Are you looking for the best eCommerce platforms for dropshipping for 2024?
Or, maybe, trying to decide whether a dropshipping business model is suitable for your eCommerce or not. Well then, you’ve come to the right place!
Finding the right business model for your eCommerce is crucial if you want to succeed. It’s like finding a perfect place in the city to open up your shop! It has to have specific characteristics that suit your business and your customers. That’s what we’re here to discuss! So keep scrolling to find out what are some of the best eCommerce platforms for dropshipping!
Dropshipping 101: How Basics Influence Choosing the Best eCommerce Platform for Dropshipping
First things first, to find out which eCommerce platform suits you the most, we must make sure that you completely understand dropshipping as a business model. So, let’s get over the basics real quick:
1. What is dropshipping?
Having a dropshipping eCommerce is kinda like being an online middle-man. You’ve got your online shop, but instead of stuffing your spare room with boxes of stock, a third party handles all of that.
Here’s the whole process:
- A customer clicks ‘buy’ on your website.
- You then buy that item from the supplier
- They ship it straight to your customer!
As simple as that!
2. How can a dropshipping business model help your eCommerce?
The most simple answer to this question is that a lot of work that you’d have to do as a business owner falls on the third party – making it much easier for you! You don’t need a big team, a garage full of stock, or wasting money on a warehouse – and you can sell absolutely anything this way. It’s always wise to do your research beforehand, searching for the factors that made other people successful.
Pros and Cons Of Dropshipping eCommerce Business Model
Once we understand the basics, it’s time to go over the most important pros and cons of choosing a dropshipping business model for your eCommerce business.
|Easy Setup: You don’t have to own an online platform or a physical warehouse, there’s no shipping process or costs, no inventory or storing items.
|Limited Control: Since you act as a middle-man, you don’t have control over the quality of the product, or the shipping process.
|No Inventory: There’s no need to actually, physically possess the products in the first place, so it’s less expensive to maintain a business.
|Complicated Customer Support: It’s tricky to keep customer satisfaction when you don’t actually own the product you’re selling.
|Less Responsibility: You rely on the supplier for all the “hard work”, while you work on growing your brand and customer base.
|Relying on supplier: You must rely on the supplier to have items in stock at all times, but also to manage shipping the correct way.
|Cost-effective Solutions: There’s no need to store a product before it sells, especially the large ones – such as TVs or refrigerators. Also, there’s no need for special security systems if you sell valuable items.
|Managing demand: It’s difficult to keep up with the customer demand when you don’t have the product yourself, and when a supplier is responsible for the stock.
|Flexibility in terms of location and products: Since you don’t own any of these products pre-selling, you are free to sell whatever you want. And, based on your supplier, you can sell things anywhere in the world!
|High competition: Dropshipping is a popular business model, so there’s high competition, especially for startup businesses. Make sure to check out your competition before starting this kind of business.
Criteria for Determining the Best eCommerce Platform for Dropshipping
What are you supposed to be looking at when it comes to eCommerce platforms, exactly? Here are just some of our top picks for the criteria every good dropshipping platform must meet:
• Customer Support
One of the most important things for a dropshipping platform is 24/7 customer support. This is not crucial just for the customers, but for business owners as well. There will be times when you’ll need a helping hand, an answer, or advice for navigating certain platforms. That’s when these services come in handy since there will always be someone to help you out! No need to waste time on such matters, right?
• Pricing and Extra Costs
Yes, the perfect scenario is that the platform you use is free of charge, but that’s not always the case. Some platforms will charge you monthly, yearly, or just for setting up an account – and that’s okay. The problem is when a platform has extra costs based on your sales or takes a percentage of your earnings. That’s where unexpected costs might come in, messing up your overall calculations. Make sure to check this out before deciding to join a platform!
• Easy to Navigate
By now we all understand the importance of user experience. However, in this case, it’s not just about customers – it’s about you, as a business owner, as well. It’s crucial that you can easily navigate through the platform, find and contact suppliers, and overall manage your online store. Of course, this is where automating and integrating your eCommerce stores is a must, letting you navigate all of them at once. Why not make your life easier when you can, right?
On the other part of this equation, it’s customer satisfaction is an equally important part. Nobody likes it when a marketplace doesn’t perform well, or when you can’t even figure out how to use it! So, always ensure that a dropshipping platform is simple and easy to navigate, cause that could be a deal-breaker for customers.
• Features and Integrations
Speaking of integrations, make sure that the platform that you’re reviewing allows them! Yes, it has become a standard in today’s eCommerce world, but don’t leave anything uninspected. Even if it’s not pointed out on the platform info, you can always contact customer support and ask any questions. This one should be a deal breaker since features and integrations are the one thing that will make your life easier as a business owner. It’s better to be safe than sorry, agree?
