The wholesale channel lets you expand your business into wholesale by creating a separate, password-protected storefront that's an extension of your online store. All your wholesale customers and orders are trackable under your current store's Shopify admin.
Your wholesale store is based on your online store, so you can offer your wholesale buyers (referred to here as wholesale customers) the same products that you offer your online store customers, but at different prices. You can also add wholesale-only products that are available in your wholesale store only.
Your wholesale store has a different storefront (and requires different log in credentials) from your online store. Customers cannot access your online store from your wholesale store.
In your wholesale store, a customer can see and order only products that are in price lists that they are assigned to. You can sell the same products in your wholesale store as in your online store by adding these products to a price list and assigning a customer to this list.
Pages and products in your wholesale store are not indexed by search engines such as Google or Bing. As a result, they don't appear in online search results.
You can customize the prices that you offer your wholesale customers in the following ways:
- Set percentage-based discounts across your entire store or across collections
- Set fixed (flat) prices for products and variants in price lists
- Provide different prices to different wholesale customers
- Set volume-based pricing rules for products and variants
After you invite a customer to activate a wholesale store account, they can log in and create purchase orders. These orders appear as draft orders in your Shopify admin. When you receive a draft order, you can process it in the following ways:
- Send an invoice to be paid using the payment provider that is set up in your Shopify admin
- Send a customized invoice email that allows the invoice to be paid using a different payment method, such as a wire transfer
- Accept payment by credit card or mark the invoice as paid as you receive payment.
Considerations for using the wholesale channel
When you use the wholesale channel, consider the following:
- The wholesale channel cannot integrate with any external systems or third-party apps. If you want to expose your store to a global audience, then consider using an expansion store.
- The wholesale channel displays only prices that include taxes. To display prices that both include and exclude taxes, consider using an expansion store.