Are you looking to make some extra money, find a better work-life balance, or even swap your full time job for the working from home dream? If so, then creating an online marketplace with Vendify, the WordPress theme designed by the developers here at Astoundify, could be a great option for you. 

In this article, we look at how to start up your own online marketplace in five easy steps. Not only do we discuss the benefits of using the Vendify platform, we also consider how to choose a niche for your marketplace, attract vendors, and market your website to buyers. Importantly, we discuss how to monetize your website so you can ultimately create a passive income. Let’s get started…

Step One: Pick a Niche

When starting up your own online marketplace, it is important that you select a suitable niche. Is your marketplace going to sell digital products, handcrafted goods, specialized art pieces, or even a food? Let’s have a look at some points to consider when choosing a niche…

  • Interest – You will be spending a lot of time thinking about and working within this niche, so it needs to be something you have an interest in. 
  • Vendors – You will need to entice vendors to sell on your online marketplace. So do your research – find out about potential sellers, product ranges, price points, where they already sell online, and much more. 
  • Target Market – To make substantial sales there needs to be a sizable target market for your niche. Again, by researching your niche you will have a good idea of who your target market is, where they currently shop, the type of products they buy and how much they spend. 
  • Profitability – By understanding your potential vendors, products, and target market, you will be able to work out if your niche is popular enough to generate a reasonable profit.
  • Competition – Every niche will have some competition, but if the competitors look too fierce, consider just focusing on a particular area of that niche. This will make your online marketplace a specialist platform, giving it a unique edge over the others in your field. 

Once you have decided on a niche for your new marketplace, next you will need to choose a platform on which to design your new website.

Step Two: Choose a Platform (We Recommend the WordPress theme Vendify)

There are numerous web building platforms and software that will enable you to create an online marketplace. However, if you want a quick set up process, a stunning site that appeals to sellers and buyers alike, and a seamless behind the scenes experience that allows you to easily manage orders and payments, then we recommend using the impressive WordPress theme Vendify.

Vendify, built on top of WordPress, is a fully-functioning marketplace platform that will cater for all your marketplace needs. Let’s have a look at its top features…

  • Built for Every Niche – Whatever your niche, and whether you are selling physical or digital products, or services, Vendify has got you covered. 
  • Customizable Design – Choose your own colors, layouts, and features, add your own branding, and much more, enabling you to create a marketplace to suit your exact specifications.
  • Easily Manage Vendors and Orders – Whatever your web experience and skillset, Vendify’s backend drag-and-drop interface means that anyone can set up and manage a marketplace, organize vendors, and keep track of orders and payments. 
  • Tools for Your Vendors – Keep your vendors happy with a suite of tools especially provided to help increase sales, including a custom dashboard, private messaging, and analytics. 
  • Impressive User-Experience for Buyers – Buyers will benefit from beautiful layouts and images, easy navigation, and quick checkout processes, helping to drive sales. 
  • Control Your Revenue Streams – Vendify allows you to control your listing costs, campaign fees, and advertising. You can set your own commission rates, choose your payment gateway providers, and more.

Once you have installed and set up Vendify on your WordPress website, you next need to attract vendors to sell on your site. Let’s find out how to do that…

Step Three: Connect with Vendors

When you are first starting up, recruiting vendors to sell on your marketplace won’t be easy. Here are some strategies to ensure your perseverance and hard work pays off…

  • Don’t Charge for Listings – Letting vendors display products on your site for free is a great way to attract new sellers. That way vendors lose nothing by signing up to your marketplace. And you can still make a profit by charging a commission on sales.
  • Get Active on Social Media – Join groups, pages, forums, and any other social space. This will help give your marketplace exposure and connect with potential vendors.
  • Attend Events, Meetups, and Trade Shows – Promoting your marketplace to people face-to-face is an extremely effective way to build relationships and trust in your platform. 

After you have attracted the first wave of vendors, setting up a referral program, where vendors who bring in new vendors are rewarded, will also help to grow your marketplace.

Step Four: Attract Buyers

Your other key focus, alongside connecting with vendors, is attracting buyers. The more traffic and sales your site receives the more vendors will be interested in listing products on your site. So let’s have a look at some strategies to attract buyers…

  • Use Your Contacts – When you are just starting out, ask your family, friends, colleagues, and any other contacts you have, to spread the word about your new marketplace. Reposts on social media, alongside word-of-mouth, can go a long way to getting your marketplace traffic. 
  • Advertise – To gain exposure and engage with your target audience consider advertising on social media, Google, and even competitors’ sites. 
  • Turn Visitors into Loyal Customers – Rewarding customer loyalty will encourage buyers to return to your marketplace again and again. Incentives like free shipping, money off, or access to special offers can all be popular options. 

Once your site is up and running successfully, hosting numerous vendors, and receiving high levels of traffic and sales, you can then begin to make some serious money. So let’s now take a look at how to monetize your marketplace…

Step Five: Implement Monetization Strategies

There are numerous ways to monetize your marketplace and you need to decide on the right methods for your site and audience. Here are some of the most effective options …

  • Transaction Fees – Although you will probably be charging transaction fees from the very start, once your marketplace becomes successful, you can consider increasing your transaction fees, or charging different fees depending on the price or category of product. 
  • Vendor Membership Fees – If you have a strong customer base then you will be able to charge your vendors a membership fee to list their products on your marketplace. This could be a one-off joining fee, or an ongoing monthly subscription, the latter being a great way to generate an ongoing passive income. 
  • Premium Listings – Charge vendors to display a product listing in a key position on your website. This could be at the top of a specific category, on the first page of search results, on the homepage, or in a sidebar. These listings could also contain extra information, including more images and extra text. 

There is a delicate balance between generating a substantial revenue and keeping your vendors and customers happy. Try and find the best monetization strategies for your marketplace – ones that ensure your vendors don’t leave but that also help you create a passive income that fulfills your financial needs. 

Final Thoughts on How to Create a Passive Income with Vendify

Setting up an online marketplace is an effective way to create a passive income. And, evidently, Vendify is the ideal WordPress theme to help you do so. With its extensive feature list, beautiful visuals, and intuitive interface, you can quickly create a stunning and successful marketplace.

Are you ready to create an online marketplace? If so, check out Vendify.