Learn
14 min read

Automated Dropshipping: What It Is and Its Profitable Benefits

Soniya Jain

November 9, 2022

This guide will explain what automated dropshipping means, why you should consider it, and share several dropshipping task automation ideas for you to get started.

When starting a dropshipping business, it's easy to think you don't need any automation. After all, dropshipping is a simple model with no inventory to manage, right?

Well, that's not exactly true. Dropshipping is still a business, and you still have to manage it. Dropshipping businesses must execute several tasks, from order processing to marketing to customer support.

As your store sales grow, you'll find yourself spending more and more time on these tasks.

Even worse, you may end up with a massive backlog of orders that need to be processed. It can lead to customer frustration and lost sales if you don't take action quickly.

To deal with these inevitable challenges, many dropshipping stores turn to automation.

What is automated dropshipping?

Automated dropshipping is leveraging technology to perform the tasks of running a dropshipping store.

Using software technology to automate dropshipping is the most popular method and is generally considered the best option for beginners.

For example, you can use customer support software like Zendesk to handle customer queries and automatically assign them to your team for resolution.

Using contractors and freelancers is another option. It can be more expensive but very effective for experienced dropshippers who want to focus on other aspects of their business and not have to do everything themselves.

For example, you can hire a pay-per-click (PPC) expert from a freelance platform like Upwork to handle Facebook ads and scale them, plus other paid advertising channels.

The best version of an automated dropshipping store combines the benefits of both software and human talent.

4 benefits of turning to automated dropshipping

Automated dropshipping is one of the most effective ways to scale your business. It allows you to focus on profit, not fulfillment, to make more money with less effort.

Here are some notable benefits of adding automation to your dropshipping store.

Saves time

Automating repetitive dropshipping tasks can save you hours each week and allow you to focus on what matters, building your brand.

For example, you could use a tool to sync your inventory automatically instead of manually keeping track of each item.

Cost-efficient

Automation enables you to do more with fewer resources.

It translates to considerable cost savings for you since you don't have to employ as many people.

For example, if you can process orders with only one employee instead of two, this means savings in salaries and benefits. Furthermore, the cost of automation is often less than it would cost to hire more employees.

Fewer errors

When you run your store manually, there's always the risk of making mistakes. You could place orders at the wrong address or use incorrect prices on your website.

With automation, you don't have to worry about such issues because everything is done automatically by your software or app.

For example, if a customer places an order, some software automatically sends them an email confirming their order. It will also update your inventory levels so that you don’t sell products that may be out of stock.

Scalability

Automation is a great way to create a scalable and sustainable business. The more you can automate, the less your business relies on you and the more it can run on its own.

You can also sleep better at night knowing that your store isn't dependent on you being there 24/7.

Further, you get the freedom to work on other projects or run multiple dropshipping stores at once.

13 task automation ideas for dropshipping stores

In dropshipping, automation is possible at every step. We will go over the different types of automation you can use to streamline your business.

You can start with the basics and move on to more advanced automation as you feel comfortable.

Listing products on your website

Importing product data from AliExpress to a Shopify store using Importify.

Source

One of the most time-consuming aspects of running a dropshipping website is importing and listing products.

If you have a lot of products that need to be listed and imported into your store, it can take hours or even days to get them all done manually. And if you have more than one product line, this process can appear even more complicated as you try to keep track of all the different SKUs.

Fortunately, several tools like Oberlo and AliDropship are available, making adding new products much more effortless. These tools allow you to import product data directly from the supplier's product listing on marketplaces like AliExpress to your store with just a few clicks.

Beware: The descriptions provided will be considered duplicate content by Google. This means the product pages imported will never rank in Google. The good news is we have a solution.  Copy AI has a product description generator to make short work of that issue.

The bonus is that it likely writes better product descriptions saturated with copy that makes clients buy.

Updating product prices

Setting the correct price is imperative if you sell products on your website. Price is a crucial factor when it comes to determining whether or not a customer will make a purchase.

If you manually adjust each product's price every time you list a new product, this could become a very time-consuming task. If you have hundreds of products in your store, it could take hours to do this manually.

