It depends on what platform or method the dropshipper is using the send product information and accept orders. If it is a simple ftp access then it is easy to automatically capture inventory data and push to Shopify for existing products and even create new products automatically. We have clients who accept an ftp file directly or upload it manually each day and that syncs into two of their Shopify stores.
We already do the majority of this scenario now - can do orders and products both ways into Shopify. You may also want to send tracking details back so if they don't have an API we could generate a csv file with order and tracking data and email it to them. In terms of scheduling we already have predefined ones down to every 15min or ability to set custom time(s}. If a requirement doesn't fit into our platform we build out extra functions.
In these case we just build a lightweight broker app that sits in the middle and picks and parses inventory. This is a good route if you think you will be integrating additional vendor feeds.
Vendor sftp's the file which the broker parses into your store's format. If the vendor needs to receive orders, then the broker app pulls orders, parses and matches the vendor's format.
If a vendor has a webservice, then we're hitting that to retrieve products or update inventory counts or post orders.
Thomas Granger, CEO, FDG Web
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