Wholesale eCommerce: 6 Key Features You Need to Succeed

Wholesale eCommerce is still an evolving part of online sales, but it’s become quite clear that businesses are favoring wholesale eCommerce in increasing numbers, accelerated by the pandemic, but already shifting as more and more common order types move to a self-service format, while others are using wholesale eCommerce to enable salespeople to better manage their buyers and orders.

In short, wholesale eCommerce is the selling of products in bulk to other businesses, who will in turn sell your goods to consumers. They are effectively the middleman in the supply chain. While wholesale commerce transactions have their own requirements, these orders can still take place online.

The key is to have the right features to ensure such a model will succeed. So let’s take a look at the key features you need to succeed with online wholesale eCommerce.

Wholesale eCommerce: Tools to Success

  1. Customer specific information
    1. Catalog
    2. Pricing
    3. Billing and shipping options
  2. Buy Now Pay Later and other B2B-specific payment types
  3. Multi-buyer accounts for bigger businesses
    1. Order review and approval
  4. Easy Bulk order creation
    1. Simple reordering
  5. Sales Quotes and draft orders
  6. Salesperson-focused mobile app
    1. Offline support

1. Customer Specific Information

The bedrock principle of B2B eCommerce is that customers will have access to different information depending on their order volume and requirements. This means you can’t have a one-size fits all solutoin like you might on the direct to consumer side. There’s three areas where customer group segmentation will help businesses make wholesale eCommerce viable.

Catalog

Many brands, distributors and wholesalers sell a variety of products, and not all products may be relevant to all customers. Some businesses sell lines of products that are specific to one customer or group of customers, and may need to isolate those products to only display for them.

Zoey customer Backyard Nature Products was able to customize catalogs for certain customers using customer group management, getting away from a printed catalog for these specialized products.

Backyard Nature Products Mike Kasdorf“One of our customers is a national retailer with a specialty line of private label products made solely for them. With Zoey’s capabilities we were able to create a custom catalog specifically for those customers which nobody else can see. That was awesome. Our team never knew something like that was even possible. The customers just love it.”
Mike Kasdorf, Director, Backyard Nature Products

Pricing

Most B2B businesses have pricing that varies by customer or group of customers, as a number of specific aspects can impact what pricing a particular customer can qualify to receive. If buyers cannot access their pricing through a wholesale eCommerce solution, they can’t place orders, and so having that support is mission critical to success.

Billing and Shipping Options

Each business will have different requirements for payments and shipping, whether it be invoicing, purchase orders, checks or credit cards on the payment side, and whether it be standard FedEx/UPS, LTL or freight shipping on the shipping side.

2. Buy Now Pay Later and Other B2B-Specific Payment Types

B2B and wholesale eCommerce needs to support a broader array of payment types. Buy Now Pay Later ordering is common on the B2B side, and with tools like Net Terms and Credit/Spending Limits, a wholesale eCommerce business can properly support and manage those options.

Additional payment options, like ACH and deposit/balance support, will further flesh out the various ways that business needs to be conducted. While B2B businesses should still also be able to deal with options like purchase orders and mailed-in checks, the trend is quickly shifting in favor of electronic payments.

3. Multi-Buyer Accounts for Bigger Businesses

Bigger B2B buyers will many times have multiple people responsible for placing orders on behalf of their business. So a multi-buyer account system that allows for a rolled up order history and other combined features will better allow those buyers to leverage wholesale eCommerce from your business.

Order Review and Approval

Connected to a multi-buyer account approach is the ability for someone to have the approval rights to review and confirm orders can be processed. This makes sure overordering doesn’t happen, or orders aren’t outside the parameters accepted by the company. Criteria can be established for when orders need to be reviewed, such as a minimum order amount, if not all orders need scrutiny.

4. Easy Bulk Order Creation

A core component of wholesale eCommerce is the ability to create orders with ease. That means tools that facilitate bulk order creation, such as the ability to add items in bulk to a cart and checkout as quickly as possible, such as a Quick Order system.

Simple Reordering

Along with the ability to build an order in bulk is the need to be able to create new orders based on old orders. This can be as simple as a reorder button on existing orders, a recurring order option or a list of recently ordered items to quickly build a new order based on commonly ordered SKUs.

5. Sales Quotes and Draft Orders

For your sales team, the ability to create Sales Quotes that your buyers can review and approve will ensure that salespeople can set up draft orders for easy payment and completion, as well as verification that the required items were properly captured.

Such tools can help ensure accuracy and reduce mistakes, by allowing the sales team to get buyer confirmation before proceeding with an order. This can also allow for easy payment capture for orders that have a salesperson tie.

6. Salesperson-Focused Mobile App

Along with Sales Quotes, a Sales Rep App can assist your sales team with being productive by allowing them to take orders wherever they are, whether in the office, out in the field with buyers, at trade shows, or even at home on the couch when necessary.

The app should function on any device your sales team would have, whether a cell phone or tablet. And it should have access to catalog information (including imagery) and customer-specific pricing to be truly effective. 

The idea is to move away from print catalogs and paper order forms by leveraging modern mobile technology to replace it. This will reduce data entry errors and speed up order processing times by having everything live within a single system.

Offline Support

A mobile app will be even more functional if it can still allow for the looking up of information and capturing orders even if offline, and being able to sync data up when back online. Trade shows are notorious for having poor connectivity, and some of your buyers may live in less connected areas. This ensures your sales team can truly work wherever they are, and not have to worry about good cellular or Wi-Fi connections.

Wholesale eCommerce: See How Zoey Can Supercharge Your Business

Zoey’s suite of solutions is designed specifically to empower wholesale eCommerce. Click the button below to request a conversation with our Success team to learn how we can help your business:

Talk to the Zoey Success Team

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