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Choose the best Shopify dropshipping app to streamline the order fulfillment process.
Today, we’re going to talk about dropshipping, currently one of the most popular order fulfillment methods in e-commerce. We define it, discuss the value it brings to online merchants, and describe the most conspicuous of its shortcomings. Finally, we present a review of the four best Shopify apps for dropshipping you can integrate into your online store to save time and effort.
Dropshipping: A Lifeline for Ambitious Online Merchants
Dropshipping Business: Essential Steps Every Beginner Should Take
Two Key Questions about Dropshipping
Key Value Points of Dropshipping for Online Merchants
4 Essential Shopify Apps for Dropshipping
The business world evolves very rapidly. One of the crucial factors that stimulate this growth is the ongoing technical revolution. The number of new technologies, tools, and methods for conducting business that have come into existence over the past couple of decades is unprecedented in human history.
One of the crucial scientific advancements as far as business is concerned was the advent of the Internet, which gave birth to e-commerce. With time, this new approach to selling products has grown incredibly popular.
Nowadays, e-commerce giants such as Amazon and eBay generate billions of dollars in revenue and have almost unlimited resources for further development. However, these companies are not the only market players who can make money this way.
Platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce have opened the e-commerce doors wide for mere mortals as well. These days, everyone can easily set up their Internet store and start selling goods to customers regardless of their geographical location.
There’s a problem, though. While Amazon and the like can afford to spend millions on warehouses and shipments, most rank-and-file merchants are fairly limited in their financial means.
Purchasing merchandise from wholesalers, stocking it, and delivering it to customers can be very costly. Is there a way for aspiring e-commerce entrepreneurs to keep their dream alive? There is. This solution is called dropshipping. Let’s take a look at what it involves.
Dropshipping: A Lifeline for Ambitious Online Merchants with Meager Startup Capital
If you’re setting out on your e-commerce journey and have no money to burn on warehousing and delivering products, you might consider giving dropshipping a shot.
In broad terms, this is an order implementation method that assumes selling merchandise without stocking and delivering it to customers by the merchant himself or herself. “How is that possible?” you may wonder. Well, this is quite a straightforward process. Here’s what you should do to start dropshipping.
1. Find the right niche and choose the products you’re going to sell
First, you need to decide what you’d like to offer to your customers and what prices you will charge for these products. This entails a lot of research on other companies operating in your niche.
2. Find a supplier and sign a contract
This is when dropshipping begins. Instead of purchasing T-shirts, tires, smartphones, or whatever products you’ve taken a liking to and renting a warehouse to stock them, you find a company that will deliver these straight to your customers.
3. Build a storefront
The most popular platform for this purpose these days is Shopify. It’s easy to set up and configure, so your store can be ready to accept orders in a matter of hours. You might also need to give your store a unique look and add more functions to it later, either by yourself or by hiring expert Shopify developers.
4. Market your online store
You need to draw traffic to your website by advertising it on social media, through email marketing, or by using every other promotional method to bring more visitors to your store.
5. Accept orders
Once a customer has bought an item on your website, you get in touch with your supplier, give them the customer’s shipping address, and pay the price you’ve agreed upon previously.
6. Forward the shipment information to the customer
The supplier provides you with the corresponding shipment data. You, in turn, send it over to the customer. That’s all. If everything has gone well and the customer has received the package without any issues, you’ve done your dropshipping job and put some money in your pocket.
There are two essential questions about dropshipping we need to answer before we discuss the main strengths and weaknesses of this order fulfillment method.
How do dropshippers make money?
Suppliers sell their products at lower prices than retailers do. Dropshippers add a certain amount to what suppliers ask to justify their efforts. The difference between the two price tags is what the dropshipper earns in the end.
For example, if the supplier asks $30 for a T-shirt and the dropshipper sells it to a customer for $35, the latter’s profit amounts to $5.
Do suppliers use their brands when delivering products on behalf of dropshippers?
No. A supplier uses the dropshipper’s name and logo on the shipping documents and packaging.
