95% of the orders at Hallmark Business Connections are processed online, CEO Tressa Angell says.
The B2B site will connect retail buyers with artisan sellers for wholesale buys.
Etsy Inc.’s Etsy Wholesale division is gaining steam as it gets closer to its official release this summer. Etsy Wholesale is the online marketplace’s private marketplace that facilitates sales between retail buyers and product makers and sellers. The Wholesale division debuted in early 2013 by invitation only and remains in test mode. Etsy says it will officially open its B2B doors Aug. 1.
In the run-up to launch, Etsy Wholesale is managing to connect its artisan sellers to a number of high-profile online and store retailers, including Nordstrom Inc., No. 24 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide. Earlier this month Canadian chain retailer Indigo Books and Music Inc.(Indigo’s falling sales http://www.internetretailer.com/2013/08/09/online-sales-are-flat-bookseller-indigos-first-quarter) (No. 235) debuted its “Etsy at Indigo” boutique online and at its store in downtown Toronto. It includes goods from nine Etsy sellers, selling products like linen tea towels from Etsy merchant Studiopatro and jewelry from Upper Metal Class. Home furnishings retail chain West Elm, a division of Williams-Sonoma Inc. (Williams-Sonoma goes down under http://www.internetretailer.com/2013/05/14/williams-sonoma-expands-australia) (No. 21), is also expanding its program through Etsy Wholesale. In April and May West Elm is adding goods from more than a dozen Etsy sellers to some stores, the retailer says.
“Etsy Wholesale has really helped our business grow, and is now the focus of our operations,” says Brad Weckesser of Richwood Creations, one of the Etsy merchants whose wooden cutting boards and drink coasters have been picked up for sale at Indigo. “We have started to design our products to appeal to wholesale buyers(using the web to collaborate for B2B http://www.internetretailer.com/2014/03/18/web-fosters-collaboration-between-b2b-sellers-and-buyers) and environments over other channels.”
When Etsy Wholesale officially debuts this summer, merchant sellers will pay a one-time $100 fee to set up their account, and Etsy will take a 3.5% cut of transactions between B2B buyers and sellers. Etsy says the 3.5% cut is consistent with its fees for sales on its consumer marketplace site. It is free for buyers. Currently, the Etsy wholesale site is available only in English and accepts payments only in U.S. dollars. Etsy says it will add more languages and currencies soon and support B2B sales between merchants and international buyers.