Warehouses and expansive rows of pallets, cargoes and huge boxes come to mind of most people when they think of wholesale. The industry, after all, had its roots in docks and harbors where import and export take place. All these, however, are about change with a slew of wholesalers going online to offer their wares. With a wealth of customer service innovations from the digital age, wholesalers pick up a few tricks from their retail partners to deliver highly personalized, boutique-style shopping experience. And customers seem to like this e-commerce experience that they are spending more. Building Meaningful Relationships Aside from the usual customer service feature via a toll-free hotline, wholesalers offer live chat functionality on their site that enables shoppers to interact with a sales agent. Light in the Box, a premier wholesaler of wedding dresses, apparel and accessories, uses a Live Chat service for both pre-sales and post-sales support. Compared to a phone conversation, live chat allows the shopper to stay on the computer while talking to a sales agent. The customer knows that the agent, too, is on the computer and more capable of supporting the customer. “We don’t push the customers to purchase there and then if they are not ready to buy,” Chloe Smith, head of eStylist customer operations at Baukjen, said. “Instead we follow up a little while after. We find this works better for our customers… The key is developing a relationship; our customers come back to us for guidance and tips time and time again as we offer genuine advice, not a sales pitch.” Reassurance Means Less Customer Returns The additional support from a Live Chat, in addition to phone calls and emails, is found to have reduced instances of customers returning an item. The feature instead increased repeat customers. Such level of interaction helps reassure customers and offer them a convenient place to shop. A Digital Boutique Experience Still other wholesalers continue to enhance their Web properties to provide a uniquely boutique shopping experience. Banners, posters and other creatives have replaced brochures and catalogs. Over at Primetime Clothing, a CA-based fashion wholesaler, offer infographics about apparel. Other shops, meanwhile, utilizes the tried-and-tested product videos as a way to present their products on the Web. For the latest news from TopTenWholesale , follow us on Twitter and connect with us on Facebook .