What Is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping took the world by storm over a decade ago and has given people the opportunity to build their own online businesses without a huge initial investment. This has become the primary income source for many online entrepreneurs due to the simplicity of the business model. So let’s break it down.
The most crucial factor about dropshipping is that no inventory is needed to open your online store and start selling. Not having to deal with stock or take care of the in-between handling of products makes it easy and appealing.
An e-commerce website that operates a drop shipping model purchases the items it sells from a third-party supplier or manufacturer. This means until you don’t have a buyer place an order and pay for the product you are selling, no expenses on your side.
Once a sale is made, the funds from the buyer go towards purchasing the item from the supplier you are using. The supplier/s you use will be the one shipping the product directly to your customer. This not only cuts operational costs, but also frees up your time to focus all of your efforts on customer satisfaction and scale your business further.
Why Automate Your Dropshipping Business?
Dropshipping tools and apps have been developed in order to simplify store management. Full automation services are available too and are highly recommended in order to have a successful and long-lasting business.
Time is precious and “non-refundable”. Although in the beginning steps there is a minimum effort required to get the ball rolling, once you are up and running, there is no reason to work alone and spend hours a day on your business when you can let technology take care of the everyday tasks such as importing products to your store, product and store optimization, order fulfillment, tracking number updates to buyers, and even returns or cancelations.
Shopify is for e-commerce businesses of all sizes. From tiny dropshipping stores with just a few products, all the way to Kim Kardashian's beauty and fashion stores. Obviously, the big brands have huge teams behind them, but as a beginner dropshipper, you don’t want to and don’t need to hire employees from the get-go.
If you scale your business the right way then there will come a day that you might need a VA or even multiple, but until then, a good dropshipping app with automation solutions is the best way to get started.
How To Automate Your Dropshipping Business?
1. Adding Products To Your Store
Importing products to your Shopify store is the first step in your e-commerce business process and is crucial for its success This can be a timely task. Once you have your selected item you’d like to dropship, you need to edit the title, product description, and sometimes the images, and arrange everything to ensure it becomes profitable.
Assuming you are running a diverse store and not a one-item landing page, you have more than one product to add to your online store. Adding items to your stores can be time-consuming when done one by one, therefore drop shippers turn to different Shopify apps for a quicker and simpler solution.
Dropshipping apps include importing solutions such as basic product importers that you paste in your product URL or item ID for an automatic grab of details which saves you loads of time on manual insertion, and bulk import options which can uploads numerous products at once in the same way, or through CSV file, scheduled imports that let you select the time and date of when you’d like those products added so you don’t need to sit around and make yourself available at that time, and many more.
2. Product Monitoring For Store Safety
Without a monitoring system to scan your supplier's products to see if there are any price or stock changes, you can find yourself in tricky situations. If you get an order and the product is no longer available, you lose your sale and profit.
And what if the price has gone up and it is no longer profitable? You either will have a sale with a loss or need to cancel your customer's order. This will not only leave a bad impression on your customers but can seriously damage your brand, especially as a beginner.
This is another crucial aspect of dropshipping which has been taken care of by third-party platforms in order to assure safety for dropshipping businesses.
Whichever dropshipping app’s monitoring system you will use and connect your store to, will scan and track your product's price and stock changes and automatically update those changes to your store to avoid those problems mentioned above.
3. Automatic Order Fulfillment
Once your store is up and running and you are getting multiple orders a day, manually processing orders is a tedious time-wasting task.
Going back and forth between orders, your supplier's pages, and filling them out one by one gets old. Having a one-click order option or additional order management help will save you so much time and allow you to focus on finding more best selling products to add to your store and improve your store marketing strategies.
4. Tracking Number Updates
Customer satisfaction from a seller's point begins before the product even arrives at the buyer. Before a customer can enjoy their purchased item, their item is shipped. There is no instant result as with shopping retail in-store. A huge factor in making sure we have happy customers and returning buyers is providing fast-tracking.
Imagine yourself now having tens of orders a day and having to follow up with every single individual product and its supplier, order, and tracking number, to be able to update the buyer. Sounds like a nightmare! Well, once again this is why we have apps to connect to our stores to run all of this behind the scenes for us.
5. Hiring A VA
VA = Virtual Assistant. A virtual assistant is a self-employed worker that focuses on providing clients with assistance on the administrative side of their businesses. Instead of working from your workplace, they usually work from their home office.
