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How Is B2B On Shopify Different From The Plus Wholesale Channel? A Quickstart Guide To Selling B2B On Shopify


Whether you already sell directly to B2B customers or are new to the B2B space, you need a simple way to manage orders and give buyers a seamless purchasing experience.

Gartner estimates that the majority (80%) of B2B sales interactions will take place online by 2025. As companies look to scale with self-serve purchasing and custom branding, a DTC-like buying experience for wholesale buyers is becoming the norm.

That’s why we built B2B on Shopify

B2B on Shopify is built directly into the core of Shopify’s platform. With access to powerful customization features that you use for DTC, such as custom themes, Functions, and discounts, selling to B2B customers has never been easier. 

So, what’s the difference between B2B on Shopify and the Plus Wholesale Channel? This article will help you determine which solution is right for your business. 

  1. What is B2B on Shopify
  2. Price lists
  3. Company profiles
  4. Assigned payment terms
  5. B2B checkout
  6. Customer accounts
  7. What is the Plus Wholesale Channel (PWC) on Shopify?
  8. The Differences Between B2B on Shopify and The Plus Wholesale Channel
  9. B2B on Shopify FAQ

What is B2B on Shopify?

B2B on Shopify is the newest way to sell B2B on the Shopify platform and solves many previous merchant frustrations. 

It offers a suite of features built directly into the core of Shopify, giving you access to many features of the online store that you can use to customize the wholesale buying experience

The new feature set also offers foundational B2B features such as price lists, company profiles, assigned payment terms, B2B checkout, and customer accounts.

Price lists

Price lists let you create customer-specific pricing for B2B customers, via percentage-off or fixed-price discounts. You can also easily change currency and exchange rates for international buyers and apply multiple price lists to a given customer if needed. 

Company profiles

Companies is an easy-to-manage business profile that allows you to connect multiple buyers and company locations, and includes built-in fields for all of your customers’ pertinent information. This includes fields for: 

  • Contact permissions
  • Assigned payment terms
  • Price lists
  • Tax ID
  • Tax exemptions

Assigned payment terms

B2B customers need payment flexibility, but offering payment terms often leads to more admin time for merchants to manage.

Our updated payments term feature automates the process of adding payment terms to B2B orders and allows you to track, sort, and collect payments as they become due. You can now assign payment terms directly on the company location profile and automatically add them to customer orders at checkout. 

B2B checkout

Integrating customer and location-specific information easily is key to giving B2B customers an amazing checkout experience. 

B2B checkout lets your customers access specific payment terms, methods, discounts, and prices. With all these capabilities, you can also create orders for your customers and keep the order process streamlined. You’ll have all the information you need to place an order with confidence, thanks to Shopify’s powerful and seamless checkout.

Customer accounts

B2B customers love to self-serve and have access to the information they need in real time. Rather than relying on back-and-forth emails and phone calls, the customer accounts feature allows your customers to manage their accounts easily. 

In their account, customers can: 

  1. Edit their buyer information
  2. View and filter their order history
  3. Select the company location for which they’re placing an order 

Customer accounts also serve as a means of authentication, allowing customers to see the wholesale site only after they’ve entered their email address for verification and input a six-digit code sent to their inbox. 

Given that it’s not a separate sales channel, you can set up your B2B store within the same interface you use for DTC and operate one store for both B2B and DTC if you choose to. This means a single store for your team to manage and integration point for all APIs, ERPs, CRMs, and third-party apps. 

What is the Plus Wholesale Channel (PWC) on Shopify?

The Plus Wholesale Channel operates as a separate sales channel within the Shopify platform, and is disconnected from much of the core functionality you can use in your DTC store. 

You must create a separate store for B2B if you use the Plus Wholesale Channel and you have only one option in storefront themes. However, you can track all orders and customers from the same admin you use for DTC. 

The Differences Between B2B on Shopify and The Plus Wholesale Channel

Offers more customizable features

A huge differentiator for B2B on Shopify is its access to the most customizable features of the online store, such as Functions (formerly Scripts), discounts, themes, API access, and more. B2B on Shopify has access to these features because it’s built into the core of the Shopify platform and is not a siloed sales channel, like the Plus Wholesale Channel. 

Provides two store types

Choose between two different store types when using our new B2B features:

  1. Create a single, blended store that accepts orders for both sides of your business. It also offers a streamlined and consistent branding experience for all your customers.
  2. Build a separate B2B-only expansion store that allows for more robust customization that is specific to your wholesale business. 

Increases efficiency 

B2B on Shopify offers merchants the same simple, intuitive user experience within the admin, coupled with the complexity to serve the B2B space. You can sell B2B and DTC from a single store, or a single platform.  

Integrates with your business apps

The Plus Wholesale Channel does not allow you to connect to third-party apps or your ERP, and does not allow for branding or design customizations. B2B on Shopify gives merchants the ability to offer a flexible and customizable buyer experience to their customers, without any complexity. 

Build your B2B ecommerce operations on Shopify 

Whether you’re expanding into B2B, migrating your existing B2B business operations to Shopify, or seeking to grow your wholesale operations, our solutions offer powerful capabilities to help you scale your business. 

With our purpose-built, user-friendly, and flexible solutions, you can simplify how you manage your B2B operations and build a thriving ecommerce business. 

B2B on Shopify FAQ

What features are on the future roadmap for B2B on Shopify? 

Some features we intend to release in the near future are:

  • Contextual publishing (hiding or showing products to some B2B customers but not others)
  • Quantity price breaks
  • Quantity purchasing rules (product minimum, maximum, and mult rules)
  • Easy reordering

This is not an exhaustive list. However, contextual publishing, quantity price breaks, and quantity purchasing rules are available today in the Plus Wholesale Channel.

What is the advantage of a blended storefront with B2B on Shopify? 

A blended storefront allows you to set up and manage a single storefront for both sides of your business, rather than two. This means one single point of integration for your ERP or CRM, shared data, one third-party app license to fill a feature gap, etc. The user experience will be as simple and intuitive for B2B as it is for DTC. 

Which solution offers greater customization for the buyer experience? 

B2B on Shopify.This solution is built directly into the core of Shopify, giving you the same level of customization you experience for DTC. From store theme to API access, you have the power to create the store you want. The Plus Wholesale Channel is a sales channel disconnected from most out-of-the-box Shopify features. 

Why are new features not being added to the Plus Wholesale Channel? 

B2B on Shopify is the future of B2B on Shopify’s platform and we want to focus all of our efforts on ensuring you have everything you need to sell B2B within the online store. With its ability to be customizable and flexible for both merchants and their customers, B2B on Shopify truly provides the best user experience for all. 

Will I pay more to use B2B on Shopify? 

No. Our new suite of features is included in your Plus subscription.  

Who can I speak to about migrating over to a new solution? 

If you’re an existing merchant, our MSM or our Support Specialists are available to discuss the details of our new offering and help you understand the steps you need to take to transition your B2B business to a new solution. 

If you’re a new merchant, our sales team can guide you through an evaluation process and ensure you have everything you need to make the right decision for your business. 

This originally appeared on Shopify Plus and is made available here to cast a wider net of discovery.
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