What is wholesale and B2B eCommerce? [2024 guide]

What is wholesale?

Wholesale is basically the activity of buying and selling goods in larger quantities. This typically means that the price per unit is cheaper. Wholesalers can also be seen as the middle people who buy from the manufacturer and then distribute to the retailer. To make it simple, what wholesale is – here are two examples: 

  • A supplier of raw iron selling 5 tons of iron to a manufacturing company.  
  • A company producing dresses sells 200 dresses to a retailer.

Most wholesale today is done on emails, spreadsheets, and phone calls. If your company does any kind of wholesale, we’re sure that this sounds familiar.

Wholesale often occurs between businesses – B2B wholesale. It would be quite strange if your neighbour were to buy 200 dresses! 

If you want to read more about wholesales, you can read our definitive guide to wholesale here.

What is wholesale vs digital wholesale?

Digital wholesale. What is that? Is it wholesale of software products?

No. Not exactly.

Digital wholesale is all about optimizing your sales processes and bringing them into the digital era. And in this article, we summarised everything you need to know. From what is wholesale through the 5 (secret) benefits of digital wholesale platforms to how to choose the right B2B eCommerce platform.  

So let’s get to it!

Digital wholesale = B2B eCommerce

B2B eCommerce integrations

So how does your company go from emails, spreadsheets, and phone calls to digital wholesale? The answer is B2B eCommerce. More specifically a B2B eCommerce platform or wholesale selling platform.

A B2B eCommerce platform enables you to present and sell your products wholesale B2B to your retailers in an online environment. B2B eCommerce offers an experience quite similar to the one you know from buying products for yourself online.

Curious to learn more about what makes a good B2B wholesale platform? Then read our post about that topic here. And keep scrolling if you want to know about the main benefits of digitalisation.

5 secret benefits of a digital wholesale platform

Nr. 1 – Save valuable time


No matter the size of your business, time is almost always a scarce resource, and handling your B2B sales via phone, email, and other outdated channels is not exactly contributing positively.

Why not save valuable time and money where you can? 

Using a digital wholesale platform to manage your wholesale will help you reduce time spent on your otherwise tedious wholesale processes.

No more manual order handling

First of all, you won’t have to handle your wholesale orders manually. So instead of receiving an order by email and having to input it manually into your accounting system, you can now transfer everything from your wholesale platform instead. All it takes is a click with the mouse.

No more repetitive questions

Second, you won’t have to answer repetitive questions about prices, stock levels, case quantities, etc. All of this information is now available directly to your wholesale customers on your digital wholesale platform. Furthermore, the information is always updated.

No time spent having to amend order errors

Have you ever made an order mistake? Then you know that it can take a long time and work to correct. Especially if you have already shipped the order to your wholesale customer. Digitizing your wholesale processes reduces the risk of order errors – both on your end and your customers. We will elaborate more on this in the next section.

The time saved from not having to handle your orders manually, you can spend doing what you enjoy; perfecting your product, growing your business, or taking a nap in the back.

Nr. 2 – Minimize the risk of errors

People make mistakes – that is a fact. Another fact is that machines don’t. Why not utilize a digital B2B software platform and remove the risk of errors as a result of human limitations?

Digitizing your wholesale will greatly reduce the risk compared to manual order handling. As mentioned in the last section, correcting order errors takes precious time away from other tasks. But not only that. It will also decrease costs, lead to faster deliveries, and satisfy customers.

What types of order errors does a digital wholesale platform mitigate?

Order errors can occur both from the buyer and seller sides of a transaction. For the buyer, there is a risk of ordering the incorrect products. This will often happen because they have to order manually, juggling line sheets, product catalogues, and price lists.

For the brand selling their goods, the mistake will often take place when they have to transcribe the manual order into their database. They might add the wrong product to the order, add too many units of a product, or use the incorrect prices.

wrong way

Nr 3 – Happy retailers

Don’t have that many retailers yet? Don’t feel it is necessary to invest in an e-commerce solution just yet? 

Chances are your customers disagree.

Research from McK shows that as much as 85% of B2B customers would prefer to not have contact with a salesperson when purchasing from a regular supplier.

Why do retailers prefer to order via a digital wholesale platform?

Considering the norm for wholesale ordering has been pen and paper for many years, what has caused this demand for online wholesale ordering? We believe that it is the growth of B2C eCommerce. As more and more people get familiar with the convenience of shopping online as a private person, they ask for the same option in their professional life.

You try to meet the needs and desires of your customers in almost every other aspect, so why not indulge them in this as well?

All you have to do is allow them to order via your wholesale order platform.

Nr. 4 – Retaining customers

There is a tendency in the wholesale business to forget smaller retailers. This is quite understandable as they usually order smaller volumes and less frequently. Completely forgetting about your small retailers is simply wasted potential.

In our experience, the root of the problem is that many wholesale companies are not really keeping their customer data organized. Many keep track of their retailers in an Excel sheet (or something worse). As the retailer base grows, it’s easy to lose track.

Organize and utilize your customer data to keep retailers engaged

Instead of managing your retailer data in a sheet, you should digitize and organize your customer data. In most digital wholesale platforms, you will be able to keep track of all wholesale customers swiftly and efficiently.