With the basics of dropshipping out of the way, let’s talk about the main advantages this business model brings to e-commerce entrepreneurs.
As we’ve mentioned before, these days, merchants have multiple e-commerce systems at their disposal, with Shopify leading the way. You don’t have to be a tech genius to have your online store on the rails fast.
You just need to determine your preferred business niche and strike a deal with one or several reliable suppliers. That’s all. From now on, your primary concern is marketing and increasing your customer base.
There are no stocking worries, no staff to pay wages to, and no need to package your products and search for shippers. All these no’s reduce your initial expenses to a bare minimum.
You can make your business larger without having to go the extra mile.
Every soldier dreams of becoming a general. Every business dreams of expanding and generating more significant revenue. ‘Physical’ retailers have to make additional investments when they want to grow, rent larger warehouses, engage more employees, and incur other expenses.
Dropshipping stores, on the other hand, are free from all these troubles. Perhaps, they might need to search for a backup supplier to meet the growing demand for their products. On the whole, though, they continue operating in precisely the same way they’ve been doing before. The supplier handles most of the work.
No geographical or chronological restrictions. You’re your own boss.
Brick-and-mortar retail businesses are limited in their mobility options. Moving products from one location to another is time-consuming. It also requires considerable investment and human resources. The same holds true for physical storefronts. They usually have fixed operating hours and specific street addresses.
Dropshippers don’t have to follow this standard nine-to-five pattern. They can operate their online stores from anywhere on Earth and at any time of day or night.
Besides, they don’t have their hands tied by red tape when making crucial business decisions. Want to add more items to your offering? Just turn on your computer, connect to the Internet, and modify the appropriate website page.
Almost unlimited number and variety of products to sell.
Dropshippers can fulfill any number of orders for any number of goods as long as they have suppliers who can ship these to their customers. This contrasts with traditional retailing businesses that can’t always accommodate enough merchandise due to a fixed warehouse space.
It’s not all roses, though. Dropshipping has several shortcomings you should be aware of before you go down this path.
You have to fight with many similar online stores for your place in the sun.
One of the most widely cited advantages of dropshipping is, at the same time, one of its most significant weaknesses. We’re talking about the ease of starting with small upfront expenses. This characteristic attracts a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs to this business model.
The result? You will have to sell your products as cheaply as possible so that your online store can stay afloat. This, in turn, will bring you less money down the road. More powerful e-commerce websites with ample resources can lower their prices for the same items so much that you may be unable to respond in kind and have to call it quits.
Utter dependence on suppliers, which can cause problems with customers.
Another serious issue that dropshippers face is the absolute reliance on a third party for order fulfillment. A dropshipper can’t change the way a supplier operates. If the latter fails to deliver some products on time, the customer will complain to you, not the supplier.
You, the dropshipper, act as a link between the other two parties with no real influence on either. You can only reassure the customer that you will solve the problem. If worse comes to worst, though, the customer may leave negative feedback about your online store. Potential buyers will read it and make unfavorable conclusions about your service.
This can be the end of your business. The e-commerce industry is relentless.
Potential trouble with the law.
Every dropshipper wants to work for a profit. It’s obvious. That’s the reason why most online entrepreneurs strive to choose suppliers with the lowest prices. The truth is, this is not always the best approach. Why?
A supplier can prove to be someone with a bad reputation. They could sell illegal copies of goods produced by world-famous companies. When a customer or official finds out, they will accuse you of violating the law, not the supplier. This rarely occurs, but it does happen.
A viable way to protect yourself from any potential trouble with the law is to discuss these issues with your supplier before they fulfill your orders. The supplier should sell only authentic goods from genuine manufacturers and provide appropriate documentation to confirm this. The agreement between your store and the supplier should be written and signed by both parties.
Oh, yes, and doing some before-deal research on the supplier won’t hurt either.
As you see, dropshipping has its merits and demerits. Before you make up your mind to engage in this activity, think carefully about all the challenges you will have to address.
