In 2021 the world went online proving to more and more businesses just how important (and doable) online operations are. Setting your wholesale business up online will not only promote new distribution and customer networks but it will also offer Covid-friendly alternatives to operate under volatile retail conditions. This is the kind of flexibility that you need in order to future-proof your wholesale business. So now you want to establish your wholesale business online. But where should you begin? In this article we have outlined the top 6 tips you need to know in order to successfully set up your wholesale business online.
1. Set up your website
In the same way that you would need physical premises for a bricks and mortar business, your wholesale business will need a dedicated website online. This has become relatively easy to do with user-friendly AI tools like Jimdo website builder, Wix, or using WordPress on hosts such as Siteground. With a dedicated website you can inform suppliers that you are open for business and they will also be able to locate you directly so you aren’t running around looking for them. A top-notch website will also provide an attractive ‘store front’ for your company which in turn will attract other retailers wanting to sell on your site.
2. Understand your return policies
Every one of your manufacturers will have different return policies. You need to know all of these and understand their ins and outs should your customers need to return goods. You will also need to understand their after-sales policies. If you can’t get a clear answer from suppliers it’s best to steer clear of that particular supplier. This will ensure that your chain is streamlined and predictable.
3. Find a simple inventory software
It is really important that you keep track of your stock and product lines. You need to be able to know your stock on hand at a moment’s notice. By using a simple (but intelligent) inventory software you will be able to service your customer with proper quotes and accurate delivery schedules. This in turn will improve your bottom line by rotating your products more efficiently.
4. Partner with brands that complement each other
A major benefit of wholesale selling is that you don’t need a large customer base in order to scale your business. The trick to this however, is working with complementary brands within your chosen market. That way the businesses can recommend each other and provide greater sales exposure. This will require a lot of research and up-front discussions to make sure you are all on the same page.
5. Get your product descriptions and images right
Accurate descriptions and crisp images can be the difference between making or breaking a sale. Retailers pay a lot of attention to product descriptions and images. It helps them understand the stock before buying bulk virtually. It also secures a strong impression with suppliers. With this is mind make sure you take clear high-res photos of your product and be sure to label them with good descriptions and key words. This will engage potential buyers and make their lives easier when searching through your product offering. You can also include important technical information lower down in the description. The more information you provide the better, and the more likely that suppliers will trust and use you.
6. Keep to strict payment policies with your suppliers
No matter how tempting, never let your finances slip. This begins with strict terms with your suppliers. Especially since the transactions in wholesale can be quite sizable. If you have strong policies in place, your dealers will trust that you run a strong operation and are trustworthy. It will also ensure your cash flow isn’t put under unnecessary pressure down the line.
The bottom line
By sticking to these 6 top tips above, your wholesale business will be off to a flying start. These concepts will form the bedrock of your online strategy and you will reap the rewards in return business. For more information on how we can help you fund your online wholesale business set-up, contact Merchant Capital today.