Magento offers almost everything one needs to build and manage an eCommerce site. It provides effective management for product showcasing, safe online transactions, shipping management, and eCommerce checkouts and much more. However, some management controls specific to a marketplace site are not included in the default features of Magento.
A marketplace site requires some additional features in addition to the regular eCommerce features supposed by an eCommerce platform. The additional features may actively include:
- Management for seller account registration
- Management for seller account approval and declination
- Management for different shops by different sellers
- Management for Product upload by sellers
- Management for Seller product approval or declination
- Management for Marketplace Commissions
- Management for Product Shipping by sellers
- Management for mailing notifications to sellers and customers, and much more
These are some basic functions that should necessarily be managed by a marketplace site. Unfortunately, Magento does not possess these operations by default, as it was originally designed to serve as an inventory based eCommerce site. However, with the evolution of eCommerce model in the modern era, the eCommerce platform has greatly evolved itself for the B2B model of eCommerce. This led Magento developers across the community to present solutions in the form of marketplace extensions and marketplace addons which impart those missing marketplace features in the eCommerce platform.
A marketplace extension is basically a module that can be installed on an eCommerce platform to convert it into a marketplace site by adding the required specific functionalities to the eCommerce site. Some of the additional features I have already mentioned in the above points.
Here, I am going to discuss some basic functionalities that should be possessed by a basic marketplace site. The aim behind mentioning these functionalities is to explain what fundamentals you should necessarily expect from a marketplace extension.
The main addition on a marketplace site is the involvement of sellers on it. Sellers on a marketplace site are those entities which differentiate it from an inventory based site. So, without sellers, there is no marketplace site at all. A good marketplace extension should effectively handle the seller registration and manage those seller accounts with the same efficacy.
- It should allow sellers to register on the site
- It should allow admin to approve/disapprove a seller account request
-It should provide sellers with a niche-based dashboard to manage their shop
After seller account management, the next big thing that makes a marketplace site is the facility to sellers for uploading and showcasing their products on the site. A seller product management should provide both the sellers and the admin with certain access and functions.
- It should allow sellers to upload product listing on the site
- It should allow admin to review and approve/disapprove a seller product upload
- It should allow admin to view list of all products from all sellers, and activate/deactivate a product on the site when required.
A marketplace site receives orders for any of the products from any of the sellers on the site. A good marketplace extension provides all the required functionalities for the orders management both by the sellers and the admin of the site.
- It should allow the sellers to see the list and details of all the orders they have received on the site
- It should allow admin to see and manage the order details of all the orders received by the sellers
So, these are some basic functionalities that differentiate a marketplace site from an inventory based site. In addition to the fundamental operations explained above, a marketplace site requires much more to deal with the massive competition and growing requirements. This is where the marketplace addons come in the picture.
The features and requirements of a good marketplace site are unlimited and keep on increasing with the time. Marketplace extensions developed by the community developers though include all the basic requirements, they cannot make a good marketplace site unless they are always in evolution.
Marketplace addons are those extensions which add new features and functionalities to a marketplace site. These extensions provide some useful features to the site which cannot be provided by a single marketplace extension. Thus, keeping the extension up-to-date with the new trends. So, in short,
- If you want to convert your eCommerce site into a Marketplace site?- Use a Marketplace Extension
- If you want to add new features to your Marketplace site? – Use a Marketplace Addon
A marketplace site in-houses several sellers on it. It is a known fact that difficult it can be to keep the sellers on the site. To keep the admin-seller relation healthy, the admin should always be available to address the queries, issues, and grievances of the sellers. A marketplace addon can be installed by the site admin to add a help-desk support system for the sellers, providing them easy interface to contact the admin in need.
We have now understood that a marketplace extension adds up the functionality for the sellers to add products on the site and receive orders for the same. A marketplace addon for products import/export can make this task easy and quick for the sellers by allowing bulk export/import of the products on the site through CSV files. Thus, making it quick for the sellers to upload multiple products and their combinations in just a single click.
A marketplace site with a large number of sellers and customers deal with a huge number of product orders each day. It becomes difficult for a marketplace admin to manage product return, replacement, or refund requests for such a huge number of orders. To make it easier a marketplace addon for seller return management can be installed on the site which will allow customers to send the return/refund requests directly to the sellers from whom they have bought the product.
A marketplace site is a huge area of management. Like every other business platform, it has some challenges and perks too. Choosing a useful marketplace extension becomes and necessity when you are thinking of converting your store into a marketplace and do not want to stick with the challenges only. It’s not just about what features are included in the extension, it’s also about what other advancements and compliance it can offer you with the changing needs and demands.
So, choose an extension that can promise compliance and have ample addons to extend it’s functionalities so that you don’t have to end up in a dead end at later part of the business.
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