Dropshipping E-Commerce Platforms
Dropshipping E-Commerce Platforms
The first thing you need to decide when starting an e-commerce business is where you’ll place your products to sell them. There’s a plethora of e-commerce marketplaces available all over the internet and they have their own pros and cons. This article will help you decide which platform is the best fit for your business by giving you an overview on the options available.
Dropshipping with BigCommerce
BigCommerce is one the younger platforms on the web, formed back in 2009. This tells you a lot about the youth of the industry.
This platform services over 95,000 sellers with a huge variety of goods from all over the world, with it’s main competitors being the likes of Shopify and Volusion.
After its 2016 rebrand, BigCommerce has adapted well to the modern e-commerce scene and now has a catalogue of sellers across most sectors and market caps.
The advantage of this platform is the “one stop” model wherein it gives you hosting, selling and cart capabilities all in the same website. Further, a basic inventory tool is provided although you may need to upgrade to a more comprehensive software solution as you grow. All these features make BigCommerce ideal for new sellers with little technical knowledge of e-commerce.
The simplicity is more than the streamlined Shopify but less than the complex but effective Magento – and this may be relevant if your experience in the market is not substantial. The backend is not the most simple and it takes some getting used to if you’re not already familiar with e-commerce. On the opposite end, if you’re an experienced seller, this platform may not offer everything you want in order to optimise sales.
Dropshipping with 3dcart
One of the oldest on this list, formed back in 1997, 3dcart is another “one stop” e-commerce platform that powers more than 22,000 online retail stores and has13,600 active store owners.
There’s a monthly fee involved – this is unlike a lot of the other platforms we’ll mention. However, this may be worth it if you utilise the platform to its full potential. The fee covers online security, web hosting, software updates etc and is especially helpul for new sellers who’re just starting out and don’t have much technical knowhow just yet.
Owing to the monthly fee and simple IP, this is one of the easiest platforms to set up and use.
Dropshipping with EKM PowerShop
Founded in 2002, EKM PowerShop was the first cloud-based eCommerce platform available in the United Kingdom.
Much like BigCommerce and 3dcart, it’s a hosted all-in-one solution, which means that platform includes many of the key features needed to sell online, in exchange for a monthly fee.
Comparing it to other eCommerce platforms, Shopify is surprisingly similar on first look. Although a smaller name within the industry, EKM offers many of the same functionalities for a price not too different from the big players.
On top of this, what makes EKM an attractive prospect to many UK online sellers is that it is the only solution that is 100% based in Britain.
What’s more, EKM has a score of 9/10 on TrustPilot, with hundreds of satisfied customers leaving reviews on a regular basis. A good rating on TrustPilot is notoriously challenging to get, so this is definitely something worth shouting about.
EKM is a one of the best eCommerce platforms specifically built for small businesses who don’t have the resources to deal with the technical side of web development, meaning that the solution is really easy to use and maintain.
Dropshipping with Magento
Magento is a particularly popular e-commerce platform across the globe especially for more experienced businesses looking to expand online.
It offers high flexibility as well as customisation often, while being complex to learn for someone who’s not experienced in the technical side of things.
Due to it being around for over a decade, there’s a plethora of extensions on offer and a vibrant community across multiple sectors.
While Magento does not offer any sort of monthly package of tools, you get flexibility in your business to buy the tools that you want and need to suit your business. The initial open source software download is free but all these costs add up – it’s wise to consider all these costs before investing in Magento.
These costs can be summarised in,
- Hosting and support services
- The degree of customisation required
- The in-house developer you’ll need to hire if you’re not technically proficient in the sector
- The theme and extensions you add
Magento is a complex platform that’s brilliant for creating a highly customised online selling store with solutions that are relevant to your store specifically. However, you’ll need an experienced developer to take full advantage of it.
Dropshipping with OpenCart
OpenCart is a completely different type of platform insofar as it’s open source, and completely free to download and use. This is good for cost cutting, but the free nature of the model means they don’t offer the multitude of services that other platforms offer.
This is instead a core setup – you’re responsible for hosting, installation, maintenance and software updates which is good for experienced companies who know what they want, but places new companies with little technical knowledge at a disadvantage.
You get more ownership over your business and can make decision independently without needing to rely on a package. This offers flexibility to owners.
However, if you don’t have the recourses to hire a professional to help or have the technical knowledge on your own, it’s not the best platform for you because you won’t be able to take full advantage of the vast flexibility offered.
Dropshipping with PrestaShop
Formed in 2007, PrestaShop is one of the most international e-commerce platforms around due to its online resources and support being in multiple languages.
Akin to more complex platforms like Magento, this is also an open source free software that requires you to have technical knowledge.
You’ll be required to spend time sorting out your hosting, creating databases and uploading and installing the software. All of this does not come as a part of a package and it’s something you’ll need to do on your own, or hire a technical expert to do for you.
While this increases your choice and gives you more control, it’s a more complex process for inexperienced business owners. You will need someone with knowledge of web developing and the technical side of e-commerce to avail all the benefits offered. The interface isn’t particularly intuitive and unless you’re experienced in the field, this just increases the need to hire someone with the right technical knowhow.
Dropshipping with Shopify
Shopify remains one of the most popular e-commerce platforms on the web, with its goal to streamline the process and make it as user friendly as possible.
This makes it perfect for new business owners who don’t wish to invest in a web developer and are unwilling to spend the time in getting the requisite experience to do it themselves.
This is also a one stop platform that offers you a package of tools needed to run a business and takes the technical complexities out of the equation – you don’t need to have a background in web developing to fully utilise this platform.
A simple registration with Shopify is enough, you’ll be taken directly to the backend of your online store without hassle.
Dropshipping with Volusion
Launched in 1999, Volusion is one the older platforms on this list and with its several thousand clients, it’s proven to be effective over the years.
The model is a hybrid between the “all in one” platforms and the platforms that offer you more flexibility at the expense of simplicity. Volusion removes the technical difficulties of e-commerce such as hosting and software updates, and also offers you the option to customise the site to your specs if you know programming languages such as HTML.
A move to Google Cloud – the first major e-commerce company to do so – has been successful and reduced page loading time by about 15%.
Volusion also enables you to expand your business across the web by helping you sell goods on sites such as Amazon and eBay, leading to increased sales and a reduction of your reliance on only one source.
However, problems have been reported with this integration by customers. Research on the reported problems and proceed accordingly with safeguards.
Dropshipping with WooCommerce
Founded in 2011, WooCommerce is another open source platform that’s free to download and use. It’s only compatible with WordPress though.
35% of e-commerce sites are powered by WooCommerce, that’s almost 3 million users.
The main element that differentiates this platform from others such as Shopify is that it uses the WordPress content management system. This makes integration incredibly simple if you’re using WordPress – it’s directly linked and this is a massive advantage of this platform.
How to find the best dropshipping eCommerce platform for your business
Every platform is useful in its own way, and what platform is best for you depends on the specific requirements of your business. Of course, some platforms are better at certain aspects of e-commerce than others and they have different limitations as well.
It’s useful to set down the needs, requirements and unique problems of your business before you choose a platform. Every little aspect of your business can be addressed with the appropriate solution and you should note them down before finding the right e-commerce platform to fit you.
Every business is different – looking at your unique advantages and disadvantages from an objective perspective will help you look for the right fit in every aspect.
There’s a vast quantity of conflicting advice on the Internet and it can be difficult to wade through this and know what’s best for your business. Hopefully this list will assist you in compressing the pros and cons of all the popular e-commerce websites on the internet and making the right choice for your business.