How To Automate Your Dropshipping Store

How To Automate Your Dropshipping Store

I’m going to be talking about how my new store is making me $1,400 a day in profit completely on autopilot. And by that, I mean that I’m only spending 15 to 30 minutes a day working on this store, and everything else is completely taken care of, completely automated. 

Three Main Time Consuming Tasks

When you start scaling a dropshipping store there are three main tasks that you need to take care of that are going to take a lot of time and that you want to automate as soon as possible so that you can start focusing on the higher level stuff.

  • Customer Service: Obviously, as you start scaling you’re going to get a lot of messages, a lot of emails, a lot of comments, and you want to have a team in place to respond to all of those in a timely manner so that your customers aren’t upset, you don’t get a lot of chargebacks, etc. 
  • Order Fulfillment: Order fulfillment is also something that starts taking up a lot of time as you start scaling especially if you don’t have a good system in place. If you’re ordering from aliexpress or another similar supplier where you have to put in each order one by one, this is going to take a lot of time it’s really inefficient and that’s another thing that you want to automate as soon as possible.
  • Marketing: Marketing is another time-consuming task especially when you’re scaling. Most of you know that once you start scaling it’s not just like you leave your ad sets going and everything goes well, you have to manage them every day, kill bad odd sets, create new ad sets, and so this takes a lot of time and this is another task that you can partially automate to make your life easier.

I’m going to break down each of those three tasks one by one and show you  how I automate them

1. Automating Customer Service

Use Zendesk Integrated With Shopify To Keep Things Organized And Save Time With Macros

The way that I like to set this up is to use a software called Zendesk, which is a customer service software and it integrates seamlessly with Shopify so it’s really easy to set all that up. And once you’ve got Zendesk, Zendesk allows you to keep things organized so it uses a ticket system which is what most companies use for their support. Zendesk is a really big company and having this ticket system is going to help you keep things organized 

Another thing that you can do with Zendesk that I use a lot is macros. Macros are basically pre-written responses to email so you can have a macro for every scenario that happens often and then your customer service agents can just apply that macro and reply to emails in seconds.

I’m just going to show you my Zendesk and what the macros look like so you get a better idea of what I’m talking about because I understand that this might be confusing for beginners.

These are the macro settings on my Zendesk for my store 

I have all these macros made so I didn’t actually have to make these myself, my customer service made these so what I tell them to do is I tell them to make macros for whatever scenario keeps on happening based on our refund policy, based on our shipping times, and everything that I trained them to do. Whenever they have questions that keep recurring or a problem that keeps happening they’ll make a macro for it. And then they can just apply that macro whenever they need to respond to someone.

These are just a few of the macros that I have; 

  • Basic
  • Business days
  • Cancel before ditched batch
  • Canceled too late 
  • Cash from delivery, so people asking can I pay with cash on Delivery?
  • Change address, if it’s before the dispatcher if it’s too late
  • Can charge extra, people that email us, they say, yeah, I got charged extra. And That’s because of the conversion rate between currencies.

All these different problems that happen all the time like delivery tracking not active, all this type of stuff we have macros for every possible scenario. This allows my customer service representatives to easily respond to emails and do it a lot faster.

Hire Customer Service Reps (CSR) On Upwork

I also have a few tips when it comes to hiring your customer service representatives. One, you want to hire them on in my experience that’s the best place. All you need to do is you post a job and you explain what you need them to do, and you’ll get a ton of applicants and you just need to select the best ones.

In my experience, the best price range is around $7 to $8 per hour. You’re going to get a lot of applicants who offer a lot less than that and usually, you get what you pay for so those people aren’t gonna be fluent in English, they’re not going to be attentive to details, and so the quality of the work isn’t going to be that good.

What I like to do is I like to pay a little bit more and get someone that has a lot of experience with Shopify, with dropshipping, with Zendesk, someone that’s really going to be able to help me out and take care of things independently without always having to ask me what to do. $7 to $8 per hour is a sweet spot that I found. 

Only Hire People With Experience Using Zendesk

Like I just mentioned, you want to only hire people with experience using Zendesk, the reason being is that especially if you don’t know how to use Zendesk they can do a lot of things with Zendesk like you wouldn’t even know about. For example, the macros. I didn’t set up any of those macros myself. Just the customer service representative that I hired has a lot of experience with Zendesk and so she set all of that up by herself and it’s going to save a lot of time, it’s going to save me money because now that she has those macros she can reply to emails faster and not waste time and I pay hourly so everyone wins. Hire people with experience it’s definitely worth it

What I did with all my job postings is I put in a word like, (when you apply, include the word blue). And I put it in the middle of the job posting. Because what you get a lot on Upwork is people who just spam a ton of posts just trying to get any job possible. And that’s what I mean with the low-quality VA that are going to offer a  cheap wage but aren’t actually good workers. Putting a little thing like, (when you apply, include the word blue).

