Dropshipping is a popular way to build an e-commerce empire. The challenge is that there are tons of people trying to do the same thing. How do you get a competitive advantage? Dropshipping tools can help you get the most out of your dropshipping business.
This post covers the basics of dropshipping and the 11 best dropshipping tools to maximize the benefits of this fulfillment method while minimizing the disadvantages.
What is dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a fulfillment method that allows ecommerce stores to sell products without having to store or maintain inventory.
With the dropshipping model, your business markets third-party products (wholesalers or manufacturers). When someone places an order on your website, you buy the product from a third party who then ships it directly to your customer.
You don't have to worry about the logistics and the difference between the price you sell and the price you buy is your profit.
This model is popular (in fact, 23% of online sales are done through dropshipping) as it allows ecommerce businesses to focus on what they do best, market and sell products without worrying about logistical issues.
What are the benefits of dropshipping?
One of the main benefits of dropshipping is opening an ecommerce business with a low startup cost. You can set the framework for a great online store with relatively little effort.
The problem is, unless you are using dropshipping, you still have to invest in inventory.
Dropshipping limits startup costs and enables ecommerce stores to offer customers a wide range of items.
By working with third parties, you can quickly set up your online store and access a wide range of high quality products from suppliers around the world.
The advantages of this are:
- Low overhead: You don't have to pay for inventory, warehouse, or staff to fulfill orders
- A wider range of products: Choose from an endless list of suppliers.
- Extended shipping options: You work with companies that have years of experience shipping items around the world.
- Easy to scale: You don't have to worry about the inventory. Regardless of how many orders you place, you can always fulfill them.
- Focus on your strengths: Focus on where your competitive advantage lies – making sales.
- Location independence: Your share does not bind you because you do not own one.
Those benefits sound pretty good, don't they?
As you'd expect, dropshipping also has some drawbacks. The most obvious negatives to dropshipping are lower profit margins. Companies that shop in bulk can save money, but it can be more expensive to buy one item at a time.
Although you are in control of your prices (you can raise and lower prices as you wish), you need to keep your prices in line with your competition. And since there are few barriers to starting an ecommerce business with a dropshipping model, there is a lot of competition out there.
Here are some challenges to consider when dropshipping:
- Customization and branding: You sell other people's products, so it can be more difficult to develop a strong brand.
- You are dependent on third parties: If they screw it up, you screwed it up in the eyes of your customers.
- Understand costs: When you work with a lot of different suppliers, it can be difficult to calculate your profit margins with shipping included.
Whether dropshipping is an effective strategy depends on your business needs. If you are ready to face stiff competition and don't rely on branding to sell your products, dropshipping might be a viable option.
Which dropshipping tools should I use?
As you can see, dropshipping as a fulfillment method has many advantages, but also some disadvantages.
You can run a successful dropshipping business with these dropshipping tools.
Shopify is the largest ecommerce platform out there and one of the fastest and easiest ways to get your business up and running.
Shopify is less of a dropshipping tool and more a starting point for building your store. Hence, it is important to familiarize yourself with it. To make sure Shopify is right for your business, you can try a 14-day free trial.
Once you've decided to build your business on Shopify, you have the following pricing options:
- Basic Shopify – $ 29 / month
- Shopify – $ 79 / month
- Advanced Shopify – $ 299 / month
You still have to pay for your website hosting (here are some recommendations) which can be included in the Shopify price.
Regardless of your goals, Shopify has a plan that suits your business needs and allows you to get the most out of customer support and a variety of helpful plugins.
Oberlo is a Shopify app that connects you to a large market of suppliers and allows you to choose from a wide variety of products and sync them to your website in seconds.
With the free starter package you can sell up to 500 products per month. This is an ideal way to dropshipping your toe.
If you're seeing good results, you can upgrade to the base package for $ 29.90 per month to sell more products and benefit from improved order tracking.
You can also choose the Pro plan for $ 79.90 per month which allows you to make up to 30,000 sales.
If you already have a website running on WordPress or are looking for a cheaper alternative to Shopify, give WooCommerce a try. It's a free plugin that can be used to turn your WordPress website into an ecommerce store.
WordPress powers around 35% of the web so you can be sure that you are in safe hands with this platform. The WooCommerce plugin enables you to provide powerful e-commerce functions.
