One popular form of eCommerce today is dropshipping. Dropshipping is an order fulfillment method where stores do not stock the product they sell. This means that using dropshipping, a store purchases an item from the manufacturers or sellers (third party) and has them ship it directly to customers. As such, the seller does not have to handle the packing and delivery of products.
The major difference between dropshipping and the standard retail method is that the seller does not stock inventory Instead, they purchase inventory as needed from wholesalers and have them delivered directly to customers.
When starting an e-commerce store, inventory sourcing and stocking are the most difficult things. This is why many startup entrepreneurs choose to use dropshipping. Stocking products in bulk requires funds that you might not have as a startup seller. Using the dropshipping method, you can purchase products based on orders and send them without having to pay for storage or any extra fees.
If you're considering starting a dropshipping business on Shopify, you'll need some help. In this guide, you'll find a list of the 10 best Shopify dropshipping apps you can use to acquire inventory and products for your new Shopify store.
10 Best Shopify Dropshipping Apps
The Oberlo dropshipping app was created specifically to help Shopify merchants with dropshipping. Using Oberlo, merchants can now easily upload products from AliExpress or Oberlo's own marketplaces directly into their Shopify stores.
Oberlo also provides access to a library of items, including and various pricing points. To use Oberlo, all you have to do is click on the goods you're interested in, and it will instantly be uploaded to your Shopify shop if you are interested in selling them.
Oberlo provides merchants with a wide range of products, including clothes, accessories, toys, electronics, and much more. You'll also be able to sell them to customers directly and not have to deal with inventory. You also enjoy leverage using Oberlo's strong network of logistics and pay very reasonable prices for shipping.
Because of how tightly Oberlo and Shopify are integrated, the whole process of selecting, selling, and shipping products is fully automated. This helps you to focus more on your business rather than going through the order fulfillment process yourself.
There are 3 different price plans for Oberlo to choose from:
- Free Plan: Using the Free Plan, you can upload up to 500 different products to your Shopify store. This plan allows you to process up to 50 orders a month with Oberlo.
- Basic Plan ($29.90): Using the Basic Plan, you can upload up to 10,000 products, fulfill up to 5000 orders a month, which translates to about $2000 to $3000 worth of sales.
- Pro Plan ($79.90): The Pro Plan allows you to upload up to 30,000 products and enjoy unlimited orders monthly.
Oberlo has several benefits over its competitors. Their user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are both quite simple. You can easily import items from Oberlo Marketplace and AliExpress directly to your website with a few clicks. Not only that, but if you're unhappy with the product photographs, you can modify them. You may order some samples and take your own high-quality product photographs to set yourself apart from other dropshippers using Oberlo.
Oberlo also lets you change the names of products, add your own descriptions, and more. Oberlo also has a wealth of tools and information on their website and blog to assist new shop owners in setting up a successful dropshipping business.
If you don't want to build an Oberlo store from scratch, you can also choose to purchase one from the Shopify exchange marketplace. This is a shortcut, and if you enjoy a business in the Shopify marketplace, you might want to consider purchasing it off the shelf and marketing it immediately.
As with every good thing, Oberlo has its pros and also cons. One flaw with the Orbelo dropshipping app is that each product must be manually added to your store, and it doesn't have a product feed where you can upload products in bulk from a certain supplier. Also, you can only source products from the Oberlo marketplace or AliExpress, and there is a tendency to run into shady suppliers or some that are not well accustomed to dropshipping properly; hence it is best to always check and get samples for the products you are selling.
Another flaw with Oberlo is that you cannot on board other dropshippers if you found a new one. Oberlo is strictly restricted to Shopify, which means that if you use U-commerce, Magento, or Tapcart, you'll be unable to use Oberlo.
Printful is a popular online dropshipping app that provides merchants with great top-notch products and good services based in the US. Printful is best suited for graphic designers, illustrators, and photographers who want their photos to be seen by the world.
Printful is a Print-On-Demand service which is a different type of dropshipping business. Using Printful, you upload your own designs for the products via Printful and create your own t-shirts, sweaters, pillows, leggings, phone cases, and many more. Print exactly what you want on these items and sell them directly to your customers. You could even build an entire brand just by using Printful.
Print automatically fulfills orders, delivering them to your customers, saving you the stress of order fulfillment. All you have to do is send your design in, and you'll have a product ready that you can sell for an unlimited amount of time. Everything is saved online, so it is always accessible, which makes it amazing.
What Makes Printful Great?
Printful is completely free to use no matter how many products you have in your store or how many orders you get monthly. There's no monthly membership, no fees; you simply pay a flat price for each of the products you sell depending on the items.
There are so many benefits attached to using the Printful app; these benefits include that they handle all printing, order fulfillment, and shipping, so you wouldn't have to lift a finger other than uploading the products and creating your store.
Printful also offers shipping for all products with tracking because of their high shipping standards unless the orders are in larger quantities. During peak seasons, they might be overloaded and have a lot of orders to fulfill. Generate mock-ups of your design so that you wouldn't have to take up product shots. All you have to do is design the product and put it up on your store.
