What is a Shopify Marketplace or Dropshipping?

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Are you a company or a budding start-up looking to launch an eCommerce marketplace, such as a Shopify Marketplace, with multiple sellers/vendors shipping orders from different locations? If yes, this article will explain the basic concepts and how using Shopify can help you.

Note: Dropshipping is quite similar to the marketplace and hence we will use the term interchangeably here. For more information on dropshipping, please refer to the following guide to dropshipping with shopify.

What is a Marketplace? What is a Shopify Marketplace?

Before we start, a few quick basics. A marketplace is any eCommerce website where different sellers/vendors (we will refer to them as vendors going forward) list their products. When a customer places an order, the vendor fulfills the order and invoices the customer. He takes care of the entire product manufacturing, packing and dispatching.

what is marketplace

The marketplace in turn charges a commission to the vendor. It is the marketplace which is responsible for Sales, Customer Satisfaction and any queries resulting thereof.

Shopify Marketplace is simply a marketplace designed on the Shopify platform.

Why Marketplace or Dropshipping?

Why marketplace

If you are reading this article, there is a good chance you already have an idea in mind. In today’s world, it is relatively easy for a manufacturer to set up an ecommerce company. However, unless the product produced is very niche, few customers come to the website to buy only that product. Instead, they prefer by papertyper.net to go to a website which can give them a basket of related products to fulfill their entire requirement.

For example – as a gardener, I frequently buy plants online. However instead of going to a nursery’s website selling only plants, I often buy on a popular gardening marketplace – www.mybageecha.com which lets me buy a range of offerings – plants, pots, manure, tools, seeds etc.

Hence for any manufacturer or trader, it is good to create a bouquet of offerings around your core product by establishing a marketplace.

Another good reason for a start-up to create something like a shopify marketplace is that before setting up a manufacturing unit, it is worthwhile to experiment by selling other similar products and establishing a sales channel. This is relatively a low risk option.

Why Shopify and its limitations

Shopify is one of the most popular out of the box options for start-ups to launch a website within hours. It is used by close to 1 million merchants worldwide at the time of writing this article. It has several in-built features like website themes, simple product addition, order creation and payments.

However, just like its competitors (Magento, Woocommerce, Prestashop and many others) it lacks the features to create a shopify marketplace. Some of the very important requirements missing are:

  1. Registering vendors
  2. Giving access rights to vendors for their products and orders
  3. Splitting orders and directing them to respective vendors
  4. Order processing – Labelling, Shipping, Tracking and Invoicing
  5. Calculating commissions
  6. Vendor specific reports like Vendor scorecard, performance, escalations etc.

If you want more exceptional features on your e-commerce site or want expert assistance, you can webicon greenhire a Shopify expert from the Toptal marketplace, top companies, and start-ups choose Toptal Shopify freelancers for their mission-critical software projects.

ShipTurtle and converting a Shopify store to a Shopify Marketplace / Dropshipping

Shipturtle app for shopify marketplace

At Shipturtle (www.shipturtle.com) we aim to create an elegant solution to easily transform a basic Shopify store to a full-fledged marketplace.

ShipTurtle is fully integrated with Shopify which means that all required details like Product information, Inventory and Orders are automatically synced. Our encryption and data hosting on Amazon ensures that it is fully secure so that you can rest easy at night.

Separate Vendor Interface and Order Splitting

Shipturtle has separate logins and interfaces for the merchant and vendors. Vendors can view and process their orders. They can only edit information relevant for them – their products, orders and settings.

Separate Vendor Interface and Order Splitting

Easy order processing

Shopify lets users only track if an order is fulfilled or not with details of the AWB. All the rest of the work which includes fetching courier rates, generating labels and tracking needs to be manually managed. This is extremely tedious and basis our experience requires at least 5-10 minutes per order processed. ShipTurtle makes this a work of seconds by integrating a host of courier partners like Fedex, Bluedart, DHL, Delhivery etc.

Notice in the below snapshot – the entire order flow is neatly categorized from the time of receipt of order, confirmation of vendor, packing, dispatching and tracking. The vendor is easily able to fetch the cheapest rates across his carriers and select the same.

Easy order processing

Integrated Invoicing

ShipTurtle automatically splits orders, maintains Vendor Billing details and crafts beautiful GST enabled invoices with different layout options. This is a key pain area for merchants. With a host of custom features like different Tax calculations for prices inclusive / exclusive of taxes, invoice number sequencing, CGST/IGST/SGST calculations, it solves for all possible needs. Simple excel downloads can be customized to directly integrate with your accounting software.

Integrated Invoicing

In summary

Shopify is a great choice for launching an ecommerce website. If you want to setup a shopify marketplace, it is much easier to manage one with ShipTurtle. It can also be customized for specific needs. Feel free to reach out to team@shipturtle.com for more information.

About the Author

Picture of Sharad Kabra

Sharad Kabra

Sharad Kabra is a serial entrepreneur with a proven track record of building successful ventures. An alumnus of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta, Sharad is also the founder of Shipturtle.

2041 East St PMB 368
Concord , California 94520
US. +1 6509 105 750

Reach us at

E-mail : team@shipturtle.com
Phone : +91 6353 000 514


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