An Incredible E-commerce Success Story of a Fashion House Marketplace ‘JodyShop’

E-commerce success story has its own way of inspiring people to turn their business more towards online. Current stats suggest that more than 50% of the shopping takes place online. So, with the current trend of online shopping, more people are tilting towards building their own marketplace. One such online fashion e-store decided to become a full-fledged marketplace is Jodyshop.com.

Through this write-up, let’s find out some of the major insights and details about the amazing journey of JodyShop.com turning from a single seller e-commerce store into a complete marketplace for lifestyle & fashion.

Getting Started with Jodyshop & Its Journey with Dokan

I tried almost all the available free and paid tools but no one has convinced me as much as Dokan.

-Waleed Barakat, Founder & CEO JodyShop.com

JodyShop started its journey with very limited features and products in the September, 2016.

As an Associate of Amazon, Jodyshop earns from qualifying purchases. It is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by promoting and connecting it to amazon.com.

The products available in it back then were mostly from the Amazon associate program. Over time, slowly the website started to get noticed by vendors and customers mostly from the US and UK region.

And soon after, more people started to visit the website from all over the world. This is when the owner of the site realized that JodyShop.com business needs to be expanded. So the founder of JodyShop, Waleed Barakat decided to expand the business in a way by which vendors and retailers are able to easily sell product from his site. So he started looking for multivendor marketplace plugin for his website online. He was basically looking for a powerful and permanent solution to expand his business. So he tried out almost all the free and paid marketplace solution available out there.

And finally, after trying out all the tools, he discovered Dokan and its awesomeness that fulfilled all his expectations and demands for introducing his e-commerce store as a multi-seller marketplace. And this is how Jodyshop began its journey with Dokan putting its foot towards the multi-vendor marketplace.    

Turning Jodyshop into a Full-fledged Marketplace

I have more than 30+ registered vendors from around the world and they are all happy and satisfied with Dokan solutions.

-Waleed Barakat, Founder & CEO JodyShop.com

The CEO and Founder of Jodyshop also mentioned that turning his store into a complete multi-vendor marketplace has been quite profitable. And that Dokan has simply given him everything that he was actually looking for. It provided his store with basic marketplace features as well as advanced & powerful ones.

At the moment JodyShop marketplace has more than 30+ registered and active vendors around the globe, who are selling various items from the marketplace. As it was also informed that, all the vendors have expressed their satisfaction with the Dokan solution and they all recommend it to others whoever looks for a complete marketplace solution.

Jodyshop at a Glance

Jody is currently one of the largest shopping marketplaces in the US & UK. The marketplace consists of a number of popular categories where all the latest collection from the world's popular brands like Nike, Puma, Tommy Hilfiger, Adidas etc. are featured. Here is a quick overview of the complete marketplace below.

Discover the beauty of shopping from the comfort of your home. Get your most desired items using the most user-friendly and revolutionary lifestyle marketplace.

Cart your favorite & all the latest products with just a few clicks. The Jodyshop marketplace is known to be the most suitable and affordable marketplace for all.

Get regular update on the discounted products in the “Sale” tab and order to save a fortune on your online shopping from the convenience of your home.

New items are updated regularly so explore Jodyshop to stay updated with all the trendy & fashionable products and become a trendsetter.

Get all the best selling items in the ‘Best In” tab and enjoy shopping to your fullest potential with the highest quality of product offered in Jodyshop.

Number of unique products are compiled together in the ‘Featured' tab making your shopping enjoyable and fun filled.


Pick from the collection of all the well renowned brand of the world in the “Brands” tab and find the hot and trending products to buy online at a much affordable cost than others.

From the ‘Reviews' section, read all the customer reviews and decide to buy the hot-selling & popular products offered by at least hundreds of the top brands of the world.

Visit Jodyshop→

Recommendations & Feedback

Now everyone wants to have a pleasant experience with their marketplace. Both marketplace owner and its vendors look forward to having the best marketplace operational experience all the time. It wasn’t anything different in the case of Jodyshop marketplace either. Especially the vendors feel that Jodyshop marketplace is extremely easy for them in terms of creating a free and reliable online store that contains all the basic to advanced features to operate their store from anywhere. More importantly, they are able to quickly add, edit and customize their e-stores from any device now and surprisingly enough they get to do all this absolutely free.

