Product Vendors 2.0 makes managing vendors simpler

Written by Nicole Kohler on February 23, 2016 Blog, Product news.

TL;DR: Product Vendors version 2.0 has arrived! You can upgrade via your WordPress dashboard or download it from your My Account dashboard. Remember to make a backup of your store before installing the update. Enjoy!

With the Product Vendors extension for WooCommerce, store owners can instantly transform any shop into a multi-vendor marketplace, complete with multiple vendors, products, and payout settings.

With today’s release of Product Vendors version 2.0, we’ve added new features that make running a marketplace site even simpler. From a new vendor sign-up form to built-in per-product shipping settings to improvements to commission and payout settings, this update is designed to save you time while giving your vendors even more options.

With Product Vendors 2.0, managing your vendors is a simpler, faster process.
With Product Vendors 2.0, managing your vendors is a simpler, faster process.

Keep reading to learn about all the exciting changes we’ve packed into 2.0 and how they can help you grow your store.

Quickly accept and approve applications from new vendors

Starting with version 2.0, you can allow vendors to fill out a registration form expressing their interest in selling on your store. You can display this convenient registration form on any new Page by using the shortcode

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With a simple shortcode, you can display a vendor registration form on your store.
With a simple shortcode, you can display a vendor registration form on your store.

When a potential vendor fills out this form, two emails are sent: one to the store owner and one to the vendor. The vendor’s email includes their login information, but their activity will be limited until they are approved by you (the store owner).

Via your email message, you will be able to review the potential vendor’s information. If you choose to approve the vendor, they will receive a follow-up email notifying them that they can now log in.

Upon being approved, your vendors will receive an email instructing them to log in.
Upon being approved, your vendors will receive an email instructing them to log in.

Until a new vendor is approved, their role will be “Pending Vendor.” During the approval process, you can set their role to one of two options:

  1. Vendor Admin — has full access to set up products and modify all their vendor settings, or
  2. Vendor Manager — limited access, can’t see sales tax or other settings, but can add new products.
You can choose from multiple settings for your vendors users.

Both Vendor Admins and Vendor Managers only have access to view and modify their specific products and settings — they cannot see nor change the data of other vendors.

Allow vendors to set up their profile

In this version, we’ve improved the way vendors can be edited and managed, both by vendors themselves and by you or your staff.

When approving or editing a new vendor, you can assign one or more Vendor Admins who can modify their data, including their profile, email address, logo, and so on.

Vendor details
Vendor details can be modified by any users added in the “Vendor Admins” section above.

Quickly manage your vendors’ commission, ability to edit shipping rules, and more

In this same management screen, you can set up the vendor’s commission (if you would like it to differ from your store’s default commission setting). You can also add the vendor’s PayPal email — where their commission payouts will be sent — and add any relevant notes you might have.

Additionally, you can allow the vendor to edit per-product shipping rules themselves, if you like. And if the final box is in a vendor’s profile is checked, integration with WooCommerce Bookings will be enabled.

Toggle your vendors ability to edit per-product shipping or offer Bookings on and off.
Toggle your vendor’s ability to edit per-product shipping or offer Bookings on and off.

This last setting will allow individual vendors to sell time-based bookings on your store. This is a new integration added with 2.0, and we hope you enjoy trying it out!

Choose between instant addition or admin approval for new products

Now in version 2.0, you no longer have to approve every new product unless you want to. On a per-vendor basis, you can now set new products to automatically be added to the store… or still require approval by you.

When a new product is set up by a vendor, if approval is enabled, the Vendor Admin or Manager will have to click “Submit for Review.” The product will be marked “Pending” in the item list, and you will receive an email stating that the product is ready for review. Sounds familiar, right?

But now, if you trust the vendor’s Vendor Manager, you can enable instant addition from their profile. This way, new products will pop right up in your store, and you’ll never have to approve them.

Trust your vendors? You can enable instant publishing for new products from their individual WordPress user profiles.
Trust your vendors? You can enable instant publishing for new products from their individual WordPress user profiles.

This is done on a per-user basis, so you can toggle instant addition on and off for the vendors’ Managers or Admins that are new, trusted, in need of a little help with their product pages, and so on.

