The 6 Best Shopify Dropshipping Apps & How To Use Them
Dropshipping is the sweetest gig in eCommerce, and sellers and advertisers everywhere sing its praises. They claim all you have to do is select the most profitable dropshipping products, and the dollars will start rolling in. And while we are skeptical of some of these claims (check out our article 7 Reasons To Rethink Drop Shipping), for some merchants — particularly those who have done their research — dropshipping really does work.
Just run a quick search on YouTube, and you’ll find dozens of videos from sellers who have made tens of thousands of dollars running dropshipping sites. If you look closer at some of these videos, you’ll find another commonality: most of these dropshipping success stories came about on the Shopify platform.
So what does it take to start dropshipping on Shopify? In this article, we’ll be discussing Shopify dropshipping and how to set up your dropshipping store. Then, we’ll compare six of the best dropshipping apps for Shopify users. Join us in taking a look at each individual app’s pricing, features, and pros and cons.
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- Printful: Best for printing and shipping products with your own designs.
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Table of Contents
What Is Shopify Dropshipping
Shopify is one of the most popular shopping cart software apps in the eCommerce industry, especially for US and Canadian merchants. Shopify specializes in ease of use and simple, sleek design. As a cloud-based platform, Shopify manages the technical aspects of operating an online store, including hosting and site security. You’re only responsible for designing your site, adding content, and fulfilling orders. Shopify users benefit from simple daily operations and 24/7 access to a support team.
If you choose to dropship with Shopify, your business operations are simplified one step further. By following the dropshipping model, you essentially outsource your whole fulfillment process to your suppliers. When a customer places an order on your site, instead of picking, packing, and shipping the product yourself, you send the order directly to your supplier. The supplier then ships the product directly to your customer. The product never passes through your hands.
How To Setup Dropshipping On Shopify
Creating a successful dropshipping site requires careful thought and consideration. You need to create a beautiful website with a clear brand, streamline your order fulfillment process, and build credibility with your potential customers. Here are the steps you should take to set up dropshipping on Shopify.
1. Develop Your Brand
In order to succeed in the dropshipping business, it’s critical that you develop a strong brand. Creating a solid sense of brand gives customers confidence in your store, and it sets you apart from the rest of the crowd.
One of the best ways to establish your brand is to create a curated collection of products on your site. Don’t just upload thousands of products onto your website! Instead, consider the audience that you want to attract to your site, and then identify the types of products that your audience would want to buy. Design a sleek homepage for your store and consider adding a blog. Taking these steps adds perceived value to both your brand and the products you sell.
2. Add A Dropshipping App
Once you have decided on a brand identity for your dropshipping store, it’s time to fill it with products. One of the easiest and best ways to add products to your dropshipping store is to find a reliable dropshipping app.
Using a Shopify dropshipping app, you can access an inventory of dropshippable products, import products to your site (often with just one click), and manage orders. Look for an app with good reviews, and look into the features available in each app. The best applications have features for pricing and inventory syncing (between your site and the suppliers’ site) as well as automatic or one-click order fulfillment.
In the next section, we’ll give you a breakdown of the six best dropshipping apps for Shopify.
3. Order Sample Products
You should aim to offer only quality products on your site. That’s why we recommend that dropshipping merchants order sample products of all of the items they’re considering selling. Ordering sample products has numerous advantages! It allows you to test for quality, and you can monitor the shipping time it takes for a product to reach your customers. You can also use your sample products in your own high-quality product photography. Ordering sample products may seem like a hassle, but it’s a smart move in the long run.
4. Import Products From Suppliers
Once you’ve settled on the products you want to sell, it’s time to import those products to your online store. Your dropshipping app will likely have easy-import features that you can use for this step. Check to see if your app provides inventory totals and price syncing. If not, you have to manually adjust your inventory totals and pricing to keep up with any changes your supplier may make.
5. Customize Product Information
It’s in your best interest to create your own product descriptions and imagery for your online store. Creating original content helps improve your site’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and it can help your customers better understand your products. What’s more, using your own product photography gives your site a cohesive look, further strengthening your own brand.
6. Open Your Store & Begin Marketing
Once you have a well-designed site, filled with quality products and consistent branding, you’re ready to open for business! Make your site live and begin marketing on social media sites, google, and email. For guidance on marketing your online store, check out our article 7 Strategies To Increase Your eCommerce Sales.
