Expand Your WooCommerce Store with Wholesale Functionality

How to add wholesale functionality to your WooCommerce store

Are you an entrepreneur running a WooCommerce store and do you want to boost its efficiency and profits? Perhaps you’re a digital marketer or a web developer looking for ways to help your clients grow their business?

Adding wholesale functionality to your store can really help. It might seem challenging to manage different prices, large orders, and various user roles, but it’s a great chance to grow almost any business that deals with selling physical products. 

In this article, we’ll show you: 

  • The best WooCommerce plugins for wholesale stores. 
  • How to handle bulk orders easily.
  • How to customize user roles and what products or fields they see.

Let’s dive in!

Integrating wholesale features into your WooCommerce store

For online businesses, WooCommerce is one of the best platforms to expand into wholesale operations because of the functionality you can add to it. Merging retail and wholesale store features can have many benefits, such as: 

Broadening market reach

By adding wholesale functionality to your store, you can tap into the prosperous B2B market and potentially reap the benefits of a steady flow of large orders. 

Boosting sales and efficiency

Including wholesale products in your store can make a significant difference to your revenue stream and business efficiency.

Processing a single large order rather than numerous individual ones, for example, offers several operational advantages. 

  • Firstly, it optimizes the use of resources. This means less time and effort is spent on managing multiple small orders, allowing for a more efficient allocation of staff time and warehouse space. 
  • Secondly, guaranteed wholesale orders lead to streamlined inventory management. It becomes easier to track and replenish stock, which reduces the likelihood of overstocking or stock shortages. 
  • Finally, it can help reduce marketing costs. With bulk purchases, there is less need for extensive individual customer outreach. This allows for more focused marketing efforts, targeting the specific needs of wholesale buyers, which can be more cost-effective than broader, more generalized marketing strategies.

Enhanced service offering

Adding wholesale functionality to your store can help it evolve from a basic retail shop to a versatile platform catering to varied customer needs. This expanded service range can include dedicated consulting for wholesale customers and tailored business solutions, broadening your customer base.

Top wholesale plugins for WooCommerce

To enjoy these advantages, you’ll need the right tools and plugins for the job.

To make your life a little easier, we’ve put together a well-rounded comparison of the three best WooCommerce wholesale plugins. Let’s take a look!

WooCommerce B2B

WooCommerce B2B plugin

The WooCommerce B2B plugin is a comprehensive tool you can use to transform your WooCommerce store into a multifunctional B2B platform. 

Its key features include: 

  • Flexible pricing options, so you can set different prices for each product depending on the customer group, including percentage discounts or dedicated group prices.
  • Improved bulk order management that enables you to set minimum order quantities for products and facilitates importing large orders, streamlining the order process for businesses purchasing in bulk.
  • Customizable user roles and product visibility, with options to hide products/categories and validate VAT numbers for EU customers.
  • Unique “request a quote” feature for hiding prices from specific user roles, replacing “Add to Cart” buttons with “Add to Quote.”
  • Tax exemptions for specific customers and user roles.

Pricing: The regular license for this plugin is $99 with 6 months of support. 

WooCommerce Wholesale Suite

WooCommerce Wholesale Suite homepage

WooCommerce Wholesale Suite simplifies adding wholesale functionality to your existing online store.

Key features include: 

  • Flexible pricing that allows you to set minimum purchase amounts for wholesale orders, create discounts based on the number of items purchased (to encourage larger orders), and add special pricing for wholesale buyers that is different from retail prices.
  • User-friendly order forms and a streamlined wholesale ordering process.
  • Bulk order management through inventory and stock management.
  • Advanced features for B2B & B2C hybrid support, including guest access control and private store options.
  • Customizable user roles that can be tailored to suit different types of customers, like wholesale or retail. 
  • Business registration feature with custom fields, allowing businesses to provide necessary information for wholesale transactions.
  • A “Request a Quote” feature that enables wholesale customers to request a quote for specific products, which is useful for negotiating prices or handling special orders.

Pricing: Various plans are available, ranging from $189/year for the Basic plan to $997 for a one-time All Access pass.

