In the world of ecommerce, B2B (business-to-business) and wholesale sales are becoming increasingly important for businesses looking to expand their customer base and increase revenue. B2B and wholesale transactions involve selling products or services from one business to another, rather than directly to consumers.
In this guide, we will explore how to set up and manage a B2B and wholesale store on Shopify. Shopify is a popular ecommerce platform that allows businesses to create and manage their online stores. With Shopify’s B2B and Wholesale channel, businesses can create a separate section of their store dedicated to wholesale customers and offer special pricing, discounts, and product catalogs.
In the following sections, we will cover the steps involved in setting up and managing a B2B and wholesale store on Shopify, as well as marketing strategies and integrations to enhance your store’s functionality.
Setting up a B2B & Wholesale Store on Shopify
Creating a new Shopify store
To set up a B2B and wholesale store on Shopify, you will need to create a new Shopify account if you don’t have one already. You can do this by visiting the Shopify website and following the prompts to sign up. Once you have created your account, you can start building your store.
When setting up a B2B and wholesale store on Shopify , it is important to choose the right plan for your business. Shopify offers a variety of plans, including a specific plan for wholesale businesses. The Advanced Shopify plan is recommended for businesses with high-volume sales, as it includes more features and lower credit card processing fees.
After selecting your plan, you will need to choose a name for your store and customize your store’s design using one of Shopify’s templates. Shopify offers a range of templates specifically designed for B2B and wholesale stores, with features such as custom pricing tiers, product catalogs, and account management tools.
Once you have chosen a template, you can customize it to fit your brand by adding your logo, selecting a color scheme, and creating pages for your store’s policies and information. Shopify also offers a range of third-party apps and integrations that can enhance your store’s functionality and streamline your business processes.
Selecting a B2B & Wholesale template
When creating a B2B and wholesale store on Shopify, selecting the right template is crucial. Shopify offers a range of templates specifically designed for B2B and wholesale stores, which include features such as tiered pricing, custom catalogs, and customer account management.
To select a B2B and wholesale template, log in to your Shopify account and navigate to the Themes section of the Online Store menu. From there, click on “Explore Free Themes” or “Explore Paid Themes” to view the available templates.
When selecting a template, consider the following factors:
- Design: Choose a template with a design that complements your brand and products. Look for a template with a clean, professional layout that is easy to navigate.
- Features: Make sure the template includes features such as tiered pricing, custom catalogs, and customer account management, which are essential for B2B and wholesale sales.
- Mobile Responsiveness: Ensure the template is mobile-responsive, meaning it will display correctly on all devices, including smartphones and tablets.
- Customization Options: Check the customization options available for the template. Look for a template that allows you to customize the colors, fonts, and layout to match your brand.
Once you have selected a template, click “Add Theme” to install it on your Shopify store. You can then begin customizing the template to fit your business needs.
Customizing your store
After selecting a B2B and wholesale template, you can customize the look and feel of your store to match your brand. Shopify offers a user-friendly drag-and-drop editor that allows you to customize the layout and design of your store’s pages, including the homepage, product pages, and checkout.
You can customize your store’s colors, fonts, and images to create a cohesive and professional look. Additionally, you can add custom pages to your store, such as an “About Us” page, a “Contact Us” page, and a “FAQ” page, to provide more information about your business and products.
Shopify also offers a range of apps and integrations that can enhance the functionality of your store, such as email marketing apps, social media integrations, and analytics tools. You can browse the Shopify App Store to find the apps that best suit your needs.
Overall, customizing your store is an important step in creating a B2B and wholesale store that stands out and appeals to your target customers. By creating a professional and user-friendly store, you can build trust with your customers and increase your chances of making sales.
Adding products and collections
Once your B2B and wholesale store is set up on Shopify, it’s time to add products and collections. Collections are groups of products that can be organized by category, type, or any other criteria that makes sense for your business.
To add a product, simply navigate to the Products tab in your Shopify dashboard and click on Add product. From here, you can input the product’s name, description, images, and other relevant details. You can also set the product’s pricing and inventory levels.
To create a collection, navigate to the Collections tab and click on Create collection. Give your collection a name and add the products you want to include in the collection. You can also set a featured image and description for the collection.
Organizing your products and collections in a logical and easy-to-navigate way is important for your B2B and wholesale customers. You may want to consider creating separate collections specifically for your wholesale customers, with products that are only available to them and pricing that is tailored to their needs.
With Shopify’s B2B and Wholesale channel, you can also offer tiered pricing for different customer groups, such as discounts for customers who place larger orders. This can be a great way to incentivize your wholesale customers to order more frequently or in larger quantities.
Overall, adding products and collections to your B2B and wholesale store on Shopify is a straightforward process that allows you to create a customized catalog of products for your customers.
Setting up customer pricing and discounts
One of the key features of a B2B and wholesale store on Shopify is the ability to offer customer-specific pricing and discounts. This allows businesses to offer lower prices to their wholesale customers, incentivizing them to purchase larger quantities.
To set up customer pricing and discounts on Shopify, follow these steps:
- Go to the “Customers” section in your Shopify dashboard and select “Create a customer group”.
- Name your group and set the discount percentage you want to offer to this group of customers.
- Choose which products or collections the discount will apply to.
- Save your changes and repeat the process for any additional customer groups you want to create.
Once you have set up your customer groups and discounts, your wholesale customers will see their discounted prices when they log in to your store.
In addition to offering discounts, you can also set up tiered pricing for your wholesale customers based on the quantity they purchase. For example, if a customer purchases 100 units of a product, they may receive a larger discount than if they purchase 50 units.
To set up tiered pricing on Shopify, you can use a third-party app such as Wholesale Club or Wholesale Pricing Discount. These apps allow you to set up multiple price tiers based on quantity, and apply the discounts automatically at checkout.
By offering customer-specific pricing and discounts, you can attract and retain wholesale customers, and increase your overall sales revenue.
Configuring shipping and taxes
Shipping and taxes are critical components of any ecommerce store, including B2B and wholesale stores. With Shopify, you can configure shipping and tax settings to ensure a seamless and transparent buying experience for your customers.
To set up shipping, you can create shipping zones based on location and set rates for each zone. You can also offer free shipping for orders above a certain threshold. Additionally, you can integrate with third-party shipping carriers to streamline the fulfillment process.
When it comes to taxes, Shopify allows you to set up tax rates based on your business location and the locations of your customers. You can also set up tax exemptions for wholesale customers who provide a valid tax ID number.
It is important to note that tax laws and regulations can vary depending on your location and the locations of your customers. Therefore, it is recommended to consult with a tax professional or accountant to ensure that your store is compliant with all applicable tax laws.
Overall, configuring shipping and taxes on Shopify can be easily done through the platform’s intuitive settings and integrations. By setting up accurate and transparent shipping and tax rates, you can provide your B2B and wholesale customers with a seamless and trustworthy buying experience.
Managing B2B & Wholesale Orders on Shopify
Processing wholesale orders
- Processing wholesale orders on Shopify is similar to processing regular orders, but with a few key differences. Wholesale customers may place larger orders, so it’s important to have a streamlined process in place to ensure orders are fulfilled quickly and accurately.
- When a wholesale customer places an order, you will receive a notification through your Shopify dashboard. From there, you can view the order details, including the customer’s information and the items they ordered. It’s important to review the order carefully and confirm that you have the items in stock before processing the order.
- If you use Shopify’s Wholesale channel, you can set up custom pricing and discounts for wholesale customers. When a wholesale customer places an order, they will automatically receive the discounted pricing based on their account settings.
- Once you have confirmed the order and verified that you have the items in stock, you can process the order in Shopify. This will generate an order confirmation email for the customer and update your inventory levels.
- If you have a large number of wholesale orders to process, you may want to consider using a fulfillment service or app to streamline the process. These services can help with inventory management, order tracking, and shipping, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business.
Fulfilling orders for B2B and wholesale customers on Shopify is similar to fulfilling orders for regular customers. However, there are a few differences that you should be aware of.
- Creating a Draft Order:
Draft orders allow you to create an order for a customer manually. This is useful when a customer wants to place an order over the phone or by email. To create a draft order, go to the Orders page in your Shopify admin, and click the Create Order button. You can then add products, apply discounts, and set shipping rates for the order.
