WHOLESALE | Everything You Need to Know (Updated 2019)

When running any business, we have to admit that we always want to expand our business as large as possible.

Wholesale idea

Changing to wholesale, you can make money easily when retailers or buyers purchase a giant quantity of your goods.

If you’re out of ideas on wholesale, this article will show you how to create a wholesale with WooCommerce. And a reason why WooCommerce is chosen will be revealed.

What is Wholesale?


Wholesale means that a business purchase items in massive quantities directly from manufacturers or distributors.

Then the business could resell goods to retailers or even other businesses.

Thanks to high-volume purchase orders, wholesalers have a tendency to buy products from manufacturers at a lower price and could add their margins.

Benefit of Wholesale

  • Save Money

Obviously, buying products in bulk, you will gain promotion like discount from manufacturers. It means that you will get products cheaper but sell higher.

  • Establish a network of suppliers

To ensure that the business runs in a smooth way, wholesalers need a strong network of suppliers and manufacturers that they can count on in order to have on-time delivery and high-quality products.

  • Be experts

No matter what kinds of items you selling, you always need to do research. Through research, you will gain knowledge in your field and share information to customers. Hence, you could persuade them to buy your products.

  • Becoming larger

Once you have a stable position in your industry, you will start to explore upselling or cross-selling opportunities with other markets. The more markets you penetrate, the more success you get.

What is wholesale price?

The wholesale price is generally the price charged for a product as sold in bulk to large trade or distributor groups as opposed to what is charged to consumers.

What Is the Difference Between Wholesale Price & Retail Price?

wholesale pricing

Retailers are in business to earn a profit. They mark up the price on acquired goods to do so. If a retailer buys units for $10 and wants a $10 gross profit, it would double the retail sales price to $20

For example, a merchant spends $1000 for 100 units of shoes. The total of $1000 is the wholesale batch price, but the wholesale unit price would come out to $10 per unit

Then it is supposed that the merchant marks his retail price per shoe at $50. That’s a profit margin of $40 per shoe when you subtract the retail price and the wholesale price.

If the merchant were to sell all 100 shoes, he would make a total profit of $4000. That’s why the wholesale price is so much cheaper than retail price.

A big difference between wholesale and retail is that wholesalers usually purchase their goods in bulk because it saves them money. On the contrary, retailers sell individual units for personal consumption.

When selling in large quantities, a business achieves economies of scale. The costs to produce, package, promote and distribute 100 units of a good to one buyer are much lower than the same costs when selling 100 units to 100 different consumers.

The markup formula

How to mark up wholesale prices?

There are some fundamental pricing in wholesale. Here they are

MSRP – Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price, is a common practice where the manufacturer suggests a certain price point for the retailers to provide for their customers.

  • MSRP is used to be a far more popular way to price wholesale products because manufacturers could standardize groups of the products depending on the retailer selling them and locations.

  • MSRP is used most frequently when the item is more mainstream.

Let’s say, for a car with an MSRP of $160,000, the retention rate is close to 48%, whereas for a car with an MSRP of $185,000, the retention rate is approximately 43%.

msrp example

Keystone pricing – relates to the retailer doubling the wholesale cost and potentially adjusting the price depending on the industry and how competitive that product is going to be.

keystone pricing

Multiple pricing – or Bundling. When you combine different products together and sell them as a bundle at a slightly lower cost for everything combined.

bundling pricing

Discount pricing – The retailer removes a portion of the price in order to push more customers through the checkout and potentially get more traffic during certain seasons.

discount pricing

Loss-leader pricing – When you select some products to discount and then you could make customers buy other products.

For instance, buying men’s razors at a discount, then presenting shaving cream and aftershave at full price.

Anchor pricing – This type of psychological product pricing lets you mark up wholesale prices to a certain point although showing that a discount has been applied.

Above the competition – You could price products slightly above your competition to create the perception that your products have better quality.

Below the competition – The goal is to realize a large sales volume through a lower price and profit margins by controlling costs and reducing services.

