The Online Marketplace Ecommerce Blog

We cover everything you need to know about building, launching and running online marketplaces

Create variable products using MultiMerch product variations

multimerch product variations sharing

Today, I’m happy to introduce a brand new system of product variations for MultiMerch-powered marketplaces.

You can now enable your sellers to create variable products with individual prices and quantities per product variation.

But first, a quick backstory.

Having begun as an OpenCart extension, MultiMerch has often relied on many OpenCart’s core systems for basic ecommerce functionality. Unfortunately, OpenCart’s core features are often lacking and insufficient even for a modern online store, let alone for two-sided marketplace businesses.

OpenCart’s options can be used as variations, but they aren’t great

Over the past few years, we’ve been taking over large parts of OpenCart core by building our own systems MultiMerch can use instead – notifications, attributes and modifications are just a few examples.

OpenCart’s options was always one of the systems I never believed was good enough to handle variable products. The new MultiMerch product variation system is designed to replace the option system and allow marketplace owners to use true product variations.

Here’s how it works:

 

Creating and using product variations

Product variations are created by the marketplace staff. Every variation has a set of predefined values sellers can choose from when listing their products.

Allow sellers to create product variants of 3 different colors

For example, you can allow your sellers to create products of different Size and Color.

Sellers can select one or more values for every product variation. Selected values will then be used to create a variation matrix that allows the seller to specify individual SKUs, quantities and prices for every product variant.

Sellers use the variation matrix to create variable products

If a specific product combination is not available, it can be disabled altogether.

You can use as many variations as needed, but we recommend sticking to 2-3 variations per category to keep product listing and catalog management simple.

If there are multiple variants of a product, the customer will see the lowest possible price in categories and on other marketplace pages, but will be able to select the desired variation when adding the product to cart.

multimerch product variations product page

Customers will be able to select one of the available variants on the product page

Customers will not be able to select and purchase combinations that are not available or are out of stock.

 

Assigning variations to categories

To make the variation system more flexible, you can assign different variations to different product categories in additional to globally available variations.

For example, you may use a global Color variation, but use the Size variation only for the Shoes category.

multimerch product variations category based

You can assign different variations to different categories

Just like attributes, the seller will see the available category-based variations after selecting the primary category for their product.

 

Roadmap for future improvements

Due to OpenCart compatibility reasons, MultiMerch product variations are currently in Beta, but are fully functional with Default, Basel and Journal themes, as well as with MultiMerch Standalone.

Over the next few months, we will be introducing a number of improvements to the system:

  • a way to specify additional product fields per variant, such as SKU
  • specific product images linked to individual product variants
  • image-style variation selector for customers instead of dropdowns

The upcoming MultiMerch import/export system will also be designed with the new variation system in mind.

 

MultiMerch 8.26 with support for variations is now available to all MultiMerch marketplace owners.

Not a MultiMerch user yet? Get your license today and build your next marketplace with MultiMerch.

Use seller properties to create custom signup forms in MultiMerch

multimerch seller properties sharing

As a marketplace owner, you know how crucial a streamlined signup experience is for sellers joining your platform.

Up until now, MultiMerch has offered a basic set of fields for sellers to fill out during registration – including their store name, profile images and business information.

Today, I want to introduce Seller Properties – a new system that allows platform owners to create different sets of seller fields for different seller groups and display them during registration.

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How To Make Your Online Marketplace Stand Out And Beat The Competition

make your marketplace stand out header

The advent of online marketplaces has helped small businesses and entrepreneurs sell their products for decades. You don’t have to set up your own online store, you’ve got a ready-made channel to sell your products, and the ability to operate around the clock means small businesses can scale fast.

However, with more possibilities, comes more competition. To make sure your platform connects with sellers in the most powerful way possible, you need to ensure that it stands out.

To rise to this challenge, follow the following tips and take on some practical advice to help your marketplace rise to the top!

This is a guest post created for us by Kayleigh Alexandra from MicroStartups.

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Introducing Typed & Category-Based Product Attributes for Better Product Catalogs

multimerch product attributes blog post header

Specifying product attributes when listing an item allows your sellers to make their products more appealing and more visible to buyers on your marketplace platform.

Attributes are displayed on product pages and used in faceted filters to make it easier for buyers to find the right products.

The upcoming MultiMerch version features a new system of typed, category-based product attributes that I’ll cover here.

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