If you’re considering an eCommerce business model and want to streamline your order fulfillment process, look no further than dropship fulfillment. Dropshipping is a lucrative eCommerce model with low risks. As a dropshipper, you act as a middleman between your customer and supplier, fulfilling orders and gaining profit from the sale.
Dropship fulfillment is faster, more efficient, and can save you time and money, making it a popular choice for eCommerce businesses.
In this article, we’ll explore the advantages of dropship fulfillment and learn the best ways to fulfill orders efficiently, so you can boost your profits and grow your business.
The Difference Between In-House Fulfillment Vs. Dropship Fulfillment
Notably, there are numerous differences between in-house and dropship fulfillment. As a matter of fact, for in-house order fulfillment, we need to hold and manage our inventory.
Because of the inventory, in-house fulfillment is more challenging and requires more work. Actually, it puts more responsibility on us, meaning that we are the ones handling everything.
With that being said, in-house fulfillment has the following disadvantages:
- Poor inventory management
- Expensive labor and overhead costs
- Slow processing speed
Since we need to manage our own inventory in this case, we run a high risk of doing it poorly. This is because if we sell hundreds or thousands of items, products can get lost, which translates into lost revenue.
Plus, we need to cover warehouse and labor costs. What this means is that we are paying for both the space and the warehouse workers.
Lastly, we also need to consider that we will have slower processing times. Since we are doing everything ourselves, from retrieving the products, to processing, billing, and shipping orders, the process will take longer for each order.
On the other hand, with dropship fulfillment, we can fulfill all our orders faster and more efficiently. On top of that, we can reduce the risk and cost of carrying our own inventory.
Comparatively, there are a many benefits to dropship order fulfillment, so to name a few:
- Low capital and overhead requirements
- Easier listing and inventory management
- Faster processing
Contrary to in-house, dropship fulfillment requires significantly less capital and overhead investment. To elaborate, since we don’t physically hold our inventory, we don’t have to pay for warehouse and labor costs.
With that being said, managing our inventory and listings is a lot easier. We have more visibility over our listings and product catalog. Especially when using an inventory management tool, we can easily organize all orders and product stock from one screen.
And, since we work with suppliers who are the ones shipping our orders, the processing is faster and more efficient. As we receive customer orders, we pass them off to our suppliers, who then ship them out.
3 Key Players In The Dropshipping Supply Chain
Interestingly, the dropshipping supply chain revolves around three key players. Now, the supply chain is the path the product takes to get from conception to manufacturing and finally to our customer.
So, the three key supply chain players are:
Now, the reason why dropshippers are not listed is that retailers can act as dropshippers.
Let’s look at each of these key players in more detail, starting with manufacturers. Notably, manufacturers usually don’t sell products to customers, but rather they are the ones that create them. Therefore, manufacturers sell products to retailers and wholesalers in bulk.
Moreover, the cheapest option for sourcing products is buying them directly from manufacturers. However, most manufacturers have a minimum order requirement. To explain, a minimum order quantity (MOQ) is the fewest number of items a business is willing to sell to a single customer. On top of that, we have to stock and re-ship the items. Because of this, it’s much easier to source from wholesalers.
Now, wholesalers are a different story. Wholesalers only slightly markup the products they buy in bulk and then usually sell them to retailers to sell to the public. Most of the time, they operate in a specific niche and rarely sell to the general consumer audience.
At last, retailers. Retailers are simple. A retailer is anyone who sells their products directly to the public at a markup.
On the other hand, a dropshipper is a retailer that provides order fulfillment services. Also, it’s important to note that there are retail suppliers, but it’s much more cost-effective to source from wholesalers. Now that we know who the key players are, let’s dive into the advantages of dropshipping order fulfillment.
What Are The Advantages of Dropshipping Order Fulfillment?
When fulfilling dropshipping orders manually, we are the ones that cover everything. From receiving orders to processing and billing and passing them off to our supplier, we do it all. Additionally, manual fulfillment requires us to copy/paste the shipping information to our supplier’s website one by one.
