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Shopify Marketplace Kit: Learn what is it and how to use it!

Updated: Apr 6

Have you heard about the Shopify Marketplace Kit before? If you’re searching for some information about it, you arrived at the right place. Check this guide to learn what is it and which is one of the best ways to implement it!


E-commerce has turned into a lifeline for thousands of physical stores forced to shut their doors during the COVID pandemic. You should not be surprised when we say that online Marketplaces witnessed around 80% growth in 2020. If you remember, it was the time when industries around the globe were struggling due to worldwide restrictions.


The promising figures for the growth of marketplaces are an incentive for the enterprises and startups who use marketplaces to get growth in revenues and user base. Recently Shopify has introduced a Marketplace Kit that enables the retailers to offer third-party products even if they are already offering first-party products.


Experts are claiming it to be a revolution in the Marketplace industry. It allows every Shopify store owner to add marketplace functionality to his store using the Shopify Marketplace Kit. This means it enables them to receive higher and relevant demand for their Shopify stores using third-party products.



Understanding the significance and growth of Marketplaces in 2022

With around 65% share in whole cross-border eCommerce sales, marketplaces are playing a significant role in transforming the eCommerce industry. The technology makes them stronger each day with enhanced localization in terms of language, size, currency, and much more. If you are still exploring the marketplace model, the below diagram will help you understand how it works.


Companies who wish to sell internationally can consider Marketplaces as a great entry point for their business. The flexibility of Marketplaces caters to more potential since they don't restrict to any product niche or industry. The following stats will help you understand how they are becoming the future of online shopping:

  • Amazon reported a 22% growth in overall sales with a $469 billion figure in 2021.

  • eBay gross merchandise crossed the $100 billion mark with around 159 million active users.

  • The Pandemic supercharged the growth of Etsy with a revenue increase from $820 million in 2019 to $1.72 billion in 2020.

  • According to data released by Rakuten, their revenues grew to $13.93 billion in 2021.

  • Walmart recorded around 7% annual revenue growth with a $560 billion figure in 2021.

According to experts at The Brihaspati Infotech, the growth in the number of people buying online in the future is inevitable and it is the right time for every business to find how they can fit and benefit from marketplaces and current trends.



Relevance of Shopify and its marketplace kit for the eCommerce industry

Shopify is one of the most popular cloud-based eCommerce platforms with more than 500,000 online stores using it. It is not only about small online stores, as big brands such as Red Bull, 50 Cents, and Angry Birds are also among prominent users of Shopify.


The fact that around 32% of online stores in the USA use Shopify is enough to determine its popularity. Features like easy setup, reliability, security, and abandoned cart recovery make it a perfect choice for an eCommerce business.


You may wonder why Marketplace kits are getting so much hype when we already have many technologies to build a full-fledged marketplace store. Well, the following points will help you understand the reason for the increasing popularity of the Shopify Marketplace Kit:

  • It enables even an ordinary Shopify store to access millions of products from merchants on Shopify.

  • The Store owners have the liberty to choose just a part of their web pages for listing marketplace products.

  • Worried about order fulfillment? Relax, Shopify will handle it all.

  • The library of reusable components makes the development process easy and fast.

  • A rich dashboard makes it easy to manage the marketplace even without much technical know-how.

  • A huge Shopify community will always back you for technical challenges during development.


Experts from The Brihaspati Infotech revealed that, during their journey of building more than 1500 Shopify stores and marketplace platforms, they have never witnessed something as revolutionary as this Marketplace Kit. So if you're willing to dive into this world, hiring Shopify developers from a seasoned company can yield outstanding results while integrating the marketplace functionality to your store using this kit.



What is the Shopify Marketplace Kit and how does it work?

The Shopify Marketplace Kit is a collection of documentation and APIs to help you develop, maintain and grow your eCommerce on any platform. It helps with pre-written code snippets for enabling the marketplace features. You can do it either on the complete storefront or on selected parts of your platform.


You can also use the documentation and guide to add selected features while building marketplace functionality. It can become a revolutionary tool for connecting your platform and its users with products from trusted Shopify merchants. If you want to use a marketplace kit to connect with Shopify merchants, you need to create a channel app.


Merchants can start listing their products to the channel app once they install it. The dedicated spaces for commerce on your platform display the products using these channel apps. The below diagram will help you understand the workflow of the marketplace kit.




Benefits of using the Shopify Marketplace Kit


Advantages for the Merchants

The Shopify Marketplace Kit offers a fantastic opportunity for merchants struggling to find converting spaces for their products. They can access multiple platforms using Channel apps to scale their revenues.


Below are some noteworthy advantages merchants get using the Shopify Marketplace Kit:

  • Easy-to-use admin for managing products and inventory.

