Dropshipping is a great way to kickstart a startup eCommerce store. Learn how our expert Shopify developers created a custom Shopify Dropshipping App.

Shopify Dropshipping

Shopify Dropshipping: Developing a Custom Shopify Dropshipping App

Categories E-commerce | Shopify

Dropshipping model can be the next big leap for merchants to amplify their order fulfilment quality. For startups and businesses with limited inventory management resources, dropshipping services can act as a boon for better stock management. 

Further, with the use of Dropship integration with Shopify, maintaining product stock and overall consistency in order fulfilment also becomes convenient. This eventually adds up to a better user experience, lower maintenance cost, and higher profits.

Also, merchants get the underhanded benefit of having the space to focus on their user’s experience when they choose a Shopify Dropshipping app-based business model.

What’s a Shopify Dropshipping app?

In the dropshipping model the retailer doesn’t own inventory for their product instead uses the inventory of a third-party wholesaler to fulfil the orders they receive in exchange for a small fee. 

With the help of the Shopify dropshipping integration app, merchants can bid adieu to their troublesome and pesky inventory management system. Instead upon receiving new orders, they can automatically send a notification with the customer details in it to their preferred Dropshipping service for the order fulfilment.  

Dropshipping flow

What’s new in Shopify Dropshipping 2021?

With time the services provided by Shopify dropship app have transitioned drastically providing better convenience and pocket-friendly alternatives. Here are some of the new features through which accessing Shopify dropshipping services has become easier:

  • Apart from well known dropshipping providers such as Oberlo, a number of new dropshipping providers like SaleHoo and Doba has also signed up with the Shopify platform  
  • Further, with the help of Shopify labels, your drop shipping provider can now fulfil your order with just a click by generating shipping labels on mobile devices. This also makes the order fulfilment process much faster. 
  • Shopify also allows dropshipping with reputed brands like Amazon and eBay.

The Problem?

Although dropshipping is a perfect choice for Shopify merchants to save up on their inventory management costs. It also has its own flaws which might make navigation through a dropshipping-based business model a troublesome task. Here are some reasons why merchants are in dire need of a competent Shopify dropship app:

  • Repeating subscription costs
  • Compliance policies prepared by the dropshipping provider which at times might not fit well with merchants
  • Fewer profit margins as the dropshipping model add multiple layers of costs to the actual product price such as shipping cost, retailer’s profit, and dropshipping platform cost. 
  • On platforms such as Oberlo or Aliexpress, there are already several wholesalers available, and getting your product listed as well as selected by a Shopify store owner ends up being a complicated task.
  • Commission rates for retailers are pre-decided by the dropshipping platform and in many instances, these rates are not editable.

In the beginning, such issues are usually not visible to the merchants. But over the long period of time when they require greater scalability, speed, and efficiency the flaws in dropshipping based business might hinder their overall growth and success.

The Solution: Shopify Dropshipping Integration

Although dropshipping has its own flaws and setbacks, the business model remains a profitable alternative for merchants. The real pain of Dropshipping lies in subscription-based dropshipping services.

 

Troubled by the flawed architecture of subscription-based dropshipping service, recently one of our cherished clients approached our Shopify development agency for custom Shopify dropshipping app creation.

To cater to our client’s requirements, we developed a Shopify dropship integration app that makes dropshipping with Shopify, almost like a plug-and-play task.

Shopify Dropship App: The Development Approach?

Determined to make online store management and order fulfilment easier for the client, our team of developers went on a quest to find the perfect solution. And during our journey, we took inspiration from famous dropshipping providers such as Oberlo for creating the custom order fulfilment Shopify app.

We decided to create a feature-rich and non-embedded application solution that would allow suppliers to share their inventory with the supplier and generate orders from their own store. To create this custom Shopify dropship app we used the following technologies:

  • YII 2.0 for the dropshipping product interface
  • Multiple Shopify hooks and Shopify API for synchronizing data between supplier store and retailer store

Shopify Dropship Model

Key features of the Custom Shopify Dropshipping App

After a series of rigorous testing and development process, our custom Shopify dropshipping app empowered the client to access the following features:

1. Enabled suppliers to set up their products using the Shopify admin functionalities in the Shopify dropship app. The default Shopify inventory updates are directly synced with the app and are made available to all the retailers who are using the app in their Shopify stores.
 Shopify Dropship Admin-Product Management

2. Enabled suppliers to use the default Shopify admin interface for receiving and managing orders. These orders are automatically synced and created depending upon the orders received by retailers using the app in their Shopify stores.
Shopify Dropship Admin-Order Management

3. The client was able to access a minimal interface for retailers to browse the supplier inventory and select the products they want to add to their Shopify store.

Shopify Dropship App-Inventory

4. The supplier could set up Shipping costs for products from right within the Shopify admin panel.

Shopify Dropship App-Shipping

shipping charges info

5. The retailer could define their commission for a product.

Shopify dropshipping commission management

6. Finally, automatic and instant payouts for both retailers and wholesalers as soon as a customer purchases a product.

This ability for a supplier to convert their existing store into a dropshipping channel allows them to target retailers who are selling in the same product niche. This opens up a much more straightforward dropshipping channel which promises organized dropshipping operations as well as an improved ROI.

Challenges during the Development: Adaptive Payments in Shopify

During the Shopify dropshipping integration we had to apply for adaptive payments for enabling transactions between retailer and supplier. But doing so in the case of Shopify is easier said than done, as Shopify does not provide support for adaptive payments.

Supplier Account Setup

For solving this problematic aspect, we used Stripe payment integrations. Through our custom code now retailers could create customer accounts on stripe for the payment transactions. For this, the retailers have to provide their card details after the application installation which are then used for automatically setting up a Stripe account.

Shopify Dropship App Working Model

Now this approach of creating separate stripe account for the retailers we were able to trigger two transactions with each purchase. The first transaction takes the order amount from the merchant account to retailers. And the second automatically triggered transaction provides the required fee to the supplier’s account.

This same structure is used in Shopify Dropship app for handling refunds for order cancellations. By programmatically detecting the product status, the supplier is able to provide refunds which are then automatically refunded to the customer.

Shopify as an Inventory Management Tool?

While the app was built specifically for Shopify retailers, the decision to choose Shopify as the admin interface was purely a personal one. This means that a supplier can choose any CMS of his choice to manage the inventory and fulfilment including Magento, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Opencart or even a custom-built inventory management system as well.

The Inventory management tool had nothing to do with the Shopify dropship app developed at our end, as we only need its API to synchronize the data with our YII based intermediate application.

Since in this specific use case the client preferred Shopify’s admin capabilities to manage the supplier inventory, we utilized Shopify API and hooks to synchronize the stored data with the store data of all the retailers who are using the plugin through our YII based web application.

If the client had preferred any other CMS such as Magento or WooCommerce, then the same process would have been put into place where the only change would be of utilizing the API and webhooks of that specific CMS.

To Conclude…

For a successful dropshipping business, it is essential to have a robust supply chain without any hindrances. Our Shopify dropshipping app is aimed to deliver just that with a supplier-centric approach.

Retailers interested in utilizing the Dropshipping model are always on the lookout for genuine suppliers. Reaching out to them with a custom Shopify dropshipping app and removing the need for any 3rd party dropshipping service is an ingenious idea.

Are you influenced by this approach and plan on adapting it for your wholesale business? Then hire Shopify developer from The Brihaspati Infotech today or contact us to consult with the best offshore Shopify development team.