However, this also opens the door to errors. For example, we can mistakenly send a product to the wrong address. On top of that, there are various other disadvantages like long processing and shipping times, shipping out the wrong product, etc. But, these can be avoided if we automate our dropship fulfillment process.
Automated Dropship Fulfillment
In contrast, when automating our dropship fulfillment process, we can have a more hands-off experience. Many dropshippers have benefited from tools like AutoDS to automate and optimize their dropshipping fulfillment process. With that in mind, here are the advantages of automatic dropship fulfillment:
- Our orders will reach our customers faster
- Save us lots of time
- No room for human error
- Auto-tracking updates
- No account locks when using Fulfilled by AutoDS
- Less effort required
Deliver Order To Customers Faster
Undoubtedly, when we automate our dropship fulfillment process, we can rely on an automation tool to process orders quicker. As a result, the tool automatically passes on the orders to our suppliers, allowing them to ship products quickly. Ultimately, our orders will reach our customers faster.
Save A Bunch Of Time
With that being said, automation also saves us a lot of time. Instead of manually processing and shipping each order individually, the automation tool does that for us. Now, we can dedicate time to scaling our business and focus on other aspects, like marketing.
No Room For Human Error
Plus, not only does it save us time, but it also reduces errors. With automated dropship fulfillment, there is no chance of shipping out the wrong product. And we can avoid sending an order to the wrong address.
Furthermore, when automating our dropship fulfillment process, we can also enjoy auto-tracking. To elaborate, with auto-tracking, our customer’s shipping status will automatically be updated as soon as our supplier has the tracking information. As a result, both our customers and we will have better visibility of the entire process. Notably, this will put our customers at ease and allow for a more pleasant shopping experience.
No Account Locks With Fulfilled by AutoDS
In fact, with the AutoDS dropshipping automation software, we can automate the entire dropshipping process. Additionally, we can avoid buyer account locks. So, by using FulFilled by AutoDS, we are able to run the order fulfillment process from AutoDS’ various buyer accounts.
For example, Amazon can lock our personal buyer account if we are making a large number of purchases every day. But, AutoDS has multiple buyer accounts that it alternates when we make many purchases from our supplier. Thus, we don’t have to worry about account locks.
Less Effort Required
And lastly, with automation, we can have more control over our business with less effort. Since the automation software does the work for us, we don’t put in a lot of effort in the fulfillment process. With this in mind, we’ll see a demonstration below that will clearly outline the benefits of automating the dropship fulfillment process.
How To Fulfill Customer Orders When Dropshipping
In order to ensure customer satisfaction, we must fulfill orders immediately. One option is to do dropship fulfillment manually. In manual order fulfillment, we run the risk of making errors. For example, we can send the product to the wrong address or even send the wrong product.
In addition, doing this manually can take a lot of time and effort. This is because we need to process every order individually.
On the other hand, with automatic order fulfillment, it’s never been easier to do order fulfillment. Actually, automation tools allow for a significantly more optimized process. With the AutoDS Automatic Orders tool and Fulfilled By AutoDS, we can quickly fulfill orders and avoid errors.
With the AutoDS Automatic Orders tool, when we receive an order, it will appear on the orders page. Then, the system will automatically process it from our supplier directly to our buyer. To note, this tool uses our own buyer account, which differs from the Fulfilled by AutoDS tool.
Alternatively, when using Fulfilled By AutoDS, we need to load a balance in order to fulfill our orders. To note, we can load a balance on the AutoDS platform. This tool uses various AutoDS buyer accounts when purchasing from our suppliers. So, we don’t have to worry about getting any of our personal buyer accounts locked.
Next, let’s take a look at the step-by-step process for the different fulfillment processes.
Step-By-Step Manual Dropship Fulfillment
Undoubtedly, if we want to begin with manual dropship fulfillment rather than automating the process, we can. However, it’s not the ideal choice when we start receiving a large number of orders.
To demonstrate, let’s look at the process. For manual dropship fulfillment, first, our customer places an order in our store and makes the purchase. Once they pay, we receive the money and can now go to our supplier and order the item from there.
Now, when we are creating the order on our supplier’s website, we manually fill in every piece of our customer’s shipping information. So, we fill out all the details like shipping address, customer information, any product specifications, etc.
