For many new entrepreneurs and business amateurs, dropshipping has been one of the most lucrative online business models that has emerged in recent times. With the way it works, it’s basically a golden ticket to succeeding in the online entrepreneurship world. But how does it actually work, and why is picking a best platform for dropshipping crucial to achieving this success?
What is Dropshipping?
Imagine wearing a cool shirt you bought from a local seller to a party. One of your friends tells you they like your shirt and that they would like to buy the same top. You then tell your friend where you bought the shirt, and you connect them to the local seller, who then thanks you after your referral makes a purchase.
Hence, dropshipping is like acting as a middleman.
Rise of the Dropshipping Phenomenon
As the digital age emerges, how did dropshipping become the popular business model it is today?
- Minimal Investment: Dropshipping does not require a physical store, a warehouse, or actual stocks you need to store
- Easy Management: You have no trouble with storage or inventory
- Extensive Product Selection: Due to the first two factors, you are able to offer anything you want to sell, although obviously not illicit goods!
That said, it’s easy to see why a lot of newbies and even experienced entrepreneurs are diving into dropshipping.
Here’s the tricky part though… Which is the best ecommerce platform to dropship from? Is there an ultimate best dropshipping platform?
Why the Platform Matters
- User Experience: Slow websites should not exist in the fast-paced digital world we live in now, so you have to make sure your site loads in a millisecond and is easily navigated, providing a seamless experience to your user.
- Flexibility: Your store should be able to handle all the changes that come with scaling a business. Added 150 more SKUs? Your store should not find that a problem and still load as fast as it did -150 SKUs ago.
- Integration Capabilities: Found a new plug-in that could help you in the back-end of operations? Want to offer a new mode of payment for customers? Your platform should be able to let you do so without much hassle.
A Platform For Every Need
Choosing a platform to work with can often be overwhelming, given the variety of options available out there. So what should you be crossing off on your list when it comes to selecting a dropshipping site?
1. Ease of Use: Why Simplicity Can Be Golden
- User Interface: Based on your own experience, how many seconds does it take for you to wait for a website to load before you decide it’s not worth your time? How long does it take you before you exit a site because you cannot find what you’re looking for? A website, especially a store website, should be easy to navigate for your user, from selecting an item to checking out.
- Onboarding Process: A good dropshipping platform should be beginner-friendly, even to the point where absolute beginners can build their site in hours.
- Best Platform for Ease of Use: Squarespace
- Squarespace features a drag-and-drop editor that makes creating your dropshipping store feel more like play and less like work. Squarespace is a design-centric platform, but rest assured this is without sacrificing the functionalities of the websites created here. Squarespace lets you be creative without the fear of having to type long codes for a simple button.
- Runner Up: Weebly
- Weebly’s website builder is flexible and intuitive, and with just a few clicks, you can build out your dream website into reality. Weebly has made it very easy to edit and design webpages, and every tweak you make will feel effortless. Weebly ensures that storefronts created on the platform are optimized for mobile experience as well, especially in the age where people rely on phones more than desktops.
2. Integration with Suppliers and Products: Seamless is the Keyword!
- Variety of Suppliers: Variety of suppliers = variety of products. An ice cream shop with just one flavor to offer may not attract as many customers as one with a range of flavors.
- Product Import and Sync: Ensure that your store reflects the correct inventory from your supplier. You two should be in sync!
- Best Platform for Integration: BigCommerce
- BigCommerce has a wide integration with other dropshipping apps, providing a much more efficient experience for order management and product inventory. Store owners can easily manage stocks and inventory systems, even with different suppliers, through a one-dashboard system. BigCommerce supports all businesses, from start-ups to enterprise-level stores, without compromising performance.
- Runner Up: Shift4Shop
- Shift4Shop integrates with other dropshipping directories for a seamless dropshipping process. Another feature of Shift4Shop that is helpful for dropshippers is its automatic inventory system, which ensures that products will never go out of stock at the last minute. Shift4Shop acts as a central hub for all suppliers and streamlines your order inventory.
3. Cost and Pricing Models: Let’s Talk Money
- Initial Setup Costs: Nobody likes paying for extra fees for anything—concert tickets, tours, even school tuition! Read through your chosen platform’s contracts and ensure that they are upfront with the ticketing.
- Recurring Charges: Membership fees can be draining, especially when you don’t see a return on investment! Ensure that your platform is aligned with your budget so that these recurring charges are always utilized.
- Best Platform for Cost: WooCommerce
- WordPress users can seamlessly navigate around WooCommerce as it is a WP plugin. WooCommerce as a plugin is free to use, but what would vary in terms of cost is the total for hosting, buying a domain, and other website functionalities you may want to purchase and add. Extensions are easily integrated into WooCommerce, especially dropshipping extensions that can help streamline operations.
