Building a Marketplace out of a standard online shop

An online marketplace, is a digital platform that connects multiple third-party sellers or vendors with potential buyers. Unlike a traditional online store that sells its own products, an online marketplace facilitates transactions between independent sellers and consumers. When we are talking about marketplaces, we need to have in mind these features:

  • Multiple Sellers – a seller should be able to login, add his products, see his orders and fullfill them.
  • Third-Party Transactions – Transactions on an online marketplace involve interactions between the buyer and the individual seller.
  • Commission-Based Model – Many online marketplaces operate on a commission-based model, where they charge sellers a percentage of each sale made through the platform.
  • Search and Discovery – Marketplaces typically invest in search and discovery features to help users find products easily. Finding a product easy is a must, by seller or category.
  • Payment Processing – Online marketplaces often handle the payment process, providing a secure and seamless transaction experience.
  • Logistics and Fulfillment – Some marketplaces offer logistics and fulfillment services, helping sellers with shipping and order fulfillment, but this isn’t a must because many sellers prefer to send the packages themselves.

Examples of well-known online marketplaces include Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and Alibaba.

Our implementation for an online marketplace

Building a shop from scratch in PHP can vary in difficulty depending on several factors, including your level of experience as a developer, the complexity of the e-commerce features you want to implement, and your familiarity with the tools and frameworks available. So this isn’t a solution that could work for the budget we had and also the time.

So, having experience in Symfony framework and also in one of the custom online Shops (Sylius) we decidec to customize this already powerful online store into a marketplace.

Our client and results

A community built on mothers with a strong blog which their intend is to gather hand crafted products for new borns. Client website:

Here are some takeaway point from implementing the project:

One of the challenging task was to customize this shops to allow the notion of “Vendors” or “Sellers”. But not only this. The hole workflow of creating and order, modifying, uploading products and fulfilling the order was also something that we had to tackle it with attention.

Tech Stack for the online marketplace

  • PHP 7.4
  • Symfony 5.3
  • Bootstrap
  • jQuery
  • Elastic Search
  • MySql 8.0
  • RabbitMQ – for queueing the product import
  • Supervisor for managing the commands
  • Ubuntu for the online server
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