While dropshipping sounds easy because of all the content available all over the internet in its favor, it isn’t as simple as many tell you. There are many technical hurdles attached with the drop shipping business and if you don’t get them right first, your chances of succeeding on this path are slim.
This may sound like that I am discouraging you from embarking on this path, but, honestly, I am just apprising of what comes ahead, i.e., what hurdles you will have to face and how to prepare for them. The first hurdle is choosing the best ecommerce platform for your drop shipping business.
Both ecommerce and dropshippers use the same types of ecommerce platforms because the businesses are synonymous in nature. But there are slight differences that dropshippers need to know before they start their business such as the ease of access, prices, and most importantly the support these stores offer.
In this guide, I will cover all these aspects and unfurl every miniscule flaw of the top five ecommerce platforms that you can use for your dropshipping business.
Best Ecommerce Platforms for Dropshipping in 2018
Criteria for Selecting Best Ecommerce Platform for Dropshipping
It wouldn’t be justice if I don’t set a criteria for comparing these top ecommerce platforms. That’s why, here is a set of simple rules to compare the platforms against one another.
- The platform should be easy to use and almost free
- It should support all dropshipping plugins
- It should have efficient and 24/7 support
- It should make management seamless and help grow your business
Which Platforms Top Dropshipping Websites Are Using?
The worth of any ecommerce platform can only be gauged by knowing how many prominent stores are using for their dropshipping store. Here is a list of the top ecommerce platforms and the websites that are running on drop shipping business.
|Wool Couture Company||https://www.woolcouturecompany.com/|
|Nine Line Apparel||http://www.ninelineapparel.com/|
|For Fans by Fans||https://www.forfansbyfans.com/||OpenCart|
|6 Dollar Shirts||http://6dollarshirts.com/|
It’s tough to decide, isn’t it?
All these ecommerce platforms are powerful and host thousands of top ecommerce businesses.
Market Share of Ecommerce Platforms
It is pretty difficult to decide which ecommerce platform is best for dropshipping, that’s why, I have also added the market share of the best ecommerce platforms.
From the graph, it is evident that WooCommerce is the most used ecommerce platform in the world, closely followed by Magento and Shopify. On the other hand, BigCommerce has a small market share, and OpenCart isn’t even in the list.
Self-Hosted vs Hosted Platform
Another debate that often pops up during the discussion of ecommerce platforms is of whether one should buy self hosted or a hosted ecommerce platform for starting his business. The answer is pretty simple: if you can afford and are not so technical, go with a hosted ecommerce platform. And, if you are technical then go with a self-hosted ecommerce platform because it gives more freedom.
I have made a list to help explain the differences of the two in a more explicit way.
|Host ecommerce platform on a hosting server of your choice||Platform comes with a hosted server|
|Full freedom in store customization||Limited freedom in store customization|
|Have to manually add plugins and themes||Themes and plugins (sometimes) come pre-installed|
|Free to use for personal and commercial use||Paid platform with multiple packages|
|Has a massive support community||Rarely has a support community, but customer support available|
|Provide complete control of the platform||Help set up store quickly but don’t grant complete control|
List of the Best Dropshipping Platforms
Let’s get into details to search the best ecommerce platform for startups who want to start a dropshipping business. The below comparison focuses each platform’s ease of use, user support, and price.
WooCommerce is the most widely used ecommerce platform around the globe. It has a market share of more than 28% percent in overall ecommerce stores and the major credit for this goes to being a free and easy to install plugin. WooCommerce users can install it with just a single click, which makes it an ideal platform even for non-technical users.
- User Friendliness: WooCommerce comes with a simple GUI interface that any newbie can understand. It is built on WordPress, a favorite platform among bloggers, that allows users to add multiple add-ons for free. Users can easily install WooCommerce on WordPress and launch their business with just a few clicks.
- Support: WooCommerce has a widespread community of designers and developers, who are actively working to promote this platform. Users can easily find a ton of material on installation and support of this platform on the internet.
- Price: WooCommerce is completely free to use. It is a plugin of WordPress and users who have WordPress installed can easily install it as a plugin without paying anything.
- Websites Hosted on It: As it hosts millions of stores online, you can easily find many famous ecommerce websites using it as an ecommerce platform. Some of them are Singer, Weber Grills, Ripley’s Believe it or not, and All Black.
Magento is the second most used ecommerce platform in the world. It is powerful but complex and may not be suitable for beginners. Magento is a developer-friendly ecommerce platform and requires at least basic programming knowledge. Most dropshippers using Magento as an ecommerce platform either know about Magento store development or have hired developers for that purpose.