But from the owner’s point of view, there might be a couple of recommendations that can improve the user-experience of Dokan even better in the future. Some more features could be added in the free version of Dokan is one of the recommendations and also the updates need to address all the bug fixes first rather than loading the new version with loads of less important features.

But overall, the experience of using Dokan has been really awesome so far and would recommend it to anyone looking to convert their WooCommerce store into a feature-rich multi-vendor marketplace in their WordPress.

Final Verdicts on Dokan

I think Dokan multi-vendor solutions is great, it's very easy to use & provides powerful tools.

-Waleed Barakat, Founder & CEO JodyShop.com

There you have it, the words from the mouth of a successful fashion and lifestyle marketplace owner said it all. Trust and reliability is the main thing that a marketplace owner looks for in solutions like this. And with Dokan, he got everything that was expected and asked for his e-commerce business expansion. The satisfaction level that it has provided him with Dokan’s powerful tools and features further proves it.

Not to mention the option it offers for the most needed frontend and backend functionalities for its registered vendors, one can be certain that Dokan is the ultimate marketplace solution that anyone would desire for.  

With such a high standard set by Dokan, now the expectation from Waleed Barakat is touching sky high. And now he only expects that everything in his marketplace JodyShop.com will work smoothly with the help of Dokan in the future as well.    

Now, if anyone is curious to learn more about Dokan and its awesome features, then they may

Check out Dokan Official Site→

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”

Irish Teacher Creates A Revolutionary Resource Hub For School Instructors

Simon Lewis and Rozz Lewis are school teachers-cum-entrepreneurs who created Mash.ie, a powerful online resource centre for teachers to assist each other in developing syllabus for students. The benevolent Irish couple were first to start something like this in the region. The determined duo began grabbed this opportunity with a strong vision: to help teachers become better at their profession.

Mash.ie is a marketplace wherein primary school teachers share their lesson plans, ideas and resources with other teachers. They do it for free or for a fee. In this way, they aid each other and also make money.

Since its start 3 years ago, Mash.ie has grown rapidly in popularity. It is now an established teaching marketplace with over 300 participating teachers, 4000+ online teaching & learning materials, and almost 20,000 registered customers.

The Lewis Duo desired a complete e-Resource Centre for School Teachers

We offer a place for teachers to share, sell and buy lesson plans and resources to improve their teaching.
Simon Lewis

Today there are lots of online sites that provide classroom lessons, instructions, videos, and other resources for free or for a cost. So what makes Mash.ie different?

Mash.ie was introduced at a time to provide a go-to resource for Irish elementary teachers coping with significant and massive changes in the overall education system and curriculum.

Irish schools are largely customized to local needs and run privately, though the government designs the national curriculum and provides funds. This requires all schools to develop and publish their own policies and plans.

Over the last decade, Ireland's education system and school operations have gone through significant changes. The government had also introduced a number of new schemes but did not have sufficient funding for Professional Development. As a result, Irish teachers remained largely unprepared to deliver in accordance with the new curriculum.

Mash.ie serves teachers and saves their time with ready-made handy resources and ideas that other teachers share in their stores. Teachers get inspiration from each other to create plans, lessons, and goals.

The Vision & Turning Point

Mash.ie is first of its kind. Before the socially conscious couple started the marketplace, there was nothing like it. A sharing culture among teachers was missing. It allowed teachers to upload their lessons plans and sell.

Although this resource center was not for money initially, it quickly gained attention from teachers around the country. In no time, online stores began and the marketplace was flooded with materials.

More teachers were expected to share their plans. That's when it occurred to the owners that the platform could be transformed into a full-fledged marketplace and generate cash with commissions. Teachers became sellers and got rewarded too.

How Dokan helped Lewis connect with teachers around the world

Lewis needed some kind of easy-to-use online solution that would have good frontend capabilities and also help to translate his vision into life. The combination of Dokan and WooCommerce made that happen and allowed Mash.ie to go into a profitable business.

We reckoned there were thousands of lesson plans sitting on laptops which could be shared around…..We had a simple idea – to allow teachers to share and sell their products – and Dokan was easily the most straightforward marketplace plugin available at the time.

While WooCommerce came endowed with countless eCommerce settings and features, Dokan brought multivendor functionality plus an independent frontend manager for the teachers.

It was really important to me that sellers did not need to ever see the WordPress backend. Dokan offered this solution.

