Grow your wholesale business by selling online

Grow your wholesale business by selling online

If you’re a manufacturer or a B2B wholesaler, the Internet gives your business a huge opportunity to grow into new areas by connecting with new resellers, providing existing resellers with an easy order/reordering system, or penetrating a new market and establishing a returning customer base. A specialised B2B shopping cart can help you achieve this and give your business an edge.

Opportunities for existing wholesalers

Expanding and diversifying your customer base is a wise thing to do in an uncertain economy, and there are many Internet-based opportunities for wholesale businesses and reasons to get your business online. These include:
  • More retailers are using the Internet as their number one starting point for researching wholesalers to buy from.
  • Many retailers do not even look anywhere other than the Internet for finding wholesalers to buy from.
  • Retailers can get more information about the in-stock/out-of-stock status for orders.
  • You may wish to target new markets that you don’t normally sell to. Alternatively you may wish to start drop shipping products via online sales when this is a service you don’t offer to your standard wholesale. You can set different prices for your drop ship customers from your main wholesale customers without having to maintain a separate printed price list.
  • Wholesale websites can make it easier for you to keep track of orders placed, to edit orders placed, offer special promotions to your wholesale customers and reduce paperwork. Orders can be exported to your accounting system for processing or an invoice issued through the shopping cart application.
  • Wholesale websites allow you to experiment with different promotions or offer complementary products to your main product line and test their interest amongst potential retailers. For example, using the traffic statistics from your website, you can check the number of page views of particular new products and categories.
  • You can build up an ongoing communication and dialogue with your existing customers – using the built-in newsletter and email system of your shopping cart (or an external mailing application) to tell your retailers about new products and special offers.

Opportunities for new wholesale businesses

If you’ve identified a profitable niche and wish to start a wholesale business, then starting up that business online can present many advantages. These include:
  • You can help keep your marketing, advertising and overhead costs lower by offering products for sale online
  • Retailers often begin their search for wholesalers online
  • Retailers prefer to search for an order/reorder products in a convenient way
  • Retailers can have more confidence in ordering from you as they can see what products are in or out of stock
  • The growth of online has seen many new online-only retailers start up. These retailers have an online mindset and are looking for online wholesalers to buy from.
Selling online will be particularly attractive for small or home based businesses wanting to distribute or manufacture products for resale. What many businesses don’t realise is that your entire product catalogue does not need to be online in order to take advantage of the Internet for B2B selling. For example, you can choose to take just a small subset popular or highly-reordered products and specialise your online site in that area. You may get mentions in wholesale directories or wholesaler forums as a reliable supplier of that product, referrals from the product’s manufacturer on their website and with an effort in optimising your website for search engine relevance, may get to page one in Google for that search term. It’s all about smart product selection and marketing for your B2B website.

Choosing your B2B shopping cart

What shopping cart features do you ideally need for a wholesale website? You’ll want a cart that’s flexible and powerful, and support from the shopping cart provider in setting it up, as wholesale business arrangements may be more complex than simple retail to consumer arrangements, especially when it comes to setting up wholesale prices, different customer groups and setting up shipping. At a minimum you’ll usually need:
  • Different wholesale and retail pricing structures with unlimited pricing tiers (tiered pricing).
  • Multiple customer groups so you can segment your wholesale customers based on value.
  • Order minimums and/or product minimum quantities.
  • Volume discounts.
  • The ability to place orders from your administration panel (for phone orders) or edit orders after they’re placed.
  • To limit access to products to your B2B customers (to prevent browsers from seeing wholesale-only products and prices).
  • To offer approval only access for wholesale customers.
  • Include SKU numbers on products and options – for easy searching.
  • Promotional tools including rules, cross selling and price promotions (e.g., buy multiple products together for a discount).
  • To be able to track stock at a product level or product-option level.
  • To allow bulk update stock levels via a spreadsheet.
  • To allow bulk importing/exporting of products via a spreadsheet.
  • To let customers place previous orders again – for fast reordering.
Ozcart websites help you achieve all of the above things. To find out more about some of Ozcart’s wholesale-specific ecommerce features and English support, please visit our B2B ecommerce page.
Ozcart Ecommerce

Ozcart has been in business since 2006 and is an online, hosted shopping cart that you can use for your current or new online store. We offer so many features for the same low price. In fact, we are addicted to adding new ones to ensure that we remain one of the best choices for a shopping cart.

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