Whether you’re a product hunter sourcing the latest gadgets from Japan or an import/export business in Hong Kong, dropshipping can help you test new ecommerce opportunities and learn about your customers without the risk of upfront investments. Dropshipping as a concept is familiar to many Hong Kong businesses with access manufacturers in the Pearl River Delta, but the process has historically been time-consuming and risky when suppliers required minimum order amounts. Now, ecommerce technologies can allow entrepreneurs to source a wide range of products and suppliers to build their online retail strategy without making minimum orders or finding storage. Recently, Melanie from Oberlo presented at our Shopify Meetup Hong Kong Spring event to explain how merchants can now find products for their online store in minutes and use technology to scale their dropshipping operations.
Unlike traditional wholesale arrangements with minimum orders, dropshippers only pay suppliers only when they receive an order and there is no minimum purchase amount. However, customers will still these items in your own branded online store and you will only need to pay the supplier after you have received an order from your customer. This helps entrepreneurs test new product line and specific market niches to see what global customers have an appetite for.
Entrepreneurs in Asian markets, such as Hong Kong, can leverage factories and wholesalers in Mainland China to build entire item collections while saving on costly warehousing fees. Many suppliers may have offices in Hong Kong, which will also make communication easier.
Traditionally, dropshipping from Hong Kong required privately negotiating contracts with manufacturers. For example, a merchant may find items on Taobao and make an order on a customer’s behalf on Taobao, and have the item shipped to the end consumer. However, this manual method makes adding items to your retail collection costly and risky.
Melanie explained how the Oberlo app helps merchants add products from Chinese marketplaces such as AliExpress into their new online store with the click of a button. Online stores powered by Shopify can integrate directly with Oberlo to add products to the store catalog with an Oberlo button. Merchants can then modify the item listing to suit their store’s brand. When your customer makes a purchase, the app also helps you fulfill the order by notifying your supplier.
By helping sellers process orders, Oberlo helps new online stores simplify their ecommerce operations by outsourcing key areas such as order fulfillment. Once your customer makes a purchase, you can click “Order Product” in your store admin to place an order via Oberlo with the supplier, who then delivers the item to your customer. Merchants using Oberlo Verified suppliers, which have over 1000 timely fulfilments, can ensure a better customer shopping experience with items.
Using a dropshipping app helps merchants streamlined repetitive and time-consuming tasks, such as communicating with suppliers through a clear ordering interface rather than an e-mail chain. With Oberlo assisting in core business operations, merchants can focus on crucial client-facing aspects of the business: marketing and customer service to build a positive brand experience.
Of course, merchants will likely want to update their store items or even suppliers. For evolving businesses, Oberlo has sophisticated features that allow merchants to update the suppliers for a specific item as well as modify item information. As you continue to refine your operations behind the scenes, your customers will continue to have a consistent brand experience. Merchants exploring the Oberlo app should familiarise themselves with the full capabilities of these features by adding products and testing these modifications.
For dropshipping merchants with dozens, perhaps hundreds, of items, updating them individually can be a hassle. Instead, merchants can set pricing automation with Oberlo to apply universal rules, such as a product’s markup percentage. Merchants can also filter to only add products with ePackets (the products with the fastest delivery times) so that customers enjoy the same shipping speeds even if there are multiple suppliers. Merchants using Oberlo can also make use of product wishlists to import a collection of items at once to keep track of items added in batches. Melanie concluded by informing event attendees that Oberlo can help them start and scale their dropshipping stores with ease.
After her presentation, Melanie stayed behind during the networking session to speak to audience members about how they could launch an ecommerce store in under an hour and brainstorm ideas on what people could sell online. Merchants considering opening a new store to do dropshipping can explore the Shopify app marketplace. As Melanie mentioned, merchants should note both an app’s ease of use for simple operations as well as its customization and automation features to manage a growing inventory and operation. To get additional ecommerce insights, you can check out our summary of tips from successful Shopify merchant in Hong Kong, Loveramics, as well as global solution providers.
To get additional ecommerce insights, you can check out our summary of tips from successful Shopify merchant in Hong Kong, Loveramics, as well as global solution providers.
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