- Assigning a Tag:
To keep track of your B2B and wholesale orders, you can assign a specific tag to them. Tags allow you to filter and search for orders easily. You can create a new tag by going to the Orders page and selecting the order you want to tag. Then, click on the More actions button and select Add tags. Enter the name of the tag you want to create and click Save.
- Shipping Options:
B2B and wholesale orders may require different shipping options than regular orders. For example, you may need to use a different carrier or offer expedited shipping. To set up shipping options for B2B and wholesale orders, go to your Shipping settings in your Shopify admin. You can create shipping zones, rates, and methods specifically for B2B and wholesale orders.
- Tracking Information:
Your B2B and wholesale customers may require tracking information for their orders. You can add tracking information to an order by going to the Orders page, selecting the order, and clicking on the Fulfill items button. Then, enter the tracking number and carrier information.
Your B2B and wholesale customers may also require different types of notifications than regular customers. For example, they may need to be notified when their order is shipped or when their payment is received. To set up notifications for B2B and wholesale orders, go to the Notifications section in your Shopify admin. You can customize the notification templates and select which notifications to send to your B2B and wholesale customers.
By following these steps, you can effectively manage and fulfill B2B and wholesale orders on Shopify.
Managing customer accounts and orders
Managing customer accounts and orders is an essential part of running a successful B2B or wholesale business on Shopify. With Shopify, you can create customer accounts for your B2B and wholesale customers, and manage their orders and information.
To create a customer account, you can manually create an account for each customer, or you can allow customers to create their accounts themselves by enabling customer registration in your store settings. Once customers have created their accounts, they can log in to view their order history, track their shipments, and manage their account information.
To manage customer orders, you can view and update orders in your Shopify admin panel. You can view order details, fulfill orders, issue refunds, and manage shipping and billing information. You can also use Shopify’s customer segmentation tools to group your customers based on their order history, location, and other criteria.
One important feature for managing B2B and wholesale orders on Shopify is the ability to create custom pricing and discounts for specific customers or groups of customers. This allows you to offer special pricing to your B2B and wholesale customers based on their order volume or other criteria.
Overall, managing customer accounts and orders is crucial for providing a great experience for your B2B and wholesale customers. With Shopify’s tools and features, you can efficiently manage your customers’ information and orders, and offer them personalized pricing and discounts.
Handling returns and refunds
Handling returns and refunds can be a crucial aspect of managing B2B and wholesale orders on Shopify. Here are some steps you can take to streamline the process:
- Have a clear return policy: Make sure your return policy is clear and concise. Clearly state what products are eligible for returns, the time frame for returns, and any conditions that must be met for a return or refund to be issued. You should also outline how refunds will be processed, such as whether they will be issued as store credit or a return to the original payment method.
- Make it easy for customers to initiate a return: Provide customers with clear instructions on how to initiate a return. You can do this by including a return policy page on your website, or by including a return label and instructions with the shipment.
- Automate the returns process: Use Shopify apps or integrations to automate the returns process as much as possible. This can include providing customers with automated return labels, tracking returns, and automatically issuing refunds once the returned product is received and inspected.
- Monitor returns and identify trends: Monitor your returns to identify any trends or common issues with your products. This can help you identify areas where you may need to improve product quality or customer service.
- Provide exceptional customer service: Respond to customer inquiries and concerns in a timely and professional manner. Be sure to communicate clearly and honestly about the status of returns and refunds, and make sure your customers feel valued and respected throughout the process.
By following these steps, you can ensure that your B2B and wholesale customers have a smooth and hassle-free experience when it comes to returns and refunds, which can help build customer loyalty and trust in your brand.
Marketing and Selling to Wholesale Customers on Shopify
Marketing strategies for B2B & Wholesale customers
Marketing to B2B and wholesale customers on Shopify requires a different approach than marketing to individual consumers. Here are some effective strategies for marketing to B2B and wholesale customers on Shopify:
- Create targeted marketing campaigns: Develop targeted marketing campaigns that speak directly to the needs and pain points of your B2B and wholesale customers. This can include email marketing, social media advertising, and personalized product recommendations.
- Optimize your website for B2B customers: Make sure your website is optimized for B2B customers. This can include creating a separate wholesale portal or storefront, offering custom pricing and quantity discounts, and providing detailed product information and specifications.
