Magento is one of the most popular PHP Based Shopping Cart Solution to develop Ecommerce websites. With an extremely feature rich templating system that allows high customization, it has one of the biggest extension repository among other shopping cart bretheren. Perhaps, that is why its often called as a Shark In The Ocean Of Other Shopping Cart solutions.
Why Magento For Marketplace Functionality?
One of the most popular customized solution off Magento is an Ecommerce Marketplace websites – Ebay like Marketplace website.
Its model pivots on Multivendor capabilities of shopping cart. While this functionality can also be emulated on other platforms like OpenCart & Prestashop too, still, Magento gets a higher preference among developers consulting their clients due to its robust & extremely secure architecture.
Talking of Magento Architecture, it is not, by any scope, a linear one, like other Ecommerce Solutions.
So if you are a developer / Software consultant & you have tried your hand at molding Magento, I am sure you understand this. When it comes to customizing the core functionalities, Magento is like a warping rabbit hole that takes you for a roller coaster ride.
Magento & Its Multivendor Capabilities
By default, Magento is more of a P2P Ecommerce Solution, like any other modern day shopping cart. When we were tasked to code an extension that provides Multivendor & Order Splitting capabilities, we knew it would require us to dissect and repack following Magento features:-
1. User Registration
2. Product Management
3. Order Management
4. Checkout feature
Development of A Multivendor Extension that contributed to Marketplace features, was not a cakewalk either. With each added special feature, the mechanisms involved also got more complex.
Splitting An Order Between Different Sellers During Checkout
The roadblock in our proverbial safari was something that, in e-commerce terms, is known as splitting an order. This peculiar case of events sets into action when a buyer chooses multiple products that also happen to be from different vendors.
Here is how it works:-
Step 1 – The buyer adds products from different sellers into the cart
Step 2 – Clicks on view cart button
Step 3 – Proceeds to checkout
Step 3 – Pays the the amount written on the invoice and merrily closes the browser.
But things only get murkier on the back-end. Every time a buyer picks products from different vendors, each vendor needs to be notified of the order placed without letting them know that the buyer has also chosen another product from a different vendor.
This is what splitting an order is all about.
Apart from notifying the vendors about their product’s sale , the marketplace engine also needs to decide each vendor’s share of the profit from each buy based on variables such as Location, Admin fee structure among others.
When our team of developers were hit by this inadvertent hiccup, we resolved this issue by developing a Magento Extension that aids in splitting an order efficiently along with focusing data abstraction amongst various vendors.
Topically, it involves creating a special attribute called “Seller Attribute” in Magento. This attribute decides seller role and assigns a Unique ID to them.
Once the “Seller Attribute” is assigned user proceeds to add their products on the website. Here, each Seller Attribute is linked to the Product ID and this is the base of splitting payments in a Magento Multivendor Marketplace extension. In addition, splitting Orders in Magento though complex is still fairly straightforward as compared to customizing say, PayPal.
If you own a Multivendor Magento Marketplace and are facing the demon of order splitting, then get in contact with us. Our team of developers will be more than happy to help you.