Are you wondering if Shopify is a good platform for dropshipping?
It's one of the most popular ecommerce platforms for dropshipping, but the question is: is it the best one?
And is it good for beginners?
Our goal in this article is to answer those questions.
We will cover all the pros and cons of dropshipping with Shopify. Let's figure out together if Shopify is still an excellent ecommerce platform to host your dropshipping store.
Looking for a quick answer?
Shopify is the ideal platform for dropshippers. Ease of use, affordable, huge app store, and excellent customer support are all reasons why we recommend it for beginner users. There are some cons, which we will go through, but they're quite minimal.
Before we jump into the Shopify-related stuff, let's quickly go through what dropshipping is.
What is dropshipping, and why do people do it?
Dropshipping is a business model where you don't keep any inventory yourself. Instead, when you get a sale, your third-party supplier directly sends it to your customer.
For visual learners, here is our infographic of how it works:
Because you don't have to handle any inventory and shipping yourself, dropshipping is easy to start with.
And almost no overhead costs are involved, making it possible for nearly anyone to start it. These are the reasons why dropshipping is so popular.
We will jump into Shopify-related stuff next, but if you want to learn more about the pros and cons of dropshipping, we recommend checking this article:
The pros and cons of dropshipping with Shopify
To give you a good understanding of what you can expect from dropshipping with Shopify, we will go through the pros and cons of it.
These pros and cons will also include the features of the platform so you get familiar with Shopify.
Let's start with the pros!
1. Extremely easy to use
Even if you're a beginner, starting with Shopify is easy.
You can literally open your Shopify store in a few minutes and have it up and running in less than an hour (if everything goes right).
This is what Shopify's signup process looks like:
You can even skip this process by selecting ‘Skip All.' During the signup process, you don't have to add any credit card information, which makes it even easier.
Once you finish the signup process, you get to the Shopify admin dashboard. This is what it looks like:
Again, even if you're a beginner, you will have no problem navigating Shopify's dashboard. Most of the things you use can be found on the left sidebar.
Once you start designing your store, you will find that the process is also designed to be easy. Here is what the design interface on Shopify looks like:
Most of the stuff can be done from the left sidebar here. You can add new sections such as images, slideshows, videos, and blog posts.
Even if you encounter difficulties while using Shopify, their excellent customer support and community will be happy to help you.
Later on, we will go more in-depth on the support options that Shopify provides.
2. Unbeatable free trial offer
One reason why Shopify is a popular choice for many people looking for an ecommerce platform is its unbeatable free trial offer.
Shopify has one of the best free trials out of any ecommerce platform, allowing you to try it for free for three days and then pay only $1/month for the next three months.
Essentially, you can use Shopify for three months and pay only $3.
It can't get cheaper than that!
It seems like Shopify wants to remove any excuses for why you couldn't create a successful online store.
And even after the free trial ends, you have many different Shopify plans to select from, with the cheapest one priced at only $5 a month. That sounds like a steal, right?
While the Starter plan doesn't offer full customization freedom, the plans after that are reasonably priced.
Here are the three main plans for Shopify:
For most people, the Basic plan will be enough to get started with, which is priced quite affordably.
This section highlights the fact that Shopify offers an almost free three-month trial period, making it one of the best, if not the best, free trial offers among ecommerce platforms.
3. You can sell most things on Shopify
With Shopify, there are almost no restrictions on what you can sell.
Shopify has a list of prohibited products (Shopify's Acceptable Use Policy), including trademark-infringing, copyright products, and anything promoting self-harm.
However, as long as you're not selling restricted products, you're free to sell almost anything. This includes:
- Physical products
- Digital products
- Gift cards
- Bundled products
- Online classes
This flexibility is what makes Shopify stand out. For example, you can start with a physical product and easily add a course related to that later on without any limitations.
4. Great customer support
You have multiple options for getting help, including:
- Help Center
- Community forum
- Customer support
This is what the Shopify Help Center looks like:
You can either use the search bar to search for help or select from one of the topics.
Shopify has categorized its guides into different categories, such as ‘Intro to Shopify,' ‘Shopify Checkout,' and ‘Apps for your Shopify store.'
All the categories include everything you need to know about the specific topic.
If that's not enough, you can also ask the Shopify community for help!
Shopify's community is known for being engaging and helpful, so you be sure to get help for your problems.
If that's not enough, Shopify also has excellent customer support available. Here are the options available for contacting them:
The ‘Chat with us' option is available 24/7 and is often the quickest way to get help.
But it's also possible to leave Shopify a message, and they will get back to you. Request a callback option is also available.
No matter what option you choose, you can be sure to get the help you need when using Shopify; for that reason, it's one of the reasons we recommend it.