Printful also provides branding services as your volume grows, helping you customize your packaging when the orders are being shipped to your customers, and this would really enhance your customer's unboxing experience and branding of your company.
Unfortunately, this is only reserved for merchants who have achieved a certain sale volume in a month.
Despite all of these benefits, there are some flaws to take note of while using the Printful. One of them is that you will have to follow their custom cutting, material, and sizes for apparel. This provides less control of the quality of your product as you are building your brand. Another flaw is that it takes between 2-7 days for products to be ready before they are shipped out, which may delay the process. Hence, it is best to manage customers' expectations in your FAQ, delivery, and product description on your website.
MXED is a fairly new dropshipping app that has partnered with one of the leading suppliers for pop-culture merch in the USA. MXED is only available in the USA. MXED has a large collection of licensed pop-culture merchandise from brands such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, Marvel, etc.
MXED provides merchants with access to fully licensed and legal products that can be dropshipped. Products made available on MXED are high in demand, which means that there is already a huge market for those products.
MXED comes in 3 different plans:
- Free: With the free plan, you can upload a total of 10 products and process up to 20 orders a month.
- Pro Tier ($49 per month): With the Pro Tier plan, you can upload up to 250 products and fulfill up to 500 orders per month.
- Expert Tier ($99 per month): With the Expert Tier, you can upload up to 500 products, fulfill unlimited orders per month, early access to new features, team account.
It's very clear that the major advantage you get from using MXED is that you wouldn't have to worry about licensing rights to sell these pop-culture merchandise. You also wouldn't have to infringe on any registered trademarks or copyright. MXED has a growing selection of inventory from many popular movies, TV series, and video games.
This market is already in very high demand, and there's already a vetted market for customers; all you would have to do is to market it, build your own concept store, and then bring it to market. Like all dropshipping apps, there is no shipping, fulfillment, or logistics required; the app does it all for you, including pricing and inventory.
Lastly, the main strength of MXED is also their weakness. Due to the licensing restrictions of these brands, MXED is only available if the retailer and customer are based in the USA. This makes it difficult for retailers out of America to set up stores and reach out to other customers around the world.
MODALYST provides a very wide selection of ready-made products by independent brands from the USA and Europe. Products on MODALYST mostly include men's and women's apparel, shoes, bags, bridal wear, children's clothing, beauty, etc.
Just like MXED, MODALYST is integrated directly with Shopify, and you can add and remove the products with a click of a button, so you can always update your product catalog with ease.
MODALYST is also available in Bigcommerce, and you can modify the product description, pricing, and images to suit your store theme and design.
MODALYST comes in 4 different plans to suit your business needs or as you grow:
- Hobby Plan (Free): For those who are starting up, this is the plan to choose. With the Hobby plan, you enjoy access to nonpremium suppliers and with a product limit of 25.
- Start up plan ($25): With the Startup plan, you get access to nonpremium suppliers, up to 250 product limit—real-time data feed, and access to product images, descriptions, and pricing with no minimum order.
- Pro ($175): With the pro plan, you'll get access to shorter shipping times, up to 5000 product limit, and access to the entire catalog of products.
- Business ($250): The Business plan is suitable for high volume stores providing access to an unlimited amount of products and full access to products.
Like all dropshipping apps, there's no upfront inventory cost. For selected brands, MODALYST also offers free shipping worldwide with tracking, which is a very distinct advantage when it comes to dropshipping.
MODALYST also communicates directly with these independent brands that are on the platform, so you won't have to worry about these products being fake or of an unreasonable quality. They have 4 days shipping policy with the brands under them, as well as a return policy for your customers.
Having all these under your belt helps in building a very reputable brand. However, there are disadvantages to using this app. While the catalog of items provided is huge with over 650+ sellers, you note that many of these brands are independent brands, so the shipping time for each brand might differ. MODALYST is also not fully automated, so every time you receive an order, you will have to submit an upfront payment to the seller before they ship your product out. This will incur more manual work and is best to manage your potential suppliers, so it does not get messy when you have many orders.
KITE is another dropshipping alternative that offers products that are a little bit different than the others. They provide smaller merchandise that can be customized, such as magnets, hoodies, cushions, phone and tablet cases, posters, stickers, t-shirts, tote bags, canvases, and more.
KITE starts off free, and there are no membership payments or additional fees at all. They only charge the user when customers make an order. There are no minimum orders, and it is a POD (Print on Demand) service similar to Printful and Pillow Profits. They are also backed by strong brand names such as Polaroid, Pic Collage, Lenovo, and Canon.
However, the disadvantage of using KITE is that due to the products being sourced from different suppliers, there may be some disjointed and slow shipping time when customers combine a lot of different products to their purchase. Not only that, they only offer track shipping for some of their products and only on an opt-in basis. Your customers would have to pay a bit extra to get the tracking for their purchase, so it's best to plan everything ahead to make it easier to manage.
Spocket sources its products from various dropshippers from the US and EU and includes them all in one easy-to-use platform. They have a huge catalog of products to choose from to fit your specific markets. Its easy-to-use dashboard includes price filters, location, and keyword options to help you search for the best products.
