For many retailers, employers, freelancers and entrepreneurs there is nothing more convenient than selling products on a popular marketplace. First, there are plenty of benefits for marketplace-related businesses. For example, you control your inventory, pricing, images and more. Conversely, you don’t have to worry about maintaining the site or much advertising. However, connecting retailers, job seekers and job posters with an online marketplace presents significant challenges. This is why it is critical to have a well-designed marketplace that provides appealing aesthetics and products deemed valuable by your target audience. Still, it can be quite costly to build a functioning marketplace from scratch. Thankfully, WordPress has several marketplace plugins that do almost all of the work for you. Here are 10 of the best.
10 WordPress Marketplace Plugins
WordPress offers a variety of plugins that help facilitate any type of business or web site. Fortunately, marketplace businesses are no different. As a result, check out these marketplace plugins to help design and manage your site.
For car dealers, Auto Dealer is a WordPress theme that is both powerful and customizable. You can use this theme to build your own auto marketplace website. Both sellers, and dealerships, can list their vehicles for sale. Plus, users can purchase submission packages which lets them submit their vehicles.
“Auto Dealer is absolutely unique powerful WordPress tools for selling autos and other motor-technic. Considering all trends Auto Dealer is quite unique product you may not meet anyone here in Theme Forest with similar features, and moreover code quality. This product built with best MVC practice and ready to be the infinite-scalable system. Every good PHP specialist will enjoy with theme code and ideology.”
- Powered by WooCommerce
- Users can register, edit profiles, submit and manage listings and more from the front-end.
- 1-click automatic setup
- Built-in Ajax registration
- Advanced filtering
- WPML plugin support for several languages
- Customizable colors
- Massive menu system
- Three different layouts
This WordPress plugin emulates the contemporary designs found in popular marketplaces such as Etsy and Shopify. It is built on the responsive Twitter bootstrap framework. It offers a wide variety of options for multi-vendor websites. Not to mention, Catalog is quite user-friendly.
“Catalog is a buy/sell marketplace WordPress theme coded with Bootstrap, HTML5, CSS and jQuery. The Catalog theme [is] suitable for buy sell websites, marketplace sites, multi-vendor websites, personal showcase and similar projects. Idea is listing, directory style website with custom membership pages. The theme is 100% responsive ready (compatible all mobile devices), retina display ready, modern browsers (IE10+, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Edge, Opera etc.) support, easy to use theme options and preset color. Build your own marketplace site with tons of options and sections. The Catalog theme comes with all membership pages for example; edit profile, upload item, sale report, mega menu and dropdown menu support.”
- Powered by WC Vendors and WooCommerce
- Streamlined theme
- Support for bbPress plugin
- Drag & drop pages
- Control icons, colors and typography
- Regularly updated
For a marketplace business looking to build with mobile in mind, then Victo offers a versatile platform. Unlike other marketplace plugins that also offer responsive layout, this product offers features specifically designed for mobile devices.
“Continuing to develop multi-functional eCommerce WordPress themes, Magentech brings you Victo – a clean and modern design for any online store or multi vendor marketplace website especially a hi-tech store, electronics shop or digital marketplace. With this brand-new Victo, it will be never easier for any of us to create a multi-purpose marketplace site. Thanks to the various cutting-edge features including multi-home page designs, mobile layouts ready, multi vendor support Victo will be an ideal choice for any online store or multi vendors marketplace.”
- Sleek and modern design
- Easy customization
- Support for multiple vendors
- One click installation
- No coding
- Dedicated support
Developed by WeDevs, Dokan is a multi-vendor WordPress marketplace theme. You can use this plugin to create either multi-vendor marketplaces or a single website. Plus, it only takes a few minutes. In fact, you can even create separate online stores.
“Dokan is the best front end multi-vendor marketplace on WordPress, powered by WooCommerce. It helps you to build your own marketplace similar to Amazon, Shopify, eBay, Magento like marketplaces in under 30 minutes. Dokan is the fastest way to start eCommerce and earn through commissions with products ranging from digital, physical to variable products.”
- Built-in commission system
- Detailed earnings reports
- Support for separate dashboards
Cost: Free for the lite version. Pro version ranges between $199/year to $499/year
Similar to Etsy, the Handy plugin is for creative souls. This shop theme was designed specifically for handmade items. You can select from multiple layouts with options for adjusting fonts and colors.
“Handy – Handmade Shop WordPress WooCommerce Theme is a stylish responsive and easy to use WordPress theme. Handy Shop WooCommerce theme is a great start for any one who is looking to start his one handmade online shop or looking to create a handmade goods marketplace like Etsy or Amazon. Theme comes with plenty of features, like out of the box layout configurator that allows you to set custom layouts on each of you static pages, blog, and shop pages. You can also set any colors you want through our theme’s control panel. Setting a custom font for the theme has never been easier.”
