Any eCommerce platform needs to be fit for purpose. For small vendors selling only a few SKUs, it is easy to find software that can accommodate them. For more specialist sellers and eCommerce marketplaces though, there is much more consideration required.
The platform needs to work for huge numbers of vendors and SKUs, as well as enable simple administration for everyone involved, and straightforward order and invoice processing. On top of that, many marketplaces need to customise their store to exact specifications, meaning it should be adaptable.
A lot of companies use multi-vendor marketplaces. Sites such as Amazon show the incredible scope of features and functions that can be obtained via a multi-vendor platform. Digital products as well as physical products are also regularly sold, and many of the biggest marketplaces also need to provide automated shipping options, multiple methods of payment, and product customisation and variations.
Choosing the Best eCommerce Marketplace Software
Below, we dive into some of the options for the best eCommerce marketplace software, but first, we’ve listed the considerations for the software:
- Product options. Configurable ways to sell products including digital and physical items. Bundling and discounts are supported as well as bulk uploads.
- Multi-vendor support as well as concurrent checkouts featuring different sellers, and aggregation on product and category pages.
- Payment and shipping processing. Flexibility when it comes to accepting payments and providing options for shipping for vendors and customers alike.
- Optimised for multiple devices, including mobile.
- Simple admin for sellers. It should be easy to add and manage products for the sellers on a multi-vendor marketplace.
- Scalability. Many marketplaces have millions of products. The software must facilitate this scaling.
Features of the Best eCommerce Marketplace Software
An understanding of the features that the software offers will allow you to make the right choice when it comes to eCommerce platforms. Features include:
Seller portal. A place for the sellers to build their product catalogues and organise orders, acting as the vendor interface.
Search functions. This is required for allowing users to easily find the products they are looking for, and smart searches can even help to provide recommendations.
Product pages. Like on a platform like eBay or Amazon, each product needs its own page to provide details with features.
Payment options. A checkout with multiple payment options, and trustworthy methods for all customers to pay.
Customisation options. This is a way to provide all your vendors with a way to change options such as sizes, colours, and more.
Recommendations. Product recommendations can increase your bottom line and send customers to the pages of products they are likely to buy.
Review engine. Most of us use reviews to make informed decisions, and a quality review engine within your eCommerce marketplace means that you can incentivise vendors and allow customers to leave informed reviews.
CS-Cart is powerful software with a wide range of add-ons available. It has all of the marketplace functions that you would expect and has been used by marketplaces with thousands of vendors and millions of different SKUs.
Each seller has their own admin area and micro-store with a customisable storefront, manageable categories, filters, and a search function. Developers can use this as a platform to create global marketplaces, fit for virtually any purpose.
There are hundreds of different plug-ins and add-ons that can further tailor the software to your needs, and ensure it has the perfect features for your own marketplace. Developers have added everything from site management to analytics, plus display and marketing plugins. This means that whether you want to brush up on the SEO and make sure the site has maximum search visibility, or you are looking for a new gallery or display for your store, there are plugins that make it relatively simple.
You don’t need to continually add plug-ins and add-ons, though. The software itself is powerful without. For instance, there are over 80 different built-in payment and shipping options to integrate with CS-Cart.
Free upgrades are included with your CS-Cart plan, as well as an advanced seller payout system to simplify managing vendors.
Building a CS-Cart Marketplace With eCommand
Over 1,600 different stores already run on this platform. Our developers work with CS-Cart to craft bespoke, scalable, functional marketplaces that are built to stand the test of time and suit marketplaces with many different vendors. We manage the source code to perfect the platform for your requirements.
Benefits of CS-Cart:
- Excellent customer support
- Customisable with open-source code for developers
- Over 2,000 different potential add-ons
Adobe Commerce (Magento)
This software used to be Magento before being bought out by Adobe. To use it for marketplaces it requires a specific module to be installed. The software has over 60 different add-ons to tweak the functionality.
Adobe Commerce gives you the option to host on AWS or use other cloud storage solutions and performs particularly well when it comes to order management and analytics.
Assisted inventory management and social media integration are convenient features for sellers, and a rugged backend provides 24/7 reliability.
The visitor data can be used on Adobe Commerce for a more personal shopping experience and even targeting promotions. The sites have plenty of SEO functionality with Google-friendly sitemaps and friendly, optimised URLs.
For those looking to tweak and customise the software, keep in mind that it is only possible on Adobe Commerce if you have some advanced programming skills and there are concerns at how difficult it can be to develop simple features within the new release (version 2). Some developers have also found that updates can cause a variety of different bugs, not something you want if it is going to cost you potential income.
If you pay for Adobe Commerce then you can also access plenty of integrations and extensions to further the functionality of the software. Adobe is a global brand and plenty of developers are creating add-ons.
Benefits of Adobe Commerce:
- Regular updates
- Lots of themes to choose from and tweak
- Supports big business with multi-store, multi-language, multi-currency and multi-warehouse functionality
Convictional is easier to use than some competing options, built for speed and onboarding sellers of all types.
As well as offering the functionality to sell products, the Convictional platform is built to include options to find sellers and suppliers within its network. It is definitely a very different software option when compared to CS-Cart or Adobe Commerce.
Convictional enables those running the store to also gain a bit more control of some of the listings. Information such as SKUs and UPCs can be set as a requirement and if they do not reach the requirements then vendors get a notification and a request to rectify this.
We’ve found that it is not quite as customisable as some of the other options, but it can connect to sellers’ other eCommerce sites for inventory management and even easily importing product details.
It’s used mainly by small to medium sized businesses and doesn’t quite have the power or functionality for huge eCommerce marketplaces.
Benefits of Convictional:
- Super simple onboarding to bring new sellers into your marketplace
- Semi-automated product verification
- Help finding suppliers and vendors
BigCommerce is really an option for beginners and those who don’t want to dive into the code of a website. You’re not likely to find many huge platforms using this, especially for multi-vendor options, but if you want to quickly get started then it can be a good option.
BigCommerce is simple for those who don’t know code and they can use some drag-and-drop page builders and editors to create a storefront they like the look of.
The software integrates with WordPress as well as a lot of other sites. You can even link it to your Quickbooks account to help you to handle your taxes. As well as taking payments using a variety of platforms such as Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, and PayPal.
Though not as customisable as the other eCommerce marketplaces, it does offer open APIs and SDKs that allow those with the technical skills to make alterations and connections. BigCommerce solutions aren’t the most bespoke, but as a beginner option they make it relatively simple to start to populate a store.
Benefits of BigCommerce:
- Simple setup for those that don’t have too many technical skills
- Affordable monthly payments
- Lots of integrations including APIs and SDKs
Summary – Choosing eCommerce Marketplace Software For You
eCommerce marketplace software options vary greatly. You can opt for “out-of-the-box” solutions that just allow you to edit a template or theme, but this may not provide you with the exact functionality you require. Instead, you may go for much more in-depth solutions, with open source code and customisation available to build exactly what you are looking for and create the solid foundation for you to build your eCommerce empire.
Our developers work with CS–Cart to provide you with a professional and tailored platform that can handle global operations, multiple vendors, and is crafted specifically to the specifications you need.