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You know what products you want to sell. Now it’s time to seal the deal and add them to your store.
By now, you’ve read all the descriptions for your products. And you’ve seen how terribly unexciting some of them are.
That’s why it’s 100% necessary for you to write your own product descriptions. You need to set your store apart from the rest and really communicate value to your visitors.
And of course, you need to find a good price to sell them at so you can still make a profit.
Today, we’re going to:
- Learn about how the Oberlo import list works
- Customize your inventory – from descriptions to images to pricing
- Add them to your store so they’re ready to buy once your site is live
- Organize them into collections so they’re easier to shop and manage
- Order samples so you can test them out yourself
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Anatomy of the import list
For every product in your import list, you’ll see 4 main tabs:
- Product: This will automatically import the title and primary photo of the listing from Oberlo or AliExpress. The new title will be what shows up on your store.
- Description: The product’s description from Oberlo or AliExpress – you MUST change these to give it your own flair.
- Variants: How many different variations of that product are available, like colors, styles, etc. You can split these up into separate items if you want.
- Images: The images available for all variants – these are all free for you to use in your store.
You’ll also see 2 other buttons on the top right:
- More actions: This dropdown lets you do 3 things:
- Select Product to Override: This is for after you’ve imported a product to your store, but you want to ‘swap it out’ for something else. It keeps all the other info intact so you don’t have to restart from scratch. Handy, but you don’t need this right now (if ever).
- Split Product: See how this product has 24 different variants? The ‘split product’ feature lets you split it up into separate items for your store. So you can have 24 different items instead of just one, or you can get more creative like grouping them into 4 products with 6 variants each, for example.
- Remove Product: Kicks it off your import list if you change your mind.
- Import to store: Pretty self-explanatory, eh? Don’t click this until you’re all done.
How to customize and import products
Let’s walk through the process of getting a product ready for your store.
Write awesome product titles & descriptions
These details can make a big difference in getting people to buy.
“How do I know if my descriptions are good?”
My answer: Good descriptions come in all forms, shapes, and sizes.
But there are some basic guidelines that can help ensure you’re doing a good job:
- Be descriptive. Use the kinds of keywords, terms, and phrases that people search for when they’re looking for this kind of product. Try scouting other websites to see the types of details they’re talking about and words they’re using.
- Be creative. There’s a balance here – you want to make sure you choose descriptive words, but don’t be too plain and boring or your products won’t be memorable.
- Show, don’t tell. If the product is awesome, you can’t just say “This is awesome.” What makes it awesome, appealing, useful, and valuable? Why would customers buy it? Express that in your descriptions.
- Tap into emotion. If you can make them feel something, you’re one step closer to a sale. What’s the personal value? How will this product impact their life or make it better? Can you tap into feelings like joy, comfort, or relief?
- Keep it digestible. Don’t write a novel – hit all the main points swiftly, while building some personality along the way.
As a female who understands the plight of trying to wear a beanie with a ponytail, Amanda knew that this really has a functional value for women who are too busy to worry about their hair at every moment.
So she wanted to make sure she expressed that while tapping into the very common problem that this product solves for her key demographic of young women. Also, she’s a generally silly person, so she wanted to make it fun.
Here’s what she wrote for the ponytail beanie set:
Of course, these descriptions all tie into your brand’s ‘story’ – what you are and what you offer to your customers. Even if you don’t feel inspired right now, you can always go back and tweak things as your brand develops.
This is definitely a work in progress. So do your best and keep on going!
Use a description template
It can be helpful to write yourself a ‘template’ that you can apply to different products, to keep some consistency across your store while making the process a little more simple.
Consider a simple 3-step template like:
- Give the customer a compliment or boost that relates to your product.
- Mention a product feature and its benefit.
- Give them a simple recommendation.
Say you’re selling unicorn makeup brushes. It could be as easy as something like:
- You’re one of a kind, just like this unicorn brush.
- Synthetic bristles make for smooth application while staying easy to clean.
- Pair these with our mermaid brushes for a unique, magical set of your own.
Keep it simple when in doubt.