The Best Shopify Dropshipping Apps
In this article, we’re comparing the six best Shopify dropshipping apps. All of these apps are well-reviewed in the Shopify App Store and affordably priced. These dropshipping apps let you import products to your Shopify store and process orders in just a few clicks.
Best for accessing suppliers in the US, Canada, and Europe.
Spocket is a dropshipping marketplace that focuses on quality products and customer service. Spocket thoroughly vets its suppliers to offer a marketplace full of quality products that ship quickly. Because most of Spocket’s suppliers are based in the US, Europe, and Canada, you are able to ship orders to customers in North America and Europe much more quickly. Spocket also negotiates with suppliers to give merchants access to discounts on products. Spocket promises users a 30% margin on their sales.
Spocket integrates easily with Shopify and WooCommerce and includes features like automated order fulfillment. Keep reading to learn about Spocket’s pricing and available features.
- Suppliers are vetted for quality
- Product discounts available
- Fast order fulfillment
- No free plan for selling
- Lacking customer support
Although Spocket advertises a free Basic plan, this plan only gives you the ability to browse their inventory (you cannot begin selling until you upgrade to a paid plan). Paid plans range from $19/month for 25 unique products and email support to $299/month for unlimited products and premium support. Annual pricing is also available for some plans, with discounted rates of up to five months free.
Spocket also offers a 14-day free trial for those who want to test out the application.
Spocket’s best feature is its marketplace. Spocket focuses on providing sellers with a marketplace of quality products that ship quickly and that can generate a good profit. In addition to this marketplace, Spocket also offers features that users need to sync information between their suppliers and their store. Take a look below at a few of the features that come included with every Spocket plan:
- Products Ship Quickly: Since Spocket has many suppliers in North America and Europe, merchants in these locations can expect products to ship faster than they would if you shipped with a vendor from AliExpress. Depending on the supplier and your customer’s location, you can expect products to ship within 6-10 business days. This may not seem fast in relation to Amazon Prime, but compared to many dropshipping suppliers, it is speedy.
- Fast Order Processing: Customer information automatically imports into your order fulfillment page, so you can send orders to your suppliers with just a few clicks.
- Discounted Products: Spocket requires all suppliers to provide at least a 25% discount on all products.
- Branded Invoices: Use branding features to customize your invoices and add your logo.
- Inventory Updates: As supply changes, your inventory totals automatically update on your store. Make sure you only sell products suppliers have on hand.
As we looked into reviews of Spocket for Shopify, we found that merchants are big fans of Spocket’s branded invoices feature; your customers will receive a branded insert in their shipments with your store’s logo. Merchants also like that Spocket is easy to use and that the marketplace includes many desirable products. On the other hand, we’ve also seen a few complaints about the application. These complaints say that customer support is difficult to contact, and that many of Spocket’s products are available at lower prices elsewhere. Some users also say that fulfillment is not any faster than it would be with other dropshipping apps since some suppliers are still actually located in China.
When To Use Spocket
If you’re looking to find good products quickly, look no further. Spocket has done much of the grunt work on your behalf. They’ve vetted suppliers to find wholesalers that ship close to home and that offer products with better-than-average profit margins.
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Best for dropshipping with both AliExpress and the Oberlo marketplace.
Oberlo is one of the most popular dropshipping apps for Shopify, and it’s clear why. This app takes a slightly different approach from many others, allowing users to approach dropshipping in two different ways. Users can link their Shopify accounts to AliExpress, but Oberlo also provides its own product catalog from which merchants can select and sell products.
Using Oberlo, sellers are able to quickly add products to their Shopify stores and easily place orders with suppliers.
- Free plan available
- Access suppliers on two marketplaces
- Bulk order processing
- 24/7 customer support
- Slow syncing with AliExpress
- Difficulties with AliExpress suppliers
Oberlo prices its services based on the number of products a seller lists. Oberlo offers a free plan for sellers who lists under 500 products, and paid plans range from $29.90/month for 10,000 products to $79.90/month for 30,000 products. At the highest-level pricing plan, you also get access to advanced features and multiple user seats.
Oberlo includes many features to help streamline the dropshipping process. You can easily import products from AliExpress or the Oberlo marketplace to your online store, and you can use bulk order features to help fulfill your orders. Take a look at their full feature list on Oberlo’s website or view an abbreviated list below:
- Import Dropship Products: Find and add products from AliExpress and the Oberlo Marketplace.