Whether you’re already dropshipping or just thinking about launching your online store, Shopify is the best e-commerce system for this kind of business. Apart from the cutting-edge core features, it also provides many dropshipping Shopify apps to make the order fulfillment process smooth and trouble-free.
At the moment of writing, the official app store offered 187 apps to perform all kinds of dropshipping tasks, from finding products and suppliers to integrating with renowned e-commerce marketplaces such as AliExpress.
Thus, if you’re looking for a dropshipping app for your Shopify store, you will have to spend quite a while trying to find one that fits you best. To save you some time, we’ve prepared a review of the best four dropshipping apps on the Shopify app store that you can try out for starters.
Oberlo: One of the Best Shopify Dropshipping Apps for Finding Products on AliExpress
Ask a seasoned dropshipper what Shopify dropshipping app comes to their mind first, and you would most likely hear Oberlo in response. This app’s primary function is to allow online merchants to find products on AliExpress easily, tweak them to meet their specific needs, and immediately import them to the store. The process is hassle-free and lighting-fast — a couple of clicks, and the job’s done.
Finding the right merchandise with almost no effort is not the only thing attracting online entrepreneurs to one of the must-have Shopify apps for dropshipping. Oberlo also enables store owners to know precisely whether certain items are in stock at the moment and if their prices have changed. The app provides this information in real-time.
Also, Oberlo is among the top Shopify dropshipping apps when it comes to dealing with bulk and multiple orders. Fulfilling such orders is a one-click affair: the entire process is fully automated.
Key Features and Benefits for Shopify Store Owners
Among the rest, the app allows online merchants to do the following:
- Find products on AliExpress easily, edit them at will, and get them displayed on their stores in seconds.
- Monitor the availability of products and their current price tags at this very moment.
- Fulfill large and multiple orders with just one click.
- Know where an order currently is and when the supplier will deliver it to the customer.
We would like to say that Oberlo is one of the best free Shopify apps for dropshipping as well, but unfortunately, we can’t. There’s a free plan. However, it’s fairly limited in its features and is suitable rather for studying purposes.
If you are more ambitious, choose from the two remaining options:
- Grad plan for $7.90/month
- Boss plan for $29.90/month
The latter offers almost unlimited capabilities to online entrepreneurs. For example, only Boss plan subscribers can work with bulk orders.
Visit this page to add Oberlo to your online store.
Spocket: One of the Shopify Apps for Dropshipping Focused on EU and US Markets
Earlier in the post, we discussed one of the main drawbacks of dropshipping: fierce competition and many online merchants’ inability to achieve decent profit margins. To rise to this challenge, try Spocket — one of the best dropshipping Shopify apps.
There are two key features that Spocket provides for online merchants who want to have firmer ground under their feet:
- Easy finding of products in the world’s most developed countries (EU member states, US, Australia, etc.). If your Shopify store’s customers reside in these, you can expect high-quality goods and fast delivery.
- Generous discounts. As the vendor claims, it sells all of its products at a 30–60% discount in relation to retail prices. This is a huge bonus, especially for online stores that are only trying to establish themselves in the market.
Key Features and Benefits for Shopify Store Owners
Here’s what online merchants can accomplish by using one of the top Shopify apps for dropshipping:
- Find high-quality products from the most developed countries easily and fast. Merchants can edit these to meet their requirements and add them to their Shopify stores in the blink of an eye.
- Have real-time data about the current location of a particular order. Merchants can share this information with customers, which increases the service satisfaction rate.
- Improve brand recognition. All the documentation and packaging bear the dropshipping company’s name and logo.
- Ensure that specific products are still in stock at any given moment.
As most dropshipping Shopify apps, Spocket provides several pricing plans:
- Free (just for browsing Spocket’s catalog of products)
- Starter for $24/month
- Pro for $49/month
- Empire for $99/month
The last option is for successful dropshipping businesses that are planning to grow further.
Go to this page to install Spocket on your Shopify store.