5. Many beautiful themes
Shopify has a theme selection of over 100 different themes, and 12 of those are free.
Most people will find that the free themes on Shopify provide enough features to start with, but if you're looking for more advanced customization options, the paid themes are worth considering.
You may wonder: are the free themes good?
The answer is yes!
The free Shopify themes have all the necessary features you need to create your online store.
However, if you want to expand your store's functionality by adding things like review sections or live chat, you can easily achieve that with Shopify apps.
6. Good platform for integrating sourcing and fulfillment
One of the most underlooked features of Shopify is its great integrations for different sourcing and fulfillment platforms.
And without good integrations, finding a trustworthy supplier with good products and fast shipping times can be challenging.
Luckily, Shopify has integrations with many great ones.
As an example, Spocket is a good supplier. And you can directly integrate Spocket into your Shopify store from Shopify's App store:
With other ecommerce platforms, you might have to manually integrate suppliers, which is much more complicated.
7. A huge app store
While Shopify provides you with the essentials to start your dropshipping business, not every business need is provided right out of the box, which is why Shopify's third-party apps are essential.
The Shopify app store has thousands of apps, and all the apps can extend your store's functionality.
Let's take one example, ReConvert.
Shopify doesn't have the ability to create upsells into your checkout natively. That's why the ReConvert app was created. It helps to generate more high-converting checkout for your online store.
Most of the Shopify apps have the same goal of aiding you in creating a successful online store.
Even though they cost you money, they can make more back long term.
If you want to learn more about the best Shopify apps for dropshipping, we have a full article covering that topic.
8. Scalable solution
The availability of Shopify apps, plans that can expand with your business needs, and reliable customer support are the reasons why Shopify is a scalable platform.
Many big companies trust Shopify, and if they were able to use the platform for scaling, we're sure you can too.
In case you outgrow the basic Shopify plans, there is an option to upgrade to the Enterprise plan called Shopify Plus. This plan offers faster checkout and more customizable settings, among other things, to cater to the needs of larger businesses.
9. Free business tools
Shopify also offers many free business tools.
It doesn't matter if you want a logo maker, business name generator, policy generator, profit margin calculator, or CPM calculator. Shopify offers it all for free!
Here are some of the available tools:
Once your account is created, Shopify notifies you every time they release a new tool.
Now that you have seen the pros of dropshipping with Shopify, aren't you a bit curious about the cons of dropshipping with Shopify?
There aren't too many, but let's go through them!
1. Shopify apps can get expensive
On top of Shopify's own subscription, you might want to extend your store's functionality with Shopify apps, and they can get expensive.
Shopify has many free apps, but you may need to buy a premium version to extend the functionality.
The thing is, most of the best Shopify apps have a monthly subscription.
For example, Spocket has a free plan for browsing the platform.
But if you want to take advantage of its features, you have to opt for a paid plan that costs anywhere between $29.99 and $99.99 per month.
Luckily, many paid apps have a free plan that allows you to test it before committing to anything.
Related article: The 14 Best Free Shopify Apps to Install To Save Money in 2023
2. Transaction & credit card fees
Generally, most third-party payment gateways will charge 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction. This is called a processing fee and something you have to pay regardless of whether you are with Shopify or not.
On top of these, here is how much Shopify takes from your revenue:
|Shopify Lite||$9 per month||2.9% + $0.30|
|Basic Shopify||$29 per month||2.9% + $0.30|
|Standard Shopify||$79 per month||2.6% + $0.30|
|Advanced Shopify||$299 per month||2.4% + $0.30|
|Shopify Plus||Quote-based||Custom quote|
As you can see, the transaction fee gets smaller as you have a more expensive plan.
When starting out, we recommend going with one of the cheapest plans, as you might not have many purchases yet.
Related article: Shopify Payments: The Definitive Guide (2023)
3. Limited blogging interface
When comparing Shopify to content management systems like WordPress, Shopify doesn't offer as many blogging functionalities, especially for ecommerce brands who want to drive traffic organically from Google.
With WordPress, you can install the WooCommerce plugin to turn it into a fully functional online store.
How to get started with dropshipping on Shopify
Now as we've gone through the pros and cons of Shopify, you may wonder how you can get started doing dropshipping on Shopify.
This is an exciting part!
We also have an in-depth tutorial on how you can create your Shopify store, so check out our guide on that if you're interested.
1. Sign up and select your plan for Shopify
The first step to getting started with Shopify dropshipping is signing up for a plan.
This is easy to do from Shopify's website. Go to the home page, and click ‘Start a free trial.'
After this, you will get to the signup process. It's pretty simple, and Shopify wants to learn more about what you plan to do with your online store.
