Vendor’s perspective on dropshipping

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In this article, we share a guide for integration to Onport as a dropship vendor.

Getting started

Are you new to the world of dropshipping? If you’re a vendor and one of your merchants has recently asked you to connect with Onport in order to drop ship, or you’re simply looking to learn more about the opportunities of drop shipping partnerships, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve written this guide to help vendors understand how the Onport setup process works, and how drop shipping with your merchants could be the key to your business’s future success.


Vendor: That’s you!

Merchant: That’s any merchant selling your item in their online store.

❗️If you’re a merchant, this guide isn’t the one for you. Check out our introduction to Onport.

Vendors' frequently asked questions:

Will Onport charge me?

No! Onport's relationship is with the merchant only, we’ll never bill you. Onport isn’t involved in any commercial relationship you have with your merchant.

How does it work?

Put simply, the merchant begins by listing your items in their online store. As your items sell, you’ll be sent order details by the merchant. Then, you ship the items directly to the customer. You’ll be notified of shipping methods (e.g. priority or first class) and any additional requests from the customer (e.g. custom designs, engraving, etc).

What details does Onport need from me?

Your merchant might request a few additional details from you, in order to set you up with Onport's dropshipping software.

Option 1: Your merchant will need you to generate API credentials or provide the URL of your store. First, make sure your platform is supported by Onport If it’s not, get in touch with our team and we’ll do all we can to help.

Once you have the credentials, you’ll be able to send those straight across to your merchant who will begin the setup. You might even have been given access to your own Onport dropship portal, where you can add your details.

Option 2: Your merchant may prefer to provide you with shipping labels for dropshipped orders. If your merchant does, that’s great! You’ll be able to print these from your dropship portal. You’ll also need to use the portal to enter tracking details if Onport can’t place orders directly in your system.

Note: On some platforms (e.g. Etsy, Squarespace), it’s possible to sync inventory automatically, but not possible to place orders in your store. In these situations, you can again use the dropship portal for entering tracking details.

How are my items listed?

Option 1: Direct integration with the Ecommerce store. As soon as Onport has your API or store details, it will read all your products and display them to your merchant. Your merchant will agree on a list of products they’d like to stock in their store and drop ship to customers. Then they’ll publish those products in their store, all from within Onport.

With Onport, inventory levels, pricing, images, and other details will all be kept in sync. The merchant may wish to customize information such as your product descriptions, but it won’t change anything on your store.

Important: Onport will never alter or update any of your product data. Naturally, some vendors are concerned Onport might be able to change things in the store without their knowledge, but Onport only requires READ permissions. Your inventory may change as items are placed in your store, but, that’s controlled by your platform.

Option 2: Custom integration If you want to create a custom product feed integration with Onport, we'll need to connect with either an XML, CSV, or JSON feed (preferred). In addition to the feed, details of how to connect (e.g. the URL and any authentication details) will be required. The feed should at a minimum contain inventory quantities, but ideally additional details like pricing and images where possible.

If the file isn't accessible via a URL, you'll also be able to manually upload the files as well.

What if I don't want vendors to see an item?

That’s simple. Just add “NO-DROPSHIP” as a tag or add it to a “NO-DROPSHIP” category. This tells Onport to ignore this product when importing items.

How do I ship items?

See “What details does Onport require?” above to find out whether you are shipping via your current platform, or need to use the Onport dropship portal. There are two options when it comes to shipping your orders:

Option 1: If the merchant has asked you to connect directly with Onport for orders, the orders will be placed in your store and appear like any other order. So, you can just ship like you normally would.

You don’t need to log into Onport to ship. And if you’re using a third-party shipping app, this shouldn’t cause any problems.

On most platforms, Onport can supply a packing slip to print out. This normally appears in the notes section. Where supported (e.g. on Shopify), Onport will add three tags to the orders placed in your store. a) “Dropship” b) the merchant’s name and c) the order reference from the merchant.

Option 2: Don’t worry if you are shipping from the Onport dropship portal, it’s very straightforward to use. As a customer places an order with one of your merchants, you’ll receive an email with the order details. Click to view the order, then all you need to do is enter the tracking details or print the shipping label (if your merchant is providing these).

How do I get paid?

You can be paid automatically by your merchant via Stripe or bank transfer. The merchant might also transfer payments via PayPal or any other agreed system. Onport is fairly flexible, so it’s best to speak to your merchant to agree on payment terms and rates.

How can I import/export my data?

Onport can be set up to import and export data in a variety of formats and data can be sent by email, CSV, or to an API. Just get in touch and our team will be able to let you know if we can support your requirements.

What if my platform isn't supported by Onport?

We’re working on adding new platforms all the time. If your current platform isn’t supported by Onport, get in touch with our team and we’ll see what we can do!

Who do I contact dor support?

If you have a problem with Onport, we recommend contacting your merchant first, particularly if your problem relates to orders, payments, or shipping. However, if you need technical support, our team is here and ready to help! Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

How do I set up shipping rates?

Your shipping rates can be set up by your merchant in Onport, which can then be passed on to your customers at checkout.

Any other questions?

If your question hasn’t been covered here please feel free to contact the Onport team. We’re here to help with any drop shipping queries you may have! If you’re looking to automate your own shipping operations, we’d love to help with that as well!

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