Dropshipping has been growing tremendous interest over the years especially with the ability to access and source massive amounts of product inventory online via the cloud. One of the more well known platforms to product source from is AliExpress which lists an endless supply of products that can be dropshipped directly to the customer but, the first step in this process is to determine which platform will be used to host your business. There are several platforms available but these are 3 of the more well known ones available.
Probably one of the most well-known dropshipping platforms, Shopify works with SaleSource, a dropshipping plugin that helps you find products to sell from Oberlo suppliers, Oberlo Verified suppliers, and AliExpress suppliers.
Shopify charges a variable monthly fee ($29-$299) to use its platform. You can also buy themes for your website from them, making setting up your site relatively quick and easy. If you aren’t super tech savvy, Shopify is a good option for you. It offers an easily scalable platform if you choose an advanced package.
While Shopify offers a lot of features, like customer management, theme settings, credit card payments, multiple languages and currencies, SEO optimization, and unlimited hosting, it’s important to note that Shopify will charge you a percentage of each sale if you have integrated an external payment method other than their own Shopify payments option.
A very basic and easy to use platform, WooCommerce is essentially just a free plugin on the WordPress framework. It offers a very user-friendly scenario for beginners, but also offers fewer advanced e-commerce features, many of which have to be acquired through third-party plugins.
Cost of setting up the site can be higher ($1500-$3500) if you need a lot of advanced options or help from a web developer. Your site will come equipped with fundamental features, such as a catalog of product, inventory management, auto tax and shipping calculators, payment gateways, discount and coupon codes, multiple shipping options, sales reports, etc. You can upgrade and customize your store with 75,000 different plugins, so it can be very overwhelming, but it’s also nice to have a lot of options to choose from.
WooCommerce is better suited to smaller dropshippers than it is for mid-large companies, as the larger stores tend to have a poorer performance for some reason.
Magento has rapidly become a powerhouse in e-commerce platforms, offering two versions (aptly named Magento 1 and Magento 2) and two editions (Open Source, which is free, and Commerce, which is premium).
Magento requires more technical knowledge in order to develop your website. You might need to hire a developer, which can be pricey. Expect to pay $3-5000 and spend 1-3 months developing your site.
What you get for that cost is significant, however. They have all the bells and whistles to make your site very user friendly and ultra professional looking. They also provide a lot of user guides to help new store owners learn how to navigate the ins and outs of their business.
Magento is probably the most easily scalable platform for dropshippers. You can have any number of products to choose from without the performance of your site being affected.
While there are other platforms to choose from, such as OpenCart and BigCommerce, which are worth checking into, these are the top 3 that most dropshippers get started with, but feel free to research as many as you want before making the final choice, as it is a very important decision.
By Glenn Blake