Booster for WooCommerce – WooCommerce Wholesale Price

Booster for WooCommerce homepage

If flexible pricing options are your priority, Booster for WooCommerce – WooCommerce Wholesale Price is a strong contender. It’s part of a larger suite with extensive customization options across WooCommerce, which are not just limited to wholesale functionalities. Its key features include: 

  • Dynamic and flexible pricing options, allowing different pricing for various quantities and user roles.
  • A bulk editing feature for wholesale prices with the ability to set multiple discount levels.
  • Wholesale pricing table for customers to view different pricing tiers.
  • Customization options for product visibility, such as hiding prices for logged-out users.
  • A range of additional WooCommerce enhancements like custom price labels, product add-ons, cart customization, and payment gateway control.

Pricing: There are 3 pricing tiers starting from $11.99/month to $24.99, depending on your needs and the number of sites you’ll need it for. 

Each of these plugins offers valuable features for integrating wholesale functionality into your WooCommerce store. Let’s look at a quick comparison table so you can weigh your options.

PluginPriceKey featuresUnique strengthConsiderations
WooCommerce B2B$99/licensePricing per user roles, bulk order form, custom user roles, and product visibility.“Request a quote” feature that replaces the “Add to Cart” button with “Add to Quote”.Plan for regular updates to ensure continued compatibility.
WooCommerce Wholesale Suite$189/yearUser-friendly interface, bulk order management, pricing per customer, and customizable user roles.Different price points for quantities and user roles.Customer support is only through email, which is not ideal for urgent troubleshooting.
Booster for WooCommerce – WooCommerce Wholesale Price$11.99/month billed annuallyFlexible pricing options, bulk order management, and customizable user roles.Flexible pricing options.Lack of visibility settings for different user groups.

You can do a lot with wholesale plugins, but using them alongside a complementary plugin like Advanced Product Fields (APF) for WooCommerce lets you add even more complex features to your products. 

Traditional wholesale plugins don’t allow you to add options to products – but paired with a powerful product plugin like APF, you can sell product options at different prices depending on the user role. 

A great example of this in practice is allowing a regular shopper to buy a T-shirt for $10, while wholesalers can purchase in bulk starting from $5 per T-shirt with a custom print.

Introducing Advanced Product Fields: A powerful alternative

Advanced Product Fields for WooCommerce plugin homepage

While the wholesale plugins we’ve discussed are top-tier, you can make them even more performant with a universal product plugin: Advanced Product Fields for WooCommerce. APF helps you level up all aspects of your WooCommerce store, including customizing user experiences, setting up tailored pricing strategies, and much more.

Wholesale selling often includes complex pricing schemes and bulk ordering setups. For example, clients might be looking to buy products in large quantities, but with varying sizes, and at different rates. Showing these options on the front end can be pretty tricky to do. 

Setting up “Price per Unit” functionality with APF allows you to display the price in relation to individual units, serving as an easy-to-understand pricing guide for wholesale or bulk purchases. For instance, suppose you manage an online store and offer customizable water bottles. Instead of displaying the total price for the selected quantity, you can use APF to also showcase the price per bottle. 

This transparent breakdown significantly eases the buying process, making your store more attractive to wholesalers and helping them see the value of your products.

Example of pricing displays for a wholesale store

With APF, you can also differentiate between retail and wholesale buyers by showing or hiding product add-on fields depending on whether or not the customer is logged in to the site. With this feature, you can create a dedicated wholesale site that only shows specific options to verified wholesale buyers.

Say you run a wholesale clothing store with customization options like text printing. With APF, you can set distinct fields for wholesalers to customize their bulk orders, such as a field where they can upload a list of names to be printed. These fields remain invisible to people who are just browsing your site and only appear for your wholesale customers.

Efficient management of bulk orders and user roles

The importance of bulk orders

Handling bulk orders effectively can boost your sales and help you cater to both small and large-scale buyers simultaneously. Let’s take a look at the key points to keep in mind:

  • Product cataloging: An organized catalog is pivotal for efficient bulk ordering. WooCommerce, with its cataloging features and applicable plugins, ensures quick and easy navigation for your customers. Detailed product descriptions and clear categories build customer confidence, resulting in successful bulk purchases.
  • Establishing order limits: Setting maximum and minimum order amounts secures worthwhile profits from wholesale transactions and enriches your customer service by preventing stock shortages. You can easily do this with another Studio Wombat plugin called WooCommerce Quantity Discounts, Rules & Swatches
  • Bulk order checkout: Time is a valuable resource for wholesale customers, so you should pay attention to designing an efficient checkout process for bulk orders. Implementing solutions like one-page checkouts and automated shipping calculations can make the process a breeze, and elevate your user experience.
  • Inventory management: Efficient synchronization with inventory management tools can help avert situations of overstocking and understocking. 
  • Dynamic pricing models: Cater to your wholesale audience by offering incentives and discounts with dynamic pricing. The WooCommerce Quantity Discounts, Rules & Swatches plugin’s advanced quantity control features can assist with driving larger purchases.

