If you're unfamiliar, we'll explain how WooCommerce works (read our WooCommerce review) and how to link it to some of the most popular dropshipping plugins on the market. We also recommend that you check out our complete guide and definition of dropshipping. This way, you'll have a deeper understanding for how this method of business works and be able to launch your store with no problem.
Dropshipping and WooCommerce
Before we start exploring the ways that you can build an effective dropshipping site with WooCommerce, let’s cover the basics. Dropshipping is a process of selling through a series of dropshipping suppliers from around the world. These people produce and store the products that you want to sell to your target customers.
Once your customer completes a purchase, your dropshipping services automatically inform your dropshipping suppliers, who can begin fulfilling the order on your behalf. This simplifies the process of running a digital store, as it means you don’t need to keep products in a warehouse.
WooCommerce is one of the market-leading tools designed for creating an efficient online store. It comes with a variety of features intended to make the lives of small business owners much easier. With the right WooCommerce tools, you can create a dropshipping business that’s scalable, flexible, and versatile.
What’s more, because WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, you know you’re getting all the benefits of a WordPress store, including access to Google search optimization features, other WordPress extensions, and so much more.
Of course, although dropshipping might be one of the most popular ways to start selling today, that doesn’t mean that it’s not without its challenges. Learning how to use Woocommerce dropshipping plugins correctly, and discovering new ways to enhance your dropshipping store could make it easier for you to earn the profits that you deserve.
What are the Tools You Need for WooCommerce Dropshipping? 🛒
💡Others work from the US or Europe, meaning that you're far more likely to get better shipping times from a solution like Spocket. You also might find that you'd like to sell high-end products or even print your own designs–both of which require different plugins and dropshipping services.
- Quality hosting (SiteGround is our favorite solution).
- The WooCommerce plugin.
- A WooCommerce compatible plugin for dropshipping.
What Kind of Dropshipping Plugin?
💡 Many dropshipping plugins currently exist. Some of them only work on certain platforms (like Oberlo only working with Shopify). However, quite a few plugins are available for WooCommerce, and we'll go through all of them.
A WooCommerce dropshipping plugin is one that links to your online store, then provides you with a marketplace of products so that you can simply choose the products you want and sync them with your store. The best WooCommerce dropshipping plugins eliminate the need to contact suppliers directly, cutting out time on the phones or chatting through email. These plugins sometimes offer ratings and reviews for the merchants, giving you peace of mind when selecting products.
The best dropshipping plugins pull all product information from the supplier and place it on your own website as product pages. Then, when an item's pricing changes, or the item goes out of stock, your store automatically gets updated with the new information. In addition, you can automatically send orders to the supplier when a purchase is made through your online store.
Some Quality WooCommerce Dropshipping Plugins 🗒️
👉 Here's a roundup of our favorite WooCommerce dropshipping plugins, based on what you might want to achieve with your store:
Alidropship, WooDropship, and Dropified?
If you’re not sure where to get started, here are just some of the leading Dropshipping plugins that you might be able to consider for your WooCommerce store.
- AliDropship – This is a premium plugin that links your store to AliExpress. This is one of the best values on the market, considering you get some incredible features for a lower price. What's most interesting about AliDropship is that you can either build a store by yourself and extend it with AliDropship or pay for the AliDropship company to make the website for you. The plugin starts at $89. Custom sites begin at $299.
- SaleHoo – This is a great directory of suppliers and resources for finding high-profit items. Unfortunately, you would have to contact these suppliers directly since there's currently no WooCommerce plugin (but there have been rumors about something coming).
- Spocket – This plugin is your best for finding high-end products that ship from the EU and the US. You should definitely consider Spocket if you'd like faster shipping times to your customers in these areas. The monthly pricing gets a tad expensive as you grow, but Spocket is known for helping your business make more and more money with the right resources and tips.
- Dropship.me or WooDropship – Each of these plugins connects you to the AliExpress marketplace for locating suppliers and instantly syncing your favorite products to your store. Both of them work rather well with WooCommerce, and the Dropship.me plugin even gives you pre-edited product names and descriptions (which is awesome since AliExpress copy often looks like a kid wrote it. Keep in mind that all AliExpress dropshipping typically comes from Chinese suppliers–so much of the shipping takes some time. Our favorite app for AliExpress dropshipping is Oberlo, but they've yet to come out with a WooCommerce plugin (Shopify only).
- Dropified – This plugin integrates with several tools such as WooCommerce and Shopify. The pricing starts at $47 per month to support 15,000 products. The items are curated and presented so that you don't waste all of your time finding the right suppliers. It's also a completely automated system which not all of the plugins can claim.
