WooCommerce is arguably the best platform for creating an online dropshipping store. It is open-source, free, highly flexible, and has remarkable scalability. It is no wonder that more and more businesses are seeking custom WooCommerce development experts to build a unique dropshipping store on the platform.
As a leading WooCommerce expert, we often meet clients seeking WooCommerce migration services because their current platform is too expensive or needs more flexibility. We know that the major features of a WooCommerce website are more than capable of supporting a dropshipping business.
Besides, you can implement practically any eCommerce feature or capability with the appropriate WooCommerce integration. In terms of flexibility, an expert developer can help you with everything from WooCommerce theme customization to custom plugin development. These are some reasons to hire a WooCommerce developer to build your online dropshipping store.The advanced WooCommerce security is another important reason for starting your online dropshipping business on the platform. Of course, WooCommerce support and maintenance is another plus point for aspiring online dropshipping store owners.
Table of Contents
Here, we provide you with a complete guide to WooCommerce dropshipping. We will cover everything from major features to popular suppliers you can use in a WooCommerce dropshipping store.
What is Dropshipping?
In Layman’s terms, dropshipping involves selling products online without having a physical inventory. The eCommerce store does not ship or store products in a dropshipping business. The supplier sends the product directly from the supplier or merchant to the consumer, saving valuable time and money for the eCommerce store owners.
Dropshipping businesses have numerous advantages over regular eCommerce businesses. Firstly, an eCommerce dropshipping business does not require you to buy or store products in advance. It means the online store owner can save money on inventory costs and even minimize the shipping cost for its customers.
In other words, it is an order fulfillment method where the supplier sends the product directly to customers. Here, the eCommerce store’s role is to act as a middleman from which customers can buy products straight from their desired supplier.
How to Start a Dropshipping Business on WooCommerce?Setting up a dropshipping business involves several steps, including developing an eCommerce store (if you don’t already have one). Follow the steps below to start a dropshipping business on the WooCommerce platform.
Step 1: Pick a Niche
Like any other business, you must decide on a product niche before starting a dropshipping business. If you don’t already have a product niche in mind, you can research the most in-demand products with the least competition.
Step 2: Find Reliable Suppliers
After you choose your desired niche, you can search for reliable dropshipping suppliers for the niche product. Check out the ratings and reviews of the products and the supplier separately to ensure the supplier’s reliability and the product’s quality.
Step 3: Build an Online Store on WooCommerce
It would be best to build an eCommerce store to start an effective dropshipping business. WooCommerce is one of the best platforms for creating your online dropshipping store due to its flexibility and availability of numerous plugins.
You can build a primary eCommerce store yourself. However, it is best to hire a WooCommerce developer like Virtina to create a fully-customized website. Doing so enables you to build an online dropshipping store that aligns with your branding with advanced features and capabilities.
Moreover, building an eCommerce store is a task in itself. It is the most time-consuming and challenging part of starting a profitable dropshipping business. The W development process also involves various steps, such as the following.
- Sign up for the most suitable hosting service for your business.
- Install WordPress and WooCommerce.
- Configure your WooCommerce store.
- Select a responsive WooCommerce dropshipping theme.
- Add products to the WooCommerce store.
- Optimizing the WooCommerce dropshipping site with additional plugins.
Step 4: Add Dropshipping Products to Your WooCommerce Store
Adding products is the most distinctive part of starting your dropshipping business. The remaining aspects of the WooCommerce development process stay the same. There are two ways to add dropshipping products to your WooCommerce store, and they are as follows.
- Manually add products via default WooCommerce Product Manager.
- Manually add products from AliExpress.
Of course, neither of the two options is practical for a dedicated dropshipping business as they are too time-consuming. The best approach is to integrate a plugin to simplify adding dropshipping products to your WooCommerce store.
Add Products Via a Customized Dropshipping Plugin
You may only find some of the features and functionalities you want in the stock plugin. In such cases, our WooCommerce experts can help you by developing a custom plugin tailor-made for your dropshipping business.
With a customized WooCommerce dropshipping plugin, you can easily add and manage products in your store. The process is similar even if you already have a WooCommerce store and want to add dropshipping capabilities.
Step 5: Optimize WooCommerce Store With Additional Plugins
Using a dropshipping plugin equips your store for dropshipping your products. However, your WooCommerce dropshipping store is incomplete without complementary features. If you don’t have the features and capabilities to support your dropshipping business, it can’t compete with the other online stores.
You can optimize the WooCommerce store with additional plugins to support your dropshipping business. For instance, you may need customized payment plugins to receive and process dropshipping payments.
An expert like Virtina can help you find the relevant WooCommerce plugins and integrate them seamlessly into your online store. We can also help you with custom WooCommerce plugin development and build custom solutions for your dropshipping website.