And lastly, we have to manually update our customers on their order information and shipping status. What’s more, we have to do this for each customer individually. In fact, it’s not all laid out for us on one screen. Undoubtedly, this is a time-consuming process that can be automated and optimized.
Step-By-Step AutoDS Automatic Orders
Now, when it comes to the AutoDS Automatic Orders tool, it’s a different process. First, from the AutoDS platform, click on ‘Add Store’ from the left menu. Then, from the store type options, choose the type of store you are connecting to AutoDS.
Once we link our store to AutoDS, we need to enable the ‘Order Processor’. To do so, we must click on the Plans & Add-ons section in Settings.
Now, after we receive an order, it will appear on our orders page. Then, the AutoDS system will automatically process the order directly from our supplier to our customer. Plus, we can enjoy automatic order updates as the order status will automatically change from ‘In Order Process’ To ‘Ordered’ along with the supplier’s order number.
Finally, what makes the process even more convenient is the automatic tracking updates. As a matter of fact, as soon as our supplier has our tracking information ready, AutoDS will automatically update our customer’s shipping status. Plus, it will also automatically update the order status as well, from ‘Ordered’ to ‘Shipped’.
On top of that, it will also convert any AMZL tracking number to Bluecare Express. To clarify, AMZL (Amazon Logistics) refers to any deliveries made by Amazon with their delivery service. Notably, every tracking number will be 100% trackable and automated.
Step-By-Step Fulfilled By AutoDS
Next, let’s take a look at the Fulfilled By AutoDS step-by-step fulfillment process. To start off, we need to add the Order Processor as an add-on by going into ‘Settings’ and finding it in ‘Plans & Add-ons’. This will enable us to activate the proper tools in order to enjoy the Fulfilled By AutoDS tool.
Then, we need to opt-in for Fulfilled By AutoDS. To do this, we need to click on ‘Settings’ and then go to ‘Store Settings’ and click on ‘Orders’. After that, we need to check the option of ‘Process orders using the Fulfilled by AutoDS service’. And now, we can enjoy complete automated order fulfillment.
Notably, Fulfilled by AutoDS works by purchasing auto-order credits and loading a balance instead of constantly using a personal buyer account. So, on the ‘Orders’ page, we can buy auto-order credits. To do so, click on ‘Buy Credits’ and select the best package for your business. Each automated order costs 1 auto-order credit.
Moreover, there are two options when loading our balance. The first option is to load it using Payoneer and the second through PayPal.
To load the balance, we need to go to our ‘Orders’ page and click the ‘Fulfilled By AutoDS’ button. After that, we need to click on ‘Load’ and choose whichever amount suits our needs best.
Finally, we can sit back and relax while enjoying fully automated order fulfillment. AutoDS will process our orders as soon as they come in, making the order fulfillment process faster and more efficient. Plus, it will automatically update the order status and tracking information as soon as it’s available.
So, we can see that by automating our dropship fulfillment, we can significantly improve the process. In addition, we can make sure our customers have a pleasant shopping experience.
Optimize Your Dropship Fulfillment With Automation
Undoubtedly, in dropship fulfillment; there are a few crucial steps that we need to cover. Actually, there are three key steps. The first step is where a customer places an order in our store. Then, we place an order with our supplier in the next step. Finally, our supplier ships the order to our customer. As such, these steps cover the dropship fulfillment process.
However, as seen, going through this process manually is a pain which is why automating it is beneficial to our business. Undeniably, we can reduce errors in fulfillment by using the AutoDS Automatic Orders or Fulfilled By AutoDS tools. Also, when we use automation tools, we don’t have to go to our supplier’s website or fill anything in manually, which expedites the process.
Thus, we can see how automation is the clear choice for dropship fulfillment. On top of that, Fulfilled By AutoDS has the added benefit of protecting our personal buyer accounts. So, while the software does the work for us, it also uses various AutoDS buyer accounts. With that said, opting to utilize Fulfilled By AutoDS is clearly the winning option for us as dropshippers.
