Enter a reason for deleting this comment
Setting up an Online Marketplace with no Coding Skills
A lot of bigger companies are starting to list all of their products on marketplaces and giving up a slight commission to capture a sale. This means you could cash in by setting up your marketplace and getting a lot of products listed to profit from not selling anything yourself.
You could get into a general niche battle with billion dollar companies or get niche specific and be the king of the arena when it comes to marketing, SEO, and generating leads! In this discussion, I'll go over a few things you can do to set up your marketplace without knowing how to code or program a single line, just like I did with my marketplace
Find Your Niche
I got lucky with my niche because it was something I was passionate about, and you can likely do the same thing as well, be sure to do all the research before starting up. It's not a big deal if you don't have a specific niche in mind, you can find one easily using a keyword tool or Googles keyword planner!
Think of products you're interested in and start doing keyword research for them. I try not to go over 30,000 searches per month for my main keywords because I wanted to target smaller niches, but this is all up to you. After you've searched for plenty of products, get all the info you need, now you need to think of which product niche can be dominated with SEO in the shortest amount of time. You may not make as much money with this niche, but this will be more of a stepping stone marketplace to help you break into other niches, so try to thread multiple niches together and target the easiest ones first.
Think about how SEOclerks did it, they started with this marketplace and then opened PixelClerks, WordClerks, CodeClerks, and ListingDock to target other specific niches as well as a general niche if you can thread your niches together like this you will be more successful over time because you can share the traffic between all of the marketplaces you plan on setting up!
Wordpress + Woocommerce
One of the biggest shortcuts to setting up a marketplace without having to code it or pay someone to is to use Wordpress combined with Woocommerce. You'll have an amazing CMS paired with an E-commerce platform that will give you the foundation of what will be your next marketplace!
Multivendor Plugin Options
When you don't know how to program or code, just like me, you will need to hire an expensive programmer or purchase a multivendor plugin as I did! These plugins will work with your Wordpress and Woocommerce setups, which will be another fantastic shortcut, and you will also save a lot of money in the long run.
Here are some Multivendor Plugin options
Dokan Multivendor - Free to $999 per year
WCvendors - Free to $599 Lifetime Usage
WC-Marketplace - Free to $320+ Discounted Bundle per year
YITH - $99 to $269 per year
Woocommerce Product Vendors - $79 to $199 per year
Some of these may be more enticing solely based on the pricing, but I went with the Dokan Multivendor plugin because it had fantastic reviews and the add ons were what I wanted. I got all of the add ons and a license that allows me to use their plugin on five websites. I got lucky and purchased my plan when they had their birthday, but you can easily get a 20% discount if you contact them and talk with their live chat briefly. Just talk about how you love their plugin, but you aren't sure if you can afford it. They will usually offer a 20% coupon that is good for a few weeks and BAM you save $30 to $200 on their plugin lol.
You don't necessarily need an affiliate program if your niche is tiny, but it's always a beautiful thing to have if you can get people to promote your sellers' products. I am in a niche that is big enough to have affiliates but not so big that I'm competing with companies making $10,000,000+ per year.
AffiliateWP sells the affiliate plugin I went with because it has a lot of excellent little features that affiliates love using such as custom pages, custom slugs, recurring commissions, lifetime commissions, and many more.
Their pricing ranges from $99 per year to $499 for a lifetime subscription. I went with the $249 subscription because it gave me all the premium/paid plugins as well as unlimited usage so I could add it to all of my other marketplaces down the road
Just like the FAQ plugin, I went over and checked loads of knowledgebase plugins and came to the conclusion that I was going to use SupportCandy's plugin because it was cheap and had plenty of features. Another thing that enticed me to their services was their annual price of $59.99 for their top tier setup.
I suggest getting at least their $49.99 option because you will be able to use loads of features. Their $59.99 choice may not be needed, but I got it anyway just in case I need the additional features down the road.
After going through a bunch of FAQ plugins and scripts, I decided to go with the Accordion FAQ - WordPress FAQ Plugin designed by Elfsight on CodeCanyon. It's a simple faq that is customizable, which is all I wanted in the first place, and it's a one time fee, so I don't have to pay a monthly or annual subscription for a simple FAQ page that has 20 to 30 questions on it.
A lot of people are probably thinking "You have an FAQ so why do you need a knowledgebase on your site?" and that's because I'm trying to reduce the number of tickets that come through. An FAQ is for quick answers, whereas a knowledgebase is for a more detailed tutorial with images so people can learn how to do something on your website.
I decided to go with CodeSavory's BasePress Knowledgebase plugin because their free option isn't branded and it's all I need for a detailed knowledge base. You can pay the $39 annual price, but it might not be required for what you plan on using it for.
If you were to do everything I did above you will have a very well coded multivendor marketplace with a fantastic affiliate system, ticket system, FAQ setup, and Knowledgebase, so your vendors and visitors have the best experience possible.
Costs for Everything
WordPress + Woocommerce = FREE
Wordpress Theme = $35 to $70
Logo Design = $10 to $100
Dokan Multivendor Plugin = Free to $999 per year
AffiliateWP Plugin = $99 per year to $499 lifetime
SupportCandy Ticket System = $39.99 to $59.99
Accordion FAQ by Elfsight = $24
BasePress Knowledgebase by CodeSavory = Free to $39 per year
Low end Total: $207.99
High end Total: $1,790.99
I didn't get any lifetime subscriptions just yet, so my total was around $500 to get everything set up, and you can too Yes, it does cost money to set it up like this, and you can definitely use different plugins to get the job done, but this is what I used, and I'm saying it works well for a multivendor marketplace setup if you don't have the coding knowledge to do it yourself
Thanks for reading
- Tommy Carey