The B2B market went through a revolution. According to Digital Commerce 360, in 2021, online sales on B2B e-commerce sites, login portals, and marketplaces increased by 17.8% to $1.63 trillion.
The wholesalers are also coming online. And Shopify doesn’t leave them in this alone. In 2017, Shopify launched its own B2B channel to let merchants sell their products to businesses and retailers. In the years since then, the platform has evolved a lot, giving all stakeholders the complete solution now.
B2B Shopify wholesale channel – what is it?
The wholesale channel on Shopify is a set of features that makes it easier to conduct business-to-business transactions online. It enables B2B sales directly from the Shopify e-commerce platform – without requiring third-party integrations. It provides fully customizable features, including discounts, custom themes, and APIs.
Currently, Shopify offers two ways to start selling wholesale.
Blended and dedicated stores
A blended store is literally a blend of two functions of the store that cater to both B2B and direct-to-consumer (DTC) customers. A dedicated store is one that is aimed solely at B2B customers.
Let’s take a closer look at both of them.
Blended store is the extension of your main store if you want to expand to B2B sales. B2B buyers can get into by their wholesale account to access wholesale price lists and payment terms. You can use it for both B2B and DTC sales if you do not want to differentiate between them.
It is also possible to build a dedicated wholesale store. The option is especially useful if you want to differentiate between B2B and DTC customers and have more customized options that work exclusively for B2B customers.
Note: To get started, B2B customers must log in to their new customer account using a one-time code sent via email. Once authenticated, customers will be able to manage their account, select their company location for orders, edit buyer information, and view/filter their order history.
How much do Shopify B2B and wholesale costs?
All B2B features are available only on the Shopify Plus plan. With a price tag of $2300-2500/month (and potentially even more as your revenue increases), you get a dedicated channel specifically built for wholesaling. Shopify Plus offers a lot more than that too – including endless customization and automation options through various Shopify apps.
Handshake – Shopify wallet-friendly alternative
If you do not have the budget for the Shopify Plus pricing plan, there’s one more way in which you can sell to businesses – the Handshake marketplace.
Basically, it’s an app that connects retailers to approved Shopify store owners and allows merchants to sell their products to them. Shopify Marketplace also has a few apps that you can use to create special pricing lists and give discounts to different wholesale customers – for example, B2B pricing solutions or Wholesale Club.
If you’re a small business looking to get a taste of B2B and wholesale, Handshake’s wholesale app is a great way to start out. They won’t provide you with all the benefits of having a customized channel, but for those just wanting “test the waters”, it’s a great alternative.
5 reasons why Shopify is good for B2B and wholesale
There is no doubt that Shopify simplifies the process of conducting B2B and wholesale sales. Taking a peek at the benefits of selling on Shopify, let’s see what you can expect.
#1 Manage stores more efficiently
Shopify B2B solution simply makes managing your stores much easier for you. If you have both a retail Shopify store and a wholesale business somewhere else, then you might spend too much time managing two (or more) separate stores. Shopify wholesale blended stores would meanwhile allow you to manage retail and wholesale customers from the same platform as the inventory, orders, and all other customer data would all be in one place.
#2 Enjoy flexibility and convenience
Your customers will love the convenience of being able to buy and reorder products they’ve previously purchased easily. This encourages them to continue returning to make more purchases, giving you a loyal customer base. Plus, you can also create passport-protected quotas and offer a custom pricing system that better meets their needs. For example, you can set the same discount for all products, but you can also add a volume discount. Or you can create wholesale price lists for different customers. You can even create multiple pricing lists – such as having a special pricing list for your best clients or offering a custom quote for an order.
#3 Get access to 24/7 wholesale order center
With Shopify, customers can access your wholesale order center 24/7, allowing businesses to extend their reach to customers in different time zones or even those in other countries. Having a convenient and accessible order center allows you to take advantage of those international opportunities while maintaining complete control over your B2B and wholesale sales.
#4 Deliver DTC-like customer experience
Wholesale stores were famous for reluctant UX and UI. Now, with Shopify, the things has changed a lot. You can use the design of your store and all the features you already have for regular buyers. Plus, you have access to the same powerful tools that drive Shopify’s DTC stores and use them to streamline your order management process.
