Thanks for installing Marketplace! We're excited to get you up and running with a hub for merchants from all over to offer their products. This guide should give you a primer on the Marketplace app and help you familiarize yourself with its many features.
The first time you open up the app, you will be presented with the Setup Wizard. It is very important that you complete the setup wizard and fill in the fields as presented. Skipping over crucial inputs here can result in malfunctioning and issues down the road; it is always best to take the time to ensure your setup is configured as you want it. Don't worry, you can always change these settings down the road, but be sure to fill them in the first time. :)
Name for Sending Emails: This will be the name that e-mails from the Marketplace are shown as "From" when sent to merchants.
Measurement system: You have the option of the Metric and the Imperial system for your system; stores will use this to set the specifications of their products for shipping purposes.
Global commission: This will be the default commission that is assigned to uploaded products. If a given category does not have its own commission rate, it will use the global commission. This can be set as either a percentage of the value of the product or a fixed dollar amount.
Shipping: There are four separate options your store can use to handle shipping charges.
Text/banner header: This will go at the top of your merchant portal (the website that your merchants will visit to manage their products and orders). Customers will not see this header or banner.
Merchant approval: Choose whether or not new merchants will require your approval when they first register for the store. Setting to "automatically approve" will not require any action on your part when a merchant registers.
Product approval: Choose whether new products uploaded by merchants will require your approval before they go live on your store. If you have merchants set to automatically approve it is recommended that this be set to manual; otherwise a spammer could register a new account and create tons of new products without any barriers.
Product Editing: Choose whether to allow merchants to edit their products after they have been approved.
HTML editor: Determines whether or not merchants can use a full HTML editor (including colours, tables, lists etc.) or whether they will be limited to plain text.
Maximum categories: Determines the maximum number of categories that merchants will be allowed to assign to a product. This will help to prevent merchants from categorizing their products too broadly to try to gain exposure.
Image limits: Determines the minimum and maximum number of images available. Minimum must be at least 1; each product must have an image.
You will now be brought to PayPal to approve the integration of the Marketplace app with your store's PayPal account. Linking of a PayPal account is currently required, even if you don't plan on using it for any payments.
How Marketplace Works
Merchant: A user who sells their products through a Marketplace
Merchant Portal: The website where merchants upload their products and manage their orders. Usually available at a website ending in marketplaceadmin.com
Marketplace app: The actual app accessible through your Shopify admin panel.
Category group: A group of categories in a Marketplace store. NOT the same as a Shopify collection
Category: A category that stays inside a category group. NOT the same as a Shopify collection. Merchants will categorize their products and may be charged a different commission dependent on how the category is configured by the store owner.
Commission: The percentage of a sale (or fixed dollar amount) that a Marketplace operator receives for their services when a sale is made.
The Marketplace app allows you to operate a virtual bazaar that lets merchants upload products and customers to buy them through Shopify. The Marketplace operator (store owner) collects a commission on each sale for their services. When a customer buys one of a merchant's items, the merchant receives an e-mail notification with the customer's information and selected shipping method so that they can ship the product to the buyer. Payment is handled through whichever method you normally use on Shopify; this may be Shopify Payments, PayPal, or an alternative credit card processor. Once orders have been fulfilled, the store owner can then "pay out" the Merchants through the app, either semi-automatically through PayPal or an alternative method of their choosing.
Merchants first register themselves through a "Merchant Portal" which will be their hub for managing orders placed through your store. Dependent on your store's configuration, they may or may not require approval once they have submitted your account registration. Once they are approved, they will be able to begin uploading and listing products. The Merchant product creation screen is very similar to the one in Shopify since the uploads will become actual Shopify products.
Creating categories, category groups
Products uploaded in Marketplace are grouped into categories for the purposes of sorting and determining commission. Different categories can have different commission rates; for example, your store might choose to charge a higher commission on sweaters than t-shirts.
Categories on their own cannot be searched by customers; their only purpose is to sort products internally and determine commissions. With that said, categorization of a product adds a specific tag to it that can then be included in a Shopify smart collection. This will allow visitors to your store to browse that collection and see items from all merchants that have included their items in that category.
Categories must be listed inside a category group. A category group is basically a "category of categories". An example of a category group might be "Apparel", with categories inside that group being "T-Shirts", "Pants" and "Sweaters".
PayPal Mass Payments
The Marketplace app requires a PayPal account that has the "Mass Payments" feature enabled. For this, you will require a verified PayPal Business account. We unfortunately cannot provide support to have this enabled, but it will be required for the store owner's PayPal account in order to properly pay out to merchants. More information on this is available here: https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_batch-payment-overview-outside
Once a product has sold, Marketplace tracks the money owed to each merchant for the sales of their goods. The store owner (you!) have complete control over the payout schedule for your merchants; generally once every 2 weeks is a good rule of thumb. Having control over the schedule at which merchants get paid allows you to ensure that your PayPal account has the necessary funds available to allow the payments to proceed without issue. Let's walk through how the payment process will work.
Paying out merchants with Marketplace is very easy. Using the checkboxes, select the orders that you wish you pay out to the merchants. If you are using PayPal, you can press the green "PayPal Payment" button in the top right corner to automatically submit the required payments to PayPal. You can also click the "Mark as Paid" button if you will be using an alternative payment system (bank transfer, cheques etc). The Mark as Paid button will simply mark them as paid in the system and send the merchant an e-mail indicating that their orders have been paid out.