To avoid wasting time by manually adjusting the price of each product, you can use pricing software. Pricing software will allow you to easily manage all of your rates at once and keep them up-to-date.

You can also set rules that automatically adjust prices based on factors such as inventory levels, dropshipping suppliers changing their pricing, or sales performance. This will save you from selling out-of-stock products or cutting into profits if a supplier increases their price while yours stays the same.

Managing inventory levels

While you don't need to stock items in the dropshipping model, you should still be aware of the available stock with your suppliers to meet demand. The last thing you want is to have customers wait for products your suppliers can deliver after a while.

The best way to manage this is by using an inventory management system to track the available inventory of your suppliers. You can then make sure that you don't run out of stock and can order more when necessary.

The inventory management system will also help you identify any issues with your suppliers and their ability to meet demand. For example, you may consider finding another supplier if they are constantly out of stock on a particular item.

Routing new orders to suppliers. 

It's common for dropshippers to manually send new customer orders to their suppliers. It's a tedious process that can be automated easily.

With automated order processing, when a customer places an order on your site, the system automatically assigns it to a supplier so that they can fulfill it right away.

Customers can quickly receive their purchases, resulting in happier customers who are less likely to leave poor reviews about long wait times for their orders.

Sending order tracking updates

If your customers place an order from your store, they want to know when it will arrive and how long it will take for them to get their product. 

In most cases, this means sending them an email or text message with an update or tracking number until their order arrives at its destination.

It is where automated order tracking comes into play. Instead of sending these messages manually, you can set up notifications that will go out automatically when an order is placed or shipped.

You don't have to deal with repetitive customer inquiries about their order status. Rather, you can focus on other aspects of your business and let automated order tracking updates do the work for you.

Answering customer support queries

One of the biggest challenges for dropshipping stores is dealing with customer questions. It is especially true when you're just starting out and need a dedicated customer service team.

Using ticketing software and freelancers to manage your customer support is an efficient way around this problem. You can assign tickets to a freelancer, and they'll provide quick responses when you cannot do so yourself.

It is a great way to ensure that customers always receive fast and friendly service even if you're swamped with other work or simply too busy.

You can also consider hiring a virtual assistant to manage your customer support fully. It is an added cost but can be well worth the money if you don't have the time or resources to do so yourself.

Handling returns and refunds

No matter how carefully you choose your dropshipping suppliers, some of them will inevitably send products that don't meet your store's high standards.

It often results in customer returns and refunds. Your responsibility is to handle these issues quickly and efficiently to retain customers.

Even with a well-documented returns policy, enforcing it can be a challenge.

It's essential to have a system that quickly identifies returned products and automatically refunds customers, so you can keep them happy and avoid the stress and cost of manually processing refunds.

Collect product reviews and ratings

When it comes to online retail, one of the most important things you can do is get customer reviews and ratings.

It doesn't just help potential customers decide whether or not to purchase from you; it also helps boost your store's credibility and authority.

That said, getting customers to leave feedback on their experience with your store can be difficult, especially if they don't have any negative things to say.

That's why it's crucial to do everything you can to collect customer feedback, including asking for reviews on your website, in follow-up emails, and on social media pages.

Requesting and following up with each customer manually can be a huge time suck. It is worth investing in an automated review tool that can help you set up rules and reminders to follow up with customers after they have received a purchase.

Managing accounting and payments

Accounting and payments are two key elements of any business. As a dropshipper, you must keep track of all your expenses, sales, and profits. 

Moreover, you also have to make sure that your suppliers are paid on time. It is a critical part of your business. Your suppliers expect timely payments, and you should be ready for that. Keeping track of your expenses and invoices can be difficult if you don't have the right tools.

A good accounting tool will help simplify the process for you. It will allow you to access your financial data anywhere at any time. It's also vital to ensure that your accounting software can integrate with other tools to help streamline processes and keep track of everything in one place.

Email marketing

One of the best ways to grow your dropshipping business is through email marketing. It's one of the most effective ways to reach your customers and get them to buy from you repeatedly.

However, sending out new emails every week or month can be time-consuming if you need to automate your email marketing campaigns. You'll have to set aside time to create the content for each email and then schedule them for specific dates. 

