Have you entered the world of dropshipping yet? Maybe you’re just getting into the game and sorting out your suppliers and processes, or perhaps you’re a long-time veteran looking for that next big opportunity. And with much of 2021’s online sales up from the same 2020 period, there are plenty of gains to be had. Wherever you’re at, understanding how to automate dropshipping and why this is an excellent business move can work wonders for your store’s efficiency and future growth.
Here, we’ll explore:
Automate Dropshipping With Simple Purchase Orders
What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a method of order fulfillment where you buy items from a third party, like a manufacturer or wholesaler, that ships them directly to your customers. This is different from the traditional ecommerce business model of stocking, selling and shipping product yourself. When you act as a dropshipper, you’re the intermediary between your customers and your dropshipping suppliers. So, you don’t handle, receive or own what you’re selling at any point.
Why Use Dropshipping in Your Ecommerce Store?
When you use dropshipping for your ecommerce store rather than stocking inventory, you can benefit in many ways, like these.
Low capital requirements
One of the best things about dropshipping is it lets you launch your ecommerce store without spending thousands of dollars up front on merchandise – much like traditional retailers do under many other models. With dropshipping, you simply pay for an item once that item sells and is paid for by your customer. So, the investment required from you is very low, and there’s not much risk involved with trying new products since you’re not committed to selling a certain amount.
Wide and accessible product selection with low risk
Dropshipping is quite accessible for any ecommerce business operator, especially those just getting started. The reason is it’s quick and easy to find out about the top high-demand products in your sector or niche by trying different options out from dropshipping suppliers. The risk is low since you’re not actually purchasing stock ahead of time. This frees you up to offer shoppers more choice and at no extra expense for listing these items in your store.
Flexible location and minimal overhead expenses
Dropshipping businesses enjoy low overhead costs since they don’t buy inventory or run a warehouse. This is why so many awesome dropshippers work from the comfort of their own homes, or basically, anywhere in the world they can communicate easily via a reliable internet connection. There’s absolutely no need to incur the high cost of dedicated office space. Down the road, if you decide to grow and scale your business, your expenses will increase accordingly (along with your ROI) but never to the level that physical stores experience.
Easy to do
When you’re not thinking about the expense, storage and other responsibilities that come with stocking physical items, you can run your business in a leaner, more efficient way. With dropshipping, you’ll never worry about:
- The expense and management of a warehouse.
- Picking, packaging and shipping orders.
- Inventory stocking, management and tracking for accounting purposes.
- Incoming shipments, and returns and exchanges processing.
Simple to scale
The nice thing about dropshipping is that your suppliers are responsible for the incremental work required to process and manage high order quantities. You don’t worry about any of this, which frees you up to work on other areas of your business. Of course, with growth comes work, but it’s worth it. When you use dropshipping suppliers you’ll find you scale well compared to your competitors that don’t.
Getting Started With Dropshipping
If you’re just getting your feet wet with the idea of a new dropshipping business, here are some key considerations to make as you get started.
Do your homework and decide on your dropshipping business idea
Just as with any type of business, you’ll need to spend time and effort to do thorough market and competitor research and due diligence before making the dropshipping commitment. Explore a niche that interests you and understand its market and profitability potential. And, note what your biggest competitors are up to. They’re successful for a reason, and how they work can shed light on ideas for a solid business and marketing plan.
A focus on more specific or trending products is usually a great path to take as it gets buyers’ attention without competing with bigger players holding a large market share. Plus, these buyers are often more excited and passionate about what you’re offering, which can make selling an easier task. Think fashion, fitness, electronics, mobile, beauty or fashion products.
Pick a dropshipping supplier
To be successful in dropshipping, it’s critical to choose the right dropshipping supplier. After all, this is the source of your bread and butter – your products – precisely what your customers seek you out for and what keeps you going. There are so many things to consider in a quality dropshipping supplier that we’ve covered it in an entirely different post.
Create and launch your ecommerce store
Next, you need to choose an ecommerce platform to build your store from, like Shopify. It will be where your visitors shop and pay for your products.
These are the main steps in starting a dropshipping business, but keep in mind there will be many other decisions to make and tasks to perform like:
- Choosing a business structure and registering in your jurisdiction.
- Having your finances and admin ready to go, including bank accounts and credit cards, tax setup and business licensing.
- Marketing your new dropshipping store, such as through paid advertising, content, influencer or mobile marketing, and community networking groups.
Simple Purchase Orders Makes Automated Dropshipping Easy
What is Automated Dropshipping?
Automated dropshipping is the use of technology (or outsourcing to qualified experts) to complete tasks that you or your team would normally perform. The idea is to take the repetitive, tedious or mundane tasks out of your day so you have time to work on more important parts of your business, like customer service and marketing.
Benefits of Automating Dropshipping
When you automate dropshipping, you can:
Save money. The best ecommerce sites have a big team working behind and growing them, day by day. If you’re just starting out on your own, don’t feel discouraged by this. Maybe you can’t afford to hire a team, or you simply haven’t found the right people. Whatever the case is, automated dropshipping can fill that void at a lower cost than human labor. You can then take that savings to scale up and reinvest your profits back into the business to grow. Or, if you have one or just a few products, you might permanently get by with automated dropshipping and earn more for the long haul.
