Last Updated on February 20, 2023 by lukesguide
Want to know what the best multi-vendor marketplace solutions are right now? My top picks are Sharetribe and CS-Cart. According to Forrester, 63% of all e-commerce transactions are conducted through marketplaces. With B2C marketplace sales expected to top $3.5 trillion in 2023, starting a multi-vendor marketplace in 2022 might be the best move you could make!
Check out our list of the 5 best multi-vendor marketplace software and start building the next Amazon, Airbnb or Flippa.
Founded in 2008, Sharetribe is the top overall multi-vendor marketplace platform on the market today.
Sharetribe is a big believer in the ‘collaborative economy’ and sees a future where multi-vendor marketplaces are the norm.
Sharetribe offers two products:
- Sharetribe Go – a no-code, easy-to-use platform to launch your new marketplace fast with little outlay.
- Sharetribe Flex – feature-rich and fully customizable, Sharetribe Flex is for the marketplace owner who wants total flexibility to build a multi-vendor marketplace that aligns with their business requirements.
- A wide variety of business models are supported, including renting physical goods, booking services, selling tickets, and free sharing.
- Admin panel with user and listing management tools
- Online payments
- Booking calendar
- Messaging feature
- Location search
- Stock and inventory management
- Ability to custom-build features
- Reverse marketplace
- Customizable transaction process
- Potential to build a mobile app for your multi-vendor marketplace
Sharetribe was built exclusively for marketplace owners that want to take the hassle and cost out of building a multi-vendor marketplace from scratch.
If you are new to Sharetribe, don’t fret as it won’t take too long for you to get the hang of it. Sharetribe Go is particularly simple to use and you could potentially have your multi-vendor marketplace up and running within hours.
There are tons of useful resources provided by Sharetribe to help a marketplace owner with little-to-no background, navigate their way around Sharetribe’s marketplace solution.
For a multi-vendor marketplace that is collecting customer data, the privacy and security of that data are very important and it is clear that Sharetribe takes the responsibility of protecting this data very seriously.
It includes a ton of helpful information about Sharetribe’s data handling practices and is worth a read if you are a marketplace owner that would like assurance concerning how your valuable data is dealt with.
Sharetribe adopts various security measures to keep things like passwords secure (via bcrypt password hashing function) and also allows users to add Strong Customer Authentication for online payments.
Sharetribe offers four plans for its Sharetribe Go product:
- Hobby – $99 per month (billed monthly) or $79 per month (billed semi-annually)
- Pro – $149 per month (billed monthly) or $119 per month (billed semi-annually)
- Growth – $199 per month (billed monthly) or $159 per month (billed semi-annually)
- Scale – $299 per month (billed monthly) or $239 per month (billed semi-annually)
The pricing for Sharetribe Flex is custom and is made up of a monthly transaction fee + a monthly subscription fee of $299 per month (billed annually) or $369 per month (billed monthly).
Sharetribe also offers a 30-day risk-free trial for Sharetribe Go so that you can take the multi-vendor marketplace solution for a test drive before committing.
- 30-day trial for Sharetribe Go
- Packed with features
- Easy for newbies to get started
- Well priced for a product with so many features
- Customization is limited with Sharetribe Go but you can always upgrade to Flex if your online marketplace takes off
Best for Enterprise
With some big-name Australian retailers like Woolworths and Myer as users of their multi-vendor marketplace software, Marketplacer is one of the biggest players in the multi-vendor e-commerce platform space.
Marketplacer is feature rich and is sure to have a solution that would suit most models.
Founded in 2017, Marketplacer has grown into a powerhouse multi-vendor platform that is used in over 10 countries around the world and currently connects over 16,000 businesses via its multi-vendor software.
Marketplacer’s operator offers the following features for multi-vendor platform operators:
- Manage Sellers
- Categorization, Adverts, and Products
- Order and Returns
- Shipping and Logistics
- Lead generation engine
- Marketing toolbox
- Seller payouts and billings
- Content management (vetting and controls)
The seller portal for vendors includes the following features:
- Place edit and manage adverts/products
- Orders and return management
- Marketing and promotion engine
- Insights and reporting
There are also a number of third-party integrations that can be connected through Marketplacer’s multi-vendor marketplace software, including payment gateways, buy now pay later, accounting and tax software, marketing and communication, ad managers, social media, POS, and shipping methods, and logistics.
Since it is an Enterprise grade software, Marketplacer isn’t available for a trial which means we were unable to get our hands on it and take it for a test run.
Instead, we poked around the Bike Exchange website (where it all started for Marketplacer) to get a feel for the user interface you might expect when using the backend software.
Suffice to say, the interface is super clean and very well set out. I can imagine that after 10 + years in the multi-vendor marketplace business, the team at MArketplacer has got the user experience down to a tee.
If you want to get deeper into the Marketplacer software, it would be worth getting in touch with the team and arranging a demo.
Marketplacer also has a separate section on their website which is dedicated to setting out the information relating to the security features used on their multi-vendor software. Security measures include ISO27001 certification, data encryption, and twice-yearly security vulnerability testing.
As an enterprise solution, Marketplacer does not make its pricing structure available. What we do know is that Marketplacer’s pricing includes a one-time implementation fee, the amount of which will depend on the complexity of the multi-vendor marketplace a customer is looking to establish and the time it takes to build, plus a monthly fee. Marketplacer also charges a small percentage of total transaction volume and a usage element for its Mconnect and Mstores features.
- Powerful multi-vendor software that allows the flexibility to turn an existing e-commerce platform into a multi-vendor marketplace or to build from scratch
- Strong emphasis on privacy and security
- Tons of integrations
- Little information about pricing is available so it is difficult to compare against other offerings
Best for businesses on a budget
Yo!Kart touts itself as an ‘agile’ multi-vendor e-commerce platform and is currently used by over 2,000 customers in more than 70 countries!
Yo! Kart multi-vendor offers two solutions, including:
- a business-to-consumer multi-vendor software (B2C)
- A business-to-business multi-vendor software (B2B)
For this article, we will focus on the B2C multi-vendor platform.
Yo!Kart is a well-designed multi-vendor software but don’t take our word for it – take it for a spin using Yo!Karts’s clever self-service demo here!
- Ecommerce marketplace features
- Project management
- Perosnalized marketing
- Optimizations for more conversions
- Multiple payment options
- Reporting and analytics
- Shipping and fulfillment
- Mobile app
You can check out the full list of Yo! Kart multi vendor features here.
Yo!Kart’s user interface and admin dashboard are super clean and not intimidating (even for those new to multi-vendor solutions).
The dashboard is simple to navigate and there is plenty of analytics available at your fingertips.
Spend a few hours navigating your way around Yo!Kart and you’ll get the hang of it in no time.
Yo!Kart doesn’t offer a free trial but they do offer a guided demo and 30-day money-back guarantee so you can test drive the full suite of tools before committing to using Yo!Kart as your multi-vendor marketplace software.
From a security perspective, Yo!KArt takes data security seriously and has adopted several safeguards to ensure your data is safe, including LAMP stack technology, restricted SQL injection, restricted cross-site scripting, restricted cross-site request forgery, data validation, and sanitization, and system passcodes.
Yo!Kart offers four-lifetime licenses for their multi-vendor marketplace software:
- GoQuick – $999 self-hosted lifetime license
- GoQuick Boost – $2499 self-hosted lifetime license
- GoCustom – $7499 self-hosted lifetime license
- GoCustom Prime – custom pricing
- Beautiful interface and is simple to use
- Lifetime licenses which mean no ongoing fees
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Loads of features and highly customizable
- There is a bit of development upfront required to launch so may not be suitable for people who want to launch their multi-vendor marketplace fast
Best if you want full flexibility
CS-Cart was founded all the way back in 2005 and is the OG multi-vendor platform. CS-Cart multi-vendor has customers in more than 170 countries!
CS-Cart multi-vendor platform offers flexible solutions and users can build a retail online marketplace, online services marketplace, digital product marketplace, booking management system, and B2B multivendor e-commerce store using the CS-Cart multi-vendor platform.
- Marketplace management system
- Merchant administration system
- Product information management
- Order management system
- Marketing and SEO
- Payment system
- Delivery of products
- Scaling features
- Mobile app
We took CS-Cart multi-vendor for a test run using the instant demo feature and found that CS-Cart multi-vendor has a very well-designed and user-friendly interface.
This instant demo feature allows you to set up your own demo of CS-Cart’s multi-vendor marketplace software in several different formats, including a physical or digital product marketplace.
In relation to the CS-Cart product itself, CS-Cart claims that it is GDPR compliant ‘out of the box’.
CS-Cart has a separate Product Security section on their website which includes loads of information about the measures and safeguards they take to protect the data held on their e-commerce platform.
