In 2021, ecommerce is more popular than ever. While the business-to-consumer (B2C) market is thriving, it is nothing compared to the booming business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce industry. In terms of annual sales, B2B dwarfs B2C and now is the perfect time for online stores to explore the opportunities of this flourishing market.
Shopify Plus is the ideal ecommerce solution for expanding into B2B trading and wholesale business. A premium fully hosted platform, Shopify Plus is an unparalleled software for large enterprise brands. So how can this service support B2B sales?
In this article we will seek to explain B2B needs in ecommerce, discuss whether the Shopify Plus ecommerce software is good for B2B, explore the Shopify Plus wholesale channel, and answer some frequently asked questions. Click on one of the links below to jump to that section:
- B2B needs in ecommerce
- Is Shopify Plus good for B2B?
- The Shopify Plus wholesale channel
- Frequently asked questions
B2B needs in ecommerce
B2B needs are quite different from B2C needs, and they are changed and influenced by ecommerce. As you branch out into B2B ecommerce, you will need to think about your overall business development which will need to include projections regarding sales and how the B2B branch of your organisation could impact the running of your business overall.
It is important to consider marketing and PR when thinking about B2B ecommerce opportunities, as you will need to factor in how you market this side of your business to potential customers and clients. It is not just about advertising your business itself, as you will need to adapt your marketing strategy to integrate any new products or sales-based events and promotions that you run through your B2B site.
Another fundamental consideration is production. For ecommerce, you need to think about how your product or service could serve the B2B market and how your platform can create space for this in your workflow. As well as this, you should reflect on how your offering will grow, change and develop based on customer needs.
B2B can be a very profitable market if managed correctly. However, you will need to factor in the outgoing costs of setting up a new B2B online store. Shopify merchants on the Plus plan can use product, inventory and customer data from their existing store to get their wholesale channel up and running in a matter of minutes—so time is not an issue. The two main things you will need to consider are the cost of additional stock and whether you will need to recruit new staff to handle the store operations as it grows.
With account management, you will be dealing with different client accounts across the board, and this will only grow as your business expands into B2B. Though it may seem daunting to take on a higher volume of varied accounts, especially if your business is suddenly booming and you’re without the necessary manpower, Shopify Plus makes this much simpler by automating many of the difficult admin processes and allowing you to focus more on keeping your customers happy.
Is Shopify Plus good for B2B?
If you are looking to expand your business into B2B and wholesale trading, Shopify Plus is an excellent way to do this. It provides an effective solution for trading through a process which has been streamlined to include a responsive and branded storefront. You don’t have to be an expert developer – it requires no extra development or coding, so it is an easy way to get your trading off the ground.
The Shopify Plus B2B ecommerce platform can provide your business with automated sales processes and personalised sales and marketing which works across a range of devices and other channels. Boasting integrations through Shopify API and highly customisable navigation and onsite search, it is as easily usable for your target consumer base as it is for you.
With flexible payment options and a faster checkout process for repeat buyers, Shopify Plus provides a streamlined consumer journey which can encourage increased custom. Meanwhile, orders are managed through a single centralised system to make any volume of orders easy for you to manage. This translates to less time being spent processing orders on the phone or over email, so you have more capacity to take care of other elements of your business.
You can look forward to conversion optimisation with Shopify Scripts, and easy to create customisable pages such as an ‘About Us’ section and an ‘FAQs’ page.
The Shopify Plus wholesale channel
Do you expect to have a lot of high-volume orders coming through your website? Shopify Plus has you covered, with a wholesale solution that is perfect for those larger orders and only available to Plus plan merchants. The wholesale channel has several benefits of its own, included but not limited to there being absolutely no coding needed. Should you have an existing Shopify store, or even third-party software, you can sync it effortlessly.
The wholesale channel is a secure, password-protected and fully branded B2B store. There is no need to get overwhelmed by orders, with a self-service and fully streamlined ordering process which allows store owners and staff to review orders in the Shopify admin before sending out an invoice. This is also possible for new signups, which can be automated.
Do you want to encourage those large volume orders to keep coming in? With the Shopify Plus wholesale channel, you can easily provide B2B-only products, customised navigation and onsite search filters to help buyers find exactly what they need, as well as custom pricing and discounts based on volume.
Your customers can easily track their products and reorder when they need to, while you can simply set minimum and maximum quantities of your products and their variants to control exactly what you sell.
Frequently asked questions
How much will Shopify Plus cost your B2B business?
It will cost from $2000USD per month when you have your B2B business managed on Shopify Plus.
What does Shopify Plus include?
Shopify Plus includes the ability to manage sales spikes easily, allowing you to focus on customer-facing business practices. You can run many stores with a single account and can harness POS multichannel opportunities. It also provides an easy way to target different countries and manage different currencies.
What are the benefits of Shopify Plus?
Shopify Plus gives you unlimited bandwidth, 99.99% uptime, extra staff accounts and automated processes to make everyday and promotional events easier to manage. With rapid integration, there is no need for a significant break in sales as you migrate from your current site to Shopify Plus. Risk management factors are also handled on your behalf, with Level 1 PCI-DSS compliance being a bonus. Should anything go wrong, you can look forward to dedicated 24/7 support.