Last updated: May 19, 2023
Running an online business that deals with B2B wholesaling requires online store owners to identify ecommerce platforms that cater to their unique requirements.
This is because not all ecommerce platforms are built to provide services that accommodate wholesaling.
Consequently, we thought it would be a good idea to provide you with information on the best ecommerce platforms for wholesaling businesses and then let you know how tools like Upscribe can help you get the best out of them. So, without further ado…
What is a Wholesale ecommerce Platform?
A wholesale ecommerce platform is an online marketplace where wholesale buyers and procurement teams can locate and purchase items in bulk.
Wholesale ecommerce sites typically focus on features and functionality tailored to the unique requirements of wholesaling.
- For wholesale sellers, they provide necessary features such as bulk ordering, tiered pricing, inventory management, and order tracking.
- For wholesale buyers, they offer specific wholesaling features enabling them to search for products based on specific criteria such as product category, brand, and price.
Why Wholesale Ecommerce Platforms are Important?
They Increase Sales While Lowering Spend
The transition to digital commerce is impacting wholesaling companies as much as any other kind of business.
Where previously the majority of a wholesale seller’s sales activities were delivered through a team of sales reps, wholesale purchasers are increasingly demanding the ability to conduct their business through self-service, as a recent Gartner report clearly demonstrates.
This presents genuine opportunities for online wholesalers. Selling through an ecommerce platform increases sales opportunities and reduces the length of the sales cycle, It also reduces costs by removing salaries of sales reps that no longer present the value they once did.
They Simplify the Buying Process
Increasing demand for self-service purchasing has been driven largely by ecommerce wholesaling, making the purchasing process much simpler and more convenient.
Buyers and procurement teams have access to all the products they need in one place whenever they need them. They no longer have to deal with a human intermediary who may (intentionally or not) delay them getting their orders placed and fulfilled. Locating items is significantly accelerated when buying online.
By streamlining the customer’s buying processes customer satisfaction is enhanced, which leads to a higher chance of repeat business and greater customer advocacy.
Ecommerce Wholesaling Makes Your Business Location-Independent
Moving your wholesaling business to an ecommerce platform opens your business up to more customers. It’s really that simple.
By becoming location independent, you are no longer restricted by location, time, or your marketing budget.
A good wholesaling ecommerce platform will augment your marketing activities allowing you to drive more customers to your business through coordinated, omnichannel online marketing campaigns.
Potential customers can discover you through the platform or be driven there through your presence in other online arenas, such as your website or social media channels.
Criteria to Consider When Choosing Wholesale Ecommerce Platforms
Always remember to K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid). Nothing turns off prospective customers more than sites that are too busy or difficult to navigate.
There’s no point in finding a great platform if you can’t afford it.
Most ecommerce platforms have tiered pricing structures so they can be viable for a variety of businesses, regardless of budget. If you find one you like, take the time to study each of their pricing plans to ensure that, should you commit, it will deliver what you need and not take you over budget.
Most of the major platforms enable integrations into all the major systems you may be using (CRM, ERP, etc.) but don’t take this as a given.
Always check the platform you are considering will integrate with your existing technology stack.
Best Wholesale Ecommerce Platforms
- Shopify – Best for wholesale startups and smaller wholesalers
- WooCommerce – Best for freelancers and small B2C businesses
- Adobe Commerce – Best for large enterprises
Shopify is one of the world’s biggest ecommerce platforms and is renowned for its ease of use and effectiveness.
For wholesalers, Shopify’s B2B ecommerce offers the opportunity to trade on one of the world’s biggest marketplaces whilst furnishing them with all the tools they need to scale their operation and deliver a complete, end-to-end customer experience.
Broad Customizations – deliver a complete end-to-end customer journey with fully customizable products, pricing publishing, quantity rules, and payment terms.
Global Scalability- reach customers you never could before with localized storefronts and automated local currencies and tax exemptions.
