How to Sell Wholesale on Shopify
October 13, 2020
Offering your products as wholesale is a great way to expand your customer base, bring in another revenue stream, and get your brand more exposure. Luckily you can offer your products as wholesale right in your Shopify store. Let's dive into the benefits of offering your products as wholesale, what discount to give, and how to implement it.
Larger customer base
By adding B2B sales to your store, you've expanded your customer base to include other retailers. These retailers are likely to be returning customers and can be considered another income stream. If you are ever experiencing a slump in sales, you can reach out to your wholesale buyers and ask if they need a restock.
By offering your products through other retailers, you are gaining exposure to their customer base that you did not have to spend time or money marketing to. Their customers already like and trust the retailer, and you can benefit from this relationship. This allows the customer to find you, rather than you needing to find them.
Expanding to a new market
If you are considering offering a new product, or expanding to other countries but are concerned about the investment to do so, you can reduce setup costs and risk by first offering your product through a trusted, local retailer. You can also use your close relationship with wholesale buyers to arrange pre-orders to fund manufacturing.
What to Charge
If you're thinking about what to charge your wholesale customers, you'll need to consider your profit margin while still making it worthwhile for the purchaser. Starting at 50% off retail is a good guideline to allow retailers a 100% markup, but this will depend on how competitively your products are priced. If you are finding it difficult to create a price that is beneficial to both parties, you should consider raising your prices.
I would suggest to ensure that you are making 100% profit, and that the retailer can also make 100% profit. For example, if the product cost is $10, be sure to charge a minimum of $20 to wholesale retailers, allowing them to charge $40. This model ensures profitability for everyone involved.
You may also assign different wholesale customers different rates depending on how much they purchase from you annually. Setting up minimum order requirements (MOQs) by number of pieces or dollar amount is essential to ensure that your time is respected and that the discount is not being taken advantage of.
Be sure to include an list price (MSRP) in the contract with wholesale buyers to ensure that all retailers are charging the same price as you for your products. This ensures that they do not lower the price of your item, thereby competing with other wholesale buyers and even competing with your own website. In the contract you should also include how prices can be affected during holidays and large shopping events such as Black Friday.
Large wholesale order customers may request to pay after delivery however, this can be very risky for a small business. Instead, try a payment plan provider such as Afterpay or Sezzle to mitigate this risk while still being able to offer a payment plan to the buyers.
How to do it
Depending on the size and complexity of your wholesale offering, there are a few different ways to create a wholesale channel for your business. Let's go from simplest and lowest cost, to more sophisticated and costly.
Use a discount code
Simply make a discount code for your wholesale buyers to use at checkout. First, go to your customer list and tag your wholesale buyers with the name "wholesale". Filter the results for customers with the "wholesale" tag and click "Save filters". Name this customer group "Wholesale Customers". Go to the discount page of the dashboard and create a discount code of percentage type and under "customer eligibility" click "specific groups of customers" and add the Wholesale Customers list. Easy!
Add password protection to certain parts of your website. This would involve duplicating your products and offering the listings at wholesale price in collections that are only accessible to users that have the page password. You can use the Locksmith app to password protect pages, and give you control over who can purchase certain products.
Use an app
Use an app for complex pricing options for your wholesale customers. An app will allow you options such as custom prices based on tags and collections, defining volume discounts to incentivize customers to buy more, and setting customer tier discounts. Try Wholesale Club, or Wholesale Gorilla.
Create a separate store
Duplicate your store and create a new one for your wholesale buyers. This store should be password protected and have a subdomain such as "domain.mysite.com". This will cost you only $29 a month - the same as most wholesale apps and will avoid any confusion between your B2B and B2C customers. You may benefit from using an inventory sync app such as Linnworks to manage stock between the two stores.
Merchants on the Plus plan (a whopping $2000 per month) can have a seperate wholesale channel within their store. It's an extension of your store where all wholesale customers and orders are organized.
New to Shopify and not yet available to everyone, Handshake is a marketplace of merchants that sell only wholesale. This B2B platform was created to cut out the middle party for wholesale sellers. At the moment, it is only available in the US.