Oberlo is a widely popular Shopify app that connects dropshipping manufacturers and sellers online. It makes the process of dropshipping easier with its easy setup and integration with Shopify, the world’s biggest online eCommerce platform. Ever since Oberlo’s founding, its merchants have sold more than $85 million products worldwide.
One of the leading dropshipping apps available on the Shopify marketplace, Oberlo is used on over 7000 Shopify stores and it has helped people make more than $36 million in sales.
But is it worth investing your time? Let’s find out if Oberlo is good enough for dropshipping..
What is Oberlo?
Founded in 2015 and acquired by Shopify in 2017, Oberlo is an extension made available exclusively on the Shopify marketplace that helps streamline the entire dropshipping process for sellers.
By adding the Oberlo app to your Shopify store it becomes possible for you to find dropshipping products, add them automatically to your online store, and then ship the products to your customers directly. You don’t need to pay suppliers until your customers have successfully placed the orders.
Key Features of Oberlo
Easily import products
Oberlo makes things easier for sellers by importing products from AliExpress and other suppliers in just a few clicks. Once you have selected the products you want to dropship and sell on your store, you just have to click on the ‘Add to Import list’ button to import all of the product details to your website including product descriptions, details, and images.
All of the product data that you import is completely editable. You can edit the product names, descriptions, and even images to fit the overall brand tone/ messaging of your Shopify store. This in turn saves time and allows you to focus on more important parts of your business.
Bulk product editing
One of the best features of Oberlo is its bulk product editor. After you add your products to the import list, you also have the option to edit all the products together instead of one at a time which in turn saves time and allows you to take products live on your online store quickly.
You can also edit product descriptions together to better align with your website’s SEO strategy.
Oberlo dashboard has a clean menu and user-friendly interface, making it easy for even new sellers to quickly get started. You can search for products, set featured products, manage your product import list, and check your current order details -- all through a single dashboard.
Oberlo also offers sales reports and extensive product metrics, enabling sellers to understand how their listed products have been performing. So if a certain product category is performing better than the other, you can start dropshipping more products from that particular category.
Automated inventory and Price updates
Oberlo checks the supplier’s inventory and updates your Shopify store’s product inventory automatically. For example, if you have listed some products on your store that have already gone out-of-stock at the supplier’s end, then Oberlo will automatically update the product as out-of-stock on your website too.
This in turn avoids the risk of you selling out-of-stock products which will only lead to the products not getting delivered and a lengthy refund process at your end. Moreover, situations like these can lead to complaints, negative impressions, and a bad reputation with the customers.
Also, if the prices change at the supplier’s end, they can be automatically updated on your online store too in order to ensure you are always making a clear profit. You can set up the pricing rules to ensure optimum profits on each product.
Automatic Order Fulfillment
Oberlo automates the order fulfillment process from start to end. When a customer places an order on your Shopify website, you will see it appear on your Orders page.
It will be marked as unfulfilled until you click the ‘order products’ button present next to the order details and make the payment for the products to the seller.
This ensures that even if after a customer places an order, it does not automatically go to the supplier for processing and deducts the payment from you. The final decision to place the order with the supplier is still yours.
So, if you notice any payment issues, address issues, or supplier issues, you can pause the order and handle it before processing it for shipping and fulfillment.
Upgrading from the basic plan, you can also order a number of products from different customers all in one go. Oberlo handles all the product and shipping information for you, all you have to do is enter the payment details.
Transparent sales and Shipment tracking
When you upgrade to the pro plan, Oberlo also provides shipment tracking for your dropshipping products, which ensures you and your customers know exactly where the product is at all times. You also get the option to notify your customers when the order is shipped and share a custom tracking URL with them.
Order return and Refunds
However, the orders processed by Oberlo are mostly non-returnable, if and only if one or more of the situations arise –
- Products received are incorrect, in either size, color, shape, or more.
- The package gets damaged during the shipment.
- Products are of bad quality.
- Products go missing and do not arrive at the address.
- The package is delivered too late than estimated
In any of these situations, Oberlo first ensures the legitimacy of the situation and processes refunds if the case is found to be true.
How To Use Oberlo: A step-wise guide
Step 1: Sign up
Head to Oberlo’s main homepage and click on ‘become a member’ to order to sign up for an Oberlo account. Once this is done, click on ‘Join Oberlo free’ to sign up for all the basic Oberlo features for free. You can also choose a paid Oberlo plan. Although it is preferable to check it out for free before you invest in it.