- Printful or Printify – These two have similar names and functions. Both provide dropshipping for custom designed products. So, you would be able to upload a design for a t-shirt or mug, then the plugin submits the orders for automated printing and shipping when someone purchases from your store. Although the margins can be slim, this type of dropshipping ensures that your products are completely unique.
- WooDropship – Here's another viable premium plugin for making your next dropshipping website on WooCommerce. There's a free plan, which is nice for getting started. The next tier is $14.99 per month for the ability to import 3,000 product variants. AliExpress is the source for the plugin, with nice features like inventory syncing and customizable pricing rules.
- WooCommerce Dropshipping – I wouldn't recommend this WooCommerce extension unless you absolutely plan on finding your own unique suppliers without the help of a marketplace and automated dropshipping plugin. It's actually a handy little extension, but you should only consider it if you plan on manually partnering with suppliers and automatically sending them orders. It doesn't give you the luxury of browsing for suppliers and products online.
- Modalyst is our top choice for higher-end products, but we're still waiting on them to release a WooCommerce app.
If you're interested, here's a complete list of dropshippers for you to choose from. Keep in mind that this longer list isn't exclusive to WooCommerce dropshippers, so make sure you find one that fits your ecommerce platform.
WooCommerce Dropshipping: Before You Begin
📢 For all of the methods listed below, the following steps are required prior to configuring your dropshipping plugin:
- Find a solid hosting account.
- Install WordPress on that host. Here's some information on that.
- Install the WooCommerce plugin on WordPress.
- Find a WooCommerce theme you like for making your site look and function like an online store. Browse for free ecommerce themes here and premium themes here.
Finding and Setting Up the Right Host
The right host is incredibly important when building an ecommerce store. Not only is your server going to protect your customers but it presents your website quickly and clearly to your customers. Security, maintenance, support, and many other elements go into a quality hosting provider. That's why we want to cover how to find that perfect host for your company.
There are plenty of hosts for you to research, but we currently recommend going with the WooCommerce hosting solution from SiteGround. It's a managed hosting option with affordable plans and great options for launching and maintaining your online store through WooCommerce.
👉 Here's how to configure your WooCommerce hosting through SiteGround:
Create a SiteGround Account
Go to the SiteGround WooCommerce page to see all of the plans. The StartUp plan is fine for very small companies, but you should expect to grow your online store and potentially upgrade as time passes. Read through the features provided for each plan. Then, select the one that seems the most appealing to you. As I mentioned, you can always upgrade.
Fill in your new hosting account information and payment details. After that, SiteGround pretty much walks you through the entire process of installing WordPress and WooCommerce together. There's no need for a developer to handle the installation for you.
💰 Setting Up Your Payments
The great part about WooCommerce today is that it includes an amazing setup guide to ensure you fill in all information needed. This wasn't available in the past, so WooCommerce has become far easier to use in our eyes.
The Payment tab in the initial setup has two primary options to choose: Stripe and PayPal. Choose either one or have both of them. If you don't currently have a Stripe account it will ask you to make one. You can also opt to accept offline payments like checks and cash.
Keep in mind that WooCommerce also accepts a wide range of other payment gateways. You simply have to wait to get to the dashboard to install them. For instance, you might consider a solution like Amazon Pay or Square.
A few other things must be set up in WooCommerce, but we cover most of that with our in-depth WooCommerce installation guide. Some areas to remember include shipping and taxes.
Method 1: WooCommerce Dropshipping with Spocket
As mentioned a bit before, Spocket finds suppliers in the EU and US so that shipping to those places is much faster. The pricing is also good and the product selection is impressive. Begin by signing up for an account at Spocket.com.
Add the Spocket plugin on your WordPress dashboard.
Go back to your Spocket account to find the My Shop button in the menu.
Click on WooCommerce, then copy the site ID to your clipboard.
In WordPress, go to Settings > Spocket, then paste in the ID to link your store to Spocket. Keep in mind that you may have to install an SSL certificate on your store if you don't have one already.
Now comes the fun part! Go back to Spocket and begin searching for keywords or filtering categories.
View more product information, then click the Add to Import List button when you find a gem!
Click on the Import List tab in Spocket. Then click on the Push to Store button for the item you like.
After that quick process, you'll see the product sitting in your WooCommerce Products list.
