Are you eager to launch your online store without breaking the bank? Look no further! In this step-by-step tutorial, we will walk you through the whole journey of creating an eCommerce marketplace for free.
According to recent statistics,
In 2023, global eCommerce sales are expected to reach $6.3 trillion. That's a lot of money! And it's only going to keep growing.
If you're looking to get a piece of the eCommerce pie, building your own marketplace is a great way to do it. And the best part is, you can do it for free using WordPress.
WordPress is a powerful content management system that's easy to use and customize. And there are a number of plugins available that can help you turn your WordPress site into a fully-functioning marketplace.
In this blog post, we'll show you how to build a free eCommerce marketplace using WordPress. We'll cover everything from choosing the right plugins to promoting your marketplace to get your first-ever sale.
So, without any further ado, let's get this show on the road!
Why You Should Choose WordPress As an eCommerce Platform
When it comes to choosing an eCommerce platform, WordPress stands out as a top contender for numerous reasons. Let's explore why you should consider WordPress as your go-to platform for building your eCommerce marketplace.
- Popularity and Market Share: WordPress powers over 40% of all websites on the internet, making it the most widely used content management system (CMS) available. Its dominance in the market is a testament to its reliability and trustworthiness.
- Extensive Plugin and Theme Ecosystem: WordPress boasts a vast library of plugins and themes specifically designed for eCommerce. With popular plugins like WooCommerce, which powers over 5 million online stores, you have access to robust features for managing inventory, processing payments, and enhancing customer experience.
- Flexibility and Customization: WordPress offers unparalleled flexibility, allowing you to customize every aspect of your eCommerce platform. From designing unique layouts to implementing personalized branding, you can create a visually stunning and highly functional store tailored to your business needs.
- SEO-Friendly Architecture: WordPress is renowned for its search engine optimization (SEO) capabilities. With built-in features like clean URLs, mobile responsiveness, and easy content management, your eCommerce store has a better chance of ranking higher in search engine results, driving organic traffic, and increasing visibility.
- Cost-Effectiveness: Unlike many proprietary eCommerce platforms, WordPress is open-source and free to use. You can save significant costs on licensing fees and development, redirecting your budget towards marketing efforts and business growth.
So, it's safe to say that WordPress provides a solid foundation for building successful eCommerce platforms.
How to Create a Free eCommerce Marketplace Using WordPress- 5 DIY Steps for You
Creating an eCommerce marketplace has become easier than ever before after arrival of the WordPress. Now you can create your own eCommerce marketplace without having in-depth coding knowledge. Follow these 5 steps to launch your first-ever eCommerce marketplace with ease:
- Install WordPress on Your Localhost
- Install Dokan Multivendor Plugin
- Customize Dokan Basic Settings
- Choose a Relevant Theme for Your Marketplace
- Allow Vendors to Sign Up on Your Marketplace
Now let's showcase each of the above-mentioned points with relevant screenshots so that you can easily understand what you need to do in every step.
But before that make sure you have already purchased a domain and hosting to deploy your site. If you are not sure how to do that, here we are sharing relevant blogs that will help you to register a domain name and buy a web hosting package for your marketplace.
- How to Choose The Best Domain Name for eCommerce Website
- 11 Things to Know Before Buying a Hosting Plan for Your Website
- Get the Best WooCommerce Hosting to Keep Your Site Performance High and Rocking
Step 01: Install WordPress on Your Localhost
After confirming your domain name and hosting plan, it's time to install WordPress on your localhost. If you don't know how to log in to your cPanel, ask your hosting provider to share the login credential with you.
Use that login credential to install WordPress on your localhost. Also, you can ask your hosting provider to install WordPress on your behalf, they will do that for you. And if you want to install WordPress by yourself but don't know the full procedures, don't be worried. We have a dedicated blog on that. Follow the below-mentioned blog to get your job done in minutes.
Step 02: Install Dokan Multivendor Plugin
Installing the Dokan plugin is as simple as installing some other WordPress plugins. After installing WordPress on your localhost, navigate to your WordPress dashboard > Plugins > Add new. Then search the Dokan plugin using the search option.
Finally, install and activate the Dokan multivendor plugin from the search result.
If you still need help completing this installation part, you can check this step-by-step tutorial to get your task done within a few moments- How to Install Dokan Plugin.
Step 03: Customize Dokan Basic Settings
To access the general settings of the Dokan multivendor plugin, navigate to, WP Admin > Dokan > Settings.
There you'll find all the general settings like-
- Select store category
- Enable vendors to display their products
- Create essential tags
- Setup the new product status
- Choose withdrawal methods
- Set minimum withdrawal limit, and
- Include commission terms and rates.
Under every tab, you'll see several setting options to personalize your eCommerce marketplace. Get a complete overview of Dokan multivendor plugin settings here!
Once you've done with all the changes, hit the button “Save Changes”.