Set up was easy. The plugin's ease of use and beginner-friendly UI made it faster and efficient for vendors to create their own Teaching and Learning resource centres:

Sellers set up stores and within a few minutes they are able to sell and share their products…Almost all of their interactions is through the Dashboard. Similarly, customers use their version of the Dashboard to find previous purchases.

Dokan also turned out to be something that grew with Mash.ie. With the passage of time, the plugin has been able to support Lewis' business in advanced ways and make it an even better product.

Mash.ie now attracts and aids teachers from other countries too!

The online journey so far: Influencers & e-Solutions

We had two or three teachers on board to set up stores, one of which was one of the most popular bloggers in Ireland, so within a month or two, the wheels started turning.

Within a few months, Mash.ie was starting to become quite big. An upgraded package plan allowed the owners to expand the server and as well as earn enough. Dokan had also developed the rebuild function of their database. Since then, things have been working reasonably well.

Mash.ie has been growing steadily every year. There's potential for Mash.ie to become an even bigger resource sharing platforms for teachers and instructors around the world. The Lewis couple now intends to target and expand other education sectors and countries.

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Introducing Dokan Multivendor Live Chat Plugin For WordPress Marketplaces

Live Chats are a hallmark of eCommerce today. When people talk about online shopping, they presume live chatting features also. Live Chats provide a faster problem resolution method and removes communication barriers between vendors and customers. Marketplace owners can vouch for the value the live chat feature brings. Consequently, it's one of the most demanded and sought for elements of an online marketplace.

Dokan Pro v2.8.2 will introduce the all new Live Chat module for the first time very soon. The Dokan Live Chat Plugin for WordPress Marketplaces is a premium module of Dokan Multivendor. This is an attribute our users have been patiently waiting for.

Continue reading “Introducing Dokan Multivendor Live Chat Plugin For WordPress Marketplaces”

How to Add Extra Field to WooCommerce Checkout Page

If you are doing online business, you already know about the significance of a checkout page. Sometimes you might need to do customization on your eCommerce website due to specific requirements. In this tutorial, we will show you how to customize WooCommerce checkout page and add extra fields to it.

Continue reading “How to Add Extra Field to WooCommerce Checkout Page”

How to Use Facebook for WooCommerce Integration Properly

 

Facebook Marketing & Promotion is one of the best ways to reach more people. If you are a marketer or small business owner, you surely know how you can advertise on Facebook and get the best out of it.

The above statement is also true for WooCommerce store owners. Imagine if you could synchronize your Facebook store with your WooCommerce store! Wouldn't it be awesome? Of course, you could acquire more leads, even get increased traffic and customers directly for Facebook.

What if we told you that it's possible to integrate your WC store and a Facebook Store. All you will need is the Facebook for WooCommerce plugin. Facebook themselves are providing this integration and it's totally FREE to use!

In today's article, we will discuss how you can use Facebook for WooCommerce plugin and seamlessly integrate both of your stores and create a solid harmony. Without any further ado, let's see how.

Benefits of Facebook for WooCommerce

Let’s learn about the benefits that a user will get from using the Facebook for WooCommerce extension. Before that, we all know that the number of Facebook users are increasing every day, every hour and even every second. So, we can easily say if we can connect our business with Facebook we can reach more people, acquire leads and get more customers.

This extension will help you grow your business, with the help of Facebook. You will be able to reach meaningful people who have interest in your business. In addition, this extension gives you an opportunity to get more customers.

How It Works

After a brief description of the benefits, let's find out the way this plugin works. Before going deep, you need to know that the extension requires the WooCommerce version 2.6.14 and WordPress versions 3.0 and above.

Now if you have a WordPress site and Woocommerce installed then what you need is to follow these steps:

    • Install Facebook for WooCommerce

 

    • Go to your WordPress Admin Dashboard

 

    • Go to: WooCommerce → Settings → Integrations

 

    • Choose Facebook for WooCommerce

 

  • Get Started

Installation

This is a free plugin developed by Facebook. You can download the plugin from here.

You can install Facebook for WooCommerce like any other regular WordPress plugin.

Navigate to – wp-admin→ Plugins→ Add new

Upload and Activate the plugin. A piece of cake, right?

Integration

Now, you are done with the installation. Now, let’s start with the integration. In order to do that navigate to – 

Wp-admin → WooCommerce→ Settings

You will need to click on get started option showing in the screenshot given below.

The get started button will lead you to your facebook page.

