No warehouse needed. No inventory management required. Low capital investment. Dropshipping is now gaining popularity in the boom of online selling. With the available support of the functionalities offered by different eCommerce platforms, dropshipping can be a cash cow for businesses of any size.
Two of the top-notch platforms that stand out are Shopify and WooCommerce. These two giants of the eCommerce platform industry with their compatible extensions offer you robust features that blow your mind away and facilitate your efficient workflow.
Since both platforms are remarkable, in this article, I will be providing you with the fundamentals of Shopify vs WooCommerce for dropshipping to consider the suitable platform to implement your dropshipping plan from scratch.
What is dropshipping and should you invest in this business?
Dropshipping is a growing business and it is bound to be a key player of the competitive race between online merchants. The line graph below clearly shows the upward trend of keyword searching of “Dropshipping” all over the world.
So, what exactly is dropshipping?
Dropshipping is an innovative way to effectively boost sales without struggling with appropriate shipping methods, inventory management or warehouse.
Dropshipping is recognized as arbitrage in which merchants play a role of the middlemen between wholesalers or suppliers and customers. When a customer selects an item on your website, the supplier will be in charge of preparing the product and shipping it directly to your customer on your behalf.
To make a decision on whether you should invest in dropshipping or not, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of this method.
- Easy to start: Since you only have to find suppliers and proper products to sell initially, the preparation time is minimized. Moreover, resources of guidance are always available for you to step-by-step successfully build your dropshipping business.
- Low start-up costs: No storage or warehouse costs, which also means that you will have more funds to market and promote your business.
- Loads of products: You can easily select an array of suitable products for your eStore from other suppliers on both national and international markets.
- No worry of shipping: Dropshipper don’t have to spend time packaging or attaching labels. More time is saved with dropshipping.
- More competition: On the grounds that dropshipping is quite easy to start, more and more merchants are interested in this kind of business. More dropshippers means more competitors to compete to win the race of attracting customers.
- Less quality control: The product or item is directly delivered from suppliers to customers. Therefore, it is difficult for you to take control of the quality of the products.
Dropshipping: Best practices
In order to make your business stand out and reduce the competition, launch your eStore as early as you can. However, you should consider carefully when choosing an eCommerce platform for your store, this could make or break your business. It’s important to take into account the shopping cart’s price, features and review your resources.
To get rid of possible problems, dropshippers should select products and suppliers wisely. Merchants should look through all of the feedback on both suppliers and products to ensure that choosing them is the right decision.
Another way is to judge the quality of products yourself. You can consider ordering some of the products to check them before handing them to the actual buyers. It’s relatively important as the poor buying experience may take potential customers away.
In short, it is apparent that the benefits of dropshipping outweigh the potential drawbacks. Thus, with these mentioned merits, merchants can give dropshipping a shot and grow your business by making good use of the benefits and take some measures to avoid drawbacks.
Shopify Dropshipping vs WooCommerce Dropshipping
Both Shopify and WooCommerce are now outperforming e-commerce platforms in the market with powerful functionalities, robust features and great support. Each platform possesses its own strengths that can uplift your dropshipping business. Let’s dive deeper into a few basic features of Shopify Dropshipping vs. WooCommerce Dropshipping.
Shopify is a remarkable name on the market. Many merchants select this platform to set the very first brick for their online business. The reason lies in its ease of use and powerful functionality.
Currently, it offers three popular plans with ascending prices, which are Basic Shopify ($29/month), Shopify ($79/month) and Advanced Shopify ($299/month). You can kick off the business with a 14-day free trial to experience its useful features and then choose one suitable plan that fits your business size.
To cater your business smoothly, you can purchase a custom domain name from Shopify. The minimum annual payment is $14. Shopify also gives you a chance to turn your inanimate website into a dazzling virtual shopping place with beautifully-designed themes. There stand 9 free themes and 64 paid themes, whose prices range from $140 to $180.
To start up the most basic dropshipping store, you have to pay approximately $31/month on Shopify.
Unlike Shopify, WooCommerce is a free open-source eCommerce platform which runs on WordPress software. It’s entirely free. However, users do need to pay for hosting. Many hosting providers are available out there so there is no fixed price. The lowest price is approximately $12/month including free SSL certificate. To build a complete WooCommerce website, don’t forget to buy a domain name, which is from $12/year. In fact, you can invest more for the theme and some add-ons for your store to thrive.
Basically, to kick start the dropshipping business on WooCommerce, you may have to pay for:
Hosting (minimum monthly payment $12) + domain name (minimum annual payment $12) + theme + add-on.
The most basic dropshipping store may cost at least $13/month.
However, beside the mentioned above fees, Shopify charges fees per transaction. The detailed fees are elaborated as follows. Merchants can reduce part of the fees by applying Shopify Payment.
In the meantime, WooCommerce integrates with certain major payment options. Each payment gateway varies in cost. Merchants can avail of WooCommerce Payments to manage every payment directly on WooCommerce Dashboard. There is no setup charge and monthly fee for WooCommerce Payment, however, you have to pay 2.9% + $0,30 for each transaction from U.S.-issued debit and credit cards. There’s an additional fee of 1% for cards issued outside the U.S.
Some other payment gateway costs are around 2.9% + $0,30 per transaction coupled with a monthly fee of $0 – $30 per month based on the chosen payment gateway and its plan.
Set up time
It’s quite straightforward to register a store on Shopify. Just fill in your email address on Shopify website, add business-related information, choose a theme, upload your products and do things alike. The setup process may take you anywhere from 30 – 40 minutes. No technical skills required. Every section of the site is well-tailored to be ready for launching.
