The top 5 UK dropshipping suppliers and companies for small businesses 2024

Dropshipping providers can save small retailers lots of trouble when managing inventory. Find the best provider for your small business with our expert guide.

Our Research

When recommending the best dropshipping platforms, our expert team of writers and researchers focus on the features and offerings that matter most to small businesses. We rate platforms on their price model, user friendliness, integrations with other systems, and help and support plus customer feedback.
Written and reviewed by:
Helena Young

Our independent reviews are funded in part by affiliate commissions, at no extra cost to our readers.

The dropshipping model has risen in popularity among entrepreneurs as an excellent way to start an ecommerce business. But with so many options, how do you choose the right provider for your dropshipping business?

We've conducted our own in-depth research and found that DSers is the best dropshipping supplier. It offers users integration with Shopify and has expansive store management options that make dropshipping feel easy.

Best Dropshipping Suppliers

The best three dropshipping providers for small businesses in the UK, according to our research, are:

  1. DSers for Shopify users
  2. Modalyst for Wix users
  3. AliExpress for product range

It's important to ensure the supplier you commit to will work well with the ecommerce platform you use to build your online store. According to Statista, about 27% of online retailers today primarily use dropshipping to fulfil customer orders, so you definitely don't want to miss out.

In fact, if you're still in need of an ecommerce platform for building your online store, Shopify is our top-recommended online store builder for dropshippers.

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0 out of 0

DSers

Modalyst

AliExpress

Avasam

SaleHoo

Pricing

$19.9 – 499 (around £16.42 – 411) per month, billed annually

Pricing

$0 – 90 (about £0 – 72.41) per month

Pricing

5-8% commission fee

Pricing

$0 – 246 (around £0 -202)  per month, billed annually

Pricing

$27 – 97 (around £22 – 80) per month

Plan features:

– Integrates with Shopify

– Manage 10 stores & 20,000 products

– Process orders in bulk (100+ orders)

Plan features:

– Integrates with Wix

– Add products in just one-click

– Real-time inventory updates

Plan features:

– Unlimited inventory

– Reliably large company

– Delivery from 1 to 3 days in national territory and no restrictions on European delivery

Plan features:

– 250 orders per month

– 4 channel integrations

– Product sourcing

Plan features:

– Good for high profit product selling

– Smart automation tool

– Month-by-month sales trends

Free plan?

Yes

Free plan?

Yes

Free plan?

Yes

Free plan?

No

Free plan?

No

[Prices correct as of January 2024]

While our research shows that DSers is the top overall dropshipping supplier, you might some specific requirements or needs, like a budget constraint or want license-approved suppliers. We’ve broken down the top five dropshipping suppliers for SME, highlighting their pros, cons, and costs. This list will help you find the right dropshipping supplier for your online business.

The best dropshipping suppliers should integrate directly with your ecommerce platform. Read our guide on the top online store builders to get started.

1. DSers: Best for Shopify users

DSers is a highly-rated dropshipping tool that lets you manage orders directly from your online store(s) and is synchronised in one place. It's available across several popular, market-leading ecommerce platforms, such as Wix and Woocommerce, but it operates a particularly recommendable dropshipping service with Shopify.

While Shopify provides an easy-to-use platform with customisable storefronts and various apps, while DSers serves as a feature-rich dropshipping tool that streamlines order processing, automates tasks, and facilitates bulk order fulfilment from multiple suppliers. In combination, these two suppliers together simplify inventory management, order tracking, and product sourcing.

While Shopify is pricier than some other platforms, it's one of our top-rated ecommerce website builders, making the Shopify x DSers combination a force to be reckoned with. During our recent round of testing to find the best ecommerce platforms for UK businesses, we ranked Shopify product, as well as our top-rated choice for dropshipping. Having a strong digital storefront alongside the features DSers offers equip you with extra data points to analyse to give you insight into how you can improve your dropshipping business.

DSers interface screenshot showing the Variants page with a t-shirt as a product example, showing how you can alter size, cost, price value, and Stock to Wix

DSers change product details settings. Image: Startups

Recommended for

Shopify users who want a platform that integrates smoothly with their pre-existing ecommerce setup.

Features

  • Plugin service that works through AliExpress
  • Over 150,000 merchants to choose from
  • Bulk order fulfilment
  • Shipping method pre-selection
  • Automated order status updates
  • Supplier optimiser
  • Automated address fixing
  • Available in six languages

You'll have access to the DSers supplier optimiser feature, allowing you to find cheaper and better suppliers that sell the same products as your current partners. This can help save you money and possibly improve product quality. From our first-hand user testing, we believe this feature enhances your dropshipping experience as you won't need to worry about trying to find a better deal for your products.

