A market is a place where trades happen between buyers and sellers. For a market to be, there must be buyers to purchase the products, sellers with different offerings, and a meeting place. Markets used to be only physical, but today, we also have online marketplaces.

A typical online marketplace consists of a merchant-facing side and a buyer-facing side. The merchant-facing side is an app or a channel through which the sellers upload their products to the marketplace. Meanwhile, the buyer-facing side is in charge of displaying the products to buyers and guiding them to the point of purchase.

Every online marketplace that exists today is built by integrating these two sides. There are several ways to achieve this. Some prefer building from scratch, which usually involves coding. Meanwhile, some prefer less technical methods like adding APIs, webhooks, and UI components that facilitate both sides on their App or online platform.

This article is about the second method. Recently, Shopify introduced their improved Marketplace kit, a package containing all the tools and apps needed to turn any platform into a marketplace. This is the article for you if you have a streaming platform or any online surface you would like to add the marketplace feature. Shopify extends the hands of partnership to you.

What’s Shopify Marketplace Kit?

An ecommerce platform like Shopify could use partners to expand its reach. The partner could be a person or association that wants to turn its platform into a marketplace. They can do this by using the Shopify Marketplace kit.

The Shopify Marketplace Kit is a package containing some APIs, webhooks, and UI components that can link your online platforms and users to Shopify merchants and their products. It has been used by Meta, Pinterest, and TikTok to add commerce features to their platforms.

With the new and improved marketplace tool, you can build a marketplace from the ground up, whether there’s an existing platform or not. And you can also use it to add commerce features to an existing platform.

When the creation is done, Shopify merchants can install your sales channel on their Shopify admin to sell on your marketplace. And you get a commission on every product purchased from those merchants via your marketplace.

How does the Shopify Marketplace kit work?

As explained earlier, you need three apps, including the sales channel. The sales channel can be created using the tools available on the Shopify partner dashboard. The sales channel is an app converted to a channel.

Before the upgrade, partners initially created their merchant-side facing App from scratch. But now, there is a Shopify Marketplace Admin App, which can be cloned and converted to a merchant-side facing app. The App contains the necessary tools, including the channels-UI integration API, routing, authentication, and basic pages.

This App is built using wildly recognized technologies that developers can work on to create something special for your brand/platform. The technologies include Node, NPM, React, StoreFront API, and Express.

Building the buyer-facing side app is now as simple and fast as the merchant side. There is another app called the Shopify Marketplaces Buying App for providing shoppers with the most engaging and beautiful buying experience. Even without an existing platform, this App makes it possible to build a marketplace. It comes with both frontend and backend packages.

The technologies embedded into this App are flexible and also popular. Developers can easily clone and edit to build a unique buying experience for your marketplace. These technologies include NextJS, MUI CSS library, GraphQL, and the Storefront API.

Fixing all together is not a problem. Shopify has comprehensive tutorials for building a marketplace. You can check it out on their marketplace tutorial page.

Closing thoughts

When it comes to developing ecommerce tools and technologies, Shopify leads, and every other company follows. Therefore, they are the only company you can trust for tools to convert your existing platform to a marketplace. And as you can see, this same tool has helped other big internet companies to add commerce features to their platforms.

Shopify Marketplace kit is the fastest and most reliable method for building a marketplace. They have handled all the coding nitty-gritty, and you can start customizing immediately.