- Powered by WooCommerce, WordPress and WC Vendors
- Free Revolution Slider
- Comes with video tutorials
- Responsive and mobile-friendly
This WordPress marketplace plugin lets you build a freelance jobs website similar to Upwork, 99designs or Guru. It is a premium plugin from App Themes with the option to create your own niche marketplace for the services you prefer. Employers can easily post jobs and freelancers can conveniently bid. It is also built on the mobile-responsive Foundation Framework.
“HireBee is a freelance marketplace theme for WordPress. Employers post projects and freelancers start the bidding. You setup the pricing plans and take a cut of each project. It’s easy to monetize any niche by providing a crowdsourced project matchmaking service! Sites like Elance, Upwork, Freelancer, oDesk, and 99designs and perfect examples of this type of successful model.”
- Clean, modern design
- Custom project forms
- Payment gateways
- Private workspaces
- Credit plans
- Project matching
- File uploading
- User-friendly admin options panel
This WordPress plugin offers a modern and classy aesthetic. Its use of whitespace gives the site an airy feel. It can also be utilized to create a wide swath of unique marketplaces.
“Marketica allows you to turn your store into a vendor marketplace. You can assign existing products to vendors, or they can add and edit their own ones. Every vendor will have a dedicated vendor page on your site where they will be able to list all of their products, but they will also show up in your normal shop pages so you can sell your own products alongside those of your vendors.”
- Powered by WooCommerce
- Supports WooCommerce add-ons
- Drag & drop page building
- Slider revolution
- Support for the Ubermenu plugin
- Real-time previews
This Engine Themes plugin lets you create a site for micro jobs and tasks in a marketplace format. It matches employers and professionals conveniently in a user-friendly setting to get tasks done quickly.
“MicrojobEngine provides your business with a premium & authorized WordPress platform that delivers joy and freelancing experience through EngineThemes coding. It’s easy to compare MicrojobEngine and Fiverr. But success is not just about the idea. We believe the optimal formula for your business success is Your achievement = Your potential x Our direction. You have a great idea, while MicrojobEngine has the most reliable execution. It’s a tailored experience!”
- Search functionality with filtering
- Review and rating system
- Secure payment system
- Email notification system
- Custom payment plans
- Quick checkout
- Money withdrawal
- Custom dashboard
Cost: $89 for MicrojobEngine Basic and $139 for MicrojobEngine Plus
We all need images for our sites. Stocky is a marketplace plugin for photography. You can create your own unique version of Shutterstock or iStockPhoto. It also depends on the Easy Digital Downloads plugin for functionality.
“Built on WordPress and Easy Digital Downloads, Stocky allows you to sell your photos just the same as any giant online marketplace. Not only can you sell your products, but with the available extensions in an EDD Pass you can allow anybody to upload their photos and sell through your site. Out of the box along with the free Easy Digital Downloads plugin, your site can run as a stand-alone ecommerce site. But in conjunction with the available paid extensions in an EDD Pass you can allow anybody to upload their photos and sell through your site; Turning your site into a full blown marketplace.”
- Varying backgrounds
- Built on HTML5 and CSS3
- Multiple color schemes
- Fully documented
This responsive theme lets you design a fully-featured marketplace with customizable post types. Each user can get their own profile. Designed by SiteMile, this plugin supports physical, digital and downloadable products.
“The newest and most powerful WordPress theme for turning a regular website into a fully featured marketplace website. Each user can have his own shop and sell his products to other people. It even supports digital and downloadable good marketplaces. A real turn-key marketplace solution.”
- Users can create their own shops
- Manage purchases and orders
- Communicate with other marketplaces through private messaging systems
- Monetization options
- Subscription plans
- Commission-based plans
- User-friendly admin panel
- Email notifications
- Social integration
Cost: Between $79.99 and $199.00
There you have it, the 10 best WordPress marketplace plugins. Regardless of the plugin you choose, you still need to make your site visible and alluring for your target market. WordPress can help you build the site. Now, it’s up to you to get users to sign up.
More about Marketplace Businesses
Interested in learning a few helpful tips to get your marketplace up and running?
Jonathan Golden offers some helpful guidance based on his experience as a product manager at AirBnb and Dropbox.
“Marketplace businesses can be messy, and every gain is hard earned. After all, you’re dealing with an ecosystem of participants — buyers and sellers — that’s constantly in flux, their needs and desires changing over time. Unfolding in both online transactions and offline interactions, marketplaces are organic and dynamic.”
First, leaders and executives looking to start a new marketplace company must be experts in the field. At this point, the low hanging fruit of marketplaces are taken. However, niche markets still exist, but require domain expertise and leaders that understand the dynamics of the sector. As a result, those that identify the dynamics at the start, enables their marketplace to create competitive moats when competition rises. To help, Golden suggests leaders ask themselves a few questions.
- What type of network effects do you want to establish?
- How will you grow your marketplace?
- What type of marketplace are you creating? (i.e., is it a search or matching marketplace?
- What are your incentives that will spur adoption?
- How will you engage buyers and sellers in your network?
- How will you make money? (i.e. what are your unit economics or what action produces revenues?)
For more details, read Golden’s entire post and think about how to design a marketplace that fits your goals. Ultimately, there is a likely a WordPress marketplace plugin that meets your needs.