Show as little or as much vendor information as you like

Some stores like to show their customers a lot of information about their individual vendors, while some don’t like to show any at all. With version 2.0, you have options to show each vendor’s:

  • Vendor Name
  • Vendor Review (a vendor’s rating is composed of the ratings of all of the products they sell)
  • Vendor Logo
  • Vendor Profile (the bio or “about” information entered in their profile page)

Each of these settings can be toggled on and off. Alternately, you don’t have to show any of them, which enables you to support multiple vendors but show a seamless experience to your customers.

These settings can be toggled on and off, allowing you to show as much or as little information to your shoppers as you like.

For those of you choosing to display vendor information, we’ve added a new vendor widget that can be added to any widgetized area on your store. This “PV Widget” can be set to dynamically show the current vendor’s info for the product that is being viewed, or a select (say, a featured) vendor.

Display information about the current vendor -- or a featured one -- with this widget.
Display information about the current vendor — or a featured one — with this widget.

Vendors can fully manage orders, shipments, and customer notes

In this version, we’ve added a sleek new dashboard for vendors. We’ve also removed the need for additional WooCommerce extensions that were once required for vendors who wanted to set per-product shipping rates or receive new order email notifications.

Vendors now have access to:

  • Instant “new order received” emails
  • All their orders, for the purpose of adding private or customer notes
  • Per-product shipping rates and tax settings
  • Reports on their sales performance (downloadable in CSV format as well)

This saves both you and your vendors significant time and hassle.

Set commission amounts and payment schedules that work for you

Commissions on vendor item sales can be a set amount (ex. $5 on every purchase) or a percentage (ex. 25% of each sale). You can now set this commission individually per-product, per-vendor, or per-store.

Per-product commission settings override all other settings if they exist. Per-vendor commission will override your store’s default commission. Your default commission is the fallback if fine-tuned amounts aren’t set.

As for payment schedules, we’ve updated these, too! Payments to vendors can now be made instantly, manually, weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly.

Note that Instant payouts are per-vendor setting only and are not available as a store-wide setting. Any vendors who have “Instant” payments set will override your store’s default settings.

With the exception of instant payments, your Payout Schedule is set for the entirety of your store.

Choose how often to pay your vendors.

Concerned about timing? The week, bi-week, or month starts when you first save your payment settings. So if you save your settings on March 1 and choose Monthly, payments will be made on the first of every month.

Built-in support for your vendors

Finally, we’ve added one final perk for vendors. From a vendor’s Dashboard, they can click “Support” on the left side of the screen. From this spot, they can submit any questions or concerns directly to you.

Built-in support makes communicating with vendors much faster for both parties.
Built-in support makes communicating with vendors much faster for both parties.

When a vendor fills out the Support field, you’ll get an email and can respond to the vendor directly from it. Then they’ll get an email with your answers.

Built-in support is just more way we’ve made the process of managing vendors easier on you… and given your vendors a better shot at running a more efficient operation on your store.

With Product Vendors 2.0, managing vendors is simpler, giving you more time to run your store

With this update, we’ve done our best to make it easier for you to manage your vendors and for your vendors to manage themselves. Between an improved vendor dashboard, instant order emails, and an improved registration process, we’re hoping this update saves you time… and lots of headaches.

The Product Vendors 2.0 update should be available on your WooCommerce dashboard right now. Here’s some info to keep in mind as you upgrade:

Please note that we are not able to diagnose or solve potential issues via blog comments. The fastest way to get in touch with us is via one of the methods listed above. But we are always happy to read your feedback on our extensions.

Have any comments about Product Vendors 2.0? Or any feedback about the features we’ve added? Feel free to leave your thoughts below, we’d love to hear from you.

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42 Responses

  1. Shanna
    February 23, 2016 at 5:46 pm #

    Which category should vendors be placed in? When I last them as a vendor they have access to my sites visual editor, posting media etc.. they should only have access to adding and deleting new products the shop, and commissions. Please help.

