Finally, wholesale e-commerce made easy!

While developing and designing a recent Magento website, we were given the challenge to create both a retail customer site, and a wholesale site. However, instead of creating two separate websites, like most web design companies would done, we wanted to somehow consolidate the two ideas to work with one website, and one e-commerce software. We want to be able to provide our clients a turn-key wholesale and retail solution, so that the client can expand their online services easy and efficiently. We chose to use Magento to accomplish our goal. Though Magento does not come standard with wholesale features, it is the most advanced, feature rich, reliable, secure, and flexible e-commerce software available today.

To accomplish our goal, we needed to do a customize a few features, based on the nature of the client’s business.

1) Create an approval system for wholesale customers
2) Only wholesale customers can view special wholesale prices
3) Retail customers can only see retail prices
4) Manage both types of customers in 1 Magento back end

Most of the solutions we found ended up in ‘Creating two Magento websites/stores’, which is not what we wanted to do. We were looking for a single website solution. So we tried playing with the Magento customer grouping features, within the Magento customer manager area in the admin panel:

1. We created a new tax class for Wholesale by Sales ? Tax ? Customer Tax Classes

2. We created customer groups (Retail and Wholesale).
Customers ? Customer groups ? AddNew Customer.
3. And selected the wholesale tax class for wholesale customer group.

An extension is required; Netzarbeiter_GroupsCatalog, to hide or show categories and products from specified types of customer groups (wholesale or retail in our case).

When adding a product an additional option ‘Hide from customer groups’ will be there. This enables us to select the customer groups to whom the product can be made hidden. For instance, a product meant only for wholesale customers will only display to customers who are in the wholesale customer group. The wholesale customer will logon to their account (approval for a wholesale account is required). Once they have logged on, they will only see the wholesale products available. Retail customers will only see the retail products. When adding a product, you will be able to select which customer group you want to show the product to. You can also choose to show the product to both types of customers.

Here’s the link to access this custom plugin Magento Plugin

Though Magento does not differentiate wholesale from retail out of the box, Xpirt Design has done the research and the programming to provide our clients these features within the Magento E-Commerce software. This enables our clients to automate wholesale and retail as much as possible. You can also use these features to manage drop shipping, and other services you might want to offer. Let us know if there is a special need for your e-commerce website. Xpirt Design can help.

If you need Magento Design, please call us or use the “Request a Quote” form.

Xpirt Design is a professional and affordable Web Design Company based in Orange County California.

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