So, you’ve heard about the Oberlo Chrome Extension, but is it right for you as a Shopify store owner?
When every small software company or developer has a new app that claims to help you run your online store more efficiently, how are you supposed to know which apps you should be considering?
Oberlo is designed to help Shopify store owners run a dropshipping business. However, is dropshipping still a viable business model to begin with?
Is Dropshipping Still Viable?
Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment model that doesn’t require a business to hold any inventory, but delivers products to customers all the same. This is done by shipping a product directly from a supplier when a customer places an order. In essence, a retailer that uses dropshipping is actually a middle man advertising specific products.
So, why are online entrepreneurs still using the dropshipping model?
Do you know that 82% of startups fail in their initial year because of cash flow issues? Acquiring inventory can take a toll on your startup funding. As a dropshipper though, all you need is a product image on your website. That’s why it is no surprise that 27% of online retailers have adopted the dropshipping model.
No Need for a Warehouse
Storage is one of the major issues for small businesses. With dropshipping, your need for a warehouse is completely eliminated. Not only do you not have to spend money on warehouse rent, but you will also save on warehouse management software, inventory management apps, warehouse staff salaries, insurance, and energy bills.
Automation can make your dropshipping process even easier. With Oberlo, you can completely automate your entire dropshipping process so that you can focus on the marketing aspects of business. Automation also prevents you from making costly mistakes such as inventory management and pricing errors.
Become a Digital Nomad
The best part about becoming a dropshipper is that you can run and manage your business from anywhere in the world, no matter where your suppliers are. As a bonus, you can also pick up on in-demand local products during your trips abroad and source them for your store.
These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg. Although, like every business model, there are some entrepreneurs who are running at a loss and end up closing shop as a result. However, those who follow the right strategies have been very successful.
Oberlo often documents their user success stories. One example is Jacky Chou and Albert Liu who started a very successful online home store with the help of Oberlo.
The two Vancouverites initially came up with $5,000 as “burn money” to spend on Facebook advertising to test their dropshipping concept. After successfully launching just one product, the pair was able to generate a profit and find other unique and successful items, which hurtled them towards a winning streak.
In less than 12 months, the duo was on track to hit $1 million in sales. What’s great is that all they needed were some eye-catching product images from AliExpress, which they then also used in their ad campaigns. This was the perfect combination for their winning dropshipping endeavor.
How the Oberlo Chrome Extension Weighs Up
The biggest game-changer with Oberlo is the direct link between AliExpress and your Shopify store. With this app, the process of exporting products from AliExpress a seamless one.
When it comes to apps that link to ecommerce stores, there are two things that matter the most: increasing and tracking sales and keeping the site updated – Oberlo helps with both.
Here’s what sets Oberlo apart:
Integrating With AliExpress
Oberlo has a unique partnership with AliExpress. It allows you to browse this enormous database and add products to your store with a single click. With its ePacket feature, you can filter out products that have the fastest delivery time, giving yourself a new USP.
If you’re already selling AliExpress products, you can easily connect them to your Oberlo account once you install the extension. This very conveniently improves your efficiency without you having to add all the products from scratch.
Changing Product Suppliers
Once you get started with AliExpress, you will find that a single product may have multiple suppliers. With the Oberlo app, you can search for product suppliers based on the lowest prices and fastest delivery times. Just this simple tweak can help you retain a customer that would have otherwise gone to your competitor.
One of the best things about Oberlo is that it will immediately update your inventory. This means you won’t run the risk of selling products that have gone out of stock. Not only will this save you a lot of time since you won’t have to run inventory reports manually, but you will also be spared negative customer reviews linked to unavailable products.
Customizing Your Products
To make sure your products stand out, Oberlo also allows you to easily change your product title, description, and images. This is not just great for SEO purposes, but also makes for a better customer experience.
Updating Product Pricing
If you don’t have a handle on your profit margins, you will be setting yourself up for failure. Oberlo can help you automatically update your prices in bulk using pricing rules. Whether you want to set up a special promotion or maintain your regular margin, Oberlo will automatically do it for you.
If you want to ensure a product gets to a customer faster, Oberlo offers you the option of ePacket delivery. This is a delivery agreement between the US Postal Service and the China or Hong Kong Post that expedites delivery of small packages. As a result, you may get your item shipped in as little as 7 business days as opposed to a month. ePacket deliveries also come with free returns for undelivered items and offer a door-to-door tracking feature.
Order Processing and Tracking
Most online customers want to know the status of their order and how long it will take to reach them. With Oberlo, all you need to do is to press the Order Product button to confirm you want the order to be shipped. While your order is being delivered to the customer, Oberlo will track its progress so that your customer always knows when they can expect their order.
Multiple User Accounts
Oberlo also offers multiple user accounts with its advanced pricing plan. As your business grows, you will delegate roles and responsibilities to many other people, so having multiple user accounts is very helpful.
The Starter Plan: Oberlo’s Starter Plan is free and offers you all the basic features for a dropshipping account. This is a great plan for those who are just starting out with their ecommerce store. However, real-time order tracking won’t be possible.
The Basic Plan: The Basic Plan comes with a whole host of premium features, including real-time order tracking and order fulfillment monitoring. Oberlo recommends this for stores that are processing at least 500 orders per month.
Pro Plan: The Pro Plan includes all the premium features of the Basic Plan, plus multiple user accounts. This is great for taking your business to the next level and for processing unlimited orders. Oberlo also plans to integrate with other sales channels in the near future.
How Oberlo Integrates With Shopify
Oberlo is an extension of Shopify, so it cannot work without a Shopify store. There are two ways you can set up your Oberlo account: either sign up using the app or create a Shopify account.
If you are new to shopify you can use this link to make use of a free trial.
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Signing up on the Oberlo app is easy — simply click the blue button on the Oberlo homepage, fill in your email and password, and your account is ready.
If you want to sign up via Shopify, go to Shopify.com, sign up with your name, email address, and store name, fill in the necessary details and voila! You will have your Shopify account.
Once your account is set up, go to the Products section of your ecommerce store, navigate to More Actions and click on Find More Products to Sell. This will integrate the Oberlo app with your Shopify account.
Want step-by-step instructions on how to set up your Shopify store? Watch the below video:
Finding and Selling Products on Shopify Using Oberlo
Now that your Oberlo and Shopify accounts are both set up and ready to go, you need to browse the marketplace to look for products to sell. Click on a category to narrow down the search results and choose the products that are most suited to your brand.
On the product page, you will see the shipping and supply costs, along with a pricing field, where you can add your prices. After clicking on the blue Add Product button, Oberlo will place the item on your store.
If you want to look at some of the best sellers, simply go to oberlo.com/browse-trending-products and take your pick. You can also subscribe to the app and receive product updates and suggestions directly to your email.
Importing Products from Oberlo Marketplace
While browsing the Oberlo marketplace, you have the option to add products to your import list. You can do this by hovering your mouse over the item and clicking on the green import list button. Another way to make an import list is to go to the product page and click on the Add to Import List button there.
Whichever method you use, your product will be successfully added to your import list. When you want to add a product to your Shopify catalog, all you need to do is to hit the checkbox beside the item and click Import All to Store This will display all items in your Shopify store catalog.
Importing Products From AliExpress
If you want to import products directly from AliExpress, you can easily do so with the Oberlo Chrome Extension. Navigate to the AliExpress website, look for a product, and hover over the item to see the Oberlo extension right next to it. Click on this item and it will be added to your Oberlo import list.
Alternatively, you can also go to the product page and click the Oberlo icon there to import your product.
Setting Prices on Oberlo
Once your import list is ready, it’s time to set a price for every item. To do this, go to your import list and click on the Variants tab. This will display the original price of your items and you can now set your own price.
If you don’t want to change the price of each product manually, click on the Change All Prices button on Oberlo and enter a multiplier or a new value.
Managing Orders With Oberlo
When a person orders a product from your Shopify store, that item will appear on your Oberlo Orders page and will be marked as Unfulfilled. To fulfill the request, click on the orange Order Product button next to the product to order it from the supplier.
Sometimes, you will see an order marked Unfulfilled without a tracking code accompanying it. This could mean that either a shipping label was created or the order was marked fulfilled on the Shopify store without you ordering the item from the supplier. To stop this from happening, you should not print a shipping label or allow Shopify to automatically fulfill any of the orders. You can do that by adjusting the settings on Shopify..
Cancelling an Order With Oberlo
To cancel the automatically fulfilled order, go to the order page on Shopify, click the More link on the drop-down menu and select Cancel Fulfillment or Void Label options. This will change the order status from fulfilled to unfulfilled in the Oberlo extension, allowing you to order the product from the supplier directly.
As you can see, integrating the Oberlo Chrome Extension with your Shopify store is convenient and gives you access to a host of features that can make running an online store so much easier. Plus, the cost associated with running an online business is greatly reduced.
For online entrepreneurs who are trying their hand at dropshipping, you can’t go wrong with the Oberlo Chrome Extension.
If you want more tips on how to run an online store successfully, check out how you can integrate Amazon with Shopify.
Before signing up to Shopify you might also be interested in reading this article.