The top 5 UK dropshipping suppliers and companies for small businesses 2023 Dropshipping providers can save small retailers lots of trouble when managing inventory. Find the best provider for your small business with our expert guide. Written by Helena Young Updated on 30 October 2023 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 Lead Writer 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:DSers for Shopify usersModalyst for Wix usersAliExpress 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. Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Best for Shopify users DSers Best for Wix users Modalyst Best for product range AliExpress Best for inventory management Avasam Best for large seller network 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 November 2023]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. Don't Forget You Need an Ecommerce Platform Shopify is our #1 recommendation if you need your online store to integrate with a dropshipping provider Visit Shopify Dropshipping . This article will cover: 1. DSers 2. Modalyst 3. AliExpress 4. Avasam 5. SaleHoo How does a dropshipping supplier work? What types of businesses are dropshipping suppliers suitable for? How do you use a dropshipping supplier with your ecommerce platform? Methodology: how did we find the best dropshipping providers? Verdict Dropshipping FAQs The best dropshipping suppliers should integrate directly with your ecommerce platform. Read our guide on the top online store builders to get started. What is dropshipping?When it comes to dropshipping, the suppliers are the businesses you commission to ‘drop' shipments at your customers' doorsteps on your behalf. This means you don't have to stock or keep track of inventory, which can make it a very alluring prospect as a new revenue stream.Keep in mind that any part of your supply chain can be a dropshipping supplier, whether it's the manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer. 1. DSers: Best for Shopify usersDSers 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.The good news is that Shopify is 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 Shopifyproduct, as well as our top-rated choice for dropshipping. So, our top tip is to use these two powerhouses to light a fire under your dropshipping sales.Recommended forShopify users who want a platform that integrates smoothly with their pre-existing ecommerce setup.FeaturesPlugin service that works through AliExpressOver 150,000 merchants to choose fromBulk order fulfilmentShipping method pre-selectionAutomated order status updatesSupplier optimiserAutomated address fixingAvailable in six languagesYou'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.How much does it cost?DSers' Basic plan is free and a really good way to test the platform. However, you have 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 $19.9 per month paid yearly (about £16.42). 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 limita bulk order optionReal-time order tracking5 staff accountsSave Shipping AdaptorThis 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 billed annually (about £41). While it is considerably more expensive than DSers Advanced Plan, it does allow you to purchase 75,000 products and have 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.VerdictIf 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 and your costs 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 offering for dropshippers – especially those new to the game.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 usersComing in at number two is Modalyst, another dropshipping software solution that boasts a strong list of features – even on its free plan. You can:Add products in one clickReceive real-time product updatesFollow order trackingSet automated markupsUse a profit calculator to work out your marginsFrom our first-hand user testing, we thought this 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 marketplaceRecommended forModalyst is best for users who are used to Wix and need a platform that easily integrates with the ecommerce giant. This combination is great as you'll avoid the headaches of having to juggle numerous platforms may not gel well together.As we’ve touched on before, it’s important to find a dropshipping tool that will work alongside your existing ecommerce website builder. Modalyst integrates with a few different ecommerce apps, including Shopify and the large-scale software tool, BigCommerce. It also comes equipped with an API linked to AliExpress, which lets you access an incredibly expansive inventory. Therefore, if you're not convinced by AliExpress but still want to take advantage of its product offering through another supplier, Modalyst is a good option.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.FeaturesCurated list of independent and trendy brandsAPI partnership with AliExpress DropshippingShip to more than 80 countriesPart of AliExpress Booster ProgramHow much does it cost?Modalyst has two payment tiers. Modalyst Startup is best-suited for small businesses and costs $35 per month (about £28.15).Compared to DSers, Modalyst does not have the most generous product limit. Its free plan, Modalyst Hobby, allows you to buy just 25 products from the Modalyst marketplace, while the Modalyst Startup tier has a limit of 250 products.However, it makes up for this with its huge list of features, which allows you to perform pretty much any function on the platform.On top of the upfront cost, 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.VerdictModalyst 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. Interested in Modalyst? You need Wix! Modalyst was designed with the Wix ecommerce platform in mind. Together, they can supercharge your dropshipping business Visit Wix for Free . 