Best Ecommerce platform for multi-vendor marketplaces



Aug 1st, 2017

Are you thinking about setting up your own multi-vendor marketplace? Perhaps you’re already running an online store, but you’re wondering whether to migrate to a new ecommerce platform that better fits your needs? This guide is for you!

Choosing the best ecommerce platform for your business can be a tricky task. After all, the success of your business is heavily reliant on how well your chosen platform supports your growing store. And if you’re a small business, working with limited resources on a tight budget, your ecommerce platform becomes even more important.

Merchant and Vendor integration

Jetti can integrate with both multi-vendor marketplaces and vendors’ platforms. For example, you can use Jetti to set up a multi-vendor marketplace on Shopify, Magento and WooCommmerce.

Jetti also integrates directly with your vendor’s store. For this, we support dozens of major platforms. By connecting to your vendor’s system, you’ll be able to sync orders, inventory and product details in real time.

Choosing the best ecommerce platform for a multi-vendor marketplace

Our team has years of experience working with ecommerce platforms, which is why we’re often asked, “which is the best ecommerce platform for a multi-vendor marketplace?"

Three of the most widely acclaimed and well-used ecommerce store creation and management platforms are Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce. But ecommerce platforms are not all created equal! There are some fundamental differences between these platforms you need to be aware of before comparing them. Here are some considerations.

Focus on customers and your business, not coding and servers!

As a SaaS platform, Shopify works straight out of the box. There’s absolutely no coding experience required, you just need to pick your theme and get your site up and running. And with Shopify, there are no servers to pay for or maintain. The platform can be scaled to support even the largest enterprise customers, so it’s completely futureproof too.

On the other hand, if you choose Magento or WooCommerce, you will need to manage your code, store and infrastructure yourself. You’ll also be responsible for the risks that come with this. If you don’t having the coding skills yourself, you’ll need to hire someone with the relevant experience. This could prove a hassle if you struggle to find a reliable, long-term developer - we’ve seen a trail of people coming to Jetti with half-built and poorly maintained custom systems that just don’t fit their needs.

Don’t underestimate the time and money that will be used up on coding and server-related issues. Every minute spent on code is a minute which would be better spent perfecting your store’s customer experience and curating an amazing collection of products.

How much accountability do you need?

Your ecommerce platform and Jetti are likely to be the two most mission critical platforms in running your business. If your ecommerce platform goes down, you stop earning money and start losing customers.

With SaaS providers like Shopify or BigCommerce, there's a clear line of accountability and support, should anything need resolving. Like Shopify, Jetti can also provide dedicated account management as you grow into a larger enterprise.

On Magento and WooCommerce, if you’re working with your own team of developers, make sure you draw up service agreements which clearly outline support response times and hours. It’s also worth creating a clear costing plan, not just for the development of your store, but also for bug fixing and website updates.

Understanding costs

Shopify requires a subscription, whereas Magento is free to use. However, you need to be aware of the hidden costs of platforms like Magento, which require you pay developers and run your own servers.

It’s important not to underestimate this, or to assume you can just do everything yourself. Be pragmatic and make sure you fully cost all aspects of running the store.

Maintaining control

Magento, WooCommerce and other open source systems have a major benefit - they allow you to fully customise all aspects of the store. This extends to the source code itself. With the right developer, you can adopt these systems to fit any operational requirements.

Whilst this may be a big gain, it comes with a cost. With Shopify and other SaaS solutions, the most custom coding you have to do is really just theme development. They also have a richer and more closely integrated app store, to help with those edge cases which the core platforms don't support.

Multi-vendor marketplace features

Out of the box, neither Shopify, WooCommerce or Magento offer features capable of running your own multi-vendor marketplace. So, you will need a solution like Jetti to handle that for you.

Although we integrate with all platforms, if you’re starting a new business Shopify definitely gets our vote. It’s easier to use, and it’s a hosted and fully managed service which doesn’t have the hidden costs of servers and developers you’d have to factor in if you opted for Magento. Of course, every business is different and you may have your own rationale for opting for one over the others.

Can’t decide? No problem!

Whichever platform you choose, Jetti can be used to turn it into a multi-vendor marketplace that works for you. Jetti works with Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento (and many more platforms) to fully automate your inventory, orders, shipping and payments. Get in touch to find out more about what Jetti can do for your store.