What is Automated-Dropshipping?
Automated-dropshipping is the process of using technology to handle tasks that a human would normally do while running a dropshipping business. The aim is to remove mundane or tedious tasks so that the business owner can focus on what’s most important: marketing and customer service.
Automating your business doesn’t always need to be done with technology, either. You know, in case you’re worried about having your business being taken over by robots. You can also outsource tasks to contractors or freelancers who you trust to run your business the way you want. You’ll still need to look over their shoulder but you essentially hire people who are more qualified for a task than you are, allowing you to minimize the supervision.
Why You Should Have Automated-Dropshipping
Automated-dropshipping is a great way to run a business. Here are a couple reasons why:
1. Save Time
Time is your most valuable asset. You’re always running out of it and you’ll never gain any more of it. With automated dropshipping, you can still pursue your passion for running a business without having to manually do all the work. If you’re running your business by yourself, you’ll have more than enough responsibilities to keep you busy.
But by automating your dropshipping business, you can use technology to help you by giving you back the time you need to spend on what really matters. With this free time, you can grow your business at a faster rate and you can spend more time with the people you love most.
2. Save Money
If you look at the top eCommerce websites in the world, they have an army of people working for them to help it grow. This can be a bit discouraging if you launched yesterday and your only employee is… you. But the truth is, you are going to need some help. And you might not be able to afford an employee. However, with automated dropshipping, you can use technology to do some of the heavy liftings without having to hire employees or freelancers.
The money you save with automated-dropshipping allows you to scale your business quickly so you can reinvest profits back into your business so you can grow. There may be a day where your business grows too big and you’ll need to hire your first employee, but by automating your business you can delay that a bit.
How to Automate Your Dropshipping Business
1. Oberlo Chrome extension
Automated-dropshipping wouldn’t be the same without Oberlo. Oberlo has a handy Chrome extension that allows you to add products to sell to your online store while browsing AliExpress. You can import any product you’d like in only one click. As you browse through collections of AliExpress pages to find products your customers will love, all product details will be sent directly to your Oberlo account. You won’t need to manually share details with Oberlo to sell those products, the Chrome extension does all that manual work for you. All you need to do is browse and click.
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2. Install Facebook Pixel
One of the most important yet often forgotten steps is to install a Facebook Pixel on your website. You’ll need to log into Facebook to get your pixel id and add that to your Shopify account. From there, this tiny piece of code will help improve your marketing efforts. You’ll be able to run automated retargeting ads.
You’ll still need to do some setup work (and of course pay for the Facebook ads) but the pixel can, for example, let Facebook know which visitor added which product before abandoning their cart so that the retargeting ad can try to recover that abandoned cart. And boom, you’ve got a sale. The pixel can also track which pages your customers are visiting. So for example, if you create blog content, you can have a retargeting ad targeting blog visitors by showing them a relevant product or your best-seller.
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3. Create Automated Emails
In Shopify, you can do some dropshipping automation by creating automated email drips… for free. Under Settings, you’ll find a section called Notifications. In Notifications, you’ll find 20 different opportunities to create automated emails. You can create automated-dropshipping emails for order confirmation, canceled orders, refunded orders, abandoned checkout, and more.
Keep in mind that not all 20 notifications will apply to you. You can also opt-in to receive desktop notifications every time you get a sale so that you’re always made aware of your incoming sales. Or if you’ve handed that responsibility over to a freelancer, you can let them add that feature to their desktop so that they stay on top of every order that comes in.
4. Automate Tracking Details
A common question you’ll get asked by your customers is “When will my product arrive?” Manually checking each customer’s order to find expected arrival times can eat up a lot of time. And you probably don’t have a lot of that. Instead, by adding “http://www.17track.net/en/track?nums=” in the box under “Notify customers about shipped orders” in your Oberlo dashboard, customers will know when their products have been shipped and when they’ll arrive. This will lower the number of customer support emails you get about shipping times. And with all that free time, you can focus more on marketing. And really ramp up those sales.
5. Edit Your Auto Updates
One of the automated-dropshipping components in Oberlo is that you can automate what happens when a product runs out of inventory, when a variant runs out of inventory, and when the pricing or inventory experiences changes. Most people set it to “Do nothing” but this can sometimes lead to frustrated customers who order a product only for it to be sold out and unavailable. Instead of manually tracking all of these changes, you can change their settings to limit the effort you put in.
For example, under “When a product is no longer available” you can set it to “Set quantity to zero” so customers can see that it’s sold out or you can choose to “Unpublish product” so that it doesn’t appear on the website. You’ll want to check “Notify me” in all cases so that you’re always kept informed about changes on your website in case you do want to find a new supplier or variant for your products – especially if they’re best-sellers.
