Launching a Wholesale Ecommerce Business in 2023
Is now a good time to begin a wholesale ecommerce business? The stats seem to suggest so. With an estimated annual growth of 10.7% (according to Statista), B2B ecommerce in the US will climb to more than $3 billion by 2027. Therefore, wholesale ecommerce could be a lucrative venture for business-savvy people.
Upscribe is the perfect compliment to any ecommerce subscription business. It helps companies generate more revenue and encourages customer retention by enhancing their experience with your brand.
If you haven’t made it that far yet, we’ve got you covered. We’re going to explore the exciting opportunity that is wholesale ecommerce.
What is Wholesale Ecommerce?
Wholesale ecommerce is a type of B2B. It is the process of one business selling in bulk to another. As it’s wholesale, the products are normally sold at a discounted price so that the buyer is able to profit when they sell to their customers. And, as it’s ecommerce, sales are done online. This makes the process quicker and more convenient than having to visit a wholesaler in person. It also makes it a more accessible business style.
Different Types of Wholesalers
There are different types of wholesalers. It’s important to learn the differences before you start your wholesale ecommerce business:
Merchant wholesalers buy, store, and handle products. They buy them in bulk and distribute them in smaller quantities to other businesses. These include retailers as well as other wholesalers.
Manufacturer wholesalers make the products that they then sell to retailers. Being in charge of both manufacturing and distribution, manufacturer wholesalers have less expenditure on things like transport and warehousing.
Agents and brokers in this context are companies that negotiate with manufacturers to get the best price for their clients. These can be merchant wholesalers or they may work independently as a contractor.
Sales and Distribution
Sales and distribution refers to the process that products and services go through to reach customers. These include retailers and online platforms, like ecommerce.
Examples of Wholesale Ecommerce Platforms
Shopify Plus is a good example of a wholesale ecommerce platform. It facilitates sales so that businesses can sell their products, either in bulk or small quantities, to other businesses and customers. Shopify Plus is a versatile platform that allows anyone to build a wholesale ecommerce store.
Our second example of popular wholesale ecommerce platforms is Amazon Business. Unlike the regular Amazon platform that many have come to know and love, Amazon Business is exclusively for B2Bs. It facilitates wholesaler to retailer transactions. Subscriptions also include FBA and Prime.
Why Launch a Wholesale Ecommerce Business?
If you’re not quite sure whether wholesale ecommerce is for you, take a look at these benefits of getting involved in wholesale ecommerce:
Wholesale Ecommerce Accelerates Growth
One of the top benefits of wholesale ecommerce is the potential for business growth. Wholesale ecommerce helps businesses grow by speeding up the selling process.
Manufacturers who sell in bulk can increase their product quantities, thus lowering cost-per-unit. Additionally, having fewer customers decreases costs involved with shipping and fulfillment.
Profitable Long-Term B2B Client Relationships
B2B deals are often long-term and more profitable than B2C. This is because businesses need to think carefully about choosing a business to work with. Changing suppliers and partnerships is disruptive for a business and so, when they find one they’re happy with, they prefer to stick with them. In short, if a business is confident in the quality of the products a manufacturer produces, this often leads to loyal and lengthy business partnerships.
Create Room for Mobile Browsing
As an ecommerce wholesaler, you can give retailers the opportunity to browse your products online. The latest stats show that 50.9% of people who shop online do so at least once per week. Having access to wholesale products on a mobile device gives buyers and retailers the freedom to make purchases while they’re out and about. It also gives you more marketing avenues to explore, such as email marketing and social media marketing.
Automate the Wholesale Processes
As an ecommerce wholesaler, you can automate many of the processes, such as signups and checkouts, leaving you more time to spend on other areas of the business.
How do you Start a Wholesale Ecommerce Business?
We’re going to delve into some top tips for starting your wholesale ecommerce business.
Step 1: Decide on a Platform
There are numerous platforms online where you can host your ecommerce business. We’ll go through five of them in just a moment. But first, there are some things to keep in mind to help you decide which platform to go for. These include:
- Cost: Costs are a factor in any aspect of a business. Some ecommerce platforms have subscription fees and some charge onboarding fees too.
- Integrations: Take the time to look at what integrations can be used on each platform. Integrations can make your life much easier, with some enabling you to automate processes and integrate with accounting software, for example.
- User experience: Browse platforms to get a feel for user experience. Explore the different features and functionality they offer with their plans.
- Payment options: Consider the compatibility of different payment options on each platform. Also think about what options your customers would prefer.
- Scalability: Scalability is important for growing ecommerce businesses. Can your chosen platform keep up with growing demand?
- Usability: How user-friendly is the platform and its software?
