This is the most complete guide to dropshipping with Oberlo.
So if you want to:
- Fully utilize Oberlo to its potential
- Understand how to set it up properly
- Enhance your dropshipping store
- and much more
Then you’ll love the detailed information in today’s guide.
Let’s dive right in.
What is Oberlo?
Oberlo is the application that simplifies the process of dropshipping on Shopify.
This single application allows you do to all of these tasks:
- Import products from Aliexpress
- Edit product details
- Fulfill customer orders
- Update product inventory
- Automate product pricing
- View revenue breakdown
- and more
As you can see, Oberlo’s functions are an essential part of the dropshipping business model.
We at Verum Ecom have been dropshipping for over 4 years, have built several 7-figure businesses, and have one thing in common on all of our stores.
We’ve used Oberlo on every single successful dropshipping store.
To learn more about dropshipping and Facebook ads, check out our YouTube channel where we have 105,413 subscribers.
Furthermore, feel free to join our community of 54,643 dropshippers on our Facebook group.
This being said, let’s take a closer look what exactly dropshipping is.
What is Dropshipping?
If you’re reading this article, you’re most likely completely new to dropshipping and need some direction on how to get started.
Luckily for you, we at Verum Ecom have created this blog dedicated to helping people like you.
Before diving deep into Oberlo, it’s important that you fully understand the dropshipping business model.
So what exactly is dropshipping?
How does dropshipping differ from traditional ecommerce?
Simply put, in a regular ecommerce business the store will buy inventory of their products.
They will then store the inventory in a warehouse and then ship it out themselves once a customer purchases the item online.
In dropshipping, rather than buying bulk inventory of their products, the dropshipping store will have their supplier ship the product directly to the customer.
In other words, dropshippers never actually touch any inventory of their own products.
Here’s dropshipping visualized in a timeline:
- A customer orders a product from dropshipping store
- The dropshipping store collects the payment
- The dropshipping store purchases the product from their supplier and gives the supplier the customer’s shipping information
- The supplier ships the product directly to the customer
Dropshippers don’t have to worry about storing, packing, and shipping out products.
This is the main advantage of dropshipping over traditional ecommerce.
Since there’s no need to invest a significant amount of money into inventory, dropshippers face a lot less risk.
How to start a dropshipping business
Starting a dropshipping business is relatively straightforward, especially with our help.
For an in-depth guide on starting a dropshipping store, check out our Dropshipping Guide.
But here’s a brief overview as well:
- Create a Shopify account
- Find products to sell using Aliexpress
- Import the products to your Shopify store using the Oberlo Chrome Extension
- Name your store and buy a website domain
- Create a Facebook page and Facebook business account for your store
- Design advertisements in video or picture format
- Run advertisements through Facebook business manager
As you can see, creating a dropshipping store is actually quite simple.
The difficult part of dropshipping is selecting which products to sell and how to optimally run advertisements.
Based on our experience teaching beginners on how to dropship, they run into most of their failures on these two things.
So our best advice for anybody new to dropshipping is to be patient, think logically, and understand that success will come with time.
Why is Oberlo Essential for Dropshipping Stores?
Oberlo and dropshipping go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly.
As a dropshipper, Oberlo allows you complete all the essential tasks with ease.
From setting up your store to fulfilling orders, you will always be using Oberlo along the way.
Best of all, Oberlo’s starter plan is completely free and offers all the features you need to get your dropshipping store off the ground.
As we get into the Oberlo setup all of its main feature later on in this article, you’ll quickly realize how important this application truly is.
How to Install Oberlo
If you don’t already have a Shopify account, the first step is to create one.
Click here to create one. Shopify offers a 14 day free trial, so feel free to take advantage of that.
Once you have your Shopify account created your home screen should look like this:
Click ‘Apps’ on the left-hand side of your screen.
Next, click ‘Visit the Shopify App Store’ in the upper-right hand corner.
Now, type in “Oberlo” in the search bar and click ‘Add app’.
With the Oberlo app installed, it’s time to install the Oberlo Chrome Extension
Oberlo Chrome Extension
Along with the Oberlo Shopify app, you’ll need to install the Oberlo Chrome Extension as well.
Assuming you’re using Google Chrome, click here to install it.
The Oberlo Chrome Extension differs from the Oberlo Shopify app and you will need both as a dropshipper.
This extension allows you to import products directly from Aliexpress.
Oberlo Main Features
Let’s discuss all of Oberlo’s main features and how to use them.
Importing Products From Aliexpress
One of the first steps in creating a dropshipping store is selecting what products you want to sell.
For an in-depth look on product research and selection, refer to our Product Research guide.
In summary, you will be searching for products on Aliexpress that you want to sell on your own store.
Once you’ve found some products you want to sell, go to the Aliexpress product page and click the Oberlo extension on the top-right corner of your screen.
Next, click ‘Import to Store’.
After you see the green checkmark the product will be already imported into your Shopify backend.
Navigate over to Shopify, click ‘Apps’, and then click ‘Oberlo’.
The main Oberlo dashboard should look like this:
Click ‘Import List’ on the left-hand side of your screen.
