Shopify merchants using Oberlo were in for a surprise earlier this month. Without warning, the company announced it’s sunsetting the popular dropshipping app and merchants have until June 15, 2022, to find another option.
If you’re not familiar, Oberlo connects Shopify merchants directly with AliExpress and their network of suppliers and manufacturers. The application allows users to automate their ordering and repricing processes and get products quickly from Asian markets.
The platform only works with Shopify, but over 12,000 online shops used it as of early May. And with the announcement, there has been a little confusion as to what happened and what these shops should do next.
This article answers everything you need to know about the situation and provides a solid list of alternatives you can use to continue your dropshipping business.
Why Oberlo is shutting down their operations
Shopify is ready to move on from Oberlo and transition to DSers. The company states that DSers is a “more optimal solution developed by a trusted Shopify partner.”
The official announcement doesn’t really lay out the complete story. But if you take a quick look at recent events, you can see why. We’ll look at some of the company’s history first for context.
Founded in 2015, Oberlo’s development team saw a need for an application that allowed users to import AliExpress products directly into their Shopify store. The platform worked well and caught the attention of Shopify.
The company acquired Oberlo in 2017 for $15 million and listed it on the Shopify App Store. With its powerful automation features and easy-to-use interface, it was a hit. Oberlo became a favored tool for drop shippers working with AliExpress.
Until July 2019, Oberlo offered a list of verified suppliers called the ‘Oberlo Supply marketplace.’ But Shopify shut down the program and in 2020, tried to rebrand it.
On May 12, 2022, Shopify delisted Oberlo from the Shopify App Store and announced they would discontinue the service the next month. Since the announcement came as such a surprise, there’s been a lot of speculation about what happened.
Oberlo’s quality declined over time, and Shopify felt they wanted to go in a different direction. But the reason for that decline has a lot to do with where Shopify is focusing its attention.
In previous years, the company invested in other areas and applications. Their developers created the Shopify Fulfillment Network that accepts stores that can fulfill more than three American and Canadian orders per day. And they also acquired eCommerce fulfillment company Deliverr for $2.1 billion.
It seems Shopify wants to work less with AliExpress on fulfillment. Instead, it wants to fulfill its own orders and remove some complexity in the supply chain.
Many have speculated there are more issues than Shopify’s focus on fulfillment. Oberlo connected exclusively with AliExpress, which only recently offered an API to connect to their suppliers.
Many merchants didn’t like the API, and Oberlo didn’t use it much because the platform relied on pushing its automation features through Chrome. Plus, Oberlo developers were said to change things within the platform with little notification. It’s not hard to believe considering the abruptness of the shutdown.
They also didn’t use the API because automation is one of Oberlo’s key revenue sources from the AliExpress Affiliate Program.
Shopify created close ties with AliExpress partner DSers and recently announced a series of integrations for various dropshipping solutions. In turn, it became the recommended partner for Oberlo users to move to. The companies even came up with a migration solution that works in just a few clicks.
DSers works on multiple platforms outside of Shopify and offers similar automation features through AliExpress.
What does this signify for users of Oberlo?
Again, Shopify is sunsetting the Oberlo app, and it will stop working on June 15, 2022. If you use Oberlo for dropshipping, then you must find an alternative before that date. You won’t be able to access customers, current or past orders, or products.
Migrations impact businesses, so it’s important to find a solution as quickly as possible — preferably before the shutdown date. Fortunately, there are a lot of alternatives available, and we highlight our best choices in the section below.
The partnership between Oberlo and DSers
On May 12, 2022, DSers announced it had partnered with Oberlo on a fast migration solution for former Oberlo users and stated they are Oberlo’s recommended partner.
Outside of the migration solution, there have been no further announcements about any future plans. It seems that’s where things will end.
Regarding the recommendation, DSers states that they’re the official partner of AliExpress and offer merchants an interface that’s both more accurate and faster. The platform has top-tier automation features and an order optimization system. Plus, it hits a solid price point for what you get.
If you’re familiar with or work exclusively with AliExpress and Shopify, this could be the best option for your needs. But there are many choices available. From here, it’s up to merchants to find an alternative for Oberlo, so below is a list of our top picks.
The Best Oberlo Alternatives for Shopify and Other Platforms
Dropshippers often run on tight budgets so finding an alternative to Oberlo may not be a simple decision for everyone. They require a platform that offers a variety of quality suppliers with excellent fulfillment records. And they need a superb toolset that seamlessly automates their sales process.
Before choosing a supplier, it’s best to put in the research and find a solution that fits your needs. But be sure the platform offers things like multiple pricing options, quick delivery times, and quality products. Proper tracking and a user-friendly interface are also key.
The list below features the best Oberlo alternatives for Shopify and other platforms. These programs check off many items on a dropshippers most wanted features list and work with a wide range of sales platforms and suppliers.
Once you’ve chosen an alternative, you can revisit this page and read below on how to cancel and migrate your Oberlo account.
How to cancel your Oberlo account
Note that you can no longer install Oberlo on any Shopify account. If you uninstall the application, you won’t be able to reinstall it and your data will be lost. These instructions are only for users who already have an Oberlo account and are ready to move on.
Canceling an account is easy. Just uninstall the app using these steps:
- Go to ‘Apps’ in the Shopify admin console.
- Next to Oberlo, click ‘Delete’
- Select a location within Shopify that will inherit Oberlo’s app location inventory under the ‘Select a location field.
- Click ‘Delete’
If you want to cancel your Shopify account along with an Oberlo account, you can close your Shopify store and auto-cancel the Oberlo account. Follow these steps:
- In the Shopify admin console, click ‘Settings’ and then ‘Plan and permissions’
- Click ‘Sell or close’ in the section titled ‘Store status’
- Click ‘Close store’
- Click ‘Confirm’ after entering your password.
Contact the Oberlo support team if your account isn’t connected to Shopify.
How to migrate your Oberlo account
Every platform has its own migration process, so instructions vary based on the application you choose. The best course of action is to visit the ‘Help Center’ for your chosen dropshipping application and run a search on ‘migration’ or ‘migrating from Oberlo’. Then, follow the instructions.
You can also run a search on YouTube as there are many videos available instructing you on how to migrate from Oberlo to almost any other dropshipping application.
Those moving to DSers can breathe a sigh of relief as Oberlo and DSers created a fast migration solution. You can securely migrate your Oberlo account with haste by logging into Oberlo and clicking ‘Migrate to DSers Now’ on the dashboard. This will start a series of prompts that guides you through the process.
When the migration completes, you’ll be able to access your previous Oberlo account functions and process any orders or products that migrated. You can also schedule your migration for a future date. But act fast as the program shuts down on June 15, 2022.
That’s everything you need to know about Oberlo shutting down and DSers’ partnership with Shopify. Hopefully, this article provided all the information you needed about the situation. Everything happened quickly!
On that note, Oberlo is shutting down soon, so be sure to choose an alternative and migrate before the expiration date.