Which platform do i need to choose for building a multivendor marketplace ?
There is always a kind of discussion and as we are the largest suppliers of multi vendor marketplace system in the world right now , many times our customers ask for the same .
Thankfully due to e-commerce boom there are various e-commerce solutions / platform exist and customers may choose any platform as per their choice . Even the more interesting part is many of them comes as open source . Well but what is my opinion i will explain everything in details .
Choosing a platform depends on various topics including product stock ( SKU’s ) , traffic , visitors , category , industry & most important community or developer support & platform roadmap itself .
Primarily There are two kind of platform exist currently in the market now for e-commerce store setup
1 - Open Source Platforms
2 - Closed Source / SAAS Platforms
Open Source Platforms
There are couple of commerce platforms including Magento , Opencart , Prestashop , Woocommerce , Virtuemart and many more which you can easily find by searching over google . Above platforms are primarily based on PHP as a server side languages . There are still open source solutions exist for other languages as well .
I will discuss more on PHP based open source Commerce platforms during this section. Also we will discuss more on between open source commerce solutions for creating a multi vendor marketplace .
Closed / SAAS Source Platforms
There are couple of closed source / SAAS based platforms as well like shopify , volusion , bigcommerce and many more . Here you will not get the source code of the platform like you can easily get by downloading the platform in open source platforms like magento community edition or prestashop / opencart .
I hope now you are aware about what choices we do have if are planning to start and commerce web shop or multi vendor marketplace based on it . There is another option we have to start everything from scratch i.e instead of using above two start developing your own commerce or multi vendor system .
Ok lets start our first discussion about close source commerce system VS open source commerce system
As per my very personal opinion IT DEPENDS :) sorry for not answering straight . There is a reason i will explain one by one
Imagine if we are comparing Magento vs Shopify which is somehow most asked question and we are answering everyday .
Both of those platforms are quite mature , good and scalable but which one i need to choose ?
Magento Multivendor Extension for 1.x.x & 2.x.x
Shopify Multivendor Extension
Lets start with Shopify first , as shopify is a cloud based SAAS based system that means you will not get the source code of the complete platform but they provide robust API to customise and developers can build application on top of it .
So as per my choice if you want to start your online business without any hassle you can start with shopify but is it enough ? Well its very subjective . Although shopify provides a robust API but still there are various section where customisation are extremely hard .
Example - As we have build cart split addon in almost all the open source platforms including Magento , Prestashop , Opencart , Joomla and others . Please find the link below
But such kind of customisation are extremely hard to do in the shopify , As per my understanding Marketplaces are complex to build and it does requires a lot of customisation as we believe in that every business is unique and many times customisations are required .
Other part is all the databases and data will be at your server if you are using open source commerce solutions . As in this case you need to host the complete application and platform at your end unlike shopify as shopify manage the hosting as well .
Shopify most of the time provides wonderful API support but still there are some lacks is in there . Well then do i need to use shopify or not ?
Well For sure you should use as shopify are extremely easy to setup and everything like hosting , speed and various other factors like security will be managed by shopify .
On the other hand Magento is an open source solution and widely adopted among merchants and developers . As Magento community edition offer full source so any kind of high end customisation is possible . because you have the complete source code .
But using Magento , there are some other challenges like Managing hosting , security and speed performance . There are couple of services like cloudkul , which offer full magento hosting on AWS platform including server security and support .
Gosh , After reading this i am more confused. What is the final conclusion ?
If you are in hurry and want to star an e-commerce marketplace without any technical knowledge for support regarding security and hosting but not that end to end customisation for the marketplace also comfortable to have your commerce data then for sure you should go ahead with shopify . Shopify will surely help you a lot and one more thing its PAID service thats means you need to pay a fee every month .
If you are looking for highly complex and end to end customisation then Magento is by far the best choice and its FREE . But at the same time you need to manage the hosting , server & security support . If you are using any kind of customisation is supported and there is a HUGE community support for developers and merchants including http://magento.stackexchange.com/