Small businesses drive our economy.
In fact, 99.9 percent of U.S. companies are small businesses, and nearly half of U.S. employees work for a small business, according to Forbes.
Plus, more and more of those businesses are going virtual. Today, 25% of business is conducted online, and more than 230 million people shop via eCommerce.
These two realities fuel the mission behind Wholesale Gorilla to help small businesses achieve their full potential in the world of eCommerce.
How We Got Our Start
Years ago, when my wife and I owned and operated a small textile business, we quickly realized the shortcomings of existing platforms for wholesale merchants.
Before we knew it, 90% of our sales were coming from wholesale orders. As the business grew, taking Shopify retail and wholesale orders through email, phone, and in-person was a daunting task.
Business owners are frequently burning the candle at both ends, and we were no different. So on top of all the other things we needed to do to successfully run the company, we were constantly trying to synchronize inventory and track sales manually. We were spread thin and thought, “How can we make this easier?”
We started looking for apps that would simplify our sales transactions and inventory management within Shopify. But nothing that was available on the market at the time offered the comprehensive features we were looking for. It seemed as though the people who developed the apps didn’t truly understand the challenges of SMBs.
Then we thought: What if we just built one ourselves?
We were not developers, nor did we have coding expertise.
What we did have, however, was the experience of frustrated business owners and the drive to create real value.
So in my off-hours, I took an online coding course at Udemy. I dove deep into programming languages and frameworks–and slowly started bringing the app to life.
Our focus was on enhancing functionalities such as order processing, inventory tracking, and reporting, aiming to provide a comprehensive solution that simplified wholesale operations.
We also wanted to make it easier for small businesses to navigate the challenges of running a business, allowing them to focus on what they do best—creating exceptional products and fostering economic growth.
Like most new ventures, the road to developing and launching our custom app was not without its fair share of challenges.
We knew that with our limited coding skills we were venturing into uncharted territory.
One of the primary hurdles was transforming our app concept into a fully functional reality. This involved understanding the intricacies of user interface design, database management, and integrating various functionalities seamlessly.
Turns out, creating a clean-looking and simple-to-navigate user experience is super time-consuming and requires meticulous attention to detail. We had to ensure that our app could handle large quantities of data, provide real-time updates, and integrate seamlessly with existing systems. It involved rigorous testing across different devices, browsers, and scenarios to iron out any bugs or glitches that could potentially turn users off.
The Launch of Wholesale Gorilla
After 10 months of hard work and dedication, we formally launched Wholesale Gorilla.
We had transformed our vision into a tangible solution for Shopify wholesale merchants.
But the journey did not end there.
One of the most important lessons for any business owner is to seek feedback from your customers. We sought that feedback from early users, who identified some issues after the app’s initial release.
But those errors in the early days didn’t stop Shopify merchants from using the app. They loved its functionality and Wholesale Gorilla was saving them countless hours within their businesses.
The positive response and appreciation from our users served as validation for our efforts and motivated us to continue our journey of supporting wholesale merchants.
The Impact and Empowerment
Today, Wholesale Gorilla continues to enhance the business flow of 14,000 Shopify merchants, helping them reach 500 million in sales and process 830,000 orders.
Every business is unique, and so finding ways to customize ordering with editable registration forms, rules and automations, language translations, and customer-specific discounts empowers businesses to chart their own path in the world of eCommerce.
We’re incredibly proud to receive reviews like, “This app has provided me with a complete wholesale solution for my business,” and “This is the only app I found that had all the functionality I needed.”
At the same time, we’re always looking for innovative and affordable ways to continue to solve problems for the small businesses we serve. So if you’re looking to enhance your operations with Wholesale Gorilla, or if you have feedback about your experience, give us a shout! We’d love to hear from you.