- Runner Up: OpenCart
- OpenCart is free to use! As an open-source platform, OpenCart provides flexibility and freedom for users to tailor their online shops according to their needs. OpenCart thrives on its extensions, so websites can be tailor-made for your needs as a dropshipper, from managing suppliers to tracking orders.
4. Customizability and Scalability: Your Business’s Growth Spurt
- Theme and Design Flexibility: Your theme should be customizable down to the most minute details, like link text colors and buttons. This would be easier for you in the long run.
- Handling Increased Traffic: Crashing websites is a no-no! Your platform should be able to handle insane amounts of traffic without breaking a sweat, especially when you scale.
- Best Platform for Customizability: Shopify
- Shopify is very beginner-friendly, and setting up a store is easy to follow with their intuitive interface. The Shopify Dashboard has been made to be an all-in-one dashboard where users can monitor sales, track orders, and even analyze traffic. This easy UI makes it easier to craft strategies for scaling. Shopify’s platform also comes with mobile flexibility, allowing users to manage their online business from anywhere, anytime they need to. With the Shopify app, users can do what they can on the website, from updating store inventory to fulfilling orders.
- As your business grows, your Shopify store can easily grow with you. With plans for complete beginners to enterprise-level customers, Shopify’s operations are designed to handle scaling businesses very well.
- Runner Up: PrestoShop
- Because of its open-source nature, PrestoShop has developed tools that are specifically for dropshipping and other niches and has these offered in their marketplace. PrestoShop has endless possibilities when it comes to customization. Whatever you need, it has probably already been made by the community of developers in PrestoShop.
5. Customer Support and Community: A Shoulder to Lean On
- Response Time: Remember waiting ages for a friend to text back? Painful! Quick customer support responses can be the difference between a minor hiccup and a full-blown crisis.
- Community Engagement: Ever found solace in a group of like-minded individuals? A platform with an active community can offer tips, advice, and sometimes just a listening ear.
- Availability of Resources: Remember trying to bake without a recipe? Platforms should offer tutorials, webinars, and FAQs to guide you. After all, knowledge is power!
- Best Platform for Customer Support: Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento)
- Being an Adobe product, Adobe Commerce also comes with Adobe’s global community of developers and experts that can provide support wherever and whenever. Adobe Commerce operates with multi-lingual support, providing a seamless experience anywhere in the world.
Best Dropshipping Platform Overall: Cartzy
In 2020, a top online marketing and educational company was looking for a better and cheaper solution to create a best ecommerce platform for dropshipping to help their students succeed with dropshipping online in a more automated and seamless way. It comes with free training and a brand new ecommerce store.
- Instant Setup: Setting up a high-converting store with a proven theme and a new store can be operational in only 15 minutes with Cartzy with its easy-onboarding video. This instant setup makes Cartzy a best dropshipping platform for beginners.
- Dropshipping Integration: Cartzy.com supports a wide range of third-party integrations, including payment processors, marketing tools, and shipping solutions. This flexibility allows you to connect your online store with the tools and services that best suit your business needs.
- Customizable Design: One of Cartzy.com’s standout features is its ability to offer fully customizable design options. You can tailor the appearance of your online store to match your brand’s identity, ensuring a unique and professional look that resonates with your target audience.
- Cartzy’s mobile-friendly platform enables users to oversee their online business from any location at any time. Carty’s mobile-friendly platform enables users to oversee their online business from any location at any time.
- SEO and Marketing Tools: Cartzy.com comes equipped with robust SEO tools that help improve your store’s visibility in search engine results. Optimize product descriptions, meta tags, and URLs, to give your products a better chance of being discovered by potential customers.
- Pricing: Cartzy offers two plan tiers for users:
- Cartzy Plus: Get all the essentials for only $24/month (on the annual plan) or $29/month (if paying monthly). Offers one store and supports print-on-demand. 24/7 support. There are no additional transaction fees on sales you make, and we offer an upsell app, a product review app, and an exit wheel app at no additional cost.
- Cartzy Premium: $82/month (on the annual plan) or $99/month (if paying monthly). There are no additional transaction fees on sales you make. This also comes with access to Profit Spy. There is no limit on sales. Get three individual stores on the Platinum plan. Created with all the apps you need to start a highly optimized store, right out of the box means that no additional payments are necessary.
The right dropshipping platform would be the launchpad for your business’s success. Each platform has its quirks, so really consider what your business requires. And remember, the devil is in the details — so do your homework before diving in!