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Dropshipping is a huge market in 2021- and Shopify the preferred platform. There are many apps on the Shopify app store that allow you to find suppliers and dropship with ease, but out of these, two come to the forefront: Spocket and Oberlo.
I thought I would outline the major differences between the two Shopify apps, so that entrepreneurs on Shopify can make an educated decision based on their requirements and plans for their store.
Here’s my breakdown of what separates Spocket from Oberlo, the best dropshippers for shopify, classified into the following categories:
Let’s dig deeper into this Spocket Shopify review and review of Shopify dropshipping app Oberlo.
Read on for our comprehensive review.
Different dropshipping tools will let you fill your digital stores with different products from different sources. While it’s nice to have access to a lot of wholesale sellers in one place (which is the main appeal of a dropshipping tool), you want to make sure those sources are of good quality and that they sell the kind of products that are relevant to your niche.
Does the dropshipping tool you use work with your specific eCommerce platform? While most tools will work with Shopify if you use another platform you want to make sure that your dropshipping app can integrate well.
Some tools will allow you to automate filling your digital shelves and fulfill orders for you. This is particularly useful in saving time (and money), especially when it’s time to scale. Make sure to find a tool that has the right automation for you.
Does the app help you build your brand? Do they print custom labels for you? Some tools can add real value to your brand and make sure you make a powerful and positive impact when your products get delivered.
The magic of dropshipping tools is that they also make fulfilling orders easy and straightforward. No more will you have to manually enter the details and addresses of your customers, with the right tool, everything will be streamlined. You want to make sure that your products will be delivered fast. This is often tied to where the suppliers (that the tool provides) are based, as suppliers in China will usually mean slower deliveries than suppliers in the US or Europe.
How easy is it to reach out and troubleshoot problems? How much control over your deliveries do you have? Different tools propose different degrees of tracking and you want to make sure you can solve problems fast to ensure faster deliveries and returning customers.
You want to make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth out of the service. Most tools come with different pricing plans and you will need to choose which one works for you.
Spocket boasts of a large catalog of products and focuses on local manufacturers instead of large distributors.
The main selling point of Spocket is that it focuses on suppliers that are not AliExpress (unlike most dropshipping tools). The service is known for carefully vetting its suppliers with a strict onboarding procedure which supposedly means you won’t have bad surprises. As a result, the average product on Spocket is generally of better quality.
Since Spocket has a large catalog of suppliers in the EU and the US, you can naturally expect faster delivery times than with suppliers in China, which is generally the case with products bought on AliExpress.
Spocket integrates well with 11 eCommerce platforms as of 2021. While it works very well with Shopify, you can also use it with other webstore building services like Wix, Squarespace, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and more.
Spocket does all that you would expect from a dropshipping tool in terms of automation. You can easily import products, set automated pricing rules, have your orders automatically fulfilled, and set automated inventory updates.
Spocket guarantees that their wholesale partners will not add any branding of their own to your goods. Spocket goes the extra mile and lets you have suppliers attach your store’s invoice to the box, with your store’s name, contact details, your logo, and a personal note from you to the customer.
Spocket deliveries are generally conveniently fast. Since most of their suppliers are based in the US and the EU, you can expect faster deliveries than with sellers from AliExpress.
Spocket proposes four different paid plans. The paid plans all come with a 14-day free trial.
The Spocket support team is available 24/7 through email for the Starter plan and up, and through live chat for the Pro plan and up.
Oberlo is the Shopify native dropshipping tool and therefore the natural choice for many Shopify store owners. It gives you access to products from AliExpress mainly and that goes with benefits and downsides of it. Expect plenty of low-priced goods that can lead to impulse buys from your customer, but also a harder time finding quality suppliers.
It is still, however, a strong tool that will make your dropshipping experience easier in many ways.
Oberlo is a dropshipping app that focuses primarily on sellers from AliExpress, so nothing out of the norm here. This allows an enormous list of products available to you at extremely competitive prices.
The downside is that you should expect some hiccups in the process of finding quality reliable sellers as AliExpress is known for allowing anyone to sell. Most AliExpress sellers being based in China, you should also expect longer delivery times.
If you do manage to find a proper seller though, you will have a very competitive product and therefore bigger margins and more money in your pockets. Note that the Oberlo extension allows you to directly import and link products to your Shopify store from the Aliexpress website, making adding new goods to your web page extra easy.