Depending on your target and type of your business, you will define what kind of pricing you should follow for your business strategies.

We think this period you could have enough basic information about wholesale. Now, it’s time to dig deeper on how to build a wholesale store with WooCommerce.

Step by step to build a WooCommerce Wholesale Store

Choosing a Host for your WooCommerce Wholesale Store

To begin with, you need to register a hosting provider and install WordPress.
You can sign up with Bluehost or the easiest way is to use a managed WordPress host.

How to choose a host for your WooCommerce Wholesale Store

Selecting a Theme for your WooCommerce Wholesale Store

woocommerce storefront

A WordPress theme defines your website such as what kind of product, page layouts, colors and typography.

Before setting up WooCommerce, you need to install a theme and create your main web pages (Home, About, Contact, etc.)

Deciding a Payment Provider

You have to determine how wholesale customers will pay for their online orders. WooCommerce can support any payment gateway. Customers can choose a payment method at the checkout.

You just find the right plugin to integrate the store with your chosen payment provider.

2 Well-know Payment Options for WooCommerce Wholesale Stores

  • PayPal – PayPal Standard offers the simplest way to take payments for wholesale orders. Simply add the email address that you log into PayPal into the WooCommerce settings, and let customers pay online.

Customers can choose to pay from their PayPal account or directly with credit or debit card without logging into PayPal. This is a big advantage for wholesale customers, who may not have a company PayPal account. You will receive the funds into your own PayPal account.

  • Stripe – Another useful payment is Stripe when some wholesale store owners could take credit or debit card payments.

Stripe is the easiest to set up when you don’t need to buy any extra WooCommerce extensions. You need to sign up to Stripe, and enter your account information in the WooCommerce settings and also need an SSL certificate to use Stripe.

Paypal and Stripe

Installing WooCommerce

We hope that at this time your WordPress have basic pages, theme and payment method.

It’s time to install the free WooCommerce plugin:

  • Log into your WordPress admin area and go to Plugins > Add New.
  • Search “WooCommerce” into the search box.
  • Find WooCommerce in the list of results with millions of downloads!
  • Click to Install and Activate the plugin.
  • Next, you’ll be asked if you want to enter the WooCommerce Setup Wizard. This is the easiest way to set it up, so use the Setup Wizard to choose all the main options for your WooCommerce wholesale store. The Wizard will take you through the main options, including your store location, currency, tax, shipping, payment methods, etc.

Woocommerce plugin

Adding Products

There are 2 ways to add your wholesale products to WooCommerce:

  • Manually – In the WordPress admin, go to Products > Add New. Enter the product data by following the WooCommerce documentation on Adding and Managing Products. Repeat the process for all your products.
  • Bulk import products – There’s also a built-in bulk import function, which is useful for WooCommerce wholesale stores with large numbers of products.

Or if you need to import extra product data such as custom fields, then you can use the official Product CSV Import Suite plugin which has some extra features.

At this time, your website becomes E-commerce store and is available for everyone, wholesaler customers and personal ones.

If you target to new wholesale customers, you have to assign them to a specific user role, and allow them to order from your store.

Establish Wholesale Terms & Condition

You need to define the terms and conditions for wholesale customers

  • How pricing works
  • What pricing do wholesalers get
  • Is there a minimum order
  • How is shipping charged and to whom
  • What payment methods and terms are accepted
  • How to re-order, or set recurring orders
  • Are rush orders accepted and how to order them
  • What happens if products are damaged or have defects
  • How returns and exchanges are handled
  • What kind of marketing materials are provided to wholesalers
  • Any exclusions or limitations
  • This page is also a good place to put links to a product catalogs and your registration form

Build Wholesale Application Form

Next, customers need to sign up your wholesale program with detail information such as

  • Business information (Company Name, Contact Name, Address, Email, Phone Number)
  • Legal or Tax information
  • Website
  • Description of their business
  • Trade references
  • How did you find us?
  • Where you sell (online, physical store locations)
  • Other products sold

