As dropshipping has become more popular as a business model, there are now lots of services that help connect dropshippers with reliable suppliers.
These services automate the “nuts and bolts” of the dropshipping process, leaving you more time to promote your business and makes sales.
However, with the choice available, which service do you go for? Before launching my own Shopify store I checked out a few and opted for some free trials to see which was the best fit for me.
In the end, I chose Spocket. What follows is an in-depth look at what they offer, plus my experiences using Spocket for my dropship business over the last 6 months.
What is Spocket?
Spocket is a Cloud-based client SaaS app that gives the dropship merchant access to an automated dropshipping system that supports operations of a virtual retail store.
It comes with enough supply chain management tools to support order fulfillment by fulfillment entities. These tools include e-procurement tools built into the Spocket system and can be easily integrated with inventory management and payment frameworks, including payment gateways and processors.
On the upside, it allows the dropship merchant to stock quality products sourced from reputable fulfillment entities in the European Union and the United States that pride themselves on timely delivery of drop-shipped items.
Even so, the retailer cannot directly contact his/her suppliers.
Also, it comes with limited private label shipping that does not provide for branded packaging. Spocket provides a limited free plan, and 3 tiered paid plans – the Basic Plan, the Pro plan, and the Empire plan.
Currently, over 60,000 subscribers use the app.
Spocket Main Features
The main features of this dropship system are explained below.
Automatic Inventory Updates
Spocket requires its suppliers to update their inventories frequently so as to ensure that no out-of-stock product is purchased by a customer from a webstore.
For the subscriber, Spocket synchronizes the inventory of his/her webstore to that of the selected suppliers so that any change to the supplier’s inventory is automatically reflected in the website’s inventory.
This automatic inventory update ensures that the customer can only purchase a product that the supplier can deliver within the set timeframe.
One-Click Product Import
Spocket features a single-click import button that allows the subscriber to add the product name, image, and details to the webstore with a single press of the button.
This time-saving feature allows one to easily add multiple products to the webstore. Even so, if the retailer wants to edit the details of any product, there is an edit function provided in the dashboard’s text editor.
Spocket comes with an automated system for setting the markup price for an item based on the supplier (vendor) price. This system allows the retailer to automate the profit margin as a percentage of the vendor price.
Likewise, this system allows the retailer to set the profit as the fixed ratio of the vendor price, thus ensuring that customers are not undercharged in the webstore.
Automated Order Fulfilment
As mentioned, this was the initial goal of the system design, and Spocket has built a robust back-ordering system that efficiently serves its subscribers.
This back-ordering system pipes the customer details including name, address, and payment details to the relevant services, and then notifies the retailer about the purchase. It also features a track order function that allows the retailer to track the status of the order shipment.
Real-Time Order Tracking
This allows the customer to track the status of the order that (s)he has placed in the webstore. It also allows the customer to notice any delays in shipment, and request assistance or clarification from the webstore.
This is an integration tool that allows the subscriber to import product data from AliExpress, and then choose the preferred sale destination and preferred carrier (or shipping agent).
Among the carrier, choices are DHL, TNT, UPS, USPS, FedEx, and ePacket. Even so, one must note that shipping products from China can be expensive when compared to shipping from other supported regions.
- Related Content: How to Avoid Counterfeit Dropship products on AliExpress
IOS & Android App
Spocket also provides an app that allows you to access your orders while on the move. For busy dropshippers, this is great as you can manage your store while away from the laptop.
It also gives the option to check new products and begin planning your new listings. The app can connect you with customer support in times of need too.
The Spocket Supplier Network
Spocket gives the dropship merchant access to a wide variety of reputable fulfillment entities based in the US and EU. These fulfillment entities can be trusted to complete back-ordering processes.
This assures the merchant that the supplier (i.e fulfillment entity) will receive the order, process it accordingly, and then ship the product to the customer.
Currently, the fulfillment entities are located in the United States, United Kingdom, Continental Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
This ensures that the turnaround time is kept at a minimum, with the ideal shipping period being 5 days if the products are supplied by a supplier located in the nation where the customer resides.
