Throughout 2020, online shopping has boomed. There’s an opportunity for eCommerce stores to tap into an avenue they may never have contemplated before – business to business (B2B) wholesale.
If you’re actively moving into B2B wholesale on Shopify, and in a growth phase of business, there are a few options available to you. Of course, there’s Shopify’s standard plan with custom apps that enable wholesale, or, for high-volume merchants or those expecting to grow rapidly, there’s Shopify Plus.
As New Zealand’s leading Shopify Experts, we have the strategy and expertise to guide you in moving to B2B wholesale regardless of your Shopify plan, although we may recommend one plan or another based on your current and future business needs/goals.
Whether based on Shopify or Shopify Plus, a responsive wholesale store needs to:
If you’re currently working in wholesale and B2B, you may already have sales reps with excellent customer rapport – ones you’re perhaps apprehensive of ‘replacing’ with an app or website. Thankfully, Shopify has a number of wholesale and B2B options to suit multiple business requirements, without sacrificing the wholesale “deal makers” that your sales reps bring to the table (we’re talking about those sweet discounts they line up for your customers!).
It’s important B2B stores maintains the personal touch a sales rep delivers, just faster, easier, and with great efficiency.
It makes no sense to us to waste your time with an entirely separate website for wholesale. Think about it – you need to manage the retail side of your store, and the wholesale side, simultaneously. You need effective reporting for both, and clear data to determine your next steps
Shopify has a multitude of options to ensure you can reap all the benefits of a strategic wholesale site, even if you choose not to move to Shopify Plus.
Pricing tiers: B2B pricing is not static. Shopify enables pricing tiers for unique customer groups, determined by you. You can adjust the pricing to be a set % or $ value, giving you the flexibility you need.
Members-only pricing: Shopify allows you to create a wholesale portal with members-only pricing. The discounts are applied only to signed-in, tagged customers, and won’t show to anyone else checking out your retail site.
Tiered groups: Do you have a custom price you’d like to offer to loyal VIP customers? Our experts will set you up with tiered customer groups. This allows you to set multiple wholesale prices and reward those valuable VIP customers.
Exclusive Options: Shopify also allows you to provide larger product orders and other options for specific customers only, such as ordering per pallet or per 1000’s of KGs.
Different shipping rules will apply for wholesale – we’ve got you covered there too. Like with members-only pricing, you can set up delivery costs as visible only to your wholesale clients.
When it comes to tiered groups, we recommend a two-tiered system to ensure the process feels personalized for each client. Using a clear tagging system, the customer logs in via their online portal and, according to their tag, sees their custom price. Once that’s done, it’s up to you to set the rules – discounts, special pricing, and VIP rates are completely flexible.
Along with all we’ve already mentioned, Shopify wholesale sites offer a number of other benefits your customers will appreciate.
On account checkout: Differing to your typical retail site, there’s no need for wholesale customers to pay on checkout. We recommend offering net payment terms to select customers, allowing them to check out without paying up front. Send through an invoice, just like normal.
Time saving efficiency: Rather than booking a meeting with a sales rep, your clients can log-in to their own, personalised wholesale portal. They’ll see their prices and agreed upon discounts, and be sent an invoice once they’ve placed their order. It saves hours per month while maintaining a custom user experience.
Incentive discounts: Show customers how much more they need to spend in order to get the best discount. There’s nothing like the VIP treatment.
Personalised service is worth its weight in gold. Unfortunately it comes at a cost – adding hours of additional work to both your salesperson and admin team.
The process looks a little like this: your sales rep drives to see a customer face-t0-face, the monthly or quarterly order placed, the sales rep sends an email through to the PA, who then puts the order through your ERP system.
Here’s a good one – handwritten proposals and a fax (yep, you read that right), sent back to HQ to process an order. We’ve seen it happen, this century.
We’re talking hours each week – that’s your employees time, and time is always money.
On the other hand, you may not want to completely automate the entire process, especially for larger wholesale orders and valued customers.
Our solution? Set up a wholesale site and get business reps to see clients face-to-face as normal, then put orders through on the road via their phone or iPad. The manual labour is cut drastically, the order is fulfilled, the client feels valued. Plus, no faxes in sight.
Here’s another option. With Shopify client portals your sales rep can be tagged to call the client once a sale goes through to confirm their order. This best bit? This automation only needs to be set up once – it’s a set and forget setup. Never underestimate person-to-person contact – a simple call means sales reps won’t miss out, and you won’t lose the personal touch your customers value.
By adjusting your wholesale Shopify site to put in the hard yards for you, you’re setting yourself up for success. We like to say your website should be working as a 24/7 employee, and in this case, it’s going to become your top salesperson too.
Incentivise and reward your most profitable customers by offering them wholesale discounts right in your Shopify storefront.
Call us to get your business moving.