Make your Multivendor eCommerce store compatible with UPS
A multivendor online store also increases your brand value and can eventually make you popular among your buyers, which is good for your sales.
There are a bunch of plugins out there that would help you set up a marketplace. But, if you want the ultimate marketplace solution then go for the Dokan Multivendor plugin. What’s even great is when you combine this plugin with a shipping plugin like the UPS Shipping plugin. This shipping plugin offers some of the most intuitive and outstanding features that will make your life easier.
In this article, we will guide and help you set up a successful WooCommerce marketplace.
WordPress plugins necessary for an online marketplace
As per the definition, a plugin is a software add-on that is installed on a program, enhancing its capabilities.
If you have a WordPress-based store and you want to make it a marketplace then these plugins can surely help. Please read along to know how they are beneficial to your store.
WooCommerce UPS Shipping Plugin with Print Label:
The WooCommerce UPS Shipping Plugin is a type of plugin that will help you completely automate UPS shipping. It displays the real-time rate on the Cart/Checkout page and allows you to directly pay the postage and print the shipping labels. You can also choose the box packing method and automatically share the tracking information with your customers.
Please note that choice of the shipping plugin entirely depends on your business needs. So, if you find FedEx to be a better choice then you can choose the WooCommerce FedEx Shipping plugin. And if your store is in Canada, then the WooCommerce Canada Shipping Plugin would suit you better.
Dokan Multivendor Plugin:
As we had mentioned this earlier, Dokan is possibly one of the best multivendor plugins out there. But what we didn’t mention is the list of features that make this plugin so special and popular among many store owners. To begin with, vendors can exercise a whole lot of flexibility with their products by managing themselves. Your vendors can categorize, define sale prices, offer coupons, and do a lot.
Both you and your vendors can check out the information on the admin side. They can find out the total sales, new order, pending orders, completed orders, and many more. The plugin represents this along with the charts and bars representation, which is very convenient. The plugin also comes with a built-in SEO feature that allows your vendors to create an online presence of their products. As you might know that the search engines detect keywords and the site with more keywords are usually placed higher in the search results.
How do the two plugins work together?
The WooCommerce UPS Shipping Plugin has been made compatible with the Dokan Multivendor plugin. Which means that the plugins operate together seamlessly. Below is the flow that shows how the two plugins work together.
Setting up vendors on your WooCommerce
The process of installing the plugins and configuring is quite simple. You just need to download and install the Dokan Multivendor plugin. The plugin then guides you through the setup process and allows you to configure on the way.
You can follow the steps given in the following document in order to set up vendors on your store.
Once you are done installing the plugin, you would have to set up the rules for the vendors. To do that, you need to go to WooCommerce > Dokan > Settings. Here you have multiple settings that you would need to choose and configure. You can choose the Dashboard appearance, define the commission percentage, set up withdrawal methods, etc.
Install Multi-Vendor Add-On plugin along with Dokan
After you have set up the Dokan plugin, you need to install another plugin called the Multi-Vendor Add-On for XA Shipping Plugins. This plugin will act as a bridge and lets you assign products to the vendors. You can also change the way the Cart behaves when two products from two different vendors fall in the cart. To be specific, the plugin has two options – Split and sum, and Split and separate.
You would find these options in the plugin settings page. If you choose the first option, i.e Split and sum, then the rate would be shown as the sum of the individual shipping costs of the products. And if you choose the Split and separate option then the prices would be shown separately. You can refer the following image to see how it looks on the Cart page.
In the above image, the Cart page includes two different items from two separate vendors. This is a nice feature as it allows your customers to have options over the shipping methods. You can also refer this article that explains more about this plugin.
Setting up UPS Shipping on your WooCommerce
Once you are done setting up the Dokan plugin, you need to set up the UPS Shipping Plugin. This is fairly easy to set it up and start using the plugin. You just need to keep few things in mind. For instance, if you are going to allow your vendors to pack their items into the boxes based on weight then you have to choose the Weight-based packing method. You need to enter the UPS credentials, your address, choose the packing method, enable shipment tracking feature, etc.
You can follow the UPS plugin setting up articles:
How can vendors manage their orders?
Once you are done with the installation and set up of the plugins, you would find the following drop-down option on the Edit product page.
With this drop-down, you can directly assign products to each vendor. This is a good way of assigning products as it gives you complete control. Furthermore, you can allow your vendors to use their own UPS account to process their order. This way you don’t have to pay the postage and your vendors can handle their own shipments.
If you go down to WooCommerce > Users > Seller A, then you will find the Vendor Option. Here, either you or they can add their own UPS credentials. Whats even great is that they can use FedEx or DHL Express if you are using shipping plugins like the FedEx or DHL Shipping Plugin from XAdapter.
There is another way of assigning products. Once a vendor has been registered, he or she can access their Dashboard where they have the access to add products and handle orders. Once your vendor has logged in to your website, he or she can add their product, assign the selling price, mention the weight & dimensions of the item, provide the product description, etc.
You just need to enable this option in the Users section of your WooCommerce. In the following image, you can see that the Dokan settings allow you to enable product publishing for individual vendors. So, if you trust the vendor then you can remove the approval step and allow him or her to directly post new items.
Now, let us assume that a customer is going to purchase two products from two different vendors. The customer will add the items to the cart and would proceed to Cart page in order to see the shipping rates and fulfil the order.
If you refer to the image in the Multi-Vendor Add-on plugin section, you can see that the respective real-time UPS shipping rates appear on the cart page. These rates are calculated by UPS and are returned from their API.
Once the customer proceeds and places the order, the vendor(Seller A) would be able to see this order on the Orders page. The other vendor(Seller B) would be able to see similar on his or her Orders page.
One of the best things about the UPS Shipping plugin is that you can configure the shipment once the order received. So, as soon as the Seller A clicks on this order, he or she would be able to Generate the Package. Once the vendor does that, the plugin displays the following section on the Orders page.
As you can see, your vendors can add another custom package, change the shipping methods, enable Collect On Delivery feature, etc.
Please note that you can automate this entire process. There is an option in the UPS Shipping plugin that allows users to skip this part and show the print label screen. This way, as soon as the vendor receives a new order, the shipment is automatically generated and the labels are ready to be downloaded.
Order tracking is a highly important feature that every store owner needs. Thankfully, the WooCommerce UPS Shipping Plugin comes with this feature and yes, it is a very simple process. The tracking ID will be generated once the shipment is confirmed and the shipping label available to print. Your vendors can find the tracking ID in the provided UPS Shipment tracking box on the Edit Order page.
Your vendors can share the tracking information with the customer as soon as their mark the order as completed. Once they mark the order as completed, the Order completion email is automatically sent to the customer.
The combination of these two plugins can help you achieve almost all multivendor business ideas. It provides a lot of advantages and benefits of the online model without any hassle. This article has acquainted you with some of the efficient WordPress marketplace solutions. These include a range of plugins and themes designed to produce optimum results for a marketplace model. Let us know if you have a suggestion or query.