Dropshipping is a convenient and simple business model. Anyone who starts an online business uses it in one way or another to sell goods and promote their store online. Dropshippers don’t need to buy back products, organize storage and deal with shipping. The warehouse and logistics are the supplier‘s responsibility.
If you have in mind to create a large online store with a branched and large nomenclature of goods from several suppliers, you will need, first of all, to choose a platform for dropshipping. This is the foundation of the whole business. Keeping track of prices and inventory, changing information on the site, coordinating with suppliers, responding quickly to any changes – all of this is done daily by the dropshipper store. Automation of all its processes saves on staff salaries, eliminates errors and failures in the shop-supplier-customer chain. And now let’s talk about everything in order.
Types of dropship platforms
When starting a dropship business, first of all study: the market, product niches and competitors. Determine the target audience. After that, you can think about creating your own site, find experts and order its development. But it is expensive and time-consuming. There is another option – platforms, on which most entrepreneurs create their online stores. Starting your own business is a journey into the unknown. Take your time. Study the process as thoroughly as possible, deal with unfamiliar terminology.
There are several types of dropshipping platforms:
- The big platforms (Amazon, eBay, AliExpress) provide their platforms for first-time dropshippers. Unfortunately, these platforms set limits on the amount of goods, limit purchase prices, which significantly reduces profits. Suppliershave different quality standards and delivery rules. On such platforms is worth a try, to study the demand, but seriously work and earn money on them is unlikely to work – too tough conditions and great competition.
- Your own dropshipping platform. An excellent option, which allows you to distance yourself from your competitors and create a platform “for yourself”. But, most likely, it will not suit those who start a business with a minimum budget. In addition to considerable expense and purely technical issues, you will need to attract traffic on your own platform, competing with the well-known and already promoted sites. Such a project requires comprehensive work of experts (designers, developers, marketers), a decent investment of money and time for long-term development.
- E-commerce platforms or CMS(Content Management System) – is a third-party hosting platform for e-commerce. Have built-in templates for dropshipping stores, which allow you to connect a variety of plug-ins to automate all processes: analytics, sales, inventory, logistics, payment, synchronization with supplier sites. The dropshipper creates a store from scratch and fills it with the products of his choice and discretion.
- Dropshipping platforms provide ready-made on-line stores filled with goods from certain suppliers.
Which platform am I better to choose?
So, if you want to try how dropshipping works, without investing effort and time in creating your own online resources choose the first or fourth option. If you came to the business for a long time, you want to earn and develop, your options are two or three.
By automating your dropshipping business you are taking a step forward, leaving behind the problems and imperfections of the traditional direct delivery model. You no longer have to manually manage every step of your business.
As soon as a customer makes a purchase in the dropshipper’s online store, the information about this event is synchronized by the order management system. Special software designed to automate dropshipping processes transmits detailed order data to suppliers. Once the supplier ships the product from his warehouse to the customer, order status information and options for tracking come to the vendor’s store and to the customer’s phone.
Factors to consider when choosing a dropshipping platform
Let’s determine what criteria you should use to evaluate a CMS platform for your dropshipping business.
A dropshipping automation platform should have:
– simple functionality
– The most convenient and clear interface
– design templates and embedded modules
– free or low-cost usage
– management of multiple partners
– Adaptation for mobile version
– plugins for direct delivery stores and their SEO-optimization
– integration with mailing lists, payment systems, third-party services
– effective and round-the-clock technical support
Top dropshipping platforms
Let’s get acquainted with the most popular SMS dropshipping platforms in 2023. Based on the top SMS-platforms you can create functional and cheap dropshipping sites. They allow you to find suppliers and automate most business processes. In a few clicks you can choose and place in your online store the necessary products, check their availability in stock, quickly and correctly update the prices.
WooCommerce is the world’s most popular platform for creating online stores and online catalogs. It has a user-friendly and simple interface. It is installed on sites made on the basis of WordPress. Many well-known dropshipping companies and e-commerce businesses create their stores using WooCommerce toolkit.
Magento – a powerful, but difficult for beginners e-commerce tool, requires and basic knowledge of programming. The platform has its own forum where Magento developers and designers answer questions and conduct product reviews. It is a completely free platform, which is used by retailers and large online stores.
One of the most powerful e-commerce platforms for dropshipping. In 2016, Shopify officially acquired Oberlo, a plugin that easily connects to dropshippers’ sites. The Shopify connection simplifies all business processes and vendor outreach. The platform is very easy to use and requires no programming knowledge. You can create your own online store in just a few clicks.
BigCommerce is a resource with a simple user interface. It is a convenient dropshipping e-commerce platform that allows you to place an unlimited number of accounts and does not charge transaction fees. By setting up a trial account, you can get started with dropshipping vendors quickly and easily.
OpenCart is a free, easily customizable e-commerce platform. It is easy to work with even for “non-technical” users. Characterized by good analytics. You can use it for free, paying only for hosting.
The Step Link is a modern dropshipping platform. A convenient and simple platform for setting up your store, it integrates easily with WooCommerce and Shopify. With many built-in features, the user has access to a database of 17900+ products from 860 popular suppliers.
The platform system merges orders, synchronizes counterparty resources, automatically updates current order status, and tracks the supply chain.
Step Link is the best e-commerce platform for dropshipping, it has an open API, built-in CRM system, business analysis tools and market research. Step Link platform provides the help and 24/7 online support you need by phone or email.
Shopify, BigCommerce – provides hosting for the user. Magento, WooCommerce, OpenCart, Step Link – platforms without hosting, it must be purchased separately.
By the way, we want to dispel a myth: you won’t be able to launch your dropshipping business for free. Let’s reassure you right away: usually the cost of maintaining an SMS platform is no more than 15% of your total budget. Keep this in mind when calculating your overhead.
When choosing a dropshipping platform, analyze all the components of your business. Appreciate the full range and volume of products. Think about what you expect from your e-commerce store in the next year, two, five. What business goals should be achieved in the future. We wish you the best of luck!
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