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I have to building a very customized marketplace and would like some advises. Basically weather or not Magento could be a good choice.

I have to building a very customized marketplace and would like some advice.

Some constraints we have:

The sellers of the marketplace must have a highly customized and beautiful back-office. We treat sellers like we treat customers, with proper workflow and UX well integrated with the front-end site

It is not just CSS and HTML lay outing. We want to have home-made workflows to handle product creation, seller profile... actually, a seller can also purchase products from other sellers. Our sellers are not industry manufacturers but rather individuals with low stock. We are somehow on the same kind of market than the "Do It Yourself".

We need some features like:

  • fast e-commerce website
  • custom outfit sizing model
  • promotion periods
  • "virtual stores" (aggregates of multiple sellers)
  • customers can like products of sellers
  • customers can follow sellers
  • flash sales and promotions for followers of a seller
  • products must be validated after any modification before being published
  • sellers can create collections with their own products
  • some authorized users (socially in fluent users/partners) can create product collections from multiple sellers
  • we don't handle product stocks. Sellers are shipping directly to the customer. I think we call this "drop shipping". We must be able to sell products from anywhere to anywhere in the world and compute delivery and VAT costs accordingly.
  • mobile website

To give some background, I am an experienced Java/Scala/Js developer. I an not so much experienced with e-commerce solutions nor with PHP. Actually I don't like so much PHP (but would still choose it if it's the right tool for the job, and it seems to for most e-commerce websites...).

We have to migrate an existing custom PHP marketplace. It has most of these features, but a lot of bugs, a bad data model design, no unit tests, no documentation, a lot of SQL slow queries with many joins and not properly optimized.

We are considering Magento, but it seems that according to our current data model and features, the migration would be quite heavy, or we would have to temporarily remove features if we want something in production in less than months...

I've also seen Magento has its own database model, flexible using key-value pairs but quite complex.

With all the customization I need, is Magento a good fit?

I'm frightened to "fight against the framework" most of the time and finally to get poor performances because of the complexity.

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  • HiSebastien Lorber you can use webkul marketplace modules with addons and almost most of your requirement will met . marketplace.webkul.com
    – webkul
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 11:25
  • Hi Sebastien we are developers of the cedcommerce multivendor marketplace extension for magento and addons. I have gone through your requirments and most of them would be fulfilled by it. You can visit the marketplace page cedcommerce.com/magento-extensions/marketplace - cedcommerce and can also message for more informaton. Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 6:26

2 Answers 2

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There is a lot you want to do here that Magento doesn't offer out of the box, but bear in mind that it is a highly capable, fully fledged MVC framework in it's own right so there really are not limitations on what you can and can't do. From that perspective I would say Magento is a very good fit and can be made to do exactly what you need. However be under no illusions as to the amount of work that would be required to fully implement your vision - whilst you are likely to be able to find extensions on connect to fulfil a certain amount of what you want to do, I would never the less expect the requirement for pretty significant investment to achieve the rest.

A word of advice - find yourself a developer with a good reputation, this level of integration is not something you want to be doing on the cheap. You can develop Magento poorly or well, and while a developer with a good reputation will be more expensive, it will be worthwhile for the much more solidly developed and maintainable end result you will get.

Also I'm not sure what kind of timescale you have in mind, but if 'months' means 2-3, then this is very optimistic for all but the most basic, partial implementation of what you have in mind.

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  • Thanks for your insight. Yes I think 2 or 3 months is very optimistic as it seems to take a lot of time to customize Magento. According to feedbacks I'd rather make my own custom implementation (I guess I am myself a developer with "good reputation" according to StackOverflow :p). I really think a DB like MongoDB will fit much better than the EAV model of Magento, and really liked the feedback of Michael on this page: kapsdave.blogspot.fr/2012/06/magento-sucks.html Commented Nov 27, 2014 at 14:56
  • There are plenty of naysayers against Magento if you look for them, but undoubtedly they are nearly always people who have either tried and failed to master Magento as a platform, or who have only a little knowledge in the area. The more you learn about Magento the more you understand why it is built the way it is - the blog you link to certainly strikes me as having been written by someone who has been frustrated by attempting to learn Magento. He completely misses the point of EAV - Magento will scale far beyond other carts because of it. It's also a fully customisable MVC framework. Commented Nov 27, 2014 at 15:02
  • I pointed to a long comment of Michael and not the blog content itself. He did run Magento since 2009 and ported the Magento app to a custom Java/Spring solution, reducing complexity, improving response times... By the way, have you tried yourself to build an e-commerce website from scratch that was not straightforward with Magento and take performance and complexity comparisons? :) Commented Nov 27, 2014 at 15:09
  • Interesting what he says, but just because you have used Magento for a few years doesn't mean you have mastered developing it. Software of course only does what you tell it to, so the fact that they had no idea about some of the things Magento was doing suggests they had neither familiarity with the software, nor any expertise in developing it. I suspect that the rebuild he refers to was that much faster because he stripped out 95% of the functionality Magento offers. Hands down Magento is the most capable, extensible ecommerce solution out there, and if you know it well you see that. Commented Nov 27, 2014 at 15:29
  • Performance in Magento is an area which needs to be addressed with every install, whatever it's complexity but the common argument people give of Magento being slow really is a myth - Magento will run very nicely indeed on a very modest hardware setup and if you see a slow down when adding extra extensions that the fault of the extension developers in using inefficient code, not an issue with the framework as a whole. And yes I have built a number of store of various sizes from scratch though I have not run critical comparisons - I don't feel a direct comparison can really be drawn. Commented Nov 27, 2014 at 15:34
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I have bought the marketplace module from webkul and I would not recommend you waisting your time and money on it. It is badly programmed and does not work well. Instead of improving their module, they try to sell everything as a separate add-on. Leading to a very poorly programmed module. Also when you ask for support it is almost impossible to deal with them!!! Especially after they have received your money (don't even try getting a refund, it is impossible)

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