Basically, there are two types of online shops: a single-seller and a multi-seller’ shop. In this article, we are going to tell you about the second option.
As reflected by the name, a multi-seller’ shop is a multi-vendor system where multiple sellers known as vendors sell their products on a platform owned by an administrator. Customers come to the marketplace and get the opportunity to purchase the product from various sellers.
Now, you’ve got a product that you want to sell and launch your project as a merchant (platform owner) as fast as possible without diving deep into technical details. If you are not a tech guy, you may decide to reside your project on a ready-made software to avoid coding from scratch. Below is a step-by-step guide of how to get started with your online marketplace by the example of the Multi-Vendor Shopping Cart Software. You can also think about Multi-Vendor Plus, a version of Multi-Vendor with extended features. Although launching your first e-shop is not so difficult as you will see, you may need an algorithm before your eyes to follow the shortest path from idea to the result.
Are you ready? Let’s get this done:
- Get the link with registration credentials on your email to start downloading software from the CS-Cart or its partners’ official website. Choose the Trial (free for 30 days) mode to test the overall functionality and then prolong it within the License mode. You can buy an additional number of storefronts to have several stores with different domains/subdomains and one admin panel. This process is simply shown in this video.
- Download the software archive to your computer in a dedicated folder.
- Pick a domain name to be able to assign it further to a server selected on your own to host your store data. Learn how to get hosted free of charge within one year from here.
- Upload the archive to the server.
- Unzip the software archive and check the server requirements to ensure full compliance between the software and the server. Install the CS-Cart software.
- Create a database for your store while installing software, tune it and connect to the server.
- Set up the CS-Cart language and emails.
- Follow the CS-Cart wizard to further finetune your project.
- Customize the default category tree in accordance with your business needs. Upload the products and assign them to categories.
- Make settings in shipping and payment methods. You need to have an account in the corresponding shipping or payment systems on their official websites.
- Specify the store address, website, email, notifications, enable the secure mode (check if your server supports SSL). For more details, read this article.
To be even more safe and secure, take the following actions :
- ensure a strong password (with capital letters and numbers),
- enable Google notifications (to be timely notified in case of any unauthorized activity) and Google reCaptcha (to protect your website against bots)
- Finetune the default CS-Cart analytics, SEO and Google sitemap (make sure they are enabled).
It is extremely important to get all the things done right from the very beginning. And what is most critical when starting? – Traffic, analytics, and security.
- The default CS-Cart analytics functionalities have limited coverage. For a better knowledge, security, and searchability of your shop, we recommend acquiring extras such as Google Analytics Enhanced eCommerce, Google reCaptcha, and Mega SEO pack.
- Change the default theme to a theme better fitting your business area.
- Enable Sales and Social Proof to create a feeling of urgency or high demand with customers with special labels and notifications, Social Login to let customers log in through Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Twitter, LinkedIn, OpenID, AOL, PayPal, Live, Foursquare and get leads from referrals, Facebook Pixel to run Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns and track effectiveness, Instagram Feed Widget to showcase your Instagram feed in the real-time or on a schedule and get more traffic to your website, Advanced Social Buttons to share products and pages with friends on popular social nets.
Specific Features for Vendors:
- Real-Time Messenger add-on for realtime messaging between customers and vendors;
- Follow Vendor add-on allows customers to choose the vendors they want to get notifications from;
- Vendor ratings add-on to show a 5-star rating with the percentage of positive reviews;
- Messenger add-on for easy communication between customers and vendors via text messages;
- Vendor Business Hours to allow your vendors to set up their working days;
- Vendor Background Image add-on to apply a background image to the vendor profile and catalog pages thus personalizing the vendor store.
- You can leave the installation struggling to us. We install the CS-Cart free of charge for all our clients who purchased it from our official website.
- The server configuration is one more service you can get from us on a complimentary basis. Our DevOps engineers help all AWS hosting clients with server configuration and outbound email settings. Even if you haven’t yet chosen your project domain name, you can get your server configured with a DNS set up by us to further change it as desired.
Thus, acquiring a license and hosting from us, the only thing you will have to do is to choose and get the domain name, have products to populate, and get registered in the payment and shipping systems. The rest will be done and supported by us! Finally, you will get a fully operational mechanism to earn money and grow incrementally while expanding your business.