This generation is the era of social media. It has made its place in every aspect of our life, be it casual talks, company meetings, marketing, or sales. Different individuals and organizations are utilizing social media in their way. If we talk about Amazon’s business strategy, what has helped it become one of the world’s most valuable organizations is the differentiation created by providing a social marketplace where buyers can easily reach out to vendors on various levels of sales steps.
The advantages of a multivendor market over a primary eCommerce platform are numerous. It builds a community by bringing like-minded people together. Aside from selling and purchasing things, social marketplaces allow customers and sellers to connect. In easy words, a social marketplace is a digital shop or marketplace where vendors and consumers easily connect on a common platform to sell and buy products and services.
The good thing is that if you want to start your social marketplace, you can do it with very little investment. Now, if you are thinking, “HOW?” allow me to tell you all about it.
I am talking about creating a Social Marketplace of your dreams using the world’s best Content Management System (CMS), WordPress, and its supported plugins and themes. You just have to follow several steps, and your website will be up and running in no time.
Step 1: Get a domain name and hosting service
Think about the name, do it seriously; it will be the name your business will be recognized globally. GoDaddy Domains, Domain.com, HostGator, Google Domains, and many more domain registration providers are there in the market. Browse the different websites and register the domain name from the platform which gives the best deal.
In a word, web hosting is renting or purchasing space on the Internet to make a website live and accessible. There are many hosting service providers like BlueHost, DreamHost, Hostgator, and many others. Ensure that your website service has a WordPress dedicated hosting or provide such tools to help you manage WordPress.
Step 2: Install required WordPress
Softaculous, Fantastico, and Mojo Marketplace, among others, are script installers that make installing WordPress a breeze. All you have to do now is click a few buttons here and there, and you’re done. Or you can install it manually if you want so.
Step 3: Install required WordPress Plugins
A WordPress plugin is a piece of software that enhances or adds additional features to your WordPress site. From simple adjustments to complete redesigns, plugins can unbelievably transform your website. We have to integrate the specific plugins as per our needs into our WordPress website. The plugins we are going to use for creating our social marketplace are:
BuddyPress is an open-source WordPress plugin that turns your site into a social networking platform. Users can create and update their profiles, send friend requests. Send private messages, forum and join groups, participate in forum conversations, and much more. Some of BuddyPress features are:
- Users can create and update their social media profiles.
- Users can send private messages to one another.
- Users can create groups and invite others to join them. They can also join different groups.
- Users can easily follow different activity streams.
- Users can create and manage blogs.
You can also use the BuddyBoss community plugin based on BuddyPress. The difference between the two is that being a premium plugin, BuddyBoss provides some extra and more customizable features to its users.
Designed for small to large enterprises, WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress ecommerce plugin. Some features of WooCommerce are:
- WooCommerce helps in payment gateway integration into your website.
- This ecommerce plugin helps you in managing sales, coupons, and discounts.
- It provides admins with a variety of analytical tools and reports, which helps in making business decisions.
- It helps in setting up the single-vendor store.
After installing WooCommerce, we can move ahead to multivendor plugins.
A multivendor plugin helps in the integration of multivendor functionality into your website. There are many decent multivendor plugins like Dokan multivendor, WC Vendors, WCFM Marketplace, etc. Choose one plugin, the one you find best for your website. Some of the features that a multivendor ecommerce plugin must have are:
- Provides tools for managing vendors, buyers, and products at the same time.
- Built-in functions for real-time communications, OTPs, automatic product tracking, and other such services minimize the working load.
- A dashboard for admins and vendors to manage their profiles, goods, inventory, sales, and much more.
- Multistore facility for vendors to set up multiple products and manage multistore simultaneously.
- A multivendor plugin must include multilingual and multi-currency functionality to be incorporated into the eCommerce portal.
Step 4: Install the BuddyX theme
The theme we will use for the designing and management of our website is a five-star rated WordPress community theme BuddyX. The theme is based on the WordPress community plugin BuddyPress and comes in two versions. BuddyX and BuddyX Pro.
BuddyX is quick, lightweight, and responsive. With the integration of WooCommerce, Dokan, and other social plugins, the BuddyX theme will give your multi-vendor eCommerce platform wings to fly above all, making your website stand out. The BuddyX theme’s most prominent feature is that it’s dedicated to aiding in the formation and maintenance of online communities, as well as their integration into any website your design. This implies you may create a micro-community that is tied to your website. Some features of BuddyX theme:
- One-click installation: BuddyX theme comes with many demos to select from, all of which can be imported with a single click. Choose a demo and install it on your WordPress site with a single click.
