Should Your Wholesale Business Sell Online On an eCommerce Website?
Using eCommerce to Grow Your Wholesale Business is Easy and Can Help Grow Revenue
For many years, direct contact or third-party options were the best way for companies to sell wholesale. It involved calls and faxes and a lot of slow tech. Nowadays, there’s a better solution offered in eCommerce. While so many people associate selling online only with direct-to-consumer businesses, there’s a huge opportunity for wholesale businesses to use their websites to sell online.
Here are some of the benefits wholesalers can see from using eCommerce:
Using an eCommerce platform to sell things on your site is a great way to automate a normally time-consuming process. Rather than having someone call, your team having to look something up, and then either filling out an order form or ordering from your end, the person can simply order from your website.
Your employees can take the time to work on other parts of your business rather than fielding requests that can easily be done through the website.
Get Data About Your Buyers
A great part of selling online is access to a whole new set of data about your customers! When you sell online, you can see the frequency in which someone orders, if they’re ordering the same thing or different things, and more.
This can help you provide a better experience for that particular customer by customizing your interactions with them based on what they buy. This is also great because it can help you see trends in purchases which is data you can use for marketing campaigns, product discounts, product ordering, and more.
Support Your Staff
A wholesale eCommerce website can be beneficial for your staff -- if you have sales reps, they can use the website to show off products as well as reference similar product lines. You can also include things like sell sheets on your website.
A few of our B2B clients have created portals for sales representatives where they can log in and then download sales sheets and other info.
Tie it In With Your D2C Store
With today’s powerful platforms like BigCommerce and Shopify, you can create specific customer accounts for wholesalers so they can shop directly from your D2C website if you have a mixed audience.
This means that if you have a wholesale customer, you can input them into a customer group, then they can log into your store and see custom pricing, as well as custom wholesale items that they’re able to purchase. You can control their customer group and even give some customers different pricing than others, all based on their login and customer group.
Reach a Changing Wholesale Buyer
When you think about it, the wholesale buyer is changing. So many people are used to shopping online now, which makes it easier for them to do their B2B buying online as well. B2B buyers are more and more likely to be a part of Gen X, an internet-friendly generation.
The best part of selling online is that you can reach this new audience, while still doing your old process for other customers who prefer it.
How do you use eCommerce for Your Wholesale Business?
There are quite a few options out there for you to sell online and it always depends on your specific needs and selling situation.
If you also sell D2C, you can use a platform like BigCommerce to create customer groups for wholesalers where buyers can log in and see different wholesale pricing. You’ll have to manually add customers to the groups initially, but from there everything is automated, and then can continue to purchase using their login and discounted pricing.
If you only sell wholesale with one price, you can just create the store as a wholesale site and sell your products that way, with information about your wholesale business throughout the site. You can also follow this method if you have bulk pricing using something like BigCommerce where there is tiered pricing -- the more users buy, the more they save. This is something you can implement on one, a few, or all your products, depending on how you sell.
If you have customizations where you’d like to send invoices to clients through your eCommerce system, you can use Shopify and one of their many apps to send customized invoices, wholesale pricing, and more. With Shopify, there are even apps that allow you to create page locks on only specific pages of your site.
Should Your B2B Business Sell Online?
We really recommend that B2B and wholesale businesses consider offering an option to purchase online. While it’s an investment now, with the way we are currently seeing trends, it’s something you’ll need to do eventually. And if you take the leap now, you’ll be one of the early adopters of eCommerce wholesale and begin attracting new customers right away.
Take a step back and consider if you’re able to work this into your current business model and see if it’s something your business can take advantage of!
Ready to Put Your Wholesale or B2B Store Online?
The team at efelle is ready to help! We’re experts in everything eCommerce and have experience with brands putting their wholesale business online for the first time!
Fill out the form below and one of our digital strategists will reach out so you can get started!