When you start selling wholesale online, it can be a challenge to understand where to start. Our recommendation if you aren’t currently selling to other businesses online is to immediately add a form to your site with all the information you need to onboard a new wholesale customer. Sourcing can be a challenge for retailers, so offering a basic level of information for your customers to be able to send what you need to sell to their business is important.
What the form actually asks of potential wholesale customers is up to you. In order to trade with them, you will often need information about their reseller certification. Further you likely want to ask for their legal name, likely volume, links to existing online properties and contact information. This will allow you to perform credit checks (if you wish) and have the legal basis for trading with them. Some companies also ask about revenue and delivery expectations.
Once you get the information from prospective wholesale customers, you need to implement a process for following up with them to get anything else you need to make a decision about whether to sell to them. This is often done by a salesperson who would be maintaining the ongoing relationship with the customer. Typically these relationships are tracked in a CRM system and repeated follow-ups can be necessary to actually figure out if there is a good fit.
Once you know you want to trade with that partner, you have to establish norms for how order information will get to you (will it be wholesale or drop shipping?) and how you will share relevant product catalog, inventory and shipment information back with them. Typically this can be done manually at first to get a sense of what information needs to be shared back and forth before pursuing a more automated approach like a B2B website or Convictional for integration.
It often surprises customers of ours how much interest there is from retailers to sell their products. The thing is, when you position yourself exclusively as a direct to consumer brand, with no apparent way to buy your products for the purpose of reselling them, it tends to deter anyone who might be looking to source from you. There are various approaches to selling B2B, some of which might not implicate your direct to consumer activities at all, so it’s worth trying.