For direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, expanding into wholesale certainly has its perks: larger orders, higher margins thanks to reduced handling costs, and a brand new audience to sell to.
However, if you’re reading this, you’ve probably come up against one of the biggest drawbacks.
Working with B2B buyers usually necessitates lots of different payment options.
If you’re accustomed to selling in the DTC space, the thought of processing paper checks, figuring out how the heck to accept ACH (that’s automated clearing house for you newbies) payments, and reconciling invoices on top of all of that is enough to make you wonder if wholesaling is all it's cracked up to be.
And while Shopify’s manual payments system might give wholesale buyers all the options they want to pay, where it fails is giving you the merchant all the tools you need to keep up with multi-channel payments.
That’s why we here at Streamlined created a platform that integrates directly with your Shopify store to make your wholesale invoicing and reconciliation workflow a breeze.
Ready to learn more?
Then keep reading, because in this article we’re covering everything you should know about Shopify’s manual payments, including:
- The ins and outs of Shopify’s manual payment methods
- The unfortunate limitations of working with manual payments
- How to use Streamlined instead to handle your wholesale payments and get paid quickly
The details on Shopify’s manual payment method
If you haven’t used it yet, allow us to introduce you to a Shopify feature that further displays their move to targeting B2B merchants: manual payments.
Shopify’s manual payment methods are for the customer who wants to pay for their order via money order, bank transfer, cash, or other options — which you can customize in your Shopify payment settings (details on that later).
In other words, manual payments are a tool for B2B buyers who don’t want to pay for their wholesale orders using a credit card, or any of the other typically DTC-focused methods like Shopify Payments, PayPal, and Amazon Pay.
With manual payments, you can accept payments of any type in your Shopify store. But keep in mind, when a customer selects one, you will need to approve their order manually before it’s fulfilled. This is because the payment process is now living outside of Shopify’s platform, leaving you stuck with managing payment tracking and processing.
Why does Shopify offer manual payments?
Shopify set out to be, in its own words, “The all-in-one commerce platform to start, run, and grow a business."
As it turns out, growing a business often involves selling to other businesses eventually. For many brands, these other businesses may be grocery stores, coffee shops, yoga studios, etc.
One unfortunate element of selling to businesses is the fact that most businesses prefer to pay by check or ACH, for compliance or even cash flow reasons. And then there are just plain old preferences, like the clients who only want to receive wire transfers.
As a worldwide platform focused on ecommerce, Shopify doesn't offer options for ACH or check payment, as these mainly apply to offline sales and are also geographic and business specific. (For instance, in Australia they use a payment method known as direct entry. In Europe, businesses may need to work within the Single Euro Payments Area, or SEPA, payment system.)
To bridge all these options, Shopify began offering a generic option for manual payments.
Using this method, any Shopify store can set manual payment instructions, like which address to mail a check to or which account to send an ACH payment to.
The downside of manual payments is that it's, well, manual. If you're growing, you'll quickly need someone to step in to receive payments and update orders. And the more you grow, the bigger this job becomes.
While Shopify might have found a way to help businesses generate more B2B sales by allowing manual payments, it doesn't actually solve the challenge of extra work and cost that comes with receiving these payments.
More on that now.
The limitations of using Shopify’s manual payment system
As we’ve discussed, a critical element of introducing a successful B2B sales channel is providing B2B-friendly payment options.
Shopify’s solution to this was creating manual payment methods, which give wholesale buyers all the options they could ever want when placing orders.
Shopify’s manual payment system doesn’t actually help merchants handle off-platform payments.
Sure, with manual payments you can offer different payment options beyond credit card — but then what? Shopify can’t help B2B merchants handle all those payments, because they’re off-platform. Instead, your team is responsible for wrangling all the minute details that go into wholesale payments.
That can look like:
- Manually creating, customizing, and sending an invoice for each wholesale order
- Following up on each invoice until payment is received
- Staying on top of each customer’s payment terms (net 30, ect.)
- Reconciling every payment to the right invoice
- Tracking credits when customers overpay
- Going back into Shopify to mark orders as paid and finally begin the fulfillment process
Coming from the DTC world, this process can seriously limit your productivity.
And managing payments can even quickly become so overwhelming that you have to put the brakes on growing your new B2B channel, just when it’s becoming successful.
