How to create a wholesale channel and sell your products to retailers
by 300cbt Team·
These days, I often receive inquiries about wanting to create a wholesale sales channel. I think it's because wholesale transactions are active in the e-commerce market.
Today, I would like to talk about how you can handle not only retail but also wholesale through an online store.
In recent years, wholesale has experienced its own revolution thanks to online marketplaces such as Amazon, Wish and Wayfair. E-commerce has enabled direct-to-consumer brands to thrive by lowering store barriers, but wholesale still provides consumers with a convenient shopping experience where they can find everything they need in one place.
So why should you create a wholesale channel?
A new version of wholesale, often seen in online markets or small boutiques, has the advantage of being applicable to direct-to-consumer brands as well. Here are three reasons why opening a wholesale channel can benefit your business.
1. Increase sales without increasing marketing costs.
Direct-to-consumer brands typically need to allocate large budgets to marketing to grow. There are often costs involved every time you acquire a new customer. But by selling your products wholesale, you allow other businesses to shoulder the cost of customer acquisition, and you can reinvest that time and budget in other areas of your business.
2. Leverage other brands’ customers to sell your products.
Just as it costs money to attract new customers, creating loyal fans and audiences is no easy task. Establishing a wholesale partnership with an established brand that is already well-known in your niche allows you to leverage that company's goodwill to get your products in front of customers.
3. Enter new markets with less risk.
Expanding your business to a new country or region comes with a series of associated costs, such as warehousing and logistics, or marketing to customers who have never heard of what you sell. However, meeting other retailers in new markets with existing distributors and supply chains can help reduce the risks of global expansion by reducing these costs.
Ultimately, the wholesale business model benefits both retailers and wholesalers by creating efficiencies. Retailers gain new, complementary products to sell without having to invest in research and development, and wholesalers save on marketing costs by tapping directly into their existing customer base.
Three tips for setting up a wholesale channel using Shopify
When setting up an online wholesale business, you should first consider whether you want to simply distribute wholesale or add the option of selling directly to customers.
1. Set a password for your wholesale store
If you want to sell your products wholesale only to retail sellers, you need to create a password-protected online store so that only retailers can place orders at discounted wholesale prices.
For Shopify stores, you can use the feature to protect your store with a password. You can set up this feature in your Shopify admin.
▲You can set a store password in Shopify store admin at Online Store > Preferences.
You can set up a password for your store and show your products at discounted prices only to retailers.
If you run a large wholesale business and are concerned about your store password being exposed to unverified retailers, you may want to consider using a more complex password protection feature like Locksmith.
▲ Locksmith can restrict access to individual products, collections, or options.
Locksmith uses many customization features to control who can view the store or purchase products. Customers can create an account and set their own password.
You can grant access to your products by applying tags to customer profiles, sharing secret links, or customizing your inventory based on the country they are searching from.
▲ With Locksmith, you can choose which customers have access to which parts of your store and how.
2. Open a separate storefront for wholesale sales using Shopify
Businesses that already operate a B2C store but want to create a wholesale channel for retailers to purchase from have several options. The simplest way is to set up two stores with different URLs and restrict access with a password as mentioned above.
If you have a lot of sales, you can also upgrade to Shopify Plus and take advantage of its wholesale channel features. Shopify Plus lets you create a password-protected wholesale channel within your existing store.
▲ The ’s password-protected wholesale channel store front
By creating a wholesale storefront using your existing products, you can set up your wholesale channel with very little additional work. You can also differentiate prices by customer group and apply discount rates based on purchase quantity. The best thing is that Shopify's sales reports allow you to see everything from customer sales to wholesale sales separately.
3. Create a wholesale sales channel using the wholesale channel app
Another way to create a wholesale channel on Shopify is to use a companion app like Wholesale Club. Wholesale Club gives retail customers “tiers” that allow them to receive special discounts off regular retail prices.
▲ Discount tiers in the Wholesale Club App can be specified using customer tags.
This app can also be set up to allow customers to purchase in bulk so that the more they purchase, the more discounts they receive.
▲Discounts based on purchase volume, such as quantity or amount, are provided to wholesale customers.
Wholesale Club allows you to ensure that only customers with a verified retailer account have access to wholesale pricing. You can create a secure wholesale channel by adding these features as an app to your B2C site without the need to open another store or product catalog.