Step 04: Choose a Relevant Theme for Your Marketplace
The good news is any theme that is compatible with WooCoomerce is also compatible with Dokan multivendor plugin. That means you have the ultimate flexibility to choose any theme that complements your marketplace.
You can also take a look at our collection of Dokan Compatible Themes to explore your options.
If you don't want to use any third-party theme, you can use the Dokani theme created by the same team behind the Dokan plugin. With its sleek and modern attributes, Dokani instantly gives your eCommerce site a sophisticated look.
Key Features of the Dokani theme:
- Responsive, lightning-fast, and SEO-friendly
- Handles all technical aspects of your site's design effortlessly
- Enhances your visual appeal and captivates visitors
- Supports a wide range of useful widgets
- Fully compatible with popular page builders
If in case, you need help installing your WordPress theme, check this Ultimate Guide to WordPress Themes.
Step 05: Allow Vendors to Sign Up on Your Marketplace
All the basic configurations are done. Now it's time to open your marketplace for third-party vendors.
First, you need to enable the “Anyone can register” option. In order to do this, go to WordPress Dashboard -> Settings -> General -> Membership. And put the check mark on it.
Also, don't forget to save the changes that you have made now by clicking on the “Save Changes” button.
Now vendors can fill up the registration form to sign up in your marketplace-
As an admin, you have the ability to review and manage all vendor registration requests from the backend. Take a look at the profiles of potential vendors and selectively approve those who meet your criteria to sell their products on your site.
Navigate to your WordPress dashboard then click on the Visit Stores to check all the registered stores on your eCommerce marketplace.
Once approved by the admin, vendors gain the freedom to create their own stores with unique URLs. Dokan also provides each vendor with an individual vendor dashboard, empowering them to effortlessly upload, manage, and successfully sell their products.
Bonus Tip: How to Promote Your eCommerce Marketplace
Promoting an online eCommerce marketplace requires strategic planning and a multi-faceted approach. Here are some effective strategies to promote your eCommerce marketplace and attract customers:
- Social Media Marketing: Leverage popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to create engaging content, share product updates, run targeted advertisements, and interact with your audience. Utilize social media influencers and collaborations to extend your reach.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Optimize your website for search engines to improve visibility and organic traffic. Conduct keyword research, create high-quality product descriptions and blog content, and optimize meta tags and URLs. Build backlinks and ensure your site is mobile-friendly for better search engine rankings.
- Email Marketing: Build an email list and send targeted campaigns to promote new products, exclusive offers, and special discounts. Personalize your emails and provide value-added content to engage customers and drive conversions.
- Content Marketing: Create valuable and informative content through blog posts, videos, tutorials, and infographics that cater to your target audience's interests and pain points. Share this content on your website, social media platforms, and email newsletters to establish thought leadership and attract potential customers.
- Influencer Marketing: Collaborate with influential bloggers, vloggers, and social media personalities in your niche to promote your eCommerce marketplace. Their endorsement can significantly impact your brand visibility and credibility.
- Paid Advertising: Consider running targeted ads on platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Instagram Ads. Use demographic targeting, retargeting, and lookalike audiences to reach potential customers who are likely to be interested in your products.
- Affiliate Marketing: Set up an affiliate program where influencers, bloggers, and other online marketers earn a commission for referring customers to your marketplace. This can expand your reach and drive sales through their networks.
Remember to track your marketing efforts using analytics tools to measure the effectiveness of each strategy and make adjustments as needed. A combination of these tactics tailored to your target audience and marketplace can help drive traffic, increase conversions, and grow your eCommerce business.
FAQs on How to Create a Free eCommerce Marketplace
One popular platform for building an eCommerce marketplace is WordPress with the WooCommerce plugin. It provides a user-friendly interface, customizable themes, and robust features for managing products, orders, and payments.
You can integrate payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, or Square into your marketplace to securely process transactions. These gateways offer various payment options, ensuring a smooth and secure checkout process for your customers.
Choose a responsive and user-friendly theme for your marketplace, optimize website performance and speed, and provide intuitive navigation and search functionality. Regularly update and maintain your platform, address customer feedback, and offer secure transactions to enhance the overall user experience.
Choose WordPress and Create a Free eCommerce Marketplace with Ease
Choosing WordPress as your platform to create a free eCommerce marketplace is a smart and practical decision. With its user-friendly interface, extensive plugin options like WooCommerce, and customizable themes, WordPress empowers you to build your online store with ease.
By leveraging the power of WordPress, you can take advantage of its robust features, seamless payment integration, and efficient vendor management systems. This allows you to focus on growing your business and delivering a seamless shopping experience to your customers.
So, why wait? Harness the power of WordPress, and start building your free eCommerce marketplace today.
If you have any confusion regarding this topic, you can let us know in the comment box below. We would love to know your feedback. Thank you!