Dropshipping possibilities in Magento

Approximately in every third Magento project that I am doing I get the request to implement some kind of Dropshipping. That’s why I want to give a short overview of how to handle that with Magento.

Chris / / last updated on

What is Dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a kind of E-Commerce business where the merchant offers products in his online shop without having the products in his inventory. If a customer orders some of these products a so-called purchase order is made and the dropshipping partner will ship the items for the merchant. Therefore a kind of technical solution has to be found in order to export the orders to merchants in time. The other way round if the dropshipper has sent out the items to the customer (e.g. with the label of the merchant) there has to be a way to report the shipping details back to the merchant.

For more details see also my blog post in the wonderful Adventskalender from Webguys.

How can this be done in Magento?

Depending on how complex the communication has to be I often choose one of 2 methods:

  • If you only have 1 dropshipper I would recommend the 2 modules Xtento OrderExport and Xtento OrderTrackingImport. Both modules from Sebastian from Xtento are in perfect harmony with each other the powerful XSLT transformation offers endless possibilities to customize the output format (usually CSV because the dropshippers do most of the time have lots of Legacy It).
  • If you have multiple dropshippers and inventories there comes a lot of more complexity with it. For example you can have the same product in multiple inventories and therewith having to decide which inventory is preferred, etc. Then you need a more advanced solution for that I recommend the Unirgy uDropship extensions. There is a huge amount of configuration options and lots of possibilities which is overwhelming at first so the best is to hire a developer that has already worked with it sometimes as otherwise you will have to invest a lot of time in getting the processes right.

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