Split Pay Plugin vs Marketplace Plugins: A Showdown of Payment Simplicity

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Setting up a WordPress marketplace requires a plugin, but there are so many available solutions. What's more, they might not all suit your needs. As such, our latest post will look at the Split Pay plugin vs marketplace plugins available for WordPress to see which one might suit your needs the best!
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For WordPress websites, setting up a marketplace or multi-vendor solution for Woo is straightforward with the right plugin. That’s why the comparison between the Split Pay plugin vs marketplace plugins for WordPress is so interesting. The former provides almost one feature but does it brilliantly. The others offer a greater selection of tools but at a cost. On paper, this comparison is a non-starter, but the reality is different.

We think Split Pay has a unique offering that other solutions can’t provide. However, more importantly, Split Pay has the feature set and usability to appeal to small businesses – an overlooked niche in this field. Other solutions can also do what Split Pay does though, and more. For you, it’s crucial to understand whether those extra features and functionality will be a benefit or a hindrance.

As such, this post will pit the Split Pay plugin against marketplace plugins of different types and look at them all in a few key areas. First, though, let’s give you a quick overview of the Split Pay plugin.

A Quick Primer on the Split Pay Plugin

The Split Pay Plugin is a powerful ally for Woo store owners, especially if you want to steer clear of complex technical setups. It integrates seamlessly with Stripe Connect to help transfer a portion of each sale you make to a connected Stripe account.

The goal is to help you streamline the payment distribution process for a variety of scenarios, such as vendor partnerships, fundraising efforts​​, and most importantly, marketplaces.

The Split Pay plugin header from WordPress.org.

Our Split Pay Plugin review is essential reading, as we cover the ins and outs of this excellent tool for small business marketplace sites. However, here’s a brief overview of what the plugin provides:

  • A user-centric approach. If you lack (or don’t want) technical expertise, you’ll appreciate the straightforward setup process and intuitive interface. Practically every user should be able to configure and manage payment splitting with ease. This will save you valuable time and reduce your administrative burdens​​.
  • Diverse payment distribution methods. Split Pay offers a default global split that applies to all products unless you override it with product-specific or variable product splits. If you need granular control over the payment flow, you can assign unique split percentages or fixed amounts to individual or variable products.
  • Excellent documentation and customer support. Split Pay provides comprehensive documentation, which has regular updates too. As such, you can harness the full potential of the plugin, which makes it a stellar choice if you need an uncomplicated yet effective payment solution​​.

However, Split Pay isn’t the only WordPress plugin on the market to help you set up a marketplace. Next, we’ll look at some of the competition.

Marketplace Plugins: The Alternatives to Split Pay

The WordPress plugin ecosystem offers a variety of marketplace plugins, each boasting features that cater to a variety of needs. Of course, no two plugins are the same either.

For instance, Dokan stands out as it can help you create an Amazon-like marketplace in no time. It will appeal if you prioritize ease of use and versatility, albeit with a steeper learning curve.

The Dokan header from WordPress.org.

Dokan also supports various product types and multiple commission models​​. Much like Split Pay, you’re able to transfer portions of payments to vendors using Stripe Connect or PayPal.

The MultiVendorX header from WordPress.org.

MultiVendorX is another notable contender. It nets acclaim for its customization options and user-focused management system. The plugin also integrates with major payment gateways such as PayPal and Stripe​​.

The WC Vendor Marketplace header from WordPress.org.

Another plugin praised for its extensive customization options is WC Vendors Marketplace. This also includes an advanced commission system, which includes setting rates per product or vendor. Overall, the plugin offers you a high degree of control.

You also have plugins such as YITH WooCommerce Multi Vendor. The focus here is to give you the tools to create almost any marketplace or multi-vendor site you wish through Woo.

The YITH WooCommerce cMulti Vendor plugin.

It arguably offers some of the most detailed options to manage vendors, along with the relationship between them and the user.

VendorPro will suit those who wish to create a long-term affiliate business. It enables affiliate vendors to sell various products and provides the functionality to manage commissions too​​.

The VendorPro plugin header.

Note that some popular plugins won’t feature in this comparison. For instance, both Product Vendors by WooCommerce and WCFM Marketplace have bad reviews from other users. As such, we wouldn’t recommend them. Besides, given Split Pay’s excellent user feedback, you’ll likely want to start there anyway.