Depending on your seller and market, you can also achieve shipping time frames of 2-5 days, and this will really help boost your sales and keep your customers happy. Product import is also easy with just a click of a button, and you are free to change the description and price to make it more flexible.
There are 3 plans to choose from:
- Free plan: Upload up to 25 products, an unlimited number of orders, real-time inventory updates; Spocket takes care of currency exchange, offers global pricing. Email support.
- Standard plan $39 per month (7-day free trial): Upload up to 250 products, have all the features from the basic plan, real-time shipment tracking, branded invoicing, email, and chat support.
- Professional plan $99 per month (7-day free trial): Upload unlimited products have all the previous features.
One notable flaw of using SPocket as a dropshipping app is that the suppliers are based mainly in the US and EU, so shipping products internationally can incur a high cost and time for your customers depending on your market.
Similar to MODALYST, the huge catalog with different sellers also means you will have to deal with more than one dropshipper that could have a different fulfillment time, so it's best to do your research and plan well before jumping in.
Gooten is a print fulfillment company similar to Printful, and they provide a variety of products such as kitchen and bathroom products, home decor, photo books, apparel, wall art, and even pet products.
It is a very simple platform to use, with zero setup fee and membership fee, so it's very simple to get it running. Your profits are calculated by the difference in the cost and your selling price that can be adjusted to suit your store/market. The advantages to using Gooten is that there are no minimum orders, no hidden fee, and it's free to use.
Worldwide shipping is also available. Gooten also sets themselves apart due to their amazing service. Unfortunately, there are also some disadvantages, just like the other apps. Gooten does not offer any branding services at all, which means you can not customize the unboxing or fulfillment experience as your business grows, and although it's easy to start up an account, the dashboard is a little messy and takes a bit of getting used to.
8. Pillow Profits
Pillow Profits specializes in a different area compared to the other dropshipping applications. They provide printing services for items such as shoes, sneakers, full fur boots, high heels, flip flops, high tops, bedding, pillow covers, and much more.
With Pillow Profits, you will have your design printed on any of their available products to create a custom and unique product for your store and brand. While Pillow Profits offers a 7-day free trial, their services cost $29.99 per month to use.
Pillow Profits includes the shipping cost into the price of the product itself, so it's easier to manage your expectations and profit counting when you are setting up your store.
The advantages of using this app itself are that you get to print your design on sneakers and many different items compared to the other dropshipping apps, which makes your product pretty unique.
Not to mention they also provide free worldwide shipping and a very user-friendly integration on their app itself. You would also have complete control over your orders, you get to edit customer addresses, product sizes, and you can also cancel the orders if you need to.
However, despite all the pros, there are also cons. Not all countries have tracked shipping because they use registered airmail, and they ONLY integrate with Shopify store, which would increase your cost by at least another $29 a month. There are also no half sizes for shoes, so building a brand with Pillow Profits tends to be a little trickier in some markets.
9. Collective Fab
Collective Fab is a massive supplier of fashion and beauty products based in California.
They are specialized in meeting the constant change of trends in the fashion industry and provide a huge catalog with over 3000 products that you can curate and add to your Shopify store with just a couple of clicks; it's that simple.
They provide products such as shoes, clothes, plus-sized clothing, accessories, swimwear, and even beauty products. All of these products are shipped to your customers with info that it was made in their factory in California, USA.
They offer a 14-day free trial, and their subscription starts at $29 per month, and it can be canceled anytime. This membership will include access to all of their items and includes Blind Dropshipping. Blind drop shipping means that they would ship the product while including your company info and address, compared to others that use the dropshipper's address.
Collective Fab also possesses automatic inventory updates. Besides that, they also have semi-automatic product ordering and would help you upload shipping information directly to your customers. The advantages of Collective Fab are that it is very user-friendly, multiple channels for support, a wide variety of women's fashion and beauty products.
Not to mention their inventory update is done every 4 hours via their API (Application Programming Interface). Unlike MODALYST, when you have a fixed margin, using Collective Fab, you get to price your products however you like. They are always in trend and are constantly bringing in new inventory.
The disadvantage, however, is that there are only women's clothing available, so if your target market is focused on women, this is for you.
Teelaunch is another print-on-demand fulfillment company. When a customer makes an order on your website, they will print, pack and ship it directly to them. There isn't a membership fee, and sign-ups are free; you will only have to pay for a product when your customers make an order, so you wouldn't have to have a minimum quantity or hold any inventory. Teelaunch's inventory includes men's and women's apparel, tote bags, tapestries, shower curtains, jewelry, phone cases, kitchen products, and many more.
The advantage of using Teelaunch is that it is completely FREE to use, which is perfect for those who are starting out an eCommerce business. There is also no minimum order, fully automated process, interchangeable profit margins, and worldwide shipping.
Dropshipping is a great eCommerce model for startup stores, giving merchants access to a wide range of products while saving them the trouble of order fulfillment and storage feed. To help you get started with dropshipping, you can choose from any of the apps contained in our list of the top 10 best Shopify dropshipping apps.