Ecommerce Growth

Step-by-Step Guide to Shopify Plus Wholesale Channel

Ecommerce Growth

Step-by-Step Guide to Shopify Plus Wholesale Channel

Are you an ambitious business owner or a CMO seeking to grow your online business beyond the ordinary? Have you been grappling with the challenge of how to efficiently manage your wholesale operations alongside your retail eCommerce? Welcome aboard! Here at First Pier, we specialize in transforming such complexities into an exciting voyage of growth and success. Your search for clarity on the 'Plus Shopify plus Wholesale Channel to B2B' ends right here.

Shopify Plus provides a unique feature - the Wholesale Channel, tailor-made for businesses dealing with high-volume transactions and variable pricing models. This dedicated tool lets you sell your products at varying prices, often discounted, to your loyal wholesale customers while efficiently managing your retail eCommerce side by side. Sounds like a gamechanger already, right? But wait, there's more to it.

Over the recent years, a noteworthy shift is underway, moving from the Plus Wholesale Channel to a more dynamic, integrated suite of tools - the 'Business to Business' or B2B on Shopify. This shift is more than just a change of name; it's about amplifying your wholesale business experience with extended customization options, the addition of more potent features and much more.

To give you a quick understanding of this switch, consider this:

  • Shopify Plus Wholesale channel is a separate, password-protected storefront for your wholesale customers, where you can display your products with assigned wholesale prices.
  • B2B on Shopify, on the other hand, is a suite of first-party features built right into your Shopify admin, offering a more integrated wholesale experience, with the flexibility to operate either a blended store or a dedicated B2B-only store.

B2B vs Plus Wholesale Channel Infographic - Plus Shopify plus Wholesale Channel to B2B infographic venn_diagram

In this guide, we journey from the Shopify Plus Wholesale Channel's foundational understanding to exploring B2B on Shopify's intricate landscape, learning how to set it up on Shopify Plus to efficiently migrating from the Plus Wholesale Channel to B2B, and much beyond. The future of B2B on Shopify Plus beckons! Are you ready to explore?

Understanding B2B on Shopify

What is B2B on Shopify?

B2B on Shopify is a suite of features that allows businesses to sell directly to other businesses. This is done through the online store, eliminating the need for third-party apps or workarounds. With B2B on Shopify, you can create customer-specific catalogs, establish payment terms, and set currencies, all tailored to meet the unique needs of your B2B clients.

In addition to these, you can connect multiple customers and locations under a single company profile, adding a purchase order (PO) number for both B2B orders and draft orders.

The Benefits of Using B2B on Shopify for Wholesale Business

The transition from Plus Shopify plus Wholesale Channel to B2B brings along a multitude of benefits. One of the most significant advantages is the level of customization it provides for the buyer experience. Unlike the Plus Wholesale Channel, which is a sales channel detached from most of Shopify's features, B2B on Shopify is built directly into the core of Shopify.

This direct integration avails the same level of customization you experience for Direct-to-Consumer (DTC), from the store theme to API access. You have the power to create the store you want, offering the best user experience for your clients.

Moreover, B2B on Shopify doesn't come with additional costs. The new suite of features is included in your Plus subscription, making it a cost-effective solution for your business.

Key Features of B2B on Shopify

B2B on Shopify is a robust solution boasting a variety of features designed to streamline your wholesale operations. Some of the key features include:

  1. Customer-specific catalogs: You can create custom catalogs for different customers, displaying the products they are interested in and setting special prices for them.
  2. Payment terms: B2B on Shopify allows you to establish specific payment terms for your customers, offering flexibility in how they pay for the products.
  3. Multiple currencies: If you are selling internationally, you can set multiple currencies for your store, providing a more personalized shopping experience for your customers.
  4. Company profiles: You can set up company profiles, connecting multiple customers and locations under one profile. This feature helps to streamline the management of your B2B clients.

B2B on Shopify is a comprehensive solution designed to cater to your wholesale needs, offering a seamless and customizable shopping experience for your customers. As we delve deeper into this guide, we will discuss how to set up B2B on Shopify Plus, effectively migrate from the Plus Wholesale Channel to B2B, and how to enhance your B2B experience on Shopify Plus.