    • Nicole Kohler
      February 23, 2016 at 6:01 pm #

      Hey Shanna, here’s the section of our docs that walks you through how to create a new vendor: https://docs.woocommerce.com/document/product-vendors/#section-4

      There are two vendor user roles available: Vendor Admin and Vendor Manager. Both of these roles will only have access to THEIR products, reports, shipping settings, etc. Managers can create products, but can’t adjust settings like shipping, etc. Having said that, any users in either of these roles will still be able to upload media like product photos, but again, this is for the purpose of creating their own products. They should not have any access to create or publish new Pages, Posts, etc. — their activity is heavily restricted.

      If you find this isn’t the case in 2.0, please do let us know via a support ticket and we’ll immediately investigate 🙂

  2. allmyhoney
    February 23, 2016 at 6:35 pm #

    Nice job Roy and Woothemes. Well done.

    • Nicole Kohler
      February 23, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

      Thanks! Let us know if you have any thoughts or feedback.

    • Roy Ho
      February 23, 2016 at 8:21 pm #

      Thank you! 😉

  3. Heidi
    February 24, 2016 at 1:50 pm #

    Hi,
    I’ve uploaded 2.0 and am wanting to specify the shipping rates per product. I am based in the UK and have put a country code of UK and a rate of 2.00 for £2 but it doesn’t show if I purchase the product. Can you advise what other info I would need to put?

    thanks
    Heidi

    • Nicole Kohler
      February 24, 2016 at 4:42 pm #

      Hi Heidi! I’ve checked with the developers of this update and they’ve asked that you please create a support ticket with us (if you haven’t already) so we can take a look at your settings, store, etc. to see why this isn’t working for you in a bit more detail.

      You can submit from here: https://woocommerce.com/my-account/create-a-ticket/

      Thanks so much, we look forward to helping you get this resolved!

  4. seogaler
    February 24, 2016 at 4:02 pm #

    Have you added any printable reports with all the sales that I can give to the vendor?

    The accountant’s wants it!

    Peder

    • Nicole Kohler
      February 24, 2016 at 4:36 pm #

      Hey Peder, if you’re logged in as the store owner, click “Commission” on the left and you’ll see a CSV download option appear on this screen (top right). This will allow you to print out ALL orders/commission info, or you can filter by vendor, status etc.

      If your vendors want to generate a report themselves, they can do this by clicking the “Reports” option on the left and again picking the CSV export option in the top right. Some more info in our docs here: https://docs.woocommerce.com/document/vendor-guide/#section-4

  5. Anne
    February 24, 2016 at 5:13 pm #

    I just updated and it totally changed my site and locked me and my vendors out. I use the User Role Editor and now everything went wonky. I restored back to the previous version. I am sad that it didn’t work because I liked the new features….
    I couldn’t log in as a vendor anymore… got error messages and the admin got locked out! Not sure what happened… but it definitely tweaked something.

    • Nicole Kohler
      February 24, 2016 at 6:01 pm #

      Hey Anne, that doesn’t sound right at all! Please open a ticket with us if you haven’t already and we’ll have a look ASAP: https://woocommerce.com/my-account/create-a-ticket/

      • Anne
        February 25, 2016 at 2:10 pm #

        Thanks Nicole… I opened a ticket. I also could not update the plug in extension by clicking on the link.. I had to use the bulk actions drop down menu to get the update to work.

        • Nicole Kohler
          February 25, 2016 at 8:51 pm #

          Glad to hear you’ve got a ticket open now Anne. Definitely sounds like something’s going on so we’ll get things fixed up for you right away. Thanks for letting us know!

          • Anne
            March 12, 2016 at 4:49 pm #

            I give up… This new “Update” just simply does not work. I tried 3 different ways with my ticket support… and all 3 ways prevented vendors from logging in… sent emails from my staging and dummy site that caused major confusion from my paying customers. I have reset my site back to the version where I had the original Product Vendor and will NOT attempt to upgrade again! I am really disappointed as I am going to be charged again this month for an annual renewal for a product I can’t use since the Update!

  6. Brad Griffin
    February 24, 2016 at 7:27 pm #

    I’ve done a lotta Woo, but I’ve never explored the Vendor option Nicole. So, as I’m scanning and reading the docs on Vendors, forgive me if this has already been addressed and answered. 😉

    As vendors receive their payout, what happens with the shipping and tax amounts? Both of those amounts are forwarded to the vendor without commission taken out of those two amounts, correct?

