So you want to take your wholesale business online?
Looking for B2B ecommerce solutions that can make your online journey smoother, simpler and faster? It is very likely that by now you have done enough research on the popular turnkey options available in the market. So, what is your take on it?
Have you already finalised one or are you still comparing between a couple of final contenders? Apart from the features have you checked the limitations of the platform you are about to finalize? Can you ascertain that this would be the ultimate stay-on solution for your business?
With so many B2B ecommerce platforms coming up with their enterprise level offering it becomes essential to ensure whether the promised features and services actually fit the bill. With Shopify Gold entering the Indian market it becomes imperative that you consider its limitations with the other popular platform StoreHippo that has been offering well-rounded business to business solutions to wholesale businesses.
Let us check StoreHippo on 7 crucial limitations of Shopify Gold and see how these features are necessary for any B2B ecommerce solutions you might be evaluating;
Shopify Gold offers customization for its front-end. However, if you are really thinking of extensive backend changes you are in for a surprise. Shopify does facilitate changes to add functionalities through its APIs and third-party apps. But managing the whole process can be really challenging and cumbersome. These apps have been developed by different groups at different times and syncing them together to achieve a certain flow can be really time taking and tedious process.
Alternatively, StoreHippo offers a flexible front-end as well as backend. You can customize your online site in and out by tweaking the platform as per your unique requirements. The extensible backend can be used to create custom B2B ecommerce solutions for your business. You can not only add new entities but can also tweak the existing entities to suit your custom needs.
So are you serious to create your very own brand value by designing and branding your business? With Shopify Plus at your disposal, you need to have a decent knowledge of Liquid to make any changes to the existing template offered by the design theme gallery of Shopify Gold. To create a brand that stands apart from rest of the Shopify stores, you will have to hire a resource to make changes to your theme. This will add on to your overall cost.
Storehippo, on the other hand, offers easy customizations for design theme through their B2B ecommerce solutions. You can simply drag and drop images and make changes right in the design theme to experiment with the look and feel of your store. This makes it super easy for even a novice to design a store’s look without any technical know-how.
Want to target multiple customer segments with unique storefronts? The multi-store feature is a boon for businesses planning to target audience specific products on different storefronts all managed by a single admin. However, Shopify Gold does not allow you to do this from a common dashboard. This makes it really difficult to manage the products, order history, inventory etc from a common dashboard.
StoreHippo is one of the B2B ecommerce platforms that seems to have learnt from the gaps of the other platforms and offers a multi-store feature manageable from a single admin panel. By using a single dashboard you can take care of your complete order history, inventory, products, customers etc. You can also plan unique deals and discounts along with design theme, product catalogue and domain for each of your storefronts.
Your chances of success increase greatly if your wholesale business gets the power of a marketplace set up. Multiple vendors on your platform not only give you a competitive edge but also allow you to offer a better catalogue and pricing to your clients. B2B ecommerce platforms with inbuilt multi-vendor capabilities can thus give a totally new dimension to your business. However, if you are considering Shopify Gold for this you have to integrate the app based multi-vendor functionality.
Although it offers a decent multi-vendor functionality it does not offer a complete solution to handle the various complex workflows of a multi-vendor setup. You will need additional apps to achieve many of the complex workflows and this adds to cost and time overhead in streamlining everything.
StoreHippo’s multi-vendor functionality, in contrast, has been designed to offer an end-to-end multi-vendor marketplace solution for diverse B2B and B2C businesses. You can implement a variety of multi-seller use cases like horizontal, vertical and B2C marketplaces without the need for additional apps or cost overhead.
One essential thing to look out for in your B2B ecommerce solutions is its ability to make your brand stand out and secure its own place in the business world. It is easy to achieve brand identity when your turnkey solution offers you white-labelling. Customizing your online store, its communications channels, its admin etc can be made possible using white-labelling. This small effort goes a long way in securing a place and position for your brand.
Shopify does not provide a completely white-labelled solution for wholesale businesses. This means that you will not be able to promote your brand effectively and effortlessly by customizing your business and brand logo.
StoreHippo has taken care of this and offers a completely white labelled solution for B2B and wholesale businesses. It allows you to customize and prominently display your brand’s logo and name on your frontend as well as the backend. It is one of those few B2B ecommerce platforms that allows you to customize all your communications and notifications tools using your brand's logo.
Every business has to ultimately deliver the products to its clients. For this, you need a robust shipping solution that helps you streamline your deliveries. Working on establishing such a hassle-free system from scratch can take more effort than starting a new business. If a hassle-free logistics system is incorporated as an integral part of your B2B ecommerce solutions it can be a boon for your business.
This is where StoreHippo wins hands down. The platform offers an automated Shipping solution which offers you a wide choice of reputed logistics partners. It’s shipping aggregator platform ShipKaro offers a host of benefits and gives you discounted shipping rates with the widest coverage.
Shopify Gold does not have any such fulfilment service. It does offer shipping integration but yet again you will have difficulty in searching and partnering with logistics providers that are most suitable for your business.
After Sale support
B2B ecommerce platforms have a host of complex functionalities which might need initial hand-holding from their support team. Usually, there is a huge difference between pre-sales and after-sales support and any platform that provides long-term support can be of great help in the long run.
Here Storehippo shines through with its offer of free store set-up within a month of purchasing their subscription. Their team guides you step-by-step to setup your online store and gets you started in the very first month. Also, they offer support through multiple channels like calls, email, forum, help centre and a dedicated support manager.
Shopify Gold, on the other hand, offers support only through email, forum and help centre. They do not help you with store setup. So if you have limited technical know-how you will have to hire a dedicated resource to roll out your store using their B2B ecommerce solutions.
To navigate your online journey without major roadblocks you need to ensure that you have all the tools to expand and grow your business to the next level. In nutshell, if you are really serious to give your wholesale business new avenues of growth you should thoroughly check the platform of your choice on the above pointers.
So, all you have to do is while you are exploring the features of the B2B ecommerce platforms be very keen on finding its limitations so you can give your business a winning edge.