Don’t forget to add tags to each product
You’ll want to add a tag to every product that identifies a category that it fits into. This is for when we create our automatic collections. We’re going to make it so that every product with a specific tag gets organized into its matching collection.
For example, say you’re a jewelry store. You can have a collection for necklaces, earrings, and bracelets so customers can easily find the types of things they’re interested in.
Amanda has 4 types of scarves she decided to sell: ponytail beanie and scarf sets, blanket scarves, silk scarves, and infinity scarves.
So she created a collection for each.
Just to give you a visual of what I mean, here’s a screenshot of her finalized ‘collections page’ that shows her collections:
We’ll get into this more shortly, but what you need to know for now is to add a ‘tag’ for each type of product. So for this ponytail beanie set collection, she chose the tag ‘PonyBean’ (because she was proud of the catchy name she made up).
Note that these tags won’t be seen by customers, so name them whatever makes the most sense for your personal organization.
[highlight]Note: Don’t be confused by the ‘Collections’ section you see on the product tab. These are only for ‘manual’ collections, but we’re going to create ‘automatic’ collections to save some work down the road.[/highlight]
Change your pricing
In the ‘Variants’ tab, you can update the pricing to reflect your calculations from yesterday. Oberlo gives you a handy recommendation based on what some other people are doing, so you can use this to help guide your decision if you need an extra ‘opinion.’
Take this with a grain of salt, though – there are a lot of factors that determine the right price, and Oberlo is just giving a suggestion.
If you click this button, it will automatically update every variant with that price.
If you want to set a different price, you can click ‘Change All Prices’ under the ‘Price’ column. Click on ‘Set New Value’ and add your own, or multiply it using the ‘Multiply by’ option.
The ‘Profit’ column will show you how much money is left after the product’s costs are paid for. Keep in mind that this doesn’t count the other costs that we calculated yesterday, like taxes and payment fees.
How to split product variants
If you want to take a simpler approach to your store, you could just take 2 or 3 items with several variants, and split the variants into 20 or 30 total items. I’ve definitely had success with this model before, so I can say with confidence that it’s possible.
Consider this ponytail and beanie set. It has 24 variants. That’s a lot.
Let’s look at how to split it up.
When you click the ‘Split variants’ option, you can either split every variant into its own product automatically, or you can pick and choose manually.
If you click ‘Split to X Products,’ it will create that number of items in your import list for you to edit and import into your store separately.
If you click ‘Split manually’ in the top right corner, you’ll be able to select which ones you want in a single product.
As you can see, this product comes in two styles: regular beanie and visor beanie (set A and set B). So let’s say you want to split this into 2 products, one for each set.
Go to ‘Split manually’ and check all the variants you want in this product.
Scroll down and click ‘Split product.’
And voilà. It’s now 2 products in your import list.
[highlight]Before you split, make sure you have all the details filled out as much as possible: title, description, and pricing. This way, you won’t have to change these basic details individually after they’re split. That’s a waste of your precious time.[/highlight]
Make sure you edit your variant names if they’re ugly or weird, because these names will show up in your store when your customer is choosing which option they want.
Instead of all the ‘solid set A-white’ madness, Amanda changed hers to simple colors. You can get fun here if you want, like using the word ‘midnight’ instead of black. Just don’t get too crazy or you might confuse your customers.
Choose product images
In the ‘Images’ tab, you’ll see all the images that the supplier included in the listing. You’ll notice that if you split the variants, Oberlo will often know which images are which, and split those too.
But double-check just to be sure.
There will be a green border around the photos if it’s selected to be imported to your store. Click the photo to select or deselect. If you want to see it larger, click the little eye icon at the top right corner of each photo when you hover over it.
Keep in mind that you can hide or delete any photos later. But if you’re on the fence about certain photos now, better to add them and remove later instead of adding them in later.
You’ll also be able to add in more photos to each listing if you find another source.
Import the goods
When you’ve triple-checked all the products and their details, you can click the ‘Import to store’ button on each one.
Or to import them all together, you can click the little checkbox at the top left of all your products, then click ‘Import all to store’ at the top of the page. (FYI, you can also use this method to remove several at once).