3. AliExpress – Best for product rangeAliExpress is probably one of the best-known 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 offers millions of products to help you build up an impressive product line for your consumers.In terms of ecommerce integrations, AliExpress integrates directly with DSers to be available as an app for popular brands including Shopify, so you can add its products directly to your online shop.So what’s the drawback? Well, while AliExpress has a huge range of products available, nearly all of them ship from China. That won’t be an issue for most SMEs, as your customers probably won’t be expecting super fast shipping, but it’s something that could cause service issues down the road. Therefore, keep in mind that if you go for AliExpress you'll need to disclose shipping times might be delayed. If time is of the essence, we'd recommend going for DSers instead.Recommended forUsers that are already used to BigCommerce as this is the platform that best integrates with AliExpress. It's also great for dropshippers of all levels, as AliExpress lets you find trending products, do market research, build relationship with vendors, and order wholesale, meaning you have lots of accessible tools at your reach.FeaturesShips to 220 countriesStandard shipping takes between 15-45 business days to arriveOver 100 million productsLow cost solution to getting into dropshippingHow 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.Another upside to being able to sell for free is that, because you’re being charged per item, AliExpress allows you to sell single units or items – a novelty within the dropshipping supplier market.If you’re looking to flog lots of low-cost items, the commission fee could become an issue. But for selling more expensive products, AliExpress works out to be an excellent, wallet-friendly option.VerdictAliExpress 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 managementLike DSers and Modalyst, Avasam connects product suppliers and online sellers in one fully automated platform. However, it does this only with approved UK-based suppliers.Avasam’s limited list of suppliers can make your products a bit more expensive than if they were coming from larger marketplaces like China or the US. Still, you can rest assured that your products will arrive quickly and be high quality, which is helpful for your branding and quality assurance.Avasam invoice managerRecommended forUsers that have a fully UK-based suppliers list who want a strong inventory management platform. Avasam's features will make it easy to have a birds eye view of everything that's going on with your available (and not available) products.Strong inventory management is also a big focus of Avasam’s toolset. The platform will cleverly automate your inventory syncing so you’ll never sell products you don’t have, and also allows you to download CSV files for editing and uploading products in a spreadsheet format.FeaturesAutomated order processingVerified UK-based suppliersThousands of productsInventory synchronisationMulti-channel sellingLive customer supportHow much does it cost?You’re paying more for the quality of your suppliers with Avasam. It has a low starting price point of £15.75 per month, but this isn’t the best value for what you get.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 orders per month.Avasam Advanced (around £64 per month, billed monthly) gives you 250 orders per month.Avasam Business (around £133 per month, billed monthly) gives you 1,000 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.VerdictYou’ll get what you pay for with Avasam. A uniquely approved network of high-quality, UK-based sellers makes it great for high-ticketed 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. 5. SaleHoo – Best for large seller networkSaleHoo.com is an ecommerce company that offers different products to help retailers and wholesalers to dropship.SaleHoo Dropship is its newest dropshipping product, and acts similarly to Modalyst and DSers, integrating with your ecommerce site to import products to your Shopify store in minutes and take care of shipping and tracking for customers.SaleHoo marketplaceRecommended forSellers that have a large network and who want to expand into a market of international suppliers to expand their offering.But one of its most popular products, and the one that really sets it apart from the competition, is the 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, making your selection more expansive and competitive. This means it has an edge over Avasam as it doesn't restrict you to certified UK-based suppliers.Access to the SaleHoo Directory brings with it help and support tools in the shape of the SaleHoo sales team. They are there to guide you through the marketplace, either online, over the phone or via email, and can also provide you with seller training.FeaturesMore than 8,000 wholesalersAccessible price point starting at $27 per monthServes in US, UK, Australian and New Zealand marketsAliExpress inventory source with pre-vetted dropshipping suppliersHow much does it cost?SaleHoo Dropship costs $27 per month (around £22). It’s a strong choice for very small retailers, and is suitable for just one or two users.SaleHoo does not have a free plan on this list, which puts it at a disadvantage. But if you sign up for a plan and then change your mind, there is still a 60-day money back guarantee.VerdictSaleHoo 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?Dropshipping is almost a “done-for-you” product shipping service from you to your new potential customers. The process is quite simple and goes as follows:You create an online storefront with products you wish you sellWhen you receive an order, the supplier is contacted (by you or automation software)The supplier packs and ships the products directly to your customer.You profit 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, dropshipping requires businesses to not have full control of their operation. With a dropshipping supplier, you have no full control over product quality, delivery speed or supply chain issues. You also have to overcome the logistical hurdle of figuring out how you'll manage refunds, returns and replacements. If all of these things are not a turn off, then dropshipping is for you. How do you use a dropshipping supplier with your ecommerce platform? Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward BEST ALL ROUND BEST SALES FEATURES 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 £7.50-£119 per month£6.75-£107.10 with code “GET10!” Pricing £19 – £259 per month, billed annually£1/month for 3 months Pricing £17-£35 per month, billed annuallyUse 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: DSersModalystPrintful Dropshipping integrations: DSersModalystAvasamPrintfulSaleHoo Dropshipping integrations: Printful Dropshipping integrations: ModalystAliExpressAvasam Dropshipping integrations: AliExpressPrintfulAvasamSaleHoo Try Wix Try Shopify Try Squarespace Visit site Try WooCommerce To use an ecommerce builder alongside your dropshipping supplier, you simply need to install the latter as an app within your website builder.It will then act as your sales team to manage the purchase, packaging and shipping of your chosen products, so you won’t have to worry about overseeing these time-consuming processes yourself.For example, DSers is a dropshipping app that 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 place orders individually or in bulk.After you make a sale in your Shopify store, you then purchase the products from a supplier and they will be shipped directly to your customer.Another bonus? You’ll be able to take advantage of ecommerce website tools that platforms like Shopify can afford, such as 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 searched the market for the best dropshipping providers, and after conducting some first-hand user testing, selected the cream of the crop based on the following factors:Pricing: we know that lots of SMEs are budget strapped and don't want to commit to expensive subscriptions. Therefore, we analysed whether the money you're putting down is worth it based on what each platform offers.Features: you want your dropshipping provider to integrate well with your ecommerce platform, to have low limits on order, to have real-time inventory updates and many other features. Therefore, we analysed how generous each platform was to find you the most powerful platform based on your business needs.Customer ratings: besides our first-hand research, we also wanted to make sure customers are happy with their experiences so that you don't have to live through the same paint points. Therefore, we analysed what existing customers had to say 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 businessWe 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 to get set up with, read our guide to the top freemium web builders available for small businesses. FAQs How do you find dropshipping suppliers for UK small businesses? 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, more direct route to finding a dropshipping supplier is contacting a manufacturer. If you’ve found a product you like, you can search online for contact information to reach out to the manufacturers and ask for a list of the suppliers they work with. Do I need permission to dropship? All you’ll need to do in order to dropship is register your business once you start making sales. This is because, 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, as you can get big returns for relatively little cost. Since you don’t need to manage your own inventory, you’ll be saving on all 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) you will easily make money with a dropshipping business. Is dropshipping illegal? Dropshipping is a 100% 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, your success will depend on a number of variables like the product you're selling and your profit margins. If you're looking to make dropshipping your full-time income, that usually takes about a year, if all things go well. 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, making it a solid option for those who are looking to bootstrap their next business venture. Startups.co.uk is reader-supported. If you make a purchase through the links on our site, we may earn a commission from the retailers of the products we have reviewed. This helps Startups.co.uk to provide free reviews for our readers. It has no additional cost to you, and never affects the editorial independence of our reviews. Share this post facebook twitter linkedin Tags News and Features Written by: Helena Young Lead Writer 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.