Which Ecommerce Marketplace Solution Is Best For My Online Store?



Apr 15th, 2021

Are you thinking about setting up your own multi-vendor ecommerce 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? Perhaps you want to expand your storefront into a larger, multi-vendor marketplace? Well then, this guide is for you!

Choosing the best marketplace platform for your business can be difficult. After all, the success of your business is heavily reliant on how well your chosen platform supports your growing store. And if you’re just starting off, working with limited resources on a tight budget, finding the right multi vendor ecommerce platform becomes even more important.


Merchant and Vendor Integration

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

Onport 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 marketplace solutions and management platforms are Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce. But marketplace 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.

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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 futureproofed too. Our guide to turning your Shopify store into a marketplace can be found here.

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 have 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 Onport 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 upon coding and server-related issues. Every minute spent on code is a minute that 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 Onport 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. One bad impression like that of a downed site can be enough to put potential customers off for good, so ensuring a solid support base should be a key consideration.

With SaaS providers like Shopify or BigCommerce, there's a clear line of accountability and support, should anything need resolving. Like Shopify, Onport 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 that 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. Having such agreements in place could save you valuable time and money in the event of something going wrong on your site.

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Understanding The Costs Involved

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 to pay developers and run your own servers. The lack of an upfront initial payment may be overshadowed later on by expensive development fees.

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.

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Maintaining Control Over Your Online Marketplace Platform

Magento, WooCommerce, and other open-source systems have a major benefit - they allow you to fully customize all aspects of the store. This extends to the source code itself. With the right developer, you can adopt these systems to fit any requirements. This can give you solid flexibility when it comes to making adjustments as to how your store operates.

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 onport to handle that for you.

Although we integrate with all platforms, if you’re starting a new business Shopify definitely gets our vote. Our great blog article on how to turn your Shopify store into a multi-vendor marketplace can help you further understand the steps involved.

Overall, It’s easier to use with an intuitive user interface, 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.

Onport - Your Core Ecommerce Partner

Onport is a multi-vendor marketplace platform. Onport enables product marketplaces to streamline and automate their inventory, orders, payments, and shipping operations. Designed to be flexible, Onport can accommodate both those seeking an out-the-box solution and through our API, those who require a more bespoke implementation. From growing SMEs to well-established Enterprises, Onport’s infrastructure is designed to be a reliable partner for growth.

With Onport, our customers can scale with confidence, streamline their daily operations as well as create truly unique marketplaces. Onport is trusted by brands such as Bombinate, Ad Hoc Atelier, and Naduvi as well as over 200+ other companies.

Navigate your business with Onport, a multi-vendor marketplace solution to scale your operations.

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