Click on the choose a Facebook Page option and select a page from the drop-down. After selecting your page, click on the next button.  

Now, you have to choose the option import product and click the Finish button.

Finally, click on the Finish button.

What's Next?

You are done with the settings. Your website is synced with your Facebook. The products of your website are synced with your facebook page. So your page has a shop with the product of your website.

When someone is viewing the page they will be able to have a look like a screenshot. So when a customer wants to purchase a product from the page and clicks on the product the product pop out as the screenshot shared:

When he clicks on the checkout on the website it redirects to the website checkout page:

Wrapping Up

Easy five steps and you are done with the integration. Your WooCommerce products are now on your Facebook. You have reached to more people now. People can get to know you while having leisure time on Facebook.

You see, people who are using WooCommerce are really passionate about the idea of eCommerce being open. The open word actually explains open to all locations, and open to everything from the simplest. This free extension Facebook for WooCommerce is an integration which opens up Facebook’s audience. We can say that this extension opens of more than 1 billion people to Woo store owners.

Dokan Vendor Review: Bringing Power Back to Customer

Good word of mouth will always be a key point for any successful business. Psychologically, individual customers will always follow what mass people are saying.

In business, if you gain some reputation it becomes even tougher to hold it. In this age of technology with all the information being thrown from everywhere, it is harder than ever. It is nearly impossible to sell a bad product and get away with it.

On the contrary, with a good product and a little patience, the customer will always reward you. Dokan the best front end multi-vendor marketplace solution for WordPress brings you Vendor Review extension for this very purpose.

Why Individual Vendor Review?

On any good e-commerce platform, it is a must that quality must be ensured. Among a growing number of products & vendors, it is a very difficult task. A marketplace will only thrive if it sells good products. Of all the clever ways for quality control, a very effective way is to review the vendors independently other than their products. This gives customers the option to not only voice their opinion about the product but also who is selling them.

Popular e-commerce platforms like Etsy, eBay provide their customers the option to rate each vendor store that they buy from. This not only ensures customer satisfaction but also an authentic vibe for the marketplace.

This also encourages competition among vendors selling the same type of product. As the marketplace will be more open about quality, they will strive to give the best value for the customers' money. This nifty little feature comes very useful when growing a booming marketplace.

What does Dokan Vendor Review Bring

Dokan Multivendor plugin provides each of the vendors their own store page with a unique URL. All the reviews for a vendor are the aggregated reviews that he/she got on the products. Customers are not able to give their opinion about the store itself. This affects the customer-vendor relationship and admin credibility. This is where Vendor Review extension comes in. It distinguishes reviews and ratings between products and the vendor. So they can be held liable for any customer complaint. It brings –

    • Vendor reviews which are displayed on the store can be seen by all the customer

 

    • Text and rating option for customers.

 

    • A customer can see all previous reviews.

 

    • A vendor cannot manipulate reviews.

 

  • Only admin has the option to edit reviews.

This creates a level playing field for all the vendors so that the marketplace will grow according to the competition.

Prerequisites

As Vendor Review is an extension of Dokan, you need to first install Dokan plugin on your WordPress site. You need to install the below list accordingly

 

 

How to Setup

Setting up Vendor Review extension for Dokan plugin is really easy. Assuming you already have Dokan plugin installed on your WordPress website you need to follow the below steps. If you don’t, here is a step by step guide for you to install Dokan.

  • Enable product reviews from WooCommerce settings menu

     

     

    • Go to WooCommerce→Settings→Products
    • Check Enable products reviews
    • Save changes
  • Install Vendor Review extension

     

    • Go to Dokan→Add-ons→Vendor Review
    • Click view details and you will be redirected to Vendor Review product page.
    • Purchase, download, install and activate the extension

NOTE: You need Dokan Pro version

How it Works

As a Customer

After installing the add-on, rating and review option will be available for each vendor. To give feedback for a Vendor store, customers need to

    1. Go to the store page

 

    1. Press the review tab

 

    1. Use write a review button

 

  1. Submit their review

The given review will be seen by other potential customers as well. This creates a level a transparency among the buyers and the sellers.

As a vendor

Log in as a vendor, you will be able to see all the reviews the customers gave on his/her store page.