Save time. There are only a set number of hours in your working day and, if you’re like many business owners, it might feel like there’s never enough of them. Automated dropshipping removes the manual work from your business so you can choose to put your effort and time into what matters most. This means you’ll have the chance to grow your business faster than you would using more manual systems and processes.
Optimize and scale. Compared to manual dropshipping, automated dropshipping can truly maximize your sales and help you earn more revenue. How? Consider this: you’re getting 50 orders per day on 30 different items that need a unique label. This might be completely reasonable to handle on your own, but what if that number turns into 100 orders and 70 labels? And then 500 orders and 300 labels? You get the point. More sales is wonderful and the ultimate goal (you are in business to make money, after all) – but you need some way to handle that growth. Automated dropshipping is an ideal solution.
Ways to Streamline Your Dropshipping Efforts
Here are some key tips, tricks and tools to use with automated dropshipping for your store.
1. Order Tracking and Customer Updates
When a customer places an order with your store, their confirmation and tracking information should automatically be sent to them. As well, your dropshipping suppliers should forward tracking information on to you when any item leaves their premises. If you’re using automation software, your customer can be notified as soon as this occurs.
2. Inventory Management Tools
One of the biggest benefits, if not the top reason, of becoming a dropshipper is that you don’t need to buy and store physical inventory and incur the costs, management and required space that come with that. That said, it’s imperative that you’re confident your supplier indeed has the inventory you need to sell and that you know where it’s located. It’s all too easy to fall into the overselling trap or be blindsided with an “out of stock” alert once you’ve made a sale. When you do, you’re not only wasting precious time but also damaging your reputation as a seller.
This is where an automated inventory management tool, like Back In Stock, comes in very handy. The best tools for this will manage your dropshipping inventory, let you monitor inventory levels directly, and automatically display unavailable products as being out of stock in your store.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing automation consists of an email autoresponder sequence, or series of emails, fit to your business goals that goes to people on your contact list. This type of marketing is a valuable way to utilize your pre-existing customer base for more dropshipping sales, with very little effort. Plus, it requires no further ad or marketing spend.
4. Add Products to Your Store
Adding new products to your store manually can be a slow, tedious process – something you probably know all too well. There’s finding the product, checking its description, copying it over, adding an image, uploading it all to your store and updating information as needed. Routine tasks like these can be automated for you, so you can be more productive!
5. Prioritize Suppliers
Eventually, you’ll probably be working with multiple dropshipping suppliers that sell different types of products and can serve you in different ways. And the more you sell and grow, the more likely your number of suppliers will increase, too. It can be tough to manage this on your own and pick and choose which supplier to use for each particular order.
The good news is, you can easily automate this selection and undoubtedly know you’re using the right suppliers on an order-by-order basis. For instance, if your top choice has, say, the least expensive items overall but doesn’t have what you need in stock, the tool will move on to the next supplier on the list, in the priority order you’ve pre-set.
6. Send Suppliers Orders
What’s nice about dropshipping is that you don’t need to deal with shipping yourself. You do need to send orders to your suppliers, though, but this process can be short and sweet when handled automatically. And that short process is all the more important as your business grows and you sell more items each day.
It’s exactly this type of situation that an automated purchase order tool, like Simple Purchase Orders, makes sense. You can create templates used for routine orders that are automatically sent to your supplier once a customer has paid. Read on to learn exactly how Simple Purchase Orders can automate and streamline your dropshipping process in no time flat.
How to Automate Dropshipping with Simple Purchase Orders
Now that you understand what automated dropshipping is and have seen the benefits of implementing it in your ecommerce business, the question is how do you move forward with it? Simple Purchase Orders is a Shopify tool that automates your procurement process. It’s highly useful for automating dropshipping, as your order fulfillment gets much easier with automated purchase orders and inventory restocking.
The best part about automated dropshipping with Simple Purchase Orders is its easy, no-fuss order fulfillment. It’s simple to put the tool to work for you by creating dropshipping supplier records and importing their products and cost prices. From there, in full automated mode, the tool creates and sends orders to those dropshipping suppliers as soon as a confirmed order comes in (you can also choose to do this manually in just a few seconds). What’s even more convenient is the tool automatically splits orders between suppliers, if you need it.
What does all of this mean for you? Easy, automated dropshipping gets seamlessly rolled into your operations. Read on for some of the most useful Simple Purchase Order features.
Automate Dropshipping With Simple Purchase Orders Features
There are many helpful features at your fingertips when you automate dropshipping using Simple Purchase Orders. You can:
- Upon order payment, create and send a PO to your dropshipping supplier from an Order, Product, or Supplier record. It’s automatically completed with the products, variants and/or SKUs and split between suppliers (if needed).
- Automatically import and add cost prices of product variants to your PO, plus information on your dropshipping supplier, shop, and customer.
- Customize what you’d like by adding dropshipping supplier cost prices, SKUs and notes on variants.
- Maintain complete control over the style and branding of your purchase order, using an editable template engine.
- Use any currency, so you’ll never limit your pool of buyers.
Ready to go with Simple Purchase Orders? Check out this video that walks you through how to create a PO from an order, so you’ll be automating dropshipping in no time.
Learning How to Automate Dropshipping is a Breeze With Simple Purchase Orders
By now you’ve learned what automated dropshipping is and how it can raise your business and store operations to new heights. Give it a try with the many tools out there, like Simple Purchase Orders, and see what a difference it makes to your day-to-day. The sky’s the limit when you have more time on your hands to seize new opportunities!