Setup for Shopify vendors

This article will guide you through the process of setting up the Mothership Vendor Portal and connecting it to your Shopify store. This article is for drop ship suppliers. They are the businesses in the drop shipping partnership who are responsible for carrying inventory and fulfilling orders.


As part of this tutorial, you'll be connecting your Mothership account to a retail partner. You may have received an email from your retailer inviting you to connect with them on Mothership. That email contains an invite key that you'll need later in the tutorial. Although you can skip the retailer-connection step, you may want to ask your retailer to send you an invite email if you have not already received one.

You'll also need a Shopify store.

Getting Started

The first step in the process is to create a Mothership Vendor Portal account by opening your browser, going to, filling out the form, and then clicking the register button at the bottom.

Review Drop Shipping Tax Policies

Next, you'll be asked to review and acknowledge Mothership's drop shipping and tax policies. There are a couple of important things to remember.

  • Mothership does not collect sales tax or VAT on transactions between you and your retailer.
  • You should ask for a wholesale, resale, or equivalent certificate from your Retailer.
  • Contact your trusted sales tax professional for guidance on your sales tax responsibilities.

Connect to Shopify

After you agree to Mothership's sales tax and drop shipping policies, the next step in the process is to connect your Mothership Vendor Portal account to Shopify. To do so, click on the Connect link on the Shopify row.

You'll then be taken to the Mothership Supplier page in the Shopify App Store. Please click on the install button to start the process.

As part of this process, you may be prompted to sign in to your Shopify account or select the store you want to connect Mothership to. Please take the appropriate steps until you are presented with a page where you are asked to grant permission to Mothership to access your Shopify store. Take a minute to review the requested permissions and click on the 'Add Sales Channel' button whenever you are ready.

Upon a successful installation of Mothership into your Shopify store, you'll be presented with the Mothership Supplier sales channel status screen.

Note, Mothership Supplier is a sales channel in your Shopify store. This means you'll access this status page by clicking on Sales channels in the menu on the left and then selecting Mothership Supplier from the drop down.

Please review the information on this page and then click the Login button at the top to be returned to the Mothership Vendor Portal to complete the onboarding.

Tell us about your business

After clicking the login button, you should be returned to the Mothership Vendor Portal to complete the onboarding process. Review the information on this page, particularly the currency settings, and then click 'continue' at the bottom.

On the following page, please provide the address for your business and then click 'Continue'.

Configure shipping rates

Next, we're going to configure your shipping rates. Click the Add Country button to create your first set of shipping rates

In Mothership, for each country that you ship to, you're going to define a tiered set of shipping rates - economy, standard, and expedited. Those rates can be flat or carrier calculated.

Flat Rates

If you setup flat shipping rates, Mothership will charge the same amount for a given tier per order. If you want to offer free shipping or you don't want Mothership to calculate a shipping charge on each order, enter in 0.00 for each of the tiers. If you don't want to offer tiered shipping, enter the same amount for each tier.

Carrier Calculated Rates

Mothership can reach out to FedEx, UPS, and USPS to get off the rack rates for shipping from the address you entered in the previous step. If you want to use another carrier, or if you have your own negotiated rates, please contact support and we can configure a custom connection for you.

During the onboarding, you'll only be asked to set up shipping for one country. You can configure shipping to additional countries after you've finished the onboarding process. Click continue at the bottom when you're ready.

Connect to your retail partner

On the following page, you'll be prompted to enter an invite key.

You can find this key in an invite email sent to you through Mothership from your retail partner (see image below). If you did not receive an invite email, you can either contact your retail partner to have them send you one, or you can skip this step and connect to your retailer later.

After you enter the invite key and click connect, you'll be prompted to configure how you want Mothership to calculate wholesale prices for this retailer. Transactions in Mothership typically work on a sell high, buy low principle. Your retail partner is going to sell your products to their customers at a higher retail price and then turn around and buy the product from you at a lower discounted wholesale price.

About wholesale pricing calculations

Mothership provides a broad set of tools for calculating a wholesale price, but most of our customers just set a default margin. Provided there are no other more specific rules applicable to a product, Mothership is going to discount the retail price of the product by the default margin to calculate the wholesale price. For example, if the retail price of the product is $10.00 and the default margin is 30%, Mothership will calculate the wholesale price to be $7.00.

Since some retail partners can specify how they want the partnership to operate, the following steps may be slightly different. We'll first cover the most common case where the retailer has not configured the structure of the partnership. Then we'll quickly go over the case when the retailer has setup partnership terms.

Connecting to a retailer without partnership terms

Most retailers do not have the ability to configure the terms of the partnership. As such, you need to configure a default margin to use in the wholesale pricing calculations as well as indicate if you want Mothership to recalculate the wholesale price whenever the retail price of the product changes in your ecommerce platform.

Connecting to a retailer with partnership terms

As mentioned before, some retailers can create partnership terms that allow them to specify certain operational aspects of the partnership:

  • Required minimum margin - The minimum percentage discount off of the retail price that the retailer expects when purchasing a product from you at the calculated wholesale price. Any product sold to the retailer must be at a wholesale price that reflects a margin greater than or equal to this percentage.
  • Wholesale pricing calculation frequency - The retailer can indicate if they want the wholesale price to be recalculated whenever the retail price of your product changes.
  • Invoicing method and frequency - The retailer can configure the methods by which they want to be invoiced (e.g. by credit card, payment outside of Mothership, etc) and the frequency at which they want to be billed (e.g. per-order, daily, weekly, etc)

If you are partnering with a retailer who has defined partnership terms, after you enter the invite key you will be asked to review and accept the terms. If you agree to the terms, click the accept button at the bottom. Otherwise, you can skip the step and contact the retailer to see if they will make adjustments.

On the next page, you'll see the required minimum margin or be asked to configure a default minimum margin depending on what the retailer specified. Additionally, you may be asked to configure when Mothership calculates the wholesale price or that choice may be set by the partnership terms.

Once you're ready, click the 'Continue' button at the bottom.

Invoicing your retailer

After you've configured Mothership to calculate wholesale prices for your retailer, you'll need to tell us how and how often you want to invoice the retailer. As mentioned previously, some retailers can specify aspects of the partnership in advance. As such, some invoicing options may not be available depending on the retailer you connect with.

By default, the only invoicing method available is to handle the finances outside of Mothership. However, Mothership can automate the transfer of funds between the retailer and you by charging the retailer's credit card or issuing invoices through a payment service. If you want to automate payments, you can configure an integration with a payment service provider (such as Stripe) after you've completed the onboarding process.

Click Continue at the bottom once you're done making your selections.

Welcome aboard!


By default, Shopify will publish all of your products to the Mothership Supplier sales channel. As such, you will need to go into your Shopify store and unpublish from the Mothership Supplier sales channel each product you don't want to Mothership to have access to. You can find instructions on how to do that here:

Great! You setup your Mothership Vendor Portal Account, connected it to Shopify, and connected to your retail partner. Please refer to the vendor start guide for the next steps in establishing your partnership with your retailer.

Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us