Balancing user roles

When branching into wholesale business, you need to keep in mind how you differentiate your product offering for different types of customers: bulk buyers and regular customers.

  • Creating user roles: Having separate retail and wholesale user roles for customers helps manage and categorize your user base effectively. You could also set up a separate wholesale store that is accessible to bulk buyers only.
  • Unique user experiences: By offering unique shopping experiences according to user roles, your WooCommerce store caters to the specific needs of each audience and drives a higher conversion rate.
  • Visibility management: The visibility of certain products and prices can be controlled based on user roles with the help of specific role-based visibility plugins in WooCommerce. This lets you direct relevant offers to the right audience, increasing the chances of conversion.

Setting up wholesale options for logged-in users with APF: A step-by-step guide

Before you begin, make sure you’ve purchased and installed the Advanced Product Fields for WooCommerce plugin. For this tutorial, we are assuming that you are setting up a unique wholesale store and will guide you on how to display options to logged-in wholesale users only.

  1. Head to WooCommerce → Product fields from the admin panel and click the Add New button.Adding a new product field group in WooCommerce
  2. Configure the product field group. In our example, we’ll create a file upload field where wholesale customers can add their logo or any other custom image when ordering T-shirts in bulk.Customizing a new product field
  3. Save your changes and scroll down to add a rule.“Add your first rule” button for product fields
  4. Add a condition that only shows this field to a specific user role – in our case, the wholesaler. You can add another rule so that this product field is applied to a specific product, a whole category, or multiple product categories.Adding condition rules to custom product fields

This is how the product will look for wholesalers when they log in to your website.

Product view for wholesale users

And this is how it looks for regular users. 

Product view for wholesale users

Troubleshooting common wholesale plugin challenges

Using a plugin to set up wholesale functionality can come with challenges, especially if you’re not well-versed in WooCommerce. Let’s look at the most common problems you might encounter and how to handle them effectively. 

Conflicts with themes and other plugins

Sometimes, themes and plugins can interfere with each other, resulting in display mishaps or malfunctioning features. We’d recommend deactivating all plugins and then reactivating them one by one to identify the conflicting plugins. 

Another solution could involve switching to a WooCommerce-compatible theme like Storefront. If the issue persists, don’t hesitate to reach out to the plugin support team for assistance.

Overwhelming customization options

Multiple customization options can be overwhelming for some users, so you need to strike a balance between adaptability and simplicity. 

Engage the principle of “progressive disclosure” – reveal more advanced options only when the customer needs them. This way, you can maintain user-friendly product pages that customers find easy to navigate.

Difficulty with wholesale registration portals

Setting up exclusive wholesale customer registration portals can be challenging. The key is to find a plugin that utilizes best practices for managing these portals. Options like user approval systems and controlling visibility based on user roles should be considered. 

Non-compatibility with B2B/wholesale

Some plugins may face compatibility issues with B2B/wholesale operations, especially if they haven’t been tested for this specific purpose. It is crucial to look at plugins with dedicated B2B features, high ratings, and positive reviews from current wholesale users to ensure compatibility.

💡Tip: Back up your website before making significant changes to prevent data loss. 

Get started with wholesale functionality today

Adding wholesale features to your WooCommerce store opens up a world of opportunities – from increasing sales to catering to a larger scope of clients. With these features, you can handle large orders effortlessly, manage different customer types quickly, and show or hide products based on who’s shopping.

You might think this sounds tech-heavy, but it’s perfectly doable when you use a powerful and reliable plugin like Advanced Product Fields for WooCommerce.

So, get started with Advanced Product Fields for WooCommerce today, and you’ll be setting your store up for bigger and better things!