You can easily create bundle deals for customers and refine your offering by hiding products you no longer want to process in one click.

Despite these positives, DSers does come with a number of setbacks. Users have reported data synchronisation problems and delays in order processing, which creates the risk of customers growing frustrated because their orders aren't being fulfilled as fast as they could. In dropshipping, where products are really similar and market competition is high, a small frustration like this can push customers towards the competition. Moreover, DSers can be complicated for those who are unfamiliar with dropshipping, as its interface and number of functionalities represent a learning curve.

How much does it cost?

The DSers Basic plan is free and a really good way to test the platform. However, you'll be given a monthly limit of 3,000 products, so it’s not the best choice as a long-term solution. We'd recommend the DSers Advanced Plan, which is $19.90 per month paid yearly (about £16.42). This is because you'll have a more generous monthly limit on products and more features, all while still paying for a subscription that is affordable. It is worth noting that DSers does not charge transaction fees, so the cost you’ll pay is entirely upfront. This is the cheapest price available when compared with the other top providers on this list. This plan will give you access to:

  • a 20,000 product limit
  • a bulk order option
  • Real-time order tracking
  • 5 staff accounts
  • Save Shipping Adaptor

This is generous for £16.42 considering the market standard, and it gives you everything you need as a small business retailer.

There is also the DSers Pro Plan, which costs $49.90 per month when billed annually (about £41). While it is considerably more expensive than the DSers Advanced Plan, it does allow for up to 75,000 products and gives you access to multiple user accounts, which is a great option for rapidly expanding businesses.

All four of the DSers plans (including DSer Basic) come with unlimited orders, a free Chrome Extension, and analytics features like product statistics and sales reports.

What ecommerce app does DSers integrate best with? Shopify, which you can also try for free for 3 days.

Verdict

If you’re a Shopify user, or are looking for an ecommerce/dropshipping bundle, we recommend DSers and Shopify as the ultimate software partnership. They work together as a simple, automated shipping process that will keep your customers happy while keeping your overall costs quite low.

Shopify: Everything you need to start dropshipping from your own website

It makes sense to set up your ecommerce platform before committing to a dropshipping provider. This way, you can ensure the provider you choose integrates well with your online store.

We highly recommend Shopify owing to its excellent ecommerce offering for dropshippers – especially those new to the game.

shopify dropshipping exampple

Our own user testing discovered that Shopify offers some of the strongest sales features of all the platforms we looked at, like easy multi-channel integration (for selling on social media, etc.), fully customizable checkouts, and unlimited inventory allowance for those wanting to scale their stock without additional costs.

Plus, Shopify is a popular choice; it earned the highest customer score of any platform we tested – a whopping 4.7 out of 5! And you can find out why risk-free: start a free trial today, and see what Shopify can offer your dropshipping business.

2. Modalyst: Best for Wix users

Our second best provider is Modalyst, a dropshipping software solution that boasts a strong list of features even on its free plan. You can:

  • Add products in one click
  • Receive real-time product updates
  • Follow order tracking
  • Set automated markups
  • Use a profit calculator to work out your margins

From our first-hand user testing, we found that its mix of features is great for dropshipping beginners because it gives you generous insight into how your store is performing and if you could be making larger profit margins.

 

Modalyst interface screenshot showing showing the search results for women's clothing and accessories

Modalyst marketplace. Image: Startups

Recommended for

It’s important to find a dropshipping tool that will work alongside your existing ecommerce website builder. Modalyst is best for users who are used to Wix and need a platform that easily integrates with the ecommerce giant.

Modalyst also integrates with a few ecommerce apps, including Shopify and the large-scale software tool, BigCommerce. This makes it easier to set up a sleek ecommerce storefront and run a dropshipping businesses seamlessly, while getting all the data insights you need to grow your operation. It also comes equipped with an API that is linked to AliExpress, letting you access an incredibly expansive inventory. Therefore, if you're wanting to avoid AliExpress but want to take advantage of its product offering through another supplier, Modalyst is a good option.

However, it’s not designed to specifically fit any of these platforms, but it is the only supplier directory that integrates with Wix, our top-rated small business website builder. Modalyst was been designed with Wix’s builder in mind, so it is super easy to drop items into your Wix eCommerce store.

Unfortunately, the product offering is quite slim in terms of who your suppliers are. The selection comes mostly from AliBaba or AliExpress, which means you're stuck with products that will take 2 to 8 weeks to ship. This might make customers unhappy as they have to wait longer to get their order. To circumvent this issue, you'll need to commit to a ‘Pro' plan to access premium suppliers. Moreover, it has fewer integrations than DSers, meaning you'll have to switch back and forth between software to run some aspects of your dropshipping business.

