Create a Social Marketplace with WooCommerce and BuddyPress

With the right combination of plugins you are able to create a comfortable BuddyPress driven Socialised Marketplace. In this Tutorial I guide you through the complete process on how to build a Marketplace with WordPress, BuddyPress, WooCommerce, WC Vendors and BuddyForms and bring your BuddyPress based Marketplace to life Step by step. 

List of Plugins we use in this Tutorial

General Setup:

  • BuddyPress social network plugin used for the vendors and customers profile/ my account pages (free)
  • WooCommerce eCommerce platform for online shops of any kind (free)
  • BuddyForms professional fronted product management for any product type (pro needed)
  • BuddyForms Members BuddyPress profile integration of the product management  (free and pro available)
  • BuddyForms WooCommerce Form Elements all WooCommerce fields as form elements to create individual product forms (free)

Vendors: If you're plan to pay commissions to your vendors you will need an WooCommerce Vendors plugin. Once installed, you will be able to pay commissions to your vendors.

  • WC Vendors vendors plugin to manage your vendors and pay commissions. (free and pro available)
  • BP WC Vendors Integrate the vendor dashboard into BuddyPress member profile. (free and pro available)

Customers:

If you want to build a Auction site you should consider

! BuddyForms Professional is required for this tutorial. All the other Plugins can be used in there free versions.

Installation Process of all Dependancies.

Manual Installation:

  • Install all plugins from the list below deepened to your needs.

All in on installer

  • BP WC Vendors - Your Premium Marketplace. Bundled and supported in one plugin. The BP WC Vendors plugin will guide you through the marketplace installation and list all dependancies to install them all in once.

Setup All 

WooCommerce Setup
If you not already have setup your WooCommerce store this is the first step to begin with. Please follow the instruction https://docs.woocommerce.com/document/woocommerce-setup-wizard/

The same for BuddyPress. Please follow the instructions.  https://codex.buddypress.org/getting-started/setting-up-a-new-installation/
For this tutorial we only need the BuddyPress Extended Profiles component activated.

WC Vendors Setup The WC Vendors installation and setup instructions can be found here: https://www.wcvendors.com/kb/wcvendors-setup-guide/

BuddyForms: BuddyForms is the only plugin required in the professional version. You can get the professional version from your BuddyForm free settings page or here. You can find help installing and setup instructions in the knowledgeable:  https://docs.buddyforms.com/article/142-installation-activation

Important: First after you have activated WooCommerce, BuddyForms Professional and the BuddyForms WooCommerce Form Elements extension the options for products and the product templates will be displayed and work. So make sure you have the professional version and all dependancies in place.

WooCommerce BuddyPress Integration
http://docs.themekraft.com/article/498-installation-activation

Create The BuddyPress Member Profiles 

Create a WooCommerce Product from the Front-End with BuddyForms
With BuddyForms you are able to create the form to manage WooCommerce products from the Front-End. Use the BuddyForms WooCommerce Form Elements extension to get the needed WooCommerce fields to build the form:  
After installing and activating the plugin you will have all WooCommerce form elements available in your BuddyForms Form Builder. Just create a product form and adjust the form to your needs. You can predefine the product type and all other relevant options.
Integrate the Product Form into the BuddyPress Member Profiles.
Use the BuddyForms Members Extension:   https://wordpress.org/plugins/buddyforms-members/
After installing and activating the plugin you will have a new Form Builder sidebar MetaBox "BP Member Profiles". Select "Integrate this Form into the Members Profile". This will integrate the form in the profile and also give the user a list of all his submissions that he can manage all his products from within his profile.
If you want to allow your vendors to change there submitted products "Moderation" will be interesting for you. You can allow the user to create new private drafts and sent them to a review before they go live. The old post will be untouched until the reviewer approves the new version: https://wordpress.org/plugins/buddyforms-review/

Integrate WooCommerce My Account Pages with BuddyPress and Sync the Data 

With the WooCommerce BuddyPress Integration plugin you can integrate all WooCommerce pages and user data like shipping and billing address into the profile and sync the data during checkout. The plugin has many options to integrate WooCommerce to your needs. You can find more information and documentation here:   http://themekraft.com/store/woocommerce-buddypress-integration-wordpress-plugin/

Product Vendors

If you want to pay commissions to your vendors, you need a vendors plugin like the WC Vendors. There are quite a lot of vendor plugins available. We choose WC Vendors for this tutorial because it is free and has most active installations on WordPress.org. You can integrate all WC Vendor related pages with the BP WC Vendors Plugin but in general this all should work with any vendor plugin. If the BuddyPress integration for your vendor plugin is not available you can ask the plugin dev. We also offer custom development and can help you to integrate your custom vendor dashboard. For all the customer relevant My Account pages please see above it can be done with the WC4BP plugin 
Tip: It is also possible to bring vendor relevant data into the members profile if the vendor extension offer shortcodes. Just add the shortcodes into a page and embed this page with WC4BP.
Some vendors extension are build to work only in the admin and have all views build into the admin. So make sure you select a vendors extension with all views in the front-end. Most vendors extension do not offer product creation from the front-end, but this is anyway much more powerful doable with the BuddyForms Plugin.

WooCommerce Subscription and Vendors
One other solution without the need of any vendor extension is to use a subscription model for your vendors and ask for a monthly fee to be able to sell products. There are several membership plugins out there. We do recommend WooCommerce subscriptions plugin and support it with our WC4BP plugin  https://themekraft.com/products/buddypress-woocommerce-subscriptions-integration/

Conclusion

It makes a lot of fun and sense to build your next marketplace with BuddyPress. There are countless possibilities around this plugins. Have you build a BuddyPress driven marketplace? Let us know. We are exited to hear your story and learn from your experiences. 
Any feedback is welcome.

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