Why is WooCommerce the Best Choice for Dropshipping?
WooCommerce is an ideal platform for setting up a dropshipping business. Most experts suggest WooCommerce for dropshipping business because it is highly flexible, easily customizable, and easily accommodates advanced dropshipping capabilities.
It has a ton of plugins that can work simultaneously to facilitate any feature or functionality you want. The following are some of the most significant reasons why WooCommerce is the best choice for your dropshipping business.
Easily Add Dropshipping Capabilities With a Plugin
Adding dropshipping capabilities to your WooCommerce store is significantly easier than other eCommerce platforms. There is no complex coding required. You can implement it with simple plugin integration. You can even use customized plugins to add advanced features to support your dropshipping business.
Superior Flexibility and Customization
Another compelling reason to choose WooCommerce for your dropshipping business is its superior flexibility and customization options. Being an open-source platform, you can customize a WooCommerce store exactly how you like it. Moreover, you can use numerous WooCommerce plugins to enable advanced functionalities to your online dropshipping store.
Large WooCommerce Community
WooCommerce is one of the most popular platforms for starting an eCommerce business, and it has a large community. The extensive WooCommerce community includes users, designers, and developers. It means finding help from a fellow WooCommerce store owner or experts for your online store is relatively easy.
Extensive WooCommerce Documentation and Support Forums
The extensive WooCommerce documentation and support forums enable you to manage your online dropshipping store efficiently. However, you need a basic working knowledge of the WordPress/WooCommerce platform to use the information forums effectively. Alternatively, you can also seek the help of the expert team at Virtina to optimize your WooCommerce store without investing hours of your time.
Free Open-source Platform
With WordPress/WooCommerce, you get a free, open-source platform for running your dropshipping business. Anyone with sufficient expertise on the WooCommerce platform can build an eCommerce website for free. Unlike other platforms like Shopify, you don’t have to pay a subscription to run your online dropshipping business.
How to Set Up WooCommerce for Dropshipping?
Setting up WooCommerce for dropshipping is relatively easy compared to many other eCommerce platforms. There are two main ways to set up WooCommerce for dropshipping. You can manually add dropshipping products via the default WooCommerce product manager. However, this is practical if you only sell a few dropshipping products online.
However, the manual option is unsuitable for running a dedicated WooCommerce dropshipping store or adding numerous products from multiple suppliers. In this case, you would need a dedicated WooCommerce dropshipping plugin.
Integrating the plugin lets you quickly add suppliers and their products to your WooCommerce store. However, these plugins may not have certain essential features that you require. In that case, you can create a custom WooCommerce plugin with the help of an expert like Virtina.
Best WooCommerce Dropshipping Plugins in 2023
One of the most significant reasons companies prefer WooCommerce for their dropshipping business is the access to numerous advanced plugins. WooCommerce supports a variety of native and third-party plugins to facilitate advanced dropshipping functionalities.
Choosing an ideal dropshipping plugin from native and third-party plugins can be challenging. Below is a list of five WooCommerce dropshipping plugins suggested by experts. We also list the major features and benefits of each WooCommerce dropshipping plugin in the section below.
WooCommerce store owners can quickly add suppliers and products from AliExpress using the AliDropship plugin. AliExpress is a Chinese retail giant with practically unlimited suppliers making it one of the best sources for dropshipping suppliers. The top features and benefits of the AliDropship plugin are as follows.
- Numerous dropshipping products/suppliers.
- Highly customizable front and back end.
- Automated notification for suppliers.
- Automatic orders and fulfillments.
- Quick product search and import via automation.
- Easy-to-use centralized dashboard.
The WooCommerce dropshipping plugin from DropshipMe is ideal for getting a curated product list for your online store. With AliExpress offering practically limitless products, finding the correct item for your business can be difficult.
DropshipMe solves this problem and instantly lets you access and import relevant dropshipping products from AliExpress. The top features and benefits of the DropshipMe plugin are listed below.
- A curated list of AliExpress products.
- Recommendation for pricing markup.
- Quick and advanced product search.
- One-click importing of products.
- Professional-looking product titles.
The WooCommerce dropshipping plugin from Dropfied is the best choice for adding dropshipping suppliers from different sources, such as AliExpress, Amazon, eBay, and more. Besides, the plugin offers several attractive features and capabilities for your dropshipping business, including the following.
- Advanced research tool.
- Automatic order fulfillment.
- Out-of-the-box image editor.
- Quick and efficient product import.
- Import product reviews.