  • Safe payment gateways for customers with Shopify secure web checkout.

  • 24/7 customer support to overcome issues faced by merchants.

  • Robust storefronts to list inventory with rich product details.


Advantages for the Developers

Using a marketplace kit can help developers build marketplaces on Shopify with ease. Availability of the component library, content guidelines, and APIs for commerce helps pace the overall marketplace development.


Below are a few advantages that developers enjoy by using the Shopify Marketplace Kit:

  • Component library to access pre-built components for fast marketplace development.

  • Access to UI principles for developing the winning marketplace solutions.

  • Content guidelines for creating a Marketplace able to gain merchant’s trust.


Advantages for Marketplace Owners

The marketplace owners get access to hundreds of trustworthy merchants for their platform. They are no longer required to dedicate a compare webpage for listing the merchants or products.


Below are some advantages marketplace owners can avail of using the Shopify Marketplace Kit:

  • A flawless set of APIs to develop, maintain and grow commerce on their platform.

  • Pre-written code snippet to pace marketplace development with merchant setup, product display, and much more.

  • Ease to add the required features by just following the guidelines.

  • Access to billions of products from trusted Shopify merchants.



Important considerations while building a Marketplace Kit


Channel App

The Channel app is the tool used by merchants who wish to list their products on your marketplace. The page helps merchants to monitor the products they list on the marketplaces and to control their inventories.


There are three vital components for creating a Channel app:

  • Channel UI - A react component library to create merchant-facing pages.

  • Internal GraphQL API - For retrieving only merchant-specific data.

  • Channel App Overview page - To provide exposure to the number of products published in the marketplace.



Marketplace Homepage

You have to focus on styling a marketplace homepage that features multiple shops for building a more advanced user experience. It is also vital to ensure that marketplace products link to relevant merchant storefronts. Your homepage will display the merchants installed on your channel app.


There are three crucial steps while you try to build your Marketplace homepage:

  • Choosing the UI libraries for styling the homepage of your marketplace.

  • Creating a page wrapper to render multiple shops in your marketplace.

  • Creating a shop section by using Storefront API for each merchant.




Shop Discovery Features

The next priority should be the shop discovery features of your marketplace. These features help the buyers shop for products with ease. It also creates awareness about different shops on your platform. You should enable the users to find and refine the products in a breeze.


Following shop discovery features can help satisfy users while driving conversions:

  • Shop sort feature to sort the products and shops as per specific criteria.

  • Shop search feature to enable searching a particular shop or products.

  • Shop filter option to help narrow down the products and shops on the marketplace.


Merchant Onboarding Flow

It is vital to set up the merchant onboarding foundation for a smooth seller onboarding flow. The sellers available on your marketplace will be a decisive factor for its success and interest by the customers.


There are three things to ensure while setting up merchant onboarding flow.

  • Updating the shop data model to accommodate the additional information during the onboarding journey.

  • Internal APIs to make new shop fields and enable channel app frontend to update data model.

  • Displaying only those stores that meet the requirements by using shop filters.


Post-checkout functionality

The post-checkout functionality helps the marketplace owner to store the data for orders and billing. The Shopify Marketplace Kit allows you to use webhooks to create such functionality. You can use the webhooks offered by Shopify by subscribing to them.


You need to ensure two things while setting up this functionality:

  • Fetching data for sales happening for each merchant separately.

  • Implementing the billing model for your Marketplace.

Though using webhooks is a common practice, some delays are caused while creating or updating the orders. Sometimes using them may be impractical for real-time operations.



Shop Details and Product Overview

If you look at some of the most popular marketplaces, you will find that they normally create a separate page for merchants and their products. It is a widespread practice to provide details about different shops and their products.


The Shopify Marketplace Kit allows you to leverage Shopify’s commerce essentials and the Storefront API is key for an impeccable storefront experience. It also plays a role in distinguishing merchants in a competitive marketplace.


Features like shop categories, product filters, description pages, and buy now buttons should be your top considerations while working on the shop details and product overview pages. A well-managed product browsing experience can be key for an immersive user experience on your marketplace.




Final comments

If you are a developer or a merchant and wish to know more about the Shopify Marketplace Kit you can find several step-by-step guides here. But, if you feel overwhelmed with all this information (or maybe just don’t have the time to explore it by yourself!) you can always rely on companies that offer digital services like The Brihaspati Infotech.


In The Brihaspati Infotech you will find high-quality digital solutions such as consultation, design, development, and marketing for e-commerce stores. And guess what? They have been building online marketplaces for many years, with unmatched command over APIs, webhooks, and UI components for delivering a robust Marketplace experience using the Shopify Marketplace Kit.


Are you ready to try this sales channel? Do you have any experience using the Shopify Marketplace Kit? Feel free to share your experience in the comments below!




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