Sellers, vendors, stores – how do MultiMerch marketplaces work?
MultiMerch is an online marketplace platform or a multi-vendor platform – same thing.
This means you can use MultiMerch to build a two-sided marketplace where multiple vendors have their own store fronts and sell their own products.
In this blog post, I'll describe how the seller system works in MultiMerch in a nutshell.
Looking for a marketplace solution?
Get a personal MultiMerch Platform demo!
Note that sellers and vendors mean the same thing in MultiMerch, I'll use them interchangeably.
(If you prefer a quick overview, you can watch this video instead):
Sellers in MultiMerch – the basics
The seller system in MultiMerch is designed in a similar manner to what you'll see on Etsy, Amazon and other popular online marketplaces.
You own and manage the marketplace platform where your sellers have their own accounts, storefronts and profiles.
Sellers list their goods for sale on your marketplace, buyers browse your marketplace and can purchase from multiple sellers at once.
New users and existing customers can sign up to become sellers – they will use the same username and password to use both their buyer and seller accounts.
- simpler onboarding for your sellers as they don't manage a full blown online store, just a marketplace account
- a much more consistent buyer experience across your marketplace and a way to buy from multiple sellers at once
- you retain control over the actual platform and can focus on monetizing it
Now, here's how vendor stores and profiles work:
Seller stores and profiles
Every MultiMerch vendor has two main public areas within your marketplace – their storefront and their vendor profile.
Vendor's storefront displays all products offered by a particular vendor. It's up to you whether to allow vendors to list directly into marketplace categories or into their storefronts only.
Vendor's profile page displays the additional information about the vendor, such as their description, stats, customer reviews and other helpful stuff.
MultiMerch also lists all sellers on a separate page so customers can browse and sort through seller profiles. You can enable the display of sellers on a map via Google Maps API.
Vendors can customize their profile images and store banners, but it's mostly up to you to pick the main marketplace theme – it will provide the same consistent browsing experience for your customers.
Seller accounts and dashboards
MultiMerch lets vendors manage their stores through their seller accounts.
This includes everything from publishing products and processing orders to managing their finances.
Seller accounts are responsive and will adapt to the theme you're using to match the style of your marketplace.
Seller groups or plans
You can create different seller groups (or plans) with different properties, such as marketplace fee rates or vendor badges.
If you make the plans public, your vendors will be able to pick a plan at signup and register into a specific group.
MultiMerch supports Stripe Subscriptions so you can tie seller plans to your Stripe account to collect signup fees or subscription fees via Stripe.
How do sellers sign up to sell on your marketplace?
Existing customers and new users can create a vendor account and sell their products on your marketplace.
To create a seller account, your users will usually start with a landing page where you describe your terms and benefits. We offer a landing page template that you can modify for your marketplace.
The landing page will direct them to the new vendor registration form where they'll fill out the basic information about their store, such as name, description and a few other details.
You can choose what information you'll ask from your vendors at sign up via MultiMerch settings.
After going through registration, the new seller can start configuring their store and publishing products for sale. You can also enable manual seller verification and approve all new signups manually.
Finally, your marketplace staff can create vendor accounts manually via MultiMerch admin area. MultiMerch lets you create vendor accounts for existing customers or create new users.
Seller account features
Vendors access their accounts by logging into your marketplace via the main login page.
The dashboard will contain the overview of their store, including the sales/orders chart, latest orders, reviews, invoices, messages as well as the top viewed and best selling products.
Sellers navigate their accounts via the navigation sidebar that contains links to product management areas, the list of orders, customer communication tools, finances and other marketplace features that you enable.
Here's what seller accounts consist of:
Product listing and catalog management
Your vendors create and manage their product catalog via the Products page and the Create product form.
As the marketplace owner, you can choose from 30+ default product fields to use in product forms as well as create custom fields yourself.
Additionally, you can allow sellers to create their own product categories to organize products within their own storefronts.
Furthermore, MultiMerch makes it possible for vendors to run their own discount campaigns by creating coupon codes in Coupons.
MultiMerch notifies sellers about new orders from customers and lets them manage orders via Orders page.
Sellers can view and print order details, change the status of the order when it's dispatched an communicate with the customer directly within the order details page.
Seller finances – balance, transactions and invoices
Depending on your payment flow, your sellers will either get paid according to their seller balance or receive instant payments via Stripe or PayPal Adaptive.
If you aggregate buyer payments, sellers will receive a balance transaction to their balance for each completed order, which you will then use for payouts.
If you distribute payments automatically, sellers will mostly use payment invoices. Invoices will also be used if you collect sign up, insertion and subscription fees.
Sellers can view their transaction history, balance statement and invoices in Transactions and Invoices (as well as in Reports).
Marketplace communication – reviews, questions, conversations
MultiMerch encourages communication between buyers and sellers within your marketplace platform to keep the experience of buying and selling as pleasant as possible.
Buyers can ask sellers questions about products that are displayed publicly, communicate with them via private messages and publish reviews for completed orders.
Vendors receive notifications and can respond to customer inquiries via Reviews, Questions and Conversations pages.
Store settings and vendor profile
Sellers can customize the look and feel of their store via Profile and configure additional settings via Settings.
These include addresses, vendor's shipping configuration and payment settings as well as holiday mode and a few additional settings.
Your sellers have access to 6 different reports in their Reports section – list of sales, sales by day, month and product, transactions, payments and payouts.
These let sellers generate detailed reports about their sales performance and financial statements for specific date periods.
Managing your marketplace sellers via admin area
You and your staff can conveniently manage seller accounts via the MultiMerch admin area. In most cases, you'll be doing it via administrator's seller list at Admin > MultiMerch > Sellers.
The table contains basic seller details and statistics and offers the administrator a way to view seller's public profile, log in as the seller as well as modify and remove the account.
The Edit seller screen provides further controls for individual seller accounts and makes it possible to view and modify most of seller properties.
This lets the marketplace staff create new user accounts from scratch or create seller profiles for existing marketplace users.
If you plan to use multiple different seller groups (or plans) on your marketplace platform, you'll be able to create them via Admin > Marketplace > Seller groups.
Each MultiMerch seller will always belong to one specific group and will have group properties applied to their account – such as commission rates and badges.
And that's the MultiMerch seller system in a nutshell!
You can give MultiMerch a try via our free hosted demos or get in touch with me if you have any additional questions.