- Bulk Orders: Fulfill multiple orders in one click.
- Automatic Updates: Oberlo automatically notifies you when inventory levels and prices change on your suppliers’ pages.
- Edit Product Listings: Customize product titles, descriptions, and images.
- Order Tracking: Find out where your shipments are in the delivery process.
- Multiple Staff Accounts: Available on the Pro plan. Let multiple employees access your Oberlo account at the same time.
Reviews of Oberlo in the Shopify App Store talk about the app’s ease of use and large selection of products. Users say that it’s easy to add new products to your Shopify store. That said, there are also plenty of negative reviews of Oberlo. A few negative reviews blame Oberlo’s customer support for not being helpful. We’ve also seen complaints that say there are too many things you have to manage manually, making it difficult to scale your business on Oberlo.
When To Use Oberlo
Oberlo is one of the most popular applications for dropshippers on Shopify, in part due to its reliable integration with Shopify, usability, and 24/7 customer support. If you haven’t looked into Oberlo yet, you should do so now. Check out Oberlo’s page in the Shopify App Store and then take a look at Oberlo’s website for more information.
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Best for finding high-quality products with predictable shipping costs.
Modalyst is a dropshipping application that lets you upload products from the Modalyst marketplace onto your Shopify site. When you import a product, you’ll instantly add inventory information, images, product descriptions, and pricing to your store.
Modalyst’s marketplace primarily includes fashion accessories and apparel, although they also offer some home goods, beauty products, and electronics. Modalyst holds high standards for the suppliers, requiring suppliers to follow a flat rate shipping policy or offer free shipping on their products. Like Spocket, Modalyst aims to partner with suppliers in the United States, which makes shipping faster for US-based online stores. Keep reading to see if Modalyst is a good option for your dropshipping site.
- Many suppliers based in the United States
- Flat-rate shipping costs
- Free plan available
- High-quality products
- Hard to communicate with suppliers
- Suppliers sometimes disappear without warning
Modalyst offers a free plan, which they call the “Hobby plan.” Sellers on the free plan can list up to 25 products and pay a 5% transaction fee on sales. Users on the free plan get access to only “non-premium” suppliers.
Modalyst’s paid plans are available at $35/month and $90/month. Both of these plans also require sellers to pay a 5% transaction fee on sales. If you choose to pay for an annual plan instead of a monthly plan, you can save up to 25% on plan rates.
Modalyst offers plenty of features to simplify dropshipping. You can easily add new products to your site from their marketplace, trusting that the products you list are good quality. Take a look at Modalyst’s website for a full list of features, or read a summary below:
- One-Click Add: Import products to your website with one click.
- Real-Time Product Updates: When your products are updated on your supplier’s website, they’ll be updated on your site too.
- Sell Digital Products: Modalyst’s marketplace includes digital products, which you can add to your site. These products don’t need to be shipped, so your customers receive them almost immediately.
- Shipping Status Updates: Modalyst sends updates with your shipping courier name, tracking info, and tracking links. Pass this information along to your customers so they can monitor their orders.
- Live Chat Support: Modalyst offers support via live chat from 9:00 am to 5:oo pm PST.
Current users appreciate Modalyst’s customer support, saying that support representatives are responsible and helpful. They also say that most of the products in Modalyst’s marketplace are high quality. Complaints about Modalyst, however, voice frustration at suppliers. It can be hard to communicate with some suppliers, and on occasion a supplier leaves the platform suddenly, causing all of their products to disappear from your store.
When To Use Modalyst
Sellers who are looking for high-quality products that ship from the United States should look into Modalyst. Their marketplace features many quality fashion pieces, and they are all available with flat-rate (or even free) shipping costs. Sign up for a free plan in Shopify’s App Store, or view the Modalyst website for detailed information.
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4. AliExpress Dropshipping
Best for importing products from AliExpress.
This app from Appfreaker does exactly what you might anticipate. AliExpress Dropshipping for Shopify lets merchants easily import items from AliExpress and order those items through a semi-automated process. This application also includes a Chrome extension, which makes it even easier to add products to your store. Using the Chrome extension, you can import products and edit product information as you browse.
Keep reading for more information on dropshipping with AliExpress, including pricing and features.
