Yes, Shopify is Bigger—Here’s What We Do Better
Shopify requires configuring and extra steps that make success more challenging for B2B wholesalers.
Shopify can do a good job for B2B wholesalers in our industry, but getting there takes money, time, and (worst of all) a lot of extra trouble: development time and third-party costs, for instance.
And even then, you don’t always get the functionality B2B wholesalers need to carry their entire model to digital touchpoints.
That’s the story we keep hearing from our users as we welcome them to our platform. And while we don’t want to challenge the biggest player in our space for no good reason, it always makes us happy to hear, because it lets us know we’re on the right track. Our product is built for B2B wholesalers, and has been from the day we started.
Of course, you can’t step into an industry giant’s territory and expect to compete with it on size. But we’ve got something better for B2B wholesalers in industries like gift, furniture, home décor, and apparel: A tool truly designed to fit your processes, your sales staff, your business model, and your buyers’ evolving tastes, all from the moment you take it out of the box.
Five Ways JuniperCommerce Outworks Shopify in B2B Wholesale
1. Less configuration
At its core, Shopify is a service for B2C retailers.
Its platform can be flexible enough to work for B2B wholesalers like you—at least in part— but only with the presence of plugins: added bits of software, sometimes created by third parties, that people in your industry must use to get basic wholesale functionality out of their Shopify website.
And realistically, it’ll be a lot of plugins.
Need to keep pricing hidden behind logins and customer relationship levels? That’s a plugin.
What about the ability to charge buyers only when the items they’ve bought have shipped? Plugin.
Order and reorder minimums? Order variance? Those are both plugins as well.
And not just any plugins—third-party plugins. Which are not guaranteed to play nicely with the other third-party plugins you’ve implemented.
All this comes down to a common pain point we hear among our customers before switching to JuniperCommerce: Needing to have a “Shopify person” on staff just to manage all the plugins and third-party tweaks needed to turn it into a full-scale wholesale solution.
Not even your entire website. Literally one person just for the plugins you need to make it work the way ours does from day one. And that’s only to get a fraction of the functionality. There are things JuniperWeb does with regard to pricing and other baseline features that Shopify simply doesn’t have plugins for.
Which—if you’re in the B2C space, that’s great. But B2B wholesalers need something more.
Now compare that to us—a company that offers industry-built features like flipbooks and relationship-based pricing out of the box. Which leads us to ...
2. Shopping and cart features made for your industry
With us? Everything we offer “just works” out of the box.
Your very specific business needs are not just an afterthought for us. They sit at the center of our model.
We take the granular bits of experience extremely seriously. We put a lot of effort and development time into things Shopify would relegate to third-party plugins.
We already mentioned reorder minimums and the ability to charge when items are shipped as two examples of this. We also keep key features like discount codes out from behind the paywall.
Our platform’s interconnected, too, making it easy for sales reps to do things like display a product via web browser, then send its tearsheet to a prospect digitally on the go.
This also applies to the way we interconnect data between our products. Since our tools play nice together from the very start, you’re able to manage things like product images and data—and display them to customers—far more easily. It’s a level of integration and togetherness you’d have to do a lot of configuring in Shopify to achieve, and—again—we do it from the start.
3. Actually Relevant Features
Now consider a big, general-purpose software platform your company relies on. Like Excel or Outlook, for two examples you see in almost every business.
The last major update these platforms ran, there’s a good chance that very little of what it added applied to your business or its specific needs.
It’s kind of the same way with Shopify, which is a B2C platform at heart. There are near endless moles for a company that size to start whacking when they set out fixing bugs or dialing in on features. Because of that, very few of the improvements it pushes through are ultimately going to be relevant to you, your buyers, or your sellers.
Then there’s our platform, which is built around the concept of ongoing feedback from our clientele. At any point, any user of our solutions can log in to report bugs, make feature requests, and more—and our design philosophy puts serious stock in taking those notes and turning them into platform improvements.
From high level, that means most every update we push is going to have some significance to your business. And that our platform will keep on evolving in the direction our clientele does.
4. One Back to Pat
AKA the glorious feeling of having one point of contact when you need help, guidance, assistance… or anything else from a technology vendor.
Whatever you call it, it’s a rare thing to find in the B2B SaaS world and a cornerstone we’re proud to hang our hat on. It’s something we can provide because we’re a lot more than a tech vendor, as a matter of fact.
With us, there’s no bouncing between plugin developers—which range between fully professional, fly-by-night, and out-of-business—to determine exactly who is at fault when something in your buyer-facing technical infrastructure doesn’t work as intended. Instead, the people you talk to when you have questions or the rare concern are the same people who have been helping you along the way.
Likewise, there’s no reliance on third- and even fourth-party help as you implement your new software solution. Between your sales rep, their management support, and our Customer Success team, you have a world-class team of wholesale experts at your disposal to get you through your questions or concerns.
5. Guided Success—by Onboarding Specialist
Returning to the idea of Customer Success, it’s something a company like ours has to do well at.
If we can’t directly show you how others in your space are benefiting from our presence, why would you go with us?
That’s one reason our implementation process starts with an in-depth needs analysis, run by actual people—in other words, we do more than run a tutorial at the beginning of the process.
From there, you’ve got a name and a face for every question you might have as we go from interview to full implementation. You’ll be surprised at how automated the process is and how simple the human agents in the process make all the parts requiring your interaction.
Keeping clients plugged in and empowered through every step of the process is a big part of our approach, in other words. It’s been that way since we were hard-coding custom websites for every single customer that walked in the door.
Compared to the rather impersonal approach our customers have reported with Shopify—we think it’s clear which company has a personal investment in your success, and which will ultimately look at you as just another number.