Create a few product collections
Collections are basically a way to organize your products. We’re going to make it so that all of your products are automatically sorted into a matching collection.
In your dashboard, go to ‘Products’ ➜ ‘Collections.’ Then click ‘Create collection.’
Add the name that you want to be displayed on your website. I recommend keeping this descriptive so that they know what they’re getting if they’re browsing your collection list.
Add a description if you like, but be aware that some themes won’t show them.
Next, scroll down to ‘Collection type.’ There are 2 types:
- Manual: you’ll need to manually add each new product into the collection
- Automated: you can set certain ‘conditions’ (like a tag, for example), and if a certain product meets these conditions, they’re automatically added to the collection
I’m a fan of automated collections because they make changing and scaling your store easier down the road.
So you can select ‘Automated.’
Under ‘Conditions,’ you can choose from several options, including a product’s title, type, price, tag, etc. You can also set more than one condition.
Say for example you’re a jewelry store having an earrings sale on certain types of earrings. You can create an ‘Earrings Sale’ collection by saying products must match 2 conditions: earrings tag and price under $20. Then you can easily promote this sale by showcasing this collection on your homepage. (But we’ll get into that later.)
For now, we’ll just set one condition for each collection, the tag. So select:
- Products must match: ‘any condition’
- ‘Product tag is equal to’
- Then write in a tag for each type of item
As I mentioned, Amanda used the tag ‘PonyBean’ for her ponytail beanie set collection. So that’s what she selected here.
Scroll down to the bottom and click ‘Save.’
And you’re good to go.
Order product samples
It’s important for you to test your products yourself so you know they’re actually good. But since it usually takes about 10-20 days for them to arrive, you likely won’t be able to test them by the time your store launches.
(Which is why we spent so much time finding products with lots of good reviews.)
But still, better late than never.
Plus, you’ll have to fulfill your own order… which means you’ll learn how to fulfill all your store’s orders – so it’s a big deal!
To order your products, you’ll need to make order drafts in your store.
And to make order drafts in your store, you’ll need to pick a Shopify plan. Don’t worry, they won’t charge you until your trial is over.
Click through and click the Basic plan for $39 per month.
Then in your payment details and click ‘Start plan.’
Now head back to the ‘Orders’ section and click ‘Create order.’
In the ‘Search products’ bar, start typing in the name of the product you want to order. Select it and click ‘Add to order.’
In the ‘Notes’ section, write a note to yourself that this is a sample order.
In the ‘Find or create a customer’ section on the right, click the bar and choose ‘Create a new customer.’ Add your own information and save it.
When everything’s set, click the ‘Mark as paid’ button so you don’t have to pay your store’s price.
A popup will ask you to confirm. Click ‘Create order.’
Fulfill your first order!
Now that you’ve created it, go to Oberlo and click the ‘Orders’ section. You should see that there’s 1 order waiting to be fulfilled.
Note that there’s also a convenient video called ‘Ordering products from a supplier.’ Watch it.
Click the orange ‘Order Products’ button.
Once you place the order, the orange ‘To Order’ tag on the left should turn blue and say ‘Order Placed.’
When the supplier ships the order in 2-7 business days, the tracking number will automatically be added, and it will be marked as fulfilled in the ‘Orders’ section of Shopify.
Fulfilling an AliExpress product order
If the product was imported through AliExpress, there are a few more steps to fulfillment.
Once you’ve ordered your samples, you’re all set!
[highlight]Important: At some point, AliExpress will put your credit card on hold and require you to verify your identity. You’ll need to submit a copy of a passport/driver’s license/other identity card, as well as a photo of your credit card and a statement from that credit card. Don’t be alarmed – this is normal and necessary. It will take 1-3 business days to be verified. Amanda was worried, but I assured her that it’s just how AliExpress prevents fraud on the site.[/highlight]
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Day 5 Recap
✓ Customized your products so that they really how value to your future customers
✓ Added them to your store so they’re ready-to-go for your launch
✓ Created a few product collections and organize your products into them
✓ Ordered samples to make sure they’re good quality
✓ In the process, you learned how to fulfill all your future orders in Oberlo
Great work. See ya tomorrow.