Top Dropshipping Suppliers To Source Products From & Start Fulfilling Orders
Now, let’s take a look at the top dropshipping suppliers that we can rely on to fulfill our orders. Having a reliable supplier is the key to proper and timely order fulfillment. Then, by extension, when orders are being fulfilled fast, our customers will be satisfied, and we can build customer loyalty.
Although there are a great many suppliers to source from, the best ones to collaborate with for dropship fulfillment are:
Notably, a great dropshipping supplier is characterized by various traits, like:
- Vast product range
- Fast shipping times
- Clear business policies
- Excellent customer service
- Positive reviews
- High-quality products
With all that being said, let’s dive deeper into each of these dropshipping suppliers.
First on our list of reliable dropshipping suppliers is CJDropshipping. CJDropshipping is a top dropshipping supplier for order fulfillment with eight worldwide warehouses that allow for quick shipments.
Additionally, CJDropshipping has some other great features like:
- Quality control
- White-label products
- Print-on-demand products
The most crucial aspect is that CJDropshipping performs product quality control. Thus, it ensures we sell high-quality products. As a result, our customers will receive top-quality products, and in turn, we will gain their loyalty.
Additionally, CJDropshipping provides a white label option. To be more specific, white-label products are mass-manufactured, but CJDropshipping allows for certain customizations. To elaborate further, the manufacturer that produces the products allows the buyer to brand specific features like the packaging.
Plus, CJDropshipping provides print-on-demand products that offer further customization. With this, we can offer custom and unique product designs in our store.
Surely, AliExpress is one of the most reliable dropshipping suppliers. Also, it’s a great choice for order fulfillment since they have warehouses all around the world. Plus, with their huge product selection, we can fulfill numerous orders and stay on top of trends.
And, there are other great features that make AliExpress a great supplier:
- AliExpress Dropship Center
- Extensive product selection
- Low prices
First and most important, AliExpress has a Dropship Center. Ultimately, the dropship center helps us with product research and improves our product catalog. Especially when considering AliExpress’ huge product selection, this can come in handy when finding our winning items.
Moreover, they have very affordable and low prices because they are a Chinese supplier. As such, this enables us to increase our profit margin while remaining competitive.
Next up, Alibaba. The Alibaba Group is the parent company of AliExpress. And since Alibaba is the parent company, it is massive and primarily a B2B supplier.
Some of its interesting features are:
- Wholesale prices
- Private label products
- Massive product variety
With Alibaba, private label product options are at the tip of our fingers. What this means is that we can find manufacturers that allow us to brand the products we source from them. On top of that, we’ll be able to get these items at wholesale prices.
Also, Alibaba has a massive product selection offering a ton of variety for us to choose from. Plus, this allows us to cater to a larger market as we can offer so many different products. As such, we can fulfill the needs and demands of various types of customers.
Next up, we have another major Chinese supplier, Banggood. On top of having a huge product selection, it’s a great international supplier. Importantly, it covers global locations like Asia, Europe, the US, and Australia making it a great choice for reliable dropship fulfillment.
Plus, there are various great features that Banggood has:
- Certified dropshipper website
- Dropship center
- Low costs
Uniquely, Bangood provides dropshipping contracts and support for dropshippers because it’s a certified dropshipper website. What’s more, it offers us cashback sites, personalized product recommendations, and a credit point accumulation system from its dropship center.
Furthermore, as a Chinese supplier, Banggood has low pricing across all products. Actually, this is common with most Chinese suppliers, like AliExpress and Alibaba. As a result, Banggood is a great supplier to use to fulfill orders.
Interestingly, Costway was founded by dropshippers, so it’s very dropshipper-friendly. Uniquely, it even offers dropshipping agreements.
On top of that, Costway has some other interesting features to consider:
- 90-day warranty
- Free standard shipping
First, Costway offers a great 90-day warranty. So, if our customer receives a faulty item, they can return it for a full refund or exchange it within 90 days after purchase. Additionally, what makes Costway a great choice for dropship fulfillment is its shipping solution. As a matter of fact, we can always rely on their 3-5 days standard shipping for all products.
Finally, they reel us in with their lucrative cashback system. We’re able to earn a percentage of our money-back with any order we place. As such, we can price products competitively and stay ahead of the competition.