- Offer exclusive promotions and discounts: Offer exclusive promotions and discounts to your B2B and wholesale customers. This can help incentivize bulk purchases and build loyalty among your wholesale customer base.
- Attend trade shows and industry events: Attend trade shows and industry events to connect with potential B2B customers and build relationships with existing customers. This can also provide valuable opportunities for networking and learning about industry trends and best practices.
- Leverage customer reviews and testimonials: Use customer reviews and testimonials to showcase the quality of your products and services to potential B2B customers. This can help build credibility and trust in your brand.
- Provide exceptional customer service: Provide exceptional customer service to your B2B and wholesale customers. This can include offering dedicated account managers, providing fast and responsive support, and proactively addressing any issues or concerns.
By implementing these marketing strategies, you can effectively reach and engage with your B2B and wholesale customers on Shopify, ultimately driving sales and building long-term relationships with your customers.
Utilizing the Wholesale channel on Shopify
The Wholesale channel on Shopify is a powerful tool for businesses looking to sell to wholesale customers. Here are some tips for utilizing the Wholesale channel effectively:
- Set up your Wholesale channel: First, you’ll need to set up your Wholesale channel in Shopify. This can be done through the Shopify Plus plan, which includes the Wholesale channel as a feature. Once set up, you can create a separate storefront specifically for your wholesale customers.
- Offer exclusive pricing and discounts: Wholesale customers typically expect lower pricing than retail customers. Use the Wholesale channel to offer exclusive pricing and discounts to wholesale customers. You can also offer tiered pricing based on order quantities or customer loyalty.
- Create custom catalogs and price lists: Use the Wholesale channel to create custom catalogs and price lists specifically for your wholesale customers. This can help streamline the ordering process and make it easier for wholesale customers to place orders.
- Provide personalized customer service: Wholesale customers often have specific needs and requirements. Provide personalized customer service to help them find the products they need and answer any questions they may have. This can help build long-term relationships with your wholesale customers.
- Use automation to streamline the process: Use Shopify apps and integrations to automate the wholesale ordering and fulfillment process. This can include automated invoicing, shipping, and tracking updates.
By utilizing the Wholesale channel on Shopify, you can create a dedicated storefront for your wholesale customers and provide them with a seamless and personalized buying experience. This can help you build stronger relationships with your wholesale customers and grow your business over the long term.
Using email marketing to target wholesale customers
Email marketing is a powerful tool for targeting wholesale customers and can be an effective way to drive sales and build relationships with your customers. Here are some tips for using email marketing to target wholesale customers on Shopify:
- Build a targeted email list: Segment your email list based on customer behavior, purchase history, and interests. This can help you tailor your email campaigns to specific customer groups and increase the relevance and effectiveness of your email marketing.
- Personalize your emails: Use the recipient’s name and company name in your email messages, and tailor the content to their specific interests or needs. This can help build rapport with your customers and increase the likelihood that they will engage with your email content.
- Promote special offers and discounts: Use email marketing to promote exclusive offers and discounts for wholesale customers, such as early access to sales or bulk purchase discounts. This can help incentivize customers to make purchases and build loyalty to your brand.
- Showcase new products and collections: Use email marketing to showcase your latest product lines and collections, and highlight the features and benefits of your products that are particularly relevant to wholesale customers.
- Provide valuable content: In addition to promotional content, include informative and educational content in your email campaigns that provides value to your wholesale customers, such as industry news, best practices, and tips for running a successful business.
- Use automation to streamline your email marketing: Use automation tools in Shopify to streamline your email marketing, such as abandoned cart reminders, product recommendations, and triggered emails based on customer behavior.
By using email marketing to target wholesale customers on Shopify, you can build stronger relationships with your customers, drive sales, and improve the overall effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Offering discounts and promotions
Offering discounts and promotions is a great way to incentivize wholesale customers to make purchases on your Shopify store. Here are some tips on how to effectively offer discounts and promotions to your wholesale customers:
- Set clear discount and promotion terms: Make sure that the terms of your discounts and promotions are clear and easy to understand. This can include specifying the discount percentage, minimum order amounts, and expiration dates.
- Create targeted promotions: Create promotions that are tailored to specific segments of your wholesale customer base. For example, you could offer promotions to customers who have not made a purchase in a certain amount of time or to those who consistently order high quantities of certain products.
