Building a multivendor platform using Shopify as a backend

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I'm looking at building a multivendor platform; however, it's quite a bit different than a multivendor platform like Etsy. In short, I'm building something to allow my customers, to sell to their customers. My big requirements are:

 

  • My customers (call them vendors) do not share customers. The customers from VendorA should not see or know about VendorB, C, ...etc.
  • Each of my vendors needs a portal, where their customers can log in, browse and purchase
  • Each of my vendors needs to control who has access to their store, so no auto-registration

My thought is that so much of what I'm doing is already solved by Shopify...the notion of Product, Orders, Customers, etc. However, I think I have enough custom business logic which will require me to build something custom.

 

My current thoughts are:

 

  • Spin up a new Shopify account for each one of my Vendors. The basic plan at $30/mo is within budget since we'd be charging significantly more. I think the basic plan has everything I'd need.
  • Build the vendor "portals" from scratch, using the Storefront API and my own system. Basically map each storefront (on different subdomain) to a different web app (same webapp, but white-labeled), and fetch data from that vendor's Shopify account.
  • I'd manage the vendor admin side in a similar fashion, where my vendors would login to an admin view...I'd use the Shopify GraphQL or Rest Admin API to allow them to manage their products.

Is this crazy, or a good idea? The only thing which worries me a bit is managing hundreds of Shopify stores.

 

The other crazy idea I had was creating a *single* Shopify account, then making it multi-tenant by using "tags" or "vendors" in the Products. The danger there is cross-contamination of Products/Accounts, etc. due to bugs in my application code.

 

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Hey @brianz I am running up against a similar problem. I was wondering if you ended up going down the path of multiple shopify accounts and what you have learned? I want to do something similar to you but I also need to have custom delivery dates, as well as some pretty custom product descriptions. Any advice?

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