Printful: One of the Free Shopify Dropshipping Apps That Is On Par with Many Commercial Alternatives
Print-on-demand is a trendy business nowadays. While most of us would probably think about T-shirts when we hear the name of this service, it actually means printing various logos, patterns, or slogans on all kinds of products.
If you decide to choose print-on-demand as your online business direction, Printful is one of the best dropshipping Shopify apps for this purpose. It allows online merchants like you to sell merchandise with prints without worrying about the order fulfillment process at all. The vendor will take care of every step along the way, from printing to delivery.
Just come up with your designs and advertise them on your Shopify store. Among the rest, Prinftul provides excellent default tools you can use to create logos, product mockups, and so on.
Key Features and Benefits for Shopify Store Owners
- No warehousing worries. The vendor will store the products you want in its warehouses, package them, and ship them to your customers located in every corner of the globe.
- Maximum customization. Your customers can add a personal touch to the products right on your e-commerce website.
- No piling of unused merchandise. The vendor prints a design on a product only after a customer has paid for this. No need to store heaps of T-shirts or teacups with prints that no one will ever buy.
These and other features make Printful one of the top free Shopify dropshipping apps for printing on demand.
This is the best part. It’s hard to believe, but one of the top Shopify apps for dropshipping is free.
Visit this page to add the app to your store. You will need to create a Printful account.
Spreadr: One of the Best Shopify Dropshipping Apps to Leverage the Mighty Power of Amazon
You might know that Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, currently tops the list of the world’s wealthiest people. This is because the e-commerce platform he has created is the biggest and most popular on the planet at the moment, bringing its owner billions of dollars.
If you want your business to have at least a tiny part of this tremendous success, install Spreadr, one of the top Shopify apps for dropshipping. It allows you to find hundreds of products on Amazon and add them to your own Shopify store without effort.
That’s all you have to do. The biggest e-commerce marketplace takes care of fulfilling your customers’ orders. Moreover, you can participate in Amazon’s affiliate program and get a commission on every sale you perform through your online store.
Amazon allows you to name and describe its products in your own way. This enables you to increase traffic to your store if you find appropriate keywords. In addition, the platform adjusts to your store’s look and feel when you display its merchandise.
Key Features and Benefits for Shopify Store Owners
Spreadr is not considered one of the top Shopify dropshipping apps without reason. Here are some great things online merchants can do after they’ve installed it:
- Keep in sync with Amazon’s inventory. You will always know if a specific item is in Amazon’s stock now and whether its price has grown or fallen.
- Add a large number of Amazon products to your store at once. Just export an appropriate list, and you’re good to go.
- Change product details to improve your SEO rankings.
- Add products to your Shopify store in just one click.
A good thing about this cutting-edge Shopify dropshipping app is that it has a 7-day free trial. The other options include:
- Free: for stores that are still under the Shopify 14-day trial period.
- Basic: $5 per month
- Pro: $10 per month
Visit this page to learn more about Spreadr and add it to your online store.
The table below summarizes the essential information about the apps we’ve discussed in this post.
4 Best Shopify Dropshipping Apps: Key Points
|App Name||Rating||Pricing||Main Function|
||Importing products from AliExpress|
||Importing products from EU and US|
|Printful||4.3||Free||Shopify dropshipping app for print-on-demand merchants|
||Importing products from Amazon|
The Shopify dropshipping apps we’ve talked about today are invaluable for every online merchant. They allow you to find products quickly and add them to your store with just a few clicks. This saves a lot of time you would otherwise spend sifting through tons of diverse product catalogs manually.
Even the best Shopify stores need refinement and fine-tuning. If you want your e-commerce website to have a unique, perfect look and feel and advanced business functionality, the PSD2HTML Shopify development team can help you get the job done fast and efficiently.
Hire us to build custom Shopify themes and plugins, optimize your store’s performance, and handle many other Shopify-related tasks. Stand out from the crowd and take your dropshipping business to the next level with our assistance!
Let’s talk about your project.
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