How to divide your Shopify store into wholesale and retail sections
If you have wholesale and retail sales channels based on Shopify, you might want to separate them to prevent customers from placing orders using the incorrect prices. Shopify doesn’t offer such a feature out of the box, so you need to look for another solution. You have the following options:
SOLUTION 1. Use different Shopify stores to divide the channels completely
You can create two completely independent stores on Shopify. In this case, you’ll need to add products with different pricing to both stores. It’s a good choice if you don’t use Shopify for inventory tracking, because you’ll get completely separated platforms and avoid mistakes with prices and orders. If you want to sync inventory across both stores, there are some special apps you can use, but the job may still be difficult and expensive.
- Stores can be completely separated, and nobody can order products at the wrong price
- You can’t mess up the prices in independent shops
- An expensive option, because you’ll have to pay for Shopify and all the apps you use twice
- May introduce inventory tracking issues
- It’s confusing to monitor two separate stores.
SOLUTION 2. Use locking app
There are some apps with lockdown functionality in the Shopify app store. These apps may be used to create a wholesale section on your website that won’t be visible to regular customers. This approach also has its own pros and cons.
First of all, lockdown apps may be complicated to set up and configure. In your case, you need pretty basic functionality, so you might consider using an app like EasyLockdown, which is fairly simple and easy to use.
Using this app, you can lock any page you want on your website. But, more importantly, you can lock down collections and products and make them visible to the appropriate groups of users.
This way you can create collections that are made visible to wholesale and retail buyers respectively. You can then hide them from users who shouldn’t have access to that collection. Easy, right?
- Provides a wide range of settings that allow you to lock any content on your store
- Cheaper than having two Shopify stores
- All information is in one place
- Inventory tracking issues based on duplicate products
- A monthly fee
- Might be complicated to use.
SOLUTION 3. Use special app for your wholesale items
Some special apps can help you solve the issue and manage both your wholesale and retail stores. They help track inventory and set special prices for some user groups, but they are expensive and difficult to manage. Usually, such apps hide certain product variants from selected groups of customers. In some cases, you may just set “discount” and the app will manage variants automatically for you. That will help solve the inventory tracking issue – but there are some cons as well. As you know, Shopify has a limit for variants per product (up to 100 variants) so if you have many combinations of colors, sizes, materials, etc., you’ll face another issue: how to add these variants on the wholesale side? You can add another product, but in this case you’ll end up the same inventory-tracking headaches you’ll get with any other solution.
Another problem is that such apps are usually very expensive.
- May help to solve the inventory tracking issue
- You can hide some product variants from some customer groups
- All information in one Shopify store.
- Very expensive
- Potential variant limits or inventory tracking issues
- Might be complicated to manage.
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