- Advanced theme customizer: Using the BuddyX theme’s Advanced Theme Customizer feature, we can easily customize our website by choosing customization choices on the left side of WordPress Theme Customizer or the right side of the live preview.
- BuddyPress widget: The BuddyX theme includes a BuddyPress widget that allows you to control all BuddyPress functionalities and our community page easily.
- Support for Elementor and Gutenberg: Using the Elementor or Gutenberg page builders, you may quickly and easily build and design website pages.
- Forms integrated smoothly: Popular WordPress Forms plugins such as Ninja Forms, WPForms, and Contact Form7 may be used to integrate forms into your website.
- Light and responsive: BuddyX is designed on a lightweight architecture that improves the efficiency of your website and reduces page loading times on both mobile and desktop.
- RTL & Translation Ready: This feature allows you to convert your web pages into various languages, including languages written right to the left like Persian, Hebrew, and Arabic.
- Multiple Header Styles: Before choosing the best header style for your website, experiment with a few various options and pick the one that best fits your layout.
- Out of box plugin support: BuddyX theme supports various WordPress plugins, including BuddyPress, bbPress, LearnDash, WooCommerce, Dokan Multivendor, WCFM Marketplace, WP Job Manager, GamiPress, Yoast, WPML, and many others, allowing you to be more flexible and creative.
Step 5: Import demo and customization
Choosing a suitable demo
The BuddyX theme has many demo options for the multivendor social marketplace. You can try among different choices and choose whatever you like:
Now, after choosing the demo, download and install it to your website in one click. And after then move to customization; you can skip this part if you want to.
Moving on to Customization
To be honest, there is no further need for customization, but if you want to pour out your creativity and create something exceptional, go for it. With BuddyX’s advanced customization options, you can do anything. There are many options for you, from managing color schemes, changing typographies, choosing between multiple header variations.
Step 6: Explore and install several other addons and plugins for extended functionalities
Now, all you have to do is explore your WordPress social marketplace website’s backend and frontend. The more you’ll explore, the easier management will become. As you move ahead with your website, you will need to integrate many extended functionalities into your website. For that, you can integrate various WordPress plugins and their addons.
Some of the plugins that you can integrate into your multivendor social marketplace are:
- bbPress: WordPress Forum Plugin
- Elementor: WordPress Page Builder Plugin
- WPML: WordPress Multilingual Plugin
- Yoast: WordPress SEO Plugin
- GamiPress: WordPress Gamification Plugin
- Ninja Forms: WordPress Forms Plugin
Some WooCommerce addons that you can integrate into your multivendor social marketplace are:
- Woo Price Quotes plugin: Users can provide a quote for a product they want to buy using the Woo Price Quotes plugin.
- Woo Pin Code Checker Plugin: With the Woo Pin Code Checker, site administrators may add the pin code availability functionality to their sites.
- WooCommerce Custom My Account Page: Customize the WooCommerce My Account page and tabs with ease. You may use our plugin to build, rename, rearrange, and disable custom pages in your users’ my account sections.
Some BuddyPress addons that you can integrate into your multivendor social marketplace are:
- BuddyPress Sticky Post: BuddyPress Sticky Post allows admins to pin site-wide and group activities to the top of the BuddyPress activity list.
- BuddyPress Auto Friends: BuddyPress Auto Friends is a BuddyPress addon that allows the site admins to choose familiar friends for all their members.
- BuddyPress Publish From Anywhere: This plugin includes a shortcode that allows users to post from any location.
- BuddyPress Birthdays: This plugin displays your community members’ upcoming birthdays.
- BuddyPress Activity Filter: This plugin allows BuddyPress to display a customized activity feed
- BuddyPress Giphy: If you want to include animated GIFs in your conversations, comments, and activities, this is the plugin to use.
- BuddyPress Moderation Pro: Allows users to report any offensive content on the WordPress social media site.
- BuddyPress Private Community Pro: This plugin secures a member’s profile by encrypting certain profile elements.
Aside from these addons there are many others.
The addons are separated into two categories:
Furthermore, you may save up to 50% on premium plugins by purchasing the BuddyPress Community Bundle.
Step 7: Super management
Proper management ensures that every aspect of your social marketplace works together, and you have an undisturbed channel to reach out to vendors and users without becoming disorganized. Management prepares, executes, and balances your resources so that maximum work output is achieved while maintaining quality as quickly as possible.
It’s up to you to manage and expand your social marketplace now. For improved speed, security, and user happiness, all you have to do is check for frequent updates and integrate or delete various plugins as needed.
If you’ve completed all of the steps above, you’re the proud owner of a new multivendor social marketplace. To make your website stand out, use the BuddyX theme’s various features, plugins, and extensions. Now is the time to work on it and make it flourish. There is a long road ahead.