Migrating From the Shopify Plus Wholesale Channel to B2B on Shopify: What You Need to Know

Retailers using the Shopify Plus Wholesale Channel must migrate to B2B on Shopify before 30 April 2024. Read on to learn about the differences between the two solutions and how Swanky can help with the transition.

In 2023, Shopify formally announced that it would be deprecating the Plus Wholesale Channel (PWC) and that retailers would need to migrate to B2B on Shopify.

In this article, we round up everything you need to know about this, including:

  • when and why the PWC is being deprecated;
  • what this means for retailers using the PWC;
  • the differences between the PWC and B2B on Shopify; and
  • how Swanky can help you migrate from the PWC to B2B on Shopify.

When is the Plus Wholesale Channel being deprecated and why?

On 30 April 2023, the PWC will be removed from Shopify.

According to the Shopify Help Centre, the channel is being deprecated “due to a change in Google Chrome’s third party cookies support”.

What does this mean for retailers using the Plus Wholesale Channel?

If you are currently using the PWC, you will need to migrate your existing data to B2B on Shopify before 30 April 2024, in order to continue selling to wholesale customers on Shopify.

Shopify has put together this article about migrating from the PWC to B2B on Shopify, including links to a helpful checklist and FAQs.

Here are the key steps involved with a migration to B2B on Shopify:

  • Review the requirements and considerations for using B2B on Shopify, and decide whether the solution is a good fit for your business. You can read more about the benefits of B2B on Shopify and how it differs from the PWC in the section below.
  • Decide whether you want to set up a dedicated B2B store that only accepts wholesale orders, or whether a blended B2B and DTC store would be more suitable. This is something that our solutions team is able to provide consultation around.
  • Convert your existing wholesale customers into B2B companies and locations. Shopify provides a bulk company set up tool you can use to do this, or this is something that Swanky can support.
  • Copy your PWC price lists to B2B catalogues. Again, Shopify provides a migration tool to handle this, or you can speak to our team about how we can provide support as part of a B2B on Shopify migration package.
  • Set up B2B customer login. Your B2B customers must log in using new Shopify customer accounts, with a 6-digit verification code sent to their email address.
  • Test your B2B setup. It’s recommended that you create a test company profile and then place a test order so that you can verify that the prices and payment terms are correct. Testing and quality assurance comes as standard if you choose to migrate from the PWC to B2B on Shopify with Swanky.
  • Launch your B2B store. You can invite your buyers to your B2B store by sending a B2B access email, or by sending a link for them to create a new B2B customer account.

Plus Wholesale Channel vs. B2B on Shopify

The PWC operates as a separate sales channel within the Shopify platform. It requires retailers to create a separate store for B2B, and is disconnected from much of the core out-of-the-box functionality that retailers can leverage in their DTC stores. It doesn’t allow for branding or design customisations either.

B2B on Shopify is a suite of features designed specifically for B2B retailers, built directly into the Shopify admin. It has been architected to simplify the management of B2B operations for brands and improve the customer experience for wholesale buyers, targeting many of the previous frustrations of B2B retailers. Brands can choose to operate a blended online store, selling both DTC and B2B with a consistent branding experience for all customers, or a B2B-only expansion store.

Perhaps one of the most notable differences between the PWC and B2B on Shopify is the access that the latter gives to the powerful customisation features of the Shopify platform, such as themes, discounts, APIs, Markets, and Functions. Essentially, retailers are getting the B2B capabilities they need to serve B2B customers, combined with all the hallmark benefits of Shopify’s market-leading DTC offering – enabling a DTC-like shopping experience for wholesale buyers. This is a marked improvement on the siloed PWC, which is extremely limited in terms of integrations and customisability.

B2B on Shopify also includes a more intuitive interface for retailers and buyers, allowing for increased efficiency. Common admin tasks are streamlined with this solution, whereas the PWC requires significant manual management.

Another difference to note is that whilst stores built on the PWC aren’t indexable (they don’t rank organically on search engine results pages), this is not the case with B2B on Shopify. Whether you choose a blended store or dedicated B2B store, in either case it will be indexable and therefore able to attract new wholesale customers via organic search.

It should be noted that whilst B2B on Shopify offers a host of new and enhanced capabilities for selling online to buyers, it does include many popular features of the PWC – for example, checkout to draft and customer-specific product publishing.

How Swanky can support your migration to B2B on Shopify

Our team of certified Shopify Plus Experts have the expertise and experience to help you navigate the complexities of B2B ecommerce.

Firstly, we can help you and your team understand the differences between the PWC and B2B on Shopify, and advise on which type of store setup will be most suitable for your unique business requirements: a blended Shopify store, or a separate B2B expansion store.

Our team will be able to guide you through the steps required to make a seamless transition from one solution to the other, so you can be confident in what to expect during the migration process.

When it comes to moving your data to B2B on Shopify, we mitigate as much risk as possible, working to ensure information is migrated securely with uninterrupted uptime.

Prior to launch, we will complete necessary testing and quality assurance to ensure that your B2B store functions as expected. We can also provide your team with the necessary training and documentation to ensure success moving forward.

Contact us for help moving from the Plus Wholesale Channel

The deadline for migrating from the PWC to B2B on Shopify is 30 April 2024. 

If you haven’t yet made the transition and would like the support of a Shopify Plus Partner Agency, please get in touch with our solutions team who will be happy to talk through your requirements.

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