Method 2: WooCommerce Dropshipping with Dropship.me
A handful of WooCommerce dropshipping plugins connect you with the large AliExpress marketplace. It's a resource similar to Amazon, except it's for finding Chinese suppliers and manufacturers willing to dropship instead of sticking to wholesale. You can try out plugins like AliDropship and WooDropship, but we're going to walk you through this method with Dropship.me. The reason for that is because it offers an excellent interface, a free plan for up to 50 products, and pre-edited product information.
Let's get started!
We're assuming that hosting, WordPress, and WooCommerce are already installed.
So, begin by going to the Dropship.me website and click on the Get Free Plugin button. Type in your email address to reveal the page to download the plugin. Make sure to copy the API key as well.
After you download the plugin, navigate to the backend of your WordPress site. Go to Plugins > Add New > Upload Plugin. Select the Dropship.me plugin file and upload it to your dashboard. Make sure you activate the plugin as well.
After activating the plugin you need to activate your Dropship.me account and connect it to your store. Navigate to the Dropship Me tab in WordPress. Click on Activation.
This will ask you for an API Key. This key is found in the Dropship.me page that came up after typing in your email.
After full activation, you have the chance to start importing products. Go to Dropship Me > Import Products. You can always go to Get More Product and upgrade your account if you want.
All of the suppliers and products are shown in the WordPress dashboard. Use the filters and search bar to check out some of the categories and specific items you might want to sell. Once you find something, click on the Import button to post it to your store.
You may have to set the product as a specific category to have it show up on your homepage or in a different gallery. Regardless, the items should appear in your Products list.
Don't forget to view all product information before importing! The plugin lets you look at more information such as pricing, supplier ratings, and the images.
Delivering the Best Shopping Experience
Clearly, there are a lot of convenient ways that today’s small business owners can set up valuable dropshipping business options online. With WooCommerce for your WordPress site, and the right support from a few handy plugins, you can get moving in no time.
Once you’ve found your Aliexpress suppliers, and you’ve loaded product details onto your website in CSV, automated, or PDF format, it’s important to remember that your work isn’t done. Just having the right tools and plugins to support your dropshipping sales isn’t enough.
As the world of ecommerce grows increasingly competitive, it’s important to make sure that you have a way to separate yourself from the competition. Usually, the easiest way to do this is to focus on giving your customers the best experience possible. This means making sure that your WooCommerce website can offer:
- Multiple payment options: Choose a checkout process that allows your customers to select the payment option that is best suited to their needs.
- Convenient order tracking: Since dropshipping orders can take a while to be delivered, it helps to give customers a way to track their orders. Even email notifications or order notifications can be helpful at showing customers where their products are.
- Exceptional customer support: Just as you need customer support from your hosting provider and dropshipping companies to perform well, your customers need great customer support too. Make sure you have plugins for things like email contact and live chat if you can.
- An easy-to-use website: Choose a dropshipping plugin and WooCommerce set-up that makes it easy for customers to search through different products on your ecommerce websites without hassle. It might be helpful to include a product search function within your website so your clients can find what they need faster.
- Extra features: Think about the kind of features that will make life easier for both you and your customers. For instance, would an image editor on your website make it easier to make dropshipping products match your company’s style? Would it help to have a dropshipping service that automatically designs packing slips for purchases that have your company’s branding?
Designing the ideal dropshipping business with WooCommerce isn’t a one-size-fits-all experience. You’ll need to take the time to really figure out what’s going to work for not just your company, but your customers too.
The good news is that the open-source nature of WordPress and WooCommerce can make it a lot easier for business owners to build the perfect website for their customers. You can even update and enhance your website’s design the more you learn about your clients.
👍 You Have Plenty of Possibilities
We're not going to cover every WooCommerce dropshipping plugin, but I encourage you to test out some of the other options that we've mentioned. Not only do some of them have different interfaces, but you might find that one type of dropshipping, marketplace, or supplier selection is better for your business. What's more, is that the majority of the dropshipping plugins are similar in terms of the installation. For instance, the Printful plugin requires you to sign up for an account and add the Printful plugin. You then have to connect your store to the Printful account. After that, you're able to upload your own designs and sync them all to your WooCommerce store.
The great thing about WooCommerce dropshipping is that you get the flexibility and power of WordPress with the opportunity to partner with thousands of suppliers. Not only that, but dropshipping can prove to be a rather profitable business if you read up on the trends and tips. Yes, there are some downsides to dropshipping (like lack of quality control,) but there are also plenty of upsides (like the fact that there's no need to carry any inventory).
If you have any questions about WooCommerce dropshipping, let us know in the comments section below.
Featured image via Ouch.pics