    • Roy Ho
      February 25, 2016 at 1:52 am #

      Hey Brad! 😉

      So the store owner has option to either pass all shipping/taxes to the vendor or keep it. There are no commission calculation on either of those. It will be the full amount.

      • Brad Griffin
        February 25, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

        Roy, you are a gentleman and a scholar. And if you’ll venture to the land of Texas in April, I will personally serve you and all the other Hiros the best damn BBQ your Ninja face has ever dove into.

        • Roy Ho
          February 25, 2016 at 5:28 pm #

          Yummm, I might hold you to that! 😉

  7. طراحی سایت
    February 26, 2016 at 11:29 pm #

    Nice job, woocommerce always rocks! 😀

  8. Gugga7
    February 27, 2016 at 8:22 pm #

    Can this work with the Woocommerce Bookings plugin, specifically with its booking confirmation option. In other words, can a vendor receive a booking request, confirms it, before the customer gets an email/invoice for payment?

    The scenario is that vendors set up products, admin set up a commission for site owner, customer request availability, vendor confirms availability, customer gets notified for payment.

    Is this possible?

    • Roy Ho
      March 1, 2016 at 1:29 am #

      Hello, yes Product Vendors 2.0 will work with WooCommerce Bookings.

      • Niet
        March 2, 2016 at 1:38 am #

        I actually do not think this is compatible with Woo Bookings at all. When I combine these with my bookings plugin (max bookable per block =1) and somebody books 15 april 1pm, the same time block remains available for anybody else to book as well (instead of blocking 1p april 1m now that it’s booked.

        • Niet
          March 2, 2016 at 1:40 am #

          *instead of blocking 15 april 1pm

          • Roy Ho
            March 2, 2016 at 2:17 am #

            Please open up a ticket so we can see your configuration.

          • Niet
            March 2, 2016 at 12:35 pm #

            Well Roy, if only Woo support was as fast as sales replies here – my ticket is still open & unanswered.

  9. Rob
    February 29, 2016 at 10:55 pm #

    Nice plugin, but I’m hoping that your support for it isn’t as poor as it’s been for all my queries. 3 days with no response never mind a resolution is absolutely shocking considering the cost of some of your plugins that I’ve purchased.

    I’m hoping it works, and I dont need support, otherwise expect a few chargebacks coming your way.

  10. Rob
    February 29, 2016 at 11:09 pm #

    Oh, to add, there needs to be another option for paying vendors. I contacted Paypal to enable Mass Payments on my account (business account) to be told I couldnt have it as there is criteria:

    1) Turnover of more than £50,000 per month
    2) Be assigned an account manager

    So, I’ve bought the plugin, but cant actually use it for what I wanted to use it for. I’m now investigating your Paypal Adaptive Payments plugin (as they said I can use that!) but so far I can see one major issue:

    It allows the Vendor to change the commission level set whenever they want to – big oversight there guys…

    So, neither plugin seems to meet the use case, your pages assume that someone can easily get Mass Payments enabled, not so.

    • Roy Ho
      March 1, 2016 at 1:35 am #

      Hi Rob,

      So you don’t need to enable Mass Payments on your account. You just need it to be a business account. You’re only utilizing the Mass Payment API which is what you use to auto pay your vendors. And this is also optional and is not require for this plugin to function. You can choose to manually pay them if you want.

      There shouldn’t be any requirement to using PayPal Mass Payment API other than the fees and such imposed by PayPal.

      Just to be clear, this is not related the payment gateway you would use for your store/site. You can use anything you want there. This is only for paying out vendors.

      • Rob
        March 1, 2016 at 12:17 pm #

        Hi Roy,

        Sorry, Im confused here.

        When I log in to make a Mass Payment manually (by uploading a CSV), I get a message saying I need to enable Mass Payments on my account (note this applies to CSV upload or using the API).

        http://postimg.org/image/tgfu0o6fb/

        Having called Paypal Customer Services and sent several messages I am told about the criteria.

        I’ve also been told by Paypal that the Mass Payments API is US only too.

        How do I pay my Vendors if I cant enable Mass Payments? If I have more than 10-20 Vendors it would be a nightmare to pay them manually each time, in addition would it update the “Commission Paid” status on their dashboard if done manually?

        As for the requirements, here’s my emails direct with Paypal. Having read this I called them up on the number in the second email to be told it wasn’t actually £5k a month, it was around £50k per month and you need to be account managed – in itself Mass Payments is invite only too.

        Emails from Paypal:

        FIRST EMAIL:

        Dear Rob,

        Thank you for contacting PayPal regarding payouts.

        My name is Alan and I work on the Product and Site Support team. Don’t worry; I will be able to resolve your query/issue today.

        I’m unsure what you mean by payouts and I’m assuming you mean mass payments.

        There is lots of information here regarding mass payments.

        https://developer.paypal.com/docs/classic/mass-pay/integration-guide/MassPayUsingUI/?mark=mass%20payments

        However, PayPal wont allow you to use the mass payment facility unless you are bringing funds over 5000GBP per month into your account and you are account managed.

        I’m glad that I was able to resolve your query today.

        It is my pleasure to assist you. Thank you for choosing PayPal.

        Yours sincerely,
        Alan
        PayPal

        SECOND EMAIL:

        Dear Rob,

        Thanks for your reply.

        Your best bet would be to speak to our Pro team. Once you have an underwritten or ‘flagged’ account you would be eligible to sign up for the Mass Payments system (payout API is US only).

        You can reach our sales team on 0800 358 7927 and they will be happy to guide you through the sign up process.

        Sorry that your email got misrouted. I’ve CC’d both in so your correspondence should go to your correct account now.

        Thank you for your time.

        Yours sincerely,
        Thomas
        PayPal

        • Rob
          March 1, 2016 at 12:25 pm #

          To add, some webpages and threads on the matter:

          (From 2011!!!) – http://www.e-junkie.com/bb/topic/5516

          https://www.paypal-community.com/t5/Sending-and-receiving-money/Mass-payments/td-p/972554

        • Roy Ho
          March 1, 2016 at 5:20 pm #

          Hi Rob,

          I am not sure why the rep who helped you gave you such information but you can have a look here https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/mass-payments

          There is no claim here stating any restrictions on using it and it supports 203 countries in 100 different currencies. Did the rep give you any link to any documentation that states such claim?

          Perhaps just try it? You can follow our documentation here to set up the PayPal Mass Payment https://docs.woocommerce.com/document/product-vendors/#section-10

          To answer your question on the commission, if you set it to “instant pay”, then yes, once the order is paid by the customer, commission will be paid out to you and your vendors automatically. Assuming you have enabled PayPal Mass pay and all vendors have their PayPal account set.

          • Rob
            March 2, 2016 at 3:01 pm #

            In addition – can I use the Stripe Payment Gateway for this? I’ve been given a clear “No” from Paypal on two things now:

            1) Reference Transactions
            2) Payouts

            This means I cannot use Woocommerce Subscriptions with Paypal (the switch subscriptions functionality is dependant on Reference Transactions) or Product Vendors.

            I can however use Stripe to get over the WooCommerce Subscriptions issue as this does still allow switching, but can it be used with Product Vendors?!

            Do you guys check into these things before building in such dependancies? This is a MAJOR oversight, for someone that couldnt use these Paypal features and be stuck on an earlier release of the plugin is just poor.

            I’ll be requesting a refund for Paypal Adaptive payments plugin in the least, if Product Vendors doesn’t work with Stripe then Im at a loss here and will be looking for a refund for that too.

            You really, really need to make it clear what the prerequisites are and if there are underlying conditions related to them before advertising your plugins for sale!

            I’ve wasted hours and hours on this so far and your 2-3 day response rate for support queries isn’t helping.

          • Nicole Kohler
            March 2, 2016 at 6:54 pm #

            Rob – Roy will be responding to your ticket if he has not already.

  11. mjmcgowan
    March 11, 2016 at 6:02 pm #

    Hi Is is possible to confirm whether payment can be made to vendors another other than paypal? I.e stripe etc or bank transfer etc, it may be that some vendors will not want to use paypal..

