Introducing The Wholesale Channel With Shopify Plus

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The next big thing in B2B ecommerce.

Shopify Plus, the Shopify membership built for larger and fast-growth enterprises, is taking on the digital wholesaling market. This is big news. Most wholesalers are still stuck using a mix of excel spreadsheets and handwritten orders, with only 12% using a full digital platform. Shopify’s new expansion makes it easier for existing stores to sell at wholesale levels while improving efficiency by consolidating orders and admin in one place.

Shopify Wholesale is a channel that is perfect for a few different kinds of businesses:

  • Companies that do both wholesale and retail. You’ll be able to integrate both channels, meaning you can streamline your invoicing and operations processes but have flexibility to work with customers of all sizes
  • Brand new companies that are hoping to setup a wholesale store, pretty much out of the box. If you’re looking to dip your toes in wholesale, Shopify can get you set up in minutes with an easy and straightforward admin.

It’s not ideal for stores with complex wholesaling systems involving frequent custom orders and varied client needs. For those kinds of merchants, you’ll need a custom wholesale store with a bit more work than the ready-to-go Wholesale Channel.

This post goes over what you can do with Shopify’s Wholesale Channel and how to set up your store.

Shopify Wholesale’s Main Features

Differentiate prices and available inventory for your different buyers

You can set up custom price lists that let you discount for volume, limit access of your inventory depending on your customer, or give special prices for particular customers.

You can also set commands like requiring minimum orders or displaying the retail value for comparison. These are adjustable from your wholesale admin.

Give your buyers password-protected access to your wholesale store online

Your customers will be able to see your wholesale products through a custom online storefront and place orders directly.

Customers submit a draft order, which you stay in control of the whole time

When a customer submits their order, it becomes a draft so you can first check your inventory, edit the order and submit an invoicet. After payment is processed, it becomes an order and integrates directly with the rest of your Shopify sales.

Keep flexible payments in whatever way you’re used to, or accept payment easily through Shopify

You can accept payments using any of Shopify’s dozens of payment gateways, including credit cards, paypal or even Apple Pay. Or, you can still accept payment and partial payment with cheques, bank transfers, or whatever you’re used to.

Send automated updates to your customers about changes in their order

You’ll have a central customer order page, where you can track all transaction history and send automated emails with order updates

Stay in control of your accounts

Switching to a fully-integrated digital system means you can keep better track of your data, reduce human error in logistics and operations, and manage your inventory and fulfillment with greater certainty.

Getting Your Wholesale Business on Shopify Plus

How does wholesale work with Shopify, and how is it different from other forms of Shopify?

Add the Wholesale Channel

  1. From your Shopify Admin, go to Sales channels and click the +
  2. On the Add Sales channel box, click Wholesale
  3. Hit Learn more then Add Channel and follow the dialog

Price Lists

As a wholesaler, you’ll likely be selling the same product for different prices to your customers, depending on volume, negotiated discounts and other circumstances. Shopify Wholesale is set up so that you can create price lists for individual products, collections or to all of your products. You can then add particular customers or groups to those lists through tags.

Use price lists to set percentage-based discounts, flat prices or price variants in whatever way you choose. You can set volume-based discounts and offer different buyers access to different prices.

Adding Customers

On the Customers section, you can add your wholesale clients manually as individuals and into categories. You then need to

  1. Give them access to specific price lists by tagging them on the “Price Lists” section of your admin
  2. Invite them to your store through the in-platform email system. You can invite customers individually or bulk email your whole list.

Once you invite your customers, they’ll have to set up an account that’s password protected. They can then browse through your store and place orders at the prices you’ve chosen for them. You can adjust prices for them by untagging them from their current list and tagging them in a different one.

Accepting Orders

The design of Wholesale for Shopify Plus is to make orders accurate, efficient and easily trackable. When your buyer submits an order, it goes first into your Drafts section of your Shopify Plus admin.

From there, you need to manually choose how payment will happen. You have three options:

  1. Send an automatic invoice that can be paid on the spot through credit card or any other Shopify payment gateway
  2. Send a custom invoice that can be paid out using a different method like a bank transfer
  3. Mark that it’s already been paid or partially paid, for instance if they write you a cheque.

Once payment has been processed, the draft will move to Orders and you can fulfill it as usual.

Want to learn more?

Wholesale is only available for Shopify Plus members. You can learn more with their introduction to wholesale.

Here’s a video about Shopify Plus Wholesale for more info.

Looking for a custom wholesale store that takes you further?

If you’re an existing wholesaler, or looking to expand your Shopify business into wholesale, Shopify Plus is offering a platform that helps you get ahead of the game and move your sales into the 21st century. Elkfox specialises in building custom wholesale stores, meaning we can design a powerful website that helps you grow your wholesale business in whatever direction you need it to go. Contact us today to find out more.