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 six ecommerce platforms that you can use for your dropshipping business.
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- Criteria for Selecting Best Ecommerce Platform for Dropshipping
- Market Share of Ecommerce Platforms in 2022
- List of the Best Dropshipping Platforms in 2022
- The Best Dropshipping Features to Look For in an Ecommerce Platform
- Self-Hosted vs Hosted Platform
- Ratings for the Best Dropshipping Platforms
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
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Market Share of Ecommerce Platforms in 2023
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.
WooCommerce checkout dominates the ecommerce market with a whopping 23% of the total share. Shopify follows the lead and holds a respectable 19% of the market.
Other prominent players are Magento and Wix Stores, each of which holds 7% and 6% market share respectively. There are several other small players all of which cumulatively make up for 45% of the ecommerce market.
List of the Best Dropshipping Platforms in 2023
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 almost 23% 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.
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Magento is the third 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.
Shopify is the second most popular platform, with 19% of the market share. It’s a hosted platform, however. If you want a self-hosted platform, consider these Shopify alternatives.
- 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 the ecommerce platform market and claims to host more than 150,000 websites, both big and small. 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.
Spocket is a phenomenal ecommerce dropshipping platform designed for ecommerce store owners who focus primarily on dropshipping. Keep in mind that this is not a standalone platform; it will integrate with WooCommerce and Shopify stores.
- User-friendliness: Spocket is incredibly user-friendly and simple to use, with an array of built-in features.
- Support: Spocket also offers 24/7 support, so if there’s a problem, these guys will help you out. They also have forums where you can get information about other products.
- Price: Pricing for Spocket begins at $19 per month. There is no free version.
- Websites using Spocket: These include berlioza.com and baybbrand.com.
The Best Dropshipping Features to Look For in an Ecommerce Platform
The platform that you choose for your dropshipping business can largely influence your success. That’s why it’s crucial to observe diligence when selecting the right platform.
You’ll have to keep in mind the long-term consequences of your decision and how it will impact your business.
Below are some of the key features to look for when choosing the right ecommerce platform for dropshipping:
Profit margins for dropshipping businesses are usually low. Make sure your ROIs are accounted for when choosing the platform. Some platforms are free, while others are heavily charged.
For instance, setting up a dropshipping platform via Woocommerce is practically free. It also gives you autonomy in choosing your hosting services, plug-ins, etc. This leaves you with unmatched customization and scalability options.
With Shopify, it’s easy to set up the store but you’ll face limitations with customization at some point as you scale. Plus, it has a minimum monthly cost of $29/mo that goes up to $299/mo for their advanced package.
But, each has its pros and cons that justify the pricing.
Not all platforms are heavily customizable. For instance, Magento is highly customizable, whereas Wix and Shopify have limitations in this area.
3. Community Support
You will encounter platform problems when establishing your dropshipping business and after your business takes off.
Platforms with massive online community support will make things easy for you. Because the more people work on a certain platform, the more likely it becomes to find solutions for blockers.
When your business grows, you’ll attract traffic in thousands and even millions. It’s an annoyance when you are geared for growth, but your platform of choice doesn’t cooperate.
Your platform should help you scale as the business grows.
5. Customer support
No platform is 100% perfect.
There’d be bugs, problems, and confusion all along the way in setting up your ecommerce dropshipping store.
A good platform will offer 24/7 customer support so that problems are addressed and handled as soon as possible.
6. Ease of use
As a store owner, you’ll need to manage the front-end and back-end of your online store. This plays a crucial role in your platform selection.
For instance, it’s easy to manage your Woocommerce store as it’s essentially a plugin for WordPress. So, if you’re using WordPress, WooCommerce is incredibly easy to start with.
Shopify also has a neat and easy-to-navigate back panel which makes it easy to run an ecommerce store.
Do consider the ease of use before finalizing your ecommerce platform.
7. Marketing tools
Creating the store is just one part of the equation. Marketing it to the target audience is what completes the picture.
The platform that you choose should provide you with marketing and SEO tools that help you get ranked on search engines and get discovered by the target audiences.
For example, with WordPress Woocommerce, you can use Yoast, All in One SEO Pack, Google XML sitemaps, etc., to improve your store’s ranking.
Shopify allows you to install tools such as SEO Suite, SEO Optimizer, SEO Booster, etc., which can help boost your performance on search engines.
8. Dropshipping integrations
A good platform should help you connect with top-quality suppliers that offer dropshipping services.
For example, you can easily integrate top-level dropshipping plugins with Woocommerce like Spocket, Woodropship, AliDropship, etc.
Review the dropshipping integrations before finalizing your eCommerce platform for dropshipping.
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|
Ratings for the Best Dropshipping Platforms
Here is a score chart with ratings for each platform. I have given a lower rating for platforms like Shopify, which charge a higher fee than others.
As you can see, there are several ecommerce platforms that you can use for your website. However, it’s important that you do a bit of research to find one that best fits your needs. Carry out your due diligence before you proceed further.
Q1. What is an ecommerce platform?
An ecommerce platform lets you build your own ecommerce store with just a few clicks. Without an ecommerce platform you will have to start from scratch, building everything by writing tons of lines of codes. Think how much time will be wasted in development and testing? Ecommerce platforms make that simple by providing you a management system where you upload products to set up your store easily.
Q2. Which ecommerce platform to use for dropshipping?
Choosing any ecommerce platform for your online store depends on multiple factors including platform’s usability, price, compatibility, and support. Please see the table to find the best ecommerce platform for your business.
Q3. What are the best ecommerce platforms in 2022?
According to our research, WooCommerce and Magento are two best ecommerce platforms in 2022 that are available for free. If you are looking for paid ecommerce platforms then Shopify and BigCommerce are a decent choice.
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Raza Aslam Lakhani
I'm a digital content producer at Cloudways. I'm also a hodophile- always ready to explore new places and cultures. Other than that, I play guitar and love to indulge myself in deep, meaningful conversations. Always looking for opportunities to learn new things.