Receive payment for wholesale orders
One thing that differentiates direct-to-consumer deals from wholesale sales is the payment terms typically expected from retail partners. Unlike general sales, when a retailer purchases a large quantity of a product, they usually inquire about the payment term for the transaction, such as "Net
When a retailer asks for these basic payment terms, it means that as a vendor, they want payment to be completed within a few days of receiving the order. Shipping large orders before the retailer completes payment is risky, especially for small businesses. That's why it's a good idea to ask for company history and references and perform due diligence before signing a deal.
How to add a payment period to your store
Both Wholesaler and Wholesale Club apps allow you to set payment terms for your customers. Customers are tagged according to agreed upon payment terms and can also place postpaid orders at the time of purchase.
▲ You can give preferential payment terms based on the customer profile tagged as a wholesaler.
How to Request Payment from a Wholesale Customer
You have a few options when it comes to actually billing a post-pay order. One is to save your wholesale order as a draft order in your Shopify store and have a billing invoice emailed to you so you can process the payment later. Draft orders can be processed once the deposit is completed, not only by card payment but also by check or bank transfer.
▲ In Draft, store owners can create orders and issue invoices to customers for payment later.
Afterpay is another solution for pay later. This app is usually used for sales to retail customers and allows stores to offer customers the ability to pay for sales in installments.
▲At checkout, we use Afterpay to allow customers to pay for their orders in installments.
This feature is also applied to wholesale sales channels, allowing payment information to be collected and payment made in installments. Apps like Afterpay can automate the payment collection process without having to manually track and verify unpaid invoices.
Find Wholesale Customers
Now that your store preparation and payment settings are complete, you need to look for wholesale customers, right? So where can you find these retailers?
Using a direct-to-consumer sales website
Retailers often look to direct wholesale channels first, but if you're advertising successfully directly to consumers, you've probably already been contacted by distributors looking to wholesale your products through your online store.
When you advertise online to your customers, your advertisements also reach other businesses interested in distributing your products. That's why it's very important to have a link in your website footer for wholesale trade inquiries. It's the easiest way to help anyone contact you through your website about potential opportunities.
▲ has created a wholesale inquiry form in the website footer for easy access to the link.
Participate in trade fairs
Trade fairs are one of the most classic ways to connect wholesale businesses and find retail partners. Special trade shows are held for almost every retail category, from baby apparel and leisure to furniture and home décor. A list of representative trade fairs by category. there is.
However, trade fairs have the disadvantage of being expensive, having to move depending on where the fair is held, and paying booth fees for participating exhibitors. Expos are an opportunity to discover new customers and create good relationships, but before deciding to participate, you need to first consider whether it is worth participating and operating.
Participate in drop shipping or wholesale sales markets
Another way to sell your products to other retailers is me This involves utilizing the same online wholesale supply market.
Many retailers look for products or suppliers to dropship from their eCommerce stores. These marketplaces allow you to list products on your Shopify store and start drop shipping orders to retailers so they can generate sales.
Create complementary brands
An added benefit of the wholesale sales channel is that you don't always need a high volume customer base to sell directly to consumers. If you have a competent retailer who is successful in selling your products, they will continue to place large orders over and over again.
To find these select partners, we recommend reaching out directly to companies you think would be a good fit for your product, whether through social media, phone, or email.
A business that sells complementary products is a good start. One example is Pehr and Stokke, which provides a great example of how two complementary brands can collaborate in wholesale sales.
▲ Pehr and Stokke have formed a partnership and are selling complementary products on their respective websites.
Stokke produces and sells a line of cribs and furniture to design-conscious families. Pehr produces a line of 100% organic sheets and sells them on Stokke's website, and Pehr sells Stokke's bed frames on their website.
The best wholesale partnerships seem to be created through real-life relationships, building trust through direct contact. If there's a brand you like, and you believe we'll create value by working together, it's worth reaching out.
Wholesale Selling: A Classic But New Business Model
With the rise of e-commerce, we live in an era where direct-to-consumer brands can quickly launch and grow digitally. As a result, many wholesale sales were dismissed as a declining retail trend. However, due to changes in wholesale sales methods, a new wave of wholesale business is virtually arriving in the e-commerce era.
Direct brands looking for new sales channels and companies looking to save on marketing costs are both entering the wholesale business. With the right pricing strategy and the right setup, you can expand your business to new revenue-generating partners and see your products actively sold by other brands through complementary products and collaborations.