Have you already set up an e-commerce shop? Spocket is one of the best dropshipping tools to connect you with suppliers from all over the world.
Spocket integrates with Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix, BigCommerce and AliScraper. It offers a free trial that you can use to view the catalog. However, to really take advantage of this tool, you'll need one of the paid plans:
- Starter: Sell up to 25 unique products – $ 24 / month
- Professional: Sell up to 250 unique products – $ 49 / month
- rich: Sell up to 1,000 unique products – $ 99 / month
With many suppliers in the US and Europe, Spocket is a great dropshipping tool for businesses that value quick and easy fulfillment.
AutoDS is an all-in-one dropshipping tool for ecommerce stores that connects to both Shopify and eBay. With AutoDS, you can automate processes like inventory monitoring, price optimization, updating of tracking numbers, collecting social proofs and much more.
This dropshipping tool makes running your business a lot easier and gives you more time to focus on growing your sales.
One of the great things about AutoDS is that it offers a wide range of packages to suit your business. They start at $ 6.33 per month for basic stores, but can start stores with up to 100,000 products.
Dropified connects you with suppliers and automates your dropshipping processes. With integrations for ecommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, GrooveKart, and CommerceHQ, we aim to provide you with all of the dropshipping tools you need to run a successful business.
With a lot of helpful automation, Dropified is great for sellers looking to develop their own brand. They offer two different pricing structures:
- Import: $ 14 / month
- Private label on demand: $ 168 / month
That price tag on dropshipping tools may seem expensive, but the ability to use private label helps you overcome one of the main drawbacks of dropshipping – difficulty building your brand.
SaleHoo is a directory of wholesale companies and a great dropshipping tool for market research. The annual plan gives you full access to the directory for $ 67, or you can choose a lifetime plan for $ 127. These prices make it an affordable tool to research the market and find the best suppliers.
There is also an option to upgrade to full automation and get lifetime access to the SaleHoo training program for $ 47.
With so many apps to help you run your business, you might be wondering how to coordinate them all. The answer is Zapier.
Zapier automates workflows across different apps, reducing manual work. For example, when you receive an order from Shopify, Zapier can instruct MailChimp to add these customers to your monthly newsletter and generate an invoice through Invoice Ninja.
With a free lifetime schedule that you can use to create 5 "zaps", Zapier is one of the dropshipping tools that you must try. If you find that it streamlines your business significantly, there are many plans to choose from.
AliDropship connects you with suppliers. But there is one big difference: with AliDropship there are no monthly fees. Instead, you make a one-time payment of $ 89 for a lifetime subscription.
You can also have AliDropship create a website for you for the one-time price of $ 299, which makes it a viable alternative to Shopify. You have to pay for your monthly hosting, but this option is about as quick and easy as it takes to get started with dropshipping.
For sellers looking for a quick and easy way to get started with dropshipping, AliDropship is an ideal option.
While many of the dropshipping tools on this list provide important insights into customers and traffic, some of the most important metrics can be found on your Google Analytics dashboard. All the data you need to know about your business is included in your analysis for free.
When you know how to get the most out of Google Analytics, you don't have to pay for additional website analytics. This is why it is one of the most powerful dropshipping tools out there.
Track your visitors, understand where your traffic is coming from, what content is performing well, and how you can increase the overall performance of your business by using the data that is available to you.
If you're dropshipping on eBay, Chili-Hunter is a handy market research tool. Use it to discover new trends, find the most profitable items, and gain insight into how your business and your competitors are performing.
This dropshipping tool provides vital information to help you maximize your profits. The best part is that it's included in one simple plan.
You can choose either a monthly membership for $ 39.99 per month or an annual membership for $ 16.66 / month.
With Chilli-Hunter you will find the best products in seconds with which you can increase and improve the performance of your company.
One of the biggest challenges with dropshipping is maintaining functional margins. To do this, your e-commerce business needs to be as rational as possible so that you can adapt to changing markets and build a large volume of sales.
To scale your business, look for ways to automate areas like marketing, order fulfillment, and product selection. Dropshipping tools are ideal here.
While you will have to pay the monthly subscription fees for the right dropshipping tools, the return on investment can be immense.
How do you use dropshipping tools to give your business that edge?