There are several benefits to hiring a virtual assistant rather than an in-person employee. First, you have a much wider talent pool of candidates since they can be anywhere with a solid internet connection. Second, you can hire candidates from countries with lower wages than what they would cost in a more developed nation. Third, you can hire them only for what you need. This could be an ongoing relationship or a one-time job.
For dropshipping businesses, they can help primarily with tasks related to data entry, order fulfillment, and customer service, among others. Since now there are such advanced automation technologies, the main involvement you will seek from a VA is customer service for your customers.
6. Dropshipping Suppliers
Products are the name of the game, clearly. Your success comes from the items you choose to sell. This means, that working with the right suppliers is crucial for the longevity of your store!
There are plenty of suppliers you can dropship from, but since we know how important it is to have a price and stock monitoring, a good importing solution, and of course the very beneficial automated orders feature, another very important factor when choosing an app to work with is the suppliers they support.
All-In-One Dropshipping Solution
AutoDS was first established in 2016 since I had been dropshipping and saw all the struggles I faced. Not having an easier way to add products, a safe way to monitor products, automated orders, and all the other benefits mentioned above were not available at that time and without them, I would not have been able to scale correctly.
In order to keep my online stores thriving, implementing these features was crucial, and now after a few years in the business, my team and I are so happy to be able to share all of this with dropshippers worldwide.
For importing products we offer import drafts so you can save an item and edit it before importing. This is available for over 20 different suppliers. Once your draft is ready, you can import it directly to your store with just a click of a button. Once imported, if any other changes are necessary for that item, they can all be conducted straight from AutoDS.
Additionally, single product imports, advanced bulk imports, and importing via CSV file are all available features on our platform. This has proven to simplify the process of importing, and by allowing bulk uploads, saves loads of time.
Furthermore, we have developed our very own AutoDS Helper which is a chrome extension available to our members.
Once Downloaded, The Following Can Be Executed:
- Search for a product by keywords in all our supported supplier sites simultaneously.
- Add products to your online stores from retails & marketplaces with one click of a button.
- Import products easily straight from a search page.
- Copy and paste the buyers' address from AutoDS to your buy site.
Products monitoring for your store by AutoDS is the fastest you’ll get in the industry. Our scans occur every 60 minutes and ensure product and store safety. Price and stock are volatile and can change anytime.
This way you ensure your store safety and automatic changes sync to your store so you never lose a sale or make a sale with a loss due to a product suddenly going out of stock on your supplier's site or their price going up.
For order fulfillment, we offer the Fulfilled by AutoDS Service which is a completely automatic process and does not require any manual involvement or extensions. Once you get an order, it is all done automatically. Once a tracking number is provided for that order on the supplier side, we will automatically update your customer and provide their tracking info.
This goes beyond just order fulfillment too.
Just like in a physical retail store, orders can bring cancelations and returns too. Using our service will help you scale your business as it will minimize your work time and effort.
This service also includes not having to worry about any account locks/orders cancellations / Credit card cash flow or limits.
Another offered feature is our VA Access. Our dropshipping app can offer easy management of VA accounts for your store. We have incorporated unique and advanced features into our VA supporting solution such as:
- Adding as many VA accounts to work on your business
- Ability to set specific settings and privileges for your VA’s
- Divide VA’s up to different stores if you have multiple Shopify stores
- and many other beneficial features.
Last but not least, our supported suppliers. With AutoDS you can enjoy safe and automated dropshipping with various suppliers. We made sure to provide a large number of suppliers, but also quality options.
Etsy, Lowes, eBay, Amazon, AliExpress (China and US Warehouses), Alibaba, eBay, Walmart, Overstock, Home Depot, Wayfair, Costco, Costway, Banggood (China and US Warehouses), ChinaBrands, Target, Cjdropshipping, Samsclub, Gearbest, and more!
Implement & Scale
Expanding is much quicker and simpler through automation and optimization, and truly is key to any dropshipping business. The bigger your business gets, the more crucial all these features become.
With that said, it is not all up to the app you choose to turn your store into a profitable one. There is hard work, dedication, and patience that goes into any online business, so be ready to invest the time and effort, especially in the beginning stages.
If you’re reading this now, it is certain you have the entrepreneur inside you waiting for its time to shine. Take the necessary steps, and success will come. Good luck to you and your dropshipping business, and most importantly enjoy your journey!