Back in time I have published an article about the dropshipping possibilities in Magento. As a lot of my customers are interested in this topic, let’s continue this series and explore how to use dropshipping functionality in Shopify with the help of some Shopify apps.
Dropshipping in its simplest form basically consists of 3 processes:
- Product Import
- Order Export and
- Tracking Import
Let’s have a look into all of those 3 processes and see how we can implement that in Shopify.
Please let me emphasize upfront that all apps in Shopify are by design a Software-as-a-Service. This means that the app is completely operated by the vendor of the app and all customer data is processed there (and not on Shopify). Regarding privacy and GDPR considerations you definitely should keep this in mind.
In my opinion by far the best solution for importing products into Shopify is Excelify. You have a lot of options to configure, can do dry runs and you can even import from a Magento source. In addition the import can also be run via cron in a defined timeframe, which might be very helpful for our use case of importing products on a regular basis.
When using Excelify you should make yourself comfortable with the existing limits that Shopify imposes on the import. Especially as you might have lots of dropshipper products, if you are not using Shopify Plus you should have a look at the 50.000 products limit.
File-based Order Export
After we have imported our products from the dropshipping vendor, orders can start to roll in These orders then have to be exported to your dropshipping vendor.
For order export in Magento I recommended the XTENTO Order Export extension in my last blog article about dropshipping in Magento.
Surprisingly for Shopify there exist a solution that obviously was inspired by this Magento extension and it is called EZ Exporter. This Shopify app is nearly as configurable as the Magento pendant and has many options to generate the exact format for your order export file.
For our use case of the app being part of a dropshipping workflow, we only want to export orders after they have been paid for sure. Therefore we use the configuration of the EZ Exporter Profile that is mentioned in this knowledgebase article of how to export only new Shopify orders that were paid since the last export.
Finally when we have exported the order to the dropshipping vendor and the vendor has shipped it, he certainly will return an information with the current status as well as the tracking number. During my research I haven’t found any existing Shopify app that offers the tracking import functionality as I needed, so my recommended approach is to convert the information that you got from your dropshipper into the Excelify format and then use the cronjobs of the great Excelify app to import them into Shopify on a regular basis.
Of course that’s only a rough overview of a very simple dropshipping workflow with a lot of generalization and as always the difficulty lies in the concrete implementation. Nevertheless I wanted to recommend some Shopify apps that can easily be used to implement a dropshipping workflow in Shopify.