Best ecommerce platforms for dropshipping 2023 Demand for dropshipping functionality on ecommerce platforms is at an all-time high. Let us help you pick the best choice for your business with this in-depth review. Written by Ross Darragh Updated on 20 September 2023 Our Research When recommending the best ecommerce platforms, our expert team of writers and researchers focus on the features that matter most to small businesses. We rate platforms on their value for money – including setup costs and ongoing transaction fees – design features, including store templates; inventory management; payment processing options; help and support, plus customer feedback. Written and reviewed by: Ross Darragh Writer Robyn Summers-Emler Digital Growth Editor Our independent reviews are funded in part by affiliate commissions, at no extra cost to our readers. Based on our in-depth research and user testing, there are three clear winners standing on the podium for best ecommerce platforms for dropshipping:Shopify – best for dropshipping beginners who want a simple and easy user experience, with expansive sales featuresWooCommerce – the best choice for users wanting a free and easy-to-install plugin that will get them operating as quickly as possibleWix – best for users that want an ecommerce platform offering high-level dropshipping product customisation and automatic inventory synchronisationEach of these platform lets you integrate with a number of excellent dropshipping suppliers, letting you set up a complete dropshipping solution with surprisingly little effort. Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward BEST ALL ROUND Shopify WooCommerce Wix Magento BigCommerce OpenCart Best for Dropshipping beginners who want a simple and easy user experience, with expansive sales features Best for Users wanting a free and easy-to-install ecommerce platform that will get them operating as quickly as possible Best for Users that want an ecommerce platform offering high-level dropshipping product customisation and automatic inventory synchronisation Best for Advanced users who already have experience using an ecommerce platform to run a dropshipping business Best for Using multiple channels to promote the products in your dropshipping store Best for Dropshipping business owners with experience in website building, who want to get going with minimal outgoing and support costs Price from £19 per month£1/month for 3 months Price from $6.59 per month (£5.33) Price from £14 per month£13.50-£24.30 with code “GET10!” Price from Varies – full breakdown in the pricing section Price from $29 (around £23) per month Price from Free Shopify is our top choice for dropshipping, and you can try it risk-free Try Shopify for Dropshipping What is a dropshipping platform?Dropshipping is a method of business where you commission suppliers to ‘drop’ shipments to your customers' doorsteps on your behalf. No mess, no fuss, and no having to deal with tons of boxes and packages in your own garage at home. A dropshipping platform is the software you use to manage your dropshipping operation, giving you a bird's eye view of your orders, shipments, and analytics.Since with dropshipping you don’t have to stock or keep track of inventory, which can make it a very alluring prospect (especially in these turbulent economic times) as a new revenue stream, whether that’s full-time or as a side hustle on the weekends. Try Shopify for free! Shopify is perfect for dropshipping businesses. Try it before you pay... Start Shopify free trial You'll be taken to the free trial sign-up page This article will cover: Shopify WooCommerce Wix Magento BigCommerce OpenCart How to choose an ecommerce platform for dropshipping How we test ecommerce website builders for small businesses Next steps: choosing the best ecommerce platform for dropshipping FAQs 1. Shopify Shopify 4.6 Shopify’s superb features and extensive app market give ambitious ecommerce businesses everything they need to scale rapidly. Try Shopify for free FREE TRIAL 3-day free trial PRICE FROM £19 per month Preempts and predicts what a merchant might need next in all aspects of creating a website Best range of apps and extensions Perfect for dropshipping Summary Shopify is perfect for users looking for that all in one online store solution. Its ability to predict what a merchant will need next when creating a website is a brilliant feature, and its countless apps give you complete control over your business, enabling you to grow through diverse multi channel integration options and automated SMS and email marketing. It is definitely better suited to store owners with complex, larger inventories and because there are fewer built in features, using the platform can get expensive compared to other feature-filled competitors like Squarespace and Wix. Show moreless Best for: dropshipping beginners who want a simple and easy user experience, with expansive sales featuresPricing from: £19 per monthFeaturesShopify takes