- Easily import products from AliExpress
- Good customer support
- Free plan available
- Outdated interface
- Suppliers are slow to fulfill orders
AliExpress Dropshipping is available through a subscription plan, but you can try it out for free with a 7-day trial. Pricing for the app is based on the number of items you list on your site, and each step up in pricing gives you access to more Shopify dropshipping suppliers. For example, on the free plan, you can import products from Appfreaker Supply only.
Paid plans give you access to much more. The lowest level plan is the Basic Plan, which costs $5/month and lets you import 5,000 products from Appfreaker Supply, Aliexpress, Banggood, Gearbest, Trendsgal, and Tomtop. The highest level plan costs $40/month. Use the Enterprise Plus plan to import 40,000 products from additional sites like eBay, Amazon, Walmart, Bonanza, Overstock, Target, Wish, Tmart, DX, Alibaba, and more.
The AliExpress Dropshipping app seeks to automate as many processes as possible. Adding a product to your site takes only one click, and your pricing and inventory levels update daily. View all features on Appfreaker’s website or view a shorter list below:
- Search Products: Search and import products within the application. Begin selling products quickly.
- Fulfill Orders: Take advantage of AliExpress Dropshipping’s semi-automated process. You just need to click “Order Product” and then enter payment information. Your customers’ shipping info is then imported for you.
- Automatic Daily Updates: Update your products’ pricing and inventory levels as the information changes on AliExpress.
- Chrome Extension: Use this extension to import a product while you’re browsing the AliExpress website. You can edit a product’s title, description, variants, and pricing.
- Edit Product Info: Edit product descriptions and images to better match your brand.
- Pricing Rules: Set rules to update pricing in bulk as you import products and as pricing levels change with suppliers.
Users comment frequently on how they’ve received good support from the platform. They often name specific representatives, which makes me believe they were encouraged to leave a review by the company. Solicited or not, these reviews seem to be genuine. Negative reviews include complaints that the user interface is outdated and that suppliers are slow to fulfill orders. I’ve also seen a few reports that the Chrome extension does not work properly.
When To Use AliExpress Dropshipping
AliExpress Dropshipping is not a perfect application, but it is a good one for those who want an easier way to import and sell AliExpress items. Take a look at the Shopify App Store for more information and to sign up for that free 7-day trial, or view the Appfreaker website.
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Best for dropshipping Amazon products and earning Amazon affiliate revenue.
Spreadr is different from the other apps in this list because it allows sellers to make money through two different avenues: dropshipping and earning affiliate revenue from Amazon. You can use Spreadr to import products from Amazon to your Shopify store and either dropship those products or market them in exchange for a commission.
The best part of joining Amazon’s affiliate program is that you don’t just get a commission on the products you market. You also receive a commission on all products visitors click on or purchase for 24 hours after they come through your site.
You should know, however, that you cannot use Spreadr to fill an entire online website. To qualify for this app, you must first fill your site with original content, whether that be products, posts, or reviews.
- Unlimited product imports on all plans
- Earn affiliate income
- Auto-sync for pricing and inventory
- Limitations with Amazon dropshipping
- Difficult to add product variants (sizes and colors)
Spreadr offers a “free plan,” exclusively to un-launched Shopify stores, affiliate stores, and Shopify staff stores (basically, non-selling stores). You can also try out the fully-featured app for free with a 7-day free trial.
Aside from this free plan, paid plans range from the Basic plan at $5/month to the Jumbo plan at $60/month. All plans give you access to unlimited product imports. For more in-depth pricing information try the Spreadr website.
Spreadr offers many features that you can use to list Amazon products on your store as both dropshipped items or affiliate links. It’s important to note, however, that you cannot dropship Amazon Prime items. In fact, Spreadr recommends that merchants use their app primarily for the referral revue. They recommend dropshipping mainly to merchants who already sell on Amazon. They say that the Spreadr app can serve as a way to fulfill orders on their own products from Shopify. Take a look at Spreadr’s site for more features, or view a brief list below:
- One-Click Upload: To upload a new product, just copy-paste the Amazon product URL and click “Add.”
- Customize Product Descriptions: Make changes to product descriptions, optimize for SEO, and customize product titles.
- Commissions: Make up to a 10% commission on qualifying purchases.
- Use Amazon For Dropshipping: Instead of collecting commissions, you can choose to use Amazon as a dropshipping source.
- Enable Auto-Sync: Automatically update price and inventory levels to match Amazon.
- Bulk Import: Import up to 2,000 Amazon products at once.
