Wholesale Platform: What Off the Shelf Solutions Can Provide

Thanks to the efforts of B2B eCommerce solutions providers, buying a Wholesale Platform isn’t as fraught with risk as it used to be. Sure, you need to ensure the platform can support your business requirements, but they are more and more likely to be able to do so.

Companies like Zoey have worked tirelessly to develop comprehensive solutions. In many cases, what had to be built custom a few years ago now is available out of the box. Here are examples of features you can get, and use right away, in a modern Wholesale Platform:

Self-Service Order Portal

Your buyers are increasingly comfortable buying online. They do it at home, and they do it at work. Thanks to the pandemic, people are even more comfortable buying online. In addition, eCommerce sales of all types have skyrocketed.

So, does your business support this? Can your buyers place their own orders? While some B2B businesses sell complex products, most are selling products their buyers frequently reorder. This doesn’t require salespeople, account managers or customer support. This requires an order portal.

With an order portal, your buyers can see their pricing, place orders, and track previous orders. They can also pay invoices, update contact information and submit questions.

Customer-Specific Catalog, Pricing, Payments and Shipping

Some businesses divide customers into groups. Others offer individualized setups. Regardless of how your business works, you’ll need your B2B eCommerce platform to respect that. The more flexible it is, the less likely you’ll face difficulty executing your business rules.

Nowadays, some B2B eCommerce platforms are quite easy to configure some sort of segmentation. But the granularity will vary by solution, and sometimes by category. Some give you more control over pricing, but less over catalogs, for instance. So it can help to know which types of segmentation you need, and how granular it needs to be.

One way to get organized about your requirements is to download Zoey’s free B2B Commerce New Solution Checklist. It incorporates a lot of topics that can matter to many businesses.

Sales Rep App

That’s not to say that salespeople and account managers aren’t important. There’s still an important role for the sales team, but they don’t need to babysit their buyers anymore.

For some businesses, salespeople are out in the field, visiting customers to collect orders. Others are selling to new prospects at conferences or conventions. Still others are working the phones from their office. Salespeople work in a variety of ways, and a mobile app supports all of them.

With an app, your reps can capture orders in real time, submitting them to the same eCommerce system your buyers use. They can look up information, customer-specific pricing, and create orders or Sales Quotes, even offline.

Systems Integrations and Data Accessibility

Increasingly, first party integrations are becoming the standard. For instance, at Zoey, we have integrations to such popular options as QuickBooks Online, NetSuite and Salesforce

Like many businesses, we can’t build integrations to everything ourselves. But there’s plenty of other ways such connections can happen:

  • Third party apps and integrations can many times pick up where a solution leaves off.
  • Robust APIs can make building a custom integration possible to any other solution with an API, or using tools that can easily bridge APIs.
  • Webhooks with capabilities like sending CSV exports via email or SFTP is growing in popularity, and bleeding-edge platforms are offering this as part of its core feature set.

The days of data being inaccessible in SaaS platforms are over; the permutations available today are nearly endless.

Flexible Payment and Invoicing Options

B2B sales has always required a different array of options than B2C around payments. Whereas B2C eCommerce has largely depended on credit cards, B2B buyers usually have multiple options available.

The explosion of Buy Now Pay Later options adding to more traditional options like terms and purchase orders. Now, deposit/balance billing for some orders, or installment billing, is becoming more common a practice.

Some eCommerce solutions offer invoicing right inside the platform. Others link to accounting software. The best give you both. Regardless of approach, you’ll have the tools in hand to best manage payments.

Talk to the Experts

Zoey’s team is well versed on what B2B businesses need in a wholesale platform. We can help review your pain points and requirements, and advise how to best proceed. Click the button below to talk to us today!

Talk to the Zoey Team

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