19 Ways to Improve your Wholesale Apparel website
So you’re working your tail off trying to bring traffic to your wholesale apparel website, or maybe spending too much time on manual tasks that are not automated?
Whatever you’re doing, you are more than likely leaving money on the table by either using too much of your employees time or not focusing on problems with your wholesale site.
Sure, some customers will always prefer to call or email their order in. However, what about trying to get your current wholesale customers to use your website more often or attract new customers?
Here are 19 tips to improve your B2B website and increase your wholesale sales:
How to improve your wholesale apparel website?
- Add a Order matrix table
- Allow customers to customize their order
- Specify shipping and delivery estimates
- Account, Orders, and Profile pages users will actually use
- Allow customers to email a specific product page
- Allow customers to download pricing sheets, product photos, decoration methods, size charts, catalog and other resources
- Role based pricing
- Size charts
- Filter menu and search
- Product Recommendations
- Frequently Asked Questions page
- Run a promotion (i.e. BOGO, Sample pack)
- Integrate with your ERP system
- Live chat
- Setup session replay tool (i.e. Mouseflow or Hotjar)
- Dynamic Pricing Rules
- High quality product photos
- Ask customers to review you on SAGE or ESP [use this email template]
1. Add a Order Matrix table
Essential for B2B businesses that do a large quantity of order quantities for a single product.
A order matrix table allows customers to see the sizes, colors, and inventory available all in one clear table making it easy to add multiple quantities to their Cart.
Here is a GIF example of an order matrix table we implemented for a customer to give you a complete visual of how this process works:
Pro Tip: show In Stock and Incoming inventory levels
Your distributor customers will appreciate knowing what specific sizes and colors are in stock and the incoming stock quantity within 60 days.
For example, see the GIF below for an example.
2. Allow customers to customize their order
If your company offers decoration services such as embroidery, screen printing, or heat transfer, allow customers to apply decoration to their order.
Depending on the decoration services your company provides, customers can customize their order with the following steps:
- Upload logo
- Choose Decoration Type: embroidery, dye sublimation, heat transfer, laser etch, or screen printing
- Choose Decoration Location: left chest, right chest, left bicep, right bicep, or back yoke
- Decoration Instructions: add additional notes about the customization
Allow customers to upload logos in file types such as DST, AI, PSD, EPS, SVG, PNG, JPG, TIFF, and GIF. For ideas, see this example below.
Allowing your customers to add decoration services to their order is another step to automating your wholesale site. You will still be expected to send a proof and get confirmation from the customer to start the decoration. However, this avoids the unnecessary back and forth emails for your sales reps to request your customer to upload their logo to your company’s Google Drive, Dropbox, or Box folder.
3. Provide shipping and delivery dates
Your customers need to know when they are going to receive their shipment. Adding a shipping box to your product pages to indicate when their order will ship from your warehouse gives them confidence working with you.
Pro tip: Decoration order shipping times
If your company offers decoration options, add the decoration shipping time so customers so customers are aware of the time added to their order delivery date.
4. Account, Orders, and Profile pages users will actually use
Some of your wholesale customers still may call in every order no matter how good your website is or the tutorials you provide. Do not worry about these customers but rather focus on new customers using all the tools you provide. For example, setting up account, order, and profile pages your customers can use can help further automate your sales process.
For a wholesale website we setup, users are able to do the following on their account, orders, and profile pages:
- View all orders they have placed
- Track the shipment of their order
- View their customer ID number
- Add multiple shipping or billing addresses
- Add or update a payment method
- Update primary email address
- Change password
For example, use the following login credentials to test out the SG B2B demo site:
username/email: email@example.com password: demo1234 login url: https://b2bdemo.sgwebpartners.com/login/
Pro tip: Integrate the customer’s account with your ERP system.
For example, if your wholesale apparel company has to approve customers before they can place an order, allow the ERP system to assign a customer ID and push up to your website.
Next, when the customer registers for an account on your website, the fields push down to the ERP System. Next, a manual entry is added for the customer ID and that is pushed back to the account.
5. Allow customers to email a specific product page
Allow distributors and sales reps to easily send a specific product to their customers not in a hyperlink but an awesome email.
This is perfect for apparel ecommerce stores as a lead generation tool that want their sales reps and distributors to share products across their network.
For example, a distributor is working with a prominent Fortune 500 company that is looking for a quality pullover for their company’s annual 5K run. Instead of sending them a hyperlink of a product, send a email that includes the product photo, sizes available, color options and price!
See the GIF below of how this works.
Here is how the email notification looks like on Outlook, Gmail, and other email platforms.
Want to see this functionality in live action? Go to this demo wholesale ecommerce site and click “Email this page” and send yourself an email to see how this works.
6. Allow customers to download pricing sheets, product photos, decoration methods, size charts, catalog and other resources
Your wholesale apparel product page should provide resources for your distributor customers to purchase more products. Examples of resources your distributor customers could find value in a downloadable resource:
- Pricing sheets
- Product photos
- Decoration methods
- Create a virtual mockup
- Style sheet
- Companion piece (if applicable)
For example, the “download images” button on each product page allows your sales reps and distributor customers to easily download product images in a .zip file. Worried about copyright usage? Add a watermark to your product photos.
To test this functionality in live action, go to this demo wholesale ecommerce site, scroll down and click “Download Images”.
7. Role based pricing
In the wholesale apparel industry, there are usually 2 to 3 different prices:
- Distributor price
- Distributor price (net)
If your company requires distributors to be approved to use your wholesale site, show different prices depending on if they are logged in.
In this example, the product has the following prices:
- MSRP: $50.00
- Distributor price: $45.00
- Distributor price (net): $22.50
If a user has been approved for a distributor account, their price would be 1/2 the price after logging in.
