits of doing business under those big fish's shelters

Disadvantages are as follows,

  • You have to compete with so many renowned pro photographers within the same place.
  •  It takes so many time to become popular.
  • The marketplace will not give you flexibility how will you want to showcase your stock photos.
  • They have their own pricing matrix which you must have to follow.

Finally, hopefully, you get the idea about the challenges what you face in those marketplaces.

Advantages of what you get from your own multivendor marketplace

Now let's have a look at the benefits you will get while you have your own multi-seller photography business website.

  • You have your own freedom of choices.
  • Customized showcase creation.
  • Integrating Marketing strategies.
  • You have the ownership to control everything.
  • The sense of flexibility, excitement, and independence help you to grow your business.

How can you build your multi-seller photography business website?

Building a multivendor marketplace and maintaining that site may seem quite a tough task to you. But, trust us, it's not that difficult. Here is an easy process for you to build up your multi-seller photography business place. You don't need to know the coding to maintain your site. The steps are as follows,

  1. Buy a domain name and get web hosting.
  2. Install and set up WordPress.
  3. Activate WooCommerce.
  4. Set up Dokan multivendor marketplace plugin.
  5. A Suitable WordPress Theme for Your Multi-Seller Photography Business Site.

Step-1. Buying a domain name and get web hosting

The first step is to choose a domain name for your stock photography business. Just a minute. Are you unfamiliar with this word? Ahh, maybe not. But we just give you a brief of what is domain?

The domain is an IP address or a name what your customer types in their web address bar and that appear in their search page. So it's important to pick a simple & lucrative name for your photography business site.

To find the availability of your desired domain name you can check it on several websites. Like Name.com and many more. If you want to buy a domain you can get that service from bellow sites,

Let's talk about hosting now. Getting hosting service means buying a server or storage where your photographs will be stored. It's very much important to get a secured hosting service. Otherwise, your site becomes slow, or become vulnerable. You can get secure hosting service from HostGator. Or you can try the above-mentioned service providers. They also provide secure hosting.

Step-2. Install and set up WordPress

Let's face it, no one would be interested to spend a huge amount of time and money to build a photography business site by HTML and CSS from scratch. So, therefore, we at weDevs recommend you to install WordPress by some simple clicks.

WordPress's CMS(Content Management System) is very much intuitive. It enables you to operate your site without doing any code. Based on W3Tech Statistics, 31.3% of all websites are currently using WordPress CMS.

You have your domain and hosting service, now it's time to install WordPress. If you have no idea about how to install WordPress, follow the direction below.

Get the answer to your inner queries, visit: How Much Does It Really Cost To Build A WordPress Website?

Step-3. Activate WooCommerce in your WordPress site

WordPress sites have no built-in feature of enabling e-commerce service itself. To get the facility you have to install and activate the WooCommerce plugin separately. Don't worry, WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin which provides you an e-commerce facility.

Very easy to install WooCommerce. Just follow- Admin Dashboard > Plugin > Add New > Click search > Type “WooCommerce” > Install Now > Activate.

If you find any difficulties to install WooCommerce you can visit here.

After successful installation, you have to configure your WooCommerce. Configure it as per your requirements.

Having trouble with its terms and conditions? Failed to get a clear understanding of their Setup Wizard? Then go through this documentation.

Step-4. Make your e-commerce site to multi-seller photography business site by Dokan

When you activate WooCommerce on your site you can sell your stock photographs. You have to upload stock images from the backend dashboard. But our final ambition is to make a multivendor photography business marketplace like Shutterstock or 500px.

Dokan multivendor plugin gave you the privilege to make a complete multivendor marketplace of your own. Your vendor can upload stock photographs from frontend by Dokan. To activate Dokan you have to follow a similar process just like WooCommerce. Furthermore Dokan Lite its totally freemium plugin. If you are interested to check out the premium packages of Dokan Multivendor Plugin, visit here.

Follow the lead- Admin Dashboard > Plugin > Add New > Click search > Type “Dokan” > Install > Activate.

Dokan has its own configuration wizard. You have to do it according to your need. For better understanding, you can see the video tutorial of Dokan setup process below or follow the complete documentation to activate Dokan.