Vendor Dashboard→ Visit your store→ Reviews

Admin has the Final Say

Only Admins should be able to edit the submitted reviews. In the current version of Dokan Vendor Review, Both Admins and Vendors can only view them, they cannot edit or delete any given review. But we have plans to add a new feature which will allow the Admins to edit and also remove any review if they want. So, if a customer gives a vendor a bad rating intentionally or there are spam reviews, vendors can request the Admins to take action. This will help to maintain proper authority within your marketplace.

Final Thoughts

In any business, no amount of emphasis can be enough for reputation. When using Dokan, you will be giving permission to multiple vendors to sell through your website. In this process, quality control can become a bit too much for one admin. This is where the customers come in. By allowing them to give their opinion to not only the product but also to the seller you are keeping the vendors in check.

This just might be what is missing from your booming marketplace. Also, share your opinion if you have already used this extension.

Check Dokan Vendor Review Now →

Growth Hacks To Evolve Your Startups Using Social Media

Don't you wish that you could grow your small business faster like Pokémon Go? Despite the fact that you might not have the marketing budget to drop the expansion right after you spend all of your funds to initiate your startup. That's where you look for the strategies, tools and social media growth hacks to promote your eCommerce and generate some leads without spending much!

Continue reading “Growth Hacks To Evolve Your Startups Using Social Media”

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.

SaaS vs Open Source: What is Right For Your Ecommerce Business?

Should I go with SaaS or start building with an Open Source solution, what is right for my ecommerce business?

If you have been suffering from burning questions like these – then this is the perfect SaaS vs Open Source post to read.

SaaS vs Open Source or hosted vs self-hosted has been a long running doubt among the people who are trying to start their first eCommerce store or sales portal. It's about time we put an end to your worries by making a comprehensive comparison. After going through our facts and arguments, I hope you will clearly see which type of solution suits your time and budget.

Even some already established store owners often think the grass is greener on the other side. Newer and more solutions are coming out on both sides with massive marketing and lucrative features. But the question is, is your platform upgrading as well or do you need to jump boats – or are you just about to ruin a good thing going on. So our article is not only focusing on people who are about to start an ecommerce business, but also those who have already started but still unsure.

The Basics: Who will do the Heavy Lifting?

The major difference between SaaS & open source is at the first, you are getting a lot of things served up to you. But in the later, you have to do everything by yourself. Both of them has their perks. For example, if you are a one man army then a service would ease your pressure. People who are advanced, like to keep more control and have some workforce usually go for open source. But I have seen many open source ecommerce plugin users who run a complete marketplace alone or with just a partner using Dokan Multivendor. So the first thing you need to do is actually evaluate the time you can give to getting this prepared and running, your technical skills and resources to maintain your site/store.

In a nutshell: Less mess, low effort and big cost = SaaS

The Most Defining Factor: SaaS vs Open Source

Higher cost vs low cost or no cost. It's no surprise that ready-made services will cost more. So yes, SaaS services are costlier. What do they charge for? SaaS solutions are often commonly called hosted solutions for a reason –  they sell and manage your hosting. Your hosting plays a vital role to your shop experience, they can be small or large, average or super fast. SaaS ecommerce platforms will also charge you for domain name; the URL your store will have, the number of products you can upload or sell, how many integrations or features you are going to add to your shop etc. These are usually charged monthly and the starting packages are already example. Say, Shopify, they have a 29$ per/mo plan for a basic store, too basic perhaps. That apparently harmless figure becomes a giant 348$ bill if you multiply it for a year.

BigCommerce pricing plan
BigCommerce pricing plan

This is over the fences for any store that has just started out. I haven't added the cost of a theme yet! Now lets check the other side.

All open source ecommerce platforms are free.

They however come in paid versions which have faster support and more features. A really good thing about paid versions of open source plugins is that they do not stop working after your license gets expired – only the updates stop. If you are really looking for a seriously powerful store, then you will not be able to get by with the free edition.

Should you ever decide to upgrade to pro, the upfront cost can be formidable. You will be buying hosting & domain from your own choices – so there is a good opportunity for you here to pick up competitive prices like 2$-9$ per year. You can even skip buying a hosting if you already have one for your personal or company site. Getting extensions, themes from your favourite developers will be easier and the best thing is that you will be able to customize it any way you like. Such deep customization is not possible in Shopify like stores. You may get a theme within 30$-50$ and a bunch of handy extensions might cost you about a 100$. So, overall, the cost is significantly lower here, and you have chances to make savings.