Split Pay Plugin vs Marketplace Plugins: Comparing Leading Solutions

Next, we’re going to look at how Split Pay compares to the contenders. We’ll do this in two areas: User Experience (UX) and cost.

These areas are the most important, as you’ll want to ensure the plugin you choose has good usability. Quick setup and customization will mean you spend less time tinkering, which will benefit your site as a whole. What’s more, the cost of a plugin will be a big factor. After all, your choice has to be sustainable over the long term.

Let’s start with the feature sets and usability of these plugins.

Features, Functionality, and UX

When it comes to simplicity and UX, Split Pay distinguishes itself with its uncomplicated setup and straightforward interface.

The Split Pay plugin interface.

The plugin ‘hyperfocuses’ on ease of use, from installation to managing split payments. It’s a user-focused solution ideal for small businesses without technical backgrounds​​. In contrast, some marketplace plugins offer extensive customization at the cost of increased complexity.

For example, Dokan and MultiVendorX provide a more feature-rich environment, suitable for adaption to several particular scenarios. You can implement coupons, advertising, and much more.

This is an advantage for enterprises and larger businesses that need to create an all-around solution and can dedicate the time and resources to it. However, it can be overwhelming for ventures that require a hands-on approach​​.

The Dokan plugin interface.

WC Vendors Marketplace also delivers deep customization and comprehensive control over vendors and commissions. While the plugin has a powerful set of features and functionality, it will demand more involvement from you, along with a steeper learning curve.

The WC Vendors Marketplace plugin interface.

Both YITH WooCommerce Multi Vendor and Vendor Pro offer a more streamlined focus on creating a marketplace, which we like. However, they both have different focuses than Split Pay. For instance, YITH’s plugin focuses on the relationship between you, the vendor, and the customer.

VendorPro has a focus on affiliate partnerships – although we’d suggest it’s the closest solution to Split Pay within this comparison. Even so, it offers less flexibility than Split Pay, thanks to its lack of Stripe support and weaker payment distribution options.

In essence, many marketplace plugins can offer a suite of advanced features suitable for a broad spectrum of needs. However, the Split Pay plugin’s streamlined approach means it’s an accessible and manageable solution for small businesses seeking simplicity when it comes to slicing up payments.

The Cost for a Small Business

For a small business, every dollar counts. As such, the price of your chosen tool will be critical. Split Pay offers a targeted solution, which can be more cost-effective than a full-fledged marketplace plugin with a grander feature set. There are three tiers available:

  • $79 per year for a single-site license.
  • $139 per year for a three-site license.
  • 25 site licenses will cost $479 per year.

If you compare this to the other plugins here, the contrast is stark. For example, Dokan costs between $149–999 per year. Note that you’d need to purchase the $249 per year plan to access Stripe Connect support and split payment functionality.

The Dokan pricing page.

MultiVendorX does a better job of its pricing model. Like Split Pay, you get every available feature regardless of the premium tier you choose. However, a single-site license is $499 per year. This may be cost-effective for an enterprise but will be out of reach for practically all small businesses.

WC Vendors Marketplace offers extensive customization and control, but its Pro tier is $199 per year. This is much cheaper than most of the competition (sans Split Pay). However, you may need some of the features on higher-tiered plans, which will increase your outlay.

The WC Vendors pricing page.

Both YITH WooCommerce Multi Vendor and VendorPro have arguably the most straightforward pricing models on this list. YITH sells its plugin for $149.99 and VendorPro sells for $97.

These are still more expensive than Split Pay, but VendorPro doesn’t have a limit on the number of sites you use it on. Even so, its payment-splitting functionality is weaker than others, which means you may need a separate solution for this anyway.

Wrapping Up: The Split Pay Plugin Is Number 1 for Setting Up a WordPress Marketplace

In a nutshell, the Split Pay plugin gives small businesses the tools to set up marketplaces using WordPress. In contrast, many of the other solutions have features and functionality that could be superfluous for all but larger setups. For a hands-on, fuss-free way to automate vendor payment transfers (and implement an on-site marketplace), the Split Pay plugin should be your number one choice.

Do you think this Split Pay plugin vs marketplace plugins comparison offers a clear winner? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

Tom Rankin

With a discerning eye for detail and a passion for innovation, Tom brings a wealth of knowledge to the table in WordPress products and content creation. His expertise, honed over years of hands-on experience, has solidified his reputation as a leading figure in the WordPress ecosystem.

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