Flexible Payment Options – Accommodate your new global customer base with a variety of different payment options, including automated drafts, payment reminders, invoices, and due-on-fulfillment terms.
The Basic Shopify package provides everything a new business needs to create its store and start trading at a price of $25 per month. It comes with basic reports and 2 staff accounts.
The mid-tier Shopify package is charged at $65 per month and comes with professional reports and up to 5 staff accounts.
Shopify Advanced allows for customized reporting and comes with lower transaction fees and up to 15 Staff accounts. For this, you will pay $399 per month.
Pros and Cons:
- No other ecommerce platform makes it as easy to set up your business and start trading as Shopify does
- Unparalleled customer service – they are available 24 hours a day and have a wealth of educational materials available to new users
- Highly conducive to multichannel selling
- Sometimes requires paid-for, third-party apps
- Checkout is not customizable
- Not free to use
Try Upscribe to see how their out-of-the-box tools can increase average order size (AOV) and order frequency.
WooCommerce is not an ecommerce platform as such, but an ecommerce plug-in that is built on WordPress, the world’s most popular website builder.
This allows anyone from freelancing artists to wholesale businesses to build a complete online store using WordPress’s open-source architecture, which is used by many of the world’s top companies.
Mobile Storefront – Not only can you build a complete online ecommerce store with WooCommerce, but they are fully optimized for mobile users to accommodate contemporary buying behavior.
Product Management – WooCommerce comes with a complete set of product management features that really do cover every base, including simple product catalog listings and updates, bulk product uploads, and easily configurable product variations.
WooCommerce Blocks – WooCommerce Blocks allow you to manage and display your products with ease on any page of your online store. This allows wholesalers to cross-promote products in other areas of their stores, such as their blog or promotion fields, with ease.
Because WooCommerce is built on WordPress’s open-source technology, it is free to download and use. Costs only enter the equation for additional add-ons.
- It’s free – you can build a fully functioning ecommerce store without spending a single cent.
- Huge range of add-ons to add even greater value to online stores
- Extremely secure
- Some desirable features for wholesalers require add-ons, and it can take time to find the right ones
- Not always easy to calculate shipping fees and rates
- Reports and search are basic – as with other aspects of WooCommerce you’ll need to find the right add-ons to get these fully optimized to your needs.
#3: Magento/Adobe Commerce
Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento) is a powerful ecommerce platform that has been recognized as Gartner’s “Leader in Digital Commerce” for the past 6 years straight.
It’s a cloud-based platform that lets businesses manage the entire order management lifecycle of their ecommerce stores through interconnectivity with other Adobe products.
Intelligent Commerce – Adobe’s AI gets smarter the more it is used. This allows its users to benefit from real-time, data-driven insights that can be used to incentivize user behavior with features like Live Search and machine-learning-driven product recommendations.
Extensibility – In order for a business to scale, so must its technology. Adobe Commerce is built to scale itself and integrate with all current and new digital touchpoints.
Limitless Frontend Flexibility – One platform, one front end, and an unlimited number of options for your storefront powered by thousands of extensions
Adobe Commerce is not cheap. This is the absolute top end of ecommerce technology built for large enterprises with deep pockets. All pricing is “available on request” but you’ll be looking at no less than $22000 a year, minimum.
- World-leading AI and machine learning software
- Complete future-proofing of your online stores
- Guidance from legitimate global experts
- Beyond the budget of anyone with less than $1M in sales revenues
- You have to commit to Adobe and their other products completely
- That’s it really, it’s fantastic if you can afford it. Most can’t.
If you are a wholesaler looking for the right ecommerce platform for you, then the right answer is likely on the list above.
If you have little to no budget and are happy to build slow and small, go for WooCommerce. If you are a huge, global corporation with a massive budget available, you should opt for Adobe Commerce.
For anyone else sitting somewhere between these two points, your best bet is probably Shopify. And if you do go with Shopify, don’t forget to try Upscribe, whose tools will vastly improve your customer retention and reduce churn on your new Shopify store.