Initial earnings method from your multi-seller photography business site

Dokan helps you earn by having commission from registered sellers or vendors in your site. You have the full freedom of how much you want to set your commission. You can set the commission rate in the very beginning of the Dokan setup wizard. Or you can just set it later as per your requirements.

For in-depth knowledge about commission setting process go through this article at your convenience, How to Earn with Dokan Plugin Using Different Vendor Commissions.

Step-5. Select A Suitable WordPress Theme for Your Multi-Seller Photography Business Site

You made the structure of your marketplace. Now its time to decorate your marketplace. We recommend our Dokan theme for your multi-seller photography business site. Activate that or you have full freedom to choose other Dokan Multivendor compatible themes. There are 30+ Dokan Compatible 3rd party themes available in the market.

Congratulations. You have successfully built your multi-seller photography business site. Now send an invitation to your photography community to sell their stock photographs on your photography business site. They can easily register from the front-end of your site. If you forget to give that privilege just follow vendor registration guideline to enable that feature.

Now here are some tips and tricks on how you can make your site more lucrative. As well as you will get the business growth guidelines.

How can photographers make their store?

Anyone can register as a seller in your marketplace from the homepage. They just need to click on the sign-up button and select them as a vendor. Following that, they have to fill up the necessary field and submit. But immediately they cannot upload product in their store. Their request is on the pending status.

Now the admin of the store will have to give them permission from the backend. Only, then they can upload the product to their store for sale. To activate it follow the following steps.

Admin Dashbord> Users> All users> Select the newly added vendor> Edit> Scroll down and select “Enable Adding Products” from Selling tab> Update User

Special note: You can give privilege to your sellers to upload products immediately after registration. It'll be very helpful to you. You can activate this feature from Dokan's selling settings menu. 

If you want to verify your sellers you can avail our Dokan Professional package. This plan consists of many more attractive and life-saving premium features.

Individual seller get a single store for them in your multi-seller photography business site

Our Dokan plugin gives the facility to create a single store for each seller. They can customize their store based on their choice. Though as an admin of your photography business site you can control and manage the vendor activity from the back end.

To help the customer you can show your seller list or store list in the menu bar. It will add extra value to your photography business site. By this privilege, your customer can go through any seller as per their own preference.

To add a store list in the menu bar follow the below steps.

At first go to your Admin Dashboard > Appearance > Menu > Select Store list > Add to menu > Save Menu

Premium facility for the Sellers or Vendors

Through the Dokan multivendor plugin, every seller gets an individual dashboard. With this feature, they can easily track their records of selling, earning, etc. Which is totally unavailable in other photography business marketplaces. So this is kind of a USP(Unique Selling Point) of Dokan plugin.

To learn detail about the dashboard, follow this link.

How can photographers upload stock photos to their site

Basically, WooCommerce only gives you permission to upload products from the backend. But don't worry our Dokan multivendor plugin also allows vendors to upload the image from the frontend.

Photographers must log in with their account. Then he/she will have to go to the product tab. Click on add a new product. A popup window will come. There they will have to add a Feature Image. They should upload a very low sized photo of their real image. Then fill all the necessary fields. Here they can upload a single image by clicking ‘Create Product' button. If he/she wants to add multiple photos at the same time then they will have to select ‘Create & Add New' button again to repeat the process.

After clicking Create Product button the photographer is redirected to an additional page. There he/she had to select the downloadable option. Then scrolling down he/she will get a new menu of a downloadable option. Then select add file. Here they will have to choose the real image that they want to sale.

You may have a question, why anyone would have to do so many things? The answer is simple. All these things are for security reason. Without doing this anyone can download your real image from the site. Now the real image only appears when the buyer will pay for it. The vendor can control the download limit from their end also.

Benefits of product review before publishing

After uploading a product by the vendor, and admin can hold it in the queue for reviewing the photo. After the completion of the review, the photo gets published once it meets all its terms and condition. Also, if an admin wants then he/she can select the vendor as a trusted one. Once they do this, then this vendor can publish their product directly.

It's totally up to you what you want to do. But we suggest keeping the review option at the initial stage. Otherwise, anyone can destroy the brand image of your photography business marketplace.