Oberlo only integrates with Shopify. There are ways to have it integrate with other sites through embedding your “sales button” and link your Shopify store to other pages but, realistically, you will need a Shopify store to use Oberlo.
Oberlo does all that you would expect from a dropshipping tool in terms of automation. There is not much difference between the two tools here. You can easily import products, set up automated pricing rules, have your orders fulfilled automatically, and have automated inventory updates.
Oberlo too guarantees that none of the suppliers will add any promotional material, invoices, or flyers with the packages that reach your customers.
With most suppliers on AliExpress being located in China, most of your deliveries will take at least a week to arrive to your customers. That’s the main criticism Oberlo has received so far but that is an unavoidable side-effect of cheaper overseas suppliers.
Oberlo proposes two plans, and we like the simplicity of them. It used to have more complex pricing but Oberlo has since opted for a more transparent and less threatening pricing structure.
You’ve got one free plan which is ideal to test the capabilities of the tool as it has a limit of 500 products with unlimited monthly orders and access to the Oberlo Chrome extension. This free plan is sure to reel many curious users in as it gives a good idea of what the tool is capable of without giving the benefits of automation, tracking, and large-scale usage just yet.
The Boss plan, available at $29.90, really unlocks the full powers of the tool with up to 30,000 products, unlimited monthly orders, the Oberlo Chrome extension, variant mapping, bulk orders, shipment tracking, multiple staff accounts, an affiliate program, and a CAPTCHA solver.
Oberlo support is available through the mail and lives chat 24/7. With the paid plan you also have access to live tracking of your goods during the delivery process.
Both services offer monthly subscriptions but Oberlo turns out to be the cheaper option if you’re running a Shopify store.
But, remember that Oberlo only integrates with Shopify, so you’ll have to go with Spocket (or another alternative) if using one of Shopify’s rivals.
ShipStation is a Software-As-A-Service that will provide you with a dashboard made to centralize all of your orders. This is naturally useful if you’re managing numerous stores and can even be used on top of your favorite dropshipping tool. However, ShipStation won’t help you add more products to your digital store. It only handles the fulfillment of orders.
Similar to Shipstation, ShipBob has the added benefit of providing physical storage. If you need a 3PL that will handle your orders fully but also take care of your inventory for you (which can be needed even for dropshippers, depending on what you sell), ShipBob will do the job just fine.
If you’re looking to focus on AliExpress suppliers but do not use the Shopify/Oberlo combo, you might want to look into AliDropship. It specializes in dropshipping products from AliExpress, just like it says on the tin. It is available as a plugin for WordPress websites. The service even offers to buy ready-to-use dropship stores for you, though the quality won’t be as good as a custom one.
Question: What is dropshipping?
Answer: Dropshipping is a way to sell goods online without ever owning any physical inventory. Dropshippers usually own an eCommerce store through their online website and receive orders from their customers on products that they do not own yet.
Merchants will then purchase those goods from another merchant (usually from a wholesale retailer) at a lower price, have them delivered to their customers, and get profit on the margin. This is an effective way for anyone to start an online business as it takes away the risks involved with managing an inventory.
Question: Why dropshipping is bad?
Answer: Dropshipping is not bad in itself, as many people have launched successful stores that way. It gathers mixed opinions because of many online “gurus” who assimilated drop shipping to an easy money-making machine. The truth is: it needs as much commitment and hard work as any other online business.
Question: What is Oberlo compatible with?
Answer: Oberlo is only compatible with the Shopify platform. Oberlo, as a Shopify tool, doesn’t integrate with any other eCommerce platform and you will have to have a Shopify store to use Oberlo.
While you can use Spocket with Shopify, we found that Oberlo was the cheapest option for the service delivered by far.
But it’s not all about price. With fast-shipped, quality products, Spocket comes on top since most of their suppliers are US and EU-based. The main drawback is going to be products that are more expensive and therefore lower margins for you.
Oberlo, on the other hand, heavily focuses on AliExpress suppliers. These have extremely competitive prices, but also poor reliability and lengthy delivery times.
Remember though, if you’re not using Shopify, you most likely won’t be able to use Oberlo at all.
Oberlo is a Shopify dropshipping app that primarily focuses on products from AliExpress, with a few suppliers that are verified. While this allows for an enormous library of products available to add to your store, the problem that plagues all AliExpress based stores follows one here as well.