the title of the most user-friendly platform, particularly for beginners. In our recent round of in-depth ecommerce product research, Shopify earned second place overall with an impressive score of 4.6 out of 5.But why is Shopify the ideal ecommerce platform for dropshipping in particular? For starters, of the dropshipping-specific platforms, it is certainly the most user-friendly and easiest to navigate – especially compared to the more complex platforms like Magento.Shopify was also designed specifically to help you build an online store – it even suggests specific add-ons and plugins from its app market depending on the type of template (AKA online store format) you select when creating your website.Here are some of the top dropshipping features you’ll get with Shopify:Unlimited inventory allowanceStock managementRevenue reportsMultiple product variantsComprehensive fraud detection abilitiesAn impressive library of dropshipping appsShopify also has some of the strongest sales features available for users, which is perfect since the basis of a dropshipping business is to make it as streamlined and simple as possible for consumers to purchase products from your website.These features include multi-channel integration options for selling across a number of platforms, including Instagram, Amazon, and Facebook. There’s also customisable checkout, plus excellent sales analytics tools that provide granular data and actionable insights on your customers behaviour.Shopify hosts your website for free, eliminating the need to purchase an expensive server. Instead, you’ll just pay a monthly fee to access and manage your site. After all, the whole point of running a dropshipping business is to minimise overheads.It's important to note that Shopify's long-standing integration with dropshipping supplier Oberlo is no more (as of earlier this year). We recommend Shopify customers integrate their online store with DSers. For more information read our review of the best dropshipping suppliers.Shopify dropshipping: pros and cons Pros: Huge range of apps makes it easy to acquire and manage your inventory Comprehensive range of POS (point of sale) options Great for creating product categories Very easy to use and set up Cons: Some core functions will require third-party apps No specialist supplier network, so you need to carry out background checks yourself What other benefits do you get when using Shopify for your dropshipping store? We’ve put together a Shopify Dropshipping guide for small UK businesses to give you more information. Pricing Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward GET 3 MONTHS FOR £1/MO Starter Basic Shopify Shopify Advanced Price £5 per month Price £1 per month for 3 monthsThen £19 per month Price £49 per month Price £259 per month Features A simple, instant storefrontUnlimited product pagesFast and secure checkout Features Unlimited productsAbandoned cart recovery Features Professional reports and analytics5 staff accounts Features Advanced reportsCalculated shipping rates Online card processing fees 2.9% + 30p for online sales Online card processing fees 2% + 25p for online purchases Online card processing fees 1.7% + 25p for online purchases Online card processing fees 1.5% + 25p for online purchases Visit Shopify to learn more about its pricing plans Visit Shopify 2. WooCommerce WooCommerce WooCommerce is best for users wanting a free and easy-to-install ecommerce platform that will get them operating as quickly as possible Pricing from Free Dropshipping-specific extensions Mobile app Freedom and flexibility to tweak everything on your site Summary WooCommerce is one of the most commonly used dropshipping ecommerce platforms worldwide. This is largely due to how easy it is to install the plugin and begin selling entirely for free. It uses a simple GUI (graphical user interface) that adds real value to a user’s experience. In other words, you don’t have to be a programming expert to make changes and add elements to your site. Because it’s built on WordPress, it’s also a solid choice for bloggers who want to become dropshipping entrepreneurs. A huge bonus of WooCommerce is that it's free, and as the appeal of starting a dropshipping business is keeping costs as low as possible, WooCommerce is certainly helping the cause. Keep in mind that, although the platform itself is free, WooCommerce is self-hosted. This means you’ll have to either be a tech whizz and set up your own server, or purchase a hosting account from the likes of Bluehost or HostGator. Show moreless Best for: Users wanting a free and easy-to-install ecommerce platform that will get them operating as quickly as possiblePricing from: £5.33 per monthFeaturesWooCommerce is one of the most commonly used dropshipping ecommerce platforms worldwide. This is largely due to how easy it is to install the plugin and begin selling entirely for free. It has definitely carved its name in the dropshipping arena, with almost a 23% market