- User Friendliness: Magento is an advanced ecommerce platform with a user-friendly design. Anyone who wants to start his drop shipping business can use it to create an ecommerce store, but they will require help in solving errors or updating Magento. So, I won’t recommend it for complete beginners.
- Support: Magento is a widely used platform. It has an official forum where Magento officials, developers, and designers are available to help newcomers. Also, it has multiple off-site channels such as Youtube channels, blogs, and forums where users can get help if they get into hurdles while developing their dropshipping stores. Magento also offers multiple plugins for dropshippers.
- Price: Magento is a completely free ecommerce platform and anyone can launch it with little help.
- Websites Hosted on It: Magento hosts thousands of top ecommerce websites. Retailers and manufacturers like Selco BW, Dufry, and JCB use it to run their businesses.
Bonus Tip: Always choose an optimized ecommerce hosting to ensure your dropshipping store loads with lightning speed.
One of the most powerful ecommerce platforms for dropshipping is undoubtedly Shopify. It claims to host around 500,000 ecommerce stores and dropshipping websites. In 2016, Shopify officially acquired Oberlo, a dropshipping plugin that makes product import and order fulfillment a painless process. It is one of the most used ecommerce platforms by users who are technically unsavvy.
- Support: Shopify offers 24/7 email, phone, and chat support. It also has its own official forum where users can ask for help. However, as Shopify is proprietary, you won’t find much help on community forums related to custom development.
- Price: Shopify is a paid ecommerce platform. It has three plans ranging from $29 to $299. Enterprises, interested in getting premium services, can opt for Advanced Shopify.
- Websites Hosted on It: Shopify hosts most of the top dropshipping stores. It hosts websites such as Negative Underwear, UgMonk, Flat Spot, and Pipcorn.
BigCommerce is a hosted ecommerce platform. It has a fair share of ecommerce platform market and claims to host more than 50,000 small business websites and 2,000+ enterprise companies. It is known for its simple user interface and quick ecommerce setup process. As a hosted ecommerce platform, compared with Shopify, BigCommerce is more affordable because it doesn’t charge any transaction fee, and offers unlimited staff accounts, apart from other prominent features.
- User Friendliness: BigCommerce is simple to use. You can set up your trial account and get started with it easily. Most of the BigCommerce themes are free and you can easily customize the layout as per your requirement.
- Support: BigCommerce offers the same support as Shopify including email, chat, phone, and forum.
- Price: BigCommerce offers three basic packages ranging from $29 to $250. It also offers an enterprise version, the price of it is undisclosed and you will have to call the BigCommerce team to get it.
- Websites Hosted on It: BigCommerce hosts ecommerce stores of multiple top-notch companies including Toyota, Marucci Sports, and Nine Line Apparel.
OpenCart is a free ecommerce platform that’s easy to set up. Anyone, who is a little tech savvy, can easily set up his OpenCart store. The platform offers multiple free and paid plugins and themes for dropshipping as well.
- User Friendliness: As OpenCart is made for ecommerce, it offers analytics, payments, and order volume on the administrator dashboard. The point and click interface makes it a welcoming platform for non-technical users as well.
- Support: OpenCart offers ticket and email support to its users. It also hosts a forum where Opencart users can get answers to problems they are facing while setting up their stores.
- Price: OpenCart is completely free to use. You will have to only pay for hosting it.
- Websites Hosted on It: Many prominent ecommerce stores are using OpenCart as their ecommerce platform. These include British Red Cross, For Fans by Fans, and 6 Dollar Shirts.
Score Chart for Best Dropshipping Platforms
I have rated each platform based on its features. As you can see, WooCommerce and Magento have scored the most points. It is because these two have scored the highest in price and usability. Similarly, I have scored Shopify and BigCommerce lower on the chart because they are highly priced.
All the ecommerce platforms listed in this article are great for dropshipping, but I am in favor of only the free ecommerce platforms. So, I will go with WooCommerce because of the following reasons.
One, it is easy to customize one of the most used ecommerce platform for business. Two, it provides easy customizations and is fairly easy to launch with almost no experience. Third, it comes with auto-dropshipping plugins like AliDropship and Dropified to make store management easier. It wouldn’t be wrong to call WooCommerce the best ecommerce platform for small businesses and dropshippers because of these reasons.
I hope this article helps you in making a wise decision for your dropshipping adventures.
Let me know if you need to know more about the ecommerce platforms that should be used for dropshipping in the comments below.
Simplified Managed Cloud Hosting for Ecommerce Stores.
Convert traffic into buyers with managed Ecommerce Cloud hosting.