I’ve had experience of starting several marketplaces to sell my WordPress Themes and Plugins. I have recently developed a Multi-Vendor marketplace with Easy Digital Downloads where vendors can sell their WordPress themes, plugins, designs and scripts. I have searched tutorials for starting a multi-vendor marketplace but could not find an appropriate solution for it. Thus, I believe sharing my experience will be helpful for those who want to start the marketplace and generate income.
1. Getting Started
We need following plugins to start a multi-vendor marketplace with Easy Digital Downloads where we allow vendors to submit their products and provide commission based on the sales.
2. Setting up Easy Digital Downloads
Easy Digital Downloads commonly called EDD is the most popular and widely used eCommerce solution for selling your digital products on WordPress websites. To install EDD:
- Go to Plugins
- Click on Add New button
- Search Easy Digital Downloads
- Install and activate it as shown below
3. Setting up Frontend Submission
With this EDD Addon, users can register on our site to become a vendor. It provides a frontend interface to become a vendor and submit their products. Once the vendor is approved on our site, they will get a dashboard to submit products, update their approved products, view orders and earning stats, view commissions and more.
You can display vendor dashboard for frontend submission on any page using following shortcode
Frontend Submissions comes with a complete drag-and-drop form builder for vendor registration, profiles of vendors and product submission, giving site administrators complete control over the form fields shown to vendors.
Frontend Submissions includes complete review processes for new vendor registration and product submissions.
You probably need to allow some additional information like demo URL, documentation link, etc to your vendors. You can display these informations on product details page like shown below:
$download_id = get_the_ID(); $demo_url = get_post_meta( $download_id, 'demo_url', true ); $documentation_link = get_post_meta( $download_id, 'documentation_link', true );
4. Setting up Commissions
When a product makes a sale through our marketplace, a vendor selling that product needs to be paid. Commissions add-on allows you to record all the commissions of vendors selling products through our marketplace. This is the perfect extension for sites that wish to create a marketplace system and allow users to receive earnings on a commission basis.
To setup commissions add-on, you can follow instructions provided on the image below.
5. Setting up Software Licensing
This add-on Software Licensing is a powerful system to provide you complete license key generation and activation services. It features with license keys for digital products that can be used to license your products and activate the buyer’s copy of the item.
Software Licensing comes with simple, intuitive interfaces that allows site admins to easily view and manage customer license keys.
6. Which themes are suitable for the marketplace?
There are numerous free and premium WordPress themes that can be used to develop the multi-vendor marketplace with Easy Digital Downloads. However, I recommend you to design and develop your own custom theme. Nevertheless, if you are looking for quick solutions, there are readymade themes developed for the marketplace using EDD. Few of them are listed here.
- Vendd – Free theme by Easy Digital Downloads
- Olam – Premium Themeforest theme
- Mayosis – Premium Themeforest theme
Wrapping it Up:
With these set of plugins, you can easily create your own multi-vendor marketplace with Easy Digital Downloads and allow authors or artists to sell their products through your website. Your marketplace can be the best platform to increase your income as well as promote authors together. If you have any suggestions or feedback about this post, feel free to comment below or contact me here.