share in overall ecommerce stores.It uses a simple GUI (graphical user interface) that adds real value to a user’s experience. In other words, you don’t have to be a programming expert to make changes and add elements to your site. Because it’s built on WordPress, it’s also a solid choice for bloggers who want to become dropshipping entrepreneurs.A huge bonus of WooCommerce is that it's pretty affordable compared to Shopify, whose lowest plan for ecommerce businesses starts at £19. WooCommerce saves you £14 per month, which is a great alternative if you're tight on a budget.Keep in mind that, although the platform is affordable, WooCommerce is self-hosted. This means you’ll have to either be a tech whizz and set up your own server, or purchase a hosting account from the likes of Bluehost or HostGator. You can expect to pay £2.44 to £3.17 per month. So don’t put your credit card away just yet… What else do I need to use WooCommerce? A server or hosting accountWordPressPayment gateway extensions to facilitate card paymentsA domain name and SSL certificate Here are some of the top dropshipping features you’ll get with WooCommerce:Flexibility: you’ll have the freedom to tweak everything on your site and set it exactly how you want it, from product catalogues to the payment details section.Mobile app: this allows you to run your store from anywhere. You can process orders, monitor real-time stats and create products on the go.Dropshipping-specific extensions: these are available in WooCommerce’s extension store. There’s even an integration with AliExpress (a major and popular dropshipping supplier) to help make dropshipping easy and hassle free.What are dropshipping extensions?Dropshipping extensions are store management tools. They make selling easier by adding several tailored features to your ecommerce site, which help you manage your online store and improve sales. Check out Shopify's ultimate guide to Dropshipping for more info on extensions.WooCommerce pros and cons: Pros: Amazing level of support available online to help you use the platform, with a widespread community of expert designers and developers WooCommerce is free to install, whereas other competitors will charge you a monthly or annual fee Multiple add-ons are available for free, including WooCommerce Payments, which you’ll need to install before you can start making any money! Cons: Because it’s self-hosted, you will need some degree of technical skill and experience in web design if you want to make any big changes to your store. Some extensions that will help grow your business are pricey, so although WooCommerce seems like a cheap option, once you begin to scale it will get more expensive PricingWooCommerce platform = £5.33 per monthHosting costs = £90 annally (on average) Domain = £11 annually 3. Wix Wix 4.8 Our top ecommerce platform gives you a full arsenal of fantastic features and bags of creative freedom, all for a very affordable price. Visit Wix FREE TRIAL 14 day money back guarantee PRICE FROM £14 per month, billed annually Flexible pricing plans Perfect solution if you want more creative freedom Great additional features that support everything any up and coming merchant needs Summary Wix is the most popular website builder in the UK and our top recommendation for small businesses wanting to sell online - especially if they have relatively small inventories (20 products or fewer). When we say Wix really does have it all, we mean it. Its largely improved sales features now support multi-channels including Facebook and other marketplaces. The Light plan, at only £7.5 per month, comes equipped with 24/7 customer support, unlimited product showcasing and the option to sell on social channels. If you want further insight into your ecommerce business and control of where you can sell, the £119 per month Business Elite plan comes with customised reports, marketplace selling capabilities and priority customer care. However, despite the product priding itself on its ease of use, a rather steep learning curve is required, particularly when navigating set "ecom" functionalities. Show moreless Best for: Users that want an ecommerce platform offering high-level dropshipping product customisation and automatic inventory synchronisationPricing from: £14 per monthFeaturesIn our most recent round of in-depth research and testing, we gave Wix the title of best ecommerce platform for small businesses, scoring it an impressive score of 4.8 out of 5. But how does the platform fare in terms of its dropshipping functionality?The answer is: relatively well… although not quite as well as Shopify. Out of all the ecommerce platforms designed with dropshipping in mind, you’ll find Wix is the easiest to set up, especially compared to the complexities presented by Magento and WooCommerce.Wix’s automatic inventory synchronisation is one of its standout features. The function keeps close tabs on your inventory so that you don’t accidentally oversell on any sales