In this last article form the first chapter of the Shopify Compass we will find out how to deal with product sourcing, if you decided to sell your own products.

If you want to manufacture your own product, you will have pros and cons.

Pros of your own manufacturing are:

  • Agility. You can change anything related to your product pretty fast and easy.
  • Full control under price, quality and design.

Cons of your own manufacturing are:

  • Time. You will need to spend time not only on the business tasks as you should control the product manufacturing as well.
  • Costs. Despite of what Shopify says, you will definately spend more money on providing your manufacture with proper equipment, staff, processes.

Of course you can decide to outsource your manufacturing to someone. In this case you should better work with local or foreign global partners.

In the outsource road you will have its own pros and cons as well.

Pros of outsourcing:

  • Less work to do. You will be outsourcing your efforts on manufacturing your products to the one who knows how to do it n the effective way. You can use this time to improve you other areas.
  • Low costs. As usual, dropship manufactures can provide you with cheaper costs.

Cons of outsourcing:

  • Low quality control. Well, you never know exactly, how you partner works, unless you will control this process with your trusted person there.
  • No actual control. Check the short explanation of Dell and Asus story from the book “How Will You Measure Your Life?” by Clayton Christensen, and you will get what I mean. There is always a risk when you 100% rely on your outsourcer, because you can lose control at all.
  • Minimum order quantity.

At first try to find a smaller manufacturer, even if the costs will be a little bit higher. Remember, process of finding the proper manufacturer can take some time.

Simi Kular, https://www.shopifycompass.com/video/how-product-manufacturing-works

Simi also recommends that you should always have a backup plan, not to rely 100% on the single outsource partner. He means having several manufacturers in your contact list.

Before making steps of producing your goods, Simi Kular recommends that you should dive deeper into the law regulations of your product niche in your country. She says that, for example, producing food products is highly regulated area with a lot of rules and standards.

Oberlo

The next thing that Shopify Compass introduces is the Oberlo, the Shopify app that provides you with an import of tons of dropshipping products directly from the suppliers into your store with few clicks.

Under the hood, Oberlo imports products from 2 different sources: Oberlo Supply and AIIiExpress. Oberlo Supply is an inner marketplace of trusted vendors.

Process of product import is extremely easy. You should sign in at https://www.oberlo.com/, connect your Shopify store, find products that you need and export them into your store. That’s it.

But take a couple of things in consideration.

  • If you fill your inventory with different suppliers, you will have a different shipping time, because your suppliers can be from different areas and even countries.
  • During your first steps you might face the fact, that you should follow the requirements of the manufacturer, because you are not the VIP client with lots of sales.

How to find worthy suppliers in Oberlo

At this step you should sign up your Shopify store in Oberlo.

Find products that you want to sell. Add them to your import list.

Follow a couple of advices, either you are using Oberlo Supply or AIIiExpress suppliers.

Search for no brands, fakes, or knockoffs.

Corey Ferreira, https://www.shopifycompass.com/video/finding-a-product-supplier-on-oberlo
  1. Look for unbranded products.
  2. Search for products with ePacket delivery and a free shipping. ePacket delivery is an agreement between the US Postal Service and China Post or Hongkong Post, and it has now expanded to included dozens of countries. It allows for faster delivery of products coming from China and Hong Kong to a number of countries.
  3. Search for products with at least 100 orders.
  4. Get products with minimum 4.5 star rating.

Thus, you can be sure that you will provide high quality goods to your customers.

Recap

This is the last chapter from the Business Planning section of the Shopify Compass. At this stage you should have a mark that tells you that you have enough data and you’re one step closer to launching your store.

Author

Shopify developer