If you have a Shopify store, you have most likely heard of both of these apps that help improve the product sourcing process for retailers. Both offer the right tools to automate your dropship store. Spocket, Importify, and MXED are other highly recommended Shopify apps for merchants, but today we’re going to focus our attention on Modalyst and Oberlo app.
Overall, when you take a close look at these Shopify apps, they both do an excellent job of simplifying dropshipping and making products available for an ecommerce business.
When it comes to running an ecommerce store, there are a few things that every person is always looking for to make their life easier:
- Automation tools
- One-click product sourcing
- Automatic order fulfillment
- A large inventory of drop shipping vendors
Let’s take a look at how these two dropshipping apps compare.
Modalyst vs Oberlo
What is Modalyst?
First, we’ll look at the Modalyst app. This is a dropshipping marketplace that connects store owners to different suppliers and premium products.
Most of the sellers you find on this platform are bona fide brands or experienced dropshippers, so they are invested in their product listings and offer only quality products.
Many of the issues that Shopify store owners face have to do with the quality of the products they source and the length delivery times from overseas wholesalers. The Modalyst app provides solutions to these problems by aggregating products from top suppliers in the United States and Europe. Their supplier network is one of the most unique and complete.
Additionally, since the products are supplied by brands they’ve individually vetted, Modalyst is able to establish standardized shipping procedures and policies. This results in faster and more reliable shipping practices, which ultimately makes online shoppers happy.
The Modalyst app offers a curated selection of fashion and non-fashion suppliers with product catalogs that you can add to your store with a single click. These vendors have detailed product pages that allow Shopify stores to import images, descriptions, inventory levels and prices to their own dropship store. When new products become available, retailers can easily import those items to their online businesses as well.
The app is designed so you can smoothly go down a list of options and quickly add the products you want without needing to fill out any information by hand; this makes product sourcing fast and simple.
Using the Modalyst platform
The platform offers millions of products through their product catalog that you can easily add to your Shopify store with a single click. Something unique about Modalyst is that a lot of their sellers only offer their products through this specific platform. That is what makes it one of the best Shopify apps. This is different from Spocket, for example, which works in conjunction with Etsy to add new products to the Spocket app. This type of exclusivity results in a dropshipping business full of great products that shoppers may not have seen before.
When you start using Modalyst as a new store, you must integrate the platform with your online business. If you are using Shopify, they have a free Shopify app that allows you to connect the two platforms and start selling up to 25 products for free. If you use Wix or BigCommerce, they also have apps that sync with the Modalyst platform.
When you follow this strategy, you can upload all the products you choose to your own store, and the app will help import all the pictures, prices, and descriptions. There is literally no manual work in this part of the process, unless you want to make price changes or remove variants.
Every time shoppers make a purchase on your store, you will receive a notification, and you’ll have to confirm and pay the seller directly on Modalyst. At that point, the supplier will prepare the item for shipment and then ship the product to your happy customer with no receipts or invoice. The packaging is also unbranded.
Everything from product sourcing to payments is managed through the Modalyst platform, so it’s well organized and easy to use. You can keep all your information in one place, so you don’t lose track of orders or shipping information.
As with most dropshipping apps, you do not have to purchase anything or pay upfront to list their products on your store. You can list as many items up to 25 products for free without having to worry about holding any inventory.
What is Oberlo?
Now that you understand how to use Modalyst, let’s take a look at the drop shipping plugin Oberlo. Oberlo is one of the most successful Shopify apps in the Shopify app store. It works the same as the Modalyst plugin by allowing you to easily upload and manage products on your ecommerce store through the Oberlo app.
Oberlo is a Shopify app and is available for use only on that platform. It does not integrate with Bigcommerce, Woocommerce, or Wix like Spocket and Modalyst do. Once you have your account set up, you can browse the Oberlo marketplace for the best products and quickly add them to your store with a single click. The Oberlo app will send over all the product details and inventory data from the listing such as images, product descriptions, wholesale prices and variants, so you don’t have to edit anything unless you want to.
Oberlo uses Aliexpress as its supplier network. This is done through a Chrome Extension for ecommerce merchants. If you’re at all familiar with Importify, the Chrome Extension for Oberlo works similiarly. The extension allows you to import products from the Ali express product catalog. Aliexpress.com has thousands of manufacturers and wholesalers. Oberlo doesn’t vet these dropshipping suppliers before offering them on the Oberlo Marketplace. However, they can be sorted and filtered to find the best products across different categories.
Oberlo only offers wholesalers from China which results, generally, in low reliability and extremely long shipping times. By contrast, Modalyst specializes in fast shipping times from independent brands.
The Oberlo app is simple to use, and its platform is user-friendly. Directly from the Oberlo dashboard, you can search for Aliexpress products, find featured products, import, and view products. All your items that are available for sale are listed on the dashboard with information like sales and earnings.