Another excellent WooCommerce dropshipping plugin you can consider for your business is WooDropship. The WooDropship plugin comes with a Chrome extension, meaning you can import products from AliExpress as you browse the website. The other attractive features and benefits of the WooDropship plugin are as follows.
- Built-in image editor.
- Efficient product and interface management.
- Simple navigation.
- Free updates and support.
- Remove the watermark from product images.
- Automated price update option.
With Spocket’s WooCommerce dropshipping plugin, you can quickly add independent dropshipping suppliers to your online store. It also allows you to add dropshipping suppliers from the US and EU. You can even import different product categories to add products from dropshipping suppliers. Besides that, you get the following features and benefits from Spocket’s plugin.
- Product import with pre-applied discounts.
- Advanced inventory tracking capabilities.
- One-click order fulfillment.
- Branded invoicing.
- Automated order tracking and markup.
Popular Dropshipping Suppliers in 2023
Finding reliable suppliers who can efficiently dropship products for your business is always challenging. Supplier directories are an excellent place to start looking for your dropshipping suppliers. After referring to multiple sources and advice from our experts, we have compiled a list of the most popular WooCommerce dropshipping plugins in 2023.
With millions of products and numerous suppliers, AliExpress is arguably the most popular dropshipping supplier in 2023. The Chinese retail giant offers one of the best platforms for dropshipping businesses, and it’s open to companies worldwide.
AliExpress can ship products directly to more than 254 countries, including the United States. The standard shipping time for items from AliExpress is 15-45 working days, with options for premium shipping. Moreover, you can find practically all products on AliExpress, including electronics, furniture, and even automobiles.
With Alibaba, you get an advanced B2B marketplace where buyers and sellers can connect. It is the ideal dropshipping supplier for B2B businesses because it enables them to transact directly with manufacturers. It means the suppliers in Alibaba can ship items in bulk and fulfill your orders without unnecessary delays.
However, it is worth noting that dropshipping via Alibaba may have different shipping periods depending on the location. Typically, you can expect delivery from Alibaba for up to six weeks. You even have the option to choose freight or air shipping based on your budget and fulfillment requirements. It is an ideal dropshipper to sell bulk products with private-label manufacturing.
One of the reasons to choose Doba as your dropshipping supplier is its centralized interface which lets you place orders from multiple warehouses. Doba fully integrates with 165 suppliers instead of just listing dropshipping suppliers on your WooCommerce store. Besides, a Doba membership also lets you access an automated Push-to-Marketplace tool for listing eBay items.
Unlike many other dropshipping suppliers or directories you can find online, Doba comes with a hefty monthly fee. On the other hand, Doba also offers a lot of convenience to dropshipping businesses. Consider using Doba to find dropshipping suppliers for companies with only a few key suppliers specific to their niche.
The supplier directory from SaleHoo includes 8,000+ wholesalers with dropshipping capabilities. It is an ideal platform for businesses using eBay and Amazon dropshipping for order fulfillment. More importantly, you can access SaleHoo at an annual price of just $67. SaleHoo even offers a 60-day money-back guarantee for accessing their platform.
It is worth noting that SaleHoo enables you to serve your customers in countries, including the US, Australia, and the UK. The inventory source of SaleHoo is AliExpress, meaning that you can access thousands of dropshipping products through it. You can consider SaleHoo for your business if you don’t mind the annual fees and want to access its research and directory tools.
5. Worldwide Brands
One of the best and oldest supplier directories you can use for finding dropshipping suppliers is Worldwide Brands. The supplier directory is ideal for your business if you want to access pre-vetted and legit wholesalers. Moreover, Worldwide Brands extends its services to retailers worldwide, making it suitable for a scalable eCommerce dropshipping business.
Since it is a supplier directory, there are no fixed shipping costs, and locations can vary depending on individual dropshipping suppliers. With more than 16 million wholesale products across the platform, Worldwide Brands lets you dropship all sorts of products. Hence, it is an excellent choice for your business if it needs reliable wholesale dropshippers.
Benefits of Having a WooCommerce Dropshipping Store
There are numerous advantages to running your dropshipping business on WooCommerce. WooCommerce is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms in the market, so there is no question about its eCommerce capabilities. But if you are wondering why it is a perfect fit for your dropshipping business, you should check out the various benefits listed below.
Low Setup Cost
One of the primary reasons (dropshipping) businesses prefer the WooCommerce platform is its low setup cost. WooCommerce is an open-source and free eCommerce platform, meaning you don’t have to pay a subscription fee every month or year. Besides, a dedicated dropshipping business requires no inventory, reducing your upfront investment.
Sell an Extensive Range of Products
WooCommerce lets you sell practically any number of products on your online store, and it is the same for a dropshipping business. With dropshipping, there is no need to manage your inventory, either. With a simple plugin integration, you can quickly add or remove products from your WooCommerce dropshipping store as per demand.
