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magento & ecommerce

How to Build a Multi-Vendor Marketplace on Laravel

Laravel is one of the most popular web frameworks for creating engaging and large-scale web applications. One of its many uses is making multi-vendor marketplaces like Amazon or Ikea. Even though creating such a complex platform can be a daunting experience, thanks to Laravel, you can get there much faster.

This article shares all there is to know about Laravel and provides you with a solid foundation to kickstart your next business adventure.

Why Start a Multi-Vendor Marketplace?

First off, why even bother creating such an extensive marketplace? Some of the reasons may include encouraging sellers from different categories to sell products using one integrated storefront, boosting product offers and sales, and expanding your market worldwide.

More importantly, by starting a multi-vendor marketplace, you make shopping more convenient for customers. They can sign in to their accounts and shop for the items they need from a variety of sellers. Buyers don’t want to spend too much time searching for products. Multi-vendor e-commerce is a powerful tool that makes shopping easier for everyone. Amazon is a perfect example of how convenient this type of marketplace is.

Things to Know Before Starting a Multi-Vendor Marketplace

Before you start your own e-commerce venture, you should know about different types of multi-vendor marketplaces. There are vertical, horizontal, and global multi-vendor marketplaces. Vertical markets focus on selling specific product types, like smartphones, furniture, etc. Horizontal multi-vendor marketplaces target buyers from particular industries but sell products from different categories. One example is SupplyCore, a logistics marketplace for government suppliers. Finally, global marketplaces include Amazon, Alibaba, that address both B2B and B2C customers.

Also, before finding an e-commerce platform to build your marketplace, you want to determine its purpose. Find your marketplace niche and participants, identify the monetization methods, and develop a minimum viable product to help you minimize up-front costs. After you get these details together, you can continue to build your marketplace.

One framework that helps marketplace owners start a multi-vendor store is Laravel.

Introduction to Laravel

Laravel is a popular web application framework known for its expressive and elegant syntax. It makes web development a creative, enjoyable, and fulfilling experience. The main idea is to simplify the execution of commonly used tasks in web projects, including authentication, sessions, routing, and caching.

The developers make the development process more straightforward, leaving the application functionality untouched. That’s why the creators of Laravel combined the best elements of other popular frameworks such as SP.NET MVC, Ruby on Rails, and Sinatra. The platform features a superb migration system, control container inversion, and fantastic unit testing support with just enough tools to create any application.

Using Laravel to Build a Multi-Vendor Marketplace

How exactly can Laravel help you build a multi-vendor marketplace? Thanks to a single extension! They have an excellent open-source e-commerce framework extension called Bagisto. Bagisto is suitable for all e-commerce businesses, and it’s easy to set up even for non-tech users.

This hand-tailored e-commerce framework helps business owners cut the time, cost, and workforce by creating an online store and migrating from physical stores. On a multi-vendor marketplace like Bagisto, multiple vendors sell the same product with different stock units and prices. The customers can see these offers along with their respective ratings.

However, before you get started with Bagento, you have to take care of web hosting. You want to make sure you have dedicated servers to operate such a marketplace. Once you choose an appropriate cloud infrastructure (recommended) for your marketplace, you can turn to Bagisto.

There are specific requirements you have to meet before installing this framework:

  • Apache 2 or NGINX server
  • 4GB+ RAM
  • Node - 8.11.3 LTS or higher
  • PHP - 7.3.0 or higher
  • Composer - 1.6.5 or higher
  • Php-intl and php-gd extensions
  • The php.ini configuration file should be changed to “memory_limit = 4G”, “max_execution_time = 360,” and “date.timezone = [your timezone]
  • MySQL 7.7.23 or higher
  • MariaDB 10.2.7. or higher

One of the best things about Bagisto is that it’s packed with customization options. You can tweak your marketplace any way you want and are in total control over the tiniest details.

Using Laravel to Build a Multi-Vendor Marketplace

Bagisto Admin Features

Bagisto is highly customizable. It lets you set up the marketplace however you want, with as many sellers as you need.

Here are some basic features for Bagisto multi-vendor marketplace admins:

  • Inventory Management – upload the vendor products manually or let the vendor do so
  • Commission Management – attract sellers to sell on your marketplace by offering them commissions
  • Easy Product Assigning to Sellers – see a list of sellers and their assigned products and allow customers to compare products sold by different sellers
  • Landing Pages – design engaging landing pages for merchants
  • Review Management – manage the vendor reviews systematically, and provide the best combination of positive and negative feedback to boost sales
  • Separate vendor and seller profiles with dedicated shop URLs
  • Product approval, so you are in control of which products can make it into the marketplace
  • Approve or disapprove transaction status
  • Make a payout for the seller for completed orders
  • Generate invoices and ship the seller’s products
  • Update or delete seller profiles and products

Bagisto Seller Features

Selling on a multi-vendor marketplace is super convenient with Bagisto. Vendors have the freedom to customize their shops, build their reputation, track orders, and much more.

