A Comprehensive B2B Guide: How To Sell Wholesale To Retailers


Learning how to sell wholesale to retailers can be very easy and difficult at the same time, it totally depends on how you play your cards. 

If you’re one of those who is selling to customers and thinking to expand your business on the next level, then my friend you have landed in the right place.

Today in this comprehensive guide on wholesale you’ll learn about the following topics:

  • Fundamentals of selling wholesale 
  • Advantages of wholesale
  • How to sell wholesale to retailers

That’s pretty exciting, isn’t it?

So grab a cup of coffee, sit back because we are getting started.

Fundamentals of selling wholesale

selling wholesale

If you’re new to this, you must be wondering what’s the difference between selling wholesale and selling to customers?

The primary difference between the two is that instead of customers, you sell to businesses. The decisions made are solely based on the amount of revenue your product can generate rather than a customer’s need or personal interest for a product. 

Wholesale purchasers are not interested in using the goods for the sake of the experience, but rather in selling your items to their customers.

Wholesale opportunities differ based on the industry you operate in and the type of products you offer. Basically the term  “wholesale” relates to the sales opportunity for you to offer your created products in bulk to a retailer, generally at a discounted price. These retailers will then sell your products to their customers.

Now let us move to the next section of this guide and take a look at how selling wholesale will benefit your business.

Selling wholesale to retailers is a boon for your business

Selling to businesses means larger consumer base, more consistent sales and increased revenue. Let’s discuss each of those benefits in depth.

Selling in bulk

When it comes to wholesale, you sell to businesses rather than an individual customer, thus a single order tends to be larger. Instead of selling a few items to end-customers like in B2C business, you sell your products in larger quantities. 

selling in bulk

This means that your sales income for a single order will typically be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Your average order value might be significantly greater depending on the type of businesses you sell to and the items you sell. These large orders will boost your revenue, and sales growth will accelerate with each new consumer.

Consistent source of income

When you sell directly to customers, your sales statistics might fluctuate dramatically due to continuously changing customer preferences. Your company will constantly confront uncertainty since you don’t know when your B2C customers will move on to the next trend.

Another advantage of selling wholesale is that corporations change their purchasing preferences far less frequently than customers. If your wholesale buyers see that your items are doing well in their shop, they will continue to do business with you. As a result, your business will be able to receive income on a more consistent basis. 

Increase in brand awareness

Acquiring shelf space at stores aids in increasing brand awareness among customers. The more stores offer your products, the more exposure your brand will receive. Furthermore, when retailers will stock your items, you will have the chance to provide in-store discounts or other promotions in order to attract new customers and deliver your product message.

brand awareness

The greater exposure and awareness that comes from being in a few retailers drive consumer demand, which has a cyclical effect of persuading additional stores to want to offer your products.

However, setting up a wholesale business or shifting from a consumer-focused business to wholesale is not as easy as you think.

To make it less challenging for you, we surveyed the market and learned about how the successful wholesale companies started selling wholesale to retailers. We collected all those success stories and boiled them down to those essential steps that you need to take when starting your wholesale business.

06 essential steps to take when starting your wholesale business

Identifying retailers to start your wholesale business with

The first and foremost step is to identify which retailer you should connect with to sell your products. To begin this search, first do a proper research on your end-consumer. While conducting this research you need to keep these three key concerns in your mind:

  • Who are your target customers?
  • What does their purchase journey look like?
  • Which platform do they use to conduct research and make a purchase?

Once you’re done with your market research, start looking for your prospective wholesale customers.

If you are interested in targeting online retailers, then you should also be aware of:

  • Which customers do they aim to serve?
  • What methods do they use to attract customers?
  • In what ways do they showcase the products they offer online?

If you’re looking for retailers who’ll purchase your products for their brick and mortar store, simply visit their store and browse through. While surveying their store, keep the following questions in your mind:

  • Where do you want your product to be on the shelf?
  • Where can you find your competitors’ products?
  • How much shelf space will you require?
  • Is the store portraying the right image of your product?

After you’ve found answers to the above questions, you’ll have a better notion of which wholesale customers you should pursue.

Understanding your retailers buying behaviour 

Understanding your prospective consumers’ purchasing habits is essential.

When selling to a small stationary store, for example, you may be dealing directly with the store owner. If you are working with a restaurant franchise, you’ll probably have to deal with a specialised buyer.

While interacting with the store owner is relatively straightforward and simple, dealing with procurement managers can be pretty daunting. Because dedicated buyers purchase on behalf of several other retailers, they might have big demands. 

For example, he may place a single batch of orders and expect them to be delivered to several locations on different dates. Your company must be well-equipped to handle these sorts of requests.

Another factor to consider is the frequency with which your wholesale clients purchase. For instance, is your product seasonal? Do your consumers only require your items at certain periods of the year? 

For example, if you sell decoration items , demand will be high at special events such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, if compared to the rest of the year.

Another that you need to consider is the shelf-life of your product. If you offer food items with a short expiration date, you may have to manage smaller, more frequent orders.

If your products, on the other hand, have a long shelf life, your wholesale buyers may not purchase from you on a regular basis. However, if they do order from you, the large order  will place additional stress on your manufacturing schedule.

