Selling to wholesale or resale customers doesn’t have to be complicated. In this tutorial we will show you how to sell to wholesale customers with WooCommerce.
The goal of these examples is to setup a system for accepting new wholesale customers, assigning them to a specific user role, and allowing them to order from your store.
1. Setup a Wholesale Terms & Conditions page
The first step to setting up your wholesale program is to define the terms and conditions for wholesale customers. You can create a normal WordPress page to display the terms so that prospective wholesalers can educate themselves on what to expect.
This page can include sections defining the following:
- 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.
2. Wholesale Application Form
Next, setup a way for people to apply to join your program. You can use a WordPress forms plugin to add a detailed form to your site. Here are three forms plugins:
The purpose of this form is for a prospective wholesaler to introduce themselves and explain their reasons for wanting to join. Be sure to make the application thorough enough to be able to make a decision about the applicant. Here are some sample questions to include on this application:
- Business information (Company Name, Contact Name, Address, Email, Phone Number)
- Legal or Tax information
- Description of their business
- Trade references
- How did you find us?
- Where you sell (online, physical store locations)
- Other products sold
The application form alone will send the applicants information via an email. A step that will improve the automation of accepting wholesale customers is to have a WordPress user created for each person that submits the form.
To do this in Gravity Forms you can use the User Registration plugin so that a user is automatically created when the form is submitted. Caldera Forms had a Users Add-on for creating users. This saves a step and allows you to automatically setup approved resellers.
3. Assign a User Role
After a wholesaler is approved they can be setup with a specific user role in the store. Each level of wholesaler will need a separate user role defined in WordPress. This role will be used in the next step to assign pricing and product access.
You can use the User Role Editor plugin to create and manage multiple user roles. A progression of roles could look like this:
- 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.
Once companies are approved they can be moved to the appropriate user role to grant pricing and catalog access.
4. Setup Pricing Discounts
The next step is to assign the pricing discounts for wholesale users. You can setup the normal catalog of products and use a plugin like WooCommerce Advanced Pricing to set pricing rules that apply to the Wholesale user. Here are three examples of how the wholesale pricing might be setup.
1. Percentage or fixed discount off the all products in the store
An example of this is to give wholesalers a fixed 50% off the retail price in the store. Items that are $100 can be purchased for $50.
2. Percentage or fixed discount per product
This is like #1, but would be limited to only certain products in the store.
3. Bulk Pricing
Bulk pricing for wholesalers would offer products at a discount when more quantity is purchased. An example of this is:
- 1-500 items for $20 each
- 501 – 1500 items for $15 each
- 1501 – 5000 items for $9 each
5. Setup label on products for “Wholesale pricing”
If not all products are available for wholesale pricing you may want to draw special attention to the ones that are. WooCommerce Advanced Product Labels can be used to add a “Wholesale” label to products that have wholesale pricing and have the label display only to products with a specific tag.
6. Let them buy on terms, or with a PO.
Because they buy in bulk wholesale customers may have different payment terms. They can be required to pay in full for orders when they are placed, or a plugin like WooCommerce Purchase Order can be used to allow placing an order by supplying a PO Number.
That’s it! Those are the only steps needed to get you up and selling to wholesale customers. If you have any questions let us know in the comments below, and here is a list of the plugins we referenced in the article.
1. Forms plugin
2. User Role Editor plugin (https://wordpress.org/plugins/user-role-editor/)
3. WC Advanced Pricing (https://shopplugins.com/plugins/woocommerce-advanced-pricing/)
4. WC Advanced Product Labels (http://www.woothemes.com/products/woocommerce-advanced-product-labels/)
5. WC Purchase Order (http://www.woothemes.com/products/woocommerce-gateway-purchase-order/)