All the image is published, it will be automatically get showcased on the ‘Shop' menu. It works as your photo gallery for your Photography Business site.

Buying and Selling process of your photography marketplace

In your multi-seller photography business site, anyone can sell their stock photos. But as you are an admin of your site you have the ultimate power of whatever you want to do.

Now the most important part is on board. Buyer can easily buy the stock images from your site. They just need to select the cart button and the process automatically gets complete by Dokan. Buyer has to review the cart and then click proceed to cart button. Buyer will get a new page and there they will have to fill up some necessary fields in order to purchase photos by paying through PayPal or other popular payment methods.

Cash withdrawals by the photographers

When a buyer successfully completes his payment then he can get the download link of the real stock photo. After a successful download of the product, the cash will be seen available in the seller's account for withdrawing. Then the seller can request to withdraw the earned amount from their dashboard to admin. As an admin, you can set the minimum limit of withdrawal for the vendor from your backend.

Bonus tips to customize the Dokan theme specially for making a photography business-friendly site

This part is optional to build your photography business marketplace. Here we are sharing some awesome customization tips for our Dokan theme.

Add Slider to the Homepage

To make your marketplace more lucrative you can add a slider on the homepage of your multi-seller photography business site. It makes your site more attractive. Follow this link to activate slider in your homepage.

Hide the default product category menu list

Once you install the Dokan theme you will get that menu. But if you are not interested to show this on your site you can remove it easily by adding a simple code in additional CSS field.  Just simply copy paste the below code in the CSS field and its done.

Code is:

aside.widget.dokan-category-menu {
display: none;
}

Follow the gif found any challenge,

Customize the menu list of the vendor dashboard

If you want your vendor dashboard to look simple yet organized then you can customize the side menu bar by activating Dokan Menu Hider Plugin by Nayem. Normally, while you are selling stock photographs then there is no need to show the ‘order' option on the dashboard. You can hide this by this awesome freeware plugin.

Add lucrative gallery in your photography marketplace

Our recommendation is to use our default shop showcase feature. But if you want to add eye-catchy gallery like other marketplaces, then you can choose 3rd gallery plugins. There are so many other awesome gallery plugins available in the market. Photo Gallery by Envira has WooCommerce compatibility but you have to get their premium package. Otherwise, you will have to the hassle of adding photos from the backend.

You can show the Envira gallery in our Dokan theme as well.

Follow this: Admin Dashboard > Plugin > Add New > Click search > Type “Envira” > Install > Active > Create Envira Gallery from their menu > Copy shortcode > Publish as a new page

Wrapping up

Finally, you are done with your own multi-seller photography business marketplace. You can't imagine how much happy we are, that we help you to start your own business. Thanks a lot for staying with us. If you find this article any way helpful for you or your business then feel free to share your thoughts with us.

Note: All the beautiful stock images used in this tutorial are free to use. Special thanks to Unsplash.

Start Your Multi-Seller Photography Business Site's Journey With Dokan

5 Things To Look For Before Starting A WooCommerce Multi Vendor Store

Back in early 2010's, it was quite difficult to find a plugin that would fulfill all your multivendor marketplace needs. With the booming market of e-commerce multivendor store, there are a lot of things that have changed the face of online selling in the past few years.

Worldwide an online marketplace is a profitable business option that everyone likes to cash in with nowadays. Statistics says with the growing popularity, by 2020 it will conquer almost 40% of the online retail market that is backed by vendors & an uncountable number of visitors.

So are you also planning to launch your very own multivendor marketplace in WordPress? If you are then it is probably the best time to do so.

Continue reading “5 Things To Look For Before Starting A WooCommerce Multi Vendor Store”

WooCommerce Shipping Plugins For Dokan Multivendor Marketplace

Shipping is one of the essential factors of completing an order from a WooCoomerce e-store. It is the free shipping that attracts the customer the most. In many cases, the price attached to the shipping deal affects the decision of customer buying that product. If the cost of shipping is higher then it normally discourages a customer to get that product from that particular site.

