Introducing Wholesale: Your Next High Growth Sales Channel

Introducing Wholesale: Your Next High Growth Sales Channel

There’s a dirty little secret only people like you know.

Despite being routinely told that growing a business is a marathon rather than a sprint, you know better.

To sustain the accelerated growth you’re experiencing today requires you to sprint the entire length of the entrepreneurial marathon you’ve dedicated yourself to running. High growth companies can’t pace themselves or afford to leave anything in the tank.

It’s an all out sprint for sales, share, and supremacy.

Where can you find the stamina and speed necessary to maintain hyper growth?

Identifying new sales channels that only a fraction of your competitors are currently selling through can give you a valuable head start and help you achieve sustainable accelerated growth.

Introducing Wholesale

The Wholesale Channel was created to help you grow your business using your existing store. Instead of relying on spreadsheets, handmade draft orders, or cloned stores the wholesale channel positions merchants to expand their market, sell to high-volume customers, and increase lifetime customer value.

The opportunity to drive growth through wholesale is significant.

While B2B ecommerce is expected to grow to $7.7 trillion by the close of 2017, just 12% of all those sales are forecast to occur online. It means there’s ample room to grow, especially for first movers who use the Wholesale Channel to:

  • Create a separate, password protected storefront that offers customer specific discounts, product assortment, and terms
  • Create unique and custom product pricing tiers and catalogs for each customer
  • Invite and manage wholesale customer accounts in bulk
  • Approve orders before they are processed which allows merchants to review inventory levels, payment details and confirm quantities
  • Send automated notifications to customers alerting them of changes or updates to their order via a central customer order history page
  • Review and invoice orders for payment by credit card or take payment and handle terms offline

Your wholesale store is more than just a glossy product catalog. It’s a place where customers can log in to see specific products priced just for them. 

It’s why we built the Wholesale Channel to sync with your current store and automate much of the work involved.

In fact, you can automate 80% of the orders that are the same as those in your main store while still offering a unique wholesale customer experience. Importantly, by using the Draft Order API, wholesale orders surface right alongside retail orders giving you a streamlined single point of integration.

How Merchants Are Using Wholesale

Even though it’s brand new and not yet finished…

Shopify Plus merchants are already using the new Wholesale Channel to sell into new markets and grow their businesses. 

One of the first things merchants notice when they begin selling through the Wholesale Channel is how easy it is to get started. Specifically, despite the complexity often associated with offering different wholesale pricing strategies to different customers, the storefront is simple and easy to navigate.

In addition to being able to easily create price lists and customer accounts, the store settings function positions you to tailor the customer experience:

How important is establishing a wholesale channel before your competitors?

Just ask The Elephant Pants, a company that makes elephant print harem pants and apparel and donates ten percent of its profits to save elephants.

Prior to the Wholesale Channel announcement, the company actually attempted to migrate to another platform offering a wholesale channel.

Ultimately, The Elephant Pants realized that even without wholesale, Shopify Plus offered a superior platform and returned. It’s companies like The Elephant Pants that have inspired us to create a Wholesale Channel and provide merchants the tools they need to scale.

While wholesale is still a relatively small portion of The Elephant Pants’ business, the company credits the channel with helping it grow. As James Brooks, The Elephant Pants’ founder and Chief Financial Officer, says:

“The Wholesale Channel is allowing us to grow quicker than expected.”

Your Wholesale Future

Like you …

We’re just getting started with wholesale.

The Shopify Plus product and engineering teams are continuing to develop the channel and plan to introduce additional features and capabilities that will ultimately help alleviate the manual and time-consuming tasks often associated with operating a wholesale business. 

David Moellenkamp, Shopify Plus’ Director of Product, explains:

“We want to help merchants modernize the wholesale side of their business and ultimately provide them with the same easy and intuitive experience they have managing their direct-to-consumer business.”

“We believe that the features and capabilities of our Wholesale Channel are the core of a viable, long-term wholesale solution and lay the foundation for continued innovation in this space.”

Ready to use the Wholesale Channel to grab your share of the $7.7 trillion ecommerce business-to-business market? Come on then, let’s grow together.

About the Author

Nick Winkler is a contributor to the Shopify Plus blog & founder of The Winkler Group, a strategic communications firm that provides content marketing services to the world's best know brands, businesses, and marketers. Get more from Nick here.