Case Study
Dec 19, 2023

NOVICA UNITED Multi-Vendor Marketplace Case Study And How to Start Your Own

Written by is an exciting global marketplace that brings unique, artisan-crafted treasures from around the world straight to your doorstep. It's a vibrant space where you can explore and purchase extraordinary handcrafted goods, connecting directly with talented artisans worldwide. Considering setting up your own marketplace? Vendo is an excellent option, known for its straightforward interface and budget-friendly features. 

Vendo platform makes the process of launching your marketplace a breeze, allowing you to showcase prominent domestic brands and handle inventory and shipping processes with ease. With Vendo taking care of the operational details, you can dedicate your time to creating a unique and engaging marketplace for your customers.


Vendo is a one-stop-shop for all your marketplace needs, providing you with a marketplace platform automating day-to-day operation, a catalog of brands to pick from or an ability to invite your own brands, merchandising and promotional tools, ability to sell through multiple channels (your existing website, emails & SMS, mobile app, social media), and ongoing daily support scaling your marketplace business. Crafting a Global Impact in the Artisan Marketplace

1. The Birth of a Vision (1999)

Novica journeys began in 1999, born from a vision to blend social missions with artistic entrepreneurship. Founded by Roberto Milk and a team of dreamers, Novica aimed to reinvent the import/export process for artisans. By mid-summer of its founding year, Novica had already established connections with over 200 artisan groups across four regions – The Andes, Mexico, Brazil, and West Africa. This rapid expansion underscored Novica's commitment to bringing diverse artisanal products to a global audience​​​​.

2. Expanding Reach and Gaining Recognition

The early 2000s marked significant milestones for Novica. Investments from National Geographic and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) helped fuel its growth. By 2003, Novica had sent $5 million to artisans worldwide, and by 2009, this number reached $25 million. The partnership with National Geographic, in particular, provided instant brand recognition and widened Novica's audience reach. Additionally, extensive media coverage helped bring even more exposure to the artisans and their crafts​​.

3. Empowering Artisans: The Impact of Novica

One of Novica's most remarkable achievements is the nearly $100 million deployed to artisans globally, profoundly impacting communities in developing countries. Novica platform not only showcases over 20,000 artisans but also offers them fair prices, freedom from binding contracts, and the ability to build sustainable businesses. This approach has enabled artisans to expand their operations, hire more workers, and contribute positively to their communities​​.

4. The Microcredit Revolution

Recognizing the challenge artisans faced in accessing capital, Novica partnered with Kiva in 2012 to offer microcredit programs. This initiative allowed artisans to access over $240,000 in 0% interest loans in the first 12 months, aiding them in purchasing materials and growing their businesses. Such financial empowerment has been a critical factor in Novica's success and the success of the artisans on its platform​​.

5. The Affiliate Program: Spreading the Word

Novica's affiliate program plays a vital role in its market strategy, allowing individuals to earn commissions by promoting Novica's unique, handcrafted products. This program is ideal for those who appreciate the craftsmanship of unique items that transcend cultural boundaries. By marketing to a diverse audience, Novica affiliates help expand the market reach of artisans' products, contributing to the overall success and global impact of the Novica marketplace​​.

Repeating Novica Marketplace Success

To emulate Novica success in starting a new marketplace, focus on a clear mission that combines commerce with social impact. Building strong relationships with your suppliers, in this case, artisans, and providing them with fair opportunities and financial support is crucial. Leveraging partnerships and media exposure can also significantly enhance brand recognition and reach. Additionally, incorporating an affiliate program can help in spreading the word and expanding market reach. Lastly, being adaptable and responsive to the needs of both the suppliers and consumers is key to creating a sustainable and successful marketplace.

Get started with a marketplace like Novica on Vendo!


  • Book a demo call: We’ll set up your demo marketplace and populate it with products
  • Customize your Storefront: We’ll help you craft a storefront that aligns with your brand identity, ensuring a cohesive and on-brand shopping experience for your customers.
  • Onboard Brands: Invite your favorite brands or choose brands from the Vendo brand catalog. We can also start reaching out to brands you’d like to sell on your behalf.
  • Select Products: Curate product collections manually or automate the process to efficiently manage your catalog and meet customer demand.
  • Embed products: Make your editorial content shoppable with products embedded right where your customers expect them to find. Simplify and streamline product discovery.
  • Start Selling Programmatically: Push products through multiple touch points: on your website, share it on social media, and include products in your newsletters.
  • Get Paid: Get paid as soon as products are shipped by the brands. No need to wait 30-60 days or worry about orders not attributable to your affiliate links.
  • Get Repeat Sales: Since you’re not linking out, your customers will keep coming back. We’ll help them with abandoned cart emails and promotional email blasts.


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