As if you didn’t already have enough to worry about while growing your business. 🙄
So Streamlined decided to bring the B2B payment workflow into the 21st century.
B2B merchants deserve more.
Where is the B2B invoicing software that handles payments using cutting-edge automations, notifications, reporting, customizations, and integrations?
We couldn’t find it.
So we built it.
Use Streamlined instead to handle wholesale payments with ease
Meet Streamlined: the B2B payment solution that offers what manual payments can’t, all while working fully within Shopify.
No accounts receivable department? No problem with Streamlined.
Streamlined’s software automates all those time-consuming tasks that accounting folks and business owners used to spend hours on: creating and issuing customized invoices, following up on overdue invoices, reconciling payments to invoices, tracking and applying credits, and beyond.
If your growing business is trying to stay lean while providing the most stellar and accurate customer service possible, Streamlined is a necessity in your toolkit.
And if you’re also trying to improve cash flow — and who isn’t? — Streamlined can, well, streamline that process, too.
Check, ACH, wire, and of course credit card payments; Streamlined handles them all. Our statement of account and bulk payment features also make it easy for your buyers to settle their accounts in one swoop. We’re in the business of making it simple to get paid by B2B customers.
Just because you don’t have an accounting department doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all those cool reports that help you know how your money is flowing. Streamlined provides real-time charts that show your aging balance, the average time to pay, and monthly sales and payments.
With Streamlined, you even have the option to pass card processing fees along to the payer, keeping more money in your pocket.
Using Streamlined doesn't mean switching from Shopify.
We aren’t an ecommerce platform, we’re an invoicing platform that works alongside or, in the case of Shopify, with your ecommerce platform to get your paid and keep your customers happy.
We easily integrate with Shopify via our Shopify app, so you can send and manage invoices from our platform or directly from Shopify. We’ll still handle all the payments, invoicing, automatic receivables tracking, and reconciliation.
And Streamlined also integrates with Quickbooks. That means your paid invoices will be reflected there as well, creating a synced end-to-end payment handling workflow and cutting down on accounting hours.
Don't use Shopify but still want to use Streamlined? That works too. Our platform-agnostic solution, called Flex Invoicing, can cut out the manual, messy admin work no matter how you sell.
At Streamlined, we’re all about getting you back to focusing on what you do best: selling awesome offerings.
Read about how spice seller Burlap & Barrel use Streamlined to save hours of accounting time every month: How Burlap & Barrel Fully Automated Their Invoicing Across 3Revenue Channels in 30 Days
Streamlined is the best payment option for Shopify brands selling B2B
Ready to win more wholesale customers, get that cash flowing, and scale into the big leagues?
Try out Streamlined to take hours of invoicing management off your plate and get paid 3x faster.
Sign up is free, because we don’t charge a subscription fee. You only pay us when you start getting paid.
Prefer to see us in action first? Schedule a walkthrough today.
How to set up manual Shopify payments, if you must use them
If you still have to offer manual payments in your Shopify store for any reason, this quick tutorial will guide you through enabling the feature on desktop.
(This can also be done on mobile within the Shopify app — view those instructions here.)
1. Log in to your online store and find the Settings option on your Shopify admin page, currently at the bottom of the left sidebar.
2. Once you’re in your Settings, select Payments.
3. Here is where you’ll see all the different types of payment providers and methods your store can work with. At the bottom of this screen is the selection of manual payment methods. Click into the drop down and select which existing payment method you’d like to set up.
If you don’t see what you’re looking for, choose “Create custom payment method” from the list.
You’ll need to name your payment method. Keep in mind that customers will be able to see this name. Shopify provides this list of names that they already use and advise merchants against using:
- Bank Deposit
- Cash on Delivery (COD)
- External Credit
- External Debit
- Gift Card
- Money Order
- Store Credit
4. A pop-up box will ask for any additional details and payment instructions you want to add. Additional details will help the shopper ensure they’re selecting the right method. Payment instructions will display after the order is placed, telling the shopper what to do or to expect next. For example, this may be where you let the shopper know you will issue an invoice for their order shortly, to be paid before shipment can be made.
5. Click the Activate button and your manual method will be live.
Remember that once a customer completes an order using a manual payment method, that order will show up as “Payment pending” in your Shopify Orders. You will have to manually mark it as Paid, probably after you’ve sent an invoice and received payment.