Setting Up B2B on Shopify Plus

Transitioning to a B2B model on Shopify Plus can seem intimidating. But with the right guidance and tools, the process becomes a lot more manageable. In this section, we'll guide you through the necessary steps to set up B2B on Shopify Plus, and how to customize your B2B store to meet your unique business needs.

Steps to Set Up B2B on Shopify Plus

  1. Navigate to the Customers section: Start by logging into your Shopify admin account. Go to Customers > Companies.

  2. Add a company: Click on 'Add company'. Fill in the necessary details such as the company name, ID, and main contact.

  3. Enter company addresses: Provide the shipping and billing addresses for the company.

  4. Add location ID: This is an optional step. If you have multiple locations, assign a location ID to differentiate between them.

  5. Select catalogs: In the 'Catalogs' section, choose the catalogs that you want to apply to the company.

This process can vary depending on your specific business requirements and the complexity of your product catalogs. But these steps provide a basic foundation upon which you can build your B2B setup.

Customizing Your B2B Store on Shopify Plus

Once your B2B setup is complete, the next step is to customize your B2B store. This is where you can truly differentiate your wholesale business and create a unique shopping experience for your B2B customers.

Create a separate storefront: Shopify Plus allows you to create a separate, password-protected storefront specifically for your wholesale customers. This adds an extra layer of exclusivity and enables you to tailor the shopping experience to suit your wholesale customers' needs.

Showcase your products: In this separate storefront, you can display your entire product catalog or a curated selection. This gives you the flexibility to strategically showcase the products you want to push to your wholesale customers.

Set minimum purchase amounts and volume-based discounts: Offering minimum purchase amounts and volume-based discounts can incentivize larger orders, ultimately driving more sales.

Add wholesale-only products: This flexibility enables you to cater to a wider range of customers and meet their specific needs.

The goal here is to create a seamless and personalized shopping experience for your wholesale customers. So, take the time to understand their needs and preferences, and use these insights to shape your B2B store.

At First Pier, we're here to support you every step of the way. And in the next section, we'll guide you through the process of migrating from the Plus Shopify Plus Wholesale Channel to B2B.

Migrating from Plus Wholesale Channel to B2B on Shopify

If you're currently using the Plus Wholesale Channel on Shopify, you might be wondering why you should consider migrating to B2B on Shopify. We'll explain why this is a valuable step, show you how to use the Wholesale Migration Tool, and guide you through the necessary steps and checklist to prepare for migration.

Why Migrate from Plus Wholesale Channel to B2B on Shopify?

The Plus Wholesale Channel on Shopify will be deprecated by April 30, 2024. This is due to changes in Google Chrome's support for third-party cookies. Therefore, it's crucial to consider migrating to B2B on Shopify before this date to ensure your wholesale operations continue smoothly.

So, why migrate to B2B on Shopify? Firstly, B2B on Shopify offers a range of new features and benefits that can help you sell more effectively to your B2B customers. Additionally, it includes many popular features of the wholesale channel, like 'checkout to draft' and customer-specific product publishing through catalogs.

Moreover, B2B on Shopify allows access to customizable features of the Online Store, such as Functions (which is replacing Scripts), discounts, themes, API access, and Markets. These features can help streamline many common tasks, like importing and exporting price lists or creating reorders.

Using the Wholesale Migration Tool

Shopify offers a migration tool that can help you transition from the Plus Wholesale Channel to B2B on Shopify. This tool simplifies the process, especially for those who are not tech-savvy.

But it's not just about using the tool - you also need to understand the order of operations and key considerations before migrating. And that's where our experts at First Pier can help.

Preparing for Migration: Steps and Checklist

Before you start the migration process, it's crucial to prepare adequately. Shopify provides a migration checklist to guide you through this process. Here's a simplified version of what you should do:

  1. Review your current wholesale setup: Understand what's working and what's not. This will help you decide what to carry over to your new B2B store.

  2. Map your migration path: Plan out how you'll move your existing data (such as customer information, product catalogs, and pricing details) from your old system to the new one.

