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"The Art of Finding Winning Products"
Dropshipping may seem like an easy business idea, but it is hard work. Whether you’re a supplier of dropshipping products or a merchant hoping to sell dropshipped wares to a broad audience, it can be a time-consuming business.
Without automated processes in place, the risk of spending hours of valuable business growth time on manual tasks is great. That’s why automated processes are essential for dropshipping suppliers and eCommerce merchants alike - not least because they reduce the time spent on what often feels like a mountain of administrative and manual tasks.
Aside from saving hours of human resources, embracing automation reduces the likelihood of manual errors, allowing you to run more efficiently. For example, automated order fulfillment decreases the risk of sending the wrong customer orders to the incorrect suppliers.
So, what kind of automation can dropshipping businesses benefit from?
In a nutshell, we're referring to tools that streamline your order processing, inventory management, marketing, retrieving customer behavior data, etc.
With that said, let’s explore in greater detail how you could harness automation to boost your dropshipping business’s efficiency:
Inventory management automation is imperative for dropshipping suppliers looking to sell their wares to online merchants.
To clarify, inventory management automation refers to the automated tracking of inventory levels, sales, orders, and deliveries.
So, instead of manually keeping tabs on inventory using spreadsheets, automated inventory management tools make it much easier to access up-to-date data. For example, you should be able to see your inventory levels at a glance in real-time. Needless to say, this is great for restocking purposes and getting a sense of what’s selling well and, conversely, what isn’t. With this info at hand, you’re better positioned to optimize your product offering accordingly.
Not to mention, automated inventory management reduces the likelihood of human error, helping you keep a clear record of inventory levels and streamlining product reordering.
With all that in mind, if you’re in the market for an inventory management automation tool, here’s what to look out for:
Being able to see what inventory you have and where it is is invaluable for dropshipping suppliers.
This is where partnering and selling your dropshipping products with Spocket has its benefits. Your inventory is automatically synced with Spocket, and you can manage and update your inventory via the Spocket dashboard.
Spocket also has a system for its suppliers to receive real-time color-coded alerts (red, orange, black). Red indicates fewer than ten units of inventory, orange indicates 11 to 15 units of inventory, and black indicates more than 50, allowing you to quickly get a sense of your inventory levels from the convenience of your Spocket dashboard.
Not only is such a system handy for dropshipping suppliers, but it also gives eCommerce merchants (i.e., those looking to purchase dropshipping products) confidence they’re selling products that are actually available- win-win!
Suppose you’re an online merchant looking to sell dropshipping products. In that case, the beauty of working with a first-rate dropshipping platform is that it streamlines the entire order fulfillment process.
For example, once a customer places an order on your eCommerce store, it’s automatically forwarded to the correct supplier for fulfillment - this includes the picking, packing, and shipping of the item to your customer.
Again, this is where Spocket shines. Spocket predominantly works with US and EU-based suppliers as well as AliExpress suppliers via its online AliScraper tool. You can add products from your Spocket dashboard to your preferred eCommerce platforms to sell.
To do this, you just need to connect your Spocket account with your online store/online marketplace shop. This is quickly done with one of Spcoket’s native integrations. Spocket integrates with various popular eCommerce platforms, including Shopify, Wix, WooCommerce, and more.
Then, when a customer places an order via your eCommerce store, it‘s automatically sent directly to the necessary Spocket supplier, who handles all the order processing. Needless to say, this goes a long way to saving time and reduces the likelihood of manual errors.
With small businesses spending 20 hours a week on marketing, it stands to reason that entrepreneurs want to cut back on the time spent on marketing-related tasks.
Again, the solution lies in automation. There are tons of different marketing automation software out there that can enable a more targeted and personalized approach to your marketing. For example, automated emails thanking customers for their orders, offering discounts on products, upselling products, and customized responses tailored to each customer.
With that said, let’s look at a few examples.
Spocket integrates with several marketing platforms available to Shopify users, including:
You can also utilize automation to enhance your customer service. Statistics tell us that customers don’t go easy on companies that provide poor customer service, with only one in five forgiving a lousy experience.
