I spent an entire section in each of my eCommerce comparison reviews talking about the importance of apps to a successful start up. For a certain kind of business person there is no app as important as Oberlo, the premier dropshipping app. There are alternatives to it, and I went over a few of them in a previous article, but Oberlo is probably my favorite.
If you handle your own warehousing and manufacture then this article is not for you. The bespoke retailers, and the hand made item crowd do better over on Etsy or Squarespace. No, this app is for the power seller. The kinda person who sources items for sale and wants to throw them onto his site. There is an art to it, being able to construct a niche storefront with items sourced, usually, from Chinese manufacturers without any real central organization. That is essentially what Dropshipping is. Creating a bespoke-seeming store out of whole sale items bought from the likes of Aliexpress and Alibaba.
Oberlo is a specialized app that allows you to simply click and select from Aliexpress and Alibaba, making the dropshipping process so easy that anyone can start up a site. Granted, you’ll still need some savvy to turn a profit, but combining the tools available on Shopify, and the tools given to you by Oberlo, a lot of the heavy lifting is made easy.
Oberlo Appearance, Professionalism, & Overall Usability
This section is for the start ups out there who dream of being an entrepreneur. The Oberlo app makes that dream a reality in so many ways. But the main way tit does so is through its ease of use. I remember back when I first looked into dropshipping, and found the Shopified app. The layout in the back end was a mite confusing to me, and the less said about the general aesthetics the better. Oberlo is clean, simple and does everything you need it to do. The only issue for me back in the day was the exclusivity to Chrome. I’m a Firefox man, and was left having to install a browser I didn’t need just to test out the app. Well. In the time since my previous look at Oberlo and now they have expanded functionality across the board, and released it for Firefox. Edge users out there might still be up a creek, but the rest of us are laughing.
Oberlo is a focused product. You do have access to more advanced features, like automation and scripting options should you choose to delve into the recesses of the app, but the front end is as is. You browse through Aliexpress, or Alibaba, you see an item you like and then, on the fly, add it to your store, setting the name of the item, the quantity, everything in an easy to understand format.
Oberlo Flexibility & Scalability
This might be the area where Oberlo is weak. I think it’s easy to argue that the app is flexible within its niche. There is a lot you can do with it with regard to Aliexpress et al, but when you try to source from other sites you are going to hit a wall. There are other dropshipping apps out there that create something of a road map of sites that you as a seller can draw from and that, while complicated, is great for business scaling. Oberlo’s focus on Aliexpress is also an Achilles heel. That said, have you ever been to AliExpress? It is huge, and the range of products on there, for the general consumer and the wholesale consumer, is nothing short of amazing. I would argue that a focus on one gigantic site is still proof against obsolescence for a very very long time.
Oberlo Cost & Value
Here’s is where it gets really interesting. The value in a piece of dropshipping software is the ability to list purchased items from Aliexpress direct to your eCommerce solution, in this instance Shopify. Lots of solutions offer a free starting package, but they tend to be a bit terrible, with either only a few listings, or in some cases no listings at all for some odd reason. Oberlo’s starter package is free too, and it allows you to list 500 items, sync your stock and sell up to 50 items per month. In terms of dipping your toe you cannot ask for better than that. They offer two other packages as well, each costing cash, but each better than the last. It is this that gives it its scaling options.
Moving up through the packages for the business owner is a breeze, just click the upgrade option and pay, takes two minutes. In the Basic package, our first foray into a real big boy business, you pay $29.90 per month. I love the lack of $X.99 here, real business people know that’s just a sales trick. the basic package allows you to list 10,000 items per month, a real step up from the 500 in the free package, and fill 500 orders per month. Additional features include shipping trackers and more advanced report and sales data options, essential when you are trying to hone in on your market and sell more. The final package is the Pro, at $79.90. The most impressive feature added is the multi user support. This is a god send when you start hiring people to monitor the business on your behalf, so you can focus on expansion and really getting into the mind of your customers. Knowing who you are trying to sell to, and figuring out how to expand are full time jobs in and of themselves after all. The Pro package allows 30,000 listings and an unlimited number of sales per month. You can click here for more detailed information on all the Oberlo packages & to see any current discounts.
I don’t like spending money, but I know that in a business context you will have to spend to reap, so Oberlo’s easy progression system really appeals to all aspects of my character. If you want to just try your hand at operating a business then you lose so very little by going for Oberlo, and Shopify by extension seen as both of them are free to start.
Oberlo Recap & Review
So there we have it, a brief overview of the benefits inherent to the Oberlo app for Shopify. As I said, there are other options out there, but I have reviewed them too, and found them to be not quite as good as Oberlo. Dropshipping is an exciting new business type, it makes it easy for anyone to get up and go, become their own boss, and so long as they have the savvy to hone in on the important things, you can succeed. But it is no cake walk. Throwing random items on a site is not going to fly, you need to know your market, know how to price and know how to run a website, SEO is as important as your product listings. What Oberlo has done is streamline the process, if you have every tried to dropship without an app you will know how hard it is.
At the end of the day what we have here is a tightly focused product that makes selling easier for the business owner. Add in some excellent scaling options, and a plethora of useful features all the way up the ladder, and it is a must have.
To check out all the current deals and offers for Oberlo you can click here.