Multi-vendor marketplaces are booming, with options that include Etsy, Poshmark, ThemeForest and others allowing more vendors and customers to come together than ever before. There are specialty marketplaces emerging all the time and a wide-open field in a range of niches. To ensure that your vendors and their customers have a stress-free and engaging shopping experience, you need to pick a platform that fits everyone’s needs. We’ve rounded up some of the top platforms to help you understand the pros and cons of each of them.
Even if you are new to marketplaces, you are probably familiar with Shopify. This platform powers a wide range of e-commerce and brick and mortar organizations. Their Multi-Vendor Marketplace module can add the features that turn this single e-commerce solution into a full-featured marketplace.
Pros of this system include its familiarity, its wide range of features and its attractive front end for buyers. However, because this is a third-party module, some marketplace admins have found that it is more prone to bugs and data loss.
Arcadier is praised for its high level of reliability and its robust line of features. An easy interface means that even non-technical founders can get a marketplace up and running with a minimum of trouble.
However, the current offers are not flexible enough to scale smoothly as your marketplace grows. There are currently 5 different packages that range depending on your needs. If you are just getting your feet wet, they do offer a “Freemium” service which is wonderful. The rest of the packages are starter, basic growth, and scale. If you are looking to learn more check out their packages.
Related: Difficulties of Starting a Marketplace
Near-Me’s pricing structure can be a pro or a con depending on the size and configuration of your marketplace. The platform does not charge a per-sale commission; instead, marketplace admins are charged a small set-up fee and monthly subscription and maintenance fees. It pays to talk to them directly about customization to see how they can work out a solution that keeps more money in your marketplace company’s pocket. The interface is easy to use and the contacts friendly and responsive.
Sharetribe’s high adoption rate means that their code is well-tested and is less prone to bugs and surprises. On the con side, this marketplace may be too feature-rich for some entrepreneurs. The many features may be more than you need, making them a distraction instead of a draw.
Mirakl, headquartered in France, is used in marketplaces around the world. A high level of customization makes this option highly scalable, allowing you to host thousands of individual vendors or just a handful. While the platform has few cons, one of them is a low level of adoption. Because of the lack of a large user base, developers may find it hard to quickly and easy locate community answers to common problems with set up and customization.
Related: 5 Design Tips For Your Marketplace
If you have a strong idea of what you want and there isn’t anything that can do it fresh out of the box, Cocolabs may be for you. All of their marketplaces are customized to fit the admin and vendors of the site. Each client is assigned a project manager who oversees the process from beginning to end. This can be great if you are a big enterprise with lots of funding, but not a great fit for a solopreneur or dedicated DIYer who has an idea that they want to test out.
Many in the marketplace sphere love Rocket Bazaar for their flexibility, strength, and scalability. This platform is built with Magento 2, which is trusted and stable. A one-time per user price makes your costs predictable from month to month. However, the entry price is on the higher side, which can shut out some leaner enterprises and those working on a shoestring while they get established.
Next Juggernaut offers a far more granular approach than many other marketplaces on the list. Those running marketplaces on this platform can pick and choose the features and functions that work best for them. The result is a richly featured by lean product. The downside is that those who are more marketing oriented and less tech-oriented may be lost in the process.
With evolving technology and products designed to fit specific niches’ needs, there has never been a better time to get your marketplace off the ground. Check out the options on this list to see which works best for you.