The Multi-Vendor Marketplace is repeatedly named one of the most important trends in eCommerce. Yet, few businesses adopt this business model; hence the competition is still low. Taking our years-long eCommerce domain experience and numerous MVM projects we developed on top of open-source software, we decided to develop an MIT license-based multi-vendor eCommerce platform that will be tailored to the needs of the most advanced business. This solution provides a scalable, customizable, and feature-rich business platform for companies looking to leverage the benefits of multi-vendor eCommerce platforms.
In this article, we will introduce a multi-vendor marketplace integration based on Sylius eCommerce.
The first open-source Multi-vendor Marketplace Platform based on PHP, Symfony & Sylius
OpenMarketplace by BitBag is the best eCommerce marketplace solution for online stores with multiple independent sellers and virtual shopping malls with various separate departments. Since most of the current market solutions are cloud-based and rather expensive, our solution could be an alternative, especially for merchants who value digitalization and invent trends rather than follow others. Since the multi-vendor marketplace software market is relatively fresh, in most cases, the implementations are fairly custom (it depends on e.g. business models, type of products, or type of marketplace).
On the foundation of Sylius, we have built a dedicated multi-vendor eCommerce marketplace – a highly extendable platform (marketplace integration software) providing the environment for multiple merchants to sell their products or services and developers to tailor it to specific cases.
BitBag OpenMarketplace is the first open-source multi-vendor marketplace platform. The solution is based on Sylius and Symfony, meaning it is fully compatible with each. The platform is a highly customizable project using full-stack BDD with Behat and PHPSpec.
The minimum requirements to install this solution are:
- sylius/sylius 1.11.x
- MySQL>= 5.7
Sylius, being an open-source eCommerce framework, allowed us to create an outstanding marketplace solution by extending the vendor’s out-of-the-box digital commerce features. In addition to standard eCommerce functionalities such as search engine or checkout, OpenMarketplace covers:
- Vendors registration and vendors management
- Adding and management of listings (admin approval, archivisation, etc.)
- Conversations between the vendor and the administrator
- Orders management both on the admin and vendor side
- Shipping management
- Headless support (to be released as part of 1.1 soon).
BitBag OpenMarketplace – overview
To get familiar with the solution, check the quick overview of marketplace features.
No matter how many independent sellers want to sell products in your multi-vendor store – two or a hundred. The number of accounts is unlimited, and you can grow your business without restrictions.
You can register as a user and then become a vendor.
The registration has to be confirmed by the Administrator. It can be done within the admin panel. In short, as an administrator, in the Marketplace category, you can see the Vendors (1) tab, which contains all vendors registered – whether they are verified or not. To verify a vendor, you need to go to Details (2) in their row and click Verify button. After completing this step, an email will be sent to the vendor with information that they have been verified.
The verified vendor will see attributes, product lists, inventory, orders, clients, shipping methods, conversations, and profiles in his panel. When the data provided during registration is incorrect, it is possible to edit it, but each time it has to be confirmed by clicking an email.
The Administrator can delete the vendor; however, the user account isn’t deleted, so he can apply again to become a vendor (in their profile).
Vendor profile page
On the product page, on the right side, there is a link in the form of the seller’s name. When clicked, the user will be redirected to the Vendor profile page.
The Vendor profile presents basic information about the vendor and contains a list of all the vendor products, which can be filtered by category or use the search/sorting engine.
The vendor can add the company name, description, logo, and background on the Vendor profile page. You can find the option in the vendor panel in the Profile section.
Review management by vendors
Each vendor, depending on the rating policy in specific sectors, has the freedom to manage product ratings, including accepting or rejecting them. The vendor cannot only change the number of stars the customer gives as part of the product evaluation.
The option is available in the vendor panel in the Product reviews sections.
Each seller in your store will have its own administration panel. It will enable them to manage their settings and products. These dashboards contain everything vendors need to manage their sales. Their actions are entirely independent and do not influence each other. Each has the opportunity to see a conversation started by them or the administrator directly under the Conversations tab.
