According to World Economic Forum, we’re now in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It’s marked by exponential growth in the technology field, which includes robotics, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and many others. Also, business ideas have flourished exponentially, resulting in thousands of ways to generate income online.

In the e-commerce, it’s noticeable by automated tools, which are mostly cloud-based SaaS apps that make simplify online retail management. One of the latest inventions in online retail automation that boosts anyone’s money-making capability is the dropshipping app.

This app is based on the dropshipping business model, where there is no inventory to keep and no fulfilment required. As an online retailer, your only task is creating an e-commerce store front and promoting it online to generate traffic and sales conversion.

If you use a turn-key online shop platform like Shopify, you can use a dropshipping management app Oberlo, which is designed to streamline the overall dropshipping process. How?

First, it only takes a few minutes to install the dropshipping app that will be integrated seamlessly with your Shopify store. Next, you can start sourcing products to sell right from the Oberlo dashboard.

In the conventional dropshipping business model, the store owner is responsible for contacting suppliers in person to vet them carefully. With Oberlo app, the suppliers have been pre-vetted, so the store owner can conveniently choose any product from any supplier with a peace of mind.

Second, after selecting items to sell, you can start publishing the product images with a few clicks along with the pricing. The app also comes with an image editing tool, so you can make changes directly without having to use any software like Photoshop.

Before dropshipping automation like this, the online store owner must copy and paste product images from the supplier, edit them offline, and upload them individually to the shop site. This could have taken days to finish, assuming the shop carries hundreds of products.

Third, the dropshipping app also comes with automated pricing functionality, which allows you to create a formula for profit-margin markup. For instance, if you decide to add 50 percent margin, you can globally price the products accordingly without having to type in the price on each product one-by-one.

However, if you decide to exclude several products from the formula, you can do so as well. The pricing features allow you to be flexible in setting product prices, which is very convenient.

Fourth, once a customer purchases a product, you will be notified by email and through the dashboard. The next step is purchasing that particular product directly from the supplier. This means you wouldn’t need to spend any capital for inventory before starting the store.

This feature alone would have saved you thousands of dollars spent on stocking inventory and warehouse rental. Dropshipping store owners especially praise this convenience that only this business model provides.

Fifth, no need to worry about how many units left are available at the supplier. With the old dropshipping model, you wouldn’t know for sure whether the product units are still available, because your online store isn’t seamlessly connected to the suppliers’ sites.

Using Oberlo app, which is integrated with AliExpress, the number of product units will always be updated automatically. This provides you with a peace mind knowing that the products are still available. If a specific item is already sold out, the product image will show “Sold Out” sign with you having to do anything.

Sixth, when you integrate social media marketing into the promotion mix, you can expect to generate income “semi automatically.” It’s “semi-automatic,” as you still need to create meaningful contents, like eye-catching and beautiful photos to be shared by influencers with Instagram influencer marketing.

Once the Instagram marketing hack or other marketing strategy works, you can expect to see revenue starts to snowball effortlessly.

Influencer marketing is recommended in promoting your new dropshipping store, as it’s relatively low cost and appears natural to followers. For mini influencers whose social media account followers are in the thousands, the fee ranges to tens to hundreds of dollars, which is affordable even to a startup.

In conclusion, the latest e-commerce technologies allow entrepreneurs to enjoy an almost hands-off retail management. With the proven dropshipping business model, you can save startup capital and on-going overhead costs (rental and employees). You will save a lot of time editing product images. You can experiment with many types of products before deciding which ones to stick with. All these with zero initial fee, so there is nothing to lose.

About the Author

Jennifer Xue is an award-winning author, columnist, and serial entrepreneur based in Northern California. She is also a digital strategist for Oberlo, and her byline has appeared in Forbes, Fortune, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Business.com, Business2Community, StartupNation, Good Men Project, Addicted2Success, Positively Positive, and others. She is the author of White Paper Writing for Business (BookBoon, 2016).