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Retail vs. Wholesale Customers

How to set the customer type

ProductCart supports two main customer types: retail and wholesale customers. It also supports unlimited Pricing Categories, a feature that is discussed separately. For now, keep in mind that a pricing category can have “wholesale privileges”, which means that the customer is considered a wholesale customer when it comes to features such as payment options or applicable discounts.

You can change the customer type:

  • One by one, by locating a customer and then editing his/her account. On the Edit Customer page you will be able to easily change the customer type from Retail, which is the default setting, to Wholesale.
  • In bulk, by specifying the customer type during a customer import or update.

How wholesale status affects the storefront experience

There are many features in your e-commerce store that work differently depending on the customer type. Here is a list of them:

Store settings

You can set your entire store to work as a catalog, without ecommerce, when retail customers browse the storefront, reserving the ability to purchase a product only to wholesale customers. You can also set a different minimum order amount for wholesale customers.

Product pricing

Retail customers are shown and charged the online price. Wholesale customers are shown and charged the wholesale price. You define the two prices when you add or modify a product to your store. If you are adding a Build To Order product, you can specify a different base price for retail vs. wholesale customers.

Option pricing

When options alter a product’s online price by adding or removing an amount, the retail option price is used for retails customers, and the wholesale option price is used for wholesale customers. When the wholesale option price has not been defined, the retail option price is used instead.

For example, if a “Wood Frame” added $10 to the price of a poster purchased by a retail customer, wholesale customers would also be charged $10 when purchasing the same product, unless a wholesale price had been specified for that option attribute.

You cannot specify different option prices for different pricing categories: depending on whether a pricing category has been setup to have or not have wholesale status, the retail or wholesale prices will be used.

Build To Order configurations

When you assign products and/or Build To Order Items to a BTO product, you have the option of specifying a different price for wholesale customers. If you don’t, the price specified for retail customers will be used. If you add pricing categories to the store, you will also be able to specify different prices for each pricing category.

Quantity discounts can be different for wholesale customers. These are the price breaks that you may offer to customers that order large quantities of a certain product. To configure quantity discounts, select Discount by Quantity from the Marketing menu.

You cannot specify different discount levels or discount amounts for different pricing categories: depending on whether a pricing category has been setup to have or not have wholesale status, the retail or wholesale prices will be used.

Payment options

Payment options can be set differently for wholesale customers. This feature, for instance, allows you to grant wholesale customers special payment terms (such as Net 30) that retail customers do not receive.

To configure payment terms and assign them to wholesale customers only, select Add New Payment Option from the Payment menu, and then add a Non Real-Time Payment Option. When you add the new option, make sure to check the box: Apply to wholesale customers only.

Taxes

Taxes are typically not calculated when an order is placed by a wholesale customer. This is because wholesale customers are typically resellers, and therefore charge sales taxes to their customers. You can decide to tax or not tax wholesale customers when you configure your tax settings.

Automatically making new customers "wholesale" customers

Experienced developers can change the way customers are added to the storefront by editing the file login.asp. Here is an article that describes how to setup new customers as wholesale customers.


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