Spreadr users love that the affiliate program is quick and easy to implement. They also love Spreadr’s customer support team. Online complaints primarily address confusion regarding Spreadr’s free plan (really, no free plan exists for active stores). In addition, it seems that adding products with multiple variants (like sizes and colors) is clumsy.
When To Use Spreader
Spreadr is a great way to start Amazon dropshipping on your Shopify store or to just make a buck from commissions. Try out a free 7-day trial by signing up on their page in the Shopify App Store or read more on the Spreadr website.
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Best for printing and shipping products with your own designs.
Printful is a unique dropshipping service that lets you create your own designs for apparel products (and more!) and then sell those products on your site. Printful creates and ships each individual order as it comes in. You don’t need to order your designs in bulk before-hand. Printful prints and ships on demand.
Printful fulfills orders from locations in California, North Carolina, Mexico, and Europe, so orders placed from nearby locations are fulfilled faster.
- Create your own products
- Print on demand
- No monthly fees
- Inconsistent customer support
- Printing occasionally comes out wrong
Pricing for Printful is included in the products that you purchase. There are no monthly or startup fees, and there are no charges beyond the cost of products, printing, shipping, and taxes. A few features cost more than the products’ base prices (for example, printing your logo inside of a shirt costs $2.49/label), but for the most part, all pricing is included in the product price.
Volume discounts are available for merchants who sell on the platform. These discounts are based on the previous month’s sales volume, and they range from 5% for $5,000 in sales up to 16% for $200,000 in sales.
Printful has plenty of options for creating custom print-to-order products and automating the fulfillment process. They have automatic order import features, as well as shipping and tax calculators built-in. Your orders are printed quickly once Printful receives them, and if you want to fulfill orders even faster, you can use their warehousing options to create multiple products in advance and store them at Printful’s fulfillment sites. Here’s a look at a few available features:
- Over 200 Products: Printful lets you customize and sell over 200 products. These are primarily apparel products, but there are also home goods like mugs and pillows available. Customize these products using sublimation printing and embroidery.
- Discounted Shipping: Printful has negotiated discounted shipping rates with UPS, FedEx, and DHL.
- Fast Order Fulfillment: Printful can create an apparel product in 2-7 business days and a non-apparel product in 2-5 business days. Then the product is shipped and delivered to your customer within 2-14 days depending on the shipping destination. Shipments are fastest within the US, typically taking 3-4 days. Shipping rates are around 6-10 days in Canada and as fast as 2-7 days in select European countries.
- Design Options: You can use Printful’s free design templates to guide your designs, or you can hire their design services to create something new for you. You can even let customers create their own personalized designs on your site.
- 24/7 Support: Printful offers support through email, live chat, and phone.
Reviews of Printful on the Shopify App Store praise the app for its ease of use. What’s more, they say the available tutorials are helpful and that Printful’s basic t-shirts are high quality. I have seen mixed reviews of Printful’s customer support. Some users appreciate the support available, while some users say Printful’s customer support failed them. I’ve also seen a few complaints saying that printed designs occasionally come out wrong. Be sure to consider these pros and cons as you think about using Printful for your site.
When To Use Printful
Printful is best for sellers who want to design their own products and print them on-demand. Printful offers fast fulfillment of custom products, making them an excellent option for apparel dropshippers. For more information, check out Printful’s page in the Shopify App Store as well as Printful’s website.
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Choosing The Right Shopify Dropshipping App
When it comes to Shopify dropshipping, you have quite a few options to choose from. We suggest that you take an in-depth look at a few available applications. Look into each app’s affiliated suppliers and check out the automation features that come built-in. Be sure to read customer reviews on each application, and sign up for any available free trials.
As you look for a Shopify dropshipping app, we recommend that you start your research with the apps we’ve included in this list. They have all been thoroughly tested by the Shopify community, and have emerged with high praise. Test one or two of these Shopify dropshipping apps, and see what a good extension can do for your eCommerce website.
In Summary: The Best Shopify Dropshipping Apps
- Spocket: Best for accessing suppliers in the US, Canada, and Europe.
- Oberlo: Best for dropshipping with both AliExpress and the Oberlo marketplace.
- Modalyst: Best for finding high-quality products with predictable shipping costs.
- AliExpress: Best for importing products from AliExpress.
- Spreadr: Best for dropshipping Amazon products and earning Amazon affiliate revenue.
- Printful: Best for printing and shipping products with your own designs.