You will see the product you just imported.
At this point, the product is not yet live on your store. Oberlo allows you to edit the product details before actually listing the product on your website.
Clicking ‘Import To Store’ will publish the product and make it go live.
However, it’s important to edit the product details before doing this.
Editing Product Details
While the product is still on your ‘Import List’ in Oberlo, you can adjust a few things before publishing the product.
Changing Product Name
The first step is to change the name of your product.
Currently, the Aliexpress name will be in the title box which usually very sloppy and random.
Change the name of the product to something unique and professional.
For example, “Comfort Cloud Slippers” sounds much more appealing than just “House Slippers”.
Use your imagination and creativity.
Choosing Product Collection
After naming your product, it’s time to select which collection your product should be placed in.
You most likely don’t have any collections setup yet if this is your first time importing products, so open the Shopify homescreen on a new tap.
Next, click ‘Products’ on the left-hand side of your screen.
Then, click ‘Collections’.
Next, click on ‘Create collection’.
Collections are the groups of products user will browse through when shopping on your store.
For example, for clothing stores the collections would be “T-Shirts”, “Hoodies”, “Jeans”, etc.
Name your collection appropriately and then head back into Oberlo.
Refresh the import list page and then select the collection you just created.
Adding Product Type and Tags
Under ‘collections’ you’ll see ‘type’ and ‘tags’.
These two product details are hidden in the backend of your Shopify and are mainly used for editing.
You can name them right in Shopify.
Choose names that product relates to.
Editing Product Description
Next, it’s time for you to edit the product description.
Click ‘Description’ next to ‘Product’.
We recommend writing custom product descriptions for all of your products.
The descriptions already inputted from Aliexpress are usually very unprofessional and don’t make logical sense.
When it comes to your description, use vivid wording and try answering all the questions a consumer may have.
Talk about what problems the product can help solve and who the product is best suited for.
Copywriting is an important part of dropshipping and marketing, so take your time to practice and write professional product descriptions.
Modifying Product Pricing and Variants
The next step is clicking ‘Variants’ and editing the details listed there.
You can customize the product pricing, compared-at price, color, sizing, and so forth.
For product pricing, we recommend setting the products to at least 3x the total price from Aliexpress.
So if the price on Aliexpress is $14 + $4 shipping, we’d set the price to around $54.
The 3x markup is the best way for your store to maintain consistent profit margins once you factor in Facebook ads costs.
However, if you find yourself struggling to maintain sales at this price point, you can try lowering your product prices.
Furthermore, setting a compared at price will show a discounted sale on your product page.
For example, if the compared-at price is $50 and your selling price is $25, your website will show a 50% off discount for your product.
After setting your prices, click ‘Images’.
You should see an array of all the available images that were imported from Aliexpress.
The images with a green checkmark are the images that will be shown on your product pages.
As far as choosing images goes, we recommend picking images that are clean and clear.
Select only 3-6 high quality images and avoid images that look cheap and tacky.
Furthermore, avoid images containing any logos from the Aliexpress supplier.
At this point, your product will be ready for publishing.
Click ‘Import to Store’.
This button moves the product from the Shopify backend into listing it live on your dropshipping store.
The next step is to adjust your Oberlo settings.
On your Oberlo dashboard, click ‘Settings’ in the bottom-right hand corner.
Type in the name of your store in the ‘Store name’ section and make sure ‘Set new products as published’ is checked.
Next, scroll down and find ‘Notify customers about shipped orders’.
You can leave this blank because you will be installing the application called Tracktor which will handle shipping updates and emails.
Find ‘Auto updates’ and choose ‘Set Quantity To Zero’ when the product is no longer available. This options allows your store to automatically show products as out of stock when the Aliexpress supplier inventory is 0.
Next, select ‘Set Quantity To Zero’ when the variant is no longer available.
For ‘When the cost changes’ choose ‘Do Nothing’, but select ‘Notify Me’.
By selecting this option, Oberlo will notify you if the supplier changes the product price. With this information, you can adjust the product price on your store accordingly.
Furthermore, choose ‘Update Automatically’ for when inventory changes. These are all the changes needed in the basic settings menu.
Next, click ‘Global Pricing Rules’ on the left-hand side of your screen. This menu allows you to automatically set your product prices and compared at prices.
You can use this tool to set all the prices of your products at one-time rather than doing it manually for each product.
Next, click ‘Suppliers’ and change the default shipping method to ‘ePacket’.
In the ‘Override phone number’ box, type in your own phone number so the supplier doesn’t receive the customer’s phone number. .
You can ignore ‘GDPR Reports’.
Be sure to save your settings along the way.
In ‘Other’, just input your own time zone.
And that’s it! Make sure you save all your Oberlo settings.
Now It’s Your Turn
This concludes our Oberlo 101 tutorial.
Now it’s your turn to put everything we taught you into action and turn your dropshipping store into a money maker.
Oberlo is the best Shopify dropshipping app that will get you closer to your goals.
Please let us know in the comments if you have any questions concerning Oberlo.