You’re going to be surprised that the majority of applicants aren’t going to include the word blue because they don’t actually read the whole thing they’re just gonna go, we’re looking for expert customer service, requirements, responsibilities, and then done. They’re not going to read anything and so by putting that little thing where you’re going to filter out some of the people who aren’t attentive to details and you’re going to get better employees.

Communicate With Your Team On Skype When Needed

You want to communicate with your team on skype when needed. What I like to do is I’ll set up a group chat for all my customer service representatives for one store. I’ll put them in one group chat, and then whenever they have an issue they’re going to put it in that group chat. Hopefully, what happens is that another one of the customer service representatives from that store can help them out and so I don’t have to do anything and that’s usually what happens for 95% of issues. 

For the odd issue, I’m gonna have to step in and tell them how I want to solve a specific issue. That only happens once in a while but you do need to communicate with your team on skype in order for everything to flow correctly.

Put A Lot Of Work Training Your First CSR, Then Get Them To Train New Ones.

The last tip I want to give you is that you want to put a lot of work training your first customer service rep and make sure that it’s someone that has a lot of skills and that’s really good at what they do. And by doing that, your first customer service rep can be the customer service manager for your team. And as you start growing and adding more customer service representatives, you can count on that first person you hired to train your new customer service representatives and to handle the issues that they have when they’re just getting started. That’s exactly what I did. I found one really good customer service representative and got him to train all my new customer service reps and to take care of them. And so that minimizes the amount of work that I have to put in and to managing my customer service team.

2. Automating Order Fulfillment

By using a dropshipping agent I’m able to streamline the fulfillment process especially since I’m focusing on just one product so it makes it easy to do fulfillment. What I’m doing is I’m paying my agent ahead of time so I’m sending him money ahead of time so that he can stock the product.

He has a lot of stock of this product at all times, so he can ship out all my orders within 24 hours without any delay. And the way that I’m automating this is that he is using an ERP system that he connected to my store

What is an ERP system? It’s a two-way integration between his warehouse and my Shopify store. And what happens is that he sees my orders coming in, in real-time and he can package them, ship them, and as soon as they’re shipped, he’s going to upload the tracking numbers and mark the order as fulfilled on my store without me having to do anything.

When I talked about drop shipping agents I mentioned that you have to do it with Excel sheets and that’s another way to do it and that’s what I’ve been doing for a long time in the past. But now, I’ve been testing this new ERP system that he told me about, and it makes things a lot easier so now I literally don’t have to do anything for my order fulfillment. I don’t have to send in new orders with an excel sheet every night, it’s completely automated and all I have to do is make sure that he keeps the product in stock and that he has enough funds to keep buying the product. That’s all I have to do and my order fulfillment is completely automated 

I’m going to show you what that looks like in my store

There isn’t that much that I can show you on my store without revealing too much about my product but basically this app right here Dianxlaomi is this ERP system that I’m talking about 

Once this app is installed. I just gave him temporary access to my store he installed this app. And now this is a two-way integration like I mentioned so all my orders are automatically going to him and then he can also push back the tracking numbers and mark my orders as fulfilled once they’re shipped.

This saves a ton of time. And as you can see there’s 986 orders processing and the only reason for that is that it’s the weekend, so all those should be shipping out and fulfilled tomorrow

This is a really great system and it saves a lot of time I don’t have to do anything for fulfillment. 

3. Automating Marketing

This is probably the toughest one out of all three tasks to automate especially when you’re just getting started and testing different things. One thing that you can do is you can outsource it to an ad agency. I have tried this in the past and I wouldn’t recommend it, it’s really expensive and the results aren’t that good and the agency just doesn’t share the same passion that you have so if you’re trying to scale, they don’t really care about that they just want to meet the benchmark return on ad spend and just make sure that they’re doing a good enough job to stay under contract with you and make their monthly fee.

Ad agencies are not really recommended for Facebook Ads for beginners in general. It’s much better to learn how to do the marketing yourself especially because with dropshipping you’re essentially just a marketer that’s the main thing that we are, we’re marketers and so it’s really important to learn marketing yourself.