Features

  • Curated list of independent and trendy brands
  • API partnership with AliExpress Dropshipping
  • Ship to more than 80 countries
  • Part of AliExpress Booster Program

How much does it cost?

Modalyst has three payment tiers: Modalyst Hobby, Start Up and Pro.

Modalyst Hobby is its free plan, but it only allows you to have a maximum of 25 products from the Modalyst marketplace. Modalyst Startup is best-suited for small businesses and costs $35 per month (about £28.15). TheModalyst Startup plan has a limit of 250 products. When compared with our top provider, DSers, Modalyst does not have the most generous product limit.

However, it does make up for this with its huge list of features, which allows you to perform pretty much any function on the platform. Overall, it does have more useful features than DSers but don't forget about the product limit, which can be a limitation for those who want to scale their dropshipping business.

In addition to the subscription fee, Modalyst also charges a transaction fee of either 5%, 2%, or 1% on dropshipping sales based on your plan type (Basic, Pro, or Premium). That means the more you spend on a payment plan for Modalyst, the higher your profits can be.

Verdict

Modalyst users are limited by a smaller product listing allowance, which means that there’s not much opportunity to scale. However, it’s an excellent platform for ease and functionality, and we would recommend it for any users with a Wix-built website.

3. AliExpress  Best for product range

AliExpress is one of the biggest names in dropshipping and for good reason. It’s owned and operated by Alibaba, the global online marketplace.

The platform has millions of products and takes care of virtually everything you need to run a successful dropshipping site. It handles all of your shipping and tracking needs, and gives you access to millions of products to help you build an impressive product line for your consumers.

In terms of ecommerce integrations, AliExpress integrates directly with DSers and is available as an app for popular brands including Shopify, allowing to add its products directly to your online shop.

While AliExpress has a huge range of products available, nearly all of them ship from China. So if you do opt for AliExpress, you'll need to disclose that shipping times might be delayed. If time is of the essence, we'd recommend going for DSers instead.

Recommended for

Users that are familiar with BigCommerce because it integrates seamlessly with AliExpress. It's also great for dropshippers of all levels because AliExpress lets you find trending products, do market research, build relationship with vendors, and order wholesale.

Features

  • Ships to 220 countries
  • Standard shipping takes between 15-45 business days to arrive
  • Over 100 million products
  • Low cost solution to get into dropshipping

How much does it cost?

Retailers don’t need to pay a monthly subscription fee to sell on AliExpress. Instead, the software takes a 5-8% commission fee (depending on the cost of the product you're selling) per sale, which should be factored into your pricing.

As there is no subscription fee, AliExpress allows you to sell single units or items – a novelty within the dropshipping supplier market.

If you’re looking to sell lots of low-cost items, the commission fee could become an issue. If you opt to sell premium products, AliExpress works out to be an excellent, wallet-friendly option.

Verdict

AliExpress is affordable, easy to use, and has the widest-ranging product selection on this list. However, the majority of its products are based in China, which means you’ll need to factor in slower shipping times for your customers.

Did you know?

The UK has the most advanced e-commerce market in Europe and in 2022, it had nearly 60 million e-commerce users. This means that a minority of the population are non-digital buyers.

4. Avasam – Best for inventory management

Like DSers and Modalyst, Avasam connects product suppliers and online sellers in one fully automated platform. However, it only does this with approved UK-based suppliers.

Avasam’s limited list of suppliers means that your products could be a bit more expensive than if they were coming from larger marketplaces like China or the US. However, this means your products will arrive quickly and be of a higher quality, which is helpful for branding and quality assurance.

Avasam screenshot showing outstanding invoices report page

Avasam invoice management. Image: Startups

Recommended for

Users with a UK-based suppliers list who want a strong inventory management platform. Avasam's features will make it easy to have a bird's-eye view of everything that's going on with your available (and unavailable) products.

Avasam’s toolset focuses on strong inventory management, automating inventory synchronisation so you’ll never sell products you don’t have. It also allows you to download CSV files for editing and uploading products in a spreadsheet format.

Features

  • Automated order processing
  • Verified UK-based suppliers
  • Thousands of products
  • Inventory synchronisation
  • Multi-channel selling
  • Live customer support

How much does it cost?

You’re paying more for the quality of your suppliers with Avasam. It has a low starting price point of £24 per month, but this isn’t the best value considering you could get a DSers Advanced plan for a slightly pricier £16.42 per month.

