Shopify Apps. I talked about them briefly in my series of comparative reviews of eCommerce solutions, and I mentioned Shopify’s impressive selection of applications. There are a few must haves that everyone should already be familiar with, the social media integration apps and the SEO support tool apps.
Today I will be talking about product integration apps. If you have an online store you are going to want a full product list to maximize your potential sales and earnings. Not everyone manufactures their own inventory, in fact, most folk don’t but rather source it from a variety of manufacturers, wholesalers, or other sources.
Oberlo and Dropified (formally known as the Shopified app) are apps that specialize in automatically integrating products from sites like AliExpress into your Shopify site. Both solutions work to streamline the process of setting up shop and managing the sales process. Now it is up to me to help you figure out which one is the better option for you and your business.
It’s a phrase that anyone around the eCommerce world for even a little while has likely heard of. Essentially dropshipping is working with manufacturers or wholesalers to directly sell their product lines through your business and leave all the “hard work” of operating a business to them. The supplier generally handles the manufacturing, storage, and shipping of the products. Due to this you don’t need a lot of start up funds as you don’t actually hold onto any inventory thus keeping overheads are nice and low. You need to specialize though, find that tiny niche, combine it with Shopify’s excellent SEO tools and hire a good copy writer for the blog and soon you’ll see orders rolling in.
The issue in the past has been the time consuming task of transferring the product data from wholesale sites like AliExpress to your storefront and then sending the order reports to the supplier for fulfillment. Oberlo and the Dropified App are two of the best solutions to that issue.
Appearance, Professionalism, & Overall Usability
At their core these apps are very similar. They both allow you to take products from wholesalers and automatically add them to your Shopify eCommerce store. How they do that is remarkably similar as well. They are both Chrome exclusive for the time being, hoping to see Firefox functionality added soon however this shouldn’t be an issue for anyone. They both consist of an App and an extension that work in tandem. The extension shows an overlay on AliExpress, displaying more focused product information, seller ratings and ePacket shipping mostly. Simply clicking a button adds the product to the respective app, either Oberlo or Dropified.
When it comes to differences however Oberlo is the more focused of the two products, and as of this review the more polished app as well. With Oberlo you aren’t overwhelmed with information in the way you are with the Dropified App. Rather than having to sift through a ton of different options it’s way easier and more efficient for businesses to take the streamlined approach: click the item, edit the details and send it on to your store. The amount of options available with Dropified certainly makes it the more feature rich, but it loses in terms of aesthetics and usability. The fact that over 400 people in the shopify app store praise it’s ease of use it takes the cake for this section.
Winner – Oberlo
Flexibility, Ease of Use, & Scalability
In terms of ease of use Oberlo wins hands down. If all you want it to do is add the products and sit back, then you can. This is likely the reason their users have sold over $45,000,000 in product over the last year, they make it easy to “just do it.” The layout is more intuitive, and I found it much easier to navigate. It may not have as much functionality as Dropified but it does one thing perfectly and sometimes being a master of one is better than being a jack of all trades. The Dropified app seems to be going with a more expansive strategy, integrating multiple marketplaces with even more on the product roadmap.
The one issue I see with this aggressive expansion is the unfocused nature of the Dropified App and the resulting lack of polish I mentioned earlier. For example I’ve seen reports of information errors during transit from AliExpress to the Shopify store. Keep in mind I have not seen it myself, so take it with a grain of salt however it’s important to know the reports of importing issues are out there. That says it does lend itself to scaling very well, but the same is true of Oberlo, both firms offer a small range of packages, each one suited to larger and larger stores.
The Dropified App is a wonderfully robust and broad reaching piece of software, but the focus and polish of Oberlo makes it the better of the two here in my personal opinion.
Winner – Oberlo
Oberlo Vs Dropified App – Cost & Value
Oberlo offer three distinct packages, to Dropified’s four. I think we can write off the free package from Dropified though, as it does not allow you to transfer items to your eCommerce site, rendering it a little useless if we’re being honest. UPDATE FOR 2018: At the end of 2016 Oberlo actually changed their popular starter package plan to from $5 a month to FREE which is great for the user and says alot to myself in regards to their customer service. The Oberlo’s starter package allows 500 product listings and 50 orders per month. Other starter features include a daily product sync, order auto-fulfillment, pricing automation, free chrome extension and detailed sales reports.
Moving up through the packages give you more features, the Basic Package is $29.90 per month and allows for 10,000 products and 500 orders per month. It also adds in shipment tracking and order fulfillment monitoring. The top end package is the Pro Package for $79.90 which allows for 30,000 products and an unlimited amount of orders per month. It also adds in multi user support & a variety of additional features being worked on as we speak. It is worth noting that the Pro package is free for your first thirty days so you might as well give it a shot and then just downgrade to another package if you don’t end up selling 20,000 products in your first month haha. You can click here for more detailed information on all the Oberlo packages.
Dropified has a few more features as we’ve stated before and the pricing takes this into account. Their Lite Package is $9 month and is functionally identical to Oberlo’s Basic Package in every way. Moving through the packages we get the Pro and the Elite Packages, priced at $54 and $94 respectively. The more expensive packages allow you to drop ship products from a wider range of stores. The overall net benefit of this can be argued as it’s probably going to be pretty hard to get any reasonable profit margins off reselling products from a marketplace like Etsy. A negative to me is the fact that a lot of their AliExpress order fulfillment features, many of which are included with Oberlo, are restricted to the Elite Package.
I am a fan of keeping operating costs to a minimum so for me the better deal here is Oberlo. If you want to try your hand at grabbing bargain prices from places like Costco and Walmart, in addition to the guaranteed low prices of AliExpress, then the Dropified App might be worth the gamble, but to me it’s better to stick with a sure, and cheaper, thing. Best of all with Oberlo you can give it a shot now without any up front costs, might as well try that before signing up for a paid package from the Dropified App.
Winner – Oberlo
Oberlo Vs Dropified App – Recap & Review
With only one section claimed in its name, the Dropified App doesn’t quite stack up against Oberlo in my opinion. That’s not to say the Dropified App isn’t a great piece of software, in fact it’s a very good app and for the right company may be a good fit. However Oberlo really proves the fact that sometimes it is better to specialize on one specific need and make the best possible solution for it. Oberlo has done exactly that, they provide the better end user experience, all the necessary features for success, and some of the most robust customer support I’ve experienced. They are the ones to go for in my opinion.
Overall Winner – Oberlo
Oberlo & Dropified App Discounts & Coupon Codes
Following our review we decided to track down any and all current deals, promotions or coupon codes for both Dropified App & Oberlo. Additionally we will update this section whenever a new discount or coupon is available to hopefully save you guys some time.
Oberlo Discount: Oberlo doesn’t currently offer any coupon codes however you can take advantage of their discounted pricing and free starter package plan by clicking this link here. Also this link will still let you apply the free 30 day trial for any of the premium plans, so there is really nothing to lose.
Dropified App Discount: The Dropified App doesn’t have any current coupon codes available