How to offer wholesale pricing in your Shopify store
Higher order values. Better conversion rates. Built-in marketing support.
Whether you’re an ecommerce pro looking to diversify your business or an after-hours hobbyist with retail in your sights, the advantages of selling wholesale are hard to ignore.
But actually landing those high-paying customers and developing an enticing, sustainable pricing strategy? That can be an unnerving prospect.
To help you get started, we’ve come up with a list of some of the things you should be thinking about as you approach your wholesale offering. Hash out these details and you’ll be primed for wholesale selling success!
Let’s start with the basics. When it comes to selling wholesale online, there’s one golden rule: don’t undercut your retailers.
That means the price you charge wholesale buyers for your products should always be less than what you charge regular customers. For example, if you sell a t-shirt for $30 to a regular customer, you might sell it for $15 or even $10 to a wholesale buyer to ensure they make a profit.
Simple enough, right? Here’s where it gets complicated. A lot of wholesale stores offer tiered or dynamic pricing, meaning different customers receive different discounts. For example, a gold-tier customer might get 50% off the retail price, whereas a silver-tier customer might only get 40%.
Plus, you may not even want to offer each tier a flat percentage discount across the store. You may want to offer some customers discounts at the SKU level (i.e. on a per-product basis) and others deals on one collection but not another.
The last thing you want is a customer who feels like they haven’t received the right price. It’s crucial to think through these requirements and find the right solution to manage them (we’ll get to that in a minute!).
If you’re going to sell your products at half the usual rate, you need to know that you’ll be selling them en masse.
One of the best ways of doing that is by enforcing a minimum order rule. This means wholesale buyers must purchase a minimum amount of your product—or spend a minimum amount of money—when placing an order. For example, if you have a minimum order of 20 items or $200, your customers must purchase at least 20 items or spend $200 to be able to buy from you.
Minimum orders help you weed out low-budget bargain hunters who are just trying to score a deal on a couple of items. As one wholesale expert explains, “A high minimum order can function like a velvet rope, allowing only the right people in.”
One of the many advantages of wholesale pricing is that once you’ve got a satisfied customer, they’re likely to come back for more—and much sooner than a regular consumer.
Rather than making repeat buyers jump through the same hoops again and again (search > filter > product > add to cart > cart > checkout) it’s a great idea to create a single page of inventory that acts as an order form.
Here’s an example using our Wholesale Club Shopify app:
As you can see, all of your products are listed, so wholesalers can quickly add items (and quantities) to their cart without leaving the page. Simplicity is key. You can assume these customers already know what they’re looking for and just need a streamlined way of finding it.
With most public-facing Shopify stores, payment terms are simple: payment is due at checkout, either by PayPal or credit card.
While this might be perfectly adequate for your wholesale offering, some retailers may ask for Net 15 or Net 30 payment terms. This means that rather than paying at checkout, they pay 15 or 30 days later—often via direct deposit, wire transfer, or another “offline” method.
If it feels dicey to ship an order before it’s been paid for, heed those instincts. You don’t need to offer net payment terms to every customer. A good wholesale solution allows you to configure payment terms on a per-customer basis. You can offer Net 30 to your best, most reputable customers, and require the rest to pay at checkout.
Getting started with wholesale
Once you’ve worked out the details above, you’re ready to get into the game.
The best way to get started is with our easy-to-use Shopify app, Wholesale Club. It lets you create exclusive discounts for signed-in, tagged customers, as well as customizable order minimums and tiered discounts based on order quantities or value.
With Wholesale Club, you can accomplish everything described in this post, from creating customer- and product-specific discounts to enforcing order minimums to streamlining the reordering process. Reduce the stress of manually configuring discounts, increase order values, and make it easier to start and grow your wholesale channel.
If you sign up now, one of our support staff will reach out to make 100% sure you’re set up properly.
Find more helpful articles in The ultimate guide to starting an online store.