This takes under five minutes to complete, and once done, you get access to your Shopify admin dashboard, where you can work on your store.
2. Start working on your Shopify store
This is how the view looks like when you get access to your Shopify store:
As you can see, Shopify gives you eight-task setup guide.
It asks you to:
- Add your first product
- Customize your online store
- Add pages to your store
- Organize your store's navigation
- Add a custom domain
- Add sharing details
- Name your store
- Set up payment settings
Basically, these are the things you need to do to make your online store live and visible to other people.
We recommend you follow Shopify's steps here, as they are all necessary for a new store.
3. Add Shopify apps
If you want to extend your store's functionality, you should add Shopify apps to your store.
To find these apps, go to your Shopify admin dashboard, and on the top, you can see this search bar:
To find apps, you can start with a broad search like ‘supplier' or ‘checkout.'
For example, you could install Loox Reviews to visually showcase customer reviews on your product pages.
Another great option is the Debutify Theme, which is a Shopify theme that can potentially increase your conversion rates.
While adding Shopify apps is not mandatory, they can help you elevate your Shopify store to the next level.
4. Find a supplier for your products
Finding a reliable supplier is crucial for the success of your Shopify dropshipping site.
Luckily, many great suppliers can be found in the Shopify App Store. We recommend checking out our article on the best dropshipping suppliers for Shopify to find them.
This article lists all the top-rated suppliers available for dropshipping.
After you receive orders for your Shopify store, the product information will automatically integrate with your supplier.
Then, the supplier will ship the products directly to your customers.
5. Double-check everything
Double-checking everything, especially Shopify settings for accuracy.
For example, if the payment settings are not set up correctly, customers will not be able to place orders.
That's why, it is important to ensure that the following are in order:
On top of these, you should ensure that your domain is set up, policies are in place, your online store is live, and your product pages are properly done.
Obviously, there are other things, but these are the main things to keep in mind.
For more information on starting a Shopify dropshipping store, check out our complete guide here!
We still think Shopify is the best platform for dropshipping, but it does have alternatives that have many standout features.
Let's go through those platforms!
Let's start the list with WooCommerce.
You've probably heard of WordPress and WooCommerce before, but if not, I recommend checking our article on How to Open a WooCommerce Dropshipping Store in 2023.
If you want complete freedom with your online store, then we recommend WooCommerce.
It's not as beginner friendly, so if you have no previous experience creating an ecommerce store, we recommend Shopify.
Second on the list is Sell The Trends Shop.
It's a free ecommerce platform that allows you to create your dropshipping store within a few minutes.
Sell The Trends Shop offers several advantages, such as fast loading times, built-in conversion-boosting features, and access to Sell The Trend, one of the top-rated product research tools.
If you want to learn more about it, check out our review on it.
The third alternative to Shopify is BigCommerce.
While Shopify relies on third-party apps for many of its features, BigCommerce has most of its functionalities built-in. In addition, BigCommerce offers superior SEO features compared to Shopify.
However, Shopify is more user-friendly and offers additional services such as free business tools.
If you want to learn more about BigCommerce, check out our BigCommerce dropshipping guide.
Reading and absorbing information and knowledge is great (definitely if it's free!), but do you know what's even better?
So, to help you with taking action with what you have learned in this article, take a look at the bullet points:
- Consider your own needs. If you need a platform that has great customer support, a good app selection, and is scalable, then Shopify is a good option. Have you looked into what Shopify competitors offer? If you're not sure, you can check our article on the best Shopify alternatives.
- Sign up for Shopify's free trial. Shopify has a 3-day free trial, and after that, you get the next three months for as low as $3. This should be enough to give you an idea of whether you like Shopify.
- Start creating your store. We quickly went through this already, but if you want to look at a comprehensive tutorial for creating your Shopify store, we have a guide on that.
- Find a supplier. To create a successful Shopify dropshipping website, it's important to have a good supplier. We recommend you check out the best dropshipping suppliers for the Shopify article we've done to get you the best supplier.
After looking at both the pros and cons, you should now know whether to use Shopify for your ecommerce store.
Shopify is the best ecommerce dropshipping solution for most people. The community is amazing, and there are an infinite amount of resources that can help you create your Shopify store.
So is Shopify still good for dropshipping in 2023? The real question is, ‘Are you ready to start dropshipping in 2023?'
If you are, then go get your free Shopify trial here and get started!
If you are still not sure whether dropshipping is right for you, head on over to our article on Dropshipping in 2023: Is It Still Worth It?
And if you're unsure if you want to use Shopify, check out these 14 Shopify alternatives.
Want to learn more about dropshipping?
Ready to move your dropshipping store to the next level? Check out the articles below: