Best ecommerce platform for dropshipping in 2021 – Top 5 options compared

The rapidly increasing popularity of dropshipping has pushed many of the top ecommerce platforms to embrace it. However, there are clear differences in how good different platforms are for dropshipping. And what is the best dropshipping platform for someone might depend on exactly what they want from a platform. With those things in mind, we hope that this page helps you to find the ecommerce platform that is the best fit for your dropshipping needs.

1. Shopify – best overall dropshipping platform

Shopify was probably the first ecommerce platform -company that truly understood how big dropshipping might become and that quickly led to it becoming the platform of choice for lot of dropshippers. And while many other platforms have recently improved their dropshipping offering, Shopify is still, in our opinion, the best choice for dropshipping.

Key advantages of choosing Shopify:

  • Widest selection of high-quality dropshipping apps (some displayed in the image below)
  • Platform that makes it easy to quickly build and improve an online store
  • Very easy to change the products listed in your store and their pricing etc.
  • The only ecommerce platform that works properly with the very popular Oberlo-app
  • Reasonably priced
  • Allows you to accept a lot of different payment methods
  • No sales limits on any of the plans
  • You can add an unlimited number of products to your store

Shopify pricing

Shopify has three regular plans. The cheapest of those costs normally $29/month and the most expensive one costs normally $299/month. Additionally, Shopify has a plan called Shopify-lite that makes it possible to do ecommerce on an existing website. Using the Lite-plan costs only $9/month. While Shopify is cheap even with their regular prices, it gets even cheaper if you pay for a year or two in advance: in the case of an annual-subscription you get a 10% discount and in the case of biannual-subscription you get a 20% discount.

Possible downside of choosing Shopify

As you can see, using Shopify can be a quite cheap way to do dropshipping. However, it is good to be aware of the fact that Shopify charges extra transaction fees on purchases made in stores built with their platform. According to Shopify’s website, the extra fees are on the $29/month-plan 2.9% + 30 cents of each sale and decrease if you choose a more expensive plan.

Those fees mean in practice that Shopify might not be the ideal choice for selling extremely cheap products. That as the fees might force you to use a higher markup than might otherwise be ideal.

Free trial

New Shopify customers get a 14-day free trial. You can build a proper store even during the trial period. And that includes also, for example, testing the different dropshipping features and apps. Start your free trial.

2. Shift4Shop – solid option for a small dropshipping business

Good to know: Shift4Shop was until recently known as “3dcart” and their dropshipping plan is still called “3dcart Dropshipping”. Additionally, U.S.-based ecommerce entrepreneurs should be happy to know that Shift4Shop now offers them a free ecommerce plan.

If you are looking to get into dropshipping just to generate some extra-income, it might be worth testing Shift4Shop and seeing if you like it. That is because Shift4Shop actually has a dedicated dropshipping-plan that is very cheap (see prices below), but the downside of it is that it allows you to do only $10,000 in annual sales before you need to upgrade to another Shift4Shop plan.

In regard to the prices shown above, it is good to note that all the purchases renew at the $9.99/month price. And also realistically speaking it might not be a great idea to pay upfront for 3 years of the dropshipping-plan, as droshipping stores are often quite short-lived and you might find out later on that Shift4Shop is not the best choice for you needs.

On the other hand, while Shift4Shops’s dropshipping-plan is bit limited, it also has some great features. Those include, for example, the option to dropship products from AliExpress and the fact that Shift4Shop doesn’t charge extra transaction fees. Get started with Shift4Shop.

3. BigCommerce – another high-quality option for dropshipping

BigCommerce is currently the ecommerce platform that is improving the fastest. And as they also appear to be serious about dropshipping, it should certainly be considered as an option when launching a dropshipping store. BigCommerce is not as easy-to-use as Shopify, so while Shopify is a great choice for ecommerce beginners as well as for experienced ecommerce entrepreneurs, BigCommerce is best suited for those who already might have some knowledge about running an online store or a website or about coding.

BigCommerce’s cheapest plan, Standard, costs $29.95/month, which is pretty much in line with Shopify’s cheapest plan. However, it is important to be aware of the fact that the Standard-plan allows you to do only $50,000 in sales in a 12-month period. And as dropshipping tends to be about sales volume, the mentioned sales-limit means that BigCommerce’s cheapest plan might not be the optimal choice for running a serious dropshipping-business.

As part of its Essentials -portfolio BigCommerce also has two other plans that allow people to do dropshipping, those plans are called Plus and Pro. With Plus you can do $180,000 in sales in 12 months and with Pro you can do $400,000 in sales in a 12-month period. The Plus-plan costs $79.95/month and the Pro-plan costs $299.95/month. For those two plans you can get a 10% discount if you pay for a year in advance.

If you hit the sales limit of your chosen BigCommerce-plan, you are forced to upgrade to a more expensive plan (applies to the Standard and Plus -plans) or pay extra to continue using the plan (applies to the Pro-plan).

The dropshipping apps that work with BigCommerce include, for example, Printful and Spocket. So, while BigCommerce doesn’t have as many dropshipping integrations as Shopify, it still has some really good partners.

New BigCommerce users get a 15-day free trial. Try BigCommerce for free.

4. Wix – dropshipping made easy

If you are just looking for a very quick and easy way to do dropshipping, it might be worth testing if Wix might be the best choice for you. That is because Wix’s platform is extremely easy to use and because it works, for example, with the rapidly improving Modalyst-app.

Modalyst is a bit less-known dropshipping app, but one that appears to be, for example, great for finding products from geographical locations that some other dropshipping apps might not be able to find products from. And just recently Modalyst announced that the app now works also with AliExpress, which makes the app even better.

The downside of using Wix is that the platform does not allow you to do as much customization of your store as, for example, Shopify and BigCommerce do.

Regular prices for Wix’s ecommerce-plans start from $23/month and it is possible to test a limited version of the platform for free. Try Wix for free.

Good to know: If you have previously used a “website builder” to create a website and now are looking for a dropshipping platform similar to those, Wix is probably your best choice. That is because Wix’s ecommerce platform is really only an extension of their website builder.

5. WooCommerce – best for doing dropshipping on a WordPress-site

WooCommerce differs from the other ecommerce platforms mentioned on this page in that you actually need to have an existing website to be able to use it. And to be more specific, the website needs to have been created with WordPress. However, if you do happen to already have a WordPress-site or are willing to create one (you can find instructions on how to create one from lower on this page), it might be worth considering WooCommerce.

That is because using WooCommerce and the dropshipping-plugins that work with it can be a particularly cheap way to run a dropshipping store: WooCommerce itself is completely free and the dropshipping plugins for it tend to cost less than $100/year.

While the main reason of choosing WooCommerce for dropshipping might be the cheap price, there is also at least one more benefit of picking WooCommerce. That is that the combination of WordPress+WooCommerce gives you a lot of room for designing and customizing your store.

How to do cheap dropshipping with WooCommerce if you do not already have a website:

  1. Buy a cheap web hosting subscription. You can pick from the standard hosting options or you can choose one that is specifically for WooCommerce. If you are interested in the latter, see this page (opens in a new window) for a cheap option.
  2. Go to your new web hosting account and install WordPress. At least most of the web hosting companies offer simple “one click” WordPress installations.
  3. Go to your new WordPress-site, choose “Plugins” from the main menu, from under “Plugins” choose “Add New” and from there search for WooCommerce.
  4. Install WooCommerce. You have now have an online store.
  5. In order to turn your online store into a dropshipping store you need/should get a dropshipping plugin. Here is one option that seems good. It costs $89 and that should be a one time fee, meaning that if you run your store for, let’s say, 5 years the cost should be less than $20/year.

Questions and answers

How long does it take to build a dropshipping store? Based on my experiences, you can do that in less than 1 hour. Of course, if you want to add a large selection of products and make your store great, it will likely take longer, but even in that case, dropshipping is a very fast way to start selling products online.

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