Continue reading “WooCommerce Shipping Plugins For Dokan Multivendor Marketplace”

Dokan is Getting More Affordable: Price Reduction & Changes in Packages

Back in the days when we released the first version of Dokan, it was actually a Premium Theme. If you know Dokan only for a year or two, I know how ridiculous it sounds. But, that's how it all got started. Soon we realized Dokan could do more, and to be able to grow we need to change dramatically, we evolved to a fully functional Plugin. Later we created many addons that adds even more functionality. Currently, there are over 18 official and 3rd-party addons. But the current process is – you have to buy a Dokan Pro license and buy Addons separately. We are changing this to help you, the Dokan user (the most important segment) grow, at the same time, we (weDevs) could push Dokan to new heights.

Dokan Pricing Before? 

Currently, there is a free core version of Dokan available at WordPress.org, that will remain the same. You get all the awesome feature, which is even comparable with other premium solution (you could look at this comparison if you have not yet). If you want to upgrade now you have this packages for you to upgrade –

And after that, if you want to have more feature you could have purchased any or all of the addons below –

What Is Changing?

In short, we are combining Dokan Pro and our addons. So, now you don't have to buy Dokan Pro & Addons separately, we are packaging it together. And our pricing is getting simpler as well. And the entry package in Dokan Pro is now cheaper, and we are announcing Live Chat support for the Enterprise Package.

Dokan is Now More Affordable Than Ever Before!

It's like a present from Santa before the Christmas even started!

Yeah, now Dokan is available at a reduced price. It's not an offer! From now on, you can buy Dokan Multivendor Marketplace Plugin for only $149. This means we have reduced the price by $50! Here are the new Pricing and Packages at a glimpse –

Check the new Pricing!

Not only that, we have also added all our existing add-ons as modules in premium packs so that you get what you need at a reasonable price. We are making things easier for you and helping you to decide what you really need.

You don't have to worry about premium add-ons and calculate how much it will cost after you have bought the Pro plugin for $199.

Starter & Professional Package

The Starter package is now only $149 and it provides you all the features that were available on previous Dokan 1 site license. If you spend $100 more, you get amazing useful modules with the Professional package –

Professional package gives you handy modules to –

  • Vendor Review worth $49: Manage the way your vendors interact with the customers
  • Store Support worth $39: Provide support to each user
  • Seller Verification worth $39: Verify real vendors
  • PayPal Adaptive worth $49: Most popular payment gateway
  • Stripe Connect worth $49: Stripe integration for your marketplace
  • Subscriptions worth $39: Create subscription system for your vendors
  • AJAX Live Search worth $19: Advanced search features

As you can see, all these awesome modules are worth $283 and it saves you $183!

Business & Enterprise Package

Here at weDevs, we want our users to get all the important features at a reasonable price. Thus, we have decided to give whats best for you.

So, we have curated the whole pricing and package to provide different types of solutions to different types of users. Our Free plugins provide you all the basic features that you need to run a multivendor marketplace.

The Starter & Professional package gives you advanced features that make your multivendor marketplace whole. You get amazing features to grow your business and earn the way you want.

With the Business package, you get even more powerful modules like WooCommerce Booking Integration, Seller Vacation, Product Enquiry, Export-Import, Auction Support. Most importantly, you get –

  • 1-hour basic installation of Dokan to your website
  • 1-hour theme compatibility support
  • Premium support from our excellent support team
  • Live Chat etc.

So, no more Addons?

No, we won't sale addons separately, now we call those modules, depending on the package you purchase, you will get those modules pre-activated, in the new Module menu. You could activate and deactivate depending on your use.

What Happens to the Existing Add-on Users?

It will keep working as it should, but you will have the choice to upgrade to Higher Pro package with 50% discount if you have an active license for Dokan Pro.

Why are We Doing this?

As I explained at the beginning Dokan is growing, so as the Marketplace ecosystem. We did not create all of our addons in one day, it was created over the year, and the way we see it extends Dokan functionality to a height that we are very proud of. But as you have to buy each and every addons separately, and it's very much possible that you don't even know that Dokan offers a function, which costs maybe just $19 bucks. We feel here pricing should not be a burden, the function discovery process should have been more straightforward. If Dokan has a certain feature, we want our user to use that, we know from our user that those features are helpful, the extra addon should not bother now, now you have very easier choice, you buy once, pay once and you have access to all the functionalities that are useful to you for a whole year.

