Multivendor shipping with MultiMerch
MultiMerch has its own multivendor shipping system that can be used instead of OpenCart's regular per-cart shipping.
Multivendor shipping makes it possible for vendors to specify different shipping rates to different locations for individual products.
How it works
MultiMerch shipping allows the markteplace owner to define a set of shipping methods (carriers) for vendors to choose from. Vendors can then specify different shipping rates for individual products – carriers – locations. The process is as follows:
- The marketplace owner defines a number of shipping carriers and a set of delivery times
- Vendors specify shipping rules when creating products (per-product shipping) or in their vendor account settings (combined shipping)
- Customers are presented with a shipping method selection for each product at checkout
Multivendor shipping needs to be enabled in Admin > MultiMerch > Settings > Shipping.
Shipping settings and delivery times
MultiMerch multivendor shipping can be enabled and configured in Admin > MultiMerch > Settings > Shipping. Starting with MultiMerch 8.3, the marketplace owner can define whether to enable per-product shipping for vendors, combined weight-based shipping or both.
In addition to shipping methods, the marketplace owner can define a number of available delivery times in a free text form. These are meant for vendors to provide their customers with an estimated delivery time for different shipping methods and locations.
Delivery times can be specified in multiple languages for multilingual stores. Depending on the business model, the marketplace owner can use days, weeks, months or any other value here.
Creating shipping methods
The marketplace owner can create a set of shipping methods via Admin > MultiMerch > Shipping methods. Each method has a name and a description that will be displayed to vendors and customers.
Once the methods have been defined, the vendors can choose from the list of shipping methods when creating or editing products.
Per-product shipping rules for vendors
When multivendor shipping is enabled and shipping methods are defined in MultiMerch, vendors can define delivery rules when creating or modifying their products.
A new section is added to the product form containing the following inputs:
- The location the product is shipped from
- Processing time in days
- Whether the product is eligible for free shipping
- Delivery location table
For each product, the vendor can specify a number of delivery properties as well as a set of rules that will be applied at checkout.
MultiMerch uses OpenCart's geozones to define locations so you have to have them created in the first place. Please see more about geozones in OpenCart documentation.
In addition to OpenCart's geozones, MultiMerch allows the vendor to specify delivery rates to a "Worldwide" location. This is the fallback location that will be used if the vendor has not defined a rule for customer's exact location
Combined weight-based shipping rules for vendors
In addition to per-product shipping, the marketplace owner can enable combined weight-based shipping so vendors can define a single set of weight-based rules that will be applied to all products at checkout automatically.
This saves vendors the trouble of having to specify rules for individual products and is useful in larger marketplaces.
When weight-based shipping is enabled, a new Combined shipping interface appears in vendor settings.
This interface makes it possible for vendors to specify their delivery rules once without having to spend time defining delivery costs for individual products. If combined shipping rules are defined, the product creation/modification form in vendor accounts will have the shipping tab disabled.
If both per-product and combined vendor shipping types are enabled by the marketplace owner, vendors will be able to override their combined rules for individual products if needed.
If shipping override is enabled, MultiMerch will not combine this particular product with the rest of products at checkout.
At checkout, the default OpenCart delivery method step is replaced with MultiMerch shipping interface which allows the customer to choose a delivery method for each of the products in cart.
If combined vendor shipping is enabled, MultiMerch will combine multiple products from the same vendor into the same delivery and calculate the costs based on the combined delivery rules specified by the vendor.
This is different from OpenCart's default system that only allows a single delivery rate to be applied to the whole cart.
MultiMerch uses customer's delivery address to fetch the available methods for each of the products automatically.
If there are no delivery methods defined to customer's location, MultiMerch informs the customer that this product can not be delivered to customer's address.