Before putting your dream store into practice on WooCommerce, you have to choose hosting, download WordPress, add WooCommerce as a plugin and register a store, then customize your store and upload products. Certain plugins may help you to make a perfect website with pleasant experience for customers. The setup time may take a bit longer since WooCommerce requires more time to move back and forth between the dashboard and frontend.
As Shopify is an all-in-one commerce solution, it allows everyone, even non-technical knowledge users to form a store of their dreams with full functionality in little time. However, when you want to build more than one store, Shopify will take you the same amount of time to set up from the beginning to end. Meanwhile, Duplicator – a plugin on WordPress, makes store recreation effortless and time-saving.
WooCommerce is a free plugin on WordPress – an open-source platform, therefore, you have full control over your website. The determination of what to sell on your site won’t be affected by any terms or policy of WooCommerce. Just make sure that the items are legal in both your current country and customers’ location.
Meanwhile, Shopify requires every seller to follow its Acceptable Use Policy. Merchants are not entitled to sell specific firearm-related items and certain firearm parts. These restricted items are applied for both dropshipping and conventional trading methods.
Marketing has an integral role to play in the business development, especially dropshipping businesses, as it can substantially boost the dissemination of a brand and deliver products’ images to potential customers. As a result, marketing tools should be taken into consideration when deciding an appropriate platform to kickstart your dropshipping business.
Shopify allows merchants to connect with customers through email marketing, list products for free on Google Shopping and create Facebook Ads in minutes right from Shopify. Moreover, you can attract more audiences and enhance store traffic with Shopify’s built-in blog.
You are also armed with SEO tools to edit title tags, meta descriptions and product elaboration. However, Shopify has an obvious limitation in SEO that irritates users and reduces the SEO-friendliness. In fact, you cannot freely edit URLs on Shopify. There will always be a subfolder structure in your blog URLs.
Your efforts in marketing are all recorded and displayed in particular reports which are available in your Shopify’s plan. Additionally, you have a wide range of app choices in the Shopify app store. Specifically, Kit by Shopify can help you with distinct advantages.
Unlike Shopify with built-in features, WooCommerce needs you to add different plugins to optimize its performance. You can find SEO tools like:
- Yoast SEO: Superb plugin that optimizes your blogs with readability and SEO improvement suggestions.
- All In One SEO Pack: Exceptional help for both beginners and experts with simple operation and advanced features coupled with API.
- Smush: Top-notch plugin for image optimization and compression.
and other dozens of marketing tools in the plugins gallery of WordPress.
Empowered by one of the biggest dedicated blogging platforms, SEO capabilities on WooCommerce is vastly increased. You are free to choose URLs for your blogs, which massively boosts your site ranking. Find out more Shopify vs WooCommerce SEO.
It is undeniable that plugins, extensions or apps offer you tons of useful functionality that definitely facilitate your dropshipping process. Fortunately, both platforms provide you with a myriad of feature-rich solutions for dropshipping. Basically, the apps/plugins send orders from customers directly to compatible suppliers that you have set before and inform you the details.
Among 123 apps available for dropshipping on Shopify, a sponsored app that gains high rating is Oberlo. Good news, you can experience Oberlo with an entirely free plan or get more helpful functionality with Basic plan ($29,90/month) and Pro plan ($79,90/month).
On WooCommerce, you can easily find WooCommerce Dropshipping, who will elevate your business. It has one and only plan which costs $49/year.
Both Oberlo and WooCommerce Dropshipping offers you a plethora of trending products on Aliexpress which may later become a license to print money. Simply add the products to your store and start selling universally. Everything you need to do is to choose proper suppliers and products.
Shopify is famous for its dedicated support through multiple channels. Every merchant can contact the support team via phone, email and live chat. The assistance from Shopify is available 24/7. The round the clock help will make a significantly positive contribution to your business growth as you can reduce unnecessary waiting time. The sooner sellers get out of stuck, the more money they can earn.
On the other hand, WooCommerce won’t give you any official help from the support team. However, with a massive community of users all over the world, you can get a helping hand from professionals, experts or developers through its forums. There are also regular in-person meetings for WordPress and WooCommerce users. In fact, you may have to wait to receive proper answers to your issues.
Regarding the support from dropshipping apps, Orberlo and WooCommerce Dropshipping also give you a hand with content-rich documentation which provides you with almost every solution to your common and rare problems. Merchants can also submit tickets to ask for assistance if they cannot find answers on the documentation.
Apparently, WooCommerce cannot beat Shopify in terms of support since it takes more time on WooCommerce to get a reliable and potent solution.
Dropshipping is a revolutionary method of selling that can be a golden goose if you pursue effective strategies. In the battle of Shopify vs WooCommerce for dropshipping, there is no winner. The decision is made based on your demand and your business.
With the beginner who is not tech-savvy, Shopify is a top choice since you can build up everything without a hitch in a short amount of time. It may cost you more, however, it is totally cost-effective.
On the other side, WooCommerce may be more suitable for ecommerce experts since it requires more time to set up a store on this platform. Nevertheless, it’s an open-source, you can create anything you want providing you have technical skills.
If you have already had your own decision and you’re not really satisfied with it, LitExtension can help you to experience and grow your business on another platform by migrating from Shopify to WooCommerce or from WooCommerce to Shopify. LitExtension also offers you a free demo migration that you can check the process of migration yourself and check the result on the target site.
Hope that our article gives you an overview of pros and cons of dropshipping and general knowledge of dropshipping on two of the greatest ecommerce platforms. Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.