It also comes with the print-on-demand feature that allows the retailer to narrow down his/her research of fulfillment entities to only those entities that are best suited to supply his/her webstore, as well as appropriately handle his complaints and concerns about products.
Basically, this feature allows the retailer to choose fulfillment entities that can best serve his/her customers, thus minimizing customer dissatisfaction with the webstore.
Spocket does provide pre-negotiated discounts on selected high-quality products. This means that the merchant is offered a discount on his/her markup price on the selected item, and this discount can be as high as 60% for some products (which assures the retailer a profit margin of about 60%).
Another unique advantage of Spocket is its support for quality control assessment. This is provided by its sampling feature that allows the merchant to order sample products from selected fulfillment entities, and then note their speed of delivery, besides having an opportunity to hold and inspect the products and then take their photos.
This allows the merchant to test his/her list of suppliers and then choose to work with only those that supply quality products and deliver them in a timely manner.
Even so, Spocket has two disadvantages related to its supplier network. To begin with, the retailer cannot directly contact his/her suppliers.
Likewise, it comes with a very limited private label shipping that allows the retailer to authorize a transaction and instruct for the product to be shipped with a customized sale receipt and packing slip that feature the business name, logo, and contact details of the dropship merchant. Nonetheless, the package will not feature the brand of the retailer.
A good thing about Spocket is that it protects its subscribers from double dropshipping, thus allowing them to make a decent profit from their sales.
Likewise, the retailer is assured that the back-ordered products will be shipped to the customer. Additionally, the retailer is confident that the product (s)he posted in the webstore is the product that reaches the customer, and this reduces the incidences of chargebacks.
Spocket provides both a limited free plan and tiered paid plans. About the paid plans, one is allowed to cancel the subscription at any time. Each of these plans is explained below.
My Experience Using Spocket
First and foremost, Spocket was a great fit for me because I was planning on drop shipping in the UK.
I was able to connect with UK-based suppliers and sell directly within the UK, using fast and reliable shipping methods.
Spocket brings a very web 3.0 approach to their software interface, in that everything is clean and really easy to use. Choosing suppliers and populating your web store with products is done with just a few clicks.
It is easy to navigate around all the features, and it was rare that I needed to check out YouTube videos or any other guides to get the results that I wanted. (Spocket also provides instant chat on the pro plan and above, should you need assistance).
Although I only use a handful of suppliers, I have been happy with their performance so far. Returns have been handled swiftly, and again, the fact the suppliers are based in the same country as my customers have made things simpler.
I am currently on the Pro plan, which allows me to list 250 products a month. So far this quota has been more than enough for me on my small dropship store.
I like the fact it will be easy enough to expand to the empire plan, should my business grow sufficiently enough to warrant it. Fingers crossed on that. 🙂
A feature that I also really like is the dropshipping IOS app. Once installed on your phone, it allows you to manage orders and browse through trending products while on the go, (they provide an Android app too).
This has proved really helpful when I’ve needed to keep on top of things while away from the laptop. It is also kind of fun to try and find new products when you’ve got a spare minute on the phone. Certainly beats flicking pointlessly through Facebook.
- Related Content: Dropshipping in Europe – The Ultimate Guide
Spocket vs The Competition (Wholesale2B, Dropified, & More)
SOURCE OF GOODS
BEST ALL ROUND
BEST FOR APPAREL
BEST FOR EU SELLERS
FREE TO VIEW PRODUCTS
(Ship 20 Products/mo Free)
(Free to view, + 14 Day Trial)
17 Platforms Ebay, Amazon, Shopify, Facebook ewCid, XML..
2 Platforms Ebay, Amazon
Platforms inc. Shopify, Ebay, WooCom, AliExpress, GrooveKart
Platforms inc. Amazon, Ebay, Walmart, Shopify, Jet
6+ Platforms Shopify, Etsy, Ebay, Wix, WooCom
9 Platforms Amazon, Shopify, Wix, SquareSpace, Ecwid
(Image & Product Descriptions)
(Image & Product Descriptions)
1 Click Import (with 100+ sites)
NA (Print on Demand)
(V50 Best Interface)
US Based Products & Shipping
US & EU
30 Day Returns
Recommends Refund Policy
GUIDES / TRAINING
Website Learning Resource
Free Video Courses
Website Resources & FB Group
Website Learning Resource
Website Resources & Chatbot Guide
(Upon Removal of Integration)
(Monthly Billing Cycle)
(Monthly Billing Cycle)
(Monthly Billing Cycle)
(Monthly Billing Cycle)
(Monthly Billing Cycle)
DEPENDS ON INTEGRATION $27.99 - $38.99/mo
DEPENDS ON VOLUME $5-$99/mo
Starter Plan: Free
Premium (10 Stores):
$24.99/mo Enterprise (Unlimited Stores): CALL
Vault50 recently awarded Dropified the best all-around drop-ship platform currently available. However, after using Spocket I would argue that the clean user interface and range of features, make it just as good, (I also trialed Dropified).
Wholesale2B has been recommended due to the number of platform integrations it supports. It is more difficult to use when compared to Spocket and Dropified. However, the fact you can link directly to the likes of Amazon & eBay is a real bonus. It also has a transparent pricing structure based on these integrations.
Printify has also scored well in these dropshipping software comparison tests. This service has differentiated itself from the competition by focusing on print-on-demand requirements,
If you are looking to dropship apparel, Printify is one of the best options around. They offer a free plan for starter businesses which makes them well worth checking out.
Essentially, there are a number of drop-ship services available. Looking into the strengths and weaknesses of each will help you choose the correct one for you.
Pros & Cons of Spocket
Joining Spocket’s Supplier Network
The aforementioned plans apply to webstore owners. What about businesses that want to supply their products to dropship merchants via Spocket?
As is known, such a business is described as a supplier, and Spocket requires any businesses that want to join the Spocket supplier network to fulfill the following mandatory requirements:
- Provide proof that the business is formally registered and allowed to trade.
- Be able to provide a live feed of its current inventory.
- Be willing to provide discounts to Spocket’s subscribers.
- Offer a fixed shipping rate for domestic and non-domestic (international) deliveries.
- Provide tracking for all shipped items.
If the supplier fulfills the 5 requirements set above, then the business can register to Spocket’s supplier network for free.
Spocket pays each supplier on Friday of each week for goods that have been successfully delivered.
The Bottom Line
Finally, a relative newcomer on the block is Spocket. They have a very clean interface and take a thoroughly modern approach to the design of the software. The real plus point for Spocket however, is that they have EU-based suppliers as well as US ones.
If you are looking to sell products within the UK or European Union, it really is the best dropship platform in 2021.
Drop-Shipping Fundamentals – Quick Guide
The review above assumes that the majority of you that are interested in Spocket are aware of the fundamentals of dropshipping. If not, the following short guide explains the dropshipping business model and the way Spocket deals with order processing.
Supply Chain Management
The Spocket dropship system comes with adequate supply chain management tools to support order fulfillment by fulfillment entities.
Its range of services transverse the business-to-customer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) domains by allowing the dropshipper (or drop ship merchant) to sell products to end consumers and other businesses respectively.
One of the sets of tools that support these services is the e-procurement tools built into the Spocket system and can be easily integrated with inventory management and payment frameworks, including payment gateways and processors.
This dropshipping system allows the subscriber to start and run a virtual retail business, thus becoming a virtual retailer (or drop ship merchant) from the comfort of their home, without the itinerant costs related to renting business premises.
Additionally, the virtual retailer is free to set up a markup price for each item that they post in their webstore.
- Related Content: Dropified Review – The Dropship App to Use in 2021?
Transaction & Order Processing
Even though this system was built purposely to provide for order fulfillment, it also supports the other 2 phases of a transaction i.e transaction opening and transaction closing.
By allowing the merchant to own a virtual store, the system allows the merchant to market products that can be bought by customers.
The customer can pick any item in the virtual store (i.e initiation of a transaction), place an order (which is regarded as transaction opening), and pay for the order; and thereafter wait for the order to be shipped to his/her address and upon reception of the product (i.e order fulfillment), the transaction is closed.
As expected, Spocket allows the virtual retailer to issue a receipt to confirm the purchase and legitimate the transfer of ownership of the product to the customer.