We recommend two popular form plugins

Ninja Forms gives you a lot of flexibility to help you create forms exactly the way you want them to be.

ninja form

 You can use Gravity Forms to create contact forms based on the requirements of your wholesale strategy. There is even an add-on that will automatically allow users to register on your WordPress site, when they submit a form

gravity form

Assign a User Role

After receiving registration, you need to classify your customers

  • Applicant – Default role for companies that have applied to be a wholesaler. No access to discount pricing or special products.
  • Wholesale – Approved wholesale accounts. Access to discount pricing and special products.
  • B2B – Approved B2B wholesale accounts.  Access to B2B specific pricing.

A free plugin, User Role Editor would allow you to create new roles, assign capabilities to it and even edit the capabilities of the existing WordPress/WooCommerce roles (except the Administrator)

After installing and activating the plugin, go to Users -> User Role Editor. You would get the following options –

  • Update
  • Add Role
  • Rename Role
  • Add Capability
  • Delete Role

Since you are now required to create a new role, so click on “Add Role”. This would open this popup

This would enable you to create a user and assign it the capabilities of another role.

If you would want to give it a different set of capabilities, you can select “none”.

Make Wholesale Categories

At this time, your store is still available for everyone. 

What if you only want wholesalers to go to the certain categories not all people?

WooCommerce Protected Categories could help you have a public shop and a private wholesale area

 WooCommerce Protected Categories

You can choose whether to password protect one or more of your WooCommerce product categories or restrict categories to specific users or roles.

It also hides the protected categories and their products from the public areas of your store.

Only approved wholesale users can see them and your wholesale pricing.

Set Up Wholesale Pricing

After you have specific user roles assigned for your registered users, you want to set up pricing for appropriate customers.

How will you manage accurate price adjustments for your multi-layered wholesale customers? Luckily, you will find some good solutions in the WordPress WooCommerce community.

Top 10 Best WooCommerce Wholesale Prices Plugins

In this step, we introduce WooCommerce Dynamic Pricing & Discounts

WooCommerce Dynamic Pricing & Discounts

With this plugin, you can create special discounts for your wholesale customers and manage product pricing rules and cart discounts easily.

Dynamic Assign Role

In the dropdown of “Allowed Roles“, you would get all the available roles, even the one created using the User Role Editor plugin.

When you don’t mention any user role, the discount would be applicable to all the customers.

Depending on your strategies, you could mark up the wholesale pricing right time.

Create Wholesale Layouts

In fact, WooCommerce comes with some standard layouts for your e-commerce pages, including main shop page, product categories, single product page, cart and checkout.

However, these shop and category pages aren’t really suitable for a wholesale order form.

Your WooCommerce wholesale store’s customers have different priorities. They are already familiar with your products and know what they need. Therefore, they would like to make repeat orders rather than finding out products.

Wholesale users simply search for products based on specific information, such as the model number or dimensions. They also need to see more products at a time and compare product data at a glance.

That’s why WooCommerce wholesale order form appears.

How to make a WooCommerce Wholesale Order Form

WooCommerce Product Table is one of the most popular WooCommerce order form plugins and has all the features any wholesale sites need to create a wholesale-friendly layout.

The plugin list your wholesale products in a space-saving table view. You can choose which columns of product data to include, whether or not to include images, and how big the images should be.

You also provide multiple ways for wholesale customers to find products, including sorting, multiple filters, and a keyword search.

The customers quickly select all their products from a single page and
use the multi-select checkbox to select all the products they need, choosing from variations to quantity, and then add to the cart in one click.

Final Thought

Building a WooCommerce wholesale store is a similar process to creating other types of an e-commerce site.

However, there are some principles you need to remember if you would like to build a successful wholesale store

  • Be aware of the core differences between retail and wholesale buying
  • What will appeal to trade buyers.
  • Pricing

Next, we will show you how to boots wholesale sales!

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