Luckily, some tools make this process much simpler. They allow you to schedule emails in advance and then send them out automatically based on your defined triggers.

For example, you can set up an automated email campaign that sends out a series of emails once someone signs up for your newsletter.

Social media content publishing

When you're running a dropshipping business, finding the time to keep up with social media accounts is challenging, especially if you're already working long hours to market your store's products.

Automating your social media content publishing can help with this problem by taking care of posting content on your social media accounts.

Automation services like Hootsuite and Buffer can help you schedule your posts in advance to ensure that your social media accounts are always active. 

You can even hire a freelance social media manager to handle social media marketing for your business.

Pro tip: Scale social media content development with the power of CopyAI's suite of copywriting tools.

PPC advertising activities

PPC advertising through Google Ads and Facebook Ads is a great way to quickly and effectively reach your target audience.

However, setting up and managing your campaigns can be a lot of work. You must constantly monitor your ad performance and adjust to stay on track.

Using automation can take care of many repetitive tasks for you.

For example, you can set automatic rules to pause or stop your campaigns if they're not performing well.

If paid advertising is a significant sales channel for your business, consider hiring a freelance expert to set up and manage the campaigns.

Pro tip: Try using this free Google Ads copy generator that uses the power of AI.

Making store performance reports 

Performance reporting is an essential part of running any business. It's how you track your dropshipping store's performance, which lets you decide where your business needs to go next.

But what if you could automate the process? That way, you could better understand your store's performance without worrying about manually collecting and analyzing data.

Consider setting up a real-time analytics dashboard with software like Google Data Studio.

Potential challenges with automated dropshipping

Challenges with automated dropshipping

Source

Automating your dropshipping business is a no-brainer, but there are a few potential challenges to consider.

Choosing and implementing dropshipping software

The first challenge is that there are many different dropshipping automation software options, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. You'll need to carefully research these options before making your choice. 

Once you've chosen a software provider, implementing it into your dropshipping business can take some time, especially if you want to ensure its reliability.

Hiring freelance talent

The second challenge is that you'll likely need to hire freelance talent to help with some of the tasks involved in scaling your dropshipping business.

Finding reliable talent can be difficult if you’re hiring people for the first time. In addition, you may need to spend quite a bit of time training them, so they know what is expected of them.

Robotic customer service

Another challenge is that customer service may feel robotic and lack a human touch. 

It is especially true if you hire remote workers or freelancers to do the work for you. They may not have the same connection with your customers as someone working in-house who understands your business goals and culture.

10 popular dropshipping automation tools

Automated order tracking updates with AfterShip.

Source

There are many different types of dropshipping store automation tools that can help you run your business more efficiently. These tools can help you with everything from product listing to marketing.

We have curated a list of 10 popular dropshipping automation tools that we think are worth exploring, along with their unique benefits as automated dropshipping software.

Dropified

Key automation capabilities: product import, order processing, and inventory tracking

AutoDS

Key automation capabilities: inventory updates, order fulfillment, and product import

Inventory Source

Key automation capabilities: inventory updates, order processing, product research, and product import

AfterShip

Key automation capabilities: order tracking updates, order returns, feedback collection, and referral marketing

Alloy Automation

Key automation capabilities: email marketing, order tracking, and loyalty rewards

Buffer

Key automation capabilities: social media scheduling and social media monitoring

Klaviyo

Key automation capabilities: email marketing and SMS marketing

DSers

Key automation capabilities: inventory tracking, order fulfillment, and product import

Zendesk

Key automation capabilities: customer support

CopyAI

Key automation capabilities: copywriting and content writing

DSM Tool

Key automation capabilities: sourcing products, inventory management, eBay and Shopify store dropshipping

Time to add automation to your dropshipping business

If you're serious about dropshipping and want to build a profitable business, it's time to leverage automation.

An automated dropshipping business will help eliminate some of the stress and headaches of running an online store while also increasing efficiency and profits.

Keep in mind that automation is not a big bang phenomenon. It is an incremental process that gets better over time.

You can start by automating one aspect of your business, then build on it as you learn more about the process and get more comfortable with automation.

We hope the list of automation ideas we shared in this article will help you start your own dropshipping automation journey on the right track.