6. Create Price Multipliers
The price multiplier is one of Oberlo’s automated-dropshipping features. Instead of manually setting prices for all your products, you can create “global pricing rules” that’ll automatically price your products for you. The rules aren’t always perfect so when you add a product you might want to take a look before submitting to your store. However, if you create rules in smaller numbers they’ll work a little bit better. For example, instead of doing large gaps such as “$1 to $5” you do a smaller ‘$1-2” so that the number is better priced.
You’ll want to think about what types of products will be within those price ranges to help you determine how to best price those products with this automated feature. For example, if you have a women’s fashion store, your clothing will likely not be $2 but your jewelry might be. So, you’ll need to think about the average retail price of a piece of jewelry would be to ensure that your multiplier is created accurately. If you’re looking for a general pricing strategy that I tend to follow it would be:
- $0.01-$4.99 product price = $19.99 retail
- $5.00-$9.99 product price = $29.99 retail
- $9.99 and beyond, I usually do a 2.5-3x markup
7. Remove Image Backgrounds
Not all images have their background removed. Sometimes, you’ll find photos with models in front of brown backgrounds other times you’ll have lifestyle photos of your product. You don’t necessarily need to remove the background from all your photos. However, you might want to maintain a consistent look on your website or maybe you want to prevent your images from being reverse-searched. Most people use Photoshop to manually remove the background from photos to create a clean look.
However, with Remove.bg, backgrounds are removed within seconds of uploading a picture. The free option allows you to upload one image at a time. However, if pay for a subscription, you can have a higher quantity of photos altered to better automate the background removal process.
8. Automate Your Marketing with Kit
Automated-dropshipping is great but automated marketing is pretty sweet too. With Kit, Shopify’s marketing automation app, you can have Facebook ads created and executed without having to do any of the work yourself. Kit constantly learns from the ads it creates, allowing it to get better over time. The app also sends thank you emails and can post products onto your social media accounts. If you’ve been struggling to find time to do marketing, Kit can help automate some of that work for you.
9. Process Orders in One Click
A perk of automated-dropshipping with Oberlo is that you can process orders in only one click. When a customer orders from your website, you need to send the supplier the customer details. Why? So they can ship orders directly to customers on your behalf. Instead of manually typing out all the details to your supplier, all you have to do is click a button and the order will be sent over to the supplier automatically.
If you get multiple orders each day, you can have all orders sent over to suppliers in only a couple clicks. This automated-dropshipping feature makes tedious tasks a bit less daunting. So when you start selling higher quantities of products, it doesn’t add much more work time to your day.
10. Schedule Social Media Posts
In addition to automated dropshipping, you can also automate your social media. The hardest part of running a social media account is remembering to post consistently. Using a free social media scheduling tool, you can schedule posts for the entire week once a week so you never forget to post online.
Each social media scheduling tool has a free version where you can post up to a certain number of posts in advance making it affordable for the entrepreneur on a tight budget. If you find that you’re always free Friday night, then you can make Friday night the time you schedule the posts each week. By creating a routine out of it, you’ll be more likely to stick with it long-term.
11. Set Facebook Messenger Instant Replies
When a customer sends you a message on Facebook Messenger, you might not be able to respond right away. Maybe you’re at your day job or offline for the night. What you don’t want is to have customers send you messages and thinking that you’re ignoring them. Within Facebook itself, you can create Instant Replies which will auto-respond to customers when they send a message. You can add personalization to greet customers who contact you via Messenger.
Your message could read “Thanks for reaching out. Your message is so important to us. A member of our team will be responding to your message within 24 hours. In the meantime, feel free to check out our FAQ page: (link).” You’ll still need to respond to the customer inquiry but the autoresponder gives you a bit of time to respond so you don’t need to do it right away while ensuring your customers are kept in the loop.
12. Product Reviews Addon
Product reviews help give your business social proof. After getting a couple sales, you’ll want to email customers to leave a review so that other potential customers see how popular your product is. However, manually emailing to ask for a review is time-consuming. By automating this process, you’ll never miss reaching out to a customer for a review. The app does all the heavy lifting for you. If customers leave a 1 or 2-star review, they’ll be forwarded to you so that you can improve your customer service. However, 3, 4 and 5-star reviews get added automatically.
Automating your dropshipping business can help free up your time so that you can focus on marketing and customer service. By focusing your efforts on that instead of the manual tasks, you’ll be more likely to scale your business’ growth. Automated-dropshipping is entirely possible and it can extend into your marketing efforts as well. If you focus on doing the kind of work you’re great at and automate the rest, you’ll be able to run a successful business all by yourself.
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