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Top 5 Best Multi-Vendor Online Marketplace Software Builder

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Over the past year, there has been a growing interest in the use of Marketplace technology by businesses as part of their digital transformation strategies. Arcadier has been often asked how we are different from other platform companies offering similar marketplace software.

This article serves to highlight the five multi-vendor marketplace software companies in the market that we are frequently asked about and provides our own views of how they are different.

1) Arcadier

Arcadier is the world’s fastest-growing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technology provider for marketplaces, addressing the needs for both self-service and custom-built marketplaces (also known as Arcadier Enterprise) through a single technology stack. In contrast to the other marketplace software providers below which are open-source, Arcadier has published APIs and built-in CSS, HTML and JavaScript input to allow tweaks to existing templates. Both allow customizations through these means. For those who perhaps are non-technical by trade, Arcadier’s easy to use interface allows new marketplace owners to be set up with a minimum of trouble.

Features such as dedicated management portals for admin and sellers, endless categorization capabilities or in most cases, a custom domain, all exist under Arcadier’s many packages.

Who is it good for?

Where entrepreneurs, small businesses or large companies that are looking to venture into the marketplace industry, Arcadier’s offerings cater to these varying needs. Given the platform’s freely available beautiful themes for you to select, API-centric nature, customization and scalability are key offerings that Arcadier provides. For those who are particularly interested in starting a marketplace for the first time, Arcadier’s solution doesn’t require you to break the bank to customize a marketplace of your preference. Arcadier provides a spectrum of package offerings that can scale with you as your business grows.

Should you require assistance and clarifications, Arcadier has an existing portal of online guides and dedicated customer service staff to address concerns that marketplace owners would have, regardless of whether they are on the templatized or Enterprise solutions.

2) Sharetribe

Sharetribe is one of the most well-known SaaS platforms to quickly build and launch a multi-vendor marketplace. Simple changes to your colour theme and photos, for example, can be tweaked instantaneously. Coupled with a guided onboarding process, the marketplace allows the users to sell the products or services online without needing any technical help.

Although having technical skills allows you to further customize your marketplace through CSS, HTML or JavaScript, Sharetribe handles all the web hosting and any online payments you receive, making sure that you can create your new marketplace with ease.

Who is it good for?

For any entrepreneur or small business owner who wants to get a marketplace started in a matter of minutes, Sharetribe could be very appealing to you. However, do note that for the paid option, you are constrained to the functionality of the platform. In other words, you can’t extend the platform. Be mindful that under Sharetribe Go’s lowest tier “Hobby” package, you are not able to fully white label; remove the Sharetribe branding. To have your own custom landing page, you would be required to pay another $99 per month as well.

Alternatively, you can use their open source version, but this would require more time and initial investment to develop a customized marketplace. You would have to engage with developers to implement and explore many more functionalities and options, but you wouldn’t have to pay for their open source platform.

3) Magento with Marketplace Extension

Magento is a popular open source platform that many retailers and brands have utilized to start their own eCommerce platform. The platform also provides a multi-vendor marketplace extension that converts your eCommerce store into a multi-vendor marketplace, where various vendors can register to list their products or services and sell them online. Magento with Marketplace also boasts an active plugin development community.

Who is it good for?

For those who prefer a simple eCommerce store but have future plans to transform your store into a marketplace, Magento with Marketplace could be useful for you. It is a scalable and feature-intensive platform that could potentially suit your many needs. However, Magento with Marketplace would require some initial level of technical knowledge, and could be somewhat complicated for smaller stores.

One thing to take into consideration is that should you intend to customize with certain plugins, you would have to work with the agency who created the marketplace plugin instead of Magento themselves, despite its open source nature.

Given that many third-party developers upload their plugins on Magento as well, it can be rather confusing to choose which plugin to use. A good thing to watch for is that most free plugins do not provide technical support, which means though your implementation process can be seamless, the post-implementation phase may be rather complicated.

4) Shopify with Multi-Vendor Marketplace Extension

Shopify is a globally renowned eCommerce software for building an online store. Similar to Magento, it is inherently a single merchant cart platform and to create a marketplace you will need to use the Multi-Vendor Marketplace extension which allows you to convert your eCommerce shop into a marketplace. Shopify also offers many features and published APIs for you to customize your desired interface, providing a drag and drop builder to design the frontend of the website quickly and easily and many themes and templates.

Who is it good for?

The Multi-Vendor Marketplace application would definitely benefit current Shopify users who plan to scale and build their own marketplace. This extension allows you to add unlimited vendors and products while enabling you to sync products from other eCommerce stores, which could be useful for those part of the Shopify ecosystem.

Shopify’s platform is user-friendly and catered to users with varying levels of technical experience. However, given its plethora of third-party plugins, many of which are for free, users who purchase such plugins may face close to little technical support in the long run as well. If you require a feature to be included in the marketplace you will need to contact the developer who build the marketplace plugin and not Shopify.

5) CS Cart Multi-Vendor

CS-Cart Multi-Vendor is a professional marketplace platform with a powerful pack of various packages to help you further your eCommerce ventures. They purport to have over 500 marketplace features and 100% open access to the source code which makes it fully customizable.

Who is it good for?

Do note the difference between CS-Cart and Multi-Vendor. CS-Cart was specially created for small and mid-size web stores, while the Multi-Vendor software is their second standalone eCommerce platform offering which helps web merchants launch, control and manage their online multiple marketplaces without problems.

If you are new to coding and marketplace software, you can rely on Multi-Vendor’s themes, templates, layouts etc. to give you ease in designing your marketplace. Should you be a technically-sound person, the 100% open-source platform allows you to change raw code with HTML and CSS to suit your needs. If you lie somewhere in between, CS-Cart provides rich documentation and online tutorials alongside free premium technical support for 3 months. Do bear in mind that their support can get expensive following the free offering, and some users have highlighted that some sophisticated features can slow down the server.

Conclusion:

Building a marketplace can be tricky particularly if you want to build one from scratch. With the existence of such multi-vendor marketplace software providers, anyone can build up their own desired marketplace easily, regardless of your level of technical or coding background. Even if you don’t go with Arcadier Marketplaces, any of these software platform will serve your needs well, and soon you will have yourself a customized marketplace supported by one of these reliable software companies.

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