Shopify B2B & Wholesale

Provide A Seamless Experience For Your Wholesale Customers With Shopify B2B.

Long gone are the days of lengthy wholesale invoices sent via a fax machine. Streamline your B2B business by selling more products to a larger audience with Shopify B2B.

What is Shopify B2B?

Time to upscale your wholesale operations? Shopify B2B is a customised version of Shopify that allows wholesalers and manufacturers to sell their products directly to other businesses online. Designed specifically for B2B sales, Shopify B2B includes features such as bulk order forms, account management for multiple buyers, and the ability to offer tiered pricing and discounts. Businesses can easily manage their sales, customers, and orders all in one place, making it a convenient and efficient solution for wholesalers looking to transform their digital footprint.

What Are The Key Features of Shopify B2B?

Shopify B2B doesn’t take a ‘one size fits all’ approach to merchant business operations - and nor should it. What it does do is provide a number of key features that we can customise to work for you, whilst also advising on the various implementation options available for B2B. Here are just a few features of Shopify B2B to get you started:

  • Wholesale pricing: Ability to offer custom pricing to different customer groups or businesses based on percentages, volume or other factors.
  • Volume discounts: Option to offer discounts based on the quantity of items purchased, helping to incentivize bulk orders.
  • Customer groups: Ability to create different customer groups with different permissions, profiles and pricing, making it easier to manage B2B relationships.
  • Purchase orders: A system to receive and manage purchase orders from B2B customers, streamlining the ordering process.
  • Request for quote (RFQ): A feature that allows B2B customers to request a quote for specific products or bulk orders, providing a more customised ordering experience.
  • Approval workflows: The ability to set up approval workflows for orders and invoices, helping to ensure accuracy and accountability.
  • Customisable checkout: Option to customise the checkout process for B2B customers, ensuring a seamless and streamlined experience.
  • B2B reporting: Access to detailed reporting and analytics to track B2B sales and performance, providing valuable insights into business operations.

These features are designed to support B2B businesses and help them efficiently manage their wholesale operations and customer relationships.

Is Shopify B2B Right For My Business?

Understandably, B2B has significant considerations when compared to its arguably simple DT2 counterpart. Previously, merchants who wanted to do wholesale but lacked the resource found that the cons outweighed the pros - the trade-off of time, development and admin against the flexibility of a wholesale solution. It’s for this reason that Shopify and generally SaaS platforms have been scrutinised for their suitability, given how adaptable the platform needs to be to suit B2B operations.

The good news is that Shopify is by far the biggest e-commerce platform in the world and their B2B functionality has been a long time coming. With more developers building apps and themes for them than any other platform, the B2B features are only going to get more advanced in coming years. For future-proofing the B2B side of your store, this is essential.

What Do I Need to Know Before Switching to Shopify B2B?

There are two ways to run a Shopify B2B store, and it all depends on your needs to determine which is more suitable.

Separate B2B Store vs Blended Store

The first consideration is whether you’d like to add B2B functionality to your existing (or prospective) Shopify store, or if you’d like a dedicated store for B2B. The key trade-off here is flexibility. As is often the case, as flexibility is increased, so too does the labour.

Consider what your B2B store will need to look like in comparison with your B2C storefront. Will you be offering wildly different storefront content, promotions and products? If so, a dedicated store is likely the best option.

Examples of features that would require a dedicated B2B store:

  • Offering trade specific promotions and communicating these with elaborate on-site messaging and banners
  • A large catalogue of B2B specific products that need hiding from a B2C audience
  • B2B trading is kept entirely separate and you’d like to easily report on the two parts of the business individually
  • Shipping rates need to incorporate specific business logic to exclusively B2B customers
  • Shopify Scripts are already in use on your store and you don’t want these to impact B2B orders

If you recognise one of the above as a concern, or a possible concern on your roadmap, it’s best to look at launching a dedicated B2B store. But don’t worry if you’re not sure which route to take! Our team can make recommendations to ensure that you have the correct foundations from the very beginning.

Technology Choice

When considering B2B on Shopify, the metaphorical fork in the road is whether to use Shopify B2B or an alternative third party app. There are pros and cons to each option, and our Kubix Operations team will consult with you to establish the best route forward.

Option 1: Shopify B2B

Shopify’s B2B native platform functionality is included with all Shopify Plus stores. If your business isn’t yet on the Shopify Plus plan, it’s important to consider if upgrading to Plus is a commercially viable choice for this functionality alone.

Since there are no third party apps to configure or pay for, the benefits of using the native B2B channel is its use and setup. Additionally, you’re not dependent on another organisation for support and updates. This can be configured for both dedicated and blended stores.

The platform supports the typical and expected functionality such as:

  • Customer Price Lists
  • Payment Terms (Net Terms)
  • Company Accounts (Multi-User, Multi-Location)
  • Self Serve Portal

This set-up suits the vast majority of merchants and would be our advised path forwards, unless there was fundamental functionality missing essential for launch.

It’s clear that Shopify is investing in the development of its B2B functionality. While the roadmap isn’t public, we’d strongly advise merchants to use this native functionality if a compromise on certain features can be reached, as it’s highly likely that the platform will develop quickly with all merchants benefiting from new functionality.

It’s also important to consider that Shopify will obviously have the tightest integration to its platform, including crucial areas such as the checkout and APIs which third party apps simply wouldn’t be able to replicate - especially around accounts and payment terms.

Option 2: Sparklayer / Third Party Apps

If you require certain functionality from your B2B store which Shopify doesn’t natively support (or can’t justify upgrading to Shopify Plus) alternative solutions are widely available.

Kubix has partnered with SparkLayer, a feature-rich app which adds a plethora of B2B functionality to Shopify sites without an upgrade being required. Sparklayer has certain functionality which Shopify doesn’t have natively which is a key consideration when choosing which route to take, such as:

  • Saved shopping lists
  • Pack sizes and unit quantities
  • Product specific discounts
  • Quick ‘reorder’ functionality
  • CSV order importing
  • Quote requests
  • Sales agent functionality

It’s impossible to provide a definitive answer as to which solution works best for your business without discovery. No matter what your B2B requirements are within the Shopify platform, there are a variety of ways to approach adding this functionality to your store.

Time to Switch to Shopify B2B?

Thinking of switching your B2B store over to Shopify? Re-platforming from other B2B platforms might seem like a daunting task, but it needn’t be. We can manage the design, development and integration of B2B functionality to your existing Shopify store, or switch you over to the platform.

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