What's New in Dokan Multivendor  V 2.7.0

Introducing All New Modules for Dokan

Say bye bye to previous add-ons, which were very difficult to manage. From our new update, we are going to transform all our add-ons into modules. Guess what, you will be able to manage all of them from a single place. So, we have added a new menu called ‘Modules' and removed the old ‘Add-ons' menu. This is how the new page looks like.

You get all the previous add-ons as modules. They will be available on a single page so its easier for you to manage. This means you don't have to install separate plugins to use the features. Now, you can simply click on a toggle button and activate or deactivate any module you want! Neat, right? 😀

Automatic Updates for Modules

Previously, you didn't get a live update for any of the Dokan add-ons. Now, you can manage them from a single place as well as get live updates directly with Dokan plugin. So, no more manual updates! You don't have to download each add-ons and install them separately every time you get an update.

Interactive Settings Page to Manage it All

Dokan now has better and improved settings page where you can easily configure everything for your Dokan Multivendor.

Our Advise to You

Keeping your WordPress site updated is very important. The latest version of WordPress 4.9 brings so many useful features, you could check the all amazing feature in this article. And if you want to know in details why you should always keep your Dokan Store updated and use the latest version of WooCommerce, you should check this article.

If you are currently using Dokan Pro $199 package with 2 paid addons and wondering what will happen to you, we will update you to Professional Package for free, just contact our support. In the same way, if you are an existing paid user with an active license and using any paid addons, please also contact our support.

If you are were using Dokan Lite Free version with any addon it will continue to work, all free addons will keep working. The only thing you won't be able to do is buy just one addon anymore. If you are already using any Premium Addon with our Lite version, you won't get any update, but our addon update process was manual before anyway. And we will offer 50% discount to any free version user with any paid extension or expired license user to upgrade to desired Pro package.

Again we want to express our gratitude to all existing Dokan user, and we promise Dokan will grow even faster from now on, we are very excited about many new features we are currently working on, and this new structure will help us grow faster.

Things You Need to Know About Your Marketplace Tax

Tax is one of the most inevitable parts of a business. If it is not managed with due caution, it can potentially drain energy and time like anything. We had the opportunity to speak with many marketplace owners and vendors to discuss how they operate. Interestingly, when we asked them about the pain points, more than 84% mentioned tax related activities.

So, this figure clearly tells us that tax is one big hassle for the sellers. And they need handy tips that will help them to overcome the bottlenecks of tax. In this article, we tried to put together some of this important points and discussed them in lengths. If you are a marketplace owner, or a vendor, or an eCommerce platform developer, this article is for you.

Find Out Your Sales Nexus (Inside USA)

Nexus refers to “physical presence” of respective online business and it defines the seller's responsibility to collect tax as per that jurisdiction. Therefore, a seller must identify his sales nexus and apply for tax license accordingly. If he fails to do that he will face a penalty or serious charges from the legal authority.

The physical presence of the business can include your office, location of your employee or your warehouse. But the scope of nexus is continuously being expanded these days. Now a wide range of activities like deliveries, service calls, third party involvements etc. also falls under the definition of nexus.

Now keep this in mind if you are operating in the USA. No matter what, you will have a sales tax nexus in your home state. That means, if your business is based in Boston- whenever you sell your taxable product inside Boston- you must charge your customer. However, if you have a nexus in Boston but you make a sale to a customer in Dallas, in this case, you do not need to charge tax to the Dallas customer.

Wherever you find a tax nexus, you must register for a tax permit and charge tax from buyers. But bear it in mind that the scope of nexus and sales tax do vary throughout different states. This article will be useful for you to understand the tax nexus in different US states.

But What About Non-US eCommerce Sellers?

In Europe, the nexus rules are not applicable. Wherever in Europe, your stocks are held, you have a requirement to register for Value added tax or VAT. Once you are done with the registration, your sales to a local customer or to other EU countries are administered by EU VAT distance selling rules. They have set the following minimum sales thresholds to facilitate the vendors:

  • Euros 35,000 (or equivalent) in All EU countries, except:
  • Euros 100,000 (or equivalent) in Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg
  • £70,000 (or equivalent) in the UK

So, you do not need to overburden yourself with tax compliance unless you meet this threshold.

