Re-ordering frequency is a great guiding metric for your wholesale business. Not only does it let you know if you have a problem with your wholesale customer happiness, but it’s also a great growth metric to follow for monitoring profitability.
A happy wholesale customer, by definition, will order more frequently. So how do you increase the frequency of their orders without running constant sales like you often have to do on the retail side?
There’s three core components I like to think about when addressing this question:
- Building an awesomely efficient ordering process
- Keeping in regular contact with your wholesalers
- Providing incentives for ordering more
Building An Awesomely Efficient Ordering Process
If you haven’t already, you should try to put yourself in the shoes of your wholesale customer.
Quite often after they’ve ordered from you one or two times they will just want to get in, make the order and then get on with their day.
Here’s what a normal ordering process might look like for a wholesale customer without our wholesale plugins:
- Login to the site
- Navigate back to the store (by default WooCommerce drops you back to the My Account page after login)
- Click through categories, subcategories and product explanations to find the product they’re after
- Repeat #3 until they have all the products they need in their cart (this can take quite a while if your catalog is designed for retail customers to browse around)
- Find the cart to review the order
- Proceed to the checkout and make payment
Our Wholesale Order Form plugin is designed to make the ordering process just that little bit more fluid for these customers. It shortcuts steps 3 & 4 above and makes 5 & 6 much quicker too if you follow our guide to setting up an amazing wholesale ordering form.
The new streamlined process with our wholesale plugins:
- Login to the site, it drops them straight to the Order Form after login (if you have our Lead Capture plugin)
- Search or browse through the table for the products and hit add to cart which instantly adds the product to cart without any page refreshing
- Review the order in the sidebar cart widget (see our guide)
- Proceed to the checkout and make payment (you can even give wholesale customers an Invoice option if you want using Prices Premium)
Keep In Regular Contact With Your Wholesalers
One of the keys to repeat ordering is to always strive to be at the front of their mind. Often just being in touch reminds them of their need to order from you.
Many retailers miss out on this opportunity by perceiving themselves to be “too busy” to write a regular email to their customers which could trigger instant orders.
You can stay in touch with your wholesalers in creative ways too:
- Send them resources like sales guides or promotional gear to help them sell more
- Ask them to fill in a survey and then send them the results in a follow-up email
- Let them know about any time-sensitive offers
- Send them a review email about any media mentions you’ve had, especially if it involves one of your wholesalers
- Let them know about upcoming product launches
To reduce boredom and email fatigue, it’s all about mixing it up and providing some variety to your message. I’m sure you can come up with another dozen or so ideas on top of my short list.
Remember that the goal isn’t to “sell” to these people, because you already have them signed up as a wholesale customer.
The goal is to keep your company in front of them as much as possible. The orders will come as a result of this regular contact.
Plus, it saves you having to always chase them up all the time asking for orders anyway!
Providing Incentives For Ordering More
One of the best ways to get your wholesale customers excited is to offer price breaks for higher volumes.
Immediately your mind might be jumping to the “sales” model where you continually send them tempting offers.
This works well on the retail side, but wholesalers are motivated differently, so I suggest trying another approach first.
First, separate your wholesalers into tiers to indicate their commitment level to your company.
Then, spend a bit of time analysing the last few orders from your wholesalers from each group with the view to identifying people that are on the almost ordering enough to make it to the next tier’s minimum commitment.
Once you have that list, send personal emails to those customers inviting them up to the next tier level in order to receive a price break on their orders.
You can even help to illustrate just how this would affect them by pointing out the price savings on specific products they order frequently.
Watch Your Ordering Frequency (And Revenue!) Rise
If you follow even one of these suggestions, it could mean a large jump in your ordering frequency from your wholesale customers.
The important thing is to remember that wholesale customers are quite different to retail customers and as such you need to approach them from a different angle.