The e-commerce industry is on its full growth. The B2B services have gained popularity and wholesale alone is witnessing an exponential rise in business sales. It is expected, the figures may reach up to 7 trillion USD, by 2020. With such immense potential, wholesale business needs more strategic planning accompanied by a solid e-commerce platform to support the business and help it grow.
Wholesale business is an elaborated version of retail and has a more complex organizational structure and order flow. Therefore the wholesale business owners need to research well before investing in technologies and collaborating with service providers. A decent solution provider for e-commerce helps you manage your data, keeps your operations smooth, and deals with other advanced complexities of your business.
The decision of picking the right e-commerce platform will shape the future course of your business. You must, therefore, go for a service provider that supports the growth of your wholesale business. You need to pick a platform that suits both your budget and your business.
Here are 8 features your wholesale platform should have, to make your business successful
1. Is it flexible to handle technical trends of online business?
Technology has a prominent hold over the online business. Gone are the days when customers walked into the stores to buy stuff. They are now confined to their devices and keep moving virtually, from one store to another. With this outlook, you must search for a flexible e-commerce platform that can adapt to the changing business trends.
Wholesale vendors should go for a platform that is specially designed for their business. It must handle the complex flow. The platform must also give freedom to customize the front and back end according to the vendor’s requirement. It should also have the following abilities:
- Customization must not take much time and effort.
- Capacity to handle multiple product lines and their storefront
- Option of white-labelling the site
- Manage a large number of customers and their bulk orders
If the e-commerce platform you have picked has the following features, your business will definitely touch new heights.
2. Does it support Integration with different platforms?
Your wholesale platform has to take care of several aspects. It is the backbone of your business. The right platform balances different features and integrates with other intermediary platforms for better customer analysis and management.
Clients often look for customized communication. And by that, I don’t mean a common draft with names on top. Customization means connecting your e-commerce platform to third-party tools for analyzing customer experiences. For personalization, data exchange is very important. However, this feature is not necessary if you have a small scale business. But as your business grows, you must have this feature in order to establish a brand connect and fetch maximum revenue.
3. Can the platform scale along with business?
Every merchant desires to expand their business at some point in time. But it may sound impractical if you keep migrating to new platforms each time your business surpasses the expected growth. Since wholesale in itself deals with bulk orders, find an e-commerce platform specially designed for such businesses.
Scalability is a feature claimed by many service providers but delivered by very few. While picking the right platform makes sure you check it with different business scenarios in mind. Where do you see your firm in the next 3 years? How big you want your workforce to be?
Considering these few terms in mind check your platform for the following features:-
- The platform should preferably be auto-scalable
- The capability of handling heavy traffic
- Scalability in terms of pages, users, and products
- Maximum server uptime
If your e-commerce platform provides these above-mentioned features, your business will grow to scale new heights in future!
4. Does it offer customer support module?
Dealing with customers may seem easy if you are a customer yourself. But once you have your own show to run, it is a tough job. There must be a level of transparency between the online wholesalers and customers. Sending notifications, intimations, creating customized offers and discounts, and even entertaining complains, is part of supporting them. Find an e-commerce platform for your business that makes client handling easy and stress-free.
The platform must have an automated setup to send texts and greetings to customers. There must also be tools that generate customized discount offers based on previous purchasing history. Apart from these crucial tools you must also sync your platform with the logistics service and send a regular update to customers, without fail. Follow the trend and make sure your e-commerce platform allows integration of different supports. Faster the client service, better the reviews.
5. Does it give you an edge over the other competitors?
Shifting your wholesale business online may give you an edge over the others, but it also increases competition in the market. To excel and stay ahead of others you must provide matchless service along with a smooth user-friendly interface.
Your platform should support your future plans. It must have the capacity of handling customers from different channels. Analyze your e-commerce platform for the following points.
- Smooth and fast experience for Users
- Good page load and page switch time
- Can run on weak internet connection
- Mobile responsive
- Ease of customization
If your wholesale platform has these features, you will indeed have a good amount of customers, impressed by your quality service.
6. Does it offer flexible rates to customers?
Being a wholesale vendor, you must know what kind of customers will be coming on your platform. There are some who will be first-timers. They usually come through organic searches or word of mouth promotion of your brand by your loyal customers. Then there is a loyal group that visits you on regular basis. For a successful wholesale business, you need to retain your loyal customers while regularly adding new ones. However, you cannot offer the same discounts or special pricing to both these groups. Also, among the loyal or the new customers, there will be a variety of unique requirements of bulk purchase each requiring its own unique pricing. In such scenarios, dynamic rates come into use. Variable price board makes customers more patient. This way you will make a profit and earn customer loyalty as well.
Pick the wholesale e-commerce platform that creates multiple price lists based on individual wholesale orders. Also, make sure you have an option to apply those lists to individual clients or a group of clients. Look for tools that automatically integrate loyalty and reward points analyzing the customer’s shopping data. These factors will help save time and effort, both.
7. Is it budget-friendly?
Make sure the platform you intend to buy comes in your budget. Although pricing must not let you negotiate with necessary features, it is quite important to have a balance between services and price. The future investments can have smooth flow only when core investments are done smartly.
The wholesale e-commerce platform must not have any hidden charges. Also, make sure it has features that support scaling so that you don’t have to invest again if your business grows. Keep these following tips in mind while picking the right platform.
- No additional charges of security tools
- Freedom to switch between plans
- Improved services with changing trend
- Additional services available without change of plans
- No hidden charges
If these features are present in your e-commerce platform, it will definitely empower you and give you the freedom to experiment and explore new business opportunities.
8. Is it ready to manage your taxes and give you global growth?
When you plan to launch your wholesale e-commerce platform globally and expect worldwide recognition, make sure you mold it accordingly. Different countries have different tax rates. Make sure you have a tool that calculates the final order after including the country’s name and postal code.
Apart from taking tax, you must also look for options that support multilingual site conversion. This will help you in the long run when your business will be a huge success. Also, make sure your e-commerce platform has additional local currencies for a professional global impact.
The good news is, wholesale business is at its peak and expected to grow even more. You must trust a platform that manages traffic and runs smoothly. You just need to keep these eight points in mind while selecting the right platform.
StoreHippo is one of the leading e-commerce platforms for wholesale e-commerce services. With the experience of catering to diverse clients across a range of wholesale businesses, we have all the features needed for running a complex wholesale business. The admin has been designed keeping a variety of B2B functions, powerful tax engine, customized pricing and a host of other features. The inherent flexibility and scalability of the platform
If you are planning to launch your wholesale business online and need assistance in looking for a suitable e-commerce platform, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or book a demo with our exports.