B2B ECOMMERCE   |   4 minute read

6 tips to expand from B2C to B2B eCommerce

You’ve built up a great retail business with your Shopify eCommerce store. You have a solid product offering, fair prices and you're ready to keep on growing! Wholesale has been catching your eye, and you're definitely up for the challenge.

If you do it right, moving into wholesale will be a lucrative new channel. There's opportunity for higher profit margin, a bigger customer reach, and gives you the advantage of taking control of supply for your own retail business.

B2B eCommerce should be a US$1.13 trillion dollar industry by 2020, so maybe it is time to explore more about what this channel has to offer. Here are 6 tips for making the move and transition smoother.

1. First, make it all about you.

The wholesale sales process does move slower than retail, and a lot of your sales are going to depend on long term relationships and information exchange. Be prepared to make that extra time investment and to answer a lot more questions than with retail.

Meanwhile, make sure that you give your customers a lot of information up-front. Research shows that 89% of B2B customers are using the internet to do a lot of initial research about products. That same study also found that 57% of the buying process is done before even engaging by your sales team. That means that what you already have out there is doing a lot of talking for you - 57% of it to be exact.

Setting up a clear and detailed product description, using clear product photos and giving specifics and information about your product helps you sell your product before the customer even contacts you. Give them all the information you can online!

2. Figure out minimum order quantities and pricing.

A big part of your decision to move into wholesale is to grow your business and let's put it bluntly - to make more money! Make sure that your pricing terms and conditions are set up to help you do just that. Minimum order quantities are an essential part of the wholesale model, ensuring that your customers order enough to make it worth your while.

Pricing is a delicate balance between lowering the price for wholesale and bulk orders and still ensuring you make money. This article on wholesale pricing gives you a detailed look at what exactly you should keep in mind when setting just that right price.

3. Modify your order fulfillment processes and workflows.

Once you get to wholesaling, you'll most likely see an increase in quantity of orders and shifting customer expectations in lead time. While your basic order fulfillment processes (that have already been working great for you in retail) can probably remain the same, it's important to modify for wholesale, including an increase in capacity for volume and making sure your pick, pack, ship process is streamlined.


4. Use all your retail experience.

Use all that retail experience you have to your advantage! Starting out as a retailer can actually be a big advantage to you in the wholesale market. Recent studies by Forrester show that B2B customers are increasingly looking for the convenience of the retail buying experience when they place wholesale orders. Great news for you, since you've got all this down pat.

Think of what your customers like and appreciate about the experience you give them as a retailer. This can be anything from the order process (maybe you could try out our B2B eCommerce platform to make ordering as simple as retail) to customer service.

Essentially, anything that streamlines the order process and makes the wholesale ordering experience as easy as placing an order on their favorite retail site is a good thing!

5. Optimize from the beginning!

All that talk of search engine optimization is really important to bring traffic and people to your eCommerce site. By optimizing your site from the beginning, you can be sure people are finding you and then, if all goes well, making that purchase! Stand out from the competition with a killer site that is SEO optimized and making your site mobile friendly.

6. Look at it as an opportunity.

Look at wholesale as an opportunity, not a burden. Check out these myths about wholesale to give you a bit of a boost. Essentially, moving into wholesale is another sales channel and another way to further spread your brand and its identity to new heights!

Start with these 6 tips and see how easy it can be to go from an eCommerce retailer to a wholesale and retail eCommerce expert.

And let us know in the comments if you’d be interested in more free tools to help you make the transition from selling retail to wholesale easier!

See Also:
Mastering wholesale: 9 can't-miss articles about B2B eCommerce from TradeGecko
Metrics, KPIs and benchmarks for wholesale: how do you measure up?