Here’s a detailed overview of the seller privileges:

  • Manage orders from the dashboard
  • Add banners, social links, and URLs to promote their brand
  • Add return and shipping policy along with shop descriptions for more transparency
  • Include multiple images for the same product
  • Have access to total sales payout and remaining payout
  • Add new products or tweak the details of existing ones
  • Dedicated view for their product collection
  • Receive special pricing for adding date filters
  • Tweak or delete products from their product collection
  • Cancel orders
  • Create invoices and shipments (under admin permission)

Now that you know what your possibilities are with Bagisto, it’s time to get practical.

Installing Your Multi-Vendor Marketplace on Laravel

To install Bagisto, you first have to purchase and download the extension from this link. After you do, you’ll receive a zip folder you’ll need to install the multi-vendor marketplace. The first thing you want to do is unzip it, then merge the following folders into your project root directory: “packages” and “storage.”

Next, navigate to the “config/app.php” file, find “webkul packages,” and add this line under it:

Webkul\\Marketplace\\Providers\\MarketplaceServiceProvider::class

Next, navigate to the “composer.json” file inside your Bagisto root directory, and paste this line under the “psr-4” section:

"Webkul\\\\Marketplace\\\\": "packages/Webkul/Marketplace"

Finally, run the following command to finish the setup in the Bagisto root directory:

composer dump-autoload

php artisan migrate

php artisan route:cache

php artisan db:seed --class=Webkul\\Marketplace\\Database\\Seeders\\DatabaseSeeder

php artisan vendor:publish

Publish the configuration by pressing the zero key, then enter. That’s it! After you run these commands, you’ll be able to see the “Marketplace” icon on the left-hand of your Bagisto menu bar.

For more details on installing Bagisto, visit this page.

Configure Your Multi-Vendor Marketplace on Laravel

Now that you installed the Multi-Vendor Marketplace, you can further configure it to match your needs. Navigate to the “Configure” option on the Admin dashboard in the bottom left-hand of the screen. You’ll arrive at the Marketplace Configuration section.

First, in the “General Settings,” you can choose the channel and the locale of your marketplace. The first “default” field right next to “Configuration” depicts the channel, while the “English” next to it refers to the English locale setting.

In the “General” tab, you can set the commission percentage for sellers, turn on the seller and product approval features, let sellers create invoices, shipments or cancel orders, and more.

As for the landing page, you can tweak the title, banner options, and content.

Configure Your Multi-Vendor Marketplace on Laravel

Admin View

You can explore more admin features in the “Marketplace” section. Click on “Sellers” for an overview of registered sellers for your marketplace, along with their status. You can change the commission rates and assign different percentages for particular sellers by clicking on their names.

Also, you can assign a product to a particular seller in the “Add Product” section.

The next tab under “Sellers” is the “Products” tab. Here, you can access a list of all products on your marketplace from different sellers, along with the seller status. Update or change product information by clicking “Delete” or “Update” from the drop-down menu.

Next, under “Seller Reviews,” you’ll find product reviews left by customers for each seller. Review status is set on “unapproved” by default. You can approve the comment by selecting it and choosing “Approve” from the drop-down menu.

The “Order” tab shows the list of orders on the website along with their status. You can generate invoices or ship products by clicking on the eye icon to the far right hand of the screen.

Finally, the “Transactions” tab provides a list of payout transactions to the sellers along with the paid amount. You can perform a payout in the “Order” section by clicking on “Pay” next to the particular order.

Get Additional Support

Building your first multi-vendor marketplace from scratch isn’t always easy. Fortunately, Bagisto has a well-developed system for helping beginners in their new e-commerce venture. You can use their Helpdesk, create a ticket request, follow their tutorials, or check the official forum. One of the best ways to start your Bagisto journey is to schedule a live demo. You can also visit the official GitHub page for all documentation and installation information.

Starting Your Own Multi-Marketplace With Laravel

There’s no better place for starting a multi-marketplace than Laravel’s Bagisto. Thanks to an intuitive interface and an array of privileges for both admins and sellers, creating your very first multi-marketplace has never been more appealing. Hopefully, this article helped you grasp the basics of how to build your next successful e-commerce marketplace.

By interactivated • on December 20, 2021

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