It stands to reason that good customer experience = loyal customers, with 86% of customers stating they’re more likely to remain loyal to a brand if they receive good customer service.
In an ideal world, you would devote your time to personally dealing with every customer query.
However, this is unrealistic and leaves little time for marketing and other activities that will boost your business’s growth.
Instead, you can use automation tools to answer your customer’s more basic questions, freeing you and your customer support agents up to inject expertise when more complex queries arise.
Here are some examples of customer support automation tools that could help streamline your customer service offering:
If you want to grow your dropshipping store, the more information you have about your SEO, product data, customer behavior, etc., the better for helping you make more informed business decisions.
It’s worth noting that Spocket partners with the following analytics and reporting tools to help you turn data into actionable insights to grow your business:
So far, we’ve provided plenty of examples of the different automated tools you could use to enhance your dropshipping business. However, before diving in and investing in any of them (or others you may find), it’s worth considering the following:
Does the tool integrate with your eCommerce store and/or marketplace?
Before parting with your hard-earned cash, it’s worth heading to your eCommerce platform’s app store to see if there’s an integration available. If there is, it will be much easier for the two platforms to communicate.
Alternatively, if you have the coding smarts (and the time), see whether you can access the tool’s API to create your own custom integration.
Are there additional costs attached?
Although many of the tools referred to throughout this blog post have free trials, there are often costs associated with them once the trial comes to an end. As such, it’s always worth carefully checking the software’s pricing plans to avoid any unwanted budget-related surprises.
What do other users think?
In most instances, if the automation tool you’re considering integrates with your eCommerce platform, their app store will list customer reviews.
Be sure to scour through these reviews, particularly the most recent ones, to see what works well and, more importantly, what works less well.
Does the app do everything you want it to now, and will it in the future?
While some apps may be cheap, if they don’t offer everything you need, you may find yourself returning to the drawing board further down the line.
Sometimes, this is costlier and more hassle later on. So, be sure to consider what your business might need in the near future, and if your budget allows, try to get the software you’ll need the first time around.
What user support does the developer offer?
Does the automation tool offer ongoing support in case issues arise? If so, what hours do their customer support team operate during? Also, which support channels do they offer? Email? Live chat? Phone?
Also, is there an online resource center? If so, what’s the quality of their self-help materials like?
On a similar note, it’s worth seeing whether the app is regularly updated. If it is, it’s a good sign the developer cares about the user experience, and the platform’s less likely to be hindered by bugs and glitches - win-win!
What does your eCommerce platform offer?
Before splashing the cash, it’s always worth double-checking what your eCommerce platform already provides.
For example, Shopify users benefit from automated abandoned cart recovery functionality and can automatically send multi-channel communications, including SMS, email, and push notifications to customers (other automated features are available, but we don’t have space to discuss them all here).
All that to say, seeing what you already have access to is a wise move. After all, there’s no point in paying for automation tools you already have.
That brings us to the end of our guide to automated dropshipping tools for boosting your business’s efficiency!
Hopefully, you’ve got a better understanding of all the different ways you could automate your dropshipping business to streamline your operations.
Just remember that to experience a smooth implementation, it’s essential to stick to the above tips, including checking what reviewers say about the tool. It's also wise to head to each app’s website to quickly read what’s necessary for ensuring successful integration with your existing tech stack.
Ultimately, only you can decide which automation tools best meet the needs of your online store. What will save you the most time? What will make you and your team less reliant on manual systems? Use the answers to these questions to fuel your research.
Lastly, we always recommend trying such tools first; there’s no harm in taking advantage of any free trials on offer. After all, this is the best way to see for yourself whether the platform adds value to your business.
Speaking of free trials, if you’re new to Spocket, there’s a 14-day free trial with no credit card needed!
That’s all from us; let us know how you get on in the comments box below!
Rosie Greaves is a professional content strategist specializing in all things digital marketing, B2B, and lifestyle. In addition to Spocket, you can find her published on Reader's Digest, E-commerce Platforms, and Judicious Inc. Check out her website Blog with Rosie for more information.