Dropshipping is an order fulfillment method where a store doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, the store purchases the item from a third-party supplier and has it shipped to the customer. As a result, the seller doesn’t have to handle the product directly.
The biggest difference between dropshipping and the standard retail model is that the selling merchant doesn’t stock or own inventory. Instead, the seller purchases inventory as needed from a third party—usually a wholesaler or manufacturer to fulfill orders.
Top 5 E-commerce platforms for dropshipping.
Another popular ecommerce platform for dropshipping is WooCommerce. If what you expect for your store is just very basic functionality and ease of use, WooCommerce might be an ideal solution.
Compared to Magento, WooCommerce has fewer advanced ecommerce features; in return for that, it is more user-friendly for the beginners. However, from the developers’ point of view, this platform is difficult to customize and most of its functionalities must be acquired by third-party plugins.
- Setup time and cost: Actually, WooCommerce is just a free plugin of WordPress framework. Therefore, you will need to develop a WordPress website first and then install the WooCommerce plugin on your store. In general, it will take less time to build a WooCommerce (WordPress) website than a Magento one if you were a developer. Therefore, if you are a non-technical user, you might still need the help of website programmers.
The third name on the list of best ecommerce platforms for dropshipping is Shopify. Up to now, Shopify has empowered nearly 600,000 ecommerce stores around the world, included dropshipping businesses. Especially, Oberlo, a dropshipping plugin works exclusively on Shopify, will help you to find products to sell from Oberlo Verified suppliers, Oberlo suppliers, or AliExpress suppliers.
- Setup time and cost: Different from the second above ecommerce platforms for dropshipping, you have to pay Shopify a monthly fee to use the platform, which ranges from $29 to $299 per month. Besides, you might have to buy the theme for the website. Although there are 100 Shopfiy themes for you to select, only 10 of them are free. Apart from it, it’s worth noting that Shopify will charge you a certain amount per sale if you integrate an external payment gateway instead of Shopify Payments. Regards time for setting up the website, this is a big advantage of Shopify. It will take only a few hours or days to create a new Shopify store.
- Ecommerce Features: Overall, Shopify provides quite a lot of useful features for dropship ecommerce stores, from theme settings, products, orders and customers management, payment with credit card, multiple taxes, languages and currencies, unlimited hosting, search engine optimization, and so on. In the previous blog post, we made a comprehensive comparison between Magento and Shopify, you can read here.
- Ease of Use: If you are technically unsavvy, Shopify might be a good option. It does not take a lot of time for you to get used to this platform. To create the website, you just need to sign up, select a package, choose a favorite theme and start customizing it.
OpenCart is a free ecommerce platform for dropshipping that you should take into consideration. Magento and OpenCart also share many similarities – free, open source, powerful, and more appropriate for tech savvies than the beginners. However, since Magento community is larger and far more robust than that of OpenCart, and there are more themes and extensions for Magento, OpenCart is less popular.
- Setup time and cost: OpenCart is open source and free to acquire. Furthermore, you will get lifetime free support and free software updates when selecting OpenCart as your dropshipping ecommerce platform. Therefore, the major cost comes from hiring website developers and designers to build your store. Besides, it will take from 2-5 months for your website developments.
- Ecommerce Features: Here are OpenCart highlights in terms of ecommerce functionalities – unlimited products and categories, multi-currency support, integrated payment gateways, various shipping methods, coupon creation for marketing, available backup and restore tools, detailed sales report, and so on.
- Ease of Use: OpenCart is preferred for whom have a certain level of website development experience and website setup. However, it does not mean that OpenCart is hard for the beginner to learn how to use the platform, thanks to the user-friendly and clean interface.
Needless to say, Magento has become one of the most powerful ecommerce platforms for dropshipping up to now. There are two versions (Magento 1 and Magento 2 – highly recommended) and two editions (Magento Open Source – free and Magento Commerce – premium) for the owner to choose from.
- Setup time and cost: As we have mentioned, there are two Magento editions but the free (open source) one is enough for starting a dropshipping business. However, it requires strong technical knowledge to develop a Magento dropshipping website so that you might need to hire Magento developers.
Prestashop is an easy-to-use open source eCommerce platform that incorporates multiple functions plus a rich store of additional modules, to integrate applications for every need.
It has no costs related to licenses on the core (in the sense that the CMS has no fee, although there are additional modules that improve or introduce advanced features for which you need to pay a license, even if one-off).
Being a system developed ad hoc for eCommerce has all the characteristics necessary for the customer (eg product comparison, in-depth analysis, related products, similar products, check out without registration, etc.) and to the operator who manages it (managing invoices, returns , shipping costs with various criteria, payments by bank transfer, credit card, cash on delivery, sales analysis, etc.).