channels – including your online store, marketplaces (such as Facebook Marketplace), and even on social media.You’ll also be able to integrate your Wix store with one of the UK’s top dropshipping suppliers, Modalyst. Boasting unrivalled dropshipping features, even on its free plan, with Modalyst Wix users can:Add products to their store in one clickReceive real-time product updatesSet automated markupsImporting products from Modalyst into your Wix store is as easy as pie, and once it's done you have full capacity to customise product pages, easily setting prices, product descriptions, payment options, and shipping policies all directly from Wix. For users, this means that you don't have to worry about migrating back and forth between software and potentially missing out on key pieces of information about your dropshipping operation.Here are some of the top dropshipping features you’ll get with Wix:Automatic inventory synchronisationIntegration with a top dropshipping supplier and one click product inclusionOption to add print-on-demand productsGreat SEO features and email marketing to reach your target marketAnother of the many things which make Wix a great dropshipping ecommerce platform is the outreach tools at your disposal. Wix’s SEO features are easily the best available compared to other platforms on this list, and they have even partnered with SEMrush to help push your content further up the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) rankings for relevant search terms – gaining more traffic and turning more visitors into customers.Wix is also more affordable than Shopify, with its basic ecommerce plan already £5 cheaper. Plus, despite Magento being free to start with, if you factor in the cost of all the extensions you’ll need to get up and running and compare this to Wix, you'll find that Wix is arguably the best value ecommerce platform for dropshipping.Wix dropshipping: pros and cons Pros: Integration with the best dropshipping suppliers on the market, including Modalyst and DSers Never need to worry about selling stock you don’t have - as inventory is automatically updated Incredibly easy to get started, build a website in a matter of minutes with Wix ADI and simply add on a dropshipping extension to get going SEO functionality and email marketing support to help reach your target audiences and increase sales Cons: Currently no option to change your template once you’ve published your website, so if you decide it is time for a change this will cause problems Although there is an abundance of apps available, you will have to pay extra for some third party apps that you may need to improve sales Pricing Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Core Business Business Elite Price £14 per month£12.60 with code ‘GET 10!' Price £20 per month£18 with code ‘GET 10!' Price £119 per month£107.10 with code ‘GET 10!' Features Basic ecommerceAccept paymentsBasic site analyticsAbandoned cart recovery Features Standard site analyticsStandard eCommerceAutomated sales tax for 100 transactions per monthAccept pre-orders Features Advanced eCommerceAdvanced developer platformAdvanced site analyticsLoyalty program by Smile.io Free trial? Free trial? Free trial? Claim Deal Claim Deal Claim Deal Check out our Wix ecommerce review for more information about the platform. Did you know? The average success rate of a dropshipping business is between 10% and 20%. That percentage obviously is highly moderated by the market and the products you sell, but it also has to do in part with your dropshipping platform and how well it fits into your business operation. 4. Magento Magento Magento is best for advanced users who already have experience using an ecommerce platform to run a dropshipping business Pricing from Varies Platform is free to download Large number of payment gateway options Order management features Summary It is safe to say that out of all the top ecommerce platforms for dropshipping stores, Magento is the most sophisticated and professional. Like WooCommerce, Magento is an open source ecommerce system. This means that it is constantly being improved by a community of developers, and can employ more advanced technical solutions compared to hosted ecommerce platforms that are updated a lot less frequently. This makes Magento great for creating a professional, slick online store with immaculate design functionality. If you want the flexibility to add practically any type of feature to your site, look no further than Magento OpenSource. It is the perfect platform for dropshipping businesses that are in it for the long run, and is certainly the most scalable platform on the market. This is pretty impressive considering it is free to download. Just keep in mind that, despite the platform itself being free to download, the costs of getting set up are very high compared to other platforms. Show moreless Best for: advanced users who already have experience using an ecommerce platform to run a dropshipping