The platform has three payment tiers available. They are mostly distinguished by the number of orders they give you per month:

  • Avasam Starter (around £24 per month, billed monthly) gives you unlimited integrations and 50 customer orders per month.
  • Avasam Advanced (around £64 per month, billed monthly) gives you 250 customer orders per month.
  • Avasam Business (around £133 per month, billed monthly) gives you 1,000 customer orders per month.
  • Avasam Guru (around £202 per month, billed monthly) gives you unlimited orders per month.

There is also a free plan available, Avasam Free, which permits 10 orders per month and is best suited to newcomers or micro businesses.

Verdict

You’ll get what you pay for with Avasam: an approved network of high-quality, UK-based sellers. This makes it great pick for businesses that sell high-ticket items – but if you’re looking for the best value for money, Avasam’s meagre product allowance means it might not be the best choice, considering competitors like DSers and Modalyst have generous order limits.

5. SaleHoo Best for large seller network

SaleHoo Dropship is its dropshipping client that integrates with your ecommerce site to import products to your Shopify, similar to Modalyst and DSers. Once the stock is on your store, it will handle the shipping and tracking for customers.

SaleHoo marketplace. Image: Salehoo

Recommended for

Sellers with a large network and want to expand into a market of international suppliers.

One of its most popular products and what really sets it apart from the competition is SaleHoo Directory. For just £50 per year (or £93 for lifetime access), you’ll be able to view one of the largest curated lists of international suppliers, all of whom are carefully selected and trustworthy. This will give you the right level of confidence needed to diversify your supply chain and expand your product offering. This means it has an edge over Avasam because it doesn't restrict you to certified UK-based suppliers.

By signing up for SaleHoo Directory, you'll gain access to the SaleHoo sales team for any help and support needed. They can help guide you through the marketplace via online, over the phone, or email, and can also provide you with seller training.

Features

  • More than 8,000 wholesalers
  • Accessible price point starting at $27 per month
  • Serves in US, UK, Australian, and New Zealand markets
  • AliExpress inventory source with pre-vetted dropshipping suppliers

How much does it cost?

SaleHoo Dropship costs $27 per month (around £22). We found it to be a strong choice for very small retailers with just one or two users.

SaleHoo does not have a free plan, which puts it at a disadvantage. But if you sign up for a plan and then change your mind, there is a 60-day money back guarantee.

Verdict

SaleHoo Dropship is a strong dropshipping product on its own, but it's the SaleHoo Directory that should entice small business owners as a great way to join a large, trusted network of ecommerce suppliers.

How does a dropshipping supplier work?

The dropshipping process is quite simple:

  1. You create an online storefront with products you want to sell
  2. When you receive an order, the supplier is contacted (via automation software)
  3. The supplier packs and ships the products directly to your customer.
  4. You generate a profit from the difference.

What types of businesses are dropshipping suppliers suitable for?

Relying on dropshipping suppliers for your business can be a good idea if you're an entrepreneur looking for a fulfilment method that is efficient and has low overhead costs.

However, this means you will not have full control of the sale process. You won't have control over the product quality, delivery speed, or an oversight of possible supply chain issues. You also have to overcome the logistical hurdle of figuring out how you'll manage refunds, returns, and replacements.

How do you use a dropshipping supplier with your ecommerce platform?

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0 out of 0

Wix

Shopify

Squarespace

BigCommerce

WooCommerce

 

BEST FOR

All-round ecommerce platform for small businesses

BEST FOR

Best range of apps and extensions

BEST FOR

Best for ease of use and great design

BEST FOR

Best sales features

BEST FOR

Customisation and scalability

Overall Score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing
4.8
Overall Score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing
4.6
Overall Score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing
4.6
Overall Score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing
4.2
Overall Score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing
4.1
Pricing

£14-119 per month, billed annually
£13.50-£107.10 with code “GET10!”

Pricing

£19 – £259 per month, billed annually

£1/month for 3 months

Pricing

£17-£35 per month, billed annually

Use code “STARTUPS10” to receive a 10% discount on all Squarespace plans

Pricing

$29-$299 (around £23-£240) per month

Pricing

Free to download but themes and plugins cost extra

Dropshipping integrations:
  • DSers
  • Modalyst
  • Printful
Dropshipping integrations:
  • DSers
  • Modalyst
  • Avasam
  • Printful
  • SaleHoo
Dropshipping integrations:
  • Printful
Dropshipping integrations:
  • Modalyst
  • AliExpress
  • Avasam
Dropshipping integrations:
  • AliExpress
  • Printful
  • Avasam
  • SaleHoo

To use an ecommerce builder alongside your dropshipping supplier, you simply need to install the latter as an app on your website builder.

