If you always wanted to start an online business but didn’t have the money needed to invest in inventory and store rent, dropshipping is the right business model for you. It doesn’t require a big investment and takes a little time to set up and run your very own online store.
But, in order to set up your dropshipping store and “open” a store, you need to choose two things first. Those are a dropshipping platform and a dropshipping tool. Without these two, you can’t start your business.
If you search online, you will find that there are many platforms and even more tools used in dropshipping. However, not all of them are equally good, productive, feature-rich, or easy to use. With these things in mind, we can say that rarely which platform and tool can satisfy users’ needs.
Shopify is a platform where you can run your online store. On the other hand, Oberlo is the leading dropshipping tool which is integrated within Shopify.
If you google for anything related to starting a dropshipping business, you will undoubtedly get these two in your search results.
But, what makes them so good and popular among dropshippers?
Let’s take a close look at each of them to get an answer to this question.
Oberlo is the number 1 dropshipping tool in the world due to its integration with Shopify and ease of use. It’s also because it’s free to use if you have a Shopify store. Of course, what makes Oberlo so great are its incredible features. So, let’s check them out.
Beautiful User-Friendly Interface
Oberlo comes with an easy-to-use dashboard with a clean menu. The dashboard allows you to navigate through the app and manage your products. The menu allows you to search, choose, import, and manage your products. It organizes all your products in a simple, easy-to-find way, and accompanied by data of ales and earning per each of them.
Impressive Importing of Products from AliExpress
Finding and importing products you like from AliEpxress can’t be easier and faster. Even if you are a total novice, you won’t have any problem with this as Oberlo makes sure you import all products you want in one click. Find the products you want to sell and click “Import to Store”. It’s that easy.
This feature allows you to import all products immediately upon choosing them. It also helps increase the functionality of your store and saves you time. Plus, with the option to choose products that have fast delivery times via the ePacket filter, you make sure your clients don’t wait 40 days as most of the people who buy from AliExpress do.
To rank higher on search engine result pages, you need to be authentic. Since you are running a store, not a blog, the only way to do that is by customizing your products. With Oberlo, you can easily add product images and edit their titles and descriptions.
Automated Order Fulfillment
This is one of the greatest features of Oberlo as it makes the whole dropshipping and store managing super-easy. This feature allows you to fill out an order from a customer in one click. Just find the product the customer has ordered and click the “Order Product” button. In fact, you can add multiple products in your cart even if they are from different suppliers.
Once you click the button, the order is sent to your supplier and Oberlo takes care of the rest. They package and ship the products to your customers with your signage. You don’t have to worry about storing the products without knowing when and if you will sell them, their packaging, or shipping. It’s so convenient!
Auto-Update of Inventory and Prices
Here’s another impressive feature of Oberlo. Having in mind that running an online store can be stressful, Oberlo makes sure you don’t forget about the most important things and make mistakes. With this feature, your inventory and product prices are automatically updated.
Hence, if your supplier runs out of a certain product, you will see than in your inventory. This will prevent you from selling an item that is no longer available. The same goes for the price, as you won’t sell a product at a lower or higher price by mistake, risking less profit or complaining customers.
Tracking Sales and Shipping Progress
This feature allows you to track all the sales you have made and the shipping process of the orders. In that way, you will be able to give your customers reliable data on the current status of their order. Plus, you will know the number of orders and sales made and your profit.
Not satisfied with your current supplier or found one that offers better prices? No problem, you can change it immediately without any problem. Browse through the marketplace and if you find a better supplier, you can simply click on the button to switch it with the previous one.
Oberlo also provides you with the data you need regarding the performance of your online store. Using Google Analytics, it allows you to gather two important data for your business – User Behavior Data and User Acquisition Data.
Many dropshippers are interested in whether Oberlo allows them to sell and ship their products worldwide. The answer to that question is YES, it does. You can sell and ship all your products to any country in the world.
One way to increase your sales is by making your store available to different regions. And, one way to do this is by supporting various currencies. With Oberlo, you don’t have to worry about this as it allows you to adjust the currency in which you want to sell your products. However, you should keep in mind that you can’t change the currency of imported products and that USD is the only supported currency for this.
One of the important things that make a website or a platform more or less user friendly is the languages it supports. With English, German, Italian, French, and Portugues on the list of supported languages, it’s clean that Oberlo tries to be accessible across the globe. In fact, they are working on making this tool available in many other languages in the future, thus making it accessible to all people.
- User-friendly interface.
- Immediate product importing.
- Automatic order fulfillment.
- Auto-updating of inventory and pricing.
- Tracking of sales and shipping.
- Daily product synchronization.
- Integration with Shopify.
- Free expansion for Chrome.