businessPricing from: Varies – full breakdown in the pricing sectionFeaturesIt is safe to say that out of all the top ecommerce platforms for dropshipping stores, Magento is the most sophisticated and professional. Like WooCommerce, Magento is an open source ecommerce system.This means that it is constantly being improved by a community of developers, and can employ more advanced technical solutions compared to hosted ecommerce platforms that are updated a lot less frequently.This makes Magento great for creating a professional, slick online store with immaculate design functionality. If you want the flexibility to add practically any type of feature to your site, look no further than Magento OpenSource. It is the perfect platform for dropshipping businesses that are in it for the long run, and is certainly the most scalable platform on the market. This is pretty impressive considering it is free to download.Just keep in mind that, despite the platform itself being free to download, the costs of getting set up are very high compared to other platforms. Moreover, it might not be as user friendly for amateur dropshippers due to the sophisticated technical tools it offers.This is because, even when selecting a ready-made Magento template for your website, you still need to give the team of Magento developers time to tailor the web pages to your preferences.You have to pay them by the hour, and on average, they’ll need to spend at least 40 hours adjusting the main pages – which will cost you a hefty £1,300.Here are some of the top dropshipping features you’ll get with Magento Open Source:A huge number of payment gateway integration options. This means customers are never hampered by a lack of payment optionsAn impressive set of order management features, including assisted shopping and customised order statusImpressive catalogue management for your products. You can create different price points for different customer groups, such as wholesalers and retailers.Magento pros and cons Pros: The platform itself is free to download Hugely customisable – can add any feature you want (as long as you know how to) The most scalable platform on the market Because it’s open source, the platform is constantly being improved and upgraded Cons: Despite the platform being free, additional costs (including Magento site developer costs) actually make Magento one of the most expensive dropshipping platforms available Magento isn’t a simple ecommerce platform to work with. You’ll need at least some coding knowledge to get started Support is very limited unless you have lots of money to spend on the expensive Enterprise package PricingMagento pricing is hard to calculate accurately, as the costs can vary when it comes to website design and development. But we have summarised the costs as well as we can.Hosting – £75–£350 annuallyWeb design – £0 if applying a ready-made Magento theme. A custom theme can cost up to £3,600, depending on how long it takes Magento’s developers to create it.Minimum website development cost – £1,300 5. BigCommerce BigCommerce 4.2 With the most comprehensive range of sales features around, BigCommerce gives you everything you need to create a fully-optimised online store Try BigCommerce Free trial 15-day Price from $29 per month Quality in-built sales features Excellent SEO support Great for scaling businesses Summary BigCommerce is the big budget option for small businesses with big ambitions. Its plans range from £23/month to £240/month. Quite pricey, but for that you’re getting access to the most extensive range of high-quality, in-built sales features on the market. The costlier the plan, the more advanced the functionality, of course – you also increase your sales allowance. This ranges from an upper limit of $50,000 on the Standard plan to a maximum of $400,000 on the Pro plan. And if your sales are likely to be higher than that, BigCommerce offers custom enterprise solutions. Just get in touch with its sales team to find out more. Show moreless Best for: using multiple channels to promote the products in your dropshipping storePricing from: $29 (around £23) per month (billed annually)FeaturesLike Shopify, BigCommerce is a hosted ecommerce platform that excels in the sales features department. In our latest round of ecommerce research, it achieved an overall score of 4.2 out of 5, largely due to its multi-channel selling capabilities.When using BigCommerce, you can look forward to no transaction fees (depending on the plan you select). It also has the most advanced SEO tools available in the ecommerce platform space, which is ideal if you want to get your dropshipping store featured high up in consumer’s search engine results.Keep in mind that the plan you choose will determine your sales allowance. This may not be a problem when you start out, as the standard plan gives you a substantial limit of $50,000.But if you are planning to scale and want to sell higher-end products through dropshipping