Planning your eCommerce strategy

B2B buyers nowadays have several requirements and demands when it comes to making a purchase, and for that they have now started venturing online. They want to buy independently and anticipate an Amazon-like customer experience.

According to a survey conducted by Microsoft, 9 out of 10 customers around the world demand from businesses to give a customer self-service web portal for their products/services.

Therefore, the conventional methods of ordering over email and phone are rapidly becoming obsolete. To stay relevant and competitive in this wholesale industry, it’s necessary to embrace this new business model.

There are numerous methods for your company to deliver this service to its customers in order to keep up with the newest B2B eCommerce trends. Below are some of the options to consider:

  • Selling wholesale on an online marketplace like Alibaba and Amazon
  • Selling wholesale on a B2B configured, B2C eCommerce platform 
  • Selling wholesale on a B2B eCommerce portal like B2BWoo

Well, each of these options come with their own set of pros and cons. It’s your responsibility to comprehend what your business requirements are and then choose your online sales channel accordingly.

Setting up your wholesale pricing strategy

The biggest concern of every manufacturer is setting a price for their wholesale products.

For many businesses, the wholesale price should be about 2.5 times more of the production expenses. Although this is true, it should be taken with a grain of salt. Make sure your material, labor, and overhead expenditures are covered before proceeding. Make sure to account for shipping and shrink expenses when determining your retail pricing.

wholesale pricing startegy

For example, manufacturing your product costs you $1. You should sell your product for $3 to wholesale retailers, and they should retail it for $6. When you provide your wholesale purchasers with suggested retail pricing, it will assist them to see how they can make money when they offer your products to their customers.

If you’re in the business of selling to consumers, you’ll want to maintain your retail pricing above your consumer pricing. Make sure your wholesale price is lower than your retail price. 

Managing different customer pricing and discounts

When learning how to sell wholesale to retailers, you also need to understand in B2B wholesale business a separate pricing list is required for each customer.

You deal with a wide range of customers in wholesale B2B business. Your clientele include small, independent businesses, as well as major multinational corporations. 

You should create your pricing list based on how frequently and voluminously your consumers purchase from you.By creating pricing lists, you can keep track of these varying rates. 

Depending on how much your consumers purchase, you may be asked to provide quantity-based discounts. A price tier is created by either estimating the total amount of products ordered or the total value of the merchandise purchased.  

For instance, wholesale buyers must purchase at least 100 units to qualify for $9/unit pricing.In case of wholesale buying, if a company buys more than 500 units, they must pay $8 each unit.In addition to receiving payment for each item they purchased, wholesale buyers who purchased more than 1000 units must pay $7 per unit.

In order to attract wholesale buyers to place larger orders, you should provide further discounts as order quantity increases. This will have a positive impact on your business by increasing your sales.

Promotional tactics frequently employed by B2B merchants include giving bonuses to their first-time wholesale customers. Offering free delivery on first order can encourage a retail buyer to become your loyal customer.

As you know factors such as  bulk quantity, customer terms, and even market trends can all impact pricing in a wholesale operation. Apart from other features, the wholesale pricing controlling features will help you simplify your complicated pricing structures and provide a simple experience to your retail customers 

Some of the features our plugin offers:

  • Show or hide prices at product level –  You can enable or disable visibility of product price for non-logged-in users, only registered users will have access to it
  • Dynamic pricing – Changes in prices during based on annual or seasonal demands
  • Product category-based pricing— Set different price points for different product categories
  • Pricing based user roles— Display pricing that differs depending on responsibilities
Custom Pricing

One of the major features of B2B eCommerce is the ability to set prices based on various criteria. B2BWoo is a solution that provides you a great deal of flexibility to manoeuvre when it comes to pricing your business.

Implementing minimum order quantity rule

To make a purchase, your retail customers must buy a minimum order quantity from you.

Your consumers will be incentivized to place bulk orders when you sell wholesale. A minimum order rule is typically applied in order to attain the selling volume necessary to experience an increase in revenue.

Although several retailers claim that this regulation is unfair because they do not require products in that much quantity. This rule is needed to justify the lowered wholesale prices you provide to them in the beginning. 

Since, the ability to control your product quantities is one of the most important aspect of B2B eCommerce, the Minimum Order Quantity feature helps to equip your B2B eCommerce store with the following product quantities controlling features:

  • Min & max order control – Allows to set minimum and maximum order totals before user completes the purchase
  • Back ordering – Functionalities of backordering 
  • Product sampling options – Allow customers to view sample products
Order quantity

Conclusion : How to sell wholesale to retailers

While selling wholesale may appear difficult, with the right strategies, you can grow your wholesale business efficiently.

If you’re looking to sell wholesale online,  B2BWoo is the right platform to begin with. It is designed to streamline the process of managing wholesale orders. Best of all, the setup process is quick and simple. No knowledge of programming is necessary to use or operate the platform. 

If you’re interested in determining whether our WooCommerce B2B eCommerce portal is a good fit for your wholesale business, request for a demo today!

A writer by profession, Maria Ilyas is an eCommerce and digital marketing enthusiast and is always digging into the latest marketing trends, best practices, and growth strategies.