Wholesaling? Tips on how to Rock!
A guest post by the microapps team. microapps is an ecommerce solutions provider, developer, and expert of Shopify and Shopify PLUS. microapps also has a wide portfolio of applications and customizations available for Shopify. They provide different solutions to Shopify merchants such as recovering lost sales, automatic responses, wish lists, various checkout methods, order barriers and much more. This article is dedicated to the Shopify stores owners who deal exclusively with wholesalers and those who deal with both wholesalers and retailers.
Starting a business in ecommerce can be extremely difficult and frustrating, especially when you wholesale or when you combine retail and wholesale within the same store. It is even more frustrating when you want to make sure that you treat your wholesale customers in a different way than your retailers, and you don’t know how to achieve this within the same store. Normally, you would have to create two different stores for each customer group and to dedicate twice as much time, resources and money in order to maintain them both. Wouldn’t you prefer to avoid that?
With this short article, we will try to cover key ways on how distinguish your customers, maximize your profits and make your different customer groups feel special within the same store.
1. Serve different groups of customers within the same store
Of course, you would like to avoid the amount of work it would take to maintain two separate stores. Thus, you will need additional modification to be implemented into your Shopify store. By installing an application which allows you to create different customer groups within one store, you will be able to apply different discount levels to preferred customer groups. There is generally no right or wrong strategy when it comes to choosing groups and discounts, but our long time practice shows that having at least a few groups and different discount levels applied to them makes a big difference in terms of units purchased as well as in sales. Here are few examples which seem to work:
1. Assign your customers to the customer groups with the discount level according to the purchase amount.
Assigning your top customers to, for example, platinum, gold, silver and bronze groups with 40%, 30%, 20% and 10% discounts respectively will motive them to keep coming back to your store
2. Hook your customers and make them buy more each time by allowing them to switch their customer group.
In order to keep your sales growing, it is important to provide incentives to your wholesale customers. This can be done by allowing your customers to jump from one customer group to another, therefore gaining higher discount within your store. Let’s say Customer X is in the bronze group with a 10% discount and buys Y units of products from your store. You can give a try and offer him/her the option to switch to the silver plan where he/she will get a 20% discount by purchasing Z units of products from your store.
There are two main ways to do so:
a) Contact your customer manually
This is a good approach when you have a small amount of customers who need to be contacted. You can simply make a phone call or write a nice, very personal email to your customer and then see what comes of it. However, this is a very timeconsuming process which can be automated, especially when the volumes of customers increase.
b) Automatic messaging
This is a highly recommended approach for those store owners who have more than a few customers and would like to address them without spending a lot of time. This can be done by integrating applications with automatic messages or popups within the store.
Thus, by using the same example above, when your customer X, which resides in the bronze group with a 10% discount, purchases Y amount of units of goods from your store, and that Y amount is close to the amount required by silver group, the popup or email will be sent to him/her offering the possibility to get a 20% discount by purchasing just a few units more.
The popup or automatic email are normally easily customizable and allow you to communicate with your customers with a personal touch.
2. Increase sales by adding special features
Although ecommerce is still a relatively new market, the competition is very high. This means that it is not enough to simply have unique products and a nicely working website. It is also very important to add certain functionalities in order to maximize your sales.
- Apply minimum order barriers
One very good way to increase your sales when wholesaling is to set a minimum quantity which your customer has to select in order to be able to checkout.
Such a feature can be added by applying the corresponding customization to your Shopify store. Once the customization is applied, you will be able to set the minimum required amount to the shopping cart. If a customer tries to checkout with a lower amount than the minimum set amount, the “Go to Checkout” button will be disabled and the “add more items” message will appear. Using this strategy, you will be able to increase your sales while gaining the power of total order control.
This is a truly impressive feature and remains highly recommended for all wholesalers!
2. Improve your Shopify store’s checkout
How many times have you noticed that your customers are getting lost when checking out? It happens a lot. However, this can be easily avoided by applying different checkout features to your store.
With regular checkout, your customer struggles due to the long purchase process which he/she has to overcome.
Cart>Checkout_Customer_info>Checkout_Shipping_info>Checkout_Payment_info>ThankY ou_page. It can become a nightmare, and not just for your customer, but for you as a store owner, too!
By applying the features which allow the shopping cart to act as a checkout, you allow your customer to check out in seconds. Once a customer selects the items and quantities within the cart, he/she will add the required details and make the payment on the same page. Once the payment button is clicked, your customers will get the payment notification through email and they will be immediately redirected to the “Thank You” page. If payment was successful, the order will appear instantly within your Shopify admin next to the rest of the orders. It is as easy as it sounds! Simple, swift checkout is a must have to please your customers.
Additionally, by adding such a checkout feature, you are able to enjoy other existing features as well as add some extra ones. For instance, such checkout allows you to customize the payment form. Thus, you can avoid unnecessary fields and add those which are crucial for your business. In addition to this, you can allow checking out in any currency. Moreover, wholesale customers can be treated in a different way. You can allow them to make a payment within 30 to 60 days and mark payment as pending, for example. These are indeed the features which can make your customers’ checkout experience much easier and your business much more successful.
3. Make your wholesalers feel special
Tips on grouping your customers, applying discount levels and increasing sales were provided above. However, when selling online it is important not to forget to distinguish your wholesale customers from others. Here are some possible features which can make a difference.
- Apply a special menu for wholesalers
Wholesale customers are very special. They are boosting your sales tremendously every time they make a purchase. Thus, giving them some unique features is a nice way to compensate.
One option is to provide a menu available exclusively for them. This menu can include exclusive collections, special conditions or extra features unavailable to regular retail customers. This can be easily customizable to match the needs of your wholesale customers and your business.
- Allow wholesalers to have a catalog exclusively for them
When you sell to retailers and wholesalers, having separate catalogs for each of them would be a wise decision.
With two separate catalogs, you can customize each in the manner that best suits your business. You can, for example, choose to display discounted products exclusively to wholesalers and only show fullprice products to retailers. Also, you hold the power to display certain products to wholesalers while hiding them altogether from retail customers.
- Use application form to make a purchase process much easier
Since wholesalers are regular customers, asking for the same information every time they are checking out is a waste of time. For that reason, purchase forms that ask for this information can be used to optimize time.
You can authorize your wholesalers by gathering their information in one application form. Ask, for example, for their names, addresses, phone numbers, ABN and any other information you may require. You can add the link to the form to any part of your store website or to one of your email marketing campaigns.
By applying features specifically dedicated to wholesalers, you will build a strong bond with them. This article is intended to show you the necessary tools to distinguish your customer groups and to increase your sales. Choose what suits your business the most and start harvesting results!