suppliers, then you’ll need to change your BigCommerce plan, which can become very expensive – unlike Shopify, which has no product limit regardless of the plan you choose.Here are some of the top dropshipping features you’ll get with BigCommerce:A wide range of product sourcing apps that can connect you with some of the top dropshipping suppliers in the UK, including AliExpress and SpocketAccess to the Modalyst app, one of the most popular and highly regarded dropshipping apps available. Keep in mind that this can only be used for European and US marketplaces (which isn’t a problem, seeing as BigCommerce itself is so great for international selling)BigCommerce pros and cons Pros: Zero transaction fees mean you can make more profit in a low-margin industry like dropshipping BigCommerce’s SEO tools are some of the best available to help your site and products appear in more searches Sales and marketing features will help you reach more customers and make more sales – which is the name of the dropshipping game There’s no product limit with BigCommerce – although there is a sales limit Outstanding inventory and stock management tools Cons: Sales revenue cap means if you are planning to scale at pace, you’ll need one of BigCommerce’s expensive plans Although good for dropshipping, BigCommerce doesn’t have as many dropshipping specific apps and integrations as its competitors - particularly Shopify and WooCommerce Read our full BigCommerce review herePricing Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Best plan for small businesses Standard Plan Plus Plan Pro Plan Enterprise Plan Price $29 per month (around £23) Price $79 per month (around £64) Price $299 per month (around £240) Price Custom Features Coupons and discountsReporting toolsMulti-channel selling Features Customer groups and segmentationAbandoned cart recoveryStores credit card details Features Google customer reviewsProduct filteringCustom product filtering Features Express routing, priority support, and customer success managementAPI (application programming interface) supportCustom sales limit See what BigCommerce could offer your small business Try BigCommerce for free Did you know? Between 2022 and 2023, the dropshipping industry saw a 23.7% increase in value. This significant jump showcases how alluring a business model it has become. If you're going to jump onboard with such steep competition, you want to make sure you have the right dropshipping platform by your side. 6. OpenCart OpenCart OpenCart is best for dropshipping business owners with experience in website building, who want to get going with minimal outgoing and support costs Pricing from Free Solid range of dropshipping apps Unlimited products, unlimited categories and the ability to sell digital products Large number of payment gateways and multi currency capabilities Summary OpenCart is another ecommerce platform that is part of the open-source, self-hosted gang. A complete ecommerce solution, OpenCart provides all the features you’ll need to create a successful online store. These include the ability to add and manage products, leave product reviews and ratings, and pay via more than 20 payment gateways. There are no limits on the number of products you can sell or manufacturers you can work with, which is great if you have lots of stock available from your dropshipping suppliers. Again, because it’s a self-hosted platform, OpenCart gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of website design and features – although you’ll need some coding skills and experience to get any new elements up onto your site. Show moreless Best for: dropshipping business owners with experience in website building, who want to get going with minimal outgoing and support costsPrice from: freeFeaturesOpenCart is another ecommerce platform that is part of the open-source, self-hosted gang. A complete ecommerce solution, OpenCart provides all the features you’ll need to create a successful online store. These include the ability to add and manage products, leave product reviews and ratings, and pay via more than 20 payment gateways.There are no limits on the number of products you can sell or manufacturers you can work with, which is great if you have lots of stock available from your dropshipping suppliers.Again, because it’s a self-hosted platform, OpenCart gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of website design and features – although you’ll need some coding skills and experience to get any new elements up onto your site. We know that Magento also is free, but the key and very important different here is that OpenCart is free so you're saving lots.Out of all the ecommerce platforms we’ve reviewed today, OpenCart is the only solution that doesn’t come with any specific design templates. Instead a generic – and basic – store template is given to you when you install the platform.Managing products in the back end of your OpenCart store is very straightforward and user-friendly, so