WooCommerce B2B – how to build a business-to-business store
In typical situations, the number one e-commerce platform WooCommerce is the way users will create an online store for Business-to-Customer (B2C) and retail stores. However, you can also set up a WooCommerce B2B store.
There are only a few elements you need for your own WooCommerce B2B store:
- The ability to create multiple pricing levels
- A way to offer multi-tiered, role-based pricing and split users into different customer groups
- The functionality to apply different types of discounts and show them on the checkout page
- The ability to show or hide prices and products from specific types of customers
The easiest way to set up a WooCommerce B2B store is by using a plugin, such as the WooCommerce Wholesale Plugin Bundle.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about WooCommerce B2B and show you how to set up your WooCommerce B2B store.
Let’s put everything into context before we begin.
Can you use WooCommerce to build a B2B store?
The short answer is: “Yes!” WooCommerce, when paired with the right WooCommerce B2B plugin, is perfect for creating a B2B store.
As a business owner, you might consider creating a WooCommerce B2B store if you want to sell products not just to other businesses but retail customers too. For example, you might sell clothes, shoes, appliances, or sports equipment to retail customers through your B2C-facing site. There might also be a separate section for B2B customers who purchase products in bulk.
This means you’ll need your WooCommerce B2B store to be able to sell to different types of customers. There are also various pieces of functionality that you’ll need for the task. For example:
- Create multiple pricing levels for different types of customers
- Offer multi-tiered, role-based pricing to buyers
- Apply different types of discounts e.g. percentage-based discounts and fixed discounts
- Set multiple retail and wholesale prices for products
- Show (or hide) products and content from some types of customers
- Approve users as B2B buyers at the point of customer registration
If you want more information on the different features you’d need from a WooCommerce B2B store, you’re in luck! We have a dedicated, step-by-step guide to WooCommerce wholesale stores that will be a fantastic companion to what we discuss in this article.
Introducing the best WooCommerce B2B plugins for building both a B2B and B2C store
WooCommerce is a flexible and extendable way to create an e-commerce store with WordPress. It lets you add products to your store, configure payment and shipping methods, and track customer orders.
However, the WooCommerce plugin doesn’t provide some essential B2B features you’ll need. For example, there is no option to create multiple pricing levels, or a way to offer role-based pricing to customers. For this, you’ll need a dedicated WooCommerce B2B plugin.
The WooCommerce Wholesale Plugin Bundle combines two powerful plugins – the WooCommerce Members Only plugin and the WooCommerce Fees and Discounts plugin – to help you set up a WooCommerce B2B store.
The bundle provides a few top-drawer features:
- Build a WooCommerce B2B store. The WooCommerce Wholesale Plugin Bundle is the most straightforward way to build a WooCommerce B2B store. It offers almost everything you need to sell products to both B2B and B2C customers from your online store.
- Choose to approve user registrations. You can handle the approval of B2B registrations for your online store. This makes it easy to keep track of B2B buyers and opens up incredible opportunities for personalising your marketing through email notifications.
- Decide who can see your products. If you’re selling to both public and wholesale customers, you might want to restrict product visibility to specific users. For example, you might want to sell denim fabric in bulk to your B2B customers only.
- Create multiple pricing structures. Combining bulk discounts and user roles to create multiple pricing levels is essential for WooCommerce B2B stores. The plugin bundle lets you set up tiered pricing or volume-based pricing to incentivise customers to buy more from you. This is a great way to increase your average order value.
What’s more, the process of creating your WooCommerce B2B store is a breeze. Let’s look into this next.
How to build a WooCommerce B2B store
To build a WooCommerce B2B store, you’ll need the WooCommerce plugin and the WooCommerce Wholesale Plugin Bundle. This includes both the WooCommerce Members Only and WooCommerce Fees and Discounts plugins.
Over the next few sections, we’ll walk you through how to build your own WooCommerce B2B store. However, we’ll assume that you have both plugins installed and activated. Once you have everything ready to go, you can start at step one.
Step #1: Create WooCommerce B2B and B2C user roles
Lots of B2B stores also want to sell to B2C buyers. For this, you’ll need to separate user roles for your B2B buyers.
The key benefit of creating multiple user roles for your WooCommerce B2B store is that it gives you more flexibility in terms of how you present your products and prices.
For example, you can choose to show or hide products from certain types of customers. You might even display different prices depending on the types of customers, which is important with regards to the tax exemption status of some wholesale businesses.
First though, you need to do is create two different user roles: one for your B2B buyers and another for B2C buyers.
Here are the steps you need to take:
- First, go to the ‘WooCommerce > Settings > Members Only > User Roles’ screen.
- Next, select the ‘Customer’ user role from the ‘User roles’ option.
- Here, enter a name for your new role, e.g. “B2B Buyer”.
- Finally, click ‘Duplicate role’.
You’ll then repeat the same steps for creating the ‘B2C Buyer’ user role. Of course, the difference here is the role name itself.
Bonus: Let users choose their user role during registration
The WooCommerce Wholesale Plugin Bundle has a flexible feature in that the user can choose their user role at the time of registration or checkout. This is possible through adding a custom field to your registration form on the back-end. This way, the customer can select the user role they’d like to register for. You can also better cater for guest users.
Here’s what you need to do to add a user role field to the WooCommerce registration form:
- At first, head to the ‘WooCommerce > Settings > Members Only > Registration’ page.
- Next, tick the checkbox next to the ‘Enable Roles Field’ option.
- Using the ‘Registration Roles’ option, choose which roles to include using the checkboxes in the ‘Include’ column.