Choosing a reliable, trustworthy supplier out of the many available is quite difficult, but if you do manage to find a great product, the low product costs can bring in a number of impulse sales. Quite a few unique products are available as well if one delves deep.
The Oberlo extension, which allows you to add the product directly to your store from AliExpress does make the task easy, but the shipping times and quality are difficult to trust entirely.
Spocket shopify review
The average product quality on Spocket seems to be better- owing to the products being sourced from individually vetted suppliers from around the world. Spocket focuses on local manufacturers, Etsy artisans and distributors rather than AliExpress for the products listed.
The supplier team of Spocket personally goes over a strict procedure for onboarding suppliers with interviews and sampling being a part of the process, which explains the better pictures and products.
Additionally, a huge chunk of Spocket suppliers are based in the US and EU, which might contribute to faster shipping.
In terms of automations, Spocket and Oberlo mostly allow for the same facilities, which are essential to any dropshipping business. This is not a tie-breaker for either of the apps.
As a brand in a crowded marketplace, you need to stand out by cultivating exceptional relationships with your customers.
Both Spocket and Oberlo guarantee that none of the suppliers will add any promotional material, invoices or flyers with the packages that reach your customers.
With Spocket, you get an additional benefit that Oberlo does not provide: along with neutral, generic packaging, suppliers will also attach your store’s invoice to the box- with your store’s name, contact details, your logo and a personal note from you to the customer.
Spocket offers the ability to order samples from the search page and special collections that make it simple to import new products: new features often pop up on the app to help businesses.
Oberlo is an older company, founded in 2015- Spocket is relatively new, just over a year old.
Spocket is rated 4.8 on Shopify, with over 1000 reviews, and more than 20,000 retailers are using the app to scale their businesses.
Oberlo, on the other hand, is rated 4.7, with 2000 reviews: owing to the longer period they have been active.
The most common complaint heard about Oberlo products, is the extensive delivery times. With products shipping from abroad, this is a side-effect that cannot be avoided. However, with the age of instant gratification, faster deliveries are a requirement rather than a convenience.
Spocket deliveries are generally faster: their entire USP being the specially selected US/EU suppliers. While the Spocket catalogue is not as vast as Oberlo’s, the products are not found everywhere and ship quicker.
Spocket and Oberlo both have 24/7 customer support, with in-app chat facilities, so that no matter what problem you incur, you receive assistance.
I did find a number of reviews on the Shopify app store praising the support people received from Spocket.
Beyond that, both apps have a well-stocked self-help centre, where you can go through all the frequently asked questions and step-by-step explanations of all processes.
Additionally, Spocket’s Facebook group is quite a helpful community where tips, tricks and educational material is posted regularly, and retailers can have their sites reviewed by experts for free.
The Spocket Blog and the Oberlo blog both post useful content multiple times per week, which provide quite some value to new entrepreneurs.
Here is where things truly diverge: Spocket has three plans, with the basic one being entirely free, the Professional Plan costing $39 and the Empire Plan costing $99.
Oberlo, on the other hand, has three plans ranging from free to $79. Though this sounds great, there is one obvious flaw.
While Oberlo does allow 500 products to be imported on the free plan, you are allowed only 50 orders: which boils down to one to two orders per day. Now these 50 orders need not be for Oberlo products to deserve a charge of $29.90. If you have 50 orders on your store, you are required to opt for the higher plan.
What is surprising is that you do not need 500 products to start your store, or have a successful store. Having tons of cheap products are not what bring a store sales. A cap on the number of orders you can make with a plan is quite constricting, on the other hand.
Spocket allows order tracking to all users, which I believe is important for customer satisfaction. Spocket also automatically syncs the tracking number to Shopify, while with Oberlo, you have to manually enter them through Oberlo to the Shopify interface.
One thing that Oberlo offers on its Pro Plan that Spocket does offer is multiple user accounts. The rest of the features are similar across the two apps.
One thing I like about Spocket is that it has a 7-day free trial that allows retailers to test out the monthly plans before they commit to it.
While both Spocket and Oberlo both hold formidable positions on the Shopify app store, Spocket has quickly covered ground that Oberlo left bare. Oberlo can be used for impulse buy products and a quick buck. Our Spocket dropship review clearly has a winner.
For sustainable business development, Spocket has targeted all the pain points that retailers faced when operating a dropshipping business on Shopify, and has created an experience that is easy, smooth and user-friendly.