- Hassle-free suppliers changing.
- Pricing markup options.
- Adjustable to the growing business.
- Built-in ePacket filter.More Pros
- It works only with Shopify.
- You can choose only from products sold on AliExpress.
- It’s an extension rather than an independent program (marketplace).
- No product editing in Oberlo; everything is done in Shopify.More Cons
Oberlo is FREE to use if you have a Shopify store at its Starter plan. Having in mind that it only works with Shopify, all users can use it without spending a dime. However, there are two paid plans which allow you to upgrade the features to scale your business or if your business expands. Those are:
Shopify is a dropshipping platform, a web app that allows you to “open” your own online store. It comes equipped with a wide variety of themes you can choose from based on your needs and preferences. Moreover, you can easily customize those themes as it suits you.
On Shopify, you can sell digital or physical products with ease. Plus, you can dropship other sellers’ products under your brand. And, the best thing about it is that you don’t need to know any programming language (HTML or CSS) in order to use it as everything is already done for you. All you have to do is choose the theme for your store, the name, and find products to sell.
Shopify offers over 70 beautiful, professional themes you can choose from for your business. You can search for them via the Shopify Theme Store. Regardless of which theme you choose, it comes with intuitive settings for easy and quick customization of your storefront.
In addition, it allows you to access the HTML and CSS of your store, thus making it easy for you to customize every aspect of your site. Plus, it’s mobile-friendly, so your customers can access your site and buy whatever they want from their smartphone or tablet.
Web-Based Website Builder and Domain
Another feature that falls within the design of the Shopify website is the hosting of your website. You can host your site directly on Shopify and choose a domain via the platform or use the one you already have.
Apart from selling (dropshipping) products, you can also write articles, support discussion, communicate with potential or existing customers, create lookbooks, and more on your Shopify blog.
This category encompasses many features related to payments, including:
- Free SSL certificate – 256-bit SSL certificate for bank-level protection of your entire site.
- Automatic carrier shipping rates – Allows you to receive automatic shipping rates from the renowned carriers like FedEx.
- Accept credit cards – You can accept all major credit cards, like Mastercard, Visa, and American Express at a low rate and no hidden fees.
- Abandoned checkout recovery – This feature allows you to recover lost sales by sending an email to the customers who abandoned their shopping carts with the link of the cart, thus encouraging them to complete their purchase.
- 100 payment gateways – Shopify integrates with over 100 payment getaways from around the world.
- Flexible shipping rates – You can set shipping rates on fixed price, tiered pricing, location-based, or weight-based.
- Free shipping option – Set a price point at which you can offer free shipping to your customers.
- Automatic taxes – Shopify automatically handles the country and state taxes based on your location.
- Multilanguage support – The checkout of your store is available in over 50 languages. Plus, there’s an option to translate your store’s theme to your needsMore features
Shopify doesn’t cease to surprise us with this category of features, where you can find all the features you need for a successful running of your store, including:
- Customer profiles – Collects contact info an order history of your customers to give you an insight into who they are and their shopping habits.
- Dropshipping – Apart from integrating with Oberlo, Shopify also integrates with eCommHub, Ordoro, and similar to ensure an easy setting of your dropshipping business.
- Customer accounts – Option for customers to create their account for more convenient and faster shopping.
- Order fulfillment – Fulfill orders, capture payments, and send shipping notifications from the post office either from your computer or phone.
- Refunds – You can refund some or all of the products from an order by sending money to the card the customer has used to pay. Your inventory is automatically updated with every change.
- Customer groups – Create, categorize, and export customer lists based on their purchase history, location, and other filters.
- Fulfillment centers – You can connect to a fulfillment solution like Amazon or Shopify Fulfillment Network, or even set up a custom solution.
- Email templates – Create and customize automated store emails to suit the design of your store and your brand.
- Shopify app – Use the app to manage your store on the go. It has the same management features as the web-based app for convenient and easy managing. Hence, you can fulfill orders, update your store, contact customers, and much more.
Marketing & SEO
We all know how important SEO and marketing are for a successful business, especially online businesses. These two features ensure your business is visible and gets noticed by the target audience. Having in mind their importance, Shopify comes with a handful of marketing and SEO features, including:
- Search engine optimization – Encompassing the best SEO practices and tactics, Shopify makes sure your website is optimized for search engines. In that way, it allows it to be visible on the search engines and rank high.
- Google Ads credits – For every $25 spent on Google Ads, you get $100 for supporting your future marketing endeavors.
- Automatically generated sitemap.xml – with all your webpages, blog posts, and products.
- Product reviews – Having in mind that users’ reviews are essential for every online business, Shopify allows your customers to leave SEO-friendly product reviews on your website.
