To set up an online marketplace, you need multi-vendor ecommerce software that is designed to have full control over the administration vendor relationship as it is the key to a successful marketplace platform.

These are the essential features a marketplace script should have:

  • Customization options
  • Scalability
  • User experience
  • Affordability and
  • Mobile accessibility 

Top Marketplace Platforms

1. BigCommerce

Most suitable for small-to-medium sized businesses, BigCommerce’s dashboard is very straightforward and user friendly.

Pros:

  • Fully hosted
  • Easily accessible
  • Unlimited product listings
  • Unlimited bandwidth & file 
  • Integrations with shipping and POS software
  • No transaction fees

Cons:

  • You have to pay for 24/7 customer service.
  • They are expensive compared to competitors. 
  • Customer orders don’t come with tracking information.

2. Shopify

Offering the widest range of apps, add-ons, and plugins for small, medium, and large marketplace platforms, Shopify provides tons of readymade templates for personalization.

Pros:

  • A ready to use ecommerce store with cloud hosting
  • Access to hundreds of themes and plugins
  • Hundreds of templates for selling any type of products
  • Built-in payment gateways
  • Highly customizable and scalable
  • Compatibility with popular third-party integrations

Cons:

  • Month-to-month pricing
  • Limited customization options
  • High price for the enterprise level plans
  • Complicated migration

3. Shopygen

Supporting different types of marketplace platforms like B2C and C2C, Shopygen provides turnkey solutions for marketplaces like Uber, Airbnb, and Instacart. They also provide services for customized plugins and themes for other eCommerce software developing platforms like Mgento, Shopify, WooCommerce etc. 

Pros:

  • Created using NodeJS technology
  • Highly customizable
  • No recurring fee
  • Cost effective in comparison to its competitors

Cons:

  • You will need to get your own hosting and security maintenance.
  • If customization is required, the development time is longer than usual.
  • It requires an upfront cost. 

4. Magento

Magento’s platform helps to empower retailers and brands with flexible cloud solutions to help companies scale up their business. Magento’s wide range of customizable options makes it a  great platform for merchants who want to innovate and grow with technology.

Pros:

  • Integrated checkout, payment and shipping
  • Mobile-optimized shopping
  • Catalog management
  • Instant purchase
  • Customization options available

Cons:

  • Long development time 
  • Higher budget than most of its contemporaries
  • Doesn’t have a lot of content creation options
  • Magento Commerce support comes with a hefty price

5. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a free, open-source wordpress shopping cart plugin. It is one of the most chosen eCommerce platforms in the market and runs on about 30% of all stores.

Pros:

  • Regularly updated and totally secure
  • Highly customizable
  • Integrates with many other ecommerce platforms and payment gateways
  • Complete support

Cons:

  • Not all of the features come with the basic plan
  • Expensive external themes, plugins, and hosting
  • You are on your own with regards to maintaining hosting to security and backups.

There are many eCommerce softwares available in the market; don’t just limit your choices to SaaS. Of course, managing a self-hosted site is not as easy as a SaaS platform, but you get the complete control when you own the code of your site which is incomparable. Ultimately it depends on your requirements, budget, and how you are going to manage your website.