Dropshipping can be one of the easiest ways to become an entrepreneur. Start up costs are low, sourcing products is straight forward, and postage is handled for the seller. For many, it’s a gateway to other ventures, as successful dropshippers often launch other businesses or brands. Having the right dropshipping tools at your disposal can clear the path for a winning business model.
What is dropshipping software?
Dropshipping software automates the process between sales channels and suppliers. It automatically sends a notification to the supplier when a customer makes a purchase on your website and connects all parts of the process—from finding product information and listing products to maintaining relationships between shipping agents.
Using software means you don’t have to manually trigger each new stage of the process and can instead streamline every step.
How do you start dropshipping?
Finding the right software is just part of getting started. Planning your strategy from the outset will help you see success quickly. Here’s how you can get started.
1. Choose a product to sell and find a niche
Hand-painted clogs? Glow-in-the-dark phone cases? Recyclable water bottles?
Choosing a product is the biggest decision you’ll make as a dropshipper. You need a product range that people will love and that has a large target market. You lose a chunk of profit to the supplier, so it’s important to choose a product that has the potential to sell large quantities.
2. Conduct competitor research
Find out who your biggest competitors are and stalk their socials, website, and customer journey. There’s a lot you can learn from dropshippers who are already doing well. You can find out about average prices, who they’re targeting, how they promote their products, and what their order fulfillment process looks like from a customer perspective.
3. Source a supplier
Choosing the right supplier is crucial to your success. Ideally, you want a supplier that’s quick but doesn’t sacrifice quality, so you can give your customers a great product experience. Some of the software listed in this piece will help you find the right supplier and optimize the supply chain. There are plenty out there to choose from, so take your time making the right decision (or, better yet, try out a few and see which one works best).
4. Create a storefront
You need a digital storefront where customers can find your dropship products and buy them. Shopify’s functionality makes it easy to design an eye-catching site with its library of templates and additional benefits like Shopify Pay and internationalization features that help you create a slick buying process wherever your customers are in the world.
5. Start marketing your products
Once you have an online presence, an in-demand product, and a supplier, you can start promoting your dropshipping business to potential customers. The strategies you choose will ultimately depend on who you’re trying to reach and the product you’re selling, but you can try:
- Sharing user-generated content on social media
- Running social media ads to product pages
- Creating automatic email flows to nurture potential buyers
- Carrying out SEO best practices to improve your search engine rankings
- Partnering with influencers to promote your products
What is the best platform for dropshipping?
Shopify is one of the most powerful dropshipping platforms available. It hosts millions of ecommerce businesses and dropshipping websites, letting merchants create their own branded storefront, list products, and optimize order management.
In 2016, Shopify acquired Oberlo, a dropshipping plug-in that seamlessly pulls together the product import process and fulfillment. Through Shopify and the Oberlo integration, dropshippers can easily:
- Test out new product ideas
- Find important trending products to sell
- Carry out competitive research
- Build out an attractive and fully functioning ecommerce store
- Quickly and easily load products onto a storefront
- Access helpful and real-time customer support
In fact, keen dropshippers can have their store up and running in a matter of minutes and start selling straight away.
Can I automate my dropshipping?
Dropshipping can be a very hands-off business model.
You can automate most things, from updating order tracking information, managing multiple suppliers, and creating listings. There’s very little you can’t automate when dropshipping. This can save you a ton of time as well, since you’re not having to manually trawl through orders, push products out for delivery, and post new product listings.
The best dropshipping software for selling success
1. Dsers-AliExpress Dropshipping
Price: Free basic account, $19.99 a month for an Advanced account, $49.99 for a Pro account, and $499 for Enterprise brands.
G2 rating: 5 stars
Spocket helps dropshippers find the best products to sell by comparing thousands of suppliers around the world. It integrates with any Shopify store and easily syncs your dropshipping store and orders in the app with just one click.
Price: 14-day free trial, $24.99 a month for a Starter account, $49.99 for a Pro account, and $99.99 for an Empire account.
G2 rating: 4.4 stars
SaleHoo is a dropshipping solution that connects merchants with pre-vetted and reliable dropshipping suppliers. It has more than 8,000 suppliers on record and more than 2.5 million products to choose from. You can also see trending products, sell-through rates, and average profit margins for products.
Price: No free trial, $27 a month for a Basic account, and $97 for a Premium account.
G2 rating: 4.8 stars
Modalyst integrates seamlessly with Shopify to create one-click dropshipping processes. Merchants can use the management software to explore designer brands, eco-friendly suppliers, private label manufacturers, and AliExpress sellers.
Price: Free for a Hobby account, $35 a month for a Startup account, and $90 for a Pro account.
G2 rating: 4.7 stars
Doba helps dropshippers keep up with the latest product trends and access thousands of products across multiple different verticals.
Price: 30-day free trial, free for a Startup account, $49.99 a month for a Business account, and $299.99 a month for an Enterprise account.
6. Inventory Source
Inventory Source is an all-in-one solution that helps dropshippers automate the entire process. It can upload products, sync inventory, aid inventory management, and route orders with suppliers to your online store.
Price: Free for a Directory account and $99 a month for the software.
G2 rating: 5 stars
7. Wholesale Central
Wholesale Central is a huge directory of products for dropshippers to explore and sell. You can discover trending products or choose from a host of categories, including arts and craft supplies, handbags, tools, and toys.
Price: Free to use.
8. Worldwide Brands
Worldwide Brands is one of the oldest dropshipping softwares, with 20 years under its belt. Sellers can scroll through thousands of wholesale products in a range of categories from established suppliers around the world.
Price: Free preview or $299 for a lifetime membership.
Choosing the right dropshipping provider
The dropship automation software you choose will impact the customer experience and the range of products you can offer. It’s important to select one that fits your target market and provides access to quick and reliable suppliers—but also make sure it integrates well with the dropshipping ecommerce platform your store is on so you can process customer orders efficiently.