Learn
14 min read

Automated Dropshipping: What It Is and Its Profitable Benefits

Soniya Jain
November 9, 2022

This guide will explain what automated dropshipping means, why you should consider it, and share several dropshipping task automation ideas for you to get started.

When starting a dropshipping business, it's easy to think you don't need any automation. After all, dropshipping is a simple model with no inventory to manage, right?

Well, that's not exactly true. Dropshipping is still a business, and you still have to manage it. Dropshipping businesses must execute several tasks, from order processing to marketing to customer support.

As your store sales grow, you'll find yourself spending more and more time on these tasks.

Even worse, you may end up with a massive backlog of orders that need to be processed. It can lead to customer frustration and lost sales if you don't take action quickly.

To deal with these inevitable challenges, many dropshipping stores turn to automation.

What is automated dropshipping?

Automated dropshipping is leveraging technology to perform the tasks of running a dropshipping store.

Using software technology to automate dropshipping is the most popular method and is generally considered the best option for beginners.

For example, you can use customer support software like Zendesk to handle customer queries and automatically assign them to your team for resolution.

Using contractors and freelancers is another option. It can be more expensive but very effective for experienced dropshippers who want to focus on other aspects of their business and not have to do everything themselves.

For example, you can hire a pay-per-click (PPC) expert from a freelance platform like Upwork to handle Facebook ads and scale them, plus other paid advertising channels.

The best version of an automated dropshipping store combines the benefits of both software and human talent.

4 benefits of turning to automated dropshipping

Automated dropshipping is one of the most effective ways to scale your business. It allows you to focus on profit, not fulfillment, to make more money with less effort.

Here are some notable benefits of adding automation to your dropshipping store.

Saves time

Automating repetitive dropshipping tasks can save you hours each week and allow you to focus on what matters, building your brand.

For example, you could use a tool to sync your inventory automatically instead of manually keeping track of each item.

Cost-efficient

Automation enables you to do more with fewer resources.

It translates to considerable cost savings for you since you don't have to employ as many people.

For example, if you can process orders with only one employee instead of two, this means savings in salaries and benefits. Furthermore, the cost of automation is often less than it would cost to hire more employees.

Fewer errors

When you run your store manually, there's always the risk of making mistakes. You could place orders at the wrong address or use incorrect prices on your website.

With automation, you don't have to worry about such issues because everything is done automatically by your software or app.

For example, if a customer places an order, some software automatically sends them an email confirming their order. It will also update your inventory levels so that you don’t sell products that may be out of stock.

Scalability

Automation is a great way to create a scalable and sustainable business. The more you can automate, the less your business relies on you and the more it can run on its own.

You can also sleep better at night knowing that your store isn't dependent on you being there 24/7.

Further, you get the freedom to work on other projects or run multiple dropshipping stores at once.

13 task automation ideas for dropshipping stores

In dropshipping, automation is possible at every step. We will go over the different types of automation you can use to streamline your business.

You can start with the basics and move on to more advanced automation as you feel comfortable.

Listing products on your website

Importing product data from AliExpress to a Shopify store using Importify.

Source

One of the most time-consuming aspects of running a dropshipping website is importing and listing products.

If you have a lot of products that need to be listed and imported into your store, it can take hours or even days to get them all done manually. And if you have more than one product line, this process can appear even more complicated as you try to keep track of all the different SKUs.

Fortunately, several tools like Oberlo and AliDropship are available, making adding new products much more effortless. These tools allow you to import product data directly from the supplier's product listing on marketplaces like AliExpress to your store with just a few clicks.

Beware: The descriptions provided will be considered duplicate content by Google. This means the product pages imported will never rank in Google. The good news is we have a solution.  Copy AI has a product description generator to make short work of that issue.

The bonus is that it likely writes better product descriptions saturated with copy that makes clients buy.

Updating product prices

Setting the correct price is imperative if you sell products on your website. Price is a crucial factor when it comes to determining whether or not a customer will make a purchase.

If you manually adjust each product's price every time you list a new product, this could become a very time-consuming task. If you have hundreds of products in your store, it could take hours to do this manually.