Its also possible to sign up through the Shopify store. Log into your Shopify account and go to the ‘products’ section. Here, click on ‘More actions’--> ‘More products. This will directly add Oberlo to your online store and you can start using it right away.
Note that once you create and link an Oberlo account with your Shopify store, you cannot de-link it.
Step 2: Connect Oberlo to Shopify
If you have signed up on Oberlo’s website directly, then you need to first link it to your Shopify store. For this, go to the admin section and click on ‘create or connect a store.’ You then need to copy/paste your store URL and click on the button to connect your store to Oberlo.
Step 3: Find dropshipping products to sell in your store
You can find dropshipping products and sell on your online store through Oberlo. It’s possible to search for dropshipping products according to the keywords or look for the best selling categories for ideas.
Step 5: Connect with suppliers
There are three kinds of suppliers on Oberlo that you can choose from
AliExpress: It is one of the biggest dropshipping platforms, headquartered in China, with a wide selection of products. The quality, prices, and shipping time varies a lot and depends on the dropshippers you select.
Oberlo Suppliers: These are suppliers have their business licenses verified by Oberlo before they can start listing their products on the plan. They offer English support and ship around the world
Verified suppliers: Oberlo inspects the warehouses of these suppliers and only approves the most high-quality suppliers. The verified suppliers on Oberlo deliver 95 percent of orders right on time and they have a dispute rate of less than 2 percent.
Step 6: Import products
After you have shortlisted the products you want to dropship through your eCommerce store, click on the ‘Add to the import list’ button to further customize the products for your online store.
It’s possible to import over 500 products as part of the free plan. In case you exceed this limit, you will still be able to use Oberlo for free, but you will be responsible for completing all the order information manually when a customer places an order and Oberlo won’t fill in all the customer and shipping information automatically.
As mentioned before, the product descriptions and images are directly imported to your online store as well and you get the option to fully customize them to fit your online store’s SEO and overall branding.
Step 7: Set prices
To set the prices of your products, go to the Product Import page and then click on ‘variants’ option available. On the page, you can check the default prices of all the products and customize them for your store.
You can adjust the pricing of each product one by one or adjust them in bulk with the ‘Change all prices’ button. The latter allows you to set new price values based on a multiplier.
Once all the above steps are followed, and the items are added to your online store with the prices, you are ready to go!
Oberlo Pros and Cons
- High scalability for growing businesses
- Basic free plan available with limited features
- Automated order fulfillment with paid plans
- Quick and secure product importing
- Customizable product details
- Customizable pricing markups
- Integration with one of the biggest eCommerce businesses in the world, AliExpress
- Offers a unified dashboard to manage all your orders
- You can set pricing rules for all the products
- Oberlo allows bulk product editing
- No phone support available for customers -- only email and live chat support
- Oberlo can only be used if you have a Shopify online store
- Oberlo restricts some products, and their terms and conditions are not very clear as to why they are restricted
- When there is a high selling product, Oberlo’s algorithm recognizes it and often recommends it to other sellers
Plans and pricing
Oberlo’s Starter plan offers all major features free of cost. It allows clients to import up to 500 products. The online store is fully equipped with features like automatic order fulfillment, sales reports, chrome extensions, and more.
Cost: $29.90 per month
The Boss pricing allows you to import up to 30,000 products, confirm bulk orders, provide shipment tracking details, setup multiple staff accounts and even create an affiliate program.
Oberlo is a good Shopify extension, especially for sellers who are new to dropshipping and do not have enough time or the expertise to manually setup their online dropshipping store.
Though it’s important to note that Oberlo only works with Shopify. Even if you opt for a free Oberlo plan, you would still have to pay a minimum of $29 per month for setting up your own Shopify store.
That means, implementing Oberlo is worth it only if you already have a Shopify store. But moving your online store to Shopify just so you can use Oberlo isn’t worth it unless you are sure of making big profits.
Moreover, while Oberlo does try its best to verify suppliers on its platform, all of it really comes down to the research and discretion of the sellers. You have to spend time researching supplier reviews to ensure they are trusted and they can deliver products to your customers on time.
All in all, Oberlo makes it easy to start an online store, especially if you are a beginner and keen on setting up a Shopify store. It is a good medium to try dropshipping and experience the hassle-free delivery of products to customers from your store.