8. Size charts
If you never bought a product from a Ecommerce store an unknown is if the clothing will fit. Size charts are effective to be added so your customers can easily see how you size. Add your size charts as a popup or simply add a size charts tab.
9. Filter Menu and Search
A smooth navigation will boost your stores performance, especially if you have a large number of products on your store. Experts have proven that when stores make it easier for their customers to shop, their sales go up. Why? Because your customers are lazy and short on time, and they’ll reward you for making their life easy.
Add filters to your category and collection pages based on:
- In Stock
Here is an example of a filter menu sidebar based on product type, price, colors, features and size:
Pro tip: Add search bar that autocompletes
Reduce the number of steps in conversion by offering the perfect search tool that helps customers find and buy products quickly.
See the example we developed for a client below. After typing in “vest”, the search results populate with suggested products and pages.
10. Product Recommendations
Increase sales by suggesting additional products customers may be interested in, based on the product page they are viewing or on past orders.
Pro tip: Add badges to your product listings
Your customers do not want to guess what are your newest arrivals, most popular, or products that are on sale. Add product pages so on your Shop pages so your products are easily indicated.
- Most Popular
11. Frequently Asked Questions page
Your FAQ page should be easy to find on your website to answer any questions your customers have.
Every time a customer asks a question that is not on your FAQ page, make a note of the question and the response sent back to the customer.
If the question and answer can be added to your FAQ page, add it there. If the question is longer and needs to be explained in more detail, include a short response on your FAQ page and then create a blog post that goes into more detail. For example, a customer may ask how decoration pricing is calculated. Provide a brief response on your FAQ page and link to another page on your site that provides a decoration pricing list for all your decoration options.
12. Run a promotion
Establishing trust is the first step in any relationship. If you believe in your product, offering customers the opportunity to order a sample pack, get free shipping, or a BOGO offer can increase orders.
13. Integrate with your ERP system
An Ecommerce ERP Integration will give your business the ability to sync your ERP system with your b2b wholesale site, which will do wonders for your business. Ensure that when integrating your ERP system and wholesale site, both systems can “push” and “pull” product and inventory updates in real time.
Here a few ERP Integration systems that we have experience with:
- Filemaker Pro
14. Live chat
Live chat gives visitors instant access to customer service and/or salesperson. Therefore, your team has more opportunities to turn those visitors into customers.
Businesses can use live chats to develop their FAQs and online help pages and when customers find answers through self-help, it reduces the need to contact customer service, saving time.
If you do have reps or agent available during business hours, live chat is a great way to increase conversion on your website.
I would only setup live chat if you can be consistent and commit to it. For example, if you commit to live chat ensure that your sales reps and agents know how to use the system in place. Nothing is worse than a sales rep or agent at your company becoming frustrated at a tool they are not comfortable with.
What are recommended live chat softwares that are easy to setup?
15. Setup session replay such as Mouseflow
What is a lethal combination is to view Mouseflow’s most recent recordings to align what your customer is looking at and answer their questions the best way.
Even if you only start on the free trial period, the ability to study your customers and where they fell out of the funnel is crucial. You also get a real glimpse and insight into what your customers are doing.
16. Dynamic Pricing Rules
Dynamic pricing enables your business to leverage data to automatically make pricing changes to a customers cart based on customer role, order quantity, product type, and if new or repeat customer. Did I mention that this also increases your ROI, saves your business time, and dramatically improves the customer experience?
Here is a GIF example of a Dynamic Pricing Table to give you a complete visual of how this process works:
Image via: Merchology
Pro Tip: Allows customers to see discounts applied in real time.
By communicating to the customer how much they are saving, this will increase the likelihood that they will want to capitalize on their willingness to buy in bulk, which ultimately improves the customer experience and your business ROI.
A blog is a great way to share updates about your company to your customers. In addition, your blog can help answer customer’s questions, promote new products and services, and overall build your brand.
How could you write your next blog post? Think of a frequently asked question that a lot of your customers ask and make a post out of this. For example, let’s say a lot of your wholesale customers have questions about the decoration methods you offer. Write a post about how to decide whether to use embroidery vs. screen printing method and provide examples of products on your store where embroidery would be recommended over screen printing and vice versa.
18. High quality product photos
Customers walk into the brick and mortar store because they like what they see from the outside. Likewise, the shopper sees photos first and they have to capture their attention and ensure it matches their expectations. Photography is a key driver to your business and helps your customers better understand your products, boost your brand, and give you a competitive edge.
When was the last time you bought a piece of clothing that did not have awesome product photos? Keep this in mind to always ensure you and your team are creating high quality product photos for your online store, especially your product pages.
19. Ask customers to review you on SAGE or ESP
What if you could get 5 more positive reviews per month for your company on your website, SAGE, or ESP account?
The key is to ask a customer to review only 1 source.
For example, let’s say you are looking to get more reviews for your SAGE account?
Before attempting to automate the review process, use the following email template below to send an email to 3 customers who ordered from you in the past few weeks.
Before looking up ways to send an email automation X days after their order has been placed, go to your email right now and use the email template below to send to a customer:
Hey [customer first name], This is [your name] from [your company]. I hope you're satisfied with the service we provide for your business. If so and if you'd be willing to share your experience with others, it would mean the world to us if you could leave a review on our SAGE page (link to your SAGE page). In case you have questions or need help, feel free to reply to this message. We're here and happy to help. Thank you for your support, much appreciated! Have a great day! [your name]
Next, email 5 more customers. If customers are responding well to your email, look to automate this email X days after their order has been placed.
For example, if an order takes on average 5 business days to ship and be received by your customer, schedule the review request email to be sent 10 to 15 days after the customer’s order has been placed.