Order management in MultiMerch

MultiMerch makes it possible for customers to purchase multiple products from multiple sellers at once in a single order.

This guide covers the MultiMerch order system in detail.

MultiMerch orders – the basics

Basic order flow

MultiMerch is designed to make it easy for your customers to purchase products.

If the customer wants to purchase 3 products from 3 different sellers – they should be able to do it without going through checkout 3 times.

On the other hand – sellers should only be able to see and manage their own products within customer's order.

From seller's perspective, customer has only purchased their products.

So, it wouldn't be right if MultiMerch displayed all products within customer's order to all sellers.

This is where MultiMerch's order management system comes in.

When your customer makes an order, MultiMerch internally splits it into seller orders (or suborders).

This lets sellers manage their part of the order separately while still making it possible for the customer to purchase products from multiple sellers within the same order.


Customer orders (orders) and seller orders (suborders)

Since the term "order" can apply to both customer orders and seller orders, it often depends on the context.

So, we'll use the terms "seller order" and "customer order" when a corresponding section describes both entities at once and use "order" in all other cases.

When it comes to MultiMerch, each customer order has a set of properties such as order number, date, payment information, status and others.

All of this information is available to the customer and some of this information is also available to sellers.

In addition to this, each customer order consists of one or more seller orders.

A seller order stores data relevant to each individual seller within the order - such as seller's products, seller's order status, seller's total and other information.

Each seller only has access to their own seller order and does not see other parts of the order.

From customer's perspective, it is a single order with products from multiple sellers.

From seller's perspective, it is a single order with their products only.

Thus, each seller can see and manage their own seller order without knowing whether or not is part of a larger order from multiple sellers.

Order statuses

Orders can have different statuses to provide customers and sellers with more information of the order position in the order flow.

As the marketplace owner, you can create as many order statuses as you need for your particular business.

For example, some of the default order statuses in OpenCart are:

  • Canceled
  • Pending
  • Complete
  • Denied
  • etc.

To make order management easier for you and your sellers, MultiMerch allows you to create a separate set of statuses for seller orders.

For example, you may only want to give your sellers an option to mark their orders as Dispatched. In this case, you would have just two seller order statuses:

  • Pending
  • Dispatched

Order and seller order statuses aren't directly linked and don't depend on each other.

In combination, order and seller order statuses make it possible to build powerful order flows in MultiMerch for many different marketplace types.


Order states

The system of logical order states was implemented in MultiMerch 8.11 to make it possible to group multiple different order statuses into order states for a more flexible marketplace order flow configuration.

At the moment there are 3 different order and seller order states:

  • Pending
  • Processing
  • Completed

This lets you assign different order statuses to specific states.

For example, you may have a multiple step process of processing customer payments where you first receive the order, then wait for customer's payment and finally process it manually.

So, you'll have at least the following order statuses for customer orders:

  • Customer order received
  • Waiting for payment
  • Processing payment

However, you will want to prevent sellers from dispatching their orders before customer's payment has been processed.

MultiMerch lets you assign these 3 order statuses to a single Pending state which can then be used to warn sellers that the payment has not yet been clear and prevent them from dispatching their products.

Unlike statuses, order states are fixed and can not be modified.


Order creation and management for customers

To make a new order, your customer has to add one of more products to their cart and go through checkout.

Once the checkout is completed, the customer will see the new order in the Order history page in their Accounts.

Each order in the list contains the details about the order as well as the status of the order and each of the seller orders.

Clicking the "Order details" link will lead your customer to the individual order management page, which displays all of the information about a particular order as well as the details about each of seller orders.

The first part of the page displays the details of the order such as order date and number, customer's payment and shipping addresses as well as the list of products purchased.

The second part of the page displays the order history as well as an individual section for each of seller orders (if the customer has purchased products from multiple sellers).

This part lets the customer see the status of each individual seller order as well as communicate with each of the sellers using MultiMerch's private messaging system directly from the order page.


Order management for MultiMerch sellers

Sellers can manage orders through their seller accounts in MultiMerch.

When a new order is received, the seller receives an email notification and sees the new order appear in the list of orders in their seller account.

Clicking the "View order" button will direct your seller to their own "Order information" page.

It is similar to the one presented to the customer and also consists of two parts.

The first part displays the overall information about the order such as customer's addresses and products purchased.

It also displays the "Marketplace order status", which is merely the status of customer's order – MultiMerch uses the "marketplace" prefix to help sellers distinguish this from their own status.

Note that this only displays products belonging to this particular seller and the order total reflects this.

The second part of the seller's order details page contains information about seller's transactions for this order (whether their seller balance has already been credited) as well as seller controls for changing the status of the order and communicating with the customer.

This lets sellers quickly change the status of the order when they've processed it or get in touch with the customer if any quesitons arise.


Order management for the marketplace administration

MultiMerch gives marketplace owners and the administration complete overview of all orders that were created in the marketplace.

There are two different order list views that MultiMerch administrators can use to browse orders. They can be accessed through Admin > MultiMerch > Orders.

The first one is the "List by order", which displays the list of orders that were received by the marketplace grouped by individual orders.

The second view is the "List by seller order", which displays the same list of orders grouped by individual seller orders.

Both order listing views display essentially the same information, but are designed to make it easier to use different order management workflows in your marketplace.

Just like customers and sellers, MultiMerch marketplace administrators have their own "Order information" page that lets them view orders in detail.

The administrator's order information page consists of three different parts.

The first part displays the main information about an individual order - such as numbers, customer's addresses and the list of products.

The second part is called Order history and lets the administrator change the main status of the order – for example, change the status to Paid when customer's payment has been processed.

Finally, the last part displays the information about individual sellers and their order statuses within this order.

This lets the administrator see the whole order at a glance and track status changes by individual sellers.

Configuring order statuses and states

Should you find that the default order statuses don't suit your order flow, you can create new ones and edit existing statuses in MultiMerch.

Seller order statuses can be found and configured via Admin > MultiMerch > Marketplace > Seller order statuses.

Then, newly created order statuses can be assigned to states and transactions in MultiMerch Settings > Orders.

MultiMerch order setting section consists of two parts. The first part lets you assign individual order statuses to logical states.

The second part lets you define the default seller order status as well as assign individual statuses to seller balance transactions.

You can find more details about how order statuses affect seller balances in the Payments section of our user guide.

Martin is the founder of MultiMerch who has dedicated his life to building great products.