Sometime back in October 2023, Shopify announced that the Shopify Plus Wholesale Channel is being deprecated - in other words, phased out.
Note: this piece of news only impacts those who have a Shopify Plus store.
April 2024 is the end for the Shopify Plus Wholesale Channel
The Shopify Plus Wholesale Channel will officially be discontinued on April 30, 2024.
This essentially means that from April 30th forward, Shopify Plus users will no longer have access to this particular functionality within their Shopify setup.
If you are wondering what the Wholesale Channel even is, it was designed to allow Shopify Plus users to create a separate storefront that caters specifically to business-to-business (B2B) transactions.
Why is the Wholesale Channel deprecating?
Shopify attributes this to changes related to Google Chrome’s handling of third-party cookies. Beyond the immediate technical reasons, we also see it as a bigger sign of Shopify focusing on giving merchants a better and way more easy to use wholesale solution for merchants.
Gartner's Future of Sales research underlines the importance of this shift. By 2025, it's expected that 80% of B2B interactions between suppliers and buyers will take place online. In other words, B2B e-commerce is on the rise, and Shopify B2B is being developed to better suit these emerging ecom needs.
We view the rise of Shopify B2B as a great thing
Released in Shopify’s Summer Editions 2023, Shopify B2B stands out as an altogether better alternative to the Plus Wholesale Channel.
For one thing, it's integrated within the Shopify platform (as opposed to being a separate store) enabling businesses to handle B2B and direct-to-consumer sales together. Below are some more key differences between the two.
Shopify Plus Wholesale vs Shopify B2B: What's different?
- All in one place: The Wholesale Channel gave merchants a separate, password protected wholesale storefront. Shopify B2B is part of the regular Shopify area you use. This means you can manage B2B sales just like your regular online store.
- One store for all sales: You can sell to both business (B2B) and regular (DTC) customers from the same store. Business customers log in with their email to see special prices and information.
- Easy integrations: Connect your B2B store with other business tools like ERP (enterprise resource planning systems) and CRM using APIs. Meaning, you can easily integrate your online store with systems that manage your business operations and customer relationships.
- More features for B2B: Shopify B2B has special tools like company profiles, making it easier to sell to other businesses in a way that works for them.
Is Shopify B2B only for Shopify Plus?
Yes, Shopify B2B is exclusive for Shopify Plus merchants.
Navigating the migration process
Shopify has called for all merchants using the Wholesale Channel to migrate to B2B on Shopify before April 30, 2024. So, if you are currently using the Wholesale Channel, this will affect you.
Planning your migration
Shopify has a very helpful FAQs section about the migration, we also recommend that merchants read their B2B migration guide. As an experienced Shopify Plus Agency - we’re also happy to help if you have any questions big or small about B2B Shopify.