Shopify Plus has long lacked the ability to create wholesale pricing on your store, but they just announced wholesale channel functionality for Shopify Plus customers. In the past our agency has steered many clients to WooCommerce if they needed to create tiered prices for their customers. This PDF is going to explore the wholesale functionality for Shopify Plus customers.
What are Wholesalers?
A wholesaler is an entity (individual, LLC, S Corp, etc) that purchases products at a discount and then sells in bulk to a retailer. For example, let’s say you are the manufacturer of the products at your store and you currently sell directly to end customers. In this scenario you are both the manufacturer and the retailer. If you are the manufacturer there is also an opportunity for you to sell your product wholesale (at a discount from your retail prices). Why would you do this?
Let’s go through another example, assume for instance that you manufacture and sell outdoor cedar furniture. If you make a great product, there are many brick and mortar retailers that would love to purchase your cedar furniture and sell it to their customers. These brick and mortar retailers would become your wholesalers and they would purchase your product in large volumes, but at a discount to your typical retail price. If it costs you $300 to manufacture a cedar picnic table and you retail it for $800, these wholesalers might purchase your tables for anywhere from $400 to $500 a piece so there is enough margin for them to sell to their customers.
Wholesale Channel Pricing
The first step is for you to think through pricing for potential wholesale customers. Are you going to have tiered pricing for your wholesalers and offer each of them different rates? You may want to set up an Excel document with pricing options so you can calculate your margins (your margin is the sale price minus the cost to manufacture the product) at different price points.
Wholesale Channel Overview
With the Shopify wholesale channel you can apply discounts to your retail prices and create a number of wholesale price lists. Shopify has created an excellent wholesale channel manual that will walk you through the steps to create wholesale functionality for your Plus store.
Activate your Wholesale Channel
You can activate the sales channel in your Shopify Dashboard by clicking the plus next to the words “Sales Channel” then you will see it show up permanently in the sidebar.
Tag Customer Profiles
To assign customers wholesale pricing you need to tag them in their customer profile. After you have tagged the customer the next step is to invite them to access your wholesale store.
Create Price Lists
Your product price lists will consist of different products and you apply a wholesale discount as a percentage. The price lists will either be all of your products or different collections and the information will be contained in a password protected version of your store.
Review Your Wholesale Store & Manage Your Orders
After creating your price lists, tagging customers and sending out invitations, you will want to preview the look of your wholesale store. You can find the public URL of your store in the admin section of the database under wholesale, copy and paste that URL into a new browser to view the store from your customers’ vantage point.
It is important to note that when one of your customers places a wholesale order that order is not processed immediately (it will show up as a Draft order). You will receive a notification that there is a draft wholesale order and you can accept payment and then mark it fulfilled. If a customer places a large order and you don’t have enough inventory on hand, you can reduce the product quantity while the order is still in draft mode. You will also be able to add additional discounts, shipping costs and tax to the final order from your dashboard.
Payments & Invoices
You can process payments directly through Shopify or have customers pay with credit card, mark as paid (if your customer paid outside of Shopify) or you can mark the order as pending payment if they will be paying at a future time. Once you choose your payment the draft order will transition to order status and will show up on your Orders Page.
Customize your emails if you don’t want your wholesale customers to pay you right when an order is made. By default there are emails for: order confirmation, order cancellation, order refunds, draft orders, abandoned checkout and for gift cards. You can customize any of these by editing the liquid file these can be found under the Email Templates section.