CS-Cart offers four-lifetime licenses for their multi vendor marketplace software:
- Standard – $1,450 lifetime license
- Plus – $3,500 lifetime license
- Ultimate – $7,500 lifetime license
- Enterprise – custom pricing
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 15-day online demo
- Lifetime licenses
- Loads of features
- Pricing is a little higher for lifetime licenses when compared to Yo!Kart
Founded in 2014, Shuup is a highly scalable, self-hosted multi-vendor marketplace platform that allows users to build their own online marketplace.
Similar to Sharetribe, Shuup offers two main options for people looking to build multi-vendor marketplace platforms, including:
- Shuup NOW – online marketplace hosted by Shuup, with no coding required
- Shuup NEXT – self-hosted license, open source, fully customizable multi vendor marketplace platform
- Marketplace app
- Ecommerce solution
- Reporting and analytics
- Add ons
Shuup doesn’t offer a free trial or virtual demo of their multi vendor marketplace platform. They provide a video demonstration of their powerful online marketplace and vendor features which looks to be very easy to use and well laid out.
In relation to security, Shuup has an FAQ on their key security measures and safeguards. Users can even customize their multi vendor marketplaces with two factor authentication at sign up.
Shuup’s pricing for their multi vendor marketplace software is not readily available but if you go to their FAQ section, they do reveal that their Shuup NOW self hosted license costs $999 per month (paid yearly). Custom pricing is likely for the Shuup NEXT license.
- Loads of features
- Nice user interface
- Big list of integrations
- No free trial or money back guarantee
- The cost of Shuup NOW is quite high when compared to other similar offerings and is not a lifetime license
Multi vendor marketplaces are a type of e commerce website that allows businesses (i.e. a marketplace operator) to sell products from multiple vendors. They allow businesses to compete with each other on a number of aspects including price, which in turn provides customers with value for their money.
Some examples of multi vendor marketplaces include eBay, Amazon, Airbnb, and Etsy just to name a few.
One of the main benefits of using multi vendor marketplaces is that they can save customers a lot of effort searching for products and comparing prices by bringing multiple suppliers together in one place.
Because they bring together different vendors and allow them to compete against each other on price, they can also be great places to find suppliers that are willing to work with businesses on custom orders or provide low-cost shipping options.
Multi vendor e commerce can also be an excellent way for smaller businesses to reach new customers or build their brand name (for example, Amazon).
The main things you will want to look for when choosing a multi-vendor marketplace platform are the multi-vendor marketplace platform’s price, features, user experience, and security.
If you are thinking about setting up your own multi-vendor marketplace using an existing multi-vendor marketplace platform, here’s a list of the key things you will want to think about before selecting a multi vendor ecommerce platform.
Some of the questions you should ask include whether the multi-vendor e-commerce platform provides a lifetime license or whether you are entering a SaaS arrangement with the provider.
Lifetime licenses can appear to be a large upfront investment but in the long run, it will likely work out better for you.
If you are just starting out with your multi-vendor store, it may be worth trying out the SaaS option to build your MVP. If it is successful, you could then proceed to build your ecommerce marketplace through a provident with a lifetime license option.
If you have an existing ecommerce website, you could also look at using a multi-vendor marketplace extension to turn your existing online store into a multi-seller marketplace.
When it comes to building a multi vendor marketplace, the features available are super important if you are looking to scale your online marketplace.
Features like the ability to build a mobile app and customize your multi-vendor marketplace can be make-or-break decisions for you when making your choice.
First and foremost, you need to choose a multi vendor marketplace platform that is easy to use. If it’s too complicated or time-consuming to navigate and set up, you will probably give up before you have a chance to build something great.
Not only that, but it should be easy for your vendors and their buyers to use and navigate. Otherwise, your multi vendor marketplace will not be a success.
Spend some time taking a few of the multi vendor e commerce platforms in this list for a spin to see how they work.
A multi vendor e commerce platform has several vendors and customers using it at any one time and there is a lot of data moving through the e-commerce website. For this reason, privacy and data security are crucial for a multi-vendor marketplace solution.
Be sure to check out the security protocols and safeguards used by the multi vendor marketplace and make sure they adopt industry best practice security.
There you have it – the best multi vendor e commerce marketplaces!
We hope you have found this guide helpful.
Hopefully, you leave us not only have a better idea of the multi vendor e-commerce platforms on the market today but a better understanding of how multi-vendor ecommerce marketplaces work in general.