To avoid wasting time by manually adjusting the price of each product, you can use pricing software. Pricing software will allow you to easily manage all of your rates at once and keep them up-to-date.

You can also set rules that automatically adjust prices based on factors such as inventory levels, dropshipping suppliers changing their pricing, or sales performance. This will save you from selling out-of-stock products or cutting into profits if a supplier increases their price while yours stays the same.

Managing inventory levels

While you don't need to stock items in the dropshipping model, you should still be aware of the available stock with your suppliers to meet demand. The last thing you want is to have customers wait for products your suppliers can deliver after a while.

The best way to manage this is by using an inventory management system to track the available inventory of your suppliers. You can then make sure that you don't run out of stock and can order more when necessary.

The inventory management system will also help you identify any issues with your suppliers and their ability to meet demand. For example, you may consider finding another supplier if they are constantly out of stock on a particular item.

Routing new orders to suppliers. 

It's common for dropshippers to manually send new customer orders to their suppliers. It's a tedious process that can be automated easily.

With automated order processing, when a customer places an order on your site, the system automatically assigns it to a supplier so that they can fulfill it right away.

Customers can quickly receive their purchases, resulting in happier customers who are less likely to leave poor reviews about long wait times for their orders.

Sending order tracking updates

If your customers place an order from your store, they want to know when it will arrive and how long it will take for them to get their product. 

In most cases, this means sending them an email or text message with an update or tracking number until their order arrives at its destination.

It is where automated order tracking comes into play. Instead of sending these messages manually, you can set up notifications that will go out automatically when an order is placed or shipped.

You don't have to deal with repetitive customer inquiries about their order status. Rather, you can focus on other aspects of your business and let automated order tracking updates do the work for you.

Answering customer support queries

One of the biggest challenges for dropshipping stores is dealing with customer questions. It is especially true when you're just starting out and need a dedicated customer service team.

Using ticketing software and freelancers to manage your customer support is an efficient way around this problem. You can assign tickets to a freelancer, and they'll provide quick responses when you cannot do so yourself.

It is a great way to ensure that customers always receive fast and friendly service even if you're swamped with other work or simply too busy.

You can also consider hiring a virtual assistant to manage your customer support fully. It is an added cost but can be well worth the money if you don't have the time or resources to do so yourself.

Handling returns and refunds

No matter how carefully you choose your dropshipping suppliers, some of them will inevitably send products that don't meet your store's high standards.

It often results in customer returns and refunds. Your responsibility is to handle these issues quickly and efficiently to retain customers.

Even with a well-documented returns policy, enforcing it can be a challenge.

It's essential to have a system that quickly identifies returned products and automatically refunds customers, so you can keep them happy and avoid the stress and cost of manually processing refunds.

Collect product reviews and ratings

When it comes to online retail, one of the most important things you can do is get customer reviews and ratings.

It doesn't just help potential customers decide whether or not to purchase from you; it also helps boost your store's credibility and authority.

That said, getting customers to leave feedback on their experience with your store can be difficult, especially if they don't have any negative things to say.

That's why it's crucial to do everything you can to collect customer feedback, including asking for reviews on your website, in follow-up emails, and on social media pages.

Requesting and following up with each customer manually can be a huge time suck. It is worth investing in an automated review tool that can help you set up rules and reminders to follow up with customers after they have received a purchase.

Managing accounting and payments

Accounting and payments are two key elements of any business. As a dropshipper, you must keep track of all your expenses, sales, and profits. 

Moreover, you also have to make sure that your suppliers are paid on time. It is a critical part of your business. Your suppliers expect timely payments, and you should be ready for that. Keeping track of your expenses and invoices can be difficult if you don't have the right tools.

A good accounting tool will help simplify the process for you. It will allow you to access your financial data anywhere at any time. It's also vital to ensure that your accounting software can integrate with other tools to help streamline processes and keep track of everything in one place.

Email marketing

One of the best ways to grow your dropshipping business is through email marketing. It's one of the most effective ways to reach your customers and get them to buy from you repeatedly.

However, sending out new emails every week or month can be time-consuming if you need to automate your email marketing campaigns. You'll have to set aside time to create the content for each email and then schedule them for specific dates. 