• Possible Customization
Ah, the aesthetics! Many eCommerce owners don’t pay much attention to this, but it’s one of those make-it-or-break-it things. Treat your online store as if it were a real-life store, and make it nice and organized. We know it can be a bit difficult to do since it’s not your own website. Well, that’s exactly our point! Find a marketplace that allows you to customize your store! We are visual beings, so an aesthetically pleasing shopping experience is always a great plus that will make buyers come back for more.
• Reviews and Comments
While we are still in the process of decoding a successful customer experience, we must speak of reviews and comment sections! Why is this crucial? Because word of mouth is the best possible marketing tool of all time. That’s why any successful eCommerce dropshipping platform will have the option to leave comments and reviews. Admit it, it’s the first thing we all are going to look at! If we find out that other customers were satisfied with a product, a service, or overall experience, it’s more likely that we will finish our purchase.
Before we jump to analyzing the best dropshipping platforms for you, it’s important to note one more thing: make sure to choose a platform that fits your niche! You can’t sell office supplies in a pet shop, right? The same goes for any online store. While researching all the criteria of a good platform, don’t forget to imagine your product there – does your niche fit the needs of a customer base? Always keep that question in mind.
Analyzing the Best Dropshipping Platforms for 2024
Now that we understand some of the most important characteristics of dropshipping platforms, it’s time to decode the best ones! One by one, let’s get to know them better, and help you decide which one (or ones) works best for your business for the upcoming 2024!
For dropshippers looking for a seamless and hassle-free platform, we must talk about Shopify!
Shopify operates on a subscription model, and it’s an investment of anywhere between $32 and $399 per month. The good news is, you have an option to pay only $1 for the first three months! That’s more than enough time to set up your store and see if this platform fits your needs.
But for the value it provides, many eCommerce owners consider it money well-spent.
You can create a visually impactful store, thanks to the variety of available themes; although only a few are free, which is a thing they could work on, if you ask us. But, it is what it is, and it’s worth investing in.
What sets Shopify apart, especially for dropshippers, is its integration capabilities with hundreds of dropshipping suppliers. And, like a cherry on the cake, you can automate and integrate Shopify with many other dropshipping platforms, apps, and tools, making it one of the easiest platforms to navigate!
Additionally, managing inventory is a breeze with the ability to assign stock to up to 1,000 different locations! This includes warehouses, pop-ups, and retail stores. Even if you’re new to the dropshipping world, Shopify makes the process straightforward with its user-friendly interface and swift setup. Pretty neat, huh?
Key Features of Shopify for Dropshipping:
- Easy integration for tons of suppliers
- Inventory management with an assignment to numerous locations
- User-friendly interface with quick setup time
- 24/7 customer support
- Includes an eCommerce website and blog
- Includes marketing automation tools
- Options for discount codes and gift cards
- A free SSL certificate, adds a layer of security and trust to your website
When it comes to dropshipping, Amazon is like the popular marketplace in town where everyone loves to shop. With a starting price for a professional subscription of $39.99, this pays off unconditionally. However, before we continue, we must point out that Amazon is a marketplace and not a platform, like Shopify.
Amazon provides a vast customer base, which means a huge product exposure. Of course, there is a catch: to launch a dropshipping business on Amazon, you must follow certain rules:
- You’ve gotta be the only seller of your products
- Your business name needs to be on all the packing slips, invoices, and any other info related to the items you’re selling
- Take off any details that might let your customers know there’s a third party involved
- Stick to the rules you’ve agreed to (Amazon’s terms of service and dropshipping policy)
- Handling returns is all on you (make sure you’ve got a process in place)
We know, we know – this doesn’t sound like a deal of the century, right? But hear us out. Even though you have to follow certain rules, and you don’t have the freedom you do on the other platforms, the simple fact that Amazon is used globally and has a set customer base is something you mustn’t ignore. Also, don’t forget that you can integrate your other stores via Amazon Seller Central, alongside other helping tools and apps. This makes it sound a whole lot better, agree?
Key Features of Amazon for Dropshipping:
- Direct access to an existing customer base
- Credibility from Amazon’s trusted brand
- Integration with various dropshipping tools
- Leverage Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) for handling storage, packaging, and shipping
- 24/7 customer support (Mon-Sun)
- Options for discount codes
Ecwid is a plugin that can transform any website into an online store! That’s why it’s a perfect choice and a well-loved platform for dropshipping businesses.
