Wholesale business - or B2B business - isn’t discussed very much because it doesn’t deal directly with consumers. Because of this, wholesale businesses aren’t given much importance. But the reality is, these companies are the backbone of the retail industry. This type of business model involves two businesses trading directly with each other - typically, it’s a retailer and wholesaler. In recent years, wholesale eCommerce has grown in line with B2C online retail. In 2019, the market value of B2B retail was six times that of B2C retail and was valued at $12.2 trillion.
Because of their huge market value, online wholesale businesses are now looking for the same ease of doing business that B2C retailers have. That includes an easy process for ordering and fulfillment.
What is Wholesale eCommerce?
Simply, this is when a business uses online platforms and websites to purchase goods from suppliers at a wholesale price. These platforms offer access to a variety of potential business partners. If you’re a retail business owner that feels your wholesaler or supplier is no longer meeting your needs, these platforms can help you find different suppliers who are more in line with your requirements. Similarly, these platforms can also be useful if you’re looking to diversify your product line.
The cheapest wholesalers and manufacturers are in the Asian and South Asian markets. By using online wholesale platforms, you can access these suppliers with ease. You can easily search for suppliers that have what you need and negotiate prices and shipping processes that work for you. If you’re a manufacturer or assemble your products using different imported parts, then these platforms can be very useful for you. Having more options will not only allow you to offer better quality products, but could help you improve your profit margins, too.
Why Wholesalers Need eCommerce
Wholesalers are usually physically located in markets that are not easy to reach. For example, if you’re a small business located in the US and the suppliers you need are located in China, how are you going to access those wholesalers? The answer, of course, is online wholesale platforms which can help you reach thousands of distributors across the world. These platforms will allow you to find the suppliers you need, negotiate a price you can work with, and get the items you require for your business - all with a few clicks of the mouse.
10 Benefits of eCommerce Applications in Wholesale
- Increase in customers because of higher outreach
- Brand is established faster
- Multi-channel sales
- Wholesalers can collect data from prospective customers
- Evaluate possible competitors
- Make B2B more affordable by eliminating unnecessary costs
- Increases opportunities for promotion
- Allows you to have direct customer contact
- Mobile commerce accessibility
- Consistent 24-hour accessibility
What Are The Top Wholesale eCommerce Features?
There are certain qualities that eCommerce platforms should have to be the best option for wholesale businesses. Luckily the evolution and uptake of eCommerce means platforms are getting better to use. Wholesalers and retailers expect the useability and access that consumer-facing businesses have. These are a few things to look for when trying to find a good wholesale platform:
- Simple Design: The platform’s layout should be simple and easy to navigate. Businesses are more concerned with functionality than design, so too many flashy elements just get in the way.
- Multiple Budget Options: Different businesses will have different purchasing budgets, so wholesalers need to offer flexible, customized rates. Therefore, wholesale platforms should offer the ability to set different rates.
- Varied Catalogs: It’s important that businesses are able to find what they need, which is why platforms should offer a catalog with a wide variety of products. This way, potential customers will always find what they need.
- Easy Re-ordering: As a wholesaler, you want your buyers to keep coming back to order from you. One way to ensure this is to make re-orders a breeze - your buyers should be able to repeat their orders with just a few clicks.
- Mobile-enabled: You don’t want to lose customers just because they couldn’t easily place their order during a busy period. By ensuring that your customers can place their orders through their mobile - whether it’s through a dedicated app or mobile-friendly website - you’ll ensure you’re always ready to win more sales.
- Barcode Scanning: Because wholesale orders usually feature large quantities that are often repeated, barcode scanning makes things a lot easier. This time-saving feature allows customers to place their orders quickly and wholesalers to respond equally fast.
- Full Shopping Cart Experience: The platform or app should offer a complete shopping cart facility where customers can review, modify, and confirm their orders. This way, they can solve a number of issues before making a purchase or reaching out to customer service.
The Top 10 eCommerce Platforms for Wholesalers
This China-based wholesale platform has a huge user base and hosts all sorts of businesses. It has a huge variety of products ready to be shipped, plus, you can sign up for free and get multiple quotes to find exactly what you need. Usability is key here, and the platform supports easy setup, multiple payment methods, and several languages. It also offers trade assurances and logistics services. Service charges are capped at $100.
2. Amazon Business
Amazon Business is designed exclusively for B2B transactions between wholesalers and retailers. You can sign up for free and compare offers from different sellers to get exactly what you need. Plus, you can even have multiple user accounts and pay with different methods. The full-service offering also includes Amazon fulfillment for shipping and Prime for exclusive products and fast delivery. Amazon charges US$39.99/month for a retailer account - you’ll have to pay transaction and fulfillment fees on top of this.
3. X Cart
X Cart is another great wholesale eCommerce platform that lets multiple vendors sell easily. In addition, X Cart claims to be 66% more cost-effective than other options available. It also offers great usability since you can connect your ERP, CRM, and POS without writing any codes. It also offers omnichannel content management and multiple language support.
This platform provides both B2B and B2C services. Focused on the Indian market, it’s considered the best wholesale eCommerce platform in the region and has more than 3 million suppliers.
5. Made in China
Another wholesale distribution platform that started in China, Made in China is very popular, especially for electronics. Most of the products on this platform are manufactured either in China or Taiwan.
6. Global Sources
This Hong Kong-based eCommerce business is one of the oldest and fastest-growing eCommerce platforms around. With a fantastic B2B sales strategy, it brings wholesalers and retailers face-to-face in a productive environment.
DHGate is another China-based platform that has headquarters in Beijing and offices in the US, UAE, India, and the Philippines. With more than 1.2 million Chinese suppliers and buyers from over 200 countries, this distribution platform facilitates wholesale transactions as well as small and medium-sized manufacturers.
8. eWorld Trade
Although this platform’s headquarters are in Dallas, Texas, its operations are run from Karachi, Pakistan. It was developed as part of the CPEC economic corridor that aims to facilitate trade between China and Pakistan. It’s the largest-growing platform in the region.
TradeKey targets countries like China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Taiwan, and Malaysia, and is considered one of the best wholesale platforms in the Asian region. You can get quotations for particular products, or just search for what’s available.
This platform focuses on facilitating wholesale distribution for small and medium enterprises. The platform is very buyer-centric, which is its main selling point. Users can create ads with their requirements and ask for quotes from sellers. Many small and medium suppliers such as food processing companies, bakeries, and restaurants, are active on this platform.
How To Pick Your Platform
The best eCommerce platform for wholesale depends on what you are looking for. Do you have a specific product or region in mind? Or do you already know what type of order fulfillment you want? Here are a few things to consider:
- What budget you can afford to use the platform
- The target region
- How many languages the platform supports
- What payment methods are offered
- Customer support
- Ease of managing the account
- Connectivity with inventory and CRM
- Fulfillment and logistics
By considering these points, you can easily figure out which platform will work best for you.
Take Your Business to the Next Level With an eCommerce Platform Designed For Wholesalers
eCommerce has changed how we do business and it is evolving with every passing day. Wholesale eCommerce has brought manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and retailers from around the world to one table. Now, finding suppliers from different countries is not an issue. Just make sure you know what you want and pick the right platform.
Easyship can help you with shipping your orders to your customers. We offer excellent logistics services with many solutions by partnering with leading courier companies. We also have a wide network of warehouses and fulfillment centers and can help you with your logistics and shipping needs. Sign up for a free account now to see how we can help you.