Supplier setup guide

Who is this guide for?

This guide is for vendors who have been invited to connect with a retailer through Mothership. Vendors are the party in the drop shipping partnership who maintain inventory and fulfill orders. This guide will help you connect your existing ecommerce platform to Mothership through one of our prebuilt integrations.

Creating an account

The first step to using Mothership is to create an account in our Vendor Portal. Please visit to create a new account. Please make sure you review Mothership's terms of service and privacy policy. 

You will be redirected to the onboarding dashboard after you click Register. 

Sales Tax & Drop Shipping Policies

Next, click on the blue Review button to read our sales tax policies.

It is important that you understand that Mothership does not collect sales tax or VAT from your retailers when they place orders with you. Please consult with you accountant or sales tax professional if you have any questions about the sales tax implications of selling on Mothership.

Basic Configuration

After you click the blue Continue button, you'll be redirected back to the dashboard where you can set your basic configuration for the app.

You'll be prompted to enter you address, notification email addresses, and set your currency.

Catalog Creation

Next, we'll create your first product catalog. Catalogs are the way your retailers get access to your products at a discounted wholesale price. You can create multiple catalogs, products can belong to more than one catalog, but each of your retail partners will subscribe to only one catalog. 

First, click on the blue New Catalog button from the onboarding dashboard. 

Fill out the form in the displayed modal (see image below). 

  • Name the catalog something meaningful to you. This name will not be visible to the retailer
  • The Default Margin is used to calculate the wholesale price of products in the catalog. Your retail partners will buy products from you at the wholesale price you specify. We will discount the retail price, compare at price, or the cost of a product by the percentage you specify in order to calculate the wholesale price. For example, if you set the default margin to 33% and the retail price of the product is 10.00, we'll calculate the wholesale price of the product as 6.70. 
  • Wholesale price calculation specifies whether you want to manually change the wholesale price of the product or if you want Mothership to automatically adjust the wholesale price of the product whenever the input value changes. 
  • The Wholesale price calculation input value specifies the price you want Mothership to use when calculating the wholesale price.
  • Product Membership lets you tell Mothership how products should be added or removed from the catalog. 

Click Save at the bottom of the page. 

Connect your ecommerce platform

The next step in the onboarding is to connect your ecommerce platform. Mothership supports the following platforms: 

  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce
  • Squarespace
  • BigCommerce
  • Shipstation
  • Stripe (for payments)
  • Hubspot

Please consult the connection instructions for the platform you want to use by clicking on the appropriate link above.

Using Mothership without a platform connection

You can still use Mothership without connecting your ecommerce platform but you will need to manually create products, update inventory, export orders, and import fulfillment data. To use Mothership without a platform connection, click on the Manual Integration card on the integrations page and follow the prompts.

Invoicing your retailers

Once you have your ecommerce platform connected, the next step is to tell Mothership how you want to handle the financial portion of the transactions with your retailers. Currently, you have two options:

  • You can handle the finances outside of Mothership. In this scenario, at the end of every calendar month Mothership will generate an order activity report and send it to both parties. The order activity report lists all of the items purchased and all of the shipping charges incurred during the previous calendar month. It will be up to you and your retailer to settle up. 
  • Mothership can handle the finances via our Stripe integration. In this scenario, Mothership can connect to your Stripe account and accept credit cards or issue invoices on your behalf. If the retailer enters their credit card into the retailer app, Mothership can charge their card on a per-order, daily, weekly, or monthly basis. If the retailer does not keep a card on file, Mothership will issue an invoice via Stripe and send it to the retailer's email address. The retailer can pay via whatever payment methods you have configured in your Stripe account. 


The next step is to configure your shipping rates. In Mothership, for each country that you ship to you will need to define a set of flat-rate prices or carrier-calculated rates for each of 3 service levels: economy, standard, and expedited. The retailer also maps their shipping service levels into those 3 categories. This allows Mothership to pass along the end-customer's requested shipping service level into the service levels you offer. 

From the onboarding dashboard page, click the blue Configure button on the Configure Shipping Card.

On the next page, click on the Add Country button. 

On the next page, select the country you want to define shipping rates for and then click on either the Flat Rate or Carrier-Calculated Rate radio buttons.

For flat rate shipping, enter in the prices for economy, standard, and expedited rates. If you've selected carrier calculated rates, you'll first need to pick the carrier you want to use and then select the carrier-specific service level for economy, standard, and expedited. Click the blue save button when finished. 

After you click save, you can add shipping rates for additional countries or click on the Continue Setup button in the top right corner. 

You will be returned to the onboarding page after you click the Continue Setup button. 

Connecting to Retailers

The last thing we need to do is connect your Mothership account to a retailer. You should have received an email invite from your retail partner that contains an invite key. The email and key (outlined in red below) will look something like this: 

To connect to the retailer, click on the blue Connect to Retailer button in the Connect to Retailer card on onboarding dashboard page. 

Clicking on the button will display the modal depicted in the image below. You will need to enter the key from the invite email you received from the retailer. You will also need to specify how often you want to invoice the retailer (per order, daily, weekly, or monthly). You will also need to specify how you want to invoice the retailer (Stripe or outside of Mothership) and the catalog you want them to subscribe to.

Once you click Connect, Mothership will connect the two stores. At that point, the retailer will be able to import products and place orders with you through Mothership. 

If you want to use Mothership without connecting to a retailer at this time, click on black "Skip this step" button at the bottom of the Connect New Retailer modal. 

Congratulations! You're all setup. 

Now that you've onboarded, you should see the Mothership dashboard. 

Next Step

The next step is for you to publish products to Mothership and have your retailer place a test order. The specific steps for publishing a product to Mothership depend on the ecommerce platform  you've connected. Please consult the platform-specific Mothership documentation for instructions on how to make products available to Mothership. 

  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce
  • BigCommerce
  • Squarespace
  • Manual

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