What Is Wholesale eCommerce?

Every business is now seeking ways to buy and sell via online platforms to create an online presence for more profit. Wholesale ecommerce is a great B2B commerce model for businesses. It involves the selling and buying of goods between businesses.

Wholesale ecommerce can be defined succinctly as the transactions between two businesses; it involves selling products to another business in wholesale instead of retail sale to customers and at discounted prices via online ecommerce platforms.

The pandemic and lockdown in early 2020 have shown many business owners that wholesale ecommerce is the new gold. You must create an online presence if you want to move your products in the market to build a unique and formidable brand.

Wholesalers make their major profit by selling their products from their ecommerce websites or stores to consumers oftentimes at a high price.

How Wholesale eCommerce Works

Selling wholesale involves a wholesale business supplying to other wholesalers or retailers in bulk. Wholesale ecommerce is usually between the manufacturers of a product and wholesale brands.

A wholesaler can ship in bulk to a retailer, who then ships directly to the consumers. At times, wholesalers ship in bulk directly to consumers.

Wholesale ecommerce enables wholesalers to reduce shipping costs as they only need to take large orders and make deliveries at once. The advent of technology and customer behaviour have also contributed to the enormous growth of the wholesale ecommerce industry in recent years.

How wholesale ecommerce works

How Wholesalers Can Benefit from eCommerce

There is a lot of information out there right now about how one can do business effectively and make a profit with little to no stress. One way to achieve this is through wholesale ecommerce business. Many business owners are still ignorant of how this works, and they are still comfortable with the traditional way of doing business.

The benefits attached to wholesale ecommerce are numerous. It helps you to improve your business structure. These benefits include the following:

It improves customers' buying experience

The world is growing to be busier. Jobs are becoming more tasking, and as a result, many people now prefer to shop online in bulk instead of going themselves. In recent times, this change in the B2B buyers' behavior makes e-commerce more fun and interesting, especially when you have built your brand and presence online like those sites.

Today, retail ecommerce businesses have switched and started selling wholesale to change their business growth and hit their targets without huge capital investment or a high level of risk. The truth is wholesale B2B e-commerce is the future of every business because the industry keeps gaining more ground with upgrades and advancements in the system day by day.

Wholesale ecommerce adds features as simple as a 24/7 self-ordering system that customers can use independently without reaching out to their representatives. Every customer will get a simple ordering and buying experience. Wholesalers should align with the system and enjoy every benefit attached to it while also giving customers an excelling shopping experience.

Automating your manual processes

In the last number of decades, a lot of people mastered selling their products manually. Although many business owners recorded a huge level of success, the truth is the manual process of selling as a wholesaler is time and energy-consuming. The advent of technology has made things easier. There is a lot of information available for every business owner now, and as the whole system of selling and buying is changing, it's expedient that they follow suit for business success.

Automation has increased in recent times, and over 70% of businesses now use automation. As a wholesale e-commerce dealer, the best way to operate your business is through automation.

Sometimes, customers' demands can be overwhelming. You may be able to go through the whole stress of replying to every mail, answering every phone and replying to every query. To avoid this, you need to automate your business for your B2B wholesale e-commerce to run effectively even in your absence.

If you want to be a successful business owner in this dispensation, it's best to switch and automate your manual processes of selling and buying products.

There are different ways to do this, and the first step is knowing the best ecommerce platform for wholesale that best suits your business. Your job is to research and find the right platform for your business and place your business up there.

Automation will help you carry out significant business-related tasks, including customer checkout, billing, and inventory management. All these will be done right on the app of whichever brand you choose to use for your business. You don't need to see your customers physically or transact by hand.

Get more customers for your wholesale ecommerce

The most interesting thing about the whole wholesale ecommerce business is that physical locations do not limit it. Technology has created a system for every business owner to become omnipresent in the marketplace. Your job as a wholesaler is to find out how to create this presence for your business online.

You give your customers more opportunities to find you online and do business with you from anywhere around the globe. Furthermore, selling wholesale on a website or social media is a great opportunity to build your brand identity and awareness. You get to create new markets for your business and reach more prospects without staying in one location.

Generating ideas from real-time data

One of the significant benefits of wholesale ecommerce is its ability to give you every necessary detail about your customer; their demography, geography, and other things you need to expand your reach as a business owner. Your website gives you the data of your customers and insight on certain problems you need to solve for your business to grow in leaps and bounds.

These insights will help you generate real-time solutions and ideas for your business. This makes business operations easy and effective compared to the traditional way of doing business, the manual process.

Your website gives you data and insights based on:

  • The pages and products which your customers viewed the most each day/week/month.
  • The number of visitors or prospects that clicked on a specific product.
  • The average time they spent on your webpage.
  • Also, the percentage of customers who didn't stay long to go through the site vs. those who actually viewed your products and stayed throughout.

