Steps to Build a Website...
Wholesaling Your
Handmade Products

Although the steps to build a website for retail e-commerce are very similar to those for building a site for your wholesale prospects, there are some inherent differences both in how your visitors will access your products and the way in which you communicate with those visitors. Let’s look at the foundational steps to build website that meets the needs of your wholesale buyers.

Steps to build a website for wholesaling
your handmade products... the 10 must-haves


Homepage - There’s no place like home. Your home page is the billboard for your entire brand; therefore, it needs to be both visually pleasing and convey the right message. Since most of your site will be password protected (more on that next), you’ll need to create impact both with your images and your copy. Your homepage should have a clean and easy-to-use navigation with a clear call to action.

Make the invitation to register as a wholesale buyer prominent on your homepage by placing it above the fold, meaning that visitors will see this as soon as they land on your homepage and will not have to scroll down to see the invitation link that leads to your sign-up page. You can also include news and updates on your homepage such as new products, upcoming trade shows, seasonal items and promotions. Be strategic in how you update your homepage and keep it clutter-free.


Password Protected Pages - Whether you’re giving access to your wholesale pricing on your retail website or on a separate website that’s strictly dedicated to wholesale, you’ll need to create password protected pages so that retail customers do not have access to your wholesale pricing. You can either do that with special apps that offer this functionality or by creating a dedicated wholesale website that requires a log-in password for access.

You also have the option of vetting your wholesale buyers and extending a wholesale code that will reduce their order total by 50 percent on your retail website. Although some artists use this method, in my opinion, it’s not an ideal solution, especially if you plan to retail items that you do not include in your wholesale lineup. The other challenge when mixing retail with wholesale on the same website is that you don’t have complete control over your messaging and product descriptions. More on that later.


Registration Page - One of the most important steps to build a website that will grow your wholesale business is being able to capture those leads with a proper registration page. Before giving access to potential buyers, you’ll want to create a sign-up page with a form that is designed to take all the buyer’s information on auto pilot.

Having a self-serve registration form will allow you to collect all your buyer’s pertinent information such as name, store name, store address, email, phone number and any other information you require before giving them access to your wholesale pricing. Your wholesale registration form can be created using email service providers such as Mailerlite or Mailchimp which will allow you to embed a signup form right on your website as well as create an automated confirmation email that will deliver the access code to subscribers who complete your registration form.

Once you have subscribers, you can include them in your email marketing campaigns or even set up a couple of automated emails that will go out to new subscribers following the initial sign up. For example, the first email, which includes the access code, could be followed by a welcome email that includes a short get-to-know-you video that tells prospective buyers about your brand.

From there, you can schedule your marketing efforts to send out emails for new product releases, promotions and event invites for upcoming trade shows. Of all the steps to build a website for wholesale, this is right at the top because you need to capture those contacts so you can nurture leads.


Speak Your Customers' Language - Among the steps to build a website geared specifically to wholesale customers, is writing targeted copy and product descriptions. On your retail website, you’ll want to write in a way that connects the end user to your products so they can imagine the benefits of owning your products. For wholesale, the language may be slightly different because the benefit to your wholesale clients will be in creating successful sales for the store and stocking products that resonate with their clientele.

Product descriptions might include both the benefits of the product and the reasons why the end user will enjoy these benefits. It’s a two-layer benefit! There may only be small changes in the way you write your copy, but it should be geared to the end results that will motivate buyers to want to carry your collection.


Collections Page - Just like your retail site, your wholesale website will have a section dedicated to your product collections. If you have more than one collection, you can include a drop-down menu from your collections tab that will lead buyers to all your collections.


Ordering FAQ Page - Next on the steps to build a website for wholesale is answering all the questions before they need to be asked. This is your terms and FAQ page. Here you’ll include ordering information, payment terms, lead times, order minimums, refund or exchange policies, shipping details and anything else your customers need to know or frequently ask.


About Page - Your website about page is all about your brand story and what makes your products unique. It should be magnetic and concise while taking your potential customers on a journey that speaks to them and tells them why your brand will benefit their store and their customers. It’s about you, but only as it pertains to them!


Contact Page - A standard contact page is usually set up with a simple form for visitors to reach out and ask a question. However, this an important piece of virtual real estate and an opportunity to warm up your visitors. When someone clicks on “contact us”, you can start their journey by making the experience feel welcoming and connected. Let them know they’re in the right place by crafting a little copy that’s warm and inviting.


Starter Packs Page - Unlike your retail website, the steps to build a website for wholesale shopping will include done-for-you order suggestions. This is where you round up a group of products that work well together. They should include must-have items that are proven sellers and which make for easy buying. Create a few starter packs that meet your order minimum as well as packs that increase that order size. Starter packs help take the guesswork and hassle out of picking and choosing items, assisting buyers who don’t have the time or inclination to handpick individual items.


Line sheet Page - Last on the foundational steps to build a website for B2B is your line sheet page. This page does not necessarily have to be visible in your website navigation menu as you may decide to simply host your line sheets on this page. This then becomes a page to which you send your wholesale prospects via an email link.

Steps to Build a Website for wholesale - checklist

  • Large, uncluttered images that are well-focused and clearly show your products
  • Uniformly sized photos for your collection pages
  • Lifestyle and size relationship images that show your products in action and their relative size. This could include showing products in their ideal environment as well as next to items that show size relationship. For example, on a model, in a hand or next to easily identifiable objects that show size relationship.
  • Excellent product descriptions that entice your prospective buyers and tells the story of how your products will benefit both the store and their clientele.
  • A seamless shopping experience that makes it easy to add items to cart and check out. For accurate shipping costs, you’ll need to either set up a flat shipping rate for various locations or enter individual item weights for each product to calculate shipping for various locations.
  • A custom email address for your website domain name
  • A mobile friendly website
  • A complete self-serve experience starting from automated sign-up and access code delivery, to an easy-to-use checkout experience. 

Do you need a platform with easy-to-follow steps to build a website for your wholesale collection? The following is the website builder I have use since 2008. I have a separate site for retail and wholesale and have been extremely happy with how easy it is to be in charge of all my own updates and website design.

Please note that I am an affiliate for this service and I will receive a commission should you feel it’s the right website builder for you. Also know that I will not recommend a product that I don’t stand by 100 percent.

The cost of the StudioShoppes website builder is both competitive and affordable. It’s simple to use and provides you with everything you need to set up your wholesale website... no additional apps necessary.

Wishing you all the success in the world with your business!

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