you can confidently keep track of sales, total orders and your total number of customers.Here are some of the top dropshipping features you’ll get with OpenCart:A solid range of dropshipping apps that can help you optimise your dropshipping store and connect with some of the top dropshipping suppliers in the UKUnlimited products, unlimited categories and the ability to sell digital products. In other words, you’ll have full control over items and quantitiesA large number of payment gateways and multi currency capabilities. This means customers can make payments with zero hassleOpenCart pros and cons: Pros: Opencart offers support to its users at no additional cost via ticket and email assistance OpenCart is completely free to use, and you’ll only have to pay for hosting It’s a complete ecommerce platform with multiple free plugins and themes for dropshipping Cons: OpenCart doesn’t provide any store template designs, unlike its competitors – and this limits your options when creating your online store If you want to add specific features and customise your site, you will need knowledge and expertise in coding and web building Great for a startup dropshipping business, but features become costly as you start to scale - so it’s not the best platform for growth PricingOpenCart software – freeHosting plan – around £2–£10 per monthA custom design/template – £80+ How to choose an ecommerce platform for dropshippingIt’s all well and good knowing the pros and cons of ecommerce platforms, but the most important thing you need to do is make sure the solution you choose will bring the best out of your dropshipping store.There are a number of criteria you will want to consider when selecting an ecommerce platform for dropshipping:Ability to support dropshipping pluginsDropshipping plugins (product sourcing apps) are incredibly useful and will make your life much easier. These applications have been designed to enhance your store’s dropshipping capabilities and make the whole process more streamlined.Choosing an ecommerce platform that doesn’t offer any dropshipping-specific apps will hinder your business's growth.AffordabilityOne of the primary reasons to start a dropshipping business is to keep costs down. If you are paying for an expensive subscription or web development fees, you will struggle to make much profit.Dropshipping typically has low profit margins – so make sure you either use a free ecommerce platform, or one that costs very little but still offers all the functionality needed to scale and grow your business.Ease of useThis one is important for businesses that don’t have any experience in coding or web design. The last thing you want to do is to try to build a dropshipping store using complex software with no prior experience.Be sure to check what level of skills are required for each ecommerce platform. Typically, hosted platforms like Shopify are far easier to use, especially for ecommerce beginners.Efficient customer support24/7 support and multiple contact channels are what you want to aim for. You don’t want to be missing out on vital sales because you don’t have the support necessary to fix a problem. Hosted vs self-hosted ecommerce platforms – what’s the difference? Hosted platforms are all-in-one solutions. They typically include hosting, SEO optimisation and technical support. They offer a range of sales features and provide you with online store template designs. Shopify, BigCommerce and Wix are all examples of hosted ecommerce platforms.Self-hosted platforms differ in that you build them – you guessed it – yourself. You are in charge of hosting your website, maintaining its SSL security, and storing its data. You are required to set up your own server, and a much smaller number of templates are available (if any) – you typically have to design and create your website and all its features yourself.The big difference between the two platform types is their ease of use. To get the most out of self-hosted platforms, you will need to have some prior experience in coding and web design. The benefit is that this allows for huge design flexibility and expandability for businesses looking to scale.Hosted platforms are definitely preferable for ecommerce beginners. The templates are all set up for you, so you don’t need to have any prior experience in web design. Of course, even hosted platforms have different levels of design functionality – check out our review of the top ecommerce platforms for more information. How we test ecommerce website builders for small businessesWe tested eight ecommerce website builders to evaluate them in terms of functionality, usability, accuracy, and aesthetics so we can make the most useful recommendations to small UK-based businesses.Our rigorous testing process means these products have been scored and rated in seven main categories of investigation and 47 subcategories – in fact, we covered 341 areas of investigation in total. We then gave each category score a ‘relevance weighting' to ensure the product's final score perfectly reflects the needs of our Startups.co.uk readers.Our main testing categories for ecommerce website builders are:Website Features: the capabilities and functionalities offered by an ecommerce website builder, e.g. blog functionality, SEO capability, and marketing capacity.Sales Features: the sales capabilities and sales functionalities offered by an ecommerce builder, e.g. shipping, inventory capacity, and payment options.Design: the aesthetic appeal and visual layout of a website created using an ecommerce website builder. It encompasses aspects such as page templates and customisable themes.Customer Score: external customer opinion; the feedback and ratings given by customers who have used a particular ecommerce platform – the market position and reputation a builder holds.Ease of Use: how user-friendly and intuitive an ecommerce website builder is for people with varying levels of technical expertise.Value for Money: the balance between the cost of an ecommerce builder and the benefits it provides. It considers factors such as pricing plans, subscription models, and available features.Help and Support: the assistance and resources available to users when they encounter issues or need guidance while using an ecommerce website builder.The Startups product testing process Next steps: choosing the best ecommerce platform for dropshippingYour dropshipping store vision will determine what ecommerce platform is best for you. If you want an all-in-one ecommerce solution that does a lot of the hard work for you, look no further than Shopify. Not only does it have excellent sales features and functionality, but it also has dedicated dropshipping apps and extensions to help you get the most out of your new business venture.WooCommerce is the ideal platform if you want to get going right now with minimal costs. It is simple to install and has great dropshipping extensions and sales capabilities.Regardless of our opinion, you should always compare ecommerce platforms before making a decision. This where our quick and free comparison tool comes in – simply provide us with a few details and we'll connect you with the best providers for your dropshipping business.Dropshipping for eCommerce is what flexible working is to traditional work – a more dynamic, easy way to make your business venture a success. With the right tools and research, dropshipping could evolve from your side hustle into your full time job. Try Shopify for free! Shopify is perfect for dropshipping businesses. Try it before you pay... Start Shopify free trial You'll be taken to the Shopify starting page Dropshipping FAQs Should I purchase a dropshipping extension for my store? Dropshipping extensions make managing your store easier. They add useful features to help you maximise sales, and streamline processes that can otherwise take a lot of time. Oberlo is a perfect example of this. The app works by using keywords to find a product (from a dropshipping supplier) that fits within your niche, then automatically imports the data into your Shopify store. It creates an instant listing with accurate images, prices, and descriptions without requiring any work on your end. What should I avoid doing when dropshipping? There are a number of don’ts when running a dropshipping business. Don’t rely too much on your vendors, don’t expect easy money, don’t worry about shipping costs, and do NOT be unprepared when it comes to shipping issues, damaged items or return complications. Can you get in trouble for dropshipping? No, dropshipping is perfectly legal. What is important, however, is checking the legitimacy of any suppliers you work with. Be sure that they are manufacturing products legally, and that they are not at risk of illegally using another company’s intellectual property. This could get you and your business in trouble. Is dropshipping profitable in 2023? There is no simple answer to this question. Some dropshipping businesses have an efficient business model and are certainly profitable. Top dropshippers from around the web estimate that between 10% to 20% of dropshipping businesses succeed. But as we’ve mentioned previously, profit margin is low, so you need to be savvy in order to make your business a success. 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 Brand-building Guides dropshipping ecommerce News and Features Written by: Ross Darragh Writer Ross has been writing for Startups since 2021, specialising in telephone systems, digital marketing, payroll, and sustainable business. He also runs the successful entrepreneur section of the website. Having graduated with a Masters in Journalism, Ross went on to write for Condé Nast Traveller and the NME, before moving in to the world of business journalism. Ross has been involved in startups from a young age, and has a keen eye for exciting, innovative new businesses. Follow him on his Twitter - @startupsross for helpful business tips.