In the world of ecommerce, there are many different ways to create a business from the buying and selling of products. Many small business owners who create or produce their own products will at one time or another consider the possibility of becoming a wholesaler as a way to increase their business traffic and hopefully, profits.
However, becoming a wholesaler is a big step. In a recent Q&A article, ecommerce consultant Shirley Tan gave some really great advice to a retailer who was thinking of increasing her wholesale business. You can read the article here: Ask an Expert: Better to Sell Retail or Wholesale?
The article is definitely worth a read, but she essentially asks the retailer to answer for herself three basic questions:
1. Do resellers compete with you for business?
2. Can you afford to sell wholesale?
3. What business do you want to be in?
The last question to me is the most interesting, because it is a fundamental consideration that some ecommerce owners seem to sometimes overlook. We get wrapped up in profits and numbers, and forget to ask ourselves what direction we really want to take our businesses in. Do you want to focus on production and growing your resellers, or do you want to focus on retail, tweaking shopping carts, marketing and selling your products yourself?
The two options are, of course, not mutually exclusive. As the owner of an ecommerce business, you can often maintain both a retail and a wholesale platform–it is really a question of how you prioritize the areas of your business.
Having a system that allows you to manage your resellers is of course another important consideration, essential to growing this side of your business. Upshot Commerce’s Wholesale Extension is an essential feature for any producers interested in wholesaling. It enables you to create flexible shopping carts, custom tailored for particular resellers or for specific products. This means that you are in control of developing the market for your product. Features of the Wholesale Extension include:
- Multi-Level Assigned Pricing – Create unique pricing structure groups to assign your wholesalers. Each group can have its own structure. This enables you to reward “high performers” or even create “special status” members.
- Robust Pricing Controls – Pricing can be set across products and multiple storefronts. You can even select which items are available for wholesale to which sellers, allowing you to create exclusive markets for your products. Pricing can be percentage or fixed price based to allow or not allow for bulk discounts.
- Managed Registration – Integrated wholesaler registrations with both public and private interfaces that can be set to auto approve or manual approve. You can also map existing users to wholesale groups.
Diving into the world of wholesale can be an exciting and lucrative business decision. If you do it with the right tools and the right goals in mind, you can expand your business in directions you may have never thought possible.