The following links and videos have been complied as general business and storefront resources for vendors. Our platform at the Alaska Marketplace has been designed to help make vendor product integration as user friendly as possible, however, some limited review of the materials below should be helpful depending on your personal experience with ecommerce sites. If we can provide support in this process, please contact us.
General Business Resources
The Alaska State Council on the Arts, in partnership with The CIRI Foundation, published the Alaska Native Artist Resource Workbook in 2015 to assist Alaska Native artists in furthering their artistic careers. The workbook contains detailed information on various subject areas related to the marketing and sale of Alaska Native Arts and can be dowloaded here.
The Alaska Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides no-cost advising services and low cost educational programs to entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their small business. SBDC business advisors work with entrepreneurs in confidential, one-to-one sessions in the areas of management, marketing, sales, finance, accounting and other disciplines required for small business growth, expansion and innovation. Learn more about available resources at www.aksbdc.org.
Anchorage based Alaska Startups is part of the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development and exists as a community for innovators and entrepreneurs. Among other resources, Alaska Startups maintains a large directory of the numerous organizations from across Alaska supporting entrepreneurship and small business. Learn more at www.alaskastartups.com.
Vendor Storefront Resources
The Alaska Marketplace runs on a WordPress platform, utilizes Woocommerce as our online storefront, and expands functionality through various website plugins. Once your vendor registration has been approved, you will gain access to your own vendor dashboard within this system. The content below offers general overviews of how to navigate the dashboard to manage your vendor account within the Alaska Marketplace.
Click on any of the subject titles below for additional details.
Once your vendor account has been activated, you can access your personal vendor dashboard anytime through the “Become a Vendor” menu found at the top of all Alaska Marketplace pages.
The vendor dashboard is utilized to manage all areas of your storefront, including sales, order, and commission data, product additions/edits, store coupons, and more.
Once logged in, you’ll want to add additional details and images to finish building out your store’s front page. This process will take about 10-15 minuets, but only needs to be done once to get your store set-up.
On the left hand menu, click on “Vendor settings” and then select the “Front Page” tab at the top of the page.
Add information including:
- store description or artist bio: this information is displayed on your store front page and on product pages
- a banner photo for your store: make sure to size this file as noted to avoid distortion:
- store location: use a full address in order for the map on your store front page to display properly
- Social profiles/links: These links will be displayed on your store front page
Vendors have the ability to set and utilize any shipping methods and rates that best support their operations. Shipping rates are set by the Vendor who is ultimately responsible for shipping their goods to customers. Set up your shipping rates on the shipping tab shown below.
We recommend considering USPS flat rate boxes as appropriate. For current rates and boxes available through any USPS Post Office, you can find further information here.
Vendor payments for products sold include any additional amounts charged for shipping less the standard marketplace commission. As a result, we recommend adding 15% to your estimated shipping cost to cover commission paid to the marketplace and additional packing cost you may incur preparing items for shipping.
While our dashboard interface is different, the videos below provide a more comprehensive overview of how shipping works on the Alaska Marketplace.
Add products to your store front by clicking on the “Add Product” menu item on the left side of your dashboard. Products can be added individually or, if you have existing product data in .csv format, products can be added collectively from a spreadsheet file.
While the layout is slightly different than what is presented in the videos below, the process and steps for adding products on your vendor account at the Alaska Marketplace are identical. These videos provide good direction of how to add products specifically along with a general overview of how the system operates.
As orders are placed by customers on the site, you will receive automated emails with order information. These notices will contain product info, customer shipping info, and information regarding commissions earned through the sale.
An example of the order confirmation emails that are generated by the Alaska Marketplace is shown to the right.
Commissions are issued to vendors 30 days after confirmation of order shipment.
You can also find order information in your vendor dashboard shown below. The dashboard provides additional order information along with the current order status of purchases made in your storefront.
As shown below, open orders are marked with the circle icon. Completed orders (orders that have been shipped) are noted with the check mark.
Once you have shipped orders, you will need to update the order status to communicate this change. This alerts us to complete the commission payout for your sale. To update the status, either open any individual order and make this change or click the green check mark box to communicate this change.
Commissions for vendor product sales are made 30 days after vendor orders have been updated to completed status. Commissions can be paid manually via check or automatically to your bank account via a free account with Stripe as preferred by vendors. If you want commissions payments to be deposited automatically, connect or set up your free Stripe account in the vendor dashboard (Vendor settings > Payment tab).
The commission and reports menu both provide information on current commission status. This menu is show below.
Other Account and Product Features
The functionality of the Alaska Marketplace is further expanded by numerous other features which we can help set up for your store or are automatically set-up when your vendor account is created. Further information on some of these features is below.
If you have products with add-ons that result in additional charges, contact us and we can help integrate this feature with your offerings. An example product with an add-on can be found here.
Product Size Charts
Do you have clothing products where size information would be helpful to customers? We can integrate a custom size chart for your products as shown here. Contact us for assistance.
Product Minimum and Maximum Quantities
Do you need to set minimum or maximum quantities for your products? No problem, we can help. Contact us for assistance.
An automatic feature on the Alaska Marketplace, customers can request and vendors can manage product refunds directly through accounts. Contact us with questions on managing refunds or visit our Vendor Overview page.
An automatic feature on the Alaska Marketplace, customers can join a waiting list for out of stock products and receive automatic notification when they become available again. See an example here.
An automatic feature on the Alaska Marketplace, customers can save and share products that they may not be ready tp purchase, but want to save for a later date.