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In one of our earlier posts, we discussed about the role of the dropshipping in WooCommerce and some of the plugins which allow you to setup a dropshipping store with WooCommerce.
That prompted me to explore the dropshipping concept further. In this post, we will discuss 2 business approaches revolving around Dropshipping.
Just a quick recap first: Dropshipping is a fulfilment model that allows you to buy products individually from a wholesaler and ship them directly to your customer.
Instead of purchasing a large amount of inventory, you simply partner with a dropshipping supplier and list their merchandise for sale. Then, once you receive an order you forward it to the supplier for fulfilment. The supplier will ship the product directly from their warehouse to your customer, and charge you only for the price of the shipped item.
Dropshipping with WooCommerce
WooCommerce is the most customizable eCommerce platform for building your online business. It integrates with WordPress and works with it perfectly.
There are 2 main concepts around dropshipping which we have come across, and they are:
- Make your store dropshipper ready
- Become a dropshipper for an eCommerce store
Making Your Store Dropshipper Ready
The first concept around dropshipping mentions about how to make your store dropshipper ready. Making your store dropshipper ready here means to allow different wholesalers/suppliers to become dropshippers on your store and sell their products through it.
Your dropshipper ready store can be a base for small businesses who want to start selling their products online. It’s ideal for businesses who already have an offline business where they stock their own products.
You can create an online store where the wholesaler registers as a dropshipper and sells their product from your website. So when any orders are placed on your store, the wholesalers will be notified and they will ship the products to the customers directly.
One of the plugin which allow you to make your store dropshipper ready with WooCommerce is WooCommerce Dropshippers.
I have studied the WooCommerce Dropshippers plugin & have found a few components that you can go through if you want to make such a plugin. These components can also be used to understand how WooCommerce Dropshippers plugin works.
1. Dropshipper role for Wholesalers/Suppliers
You need to add a Dropshipper as user role which will help you to differentiate between the normal users and the wholesalers/suppliers. Also, the users with the role Dropshippers can be assigned to their respective products.
2. Dropshipper Price for the products
Dropshipper Price should be mentioned for each product. So you can differentiate the original price of the product and the dropshipper price from the added price.For example, the regular price for a product is $250 and from $250 the dropshipper price for the product is $100, and $150 is the additional price which you earn. So, to differentiate the dropshipper price and your earnings you can mention the dropshipper price for each product.
3. Send email notifications to Dropshippers
An email notification should be sent to the Dropshippers with the shipping details and the required customer details when an order is placed for their products.This will help them to keep track of all the orders they need to ship as per the delivery schedule. It will also mention their earnings for each product in the orders. As you can see in the below image it shows $100 as your earnings.
4. Packing slips
PDF packing slips should be sent to the dropshippers which they can send to the customers with the product. The packing slips mention the From billing address of the store and not of the dropshipper.
5. Orders list
Dropshipper should be allowed to view the orders which contain their products. The orders should be visible to the dropshippers only when the order status is processing.
6. Order Status
Once the orders are shipped and out for deliveries, dropshippers should be allowed to mark the order as shipped.This helps the admin to know which orders are shipped and can take necessary action as needed. Apart from this, dropshippers shouldn’t be allowed to make any other changes in the order.
Dropshipper status on WooCommerce Orders Page for Admin
A column Dropshipper status should be added for each product and each dropshipper under WooCommerce -> Orders list page.This helps admin to keep track of all products which are shipped by different dropshippers. And if there is any delay in the shipping of the product by a dropshipper then admin can contact and ask about the delay.
1. Set order status as Completed
Order Status should be marked as Completed automatically when the dropshippers have shipped their products.
2. Send email notifications to admin
An email should be sent to the admin when any dropshipper mark the order as shipped. This is important so that the admin is informed immediately when the order is marked
3. Send tracking information to the customers
Once the dropshipper marks the shipping status as shipped, an email should be sent to the customers notifying them about the shipping and provide tracking information.The admin can either do this manually or they can setup an automatic email trigger.
4. Earning Reports
Earning reports should be shown to the dropshippers so that they can easily track their earnings from each product they sell.
Increase WooCommerce Store Sales
"Since installing the Abandoned Cart Pro for Woo on our site we could immediately recover carts. The setup is straight forward and easy. The email notification and scheduling combined with coupon codes is a great feature so that helps us to create additional, previously lost, sales revenue." - Chris Listl
How to Start Dropshipping With an eCommerce store
If you are looking to quickly get started as an eCommerce entrepreneur, then this model is for you.
Using dropshipping, you can sell products of an already existing store through your WooCommerce store or any other eCommerce store. An example for such store can be AliExpress.
The primary benefits are:
- It does not require much capital
- No Inventory or storage of products is required
- Shipping will be handled by the store whose products are imported
Plugins which will allow you to import from such stores to WooCommerce is AliExpress Dropship for WooCommerce. And for Shopify, you can use Oberlo. This plugin allows you to create a store to sell the products from other websites.
If you want to create your own custom plugin to import products from the existing stores to your eCommerce stores, below are some required options which can help you to develop a plugin.
You can add an option to search for the products from the dropshipping store. Searching of products can be based on some filters like product categories, price ranges, most sold products in last 30 days, etc. Or you can add an option to import products by URL or by the product ID.
Import product list
All the imported products should be listed with the details like the variations, tags, categories, etc. Dropshippers can edit this options for all the products.
Add products to WooCommerce Store
An option should be given to allow dropshippers to push the imported products to the WooCommerce store with necessary changes.
To fulfil orders on the store from where you have imported products, add an Order Fulfilment link on the WooCommerce Orders page which will redirect you to the checkout page of the store, by automatically adding product the cart and filling the shipping details.
Total earnings should be reported so that you can keep track of the total sales, total earnings, most sold products.Here it’s important to keep track of your earnings versus the total sales. So if you sell a product worth $250, and if your own margin on that was $150, then you need to track your own earnings of $150 & not just the total sales.
The WooCommerce Dropshippers plugin worked near perfect. There were no problems when we tried to implement that for understanding.
While checking the AliExpress Dropship plugin, we faced some issues where we were not able to search any products under the categories. It was showing a Token Invalid error. So we needed to import the products manually to our store.
In comparison, we found the Oberlo plugin for Shopify was working well.
Here is a comprehensive list of the best marketing plugins that could supercharge your WooCommerce dropshipping store.
Dropshipping is a powerful option for those who want to start an eCommerce business. It requires less capital, no inventory or storage of products, less risk of loss and much more. So, if you want to become an entrepreneur with less associated risks, dropshipping is for you.
You can use either model of Dropshipping described above. You can either make your store dropshipper enabled or you can simply become a dropshipper of a website & sell their products.
What’s your experience been with dropshipping? We would love to know your thoughts.