The vendor can start a conversation with the administrator by clicking the New conversation button, choosing a conversation category, writing a message, and (optional) adding a file.
Under each conversation, the vendor can see administrator messages and may respond to them.
The administrator will find Conversations under the Marketplace category. He can create new conversations, respond (Show), and Delete or Archive them. Also, it is possible to organize them into categories, which will appear when creating a new conversation.
Managing products in the OpenMarketplace is simple and effective. The admin can moderate (approve or disapprove) the sellers’ products before they go on sale. Only products that the administrator has approved will appear in the shop.
Registered vendors can create product listings by visiting the Product list page (1). And click create product button to add products (2).
To create a product, the vendor has to up the product listing form consisting of code, price, description, translations, and attributes. After filling in all information, the vendor can edit it or send it for verification to the administrator- after this, the editing product is blocked.
The administrator decides if the listing is rejected or the product becomes available to the customers in the market.
Via the Product Listings tab, the administration can view a list of products sent for verification with the details.
- Rejection: If the administrator decides to reject the product, a message containing information about why the product was rejected is sent to the vendor, and the product listing status is set to “rejected”. From this point, the vendor may discuss the reason or edit the product and send updates for another verification.
- Accept: If the administrator accepts the product listing, it becomes visible to the customers.
Any change that has been made to the product needs the administrator’s approval.
Product listing per channel for vendor
Vendors can decide on which channel they want to sell their products. The vendor can enable product visibility across various sales channels using available switches. The option is available in the vendor panel in the Product listings section when editing a product.
Shipping and orders
Vendors can offer customers a variety of in-store purchase options. To simplify the purchasing process, sellers may allow choosing their preferred shipping method (from those previously provided by the administrator).
Registered vendors may manage available shipping methods for customers in the Shipping Methods tab and enable or disable available methods for each channel using a switch next to each courier.
When a customer buys products from different vendors, he may choose the shipping method for each of them separately and after placing the order, each vendor will have a separate order from this customer.
Orders can be managed under the Orders tab on the vendor’s account: displaying order details (information about products, shipping, payments) and resending a confirmation email to the client.
Shipping configuration per product
Among the shipping methods offered by the administrator marketplace, the vendor can choose one of the pre-defined rules for shipping depending on the product sold. The option is available in the vendor panel in the Product listings section when editing a product.
Vendors commission configuration
The marketplace administrator can individually determine what commission on profit he wants to collect from each vendor. The option is available in the admin panel in the Vendors section.
Information about the commission amount is visible in the view of an individual order in the „commission” section on both the vendor and administrator sides.
BitBag OpenMarketplace customization
As OpenMarketplace is a Sylius-Standard & Symfony-based open-source project, all functionalities may be extended. It is compatible with the latest version of Sylius and Symfony, meaning most Sylius plugins and Symfony bundles are usable with the platform.
As the multi-vendor marketplace has emerged as a significant business scope in recent years, we have some plans for the OpenMarketplace project in the future.
- Finishing the already-being-developed headless support
- Admin/Vendor billing functionality
- Managing product ratings by Vendor
- Sales statistics
- Reports module
- Multi-source inventory
- Order subscriptions
- Subscription earning model
- Customized error pages
- Vendor information pages feature
- Extracting code into a bundle
Curious about the status of each feature? Check the OpenMarketplace roadmap on GitHub >>
If you are wondering how to generate more orders while reducing the investment in marketing and the risks associated with it, we encourage you to explore the topic of marketplaces.
If you are a developer, freelancer, or CTO – check the project on GitHub and evaluate it for your specific case. It is free: https://github.com/BitBagCommerce/OpenMarketplace.
If you value our work, do not regret leaving us a star! The more popularity we build around the platform, the better it will be in the future. You can join our freshly created community workplace dedicated to the platform BitBag Open Marketplace Slack.
Become a part of the community on Slack!
Like the idea of our OpenMarketplace? We can adapt the solution to your business ideas and needs, map it with existing tech possibilities and deliver the solution with a qualified team of consultants, engineers, designers, and managers. Contact us to discuss the collaboration possibilities.