Many countries including South Africa, Australia, Switzerland, New Zealand etc. are following this VAT model for marketplace companies.

Do NOT Collect Sales Tax Without Permit

It applies for both US Sales Tax or VAT or any other form of tax. You must have to register for a permit at where your nexus is located (for US) or your stocks are held (for Europe).

Collecting sales tax without a permit is punishable in the eye of law. Because that means you are using your state's name to feed your pocket. In extreme cases, you might have to face lengthy jail times.

After you are done with registration, the office will provide you a unique identification number and a tax filing frequency. It can be monthly, quarterly or annually depending on the expected volume of sales in that region.

Organize and Collect Tax Smartly

So you have the tax permit ready. Now your job is to start collecting tax from the buyers. The marketplace platform you are using must have tax management feature or you have chosen a recipe for failure. I really hope you have thought about that before you built your marketplace or joined one. We have compared some of the top notch eCommerce solutions in this article, give it a read for more information.

Some of the items might be non-taxable in the region you are working in. For example, you can not collect tax for selling books in England or Ireland. Therefore, you must have a smart approach of organizing the tax conditions that apply to your products and collecting tax from customers.

Another thing, shipping charges are taxable in some places. If you are not keeping a tab, your profitability will be hampered and business will not see desired growth.

Prepare Detailed Break-down of Taxes

If you are living in a country where tax regulations are not stringent, then you do not need a detailed break down of tax collections.

But many countries and most of the US states require a vendor to submit a detailed tax report. If you ask me how much detailed, I will just say- “as detailed as it can get.” It should specify the tax collection according to buyer's location, sales channel, product wise difference and other relevant factors.

This will be really cumbersome if you have to keep these accounts manually. It can potentially result in productivity loss as well as erroneous performance figures for your company. There comes the importance of tax automation features in your marketplace. And it is relatively cost effective than hiring a tax consultant to look after these hassles.

So, the bottom line is you need to prepare yourself and present a detailed tax collection sheet before your government. The calculation has to be thorough and without any mistake. Invoice compliance is a major requirement of any online business.

File Your Tax Return and Relax!

So you went through all the steps. Now, this is the time you finish off your tax related activities for this period and relax. In most of the countries, you can file your sales tax or VAT return through online.

Many people think that they are not required to file tax return if they haven't collected any tax in this period. But this is a misconception. You are still required to file a “zero return” that means you do not have any tax amount to submit them. Forgetting to file a “zero return” is punishable in many countries, so make sure you are keeping your tax files clean!

Tax filing is not just about clearing your pocket. Many states offer a lucrative discount scheme for businessmen who pay the taxes on time or early. Make sure you know about these early tax discounts. It can be a good way to have some extra cash if you have a steady revenue generating source.

So, how are you dealing with your tax activities? Share your experience and concerns with us!

Check Out How It Helps to Have Store Front Support in Your Dokan Marketplace

Let me ask you a very relevant question.

Do you know why your marketplace might fail to make a mark and lose to the competition?

I have discussed costly marketplace mistakes in one of my recent blogs. Still, I want you to ask this question to yourselves and note down the answers.

If you haven't thought about something really uncommon, your answers should hover around this list:

  1. Poor user experience on the website.
  2. No or negligible brand positioning.
  3. Consistent poor review of the products.
  4. Inefficient delivery channel.
  5. No differentiation in terms of product offerings.
  6. Unsatisfactory payment handling
    and last but not the least
  7. No support service for the customers

Today we will talk about one particular pain point of your customers which is inadequate or unstructured support service. Support service is all encompassing. It covers seemingly small favors like helping customers/visitors with a query that can be easily found by googling to professional support like helping people to improve their service. But its impact is extremely significant. A customer who is delighted with the support service is likely to spend 140% more than a regular customer. Interesting, isn't it?

Why Customers Need Store Front Support?

Like I said before, support is not a single task, it is a process that business owners need to believe in. From the customer's point of view, it is one of the most desired things of an online business. Customers might ask you about if you can manage them a variation of an available product, or how your refund policy works and so on. Sometimes, delivery package might have a few things missing or the shipment was delayed. There must be a simple way to report these grievances. Hence, customers need a store support feature at a very visible place in the marketplace.

