Dropshipping is becoming an increasingly popular method of selling products online. It’s a business model where the retailer doesn’t keep inventory in stock. Instead, when a customer makes an order, the retailer orders the product from a third-party supplier who then ships the product directly to the customer. This method of e-commerce is gaining widespread use and popularity. WooCommerce is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms powering more than 42% of all online stores worldwide.
In this article, we’ll be discussing if it’s possible to set up a dropshipping system in WooCommerce and how you can do it.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress. It enables you to create an online store, manage your products and customers, and process payments. The platform is flexible and easy-to-use, which is why it’s become so popular. WooCommerce also supports a variety of payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe, and Square.
Difference Between Traditional and Dropshipping Models
The traditional retail model involves a retailer purchasing inventory from a supplier, keeping it in stock, and selling it once the customer makes an order. This comes with some inherent risks such as overstocking or stockpiling on products that don’t move. Dropshipping eliminates the need to hold inventory in-stock since the products are only ordered on demand.
The dropshipping model carries several benefits for the seller. First, since you don’t have to hold inventory in-stock, start-up costs are significantly lower. Second, since you don’t have to worry about inventory management, there is less risk involved. In contrast, the downside to this business model is that you don’t have much control over the supply chain and the quality of the product.
How to Set Up a Dropshipping System in WooCommerce
To set up a dropshipping system in WooCommerce, there are two primary ways that retailers can go about it. They can either use a third-party app or plugin or manually integrate the dropshipping process into their store.
Using a Third-Party
One of the easiest ways to start dropshipping with WooCommerce is by installing a third-party plugin that handles everything for you. These plugins will typically manage your entire supply chain process including placing orders with your supplier, tracking shipments, and handling returns.
AliDropship – A popular dropshipping plugin that enables you to browse thousands of products from AliExpress and fulfill your customer orders easily. It offers a one-time fee and comes with lifetime updates and customer support.
Spocket – This plugin offers quality products primarily from American and Asian suppliers. It integrates seamlessly with WooCommerce and is simple to use; however, there is a monthly fee starting at $12.
Dropified – This is an easy-to-use plugin that enables you to import products from multiple suppliers, access real-time inventory levels, create custom product variants, import product reviews, and more. The pricing starts at $47 per month, and it’s good value for the features on offer.
Manual integration is the other method companies use to integrate dropshipping into their WooCommerce store. The process involves manually handling inventory and ordering items from suppliers. This method entails a bit more work, but it’s cost-effective for small businesses.
The following steps can help you manually integrate a dropshipping model into WooCommerce:
1. Find a Supplier
First, you’ll need to find a quality supplier that meets your needs. Ensure that you choose a supplier based on their quality products, reliability, and shipment speed.
2. Choose Products to Sell
Next, choose which products you want to sell from the supplier’s collection. Import them into your store, add descriptions, images, and prices.
3. Place Customer Order
When your customer makes an order, the process of sending the order to the supplier will be manual. Place an order with the supplier on behalf of the customer.
You’ll have to manually track the order with your supplier and provide the necessary information to your customer.
5. Handling Returns
It’s important to have an internal system to handle returns if a customer informs you that they are not satisfied with the product. Communicate this to your supplier and get a refund.
Setting up a dropshipping system in WooCommerce is an excellent and efficient way to run an online store. You can either use a third-party plugin or integrate into it manually. While automatically fulfilling your orders with a plugin can be costly, it’s simple to use. Still, it’s possible for businesses to build the dropshipping process manually into their store if they have the appropriate resources. Pick a model that suits your business’s current and future needs and watch your sales soar.