Required Time to Get Started

You will get almost the same experiences on this part. Both times of solutions require some studying, personal training and getting used to. But you will get there without much obstacles. All the platforms take utmost care that their users find it easy to learn and implement the features of their solutions. Usually SaaS store platforms are really much faster than everything else around here.

But open source solutions can get a little tricky. You may need to spend some little more time and trial-error testing to get everything running properly. This can happen if your entire ecommerce solution or feature extensions have multiple sources and you may need some tinkering or customization to make them shake hands.

Maintenance and Debugging

SaaS vs Open Source comparatively charge higher because they take care of the house keeping part like site optimization, adding new features, fixing bugs etc. But for an open source solution, you are on your own. You can either learn the basics, ask the community or hire someone to take care of it for you. Issue resolving and future development will be handled by the software provider, and that will vary a lot. Since open source softwares are developed, fixed and upgraded by people who are just contributing – this experience may become somewhat slow & unreliable. But the community is huge, very helpful and if you are on the right place the experience is far better.

The point is, you will have to stay involved, spend some time and keep patience.

Open source users are huge in community compared to SaaS. Just WooCommerce has a 3 million+ active user base. So if you are stuck with anything or facing some trouble, you have all those numbers trying to find a solution besides the platform developer themselves. This is really an unprecedented backup all members of the open source community enjoy.

Customization and Control

You will not be able to do much of customization or modify features for which you have already paid if you are on SaaS. That's right, you can only edit some layout templates, colors, positions, visibility, to add features, you will need to pay more monthly.

But the game play in open source is completely different and in some ways – beautiful. You have full access to change code, add features or remove anything. A hired a developer can do it for you or you can do it yourself. Build your shop any way you want without any limits.

Keep in mind, no matter which ever theme you get, you will not be able to get it working properly without some help from support and customization, so keep a tiny budget for it.

Commissions or Transaction Charges

Most SaaS based ecommerce providers charge per sale, per transaction or both. These can go as high as 10% on some platforms. Popular payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe integrated, they have bank charges and some providers have developed their own gateways with some benefits. You will have to buy your way out on those charges by getting a higher status subscription. At the end of the day when you add these up, you will see you have actually missed out a lot on profit just because every time you earned something, they took a huge portion away. Then there is the shipping cost where you will have limited choices.

A good point to notice here that this might make you raise the prices of your products, resulting in lower sales and missing out on competitive advantage.

But when comparing SaaS vs Open Source solutions, you do not have to pay any commission. Only your standard gateway charges will apply, you will deliver through your favourite shipping service and everything else is yours as profit.

Popular Solutions You Shouldn't Miss

Despite the steep similarity, difference, obstacles, benefits and challenges between SaaS vs Open Source ecommerce solutions presented – they have their own niche market and success stories. A lot of people have built excellent businesses around these solutions and are still growing.

We have listed down the top 5 from each type, here is our list of all time favorites-

SaaS:

Open Source:

What Do you Think?

So, did you find our SaaS vs Open Source comparison helpful? Did you find the desired type of ecommerce solution up there? If you have a profitable running business already, I would suggest you to go with a SaaS to pick up the pace. But if you are like me, who takes things slow & steady and like more control – then open source is for you. Not to forget, thee is quite a budget difference to start. Don't worry, both are in trend and both types of platforms are growing exponentially.

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The Cost of Creating a Marketplace on WordPress in 2017

Why Building a Dokan Marketplace is a Better Idea than Launching a Shopify Store

The latter is lucrative, but you fear if you are ready for the big task. Owning a marketplace gives you a bigger earning scope and more control – a total level up of everything. On the other hand, Shopify seems to do most of the hard work, keeping it easy for you. But the cost may still bug you. Probably you will never have peace of mind until your business fly high, any way around.

Start Easy with Shopify Store or Try to Become Shopify itself – A Common Dilemma

But choosing the right platform for your business is the first great step toward your success. If you are stuck between Shopify and Dokan at this step, this is the right place for you. In this article, we will draw a comparison between Shopify and Dokan and decide which is more suitable for your business.

You have probably stumbled upon Dokan while considering WooCommerce as an alternate option for your store. But you are surprised – “Hey! I didn't know I could use WooCommerce to make a marketplace too!”. If you think it is out of your league and will become too costly, I can show you a better side to it if you follow my lead.

But first, let's dive into some quick facts. What are these solutions actually? We want to know the technical details.

