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How to Create Wholesale Solution with Magento E-Commerce

Filed under Web Development

Creating a wholesale solution with Magento E-Commerce is not as complex as it seems. While very powerful, some people have been holding back thinking that it is very complicated but really the process is not that difficult.

create_wholesale_website_with_magento

How the Procedure Works

To give you an idea of how to prepare a wholesale solution with Commerce, imagine this scenario: your client wants an online shop where regular customers can view the products along with the price. However, the client wants their wholesale partners to be able to see the prices along with the discounts.

In addition, the wholesale and retail prices do not have mathematical dependency, so one product can be $200 for retail and $100 for wholesale and another $50 for retail and $60 wholesale. Also, retail users must not be able to view the wholesale prices.

Step 1: Create a Couple of Magento Websites, Views and Stores

magento_multiple_websites

The first step is to create two websites, which you can do by going to System->Manage Stores. You will see something like this:

Website | Store | View
Retail->Retail->Default
Wholesale->Wholesale->Default

Make sure that you utilize the same categories like product tree and category.

Step 2: Configure the Price Scope

price_configuration

The next step is to set up the price scope by going here at System->Configuration->Catalog->Catalog->Price and to your website. Now you just need to set the prices for the store/site, and you can whatever price you want.

Step 3: Get These Plugins

plugins

To get the most out of the setup, you should get the following plugins from the Magneto Connect site: Netzarbeiter_LoginCatalog and Netzarbeiter_CustomerActivation.

Netzarbeiter_LoginCatalog will be necessary so users have to login to view the site/store. This plugin is for the wholesale website. The Netzarbeiter_CustomerActivation is also for the wholesale site and users will need approval from the administrator to log in. It must be emphasized that both plugins will be turned on for the wholesale site alone.

Because these plugins are turned on once installed, you have to disable it for the retail website and enable them only for Wholesale. You can easily see the distinction between the two at the System->Configuration. To make it easier:

The first plugin can be enabled / disabled at: System > Configuration > Catalog > Login only catalog

The second plugin can be enabled / disabled at: System > Configuration > Customer > Customer Activation.

Step 4: Set a Separate URL for the Website

separate_url

The next step is for the wholesale website to have their own distinct urls, so your users can access myretailstore.com and for wholesale it will be myretailstore.com/wholesale. To do this you need to make a directory for the wholesale website. Next you should copy the index.php and the htaccess files. Now you need to make some modifications to the index.php file.

From

Mage::run()

change it to

Mage::run(‘wholesale’);

From

Mage::run(‘wholesale’);

change it to

$mageFilename = ‘../app/Mage.php’;

Step 5: Modify the Wholesale Paths at the Admin Panel

admin_panel_settings

To do this go to System->Configuration and choose “Wholesale” and go to ->General->Web. Just add the wholesale/ and you’re done. Now you just need to test the platform. If it doesn’t work just go through the steps again and see if you made any mistakes.

Step 6: Add Products to the Websites

adding_products

Now you just need to add the products to both websites. Make sure they are visible in both sites, and you can do so at the Product page->Websites tab. That’s it. Now users who go to the site will be able to view the entire catalog, see the retail prices and can login without the need for Admin approval. At the wholesale website only those users who have been registered as wholesale can see the catalog and the wholesale prices.

Troubleshooting

Creating two websites is the most common approach to creating wholesale solutions with Magento. But there are some services that will, for a fee, produce the same results even if you just set up a single website. The drawback of course, is that it is more expensive. And assuming you follow the correct methods, there should be no problems at all.

Now if you want to turn off the retail and the wholesale to remain open follow these steps. You just need to head over to System->Store management and you will see the two stores. Just click the first column, the wholesale website link. You will see a checkbox for “set as default”. Another option is to set the order to zero and the customer end number to 1. You might also need to modify the default paths for the wholesale website within the setup.

There may be other problems that you will encounter such as errors during the installation or 404 error messages. The simplest way to deal with these is to just reinstall everything. Other problems that you may encounter can be resolved by checking out the Magento community.

Different Versions

While this setup should work fine most of the time, some people might find two websites easier to use than a single website. As stated earlier there are plugins available that may be able to do this. But if you are just starting out, it is more convenient to just go for the two-website approach.

The bottom is that you have many options for creating wholesale solution with Magento Commerce. You just need to have patience and everything should work out fine. The instructions given here should work for most versions of the platform, although the locations and file names may change depending on the version. And of the biggest advantage going with Magento is huge Magento extensions available.

Guest Author: Jenny Richards

Jenny Richards is a writer for Topwebdesignny.com.

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