Contacting through email can be another way of reaching the support. But trust me, it does not delight the customers anymore. Because you need to go through some extra steps which do not even guarantee your voice will be immediately heard. And then there are privacy concerns. When you are creating a ticket directly with your website profile, you can feel more confident about the safety and convenience of the process.

Ensure Quality Support With Dokan Multivendor Plugin

Despite being a very useful feature for any eCommerce marketplace, built in store front support can not be found with every single plugin. Fortunately, you do not need to worry about that if your marketplace is built with Dokan. It's one of the most popular extension, store support makes sure you can give your sellers a support feature on their store. You just need to buy the extension from this page and activate it from the website backend. There is no hidden or variable charge for different number of vendors.

How the Vendors Can Activate Store Support

As a marketplace admin, you just need to purchase the extension for once. The rest has to be done by the vendors. They have to enable the feature from their store settings page. Let me break down the steps here:

  1. Go to ‘Vendor dashboard' from your website backend.
  2. Go to ‘settings'
  3. Select ‘store' from the settings menu.

You will find two fields at the bottom of the page. One asking you if you want to enable the store support feature. And the other one giving you the option to customize the text of your support button. Click on “update settings” after you have set these things. Your support option is now ready for use.

Notification Alert of the Support Tickets

If the feature is activated, vendors will find a new menu in the dashboard named ‘support'. They can check the details of all their customer tickets in the dashboard. Whenever a customer creates a support ticket, it is shown in the dashboard and the vendor gets a notification via email as well. To vendor's convenience, the email will contain the link to the support topic.

Responding to the Ticket

Vendors need to click on the topic hash or title to view message from the customer. They can make a reply from there and change the ticket status accordingly. The ticket status can not be changed unless you attempt to respond to your customer's message. A great way to track your support performance, isn't it?

What It Translates For The Customers

Open A New Support Ticket

Customers can now find a button at your store front. After clicking on it, log in from their profile (if not already logged in) and create a new support ticket. Something like this will appear on the screen:

The best part is that customers can refer to an order number in your ticket. It will help the vendor to inspect the issue and come up with a prompt solution.

So, Do Not Skip This Crucial Side of Business

The more interactive a marketplace is, the better its chances of standing out in the crowd. Customers love to talk about products and other conveniences that are in store for them. What better way you can ensure it than a simple to use button for support?

So, if you are yet to add store front support in your marketplace, do it as soon as possible. Without this feature, your marketplace will lose credibility among the customers. It will, in turn, hamper the sales and make your marketplace difficult to sustain.

I Want To Build A Customer-centric Business!

Are These Costly Marketplace Mistakes Killing Your Startup?

Online stores and marketplaces are mushrooming all over the world and replacing the traditional “brick and mortar” businesses. Digital technology is continuously shaping the way people buy and sell products and services as it offers greater convenience to both the parties. Last year, the turnover of global B2C (Business to Consumer) eCommerce market was an astonishing 2671 billion dollar! So it is only natural for an entrepreneur or budding trader to go for a slice in this huge cake and start their own online store or marketplace.

So if you are someone who want to start his own marketplace startup, this article is for you. Here we will discuss in lengths about some costly marketplace mistakes that can potentially ruin all the efforts (not to mention, money as well) that you have put into your dream business . But before we move on, lets clear any concepts regarding online stores and marketplaces.

Confused Between Marketplace & eCommerce Store?

If you have an website where you are selling (and promoting) your products and services exclusively, it falls into online store category. However, if you own a website where you are allowing multiple sellers (aka vendors) to sell their products to hosts of buyers, it should be called as a marketplace. The most common way of monetizing through a marketplace is charging commission from each transaction.

Now that you have a clear understanding, lets get started with some deadly marketplace mistakes and how to avoid them.

Low Focus on User Experience and Branding

Your website has to be smoothly navigable by your website visitors. For example, they should be able to find anything easily. The search option should be visible and working. I personally get frustrated and leave the website at once when I can't find a search box. Similarly, the products and services should be readily ascertainable. And here comes the importance of a solid content placement.