What is Shopify?

It is a self-hosted store builder, an SAAS type ecommerce service to be precise. They have a reputation of beautiful designs. Check out this blog where they have sorted some of their best.

Shopify is probably the most popular eCommerce site builder with a giant number of subscribers. Other rivals are Bigcommerce, WooCommerce, Magento and the emerging Dokan Multivendor eCommerce site. Some sellers need just a site to appear in Google searches and some sellers want a site want to rule the internet.

Dokan Multivendor

Dokan is a WordPress plugin based on WooCommerce – also available as a free version. It comes with a broad spectrum of features and extensions developed by their team. Since it's based on WordPress, it is compatible with most of the stuff you can find on the WordPress market and almost readily launchable as a website.

Shopify vs Dokan – The Benefits

1. Single Store vs Multi Stores

The Major game-changing difference between Shopify and Dokan is that Shopify offers only a single shop, but Dokan lets you unlimited. So, it places you on a strategic advantage of controlling a market. Vendors will sign up to your marketplace and you will offer them individual stores with professional design. All the vendors will manage their own accounts, whereas you just earn through commissions.

2. Customization- Features

In Dokan, you can generate your invoices in a single click, review products, verify sellers and even give your sellers their individual store SEO. It is the most feature enriched plugin on the market. Dokan has a wide array of paid add-ons to smooth your management and sales or to add exclusive features. Powerful tools give your sellers unprecedented control of their stores. Shopify on the other hand, comes with few features. They have their app store, but who needs so many to choose from when a single plugin can give you all that you need.

3. Customization- Themes

Dokan is fully compatible with any WordPress and WooCommerce theme on the market. Dokan's free theme is beautiful and comes highly recommended from it's users. On the other hand, Shopify offers 100 site templates and several hundred themes at their theme store. You can create and use your own theme on Dokan too! Some 18+ themes are available at ThemeForest.

4. Operational Expenses

Dokan is a competitively priced application providing more features than its peers. Once you buy Dokan, it is forever yours. It has three subscription packages for updates. Products and sellers are unlimited on any package. It will only cost you 149$ for the first year of support and updates, 50% discount for renewal.

Shopify has a monthly subscription plan and a limited product limit. Even the basic package is very costly (29$ per month). So you are looking at a total annual cost of 348$. You havent started to buy integrations yet.

5. Hosting and Site Speed

Shopify is a self-hosted site. So, you can't do anything about it or you can not take shopify into your existing store. But Dokan can be installed in any WordPress based site. With this freedom, you can migrate your site anytime you want to your desired hosting services for better speed and stability. Moreover, you will have to buy the domain from them at an expensive rate and abandon your existing domain if you already have one.

6. Interface – Frontend and Backend

Dokan's greatest feature is that it has a customizable front end interface. The most important fact about this frontend is that the vendors get a dashboard from where they can manage everything they need for their store. So, all the features are easily accessible and security is ensured.

But Shopify has a backend interface which is not as rich as Dokan. So, not only the interface is better, your vendors will enjoy it too.

7. Vendor's Revenue

In Dokan, shop admins can configure the commission. But in Shopify, the rate is fixed by Shopify themselves. But on your Dokan marketplace, you have the freedom to choose the sales commission rate and create the market flexible to sales. Sellers are always attracted to markets which are more flexible to their business.

8. Customer Care

Both Dokan and Shopify have 24/7 customer care. But Dokan additionally allows you to give your stores their individual store support from where the sellers can provide support and answer pre-sales queries by their own.

9. Trial Features

Shopify is not free. They only have a 14 day trial period. But Dokan also has a free version and also a 14 day refund policy. You can also check the PRO version of Dokan from dokandemo.wedevs.com.

10. Platform

Dokan is based on WordPress, so you, your designer or developer have the full power and possibility of created a site based on HTML, php and make CSS modifications very easily. But, Shopify is based on their own language called Liquid, which is less popular, but it supports CSS and HTML.

Verdict

There is no doubt that Dokan is a more flexible, customizable yet feature enriched platform than Shopify. Shopify may be a good platform for business, but it gives a lot of pressure on a starting one. Dokan is good for new or small business because it is inexpensive, better revenue earning chance, easy payment and tons of features which are inexistent in other solutions.

If you are interested to learn more about the entire  process to create a marketplace with Dokan, Take this guided setup!