Up next is Wayfair. Wayfair is famous for its product listings in the “Home” niche.
What makes them an attractive supplier for dropship fulfillment is their global network of warehouses. Additionally, Wayfair has speedy 2-day shipping that we extend to our US consumers. As a result, this makes them a great choice for dropship order fulfillment.
Let’s look at some of their great traits:
- MYWAY program
- Global warehouses
- Huge product range
Undoubtedly, the MYWAY Program is one of Wayfair’s most attractive traits. This membership program offers great dropship fulfillment benefits like free shipping on any order, member-exclusive products, and even free 1-day shipping for eligible products. Similarly, for non-members, their global network of warehouses guarantees fast shipping across different regions.
Although Wayfair is a niche supplier, it does still offer a wide variety of products. This huge product range is the reason why ‘home niche’ dropshippers swarm to Wayfair.
Finally, we have Overstock. Overstock is a high-quality supplier in the home niche, a great choice for the American dropshipper. They can also be credited with the trifecta of great customer service, reliable shipping, and sensible prices.
Looking into Overstock, they have some great features like:
- Good return policy
- Club 0 program
- Price match guarantee
Notably, Overstock’s outstanding price match guarantee is one of their greatest features. To elaborate, if you find a product with a lower price from absolutely any other supplier in the world, Overstock will refund you the difference.
And we can also take advantage of their 30-day return policy. This will surely check a lot of boxes in terms of dropship fulfillment.
As for their loyalty program, Overstock’s ‘Club 0’ program offers attractive benefits like 5% cashback on all purchases and free shipping. Plus, we can test it out for free in the 30 days after signing up. After that, the monthly fee is $19.95.
How To Generate More Sales & Scale Your Dropshipping Business
Undeniably, manual dropshipping is laborious and time-consuming work. Notably, this is where AutoDS and dropshipping automation come in to save the day.
As a matter of fact, we can save a bunch of time and effort by automating our dropshipping business. With dropshipping automation, we can automate the entire dropshipping process from start to finish. To elaborate, we can automate our product research and optimize it to find our winning items. Also, we can automate product importing, processing, fulfillment, and monitoring.
With that being said, AutoDS has a myriad of tools that allow us to automate all of these processes. Plus, this enables us to scale and grow our dropshipping business. These AutoDS dropshipping automation tools allow us to have complete control over our business:
- Price/stock monitoring
- Product research
- Automatic price optimization
- Easy inventory management
- Quick & easy product imports
- … and so much more!
Undoubtedly, automating the entire dropshipping process can reduce errors and save hours in our day. What’s more, while the software does the work for us, we can reap the benefits and enjoy our private life as well. So, not only are we making our business more efficient but we can also multiply our profits!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Dropshipping Fulfillment?
Dropshipping fulfillment is a method where a seller doesn’t keep the products they sell in stock. Instead, the seller purchases inventory as needed from a third-party supplier. Also, the supplier is the one who ships out the orders.
What Is The Difference Between A Dropship Order And A Regular Order?
The main difference is that with a dropship order, the dropshipper doesn’t hold the inventory and doesn’t handle the shipping. On the other hand, with a regular order, the seller is the one who holds stock and ships out orders.
How Do I Fulfill A Dropship Order?
There are numerous ways to fulfill dropship orders. For instance, you can manually fulfill the orders in collaboration with your supplier. However, the best way to fulfill orders is by automating the process with Fulfilled By AutoDS.
What Are The Benefits Of Dropship Fulfillment?
The benefits of dropship fulfillment are that it’s a low-risk and low investment. We neither keep any physical inventory nor ship the products ourselves. So, we are making a profit with no major investment or risks.
At last, we are now ready to take on the dropshipping fulfillment method. After gathering all the insights about dropship fulfillment and learning about the best suppliers, we can start earning money. Plus, we are now equipped with the best ways to fulfill dropshipping orders.
In fact, with the right information and tools, we can scale and generate substantial profits. Plus, we have tons of materials to support us in our journey.
With that being said, check out these articles to help you get started with dropship fulfillment: