Dokan is a WordPress theme from Wedevs which has been created to allow you to build a multi-vendor eCommerce marketplace. With an online store built using Dokan, users can register an account and begin selling their own products at your marketplace, pending your approval.
The theme includes lots of its own features making it much more functional than a regular WordPress theme. Some of these features include the managing of multiple vendors, displaying earning reports, and handling payments and commissions. Dokan also integrates with the WooCommerce plugin which provides the rest of the eCommerce functionality needed to power the store.
In this review of Dokan we will take a look at the features of this app-theme and also see how easy it is to use to build a multi-vendor eCommerce store with WordPress.
Features and Usage
Dokan has been created to allow you to build a multi-vendor marketplace with WordPress. The theme integrates with WooCommerce so you get access to the great eCommerce functionality of that plugin, as well as the many add-ons available for it.
As individual vendors can list their own products for sale at your marketplace, you can charge them a percentage from each sale. This allows you to generate revenue from your site, while also providing vendors with a platform for selling their items without paying monthly subscription fees or having to create and manage their own store.
When building a multi-vendor eCommerce store with Dokan, each of the sellers or vendors at the store get their own individual store area where they can list their own products. The individual stores each feature a header image for the seller to add their own branding. The sellers can also add their contact details and location using a map.
Potential customers can then view the products listed in a store by using the product category menus, or by browsing the items listed on the storefront. When a purchase is made, the marketplace collects the payment from the customer, and the vendor then manages the order. The revenue that the seller has generated from their transactions can be withdrawn by making a withdrawal request to the person managing the store.
As well as giving the individual sellers the ability to manage their own products and the orders they receive, they also get access to a number of reports to see how their store and listings are performing.
All of the seller’s interactions with the behind the scenes details of their store is carried out through a custom built interface which has used to create the seller’s dashboard. This means they never have to login and access the WordPress admin area and can efficiently manage their store from the frontend of the site. Thankfully this interface has been well designed and features a clean and functional appearance.
While the above should give you a good overview of how Dokan works to create a multi-vendor eCommerce site with WordPress, here are some more details about the key features of the theme and how to use it.
Setting up the Theme
Although this is an app-theme, with many more features than a regular WordPress theme, it still has many attributes found in a standard theme. These features include the following:
- Featured, Latest, and Best Selling Product widgets
- Responsive design
- Seven colour skins,
- Appearance customisation panel
Enabling the above widgets for display on the homepage is simply a case of checking the corresponding box on the theme settings page.
The next step is to configure the site menus, create the product categories and store pages. The theme does create the necessary page templates which handle various aspects of the site’s functionality such as the dashboard, registration, reports and review pages.
The appearance of the theme can edited using the theme customisation panel. From there you can set the logo, site title and other appearance related settings. Dokan also includes seven colour skins to allow you to quickly transform the overall appearance of the site.
Once the site is setup, you can then start creating the products, or wait for your vendors to begin listing their inventory.
The theme doesn’t come with any demo data so you will have to work your way through the documentation to setup the different elements of the store.
Managing User Accounts
Once this theme is activated on your site, visitors can register an account with the store. Those who want to make a purchase can register as a customer. However, as Dokan can be used to create a marketplace which supports multiple vendors, those who want to sell their items at your store can also register a seller account.
The account registration process all takes place through the frontend forms, without the need for visitors to access the WordPress admin pages.
Individual Seller Dashboard
Once a seller has created an account, they then get access to their own dashboard. These private dashboards show the seller some stats and data about their account and content on the site. The seller dashboards include information such as:
- Page views for their products
- Number of orders received
- Income from sales
There are also breakdowns of all the above, with charts and graphs used to give more detailed overviews of the data.
From the dashboard area, the sellers can also view and manage the orders they have received, create discount coupons for their products, view more detailed reports, manage customer reviews, and withdraw their earnings.
The sellers can customise the frontend of their store by uploading a banner image, giving it a name, adding links to their social profiles, and entering their contact details.
By giving the sellers their own individual storefronts and product pages, the vendors can really take ownership of their section of the store.
As well as access to the dashboard, individual sellers can also manage their own products that are listed at the store. From the main product page they can view all the individual product pages, in the same way you would view a list of posts in WordPress. Then, from the list they can then either create a new product or edit an existing item.
Dokan includes its own product creation interface. However as the products are created using WordPress custom post types they are easy to setup, with it just taking a few more steps compared to creating a standard post. As Dokan integrates with WooCommerce, creating products with this theme should be familiar to anyone who has used this eCommerce toolkit before, but if not, it is still very easy to use.
With Dokan and WooCommerce, the product pages can include:
- Product cover image
- Product image gallery
- Price and discounted price with discount date range
- Product category
- Short product description
- Full product description using WYSIWYG editor
- Product type
- Option for settings it as a downloadable product and uploading the files
As well as the main product details, you also get access to all the usual WooCommerce eCommerce store product features including:
- Shipping details – weight, dimensions, shipping class
- Inventory – SKU, stock management
- Additional attributes such as size, colour, variables, etc.
Creating individual products and their associated details is all very easy with Dokan and WooCommerce.
The individual sellers registered at the store are responsible for managing their own orders. If they are selling digital downloads then the store, thanks to its use of WooCommerce can handle the delivery on their behalf. However, for physical products the seller must ensure they complete the necessary steps to ensure the purchase is completed.
As the sellers get access to all the information they would if selling via their own store, they have all the information they need to manage their orders themselves.
As well as being easy to use from a seller’s perspective, Dokan also has all the features required to make managing a multi-vendor marketplace straightforward.
Once a user has registered an account with the intention of becoming a seller the admin user can enable selling for that user. This allows them to begin creating products to be listed on the store. This privilege can be revoked at any time should the need arise.
While sellers can list their own products for sale at your marketplace, you as the admin user have final say on which products get listed. By default, every product created by a vendor is marked as pending until you’d approved it, however you can enable trusted sellers to publish their products without moderation.
The logs allow the admin users managing the overall store to view the order history for all vendors. From the logs it is possible to view the latest orders and see how much the seller earned and how much commission was paid to the store.
As the vendors can request their payments through their store dashboards, it makes managing the payments pretty straightforward. You can set a minimum withdraw limit, and also set the withdrawal methods. Use of PayPal Adaptive Payments can also be enabled by purchasing an add-on for the theme. This can make the distribution of payments more of an automated process.
As the online store functionality is provided by WooCommerce, all the existing add-ons for this plugin can be installed to enhance the store. This allows you to add additional payment gateways to the store to increase the number of payment methods accepted beyond the default PayPal option, plus many more other features.
Visitors to the store can browse the products listed or search through the inventory. From the customer perspective they are not aware that the listed items are available from different vendors. This makes for a convenient shopping experience as they don’t have to browse the individual stores separately.
However, if the customer wants to view the individual seller’s stores, they can do so via the seller list. From here they can then visit the individual stores and browse their products.
Overall the frontend user experience with a store powered by the Dokan theme and WooCommerce works really well and looks great.
The Dokan WordPress theme is available at three price points:
- Single Site: $199
- Five Sites: $299
- Unlimited Sites: $499
All the options include one year of forum support and updates, with the unlimited sites pricing option also including access to the priority email support for one year.
You can view the full pricing details here.
Support and Documentation
Each license is valid for one year of updates and support. After that period, you have to renew your license to maintain access. When it comes to getting support for Dokan, the available channels include:
- Support Forum
- Priority support (unlimited license holders only)
The documentation is easy to follow and makes setting up the theme fairly straightforward. As well as a setup guide, each of the individual features of the theme are covered by the documentation to provide more information to the user while building their marketplace.
Final Conclusion and Recommendations
If you want to build a single or multi-vendor eCommerce store then the Dokan WordPress theme is definitely worth taking a closer look at. As it runs on the WooCommerce toolkit, you get access to all the great features that make this plugin so popular, including all the available extensions.
The integration with WooCommerce also means that your store or marketplace can sell digital or physical products without any problem. This makes Dokan a good choice for anyone who doesn’t want to be constrained by what type of products their store can handle.
The setup process is very straightforward, with the theme creating all the required page templates for you. The design is really clean and attractive and is ideal for showcasing a wide range of products of all different types. The product creation pages are particularly impressive, making it very easy for new users to quickly start listing their goods.
The most impressive feature of the theme however is probably the reports and feedback sellers get through their own private dashboards. Vendors can quickly see how many sales they’ve made, the number of orders and revenue generated. They can also see what their top selling products are and many other pieces of useful information.
Overall, using Dokan was a positive experience. While the price might be higher than some other marketplace themes, it does a good job of allowing you to build a multi-vendor online store which could soon be generating its own income via sales commissions from vendors.
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