In addition to the improved overview, you will also be able to see when a specific retailer was last active on your wholesale shop, how long it’s been since they ordered from you, and how much they’ve ordered in total. Utilizing this data, you will know which retailers to reach out to before you forget to.

Nr. 5 – Increasing order volume and size

diagram to profit

Last but not least, using eCommerce wholesale software like Turis for your B2B sales will in almost all cases result in increased order volume – it is scientifically proven!

There are several potential explanations for this effect, but two of the most obvious ones are the visual appeal that such a platform brings, and the ease of use that your customers experience when ordering. 

The visual appeal

Let’s face it, wholesale price lists in the form of spreadsheets are not sexy. What is sexy, is a customized wholesale ordering platform that matches your brand.

You can showcase your products in their best light and expose your customers to your new products in an appealing way.

Ease of use

For your wholesale customers, ordering via a wholesale webshop is much more convenient and easier compared to the traditional price lists. Why? Because they are accustomed to ordering online as consumers.

Today everybody has learned to enjoy the ease of shopping online. Finding the relevant product information without having to talk to a salesperson and being able to order 24/7.

Furthermore, some wholesale webshops allow the customer to shop in their own language and currency, making it even more convenient.

When you allow your retailers to order via a wholesale order portal, they are inspired to try new products. And when the ordering process of a wholesale platform is just two or three clicks, it couldn’t be easier! Turis is wholesale software made easy and available for everyone, including all the 5 benefits mentioned above! 

If you are still not convinced. We are going more in-depth about how can you increase sales with a B2B eCommerce platform in our other post that you can read.

What makes a good wholesale B2B eCommerce platform?

Now that, it’s clear why you should utilise digitalisation and switch to a digital platform. You should also know how to pick the right platform provider. Therefore, we also included the four essential features you should look for in this article. There are of course many other aspects to consider when deciding on an online eCommerce platform. We, however, consider these four among the most important ones.

Fast and simple to set up.
One of the first things to consider when choosing which B2B eCommerce platform to invest in, is how easy it is to set up. You don’t want to have to spend days, weeks or months before your platform is up and running, Time is money!

We have made Turis super simple to set up, meaning you can have your own modifiable wholesale platform up and running in a few hours.

happy customer

In addition to being easy to set up, a B2B eCommerce platform also needs to be easy to use afterwards. It needs to be user-friendly. If it isn’t, neither you nor your customers want to use it. It will end up being a wasted investment.

While designing Turis we put a lot of effort into perfecting the user experience. Turis is intuitive and easy to navigate – both for you and your retailers. This means that you will experience the benefits of a digital B2B eCommerce platform from day one.

The “aesthetics”
One of the main benefits of a B2B wholesale eCommerce solution is additional sales to your retailers. One of the main reasons for this increase is the visual appeal that a digital platform brings to the table. This also means that the aesthetics of your chosen eCommerce platform is important. No matter how good-looking your products are, an unpleasant-looking platform is sure to ruin the experience.

At Turis we believe, in all modesty of course, that we have created the most visually appealing B2B eCommerce platform on the market. Don’t believe us? See for yourself.

Lastly, we need to discuss the elephant in the room; the price. While the pricing of a wholesale eCommerce platform might not be that relevant for an enterprised-sized company, it most certainly is for small- and medium-sized companies. Many of the platforms on the market today are priced so high that it simply isn’t profitable for anybody but enterprise companies to digitize their wholesale.

The Turis B2B eCommerce platform

Alpaca 2 3

We developed Turis because we want to help companies that have wholesale in their business model. 

With Turis, it’s super simple to create a B2B wholesale eCommerce store for each and every one of your B2B wholesale customers. This includes: 

  • Uploading all your products
  • Creating users for all the buyers (with their individual pricing and product selection)
  • Selling in all the currencies you need
  • And perhaps even integrating an accounting system or ERP. 

Digitizing your wholesale often results in huge benefits for the company:

  • Increased sales
  • Fewer order mistakes
  • Satisfied customers

Turis is all about making it simple for you to start doing digital wholesale. And by that, we mean being able to start selling products in a smart, modern, and digital way today. 

Even if you have hundreds of products and hundreds of buyers, you can get started with your own Wholesale B2B eCommerce platform within a couple of hours.

Think this is surely expensive? Think again! Turis is the most affordable B2B eCommerce platform for digital wholesale. We even offer a free trial. Interested? Have a look at our pricing.

Digital wholesale platform – The sum up

The five benefits listed above are simply some of the many companies gain from digitizing their B2B wholesale with a B2B ordering platform.

So why don’t more B2B companies invest in a digital solution?

  • The answer is almost always either financial or old habits dying hard.

Turis is here to fix that by offering the most affordable B2B ordering platform solution on the market. If your company is spending just one hour a week manually handling orders, then investing in Turis will not only save you time but also reduce costs. Becoming a wholesaler is not easy, and it comes with bureaucracy.

You are also more than welcome to book an online demo. That way we can show you, in detail, how digital wholesale will benefit your company:

Launching Your First B2B Store?

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