  3. Test the migration process: Before you migrate all your data, do a test run to ensure everything works as expected.

  4. Schedule the migration: Choose a time that will cause the least disruption to your business.

  5. Carry out the migration: Use the Wholesale Migration Tool to move your data. If you encounter any issues, Shopify Support is available to assist you.

  6. Test your new store: After the migration, test your new store to ensure everything works as expected.

Migrating from the Plus Shopify Plus Wholesale Channel to B2B might seem intimidating, but with careful planning and the right tools, you can make the process smooth and hassle-free. At First Pier, we're here to support you every step of the way.

Enhancing Your B2B Experience on Shopify Plus

Now that you've successfully migrated from the Plus Shopify Plus Wholesale Channel to B2B, it's time to explore the full potential of your B2B on Shopify. At First Pier, we aim to help you make the most of the advanced B2B features to not only cater to your wholesale customers but also blend it seamlessly with your direct-to-consumer (DTC) business.

Blending B2B and Direct-to-Consumer Orders

One of the key advantages of B2B on Shopify is its flexibility. You can choose to operate a blended store, which accepts both B2B and DTC orders. This allows you to cater to a wider range of customers - from individual consumers to large businesses - all from a single platform.

A common concern in a blended store environment is how to display different shipping and payment options for B2B and DTC customers. Shopify has a solution for this too. You can build a Delivery Customization Function and a Payment Customization Function to hide shipping and payment options that are not applicable to B2B customers. Moreover, third-party apps are available to offer different shipping rates and payment methods.

To maintain an exclusive B2B experience, you can create a separate B2B landing page by creating a new page in the online store editor. Then, set up a subdomain for your B2B customers to be directed to.

Upcoming Features for B2B on Shopify

B2B on Shopify is a continuously evolving feature, with new capabilities being added on a regular basis. While line sheets are currently not available, quick order lists are provided to let your customers add multiple variants to their cart using a list of all variant options on the product description page.

As we look forward to the future of B2B on Shopify, we at First Pier are excited about the potential enhancements and additions that are being planned. Make sure to stay updated with the latest features to leverage the full potential of B2B on Shopify.

In conclusion, the B2B feature of Shopify Plus gives you the tools and flexibility to cater to your wholesale customers without compromising on your DTC business. With the right preparation and a clear understanding of its features, you can significantly enhance your B2B experience on Shopify Plus.

Conclusion: The Future of B2B on Shopify Plus

As we've highlighted in this guide, B2B on Shopify Plus is a robust and flexible solution designed to cater to the unique needs of wholesale businesses. With its extensive customization options, seamless migration process, and a promising pipeline of upcoming features, B2B on Shopify Plus is poised to become the go-to platform for high-volume businesses.

The future of B2B on Shopify Plus is bright, and we at First Pier are excited about the potential it holds for businesses looking to scale their wholesale operations. As Shopify continues to invest in its B2B offerings, we can expect even more advanced features and enhancements that will make managing wholesale operations even more streamlined and efficient.

Moreover, the platform's integration with major online channels such as Amazon, eBay, and Instagram, along with its robust wholesale capabilities, make it an ideal solution for businesses aiming for global expansion.

In the age of digital commerce, customers' expectations are continually evolving. They demand a seamless, personalized, and efficient buying experience, whether they are individual consumers or businesses making bulk purchases. B2B on Shopify Plus is designed with these expectations in mind, providing businesses with the tools they need to meet and exceed these expectations.

The migration from Plus Wholesale Channel to B2B on Shopify might seem daunting, but with the right tools and guidance, it's a straightforward process that can unlock significant benefits for your business.

In conclusion, B2B on Shopify Plus is more than just a feature. It's a comprehensive solution for businesses looking to grow their wholesale operations and offer an unmatched buying experience to their customers. With Shopify Plus by your side, the future of your business is not just secure; it's destined for success.

At First Pier, we're committed to helping businesses navigate the transition to B2B on Shopify Plus and unlock its full potential. If you're ready to take the next step in your wholesale journey, we're here to guide you every step of the way.

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