- Discounts – Create discount codes and promotions from the Shopify admin dashboard to increase customer loyalty and sales.
- Gift cards – Apart from discounts, you can also create gift cards your customers will be able to buy from your store and use it as a credit to buy something from it.
- Social media integration – Shopify integrates with all major social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr.
- Sell on Facebook – There’s no doubt that Facebook is the greatest social media platform for online shopping. With this in mind, Shopify allows you to sell your products on Facebook. In that way, your customers can buy a product(s) from your store without leaving Facebook.
Shopify also has many features that make managing your products much more convenient, including:
- Product organization – You can organize all your products by category, sale, type, and other options. You can also use smart collections to automatically sort your products according to their price, supplier, and inventory level.
- Product variations – This feature allows you to offer different variations of your products to your audiences. They can be of different sizes, colors, materials, etc. with each having a different price, weight, inventory, and a stock-keeping unit (SKU).
- Multiple images – You can also add several images per each of your products to show them from different angles.
- Import/export products – You can import or export your products via CSV files or the designated Shopify’s apps.
- Unlimited products – Yes, this means that you can sell an unlimited amount and type of products in your online store. This allows you to reach a bigger audience. However, you have to be careful not to mix a lot of different products as it may mislead your potential customers and will affect your brand in terms of its area (e.g. accessories store, clothing store, shoe store, women/men fashion, household supplies, etc).
- Digital products – Apart from physical products, which most online stores sell, you can also sell digital ones. The customers will be able to download the product they purchased directly from your store.
- SEO product tags – Using titles, meta tags, and URL handles, you will optimize your products for search engines, thus ensuring their visibility and the visibility of your business.
- Inventory management – One of the best features of Shopify is that it allows you to manage your inventory. You can track the stock counts, automatically stop selling products that aren’t available in the inventory, and much more.
For getting real-time data on how your store performs Shopify comes with the following features:
- Dashboard – It shows an overview of your traffic, sales, and orders.
- Google Analytics – Shopify integrates with Google Analytics to track your visits, sales, and referrals.
- Product reports – Show information regarding which products are selling and which aren’t. This helps you optimize your store according to customers’ needs by adding or removing some products.
- Traffic and referral reports – Show information on the location of your visitors and how they found your store.
- Export reports – You can export all these reports in Excel or another spreadsheet program, or sent to your accountant for further analysis.
When it comes to the web hosting of your store, with Shopify you get:
- Unlimited bandwidth – Forever FREE, no matter your traffic, number of visitors, or number of sales.
- Security – Shopify is level-1 PCI compliant, which ensures the credit card security of your customers.
- Email forwarding – With the domain name you buy from Shopify, you get unlimited email forwarding and can create an email address like email@example.com.
- Automatic upgrades – You get the latest features of your Shopify store thanks to its automatic updates.
And, last but not less important is the support you get from the platform. You’ll be thrilled to find out that Shopify offers stellar customer support. Therefore, you can contact them for any issue you may have with your store or using the platform and they will be more than happy to help you solve it.
- Fairly easy to use.
- A big choice of beautifully designed and mobile-friendly templates.
- Perfect for dropshipping.
- Impressive features that make finding, managing, and selling products as well as managing your store very convenient.
- Abandoned cart saving feature.
- Suitable for dropshipping businesses.
- Multilanguage and multicurrency selling support.
- Automatic calculation and applying of EU, US, and Canadian VAT MOSS rates.
- Comprehensive point-of-sale options.
- Third-party integration.
- Incorporates marketing tools.
- Third-party app store included.
- Intuitive setup.
- Built-in blog and email marketing tool (up to 2.500 subscribers’ list for FREE).
- The “Buy Button” feature in the Lite Plan allows you to use Shopify for selling products on other websites.
- No transaction fees when using Shopify Payments – a built-in payment processing system.
- You can create accelerated mobile pages (AMP) versions of your product pages.
- Available as an Android and iOS app.
- 24/7 support.
- Comes with a 14-day trial.
- Important functionalities are often available only after installing an app.
- You can create lots of product variations but they will involve only up to 3 product options.
- Adding custom fields (e.g. text boxes) is complicated.
- Professional reporting is available only in the higher plans, not the basic one.
- Shopify Payments only allows you to sell from some countries, not all.
- Transaction fees accumulate quickly when using third-party payment gateways.
- Must use a third-party cookie banner app to get your site to be GDPR compliant.
- No-refund policy.
- No Mailchimp integration.
- Basic email marketing feature.
- Expensive pricing plan.
Shopify offers 3 pricing plans:
Nonetheless, there is a 14-day trial period that allows you to try Shopify before committing to use it.