What Is Handshake?
Welcome to Shopify’s newest off-shoot: Handshake. Handshake is a growing wholesale marketplace made up of individual, one-of-a-kind brands. On Handshake, every wholesale product supplier is hand-picked by Shopify itself, giving the site a level of legitimacy simply not found elsewhere. Let’s take a deep dive into Handshake’s many facets and features.
Defining Wholesale Retail
Wholesale refers to businesses that sell products to other businesses. Ultimately, the product still ends up in an end-user’s hands, but not through the wholesaler’s transactions. Instead, wholesalers will sell products in bulk to those in the retail industry, with the cost per product being far lower due to the high quantity. Wholesale selling is often more devoid of customer experience and features far less competition, at least when compared to a retail transaction.
Handshake: For Buyers or Sellers?
Generally speaking, wholesale can be very beneficial for many types of businesses. Retailers who purchase wholesale are often able to provide more options to their customers, because they’re stocking products beyond those they create. This builds a bigger brand name and gives them reliability from a customer’s perspective. Think about large retail companies like Target or Walmart in the US, and Tesco in the UK — not everything is produced by them, but you know that visiting their store entails choosing from items by popular household names while also having access to those created by company-specific brands, like Target’s Made By Design™.
So, is Handshake for buyers or sellers? Simply put: yes. Shopify calls Handshake a “game-changer” for all parties involved. For stores looking to give their inventory selection a more full-bodied appearance, they’re capable of sourcing unique and quality products through Handshake. For suppliers, products can be listed in Handshake’s searchable directory, putting commodities into the hands of retailers with ease.
The Benefits to Handshake
We’ll be honest: Handshake brings a lot to the table. For one, retailers have connections to products from approved suppliers — no more buying from uncertified third-party wholesalers. Beyond the obvious access Handshake generates, it also fosters something bigger than itself, which is long-term relationships between Shopify sellers. For Shopify wholesalers on the smaller side, this is a chance to get connected with like-minded brands willing to support your store while also being profitable themselves. Best of all, Handshake’s directory is sourced from within Shopify’s existing stores. This means all billing, inventory, and orders are stored in Shopify’s interface categories where you’re used to finding them.
Handshake’s Upcoming Changes
As of Fall 2020, Handshake is transforming from a directory to a full-service marketplace. Currently, sellers are capable of creating customisable profiles for their business on Handshake, providing a list of products for retailers to browse. From there, retailers who wish to make a purchase contact a wholesaler using the information added to the wholesaler’s Handshake profile. This involves a wholesaler creating a draft order through Shopify admin, sending an invoice, and awaiting payment authorisation — all things considered, a lengthy process.
Switching to a full-service marketplace means that retailers and suppliers will be able manage their orders and process payments directly through Handshake, as opposed to contact occurring through external avenues. This change insinuates the platform’s solidification, showing that Shopify is ready to make Handshake’s wholesale aspects a long-term part of its company.
Handshake’s Biggest Pitfall
Handshake almost sounds too good to be true, and unfortunately, that’s because of one large downside: it’s not international. As it stands, Handshake is available only in the United States. We too were disappointed at the lack of accessibility to the platform, though Handshake notes they hope to expand globally in the future.
Improve Your E-Commerce With Full Fat
Listing your business as part of a wholesale directory is just one of many ways to increase the presence of your e-commerce store and find success on Shopify. For elevating your brand to the next level, consider contacting Full Fat Commerce. Our agency provides a plethora of services to fit your e-commerce needs and builds exceptional storefronts — not just pretty websites. Our team of experts puts the focus on conversion and data-based design, providing the site you need to outsell competitors. Get in touch with us today for custom Shopify builds, brand identity establishment, growth optimisation, support services, and digital content. The future of your company awaits, and Full Fat Commerce will help you get there faster.