Hello! Let's talk about wholesale pricing!
If you have a system that you like already in place, we can try to build something in Shopify that mimics what you're used to.
If you don't have a system yet, or don't like your current process, we can make a recommendation about the best approach for your products. So...
How is wholesale pricing implemented in Shopify?
#1: using product variants
We can create wholesale pricing using the same tool that you use to add variants to your products, just as you would for something like color choices. For every product that is eligible for wholesale pricing, you would add a wholesale variant with the wholesale price.
This means that you’d also need to add a wholesale variant for each existing variant. If you have a print that's available in red, yellow, and blue, you'd also need to include variants named something like red-wholesale, yellow-wholesale, blue-wholesale.
- Allows you to specify what wholesale pricing is per product rather than applying a blanket wholesale discount to your entire store. Useful if you have inventory with different margins and you want to fine-tune the cost to retailers.
- Like the other options, wholesale pricing is only visible to those users who are logged in with an approved Wholesale Account login.
- You have to enter variants for every wholesale product. If you have a lot of products this method can be tedious.
- Major con: the wholesale prices you enter may be visible on other channels that are pulling data from your Shopify store, like Pinterest (if you’ve integrated it with Shopify). There's no way to limit what Pinterest "sees." It treats the wholesale designation just as it would any other variant, like "blue," and there's no way to hide it.
- Finally, the number of variants and options allowed within Shopify is limited to 3 options and 100 variants. If you're already pushing the number of options and variants per product, this approach may not be an option for you.
#2: using discount codes
You can create a discount code in the Shopify admin that only wholesale buyers can see. Buyers who have logged in with an approved wholesale account would:
- See discounted prices throughout the shop. This discount can be manually edited in the shop’s theme settings.
- Have the discount automatically applied to their cart when they go to checkout. If their cart doesn’t meet the minimum order threshold, the discount is automatically removed.
- Simple to understand, implement, and edit.
- Virtually no maintenance required.
- Straightforward for your stockists.
- Works very well with multi-channel selling (e.g. Pinterest, Amazon, brick-and-mortar)
- Less control — only one wholesale rate has to be applied to the entire shop, instead of per-item.
- Technically, anyone could try to use the discount code if a stockist shared it with a regular buyer. They wouldn't be able to see the pricing without a wholesale login, but they could use it at checkout. Putting cart minimums in place should control and discourage that kind of misuse. You can also always simply cancel orders come through with no wholesale account, who are using the wholesale discount code.
#3: using a second shopify store
We can set up a second Shopify site (at wholesale.your-company-name.com), duplicate your theme, and export your products. This wholesale shop would only be visible to logged-in wholesalers.
- Easy to understand and keep these parts of your business separate.
- Easy to keep discounted pricing hidden.
- Ability to offer different payment terms just to wholesalers. (e.g. Ability to send the stockist an invoice rather than require payment upon checkout.)
- Easier to craft messaging just for wholesalers. (e.g. A special slideshow banner promoting different products than at your retail store. Special early releases, etc.)
- Lots of effort to keep both stores consistent with product offerings.
- More maintenance entering products on both sites.
- Cost of a second Shopify subscription. ($30/mo)
#4: using Shopify scripts (Shopify Plus customer only)
This works the way you would assume wholesale works. If a customer has a “wholesale” tag on their account, then we can use scripts at checkout to actually change prices (versus using variants or discount codes). What's the catch? You have to be a Shopify Plus Accountholder ($2,000/mo) to access scripts.
- Control pricing per-item rather than applying a blanket discount.
- Safe with multi-channel selling.
- Flexible and intuitive.
- Requires a Shopify Plus account.
do all of these options include a way for my stockists to log in specifically as a WHOLESALE buyer?
Yes! We will code your template to recognize a "wholesale" tag. Once a stockist applies and is accepted, you would add a wholesale tag to their account via admin. (It's easy! We will show you how this is done.)
How do potential stockists apply?
Each of the 4 options automatically comes with a beautiful custom application form. (EXAMPLE: Belle & Union Wholesale Application) Applicants submit their information and you choose whether to approve their account.
can i require cart minimums for wholesale buyers? what about per-item minimums?
Yes. Minimum total order values and minimum product quantities can be set up. They will be editable by you if you want to change them. We can also set up first-order minimums and reorder minimums. That would require a little extra work on your part -- wholesale accounts would then have to be tagged with initial/reorder status individually.
is there an alternative to browsing through the shop when stockists want to place an order?
Yes. We can set up a catalog style page that feels more like an old-school order form. In theory this could save your buyers some time. The buyer enters quantities next to the products they want (listed in rows with a small thumbnails) and then adds the whole list to their cart. Example available upon request.