Diversity in products seems like a very smart and important part of building a dropship store. That being said I have a problem figuring out how people are almost across the board offering free shipping. Tell me if any of these things are undoadble, your experience in how you made everything work or please send me to a resource. My first shot at a drop ship store is going to be hoodies and accessories lets just say.
Lets say I utilize only Modalyst to supply my products. Well Modalyst has quite a few suppliers such as Shein, Wish, etc. Say I have a customer that purchases 4 items from my store that is completely made from Modalyst suppliers, but each item is from a different supplier? How do I keep the shipping costs low and make the experience for the end customer seem like it is a one business transaction? Is all the shipping handled at the Modalyst level or does each different supplier have its say? Seems like it can get messy real quick or maybe, just maybe there is an easy answer here too.
Also any recommendation you could make for a plug-in that would have a $ counter until free shipping would be appreciated. Does this counter take all factors and suppliers into consideration? Do I end up paying some of that shipping in order to make it more convenient to the end customer?
Lets go even further and say I am sourcing product from Oberlo, Modalyst and Printful. Just a bunch of variety because I would like to build a diverse store. I guess my question would be the same as above....how does one handle the number of sources 1 order could possibly be comprised of? Say 5 different products all from different suppliers? This is the extreme, but still I do want to be prepared.
Do most people just go for 1 supplier such as Wish from one source such as Modalyst? This seems like it would be limiting. Do successfule people utilize multiple suppliers from one source as Modalyst....or can you just go wild and add whatever you would like?
End question here is how do you deal with shipping and fulfillment from mutliple suppliers? Thanks for helping a noob
Jason here from Shopify Support!
Depending on how you look at the dropshipping business model, there are few directions you can go with. There is a direction with picking a niche market and only import products relating to the market. There is also the direction you had mentioned in the post, being diverse and offering a variety of products.
Like any other business model, what you offer to customers, in the end you will have to absorb the cost one way or another. Typically, in order to offer free shipping, the shipping costs are included in the products' markups. There are merchants/stores not doing that, meaning when the business starts to pick up, the store may start losing money. Here is the big question, should you offer free shipping? Since everyone varies with different business goals, please check out the resource when you have a moment to see if offering free shipping is for you.
Because you are doing dropshipping, you will need to setup manual shipping settings from Shopify admin. By manually setting the shipping rate, the customers will pay the shipping fees as you had set from Shopify admin at checkout page. Great question you have there about having different suppliers/vendors! Since you will have multiple suppliers/vendors, the best way to ensure lower shipping costs is keep an eye out on the shipping fees suppliers/vendors are going to charge you if a product is ordered. The shipping rates are dictated by suppliers/vendors, not by the dropshipping apps.
As a store owner, you will be in charge on keep your shipping costs from various sources in check. In turn, you will charge accordingly by setup manual shipping settings, so the customers will pay the shipping fees as you had set from your Shopify admin within the checkout page. The calculation most likely won't be perfectly even. The end goal is when you are manually setting the shipping rates, the rates give and take will balance out your shipping costs from different suppliers/vendors.
As you had mentioned yourself in the post, when the case goes extreme, where you have multiple different products to fulfill from different apps, you may find yourself at lost how to balance your shipping. This is one of the reasons why we typically do not recommend you go crazy on importing products on various suppliers/vendors/apps. Unless you know you are a great organizer that can keep track of which product is from where, you will be working against yourself when there are too many products overflowing in your store.
Knowing that as a store owner, you have the control on how you run your business. There isn't a set rule on how many suppliers/vendors one should have in order to succeed dropshipping. The great thing about having a business is going through trials and errors to see which fits you the best. My recommendation is when you are just starting out, be a little more conservative. It doesn't necessarily mean you should limit yourself with only one vendor from one app. It's more about finding a good work flow that works best with you, not against you. Knowing that you are asking all these valuable questions right from the start means you are already on the right track. Before I let you go, here is another great resource for you to read on dropshipping shipping tips.
I hope that information helps, however, should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reply back here and I'd be happy to help out! Alternatively, you can always give us a call or start a live chat at any time. We're open 24/7 for your convenience and always happy to assist!
All the best,