If you are designing the website from the scratch, then you need to plan the overall layout before starting. Alternatively, you can buy suitable themes from reputed websites like ThemeForest, MojoThemes or InkThemes. These themes have been built keeping the UX and design aesthetics as prime focus.

Branding is another area where you can not afford to lose focus. From the first glance, it must appear to the visitors that it stands for a concept. Your logo, website's look and feel, content focus, social profiles, communications etc. should be in sync to ensure a solid branding. And that is usually the initial steps towards building good reputation among your target market.

Overlooking Poor Review of Products

Review and comment features are now a must have in marketplaces. These user generated contents are a social proof of your business performance. Poor review of products will damage your business like anything. You might be thinking, “why would I take responsibility of it? This is my vendor's task to ensure they earn good reviews and make profits”. But here you are having myopic vision, my friend.

This is your marketplace; you have a claim in every single penny that your sellers make. So you need to make sure the overall impression of the enlisted products are above par. If your vendors get bad reviews, you get a share of it as well. Here is what you can do to solve this problem:

  1. Disapprove the products that don't have clear description and relevant images.
  2. Take customer review into account while making decision about products and vendors.
  3. Set different rate of commission based on the performance.

To have a better understanding of how to manage vendors, please go through this blog.

No or Little Use of Analytics

Many novice businessmen are skeptical about the application of analytics services. They think analytics is all fancy and it does not deliver any significant business results. But they can not be any more wrong in this case. Let me provide reference of the most commonly used web analytics platform that is Google Analytics. If you have it integrated with your website, it will give you a lot of smart insights like which time of the day you're having max / min sales. Which demographic population or region are interacting with your marketplace frequently and so on!

You, as an entrepreneur, should be able to utilize these valuable information. You have to design and drive your promotional efforts based on the findings. Resource allocation would be much easier than before. Most importantly, you can track and monitor everything that your website is going through. Now wouldn't you agree that it's a great convenience?

Failure to Provide Support Service

A website with no sign of customer support service is six times more likely to be shunned by the netizens. Those who wish to be your vendor or buy something from the marketplace might have some queries with regard to your service policy and guidelines. Say you have around 700 unique visitors daily of which 30% have basic queries about your marketplace. But there is no section in your website to respond to their queries? So how many potential leads are you losing each day? 200+! That should hurt, no?

The least you can do is to create an FAQ section in your website. The FAQ menu has to be prominently visible in the main landing page. If you have a long list of FAQs, then you should group them under relevant categories. And do add visuals in places where it can better explain the situation than using words. When you scale up, add a contact form and live chat support in your website for a sustainable customer experience.

Inefficient Payment Process

Business sustains from the revenue it generates. So the payment process should be seamless if you want to make the best out of your marketplace. If you do not provide a range of payment modules to the customers, the number of sales will most certainly decline. A customer might have a Stripe account only, but your marketplace provides PayPal support. In this case, s/he will simply switch to another of your competitor. That is just one illustration of how lack of payment methods can damage customer experience.

Furthermore, the payment policy for the vendors should be clearly specified. A huge portion of it depends on your business model but here are certain things you should decide on beforehand and execute accordingly:

a) A time range for clearing vendor dues
b) Payment alternatives for customers
c) Fee structure for vendors

Poor Delivery Channeling

This is a big concern for marketplaces which ensure physical delivery of their products. But it applies for digital products as well. Your delivery methods should cater to your customer's need- it should be provided at their convenience. For example, the customers do not prefer to get outside their place to receive a package. Also, they might have a preferred time for the delivery. If you are simply being naive about these customer expectations, you are doing it wrong!

Furthermore, you must track and monitor the performance of your delivery partners / modules. It will help you understand which channels are not working or what to improve. A frictionless delivery system is what you should crave for- the whole process from the beginning to the end is specified and designed for maximum customer values.

Final Words

Running a marketplace successfully for years is an uphill task. It requires determination, expertise, knowledge and foresight. Most importantly, it will make you go through bitter experiences. But the best response remains the same- learn from it in order to become successful.

So what is your story? Do you think I have missed any major points? Let us know your opinion.