The Secrets to Managing Your Wholesale Store
One myth of wholesaling is that it is a far cry different from retailing. It’s really not. There are a few differences, and we’ll cover what they are here, one of them being that customers can purchase merchandise at wholesale prices instead of retail prices. To do that, however, wholesalers must buy product in greater bulk in order to take advantage of bulk discounts, which increases profits. That’s not really different from retailers since the same principle also applies to retailers — Buy in bulk, get your merchandise cheaper. The difference is in the amount of product you buy at one time.
With retail, Open-to-Buy is essential. With wholesale, Open-to-Sell is a better system. In fact, it’s critical.
In order to remain profitable, you need eyes on your inventory at all times. You need real-time status on all of your unsold merchandise, all the way down to the SKU. This isn’t necessary just from an operational point of view, but it’s essential for your sales associates too. Each sales associate needs to know how much inventory of every single item you hold in stock right now. That allows you to move your stock more quickly and respond faster to shortages.
Another part of the process for wholesaling is order management. And here is where wholesale is different from retail. You have customers who order from you in bulk. You need a way to track those orders. And not just the orders, but every aspect of those orders. Managing wholesale orders effectively means having complete control over order status, payment terms, shipping to multiple locations, and other specific information related to your clients. Get detailed real-time analytics to help you determine how your orders are managed.
You need a way to evaluate your sales associates. Are they being productive? Get real-time eyes on all sales associate productivity so that you can respond to weaknesses at the customer level.
One other thing you can do is link your sales reporting and commissions to accounting so that payment is automatic and efficient. You’ll be a lot more flexible if you can track your productivity.
Finally, your wholesale management solution should offer you discount rules to help you move your product more quickly and profitably.