No matter if your site is on WordPress, Joomla, or even on social media, Ecwid can integrate with these platforms and automate the dropshipping process with its numerous apps. Isn’t that amazing? No more app-hopping! That’s the main reason why eCommerce owners love it.
Easy integration and automation of Ecwid are of the most importance for dropshipping stores. This allows you to synchronize your customer data and keep all platforms updated, amongst many other things.
Besides this, we must point out that Ecwid is also mobile-friendly! We all know how important that is since it’s becoming the most popular way of online shopping. And, they also offer management apps, (available for both iOS and Android), letting you manage your store on the go!
Key Features of Ecwid for Dropshipping:
- Integrates seamlessly with a wide range of platforms
- It’s mobile-friendly
- Automation and integration with a variety of tools and apps
- Support for multiple payment methods
- Dedicated store management apps
- 24/7 customer support (Mon-Fri)
- Options for discount codes
- Option for a free subscription plan
BigCommerce is a leading eCommerce platform that’s an ideal choice for launching your online shop.
With BigCommerce, you can design your store, list the products, and make money directly through your website.
Packed with a ton of built-in features and powerful data tools, it is an ideal choice for businesses that are expanding or trying to grow fast. Besides these existing tools within it, you can add numerous tools and apps you’re already using.
Another thing that makes BigCommerce an ideal dropshipping platform, especially for boosting your business, is the endless possibilities for automation and integration! You literally don’t have to raise a finger, or break a sweat, to manage and control your eCommerce! And the possibilities of customization is endless.
It even has built-in SEO tools! How cool is that? It’s like a huge supermarket filled with all the things you didn’t even know you needed.
Key Features of BigCommerce for Dropshipping:
- Seamless integration with major dropshipping apps
- Built-in SEO tools
- Advanced marketing tools
- 24/7 customer support
- Option for coupon codes
Did you know that WooCommerce has a market share of 39%? It is primarily designed to unlock eCommerce capabilities on existing WordPress websites.
Since it integrates seamlessly with WordPress, it offers a high level of customization. So, if you’re a WordPress user, WooCommerce can be a natural extension to your site, transforming it into a fully functional online store, with the right plugins.
Now, WooCommerce is a free plugin. But, there will be costs for hosting and domain name, along with any extensions you decide to integrate. So, basically, it is a free platform, but you have to invest if you want to make something out of it.
Speaking of extensions, WooCommerce offers over 800 of them! That’s a pretty huge amount, don’t you think? They can make your life easier since they manage various tasks like shipping, online bookings, return requests, and much, much more. You’ll have to invest in them, tho. These extensions can cost anything from $0 to $299 each. Plus, if you wanna make it extra, there are over 75,000 plugins you can explore.
Besides all of these built-in, pay-to-use options, you can always integrate it with the tools and other platforms that you’re already using or will use in the future.
Streamline your order processes, maintain up-to-date listings effortlessly, and synchronize promo codes with ease. All your incoming orders can be managed from a single dashboard, allowing for smooth operation. Plus, tap into real-time updates and automated product listings, ensuring your WooCommerce dropshipping inventory sync remains seamless and precise.
Phew, that was a lot, wasn’t it? Good thing that it can be automated and managed externally, right? After all, we can’t say it’s the easiest platform to manage. But, let’s sum up the most important features!
Key Features of Woocommerce for Dropshipping:
- It’s a WordPress plugin
- Extensive customization options
- A suite of dropshipping plugins
- Various payment methods
- Access to help from developers
- Seamless integration with major dropshipping apps
- Options for discount codes
- Various built-in extensions
The Potential Impact of The Upcoming Trends on Dropshipping Businesses
One trend we can expect to pick up the pace is the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) within all eCommerce platforms. These technologies will enhance predictive analytics, deliver personalized customer experiences, and optimize inventory management – all essential for a successful dropshipping business.
Another trend to keep an eye on is the shift towards mobile eCommerce. The fact that 54% of customers use their phones over other devices for searching online is another benefit you could use! This means that you should optimize your load times, and navigation, and make secure, one-click checkout processes. This means that dropshippers focusing on mobile-optimized experiences will have a significant advantage.
Blockchain technology also holds potential for eCommerce. With this technology, dropshipping businesses could enjoy more streamlined, secure transactions. That would provide greater transparency into the supply chain, which is a growing concern for many customers
Wrapping It Up
Remember, the key is not to find the “best” platform out there. Focus on finding the one that best suits your business goals. Take some time to assess your needs, consider your options, and make a choice that is most likely to boost your business!
We’re here to provide you with the most useful and updated information to help you succeed in your overall eCommerce journey. Keep learning, and keep growing. Best of luck with your dropshipping venture!