However, during the scaling phase and once you’ve already found what’s working and you’re just trying to spend your money effectively and scale effectively you can automate a big chunk of it and that’s what I’m going to be talking about

Right now, I’m only spending about 50 minutes at night creating new ad sets and when I said at the start of the article that I’m spending 15 to 30 minutes a day working on this store, that’s all I have to do every day is just create a few new ad sets every night and this doesn’t take a lot of work. Usually, what I’ll do is I’ll just duplicate some of the ad sets that are working the best. I’ll try some ad sets that are similar to what’s working and I’ll make some look like audiences. And this really only takes about 15 minutes at night 

How do I manage all of this during the day? During the day I don’t look at my Facebook ads at all. I don’t have to worry about them, what I do is I use automated rules. And automated rules allow you to kill ad sets that aren’t performing well during the day so like ad sets that are basically wasting your money, and you can do automated rules for all kinds of things and Facebook has a built-in feature for making automated rules but that’s not what I use, I use a tool called (revealBOT). And reveal bots is an expensive tool so it’s not for complete beginners but it lets you set up some complicated automation rules for your Facebook Ads and basically saves you a lot of time especially when you’re scaling and creating a lot of new ads sets every day.

I’m going to show you what my revealbot setup looks like, and hopefully, that’s gonna be insightful for those who are interested in automating your marketing

There’s a free trial for a revealbot so you can also check it out if you’re interested in revealbot. I’m not associated with them in any way I just like the tool and I think that you should give it a shot if you’re spending a lot on Facebook ads.

This is revealbot this is the platform that I use for automated rules and right now I’ve got two rules running so I’m going to show you what they’re doing

The first one is (broad $50 optimization) and what this rule is doing is it’s only applying to one campaign in this third ad account 

This campaign is composed of only a $50 ad sets, so different audiences that I’m testing and there’s a ton of $50.00 ad sets in that campaign, and most of them are doing well if you average it out over a couple of days but some days, some of those audiences might not perform as well and the goal of this optimization is to pause the ad sets that aren’t doing well early on so that I don’t waste money on those ad sets on a given date where they’re not performing well.

These are the rules;

I’ve got a bunch of tasks, that’s what they call them. Each one of these is a task, and the collection of all those tasks makes up a rule. I’m going to show you what this rule does. 

The first task checks if an ad set has spent over $3 for that day, and if it has, it needs to have at least two view content. If it has less than two-view contents but it’s spent over $3 and it doesn’t have any additions to carts or any purchases it’s going to pause that ad set.

These numbers are based on my KPIs (key performance indicators). So you need to know what numbers you’re willing to spend on a given day, you don’t want to just copy these rules for your own store because it might not work for you. I picked these numbers based on the data that I have on how much I can spend on these ads. That’s what this rule does. It basically optimizes my campaign with a bunch of $50 ad sets and it’s going to pause the ones that aren’t doing well on a specific day. 

I’ve got another rule that complements this one which basically reactivates ad sets that were turned off by this first rule but that should be turned back on because in the last few days they have had a good historical performance. I’m going to show you what that rule does 

This one checks every 30 minutes but it only needs to check once a day but it checks every 30 minutes I could change that 

What this does is if spent today is equal to zero, and the only way that spent is gonna be equal to zero is that the ad set is paused. Basically, if the ad set is paused and the roas in the last three days has been higher than two, if that’s the case, it’s going to restart those ad sets 

This is the rule that I call (broad Auto reactivate). With those two rules, I’ve got this one campaign with a ton of $50.00 ad sets that are getting turned off when they’re not working well, and then they’re getting reactivated if they showed good results in the last three days.

I’m still learning a lot about revealbot so I’m going to implement a bunch of new rules but revealbots is a good way to optimize your Facebook campaigns automatically without you having to sit at the computer.


There are a few tasks that aren’t automated 

Business & Growth Strategy: For this particular store, I’m trying to grow it into a real private label brand so I’ve already started the process of getting it private-labeled. And I want to get custom content made with it, I want some lifestyle photos with models so I’m doing all of this stuff and this is the business and growth like my future plans for this business and obviously that’s not automated 

You could automate this by hiring some CEO but we’re entrepreneurs this is the fun part and this doesn’t even take that much time you only need to put in a few hours like one specific day and then not worry about it until the next thing happens if you know what I mean. 

Generating Content: Another thing that’s not automated is generating content. Once I do finish private labeling I’m going to have to spend some time contacting influencers, contacting models, contacting production companies whatever it may be so that I can generate content for this product so that I can scale it as much as possible

There is some way to outsource this. You can use Upwork and hire some project managers to take care of whatever project you want. You can outsource anything you want with Upwork you just hire a project manager and you tell them what you want to do. But if you’re trying to save money or if you just think that you’re the most qualified to do something it doesn’t hurt to do it yourself so that’s why I’m doing these things myself like business and growth strategy I think that I’m the most qualified because I have the vision for the brand and I know exactly what I want to do so I don’t want to just outsource it to someone else. Same thing with generating content. 

That is it for this article. I hope it was helpful and that you enjoyed it?

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