Wholesale business has been booming in recent years and worldwide the market is valued at US$12.2 trillion. That is over 6 x the retail market. If your business is already part of this growing market then well done. If not then the time to act is now. Technology has made it possible to service both retail and wholesale markets from the same platform. This allows you to sell to both types of customers through an easy to use, secure, and robust online platform.

The challenge for most B2B companies is that they have used their true and tested methods of doing business for many years, some with great success. But to stay relevant and growing you need to continue to offer a more improved way for your customers to purchase from you. A team of salespeople is just not enough in the fast-paced world of today. B2B customers need a more enhanced shopping experience that includes many retail best practices.

B2C Features such as:

  • Product Reviews
  • Product Videos
  • Advanced Search
  • Order and Reorder forms
  • Live chat
  • Email Marketing
  • Easy to use shopping experience
  • Near-perfect customer experience
  • Streamlined checkout
  • Google & Facebook ads with auto re-marketing

This does not mean the in-person or over the phone communication of your sales staff is not important. It still plays an important part in the sales journey of your customers. Yet it will save you time and money by freeing up time. It might even improve customer service when your team has more time to look after the customers, instead of taking orders or creating invoices.

Your wholesale customers are looking for a more robust solution that fit the business world we see today.

 

Some of these include:

  • The ability to purchase items 24/7, outside of work hours, when they are focusing on running their company.
  • Being able to see your whole product offering in an easy to browse, and search, platform that they can access at any time from any device.
  • Less errors due to being able to select and purchase items they need without having to speak to someone over the phone.

 

The benefits for your wholesale business is immense:

  • Freeing up of your staffs time by not having to field calls the whole day
  • Increased revenue through business being able to sell every day of the week
  • Increased average order value due to the ease of adding products, up-selling, cross-selling and automated marketing
  • A reduction in order errors with the onus being on the customer to make sure they order correctly
  • Advanced historical data about what customers buy, when they buy it and what they didn't buy through analyses of your abandoned cart data
  • Use Volume-based discounts to increase orders & reduce shipping costs

wholesale pricing discount app shopify

The move to an online solution does not have to be complicated and take up too much time and internal resources. Technology has made it possible for us to migrate and build from scratch, online solutions for our customers in a matter of weeks. This reduces the cost of development and brings online B2B platforms into the budget range of most businesses.

 

Some important questions to ask before you begin:

  • Why is a new online solution needed for your B2B business?
  • What are the current pain points in your business that can be improved by the new e-commerce solution?
  • Clearly define your goals with the build, rebuild, or migration?
  • What is your current market share and what is the potential upside with a new online, integrated system?
  • What is the most important integrations needed so that it syncs with your current systems and procedures?
  • Do you spend internal resources to build it yourself or use a company that has experience in migrating online?
  • Do you require the ability to sell to retail as well or only wholesale in the store?
  • Is advanced search important to your customers and to your business?
  • What other special features will you need in the new platform?
  • How will you handle the Shipping? Will you offer courier service, local pickup & delivery, or even delivery to a list of stockist?
  • What fields are required on product pages? Will the basic fields be enough or do you need extra ways of displaying product information?
  • Do you need to be able to send out quotes for certain products?
  • What payment options do you wish to offer customers? On account, payment plans, credit card, or eft?
  • Do you currently have a list of current customers that you can market through a monthly newsletter?
  • Do you need to sync product data and stock levels in realtime, or daily with your POS?

 

Some setup options that are possible:

  1. Set up two separate stores for your retail and whole customers
  2. Use a Wholesale app to offer discounted pricing to your b2b customers
  3. Make use of Shopify Plus that comes with a Wholesale channel built-in

 

The solution you choose will very much depend on your business needs and size.

If you are only selling B2B then a one store solution will reduce cost and make integration easier, as you are only serving one type of customer

If you want to sell B2C/B2B in a single store then the use of an app(which ranges between $19 and $38 per month) is an efficient solution to service both markets.

And if your company budget and revenue justifies it then the Shopify Plus route, which starts at $2000 per month might be the best option.

 

Our team will help guide you on the best solution for your unique needs.

We've got the experience that will help your business move into the exciting new space of online wholesale selling. Let us be your partner in developing an e-commerce b2b platform that will help your business thrive in the digital landscape.

We are a team that has done the hard miles on many projects of a similar nature. We have learned lessons along the way that will not only save you money but time and increase the potential upside for your business.

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