To start your own Dropshipping Business, one of the most important things you have to do is choose an E-Commerce platform. You will be using this platform to run the majority of your business, so it’s important to take to note of the pros and cons of some of the platforms, such as pricing, ease of use, support and more to find out which one best suits your business needs. Three of my favorite e-commerce platforms are Shopify, BigCommerce and WooCommerce but all three of them are quite distinct. This guide will help you understand these distinctions and choose the best E-commerce platform for dropshipping for you.
Shopify is a powerful, all in one E-commerce tool that has expanded to 275,000 active stores and it shows no sign of slowing down. They have a fantastic app store that can allow you integrate your store with dropshipping apps like Modalyst that will help you manage your inventory and products seamlessly.
The basic Shopify plan starts at $29 a month, with the more advanced plans costing $79 and $299 respectively. This is relatively pricey compared to WooCommerce, which is free, but all Shopify plans come with their own website hosting, which could turn out to be equally cheap, if not more than self-hosted platforms like WooCommerce
Ease of Use
Shopify is extremely easy to use, so if you are new to web and store design, Shopify will be perfect for you. It has a straightforward dashboard, options to import products from your old store and a great onboarding process that takes you through all the necessary steps on how to use the platform and customize the themes to represent your shop’s brand better. Additionally, changing themes, rearranging parts of your website through dragging and dropping and starting a blog are all simplified greatly, allowing you to make your very first online store have all the features of an advanced website.
Shopify provides users with 24/7 support, through e-mail, phone or live chat allowing you to fix issues within seconds as well as get general queries answered without a long wait time.
Type of Websites that use Shopify
With its ease of use but large available range of customizable features, Shopify tends to attract all kinds of users from different sized industries. Its interface and themes have attracted more youthful, trendy crowds in recent times with E-Commerce websites like the Lollapalooza Web Store, Tattly, and LMFAO Party Rock Clothing all using Shopify to power their online shops.
WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress plugin that integrates an E-Commerce store through a WordPress website. It currently has an impressive 37% market share of all E-Commerce websites and is great for users attempting to work off of a popular website building software like wordpress.
WooCommerce is an open-source, free plugin! This is great if you already have a website and are simply looking to create a store as an extension. However, if this is not the case you would have to find yourself a webhost which could get costly. Additionally, WooCommerce itself is relatively basic and works best when combined with addons (advanced shipping features, Instagram integration etc) whose costs may add up with time.
Ease of Use
WooCommerce is easy to install and use if you are already familiar with WordPress. Otherwise it’s still not particularly difficult but some user reviews from Merchant Maverick have complained that the learning curve is a bit steep at first. That being said, with a bit of time spent on learning the platform, I don’t foresee any real difficulty in using WooCommerce if you find it is the most ideal platform for you
WooCommerce offers standard e-mail and ticketing support, which is definitely efficient but doesn’t equal 24/7 of support offered by either Shopify or BigCommerce. This is not a huge con, but if you prefer closer customer relations Shopify or BigCommerce may be better platforms for you.
Type of Websites that use WooCommerce
With its seamless integration with WordPress and large marketshare, WooCommerce has the widest range of online stores out of its competitors. Some websites include, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, Lebara Mobile, Lucky Leek and Ally’s Bar
An all in one E-Commerce Platform similar to Shopify, BigCommerce brands itself as the platform with the tools to help increase traffic and conversions to your website. With its focus on analytics, growth and performance, BigCommerce is a great option if you’re looking to maximize product sales as opposed to creating brand image.
Pricing starts similar to Shopify at $29.95 for a basic account, and more advanced accounts costing $79.95 and $199.95 respectively. The basic plan is very similar to Shopify, with the more advanced plans giving users more access to conversion optimization metrics and high volume analytics. E-Commerce Platforms warns, however, that with their new pricing structure, scaling up with BigCommerce is difficult because it automatically requires you to upgrade to an enterprise account once your store is making over $125,000 in revenue. The new rate changes to around $900-$1500 which may not be ideal for your store.
Ease of Use
Similar to Shopify, BigCommerce is very easy and intuitive to use. Its onboarding process allows you to set up your store with ease, and its numerous themes are easily editable. You are even free to edit the code if you feel comfortable but this is not necessary.
Modalyst also has a pre-formatted CSV to easily import products once you are ready to start stocking your store.
Just like Shopify, BigCommerce offers 24/7 support through phone calls, e-mails and live chat. However, their phone call time comes with certain constraints depending on the plan you choose
Type of Websites that use BigCommerce
After choosing a platform, the search to find unique products that represent your individual brand begins. This also comes with its own set of challenges: What legal qualifications must you meet before you start? Where can you source the right brands for your store? How do you convince these brands to dropship for you? We help you answer these questions in the next segment of our dropshipping guide next week, so subscribe to our e-mail list or check back next week for more!
Read the next article : How to Source Unique Products for your Store