It will then manage the purchase, packaging, and shipping of the chosen products on your store front, so you won’t have to worry about storage or excess stock.

For example, the DSers dropshipping app lets you source products from AliExpress suppliers. Through the DSers app, available free of charge in the Shopify app marketplace, you can import products to your online store, edit product listings, and you place orders individually or in bulk.

After you make a sale in your Shopify store your customer paid for, your business then purchases the products from a supplier and they will be shipped directly to your customer.

Another bonus? Some providers, like Shopify, offer a range of additional ecommerce website tools, such as a branded invoice and shipping label templates.

Did you know?

The average success rate of a dropshipping business is between 10% and 20%. While this sounds slim, if you have the right dropshipping platform for your business, your chances of dropshipping triumph improve.

Methodology: How did we find the best dropshipping suppliers?

Our independent researchers scoured the market for the best dropshipping providers and conducted first-hand user testing. They then selected the cream of the crop based on the following factors:

  • Pricing: we know that many SMEs have smaller budgets and don't want to commit to expensive subscriptions. Therefore, we analysed the cost of the provider versus the offering of each platform.
  • Features: you want your dropshipping provider to integrate well with your ecommerce platform, to have high order limits, to have real-time inventory updates, and many other features. We analysed how generous each platform was to find you the most powerful platform.
  • Customer ratings: in addition to our first-hand research, we also wanted to make sure real-world customers are happy with their experience with each provider. To do this we analysed what existing customers said about each dropshipper.

After factoring in user paint points and our findings, we narrowed it down to the top 5 dropshipping suppliers.

Verdict: Choosing the best dropshipping supplier for your UK business

We think the best dropshipping supplier overall is DSers. This is owing to its intuitive, highly automated user experience, its generous pricing model, at the fact it's an app specifically designed to integrate with Shopify, our top choice of ecommere platform for dropshipping. You can take a look at what Shopify has to offer to see if this is the right set-up for your dropshipping business.

As we've mentioned, our ultimate line of guidance is that you should always match your dropshipping supplier with your ecommerce platform. And of course, Shopify is not the be all and end all. If you built your website using Wix eCommerce, Modalyst is your best bet.

Choosing the best supplier by examining how well it integrates with your existing digital shop will enable you to maximise your ecommerce offering, and make the most of both your online store builder and dropshipping supplier.

Dropshipping platforms can be expensive. If you want to save money and find a cheap website builder, read our guide to the top freemium web builders available for small businesses.

FAQs
  • How do you find a dropshipping supplier?
    The easiest way to find dropshipping suppliers is to use a directory. It’s a database of suppliers that’s organized by market, niche, or product, and is a great way to quickly browse through a large number of dropshipping providers in one handy online location. Another way it to contact a manufacturer. If you’ve found a product you like, you can search online for contact information and reach out to the manufacturers and ask for a list of the suppliers they work with.
  • Do I need permission to dropship?
    To start dropshipping, you'll need to register your business. Once you hit a certain income level, the majority of payment providers will require you to prove that your business is registered.
  • Is dropshipping profitable?
    Dropshipping is a very profitable business model because you can get large returns for relatively little cost. You don’t need to manage your own inventory, so you’ll save on the expenses that a traditional retailer or ecommerce store would incur. As long as you are pricing your products in a way that covers your branding and shipping costs (and in the case of AliExpress, commission fees), it is possible to make money with a dropshipping business.
  • Is dropshipping illegal?
    Dropshipping is a legal business venture. It's a legitimate method that thousands of business owners use worldwide. However, you can encounter legal issues with dropshipping if you work with dubious suppliers that use another company's intellectual property, so you need to make sure that the suppliers you’re using are verified.
  • How long does it take to build your dropshipping business?
    The average dropshipper will reach profitability within six months. However, keep in mind this is not a guarantee as your success will depend on a number of variables, including the products you're selling and your profit margins. If you're looking to make dropshipping your full-time income, this can take up to a year.
  • How much do I need to invest to build my dropshipping business?
    It is possible to set up your dropshipping business for less than £100 per month, making it a solid option for those who are looking to bootstrap their next business venture.

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Written by:
Helena Young
Helena is Lead Writer at Startups. As resident people and premises expert, she's an authority on topics such as business energy, office and coworking spaces, and project management software. With a background in PR and marketing, Helena also manages the Startups 100 Index and is passionate about giving early-stage startups a platform to boost their brands. From interviewing Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin to spotting data-led working from home trends, her insight has been featured by major trade publications including the ICAEW, and news outlets like the BBC, ITV News, Daily Express, and HuffPost UK.

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