#5 Save time (and money)
If you already using Shopify Plus, it can literally help you save time and money. You don’t need to waste time building a new store from scratch, you can use the same setup as your DTC store. Additionally, its implementation is faster than other third-party solutions. Not to mention that the daily workflow and order management are streamlined to the maximum.
What are the features of a Shopify B2B and wholesale channel?
Shopify’s wholesale and B2B channel solutions let you create tailored shopping experiences your customers will love. Keep reading to learn more about the features you can get at your fingertips.
Personalized B2B store
You can get a separate, dedicated storefront, or create a blend of DTC and B2B stores, protected with a password. You choose which option suits you more. If you don’t want to make the store visible through search engines, it’s possible either – wholesale access is only available to registered buyers.
- Create a personalized wholesale buying experience with your online store theme
- Customize delivery and payment logic right in the checkout
- Build the solution you need with the Shopify suite of B2B APIs and compatible apps
Custom pricing & order limits
With Shopify Plus, you have full control over pricing in your B2B store. The subscription allows you to customize the prices, so they’re exactly what you need. Furthermore, you can use the pricing lists to offer a special discount to your most loyal customers – as a way of saying “Thank you.”
- Set fixed wholesale prices for products
- Set percentage-based or volume-based discounts
- Set minimum & maximum quantity order limits
- Create multiple price lists with different prices for specific customers or customer groups
Customer self-serve dashboards
Spend less time managing orders. Shopify wholesale provides customers with an account and dashboard to purchase, track & reorder 24/7 without having to speak to you.
- Provide your customers with access to all current and past information, such as order status, tracking number, or invoices
- Give your customers the ability to manage their account easily (add and edit buyer information, as well as view and filter order history)
- Improve the ease of reordering to encourage customers to buy more products
Automate the process of assigning payment terms while tracking orders. With Shopify, you can have all payment terms in one place and reduce manual work to the bare minimum.
- Send a customized invoice email that asks for payment using alternative payment options, such as a wire transfer
- Enable customers to securely store cards on file or in their account & speed up payment processes
- Accept payment via Afterpay, which will allow clients to pay in instalments and automatically collect payments
- Assign a company with a specific payment term
Shopify B2B pricing plan details
Now a bit further about how much the wholesale channel (or rather, Shopify Plus subscription) will cost you.
Regular Shopify offers three flat-rate e-commerce plans, which cost $32, $92, and $399 per month, respectively. Shopify Plus meanwhile charges you based on the monthly sales volume. At least, you can expect to pay $2,500 per month for using Shopify Plus (or $2,300 on a 3-year contract). But if your revenue is above $625,000 per month ($675,000/3-year contract), then the fee becomes a revenue-based model, and you will pay 0.4% of your monthly revenue. Keep in mind this means the monthly fees might change from one month to another – but it won’t drop below $2300-2500 a month.
In comparison to the cost of a regular Shopify subscription, the price of a Plus subscription might seem high – but the Plus subscription offers many extra benefits for businesses that justify the high cost.
If you’re looking for more scoop membership perks of Shopify Plus development, check out this article.
Let us take your Shopify B2B website off the ground
Want to make the switch to Shopify Plus but feel in over your head? With the help of our Shopify Plus agency, you can make your B2B store seamless.
We’ve helped several brands move to Shopify Plus or build their first B2B store.
💡For example, we built the first Polish Shopify B2B store for an industrial shoe manufacturing brand and helped them connect their favorite third-party apps to Shopify.
Let us leverage our 5+ years of experience in the Shopify B2B e-commerce space and transfer your data easily. Whether you need assistance with integrating your favorite tools and apps, customizing the storefront, or working on your store’s strategy, our team is ready to help.
The future of e-commerce B2B buyers now purchase 67% of their products online. They change the way they supply their shops. This means that having a B2B store can help you capture more of the market. And Shopify goes to meet these changes.
Shopify has recently launched new features that open up even more possibilities for expanding into B2B – signaling that their wholesale development strategy is in the works.
With Shopify’s custom-built B2B features, customers can easily manage orders, set up payment plans, and access pricing information. This makes it easy for the customer to order in bulk without having to contact you. It’s a win-win – you get more orders, and the customer gets a streamlined purchase experience.
Make your B2B store stand out from the competition – contact us today and let us help you make your vision a reality.