The Shopify effect on B2B

May 16, 2024

B2B is one of the biggest growth opportunities in ecommerce, yet it remains largely untapped because the entire process of selling to other businesses is so archaic. It's loaded with friction for buyers and bogged down by manual steps for merchants.

We built B2B on Shopify to make B2B as easy as DTC and help our merchants expand into new markets. You can be both a DTC and a B2B business. It doesn't have to be complicated, especially when you can run both from the same place.

Out with friction, in with innovation

Ian Leslie, CMO of furniture company Industry West, recalls how antiquated the B2B sales process was before Shopify: A customer would log into their trade account, see their trade discount, put $10,000 of product in their cart, take a screenshot of their cart with the discount, send it to a sales rep to get a formal quote, then send the quote to their client for signoff.

But the furniture industry was finally ready for a change. Modern buyers were looking for self-serve purchasing to eliminate all those steps, and sales reps wanted a process that let them focus their time on driving new business. So Industry West moved their B2B business to Shopify.

“The initial results are great,” Ian said. “The blend of our marketing with the new site has definitely made the trade customer feel more enabled to make those larger orders online. It shows we’re moving in the right direction.”

Furniture company Lulu and Georgia is another big brand that turned to Shopify to improve their wholesale experience and innovate quickly, which they couldn’t do with their legacy B2B solution.

“We would create custom catalog pages for our customers, and that was a multi-step, multi-team process,” said Lulu and Georgia’s VP of engineering, Anis Tayebali. Since upgrading to B2B on Shopify, “this process has been completely consolidated into a few simple steps.”

Big brands are choosing Shopify for B2B

Big brands like Carrier, Brooklinen, bareMinerals, Laura Mercier, and Kraft Heinz choose Shopify for their wholesale businesses. Some use our unified admin to connect their B2B and DTC stores, others run B2B only, and still others combine all their commerce on to a single store.

We’ve shipped more than four dozen B2B features since launching in 2022. In the first three months of 2024, total B2B sales by merchants on Shopify were up 130% year-over-year. We received status as a Leader in The Forrester WaveTM: Commerce Solutions B2B, Q2 2024 in our first year of participation.

“I love seeing the look on people’s faces when we show them B2B on Shopify,” said Mani Fazeli, a VP of Product at Shopify. “When they see how Shopify turned a painful and manual process into something that feels like a personal shopping experience, there’s this magical ‘aha moment.’ It feels like this is the way B2B should’ve always been done.”

Our out-of-the-box wholesale capabilities are built directly into Shopify’s admin, which means you can:
  • harness powerful Shopify features and APIs for wholesale
  • tailor end-to-end buying experiences with catalogs and custom pricing
  • personalize storefronts with out-of-the-box B2B themes, custom Liquid, or going headless
  • connect directly with your buyers, instead of relying on distributors who take a cut
  • integrate your preferred tech stack (like your ERP) to manage everything from the same back office
Want to connect and sell to other Shopify merchants? Check out Shopify Collective, an effortless way to experiment with wholesale.

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