    What are the alternatives? Thanks

    • Roy Ho
      March 14, 2016 at 5:30 pm #

      Hello,

      Yes, if you don’t want to use the automated method from PayPal, you can pay manually via any method that works for you. You can download a summary report of the commission and use that as the source of payments.

  12. mjmcgowan
    March 22, 2016 at 9:37 am #

    I purchased this plugin,

    I have been waiting 6 days for support, the plugin itself feels unfinished, and not thought out very well.

    • Nicole Kohler
      March 22, 2016 at 3:31 pm #

      Hi there, would you mind sharing your ticket number with us please? We certainly don’t want you to have trouble with the extension.

      • mjmcgowan
        March 23, 2016 at 1:52 pm #

        Hi have lots of tickets still waiting, support on this product is poor,

        I did get one response to a ticket, but to be honest it less than satisfactory, for a market place plugin, you really need to support chained, delayed & Parallel payments.

        To give an example:

        With Product vendors i want to be able to use chained payments. The reason for this is to keep the payment fees down.

        My understanding with mass payments in the following:

        1) Customer Pays $100 Paypal 4% (int purch) fee $4 + fee 30c
        2) I get $95.7
        3) I pay supplier $85 2% fees $1.7+ 30c
        4) My cut is $9.70

        Total Fees $6:30

        With Chained / Adaptive payments i would cost: 3.4% + 30c or $3.70

        The vendor would get $82.11
        I would get $14.19

        As per the above i end up with $4.49 more nearly %50 more paying this way than with mass payments.

        I have been told that you have no plans to support chained / adaptive payments and that i can pay manually instead, which would create additional burdens.

        Right now there are two vendor plugins woo vendors and wc vendors, the two main differences right now is that WC vendors supports all payments methods, whilst woo vendors does not.

        Woo vendors supports bookings, WC vendors does not but will soon.

        I wanted to go with a woo vendors to ensure long term compatibility, and woo appears to reliable and forward thinking providers.

        My question really is:

        Is woo vendors going to be constantly improved and developed as a real solution, or will be left half baked with poor support, we should all move to WC vendors asap? (i note the previous version 1.x was not regularly updated)

        I would like think the answer is no, so please prove me wrong!

        • mjmcgowan
          March 23, 2016 at 4:26 pm #

          I note that Paypal adaptive payments was raised as an idea in 2014 and to date nothing has progressed.

          Nor are there are not any other ideas under review, planned or started or completed for product vendors.

          Most ideas relate back to 2014, so it may be worth going through them and working what has or has not been included in 2.x, and then state what you plan to incorporate going forward…

          • mjmcgowan
            March 24, 2016 at 10:43 am #

            I also think it is extremely important for woo to state their intentions with this plugin.

            If support is not being provided, and further updates are not forthcoming or in progress than why waste our time integrating and setting up a site with woo vendors.

            I also need adaptive payments, so please tell us do you intend to support it at any time?

        • Nicole Kohler
          March 23, 2016 at 5:19 pm #

          Hi, unfortunately I’m not able to provide support myself in the comments here 🙁 Please let me know what your ticket numbers are and I can make sure they’re flagged for a response.

        • Roy Ho
          March 24, 2016 at 4:50 pm #

          Hello!

          I understand your concerns and they’re all very valid. I see that one of our support reps have already interacted with you on your support tickets. Please continue with him on any technical details.

          I do want to address some of your more general concerns though. Yes we will continue to add features and maintain this plugin for the foreseeable future. If you are wanting a feature which does not exists, I will encourage you to post it on our ideas board which you are already aware.

          So just to be clear, you can use any payment gateway you want to charge customers on the frontend. PayPal Mass Payments is only for paying commission to vendors and does not affect in any way the customers who buys from the site. And yes PayPal Mass Payments charges the payer the transaction fee instead of the payee. However you can offset that cost if you want by decreasing the commission paid.

          Yes we already have in the plans to include more commission payout options such as PayPal Adaptive payments, Stripe Connect and even PayPal Braintree.

          I hope that clears up some of the concerns you have.

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