Luckily, some tools make this process much simpler. They allow you to schedule emails in advance and then send them out automatically based on your defined triggers.

For example, you can set up an automated email campaign that sends out a series of emails once someone signs up for your newsletter.

Social media content publishing

When you're running a dropshipping business, finding the time to keep up with social media accounts is challenging, especially if you're already working long hours to market your store's products.

Automating your social media content publishing can help with this problem by taking care of posting content on your social media accounts.

Automation services like Hootsuite and Buffer can help you schedule your posts in advance to ensure that your social media accounts are always active. 

You can even hire a freelance social media manager to handle social media marketing for your business.

Pro tip: Scale social media content development with the power of CopyAI's suite of copywriting tools.

PPC advertising activities

PPC advertising through Google Ads and Facebook Ads is a great way to quickly and effectively reach your target audience.

However, setting up and managing your campaigns can be a lot of work. You must constantly monitor your ad performance and adjust to stay on track.

Using automation can take care of many repetitive tasks for you.

For example, you can set automatic rules to pause or stop your campaigns if they're not performing well.

If paid advertising is a significant sales channel for your business, consider hiring a freelance expert to set up and manage the campaigns.

Pro tip: Try using this free Google Ads copy generator that uses the power of AI.

Making store performance reports 

Performance reporting is an essential part of running any business. It's how you track your dropshipping store's performance, which lets you decide where your business needs to go next.

But what if you could automate the process? That way, you could better understand your store's performance without worrying about manually collecting and analyzing data.

Consider setting up a real-time analytics dashboard with software like Google Data Studio.

Potential challenges with automated dropshipping

Challenges with automated dropshipping

Source

Automating your dropshipping business is a no-brainer, but there are a few potential challenges to consider.

Choosing and implementing dropshipping software

The first challenge is that there are many different dropshipping automation software options, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. You'll need to carefully research these options before making your choice. 

Once you've chosen a software provider, implementing it into your dropshipping business can take some time, especially if you want to ensure its reliability.

Hiring freelance talent

The second challenge is that you'll likely need to hire freelance talent to help with some of the tasks involved in scaling your dropshipping business.

Finding reliable talent can be difficult if you’re hiring people for the first time. In addition, you may need to spend quite a bit of time training them, so they know what is expected of them.

Robotic customer service

Another challenge is that customer service may feel robotic and lack a human touch. 

It is especially true if you hire remote workers or freelancers to do the work for you. They may not have the same connection with your customers as someone working in-house who understands your business goals and culture.

10 popular dropshipping automation tools

Automated order tracking updates with AfterShip.

Source

There are many different types of dropshipping store automation tools that can help you run your business more efficiently. These tools can help you with everything from product listing to marketing.

We have curated a list of 10 popular dropshipping automation tools that we think are worth exploring, along with their unique benefits as automated dropshipping software.

Dropified

Key automation capabilities: product import, order processing, and inventory tracking

AutoDS

Key automation capabilities: inventory updates, order fulfillment, and product import

Inventory Source

Key automation capabilities: inventory updates, order processing, product research, and product import

AfterShip

Key automation capabilities: order tracking updates, order returns, feedback collection, and referral marketing

Alloy Automation

Key automation capabilities: email marketing, order tracking, and loyalty rewards

Buffer

Key automation capabilities: social media scheduling and social media monitoring

Klaviyo

Key automation capabilities: email marketing and SMS marketing

DSers

Key automation capabilities: inventory tracking, order fulfillment, and product import

Zendesk

Key automation capabilities: customer support

CopyAI

Key automation capabilities: copywriting and content writing

DSM Tool

Key automation capabilities: sourcing products, inventory management, eBay and Shopify store dropshipping

Time to add automation to your dropshipping business

If you're serious about dropshipping and want to build a profitable business, it's time to leverage automation.

An automated dropshipping business will help eliminate some of the stress and headaches of running an online store while also increasing efficiency and profits.

Keep in mind that automation is not a big bang phenomenon. It is an incremental process that gets better over time.

You can start by automating one aspect of your business, then build on it as you learn more about the process and get more comfortable with automation.

We hope the list of automation ideas we shared in this article will help you start your own dropshipping automation journey on the right track.

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