When an order comes through your online store, you’ll receive that notification on the Oberlo platform, and you’ll then locate the product and click the order button. Once you press that button, you’ll then purchase from Aliexpress (or wherever), and they’ll handle entire process, including the packaging and shipping. Make sure you include a note to your Aliexpress vendor asking them not to include any promotions in the package.
One of the nice features on Oberlo is their automatic update notifications. For example, prices are continually fluctuating based on supply and demand, and if you have 1000 products on your Shopify store, you’ll never be able to keep up with all the price changes. It’s important to keep an eye on this as these fluctuations can affect your margins. The Oberlo app will notify you anytime a supplier changes their price, removes a variant or runs out of inventory. If your supplier runs out of the product, they will immediately let you know so you can take that product down or list it as out of stock.
Modalyst vs Oberlo: Pricing Tiers
One of the most important factors to consider is how much you have to pay for the benefits of these services. Neither app offers a free trial. Instead, they have a free plan for merchants which is unlimited in duration. That is why they are both considered some of the best free Shopify apps. The Printful app and Productpro are also in this category.
Overall, I think the price of each of these is incredibly affordable for a Shopify site. The access to great products plus all the advanced features make these plugins some of the best apps to boost sales. Let’s take a look at the breakdown.
Modalyst Monthly Plans
- Hobby – Free, non-premium suppliers only, 5% transaction fee, 25 product limit, unlimited orders
- Start-Up – $35 a month, non-premium supplier only, 5% transaction fee, 250 product limit, unlimited orders,
- Pro – $90 a month, all suppliers, 5% transaction fee, unlimited products, unlimited orders
Oberlo Monthly Plans
- Starter plan – Free, 500 products, 50 orders per month
- Basic plan – $29.90 a month, 10,000 products, 500 orders per month
- Pro plan – $79.90 a month, 30,000 products, unlimited orders
Let’s give this a more in-depth look. If we compare the free plan between the two, the Modalyst app allows only 25 products, but they don’t have an order limit. That is a huge advantage especially for entrepreneurs focusing on a niche. If those 25 items sell well, you may never need to upgrade because you can fulfill as many orders as you want.
While Modalyst has pricing automation, real time inventory updates, and dedicated Modalyst suppot on the weekends, they are the only app that advertises a transaction fee. That said, you should note that you incur a transaction fee on Oberlo through Shopify payments. Nonetheless, transaction fees are a pain point to any business model where margins are already thin.
How the Two Dropshipping Apps Stack Up
In the end, you’re comparing two of the best apps that do the same thing, but they each have their own little quirks and downsides.
Modalyst is great for any Shopify user looking for a marketplace of unique products. You can also sell products with your own branding and labeling by using the Modalyst Private Label program. As we mentioned, Modalyst has a 5% transaction fee; when you think about ecommerce at scale, if you do $500,000 a year in sales that accounts for $25,000 of your revenue.
The primary advantage that Modalyst offers is the different products of independent brands and premium suppliers. if you are willing to pay for the the Pro plan, then the entire marketplace becomes available to you.
These suppliers offer items that you won’t find anywhere else, and this package comes with shorter shipping times. Also, with Modalyst you can sync with multiple ecommerce platforms, including Shopify, Wix, and Bigcommerce. If you use the Oberlo app, you are limited to using only the Shopify platform.
- High-quality products
- A marketplace of unique suppliers
- Private label dropshipping program
- Higher profit margins
- Fast Shipping
- Products shipping from the United States
- Mostly US/EU Suppliers, some with free shipping
- Automatic tracking info at the lowest tier pricing plan
- Integrate with Shopify, Wix & BigCommerce
- Inventory level notifications
- Directly communicate with suppliers
- 5% transaction fee on all pricing tiers
- No access to premium brands on bottom two pricing plans
- Limited selection of low-cost products
- No free trial
- Easy to use interface
- Product reviews on Aliexpress products
- Strong reputation as one of the best Shopify plugins
- Integrates with Shopify dropshippers
- Automatic order fulfillment
- Strong customer support network
- More economical long-term with no transaction fees
- Oberlo suppliers offer faster shipping times and more reliable products
- Only available on Shopify
- Can only source products from Oberlo and Aliexpress dropshipping platform
- Aliexpress products have long shipping times
- Generally, Aliexpress dropshipping sellers are not as reputable
- No free trial
The Final Verdict
We’re comparing apples to oranges here, but Modalyst offers higher quality suppliers for ecommerce store owners who are willing to pay a higher monthly fee. Oberlo is a product created by dropshippers for dropshippers and they understand the difficulties and struggles you face.
Oberlo’s partnership with Aliexpress also simplifies the ordering process, but their low-tier pricing structure is almost obsolete being that they don’t offer order tracking in their free plan. That said, they also don’t have a 5% transaction fee which makes a tremendous difference when sales start picking up, and you see how much money you’re throwing away.
Each app offers its own unique twist with advantages and disadvantages. They both have a free plan, so try them out and see what works best for your needs.