This data can help your marketing campaigns teams know the strategy to employ, the type of products to put on the website, the pricing and discounts, and if there's anything to fix to turn prospects and visitors into customers. The feedback and reviews from customers will also give you more insight into satisfying your customer more. All these will help you boost sales and expand your customer reach online.

Selling through mobile devices

Remember, wholesale ecommerce is done via a website and social media platforms. This means your customers can be anywhere globally, and you don't have to bother about physical locations. Also, it means you can sell while on the go. You don't have to spend time sitting in front of a laptop computer or a desktop transacting with your customers.

You only need internet-connected mobile devices to do all the work you need to do. If you do your due diligence, you will hit your business goals without stress. All you need to do is find quality and authentic information about certain products you want to sell and automate using your mobile device.

Ecommerce makes it easy for business owners to market products and enable their customers to purchase through mobile phones. It's a great opportunity to automate and sell your products to multiply your profit.

Benefits of wholesaling

The Trends of Wholesale Buyers

The wholesale B2B market is changing daily as customers' demands are changing. B2B customers are demanding to purchase products through digital means more in recent times. These wholesale buyers are still the same people who shop online for personal products and often use mega-platforms like Amazon. They search on Google for new or updated products, use their credit cards and other digital means of payment, and use their mobile phones to get information about the products they want to get.

Furthermore, wholesale buyers conduct thorough research on the products they want to purchase to ensure the brand has a level of trust, and they check customers' reviews before reaching out to make purchases.

For example, B2B buyers carry out about 12 online searches before taking the next step towards purchasing from a brand. Also, 74% of buyers asserted checking at least half of their products purchases online.

In 2020, almost half of B2B buyers were millennials. This doubled the number we have from 2012. The millennials are actively involved in the buying process. A 2019 research discovered that 44% of millennials are trying to join the buyers league, while 33% are the major people who influence or recommend the process.
Aligning to B2B buyers, especially the millennials, is key to being successful in wholesale ecommerce.

How to Start a Wholesale eCommerce Store

Starting a wholesale ecommerce store is very straightforward. It's just about getting quality and practical information that will guide you into doing the needful and getting the results you want. To build a standard wholesale ecommerce store, you need to have everything you need at hand and follow the steps below.

Understand your project needs

For a successful wholesale business, you must understand your project needs before creating a platform to meet those needs.

First, understand the kind of products you want to sell. There are millions of products ranging from clothes, shoes, books and other popular products. Your job is to find out the products you want to sell before building a store for it.

Second, understand who your competitors are in the market. Know who is the highest dealer in your niche. Research your products, know who your key competitors are, then decide how your products will be distinct from theirs, and build a store that suits the product.

Furthermore, it's important you choose a payment option you want for your business. Would you like your customers to pay via credit cards? Or do you want them to pay on delivery? Make a choice before building your wholesale ecommerce store online.

Identify your potential challenges

Also, before you can build a successful wholesale ecommerce business, you need to identify the kind of challenges you might be faced with and how you can rectify them. Challenges like account creation and usage by customers, sometimes they can't pay through their accounts. Also, find out about certain regulations that surround your products before venturing into them.

Know the goals of ecommerce

You can only be a successful wholesale eCommerce business owner if you have your goals in place. Defining your goals allows you to know you have achieved your objectives and have become a successful wholesale b2b e-commerce business owner. Your goals are personal to you and depend on what you want to achieve in your business.

how to start a wholesale ecommercr store

How to Choose a Wholesale eCommerce Platform

There are many eсommerce platforms out there that solve different problems in businesses. To choose the best eсommerce platform for your B2B e-commerce business, you need to consider some important factors, including the following.

Fits your budget

You need to choose the one that fits your budget. Ask for the setup and maintenance fee, then make your decision based on this information. Also, know how much it will cost to update your eсommerce platform each time there's a need for that and see if it's within your capacity.

Extensive integrations

You can't be a standalone wholesale B2B e-commerce business owner. You need to partner with other brands by integrating their software into your ecommerce platform for seamless transactions and patronage. Find out about different features you can integrate with different ecommerce platforms and choose the one that can suit your needs.

SEO and content marketing opportunities

Before buyers buy products, they search for them online as much as they can. This is why you need to ensure that your ecommerce platform is SEO optimized and can quickly come up in search engines. You need to grasp how to create good and quality content to drive traffic to your ecommerce platform.

More so, you need attention-grabbing features to keep them locked on your site till they become your clients and not just visitors or prospects. You need a page to reveal the features of your products, either descriptions or technical specifications, to boost their confidence and pay for your products.

Browse directories and search capabilities

Always ensure that your customers can locate the exact products they are searching for; if you have an extensive catalog integrated with different SKUs, you need to make sure that customers can find the exact products they need. To solve this problem, you can create a system that can help your customers filter their searches. This will make shopping on your ecommerce platform easier. You can as well use Artificial intelligence technology to perform this function on your site.

What Is a SKU?

The versatility of payment

As a B2B business owner, you need to ensure that your payment system is seamless and doesn't give your customers issues regardless of the country and the currency they use for transactions. Create a convenient payment gateway for everyone for smooth business operations. Have another option for those using credit cards because not everyone wants to keep a huge amount of money in their account.