Fast Initial Setup
Setting up a dropshipping business on WooCommerce is relatively quick and easy, especially if you have the help of an expert like Virtina. Adding dropshipping capabilities to your WooCommerce store is as simple as integrating a dedicated plugin. However, it is advisable to seek professional help to ensure the integration runs smoothly with your existing system.
Few eCommerce platforms can compete with WooCommerce regarding flexibility and scalability. Besides being completely open-source, WooCommerce has one of the most extensive plugin collections. More importantly, you can customize dropshipping plugins and equip them with unique features and capabilities with the help of an expert like Virtina.
Another significant benefit of WooCommerce dropshipping is that it saves your business a lot of time, including order fulfillment. You can fulfill orders faster as there is no need to handle the inventory. The experts at virtina can even set up your store with real-time tracking and other analytical capabilities to save more time.
Challenges of a WooCommerce Dropshipping Store
From the section above, it is clear that WooCommerce offers numerous benefits for running a dropshipping business. However, you will inevitably face some challenges when running a WooCommerce dropshipping store.
Moreover, this is true for any eCommerce platform, and the best you can do is to prepare yourself for these challenges. Following are some of the most significant challenges you will likely face when running a WooCommerce dropshipping store.
Product Quality Control
Product quality control is one of the most significant challenges in running a dropshipping business. WooCommerce does not allow you to inspect the product before sending it to the customer. The only way to ensure product quality is to communicate directly with the vendors before you get into a business agreement.
Shipping Time for Products
Another challenge with WooCommerce dropshipping is that you can’t specify a super accurate shipping time for the products. However, you can use a customized WooCommerce plugin to calculate the estimated arrival date for products. Although the shipping time may vary slightly, this can minimize the number of frustrated customers and their negative impact on your business.
Reliability of Suppliers
WooCommerce cannot determine supplier reliability. Even in a WooCommerce dropshipping store, you depend entirely on suppliers for order fulfillment. The supplier is even in charge of providing accurate tracking details for orders. Hence, the best way to avoid any issues with supplier reliability is to research your supplier in detail before signing an agreement with them.
More and more online businesses are shifting to dropshipping because of its numerous benefits. It means increasing competition is one of the challenges you are likely to face with a WooCommerce dropshipping store. You can better prepare for this by incorporating custom features and capabilities into your store with a tailor-made plugin.
Minimal Control Over Branding
Another significant problem with WooCommerce dropshipping is the need for more branding control. In most cases, the dropshipping website only plays the mediator role. Since you are not handling the business’s branding, establishing a brand name is relatively challenging. However, you can boost your brand image in several other ways, and our experts can help you with that.
Tips to Promote Your WooCommerce Dropshipping Store
Promoting your WooCommerce dropshipping store is another challenge you will likely face. The “build, and they will come” approach no longer works in eCommerce. There are numerous alternatives available to customers. Your competitors are willing to do everything to steal your business. Fortunately, we have some quick tips to help promote your WooCommerce dropshipping store.
Optimize Your WooCommerce Dropshipping Website
To promote your WooCommerce dropshipping store, you must first optimize it for search engines. It means employing various marketing strategies for your business, including content marketing that uses relevant keywords, titles, and descriptions. It will help you attract the target audience to your WooCommerce dropshipping store and boost your sales/conversions.
Freebies and Discounts
One of the best ways to promote your online business is by giving away freebies and discounts to your (potential) customers. It is a tactic that always brings positive business results, including your online dropshipping store. Freebies and deals can attract new customers and help you retain the existing ones cultivating a loyal customer base.
One of the best ways to reach a young audience today is through local and international influencers. With influencer marketing, you can significantly grow your reach without making a hefty investment. However, you must ensure that you only partner with influencers that align with your products and brand to reach the relevant audience.
Implement Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most efficient ways to reach your customers and leads. It is a low-cost and effective way to keep engaging with your customers. WooCommerce supports advanced email marketing capabilities, including automated mail. Newsletters and promotional offers are some of the best ways to engage with your target audience via email marketing.
Summary - Get Help From WooCommerce Experts
Building a flexible and highly-scalable WooCommerce dropshipping store takes work, even with a flexible platform. WooCommerce has everything you need to create a successful dropshipping business. However, the same platform is accessible to many companies, including your competitors.
Hence, you must equip your WooCommerce store with custom features and capabilities to provide a better dropshipping experience to customers. A WooCommerce expert like Vrtina can help you implement this with a customized WooCommerce plugin.
Moreover, we can help you implement additional features and capabilities to enhance user experience on your WooCommerce dropshipping website.