You can be flexible with this using the ‘Needs Approval’ column. Checking boxes here will let you decide if you approve a new user role, or whether a user can register one without that approval.
We have a complete guide to WooCommerce user roles, and you’ll want to reference it during this point. It will give you more information and ideas on advanced ways to use the roles in question.
Step #2: Enable B2B user approvals
Depending on the type of WooCommerce B2B store you’re running, you might need a way to enable B2B user approvals. This way, you can easily keep track of your B2B customers and better manage customer relationships.
The WooCommerce Wholesale Plugin Bundle makes this incredibly easy with its WooCommerce Members Only plugin.
Here’s what you need to do to enable B2B user approvals:
- Head to the ‘WooCommerce > Settings > Members Only > Registration’ page.
- Tick the checkbox next to the ‘Enable User Approval’ option.
That’s it! Now, whenever a new B2B user registers for an account, you’ll get an email prompting you to either approve or reject their registration. We have more details on this feature within our article on WooCommerce user approvals.
Step #3: Configure pricing rules for B2B and B2C user roles
As a WooCommerce B2B store owner, selling products to both B2B and B2C customers becomes a whole lot easier when you set multiple pricing levels. The key benefit here is that you don’t have to add the same product to your store twice – once with prices for B2B buyers and another time for your B2C customers.
With the WooCommerce Wholesale Plugin Bundle, you can configure two different price adjustment types:
- Percentage Discount. This is useful for offering WooCommerce B2B customers a percentage discount on all products. For example, you could offer a 10 percent discount to your B2B buyers.
- Fixed Discount. This option lets you offer customers a fixed amount off the total price of a product. For example, you could set this to $25 to give B2B buyers a $25 discount.
Here’s what you need to do to configure pricing rules for B2B and B2C user roles:
- Go to the ‘WooCommerce > Settings > Fees and Discounts’ screen.
- In the ‘General’ tab, make sure you tick the checkbox next to the ‘Enable User Role Pricing’ option.
- Next, head to the ‘User Role Pricing’ tab.
- Here, set the percentage or fixed discounts for each user role.
To enhance this more, you can also configure pricing rules for your B2B and B2C buyers on a per-product basis. We have an article on WooCommerce user role pricing that will give you more information. Out post on WooCommerce tiered pricing will also give you more ideas on how to increase your order value.
Step #4: Offer bulk discounts to WooCommerce B2B customers
In addition to configuring pricing rules for different types of customers, you can also offer bulk discount pricing to incentivise B2B buyers to buy more from you. Offering two discounts – one based on their user role and a second based on the quantity or units of products they purchase – is a great way to boost sales.
Here’s what you need to do to create bulk discounts:
- Go to the ‘WooCommerce > Settings > Fees and Discounts > Dynamic Pricing’ screen within WordPress.
- Click ‘Add Rule’ and select ‘Bulk Pricing’ in ‘Offer type’ section.
- Add as many tiers as you need for your pricing rules using the ‘Tiers’ option.
In addition to this, you can also select which products to apply bulk discounts to. To do this, simply use the ‘Applies to’ option to apply bulk discounts to all products, specific products, or specific product categories.
The WooCommerce Wholesale Plugin Bundle lets you set either a percentage discount or a fixed discount for each new tier you create. Finally, you can choose to display a bulk discount table for each product page that shows the price for each tier.
As with the other features on show here, we have a full tutorial on WooCommerce discounts. This is going to be essential reading for more ideas on how to create quantity-based pricing rules for your B2B WooCommerce store.
Bonus: Prevent non-logged in users from making purchases
There are lots of reasons why you might want to prevent users who don’t log in from making purchases. To understand this, it’s important to consider the benefits of having a user who logs in by default. For example:
- You’re able to keep track of the items your users buy, and the purchasing date.
- There’s the opportunity to build both a loyal customer base and an email list.
- You might also encourage B2B customers to buy more from you.
To restrict purchases to logged-in users, you’ll need to take two steps:
- Go to ‘WooCommerce > Settings > Members Only’ within WordPress.
- Set the ‘Restriction Method’ option to ‘Log In Status’ using the drop-down.
This way, whenever a prospective customer lands on your WooCommerce B2B store, they’ll be able to see the products in your shop but they won’t be able to add new items to their cart without logging in first.
To take things to the next level, you can also set up WooCommerce role-based payment gateways and WooCommerce role-based shipping methods.
Other ways to sell to WooCommerce B2B customers
The WooCommerce Wholesale Plugin Bundle isn’t a one-trick pony. You’re able to use the plugins in a multitude of different ways to enhance your WooCommerce B2B offering.
For example, you can offer bulk discounts for B2B customers, which is great for store owners who cater exclusively to B2B buyers. To do this, you’ll set up pricing rules that apply discounts to products on bulk purchases.
Alternatively, you can create a private B2B area on your site. This will let you hide B2B products from your retail customers. This approach is perfect for store owners who sell different products depending on whether a buyer is B2B or B2C.
Build your WooCommerce B2B store the right way using the WooCommerce Wholesale Plugin Bundle
On the whole, the right WooCommerce B2B plugin makes it a snap to create a B2B store using the market leading e-commerce platform. Using the WooCommerce Wholesale Plugin Bundle, you can build a WooCommerce B2B store that achieves a number of goals:
- You can sell to both B2B and B2C customers.
- You’re able to set user approvals for your B2B buyers.
- You can configure pricing rules for B2B and B2C user roles.
- There’s the opportunity to offer bulk discounts to your B2B customers based on the products they purchase.
If you want to start building your WooCommerce B2B store, the the WooCommerce Wholesale Plugin Bundle is one you’ll want to add to your cart today!