Wholesale eCommerce Websites Examples

There are different ecommerce sites out there that are running successfully today with millions of users. Let's look at some of them and their uniqueness.

Carsey's Distributing

Casey's Distributing deals with memorabilia materials. It works with numerous users across North America. Carsey's Distributing has distributed for over 50 manufacturers, overshooting the 50,000 SKUs.

Casey's Distributing has tried to work with ecommerce platforms including Magento, WooCommerce, Shopify, and several others. They manage over 50,000 stock codes every year, which require different updates. Within a month, Casey's Distributing grew from working with an old, out-of-date website to a modern, more interactive site with BigCommerce.

Coreys distribution is an example of wholesale ecommering

Clarion Safety Systems

Clarion Safety Systems has been operating in the B2B market for over 25 years designing and producing product safety labels and signage. They moved to BigCommerce later on after several issues they had online. Also, Casey's Distributing brand has been able to automate their business from navigation to checkout, giving customers a more incredible experience during shopping.

clarion safety systems is an example of whole ecommerce

Berling Packaging

Berling Packaging started out in the late 1930s as a Tinplate packaging brand but the brand is now a big ecommerce store of modern glass and plastic. The wholesale B2B brand sells to numerous businesses worldwide.

Berling Packaging uses BigCommerce as its ecommerce platform due to functionality, easy configuration, and pricing. Berling has over 200 partner vendors and they leverage BigCommerce APIs to sort their shipping integrations.

Berlin packaging is an example of wholesaling ecommerce


It can be deduced that wholesale B2B e-commerce is a transaction that exists between two businesses. Every business owner must seek to build an online presence because of the advance in technology that's currently influencing customers' behavior towards business. eCommerce helps you to automate your business for smooth operations and a better user experience. And, an excellent way to automate your business and ensure customer satisfaction is by adopting ecommerce for wholesale distributors.


Which platform is best for wholesales?

There are various ecommerce platforms for different wholesale businesses. You can choose the one that suits your business depending on your needs and the products you sell and buy. You need to select the one with the features that can best serve your business and help your business run smoothly.

Is e-commerce retail or wholesale?

eCommerce can be in retail or wholesale. You can choose to sell to distributors in bulk or to end-users directly. It depends on which area you want to choose and how you want to operate your business. Also, it depends on the products you decide to sell to your customers.

What is the difference between wholesale and B2B?

Although people often use the terms wholesale and B2B interchangeably, they are distinct. B2B (business-to-business) is just a segment of wholesale business.

What is online wholesale?

Online wholesale means selling and buying goods in large volume from producers online. You can use websites, different social media platforms, and online stores to sell and buy wholesale. In an online wholesale, everything is done strictly online.

What is the difference between wholesale and retail?

The difference between wholesale and retail is just about the type of customers you are dealing with directly. If you sell and buy in bulk and at discounted prices, you are a wholesaler; if you sell in small units to them, you are a retailer.

What is an example of wholesale e-commerce?

There are many examples of wholesale ecommerce. Most of them are mega-eсommerce businesses today. This includes Carsey's Distributing, Berling Packaging, and several others who buy and sell in bulk in their stores. Shopify is another eсommerce site that has built its brand over the years.

What are the benefits of a wholesale ecommerce site?

There are several benefits attached to owning an ecommerce site for your business. Such as creating an online presence for your products, access to customers' real-time data and quality information, automating your business for smooth operations, improving customers' experience, increasing your sales volume, and several other benefits.

What important features do an online wholesale store need?

To serve you excellently, your online wholesale store needs to integrate some essential features to prevent a standalone experience. Examples of these features include a search filter for searches, catalogs, payment media, options, etc. 
Another feature can help you segment your customers for pricing, product search, and even discounts and promotions.

How can a wholesale ecommerce site support a custom order?

A wholesale e-commerce site can support customers' orders by building an extensive catalog with a price tag attached to each product to make the process easy and seamless. Also, ensure that they can access the products in your store. Accessibility goes a long way in ensuring customers have a great user experience.

How can wholesale ecommerce serve a personalized experience?

Customers love to have a personalized experience. For this to happen, automate the entire process on your store so that they won't need any assistance during transactions and for convenience. Also, a welcome note for them as they enter your store and an exit message to appreciate them for patronizing you. 

Do wholesalers and distributors work differently?

Yes, wholesalers and distributors work differently. Wholesalers buy and sell in large volumes, while distributors bridge the gap between wholesalers and consumers. Distributors resell their products to the customers after buying in bulk from the wholesalers.

Which industries can wholesale be applied to?

There are different industries where you can apply wholesale like wears, chops, automotives, etc. So long you are interested in buying and selling in large volumes. Every sector uses wholesale for their products and then resell to the retailers, who sell to the consumers directly through different media.
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Mary Gabrielyan
Mary Gabrielyan
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