How to build wholesale distribution into your DTC business

Discover why some of the biggest DTC brands are introducing wholesale distribution into their strategies — then get actionable tips to do the same.

Wholesale distribution is a great way for DTC brands to expand their businesses. Adding wholesale to your business can help you to increase sales, enter new markets, and enjoy better marketing support. Many well-known brands have made the shift from DTC-only to a combination of DTC and wholesale, and they’re reaping massive profits. 

For instance, Nike is revisiting wholesale channels after focusing heavily on DTC in previous years. Home goods store, Casper, also revealed its intentions to add wholesale to their business strategy, stating it will quickly become the biggest part of their business. Increasingly, more and more businesses seek to add wholesale to their strategies. 

So how can you build wholesale distribution into your DTC business? 

Set Your Sales Goals

How much of your overall sales do you expect to come from wholesale customers? This figure can be as high or as low as you’d like, and having a target in mind can help inform your outreach strategy. This can help you decide how many large or boutique retailers you’ll need to work with to meet your goals.

Find the Right Retailers

The best retail partners are those who understand and appeal to your target audience. Before choosing a retailer to work with, it's important to look into factors such as their reputation, location(s), and target consumer. 

Take a thorough, deep dive into researching each potential client. Does the retailer have an attractive and functional website? If they’re solely brick-and-mortar, how are their stores merchandised? What are customers saying about them on popular review sites and social media?

You'll also want to ensure that the businesses you partner with are not struggling financially. Larger, more established retailers offer more stability, but smaller retail stores can also make excellent partners.

Consider Your DTC Marketing Strategy

One of the main concerns with doing both DTC and wholesale is creating competition between owned channels and retailers. Find ways to separate your DTC offerings from your wholesale partners’ offerings. If there’s no differentiation, you’ll only cannibalize sales. Thankfully, this can be achieved in a variety of ways. For instance, you might consider selling exclusives, subscriptions, or limited-edition products on your website. Or you might offer personalization, monograms, tailoring, events, or other special services and extras in your stores.


Choose the Right B2B eCommerce Solution 

A fully-integrated wholesale order management platform like NuORDER by Lightspeed can help you manage your wholesale clients with ease. Having all of your relevant sales data in one place can help you make better marketing decisions while making it possible to scale with speed.

Here are a few things to look for in a B2B eCommerce solution:

Robust Integrations

Look out for a platform that allows you to easily connect with other systems you're already using in your business, such as POS and accounting systems.

Immersive Shopping Experiences

Like any other customer, buyers value seamless, high-quality shopping experiences. Platforms that support rich media like shoppable videos and virtual showrooms help bring your products to life while creating attractive experiences for buyers.

Strong Retail Networks

The best wholesale platforms support both retailers and brands. They tend to include built-in networks to expand the profile of your brand and help you build new relationships. 

Easy Check-out Options 

When you offer more convenient check-out options like accepting credit card transactions directly through your wholesale platform, it can help reduce cart abandonment and encourage buyers to finalize orders right away.

You’ll need to invest time and energy into building wholesale distribution into your DTC business, but the benefits make it well worth the effort. To simplify the process, make sure you have the right planning, research, and wholesale platform in place.

Are you looking for the right B2B eCommerce platform for your new wholesale distribution strategy? Request a demo.

Reimagine Wholesale for Your Business



NuORDER is dedicated to providing thoughtful, informative B2B eCommerce industry insights. Brands use NuORDER's platform to deliver a seamless, more collaborative wholesale process, where buyers can browse products, plan assortments and make smarter buys in real-time.