The Five Best Ecommerce Platforms
Shopify – Shopify is one of the world’s biggest ecommerce platform. It provides everything a business needs to launch their store, establish an online presence, and scale their business. The inclusion of marketing tools is a big selling point for Shopify, as well as its simple-to-use website builder, round-the-clock support, and reliable hosting.
Shopify provides customer insights that help you launch personalized marketing campaigns. It also includes inventory tracking straight from your dashboard so you can easily keep on top of your stock levels.
If you’re looking for a subscription management platform for your Shopify wholesale business, Upscribe is the perfect choice. It integrates with Shopify to give your subscribers the best possible experience with your brand. Upscribe enhances subscriber experience with rewards and incentives.
Magento/Adobe Commerce – Adobe Commerce’s platform is powered by AI that gives deep insights into your customers. This enables ecommerce businesses to create highly-targeted campaigns. Additionally, you can manage multiple stores all from one place. It also emphasizes scalability.
The Adobe Commerce website builder is simple. The drag-and-drop functionality means users can build fully-functioning, user-friendly websites with no coding skills. You can create, update, and personalize websites quickly.
OROCommerce – OROCommerce is an enterprise-level platform for ecommerce businesses. It is designed and built especially for B2B. It provides out-of-the-box tools like price-per-quote configuration, corporate account management, and creating customized workflows.
OROCommerce claims that the software manages 70-80% of an ecommerce store’s functionality with its out-of-the-box tools. And, the remaining percentage enables B2Bs to customize their business.
WooCommerce – WooCommerce is built on WordPress, the most-used CMS in the world. This means that users gain access to thousands of plugins to optimize their site’s functionality. Furthermore, if you’ve already got a WP site, you can simply install the WooCommerce plugin to turn it into an ecommerce store.
With WooCommerce, you can integrate lots of third-party marketplaces like Facebook Ads and Google Ads. There is also a generous selection of email marketing tools, SEO tools, and content marketing tools to take advantage of.
Xcart – Last on our list of best ecommerce stores is Xcart. Xcart has been in the business for 20 years, so they have a lot of experience with what works and what doesn’t. It’s perhaps not as well known as the others on our list, but it is no less impressive and definitely worth considering.
Xcart is built for growth with powerful hosting, in-depth analytics, and eye-catching store-front templates. There is a good selection of marketing tools to take your wholesale ecommerce business even further.
Step 2: Enticing Product Descriptions and Images
Sell your products with fantastic images and descriptions. These are both key factors in buying decisions, so you need to make sure you get it right.
Images – These should be clear with a simple background so that your products are the focal point. Consider the lighting as well. Natural lighting is always better for buyers to see the true colours and details of the products.
Description – Describe the benefits of the products, their quality, and all things that make them superior to others. Think about customer pain-points and how your products help alleviate them. You might also consider hiring a copywriter to write descriptions that sell.
Here is an example of images and a description done right. You’ll notice the neutral-colored background and how clearly you can see the finer details of the packaging. You’ll also notice the enticing descriptive language in the description.
The second example is a little different. The images show the product being used so that the buyer can envision themselves, or their customers, cooking with the pans.
Step 3: Customize Your Prices
B2B prices vary between customers, often based on the quantity of products purchased or the number of repeat purchases the buyer has made. Naturally, things can get a bit confusing at your end with hundreds, or even thousands, of price lists flying around. The remedy for this is a solid pricing engine that generates the correct prices for your customers.
Below is an example of a wholesale price list.
Step 4: Security Features
As your wholesale ecommerce site will be processing so much sensitive information, including credit card details and addresses, you need to reassure your customers that your website is secure. Use a robust data storage program to keep everything safe, as well as 2-factor authentication tools. You also need an SSL certificate from a Certificate Authority. These are often included in hosting plans so check with your provider if you’re not sure.
Step 5: Optimize Your Pages for Search Engines
Last but not least, optimize your webpages for search engines. This will help you get organic traffic from the likes of Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Here are some key factors for optimizing your website:
- Write relevant, up-to-date content on your pages.
- Include keywords naturally in your content and page titles
- Maintain a blog and post regularly
- Link to authority websites, as well as other pages on your site
- Add alt-text to all your images
You can also link your social media accounts to your wholesale ecommerce store and vice versa to give your site more credibility.
Wholesale ecommerce is a B2B business that is definitely worth considering for your next business venture. Platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce make the process more straightforward than ever before. Be sure to keep the above tips in mind when building your brand.
If you’re looking for a way to grow your list of subscribers and decrease churn, Upscale is the platform for you. Simply fill in a short form to schedule an Upscribe demo.