- Use discount codes: Create discount codes that can be easily entered at checkout to receive the discount. This can also help you track the effectiveness of your promotions.
- Offer free shipping: Consider offering free shipping on orders that meet a certain minimum purchase amount. This can be a powerful incentive for wholesale customers, as it can help reduce their overall costs.
- Promote your discounts and promotions: Make sure that your wholesale customers are aware of the discounts and promotions that you are offering. This can include sending out email campaigns, promoting the discounts on your website and social media channels, and including information about the discounts in your product catalogs and other marketing materials.
By offering targeted and well-promoted discounts and promotions, you can encourage your wholesale customers to make larger purchases and build loyalty to your brand. This can ultimately lead to increased revenue and a stronger customer base for your Shopify store.
Integrations and Apps for B2B & Wholesale on Shopify
Integrations and apps can be incredibly useful for managing B2B and wholesale orders on Shopify. Here are some of the top integrations and apps you can use:
- Wholesale Club:
Wholesale Club is a Shopify app that allows you to create a separate, password-protected wholesale storefront for your wholesale customers. This app also allows you to set up wholesale pricing, minimum order quantities, and other wholesale-specific features.
- QuickBooks Online:
QuickBooks Online is an accounting software that can be integrated with Shopify. This integration allows you to automatically sync orders, inventory, and customer information between the two platforms, streamlining your accounting processes.
ShipStation is a shipping and fulfillment software that can be integrated with Shopify. This app allows you to automate shipping labels, manage orders, and track shipments in real-time, making it easier to manage your wholesale shipping processes.
TradeGecko is an inventory and order management software that can be integrated with Shopify. This integration allows you to manage inventory across multiple channels, automate order processing, and create customized pricing tiers for your wholesale customers.
Klaviyo is an email marketing software that can be integrated with Shopify. This integration allows you to create targeted email campaigns for your wholesale customers, based on their purchase history and other customer data.
By using these integrations and apps, you can streamline your B2B and wholesale operations, automate key processes, and improve customer experience. This can help you grow your wholesale business and achieve greater success on Shopify.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a B2B or wholesale store, and how is it different from a traditional retail store?
A B2B (business-to-business) or wholesale store is a type of e-commerce store that sells products to other businesses or retailers rather than individual consumers. It differs from a traditional retail store in that the focus is on selling in bulk and establishing relationships with other businesses rather than selling individual items to consumers.
How do I set up a B2B or wholesale store on Shopify?
To set up a B2B or wholesale store on Shopify, you’ll need to create a separate customer group for wholesale customers, set up custom pricing and shipping rules for this group, and enable customer account creation and login. You may also need to use apps or custom code to add features like minimum order quantities and tiered pricing.
How can I manage a B2B or wholesale store on Shopify effectively?
To manage a B2B or wholesale store on Shopify effectively, it’s important to stay organized and keep track of your orders, inventory, and customer data. You may want to use apps like OrderlyEmails to automate order confirmation emails and invoicing, and tools like QuickBooks to manage your accounting and financial data.
What are some tips for making a B2B or wholesale store profitable?
Some tips for making a B2B or wholesale store profitable include setting competitive pricing, offering volume discounts, providing excellent customer service, and establishing relationships with other businesses in your industry. You may also want to invest in marketing and advertising to attract new wholesale customers.
Are there any specific challenges or considerations to keep in mind when running a B2B or wholesale store on Shopify?
Yes, there are several challenges and considerations to keep in mind when running a B2B or wholesale store on Shopify, such as the need to balance pricing and volume discounts to ensure profitability, the importance of customer relationship management and communication, and the potential for increased order complexity and fulfillment requirements. It’s also important to ensure that your store is compliant with any relevant industry regulations and standards.
In this guide, we’ve explored the many benefits of using Shopify to manage B2B and wholesale orders. By leveraging the features and integrations available on the Shopify platform, you can streamline your operations, improve customer experience, and grow your wholesale business. Some of the key benefits of using Shopify for B2B and wholesale include:
- Customizable pricing and order management for wholesale customers
- Robust inventory management and order processing capabilities
- Access to powerful integrations and apps for streamlining key processes
- The ability to create a branded, professional storefront for wholesale customers
- Powerful marketing and promotional tools for growing your wholesale business