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Blog / Ecommerce platform guide / 10 Best Ecommerce Platforms for Dropshipping: Ultimate Guide

Ecommerce platform guide

The Ultimate Guide to 10 Best Ecommerce Platforms for Dropshipping Business

The Ultimate Guide to 10 Best Ecommerce Platforms for Dropshipping Business
Karlina Rozkalne

By Karlina Rozkalne

16 min read

Online shopping, fueled by rapid technological advancements and the widespread availability of the internet, has steadily grown since the early 2000s. Fast forward to 2024, ecommerce is booming, and with it, the dropshipping market is, too.

Which dropshipping products are in demand? According to research done in 2022, trending products include fashion, toys, and electronics.

With an increasing number of people joining the ecommerce arena, the competition is getting stiffer, and it’s increasingly important to pick the right platform for selling your dropshipping products. Choosing the right ecommerce platform for your print-on-demand dropshipping store is a decision that sets the foundation for your business’s future. 

We’ve created a list of the best ecommerce platforms for dropshipping, along with the pros, cons, and pricing for each. But first, let’s briefly cover the critical factors for picking the right ecommerce platform.

6 crucial factors when choosing the best ecommerce platform

Every platform has a blend of features, capabilities, and limitations, and the importance of these elements varies based on your specific dropshipping business goals and strategies. Whether it’s user-friendliness, cost efficiency, design flexibility, or dropshipping integrations, correctly prioritizing these elements will determine your long-term success.

Selecting a user-friendly platform can save you a ton of time and headaches, especially if you’re an ecommerce beginner. An intuitive interface and straightforward navigation make it easy to manage your store, leaving more time for product designing, marketing, and building your brand.

A quick setup process lets you get your store up and running with minimal downtime. That way, you can refine your business strategy and generate revenue sooner. With that being said, setup time is only one of the criteria, and there might be different advantages to a platform with a relatively slow setup time. So, when weighing out your options, prioritize the most important criteria for your business goals.

Seamless integration with dropshipping suppliers like Printful is one of the key features for dropshipping stores. It streamlines your operations, from product listing to order fulfillment, reducing the hassle of manual coordination. To know how smooth the integration really is, you can read real user reviews on forums.

If you want to build a brand with loyal customers who know and support your story or mission, the ability to customize your store’s design plays a significant role. Plus, having a distinctive online presence lets you stand out and connect with your target audience better. If this is important, look for platforms offering robust design and customization tools.

Effective marketing (like SEO optimization, email marketing, and social media presence) is key to improving visibility and attracting customers. Platforms offering built-in marketing features can help you reach a wider audience without needing external software or additional tools.

Assessing each platform’s pricing structure (including subscription fees, transaction costs, and additional charges) allows you to maintain a healthy budget. Balancing cost with functionality allows you to invest wisely in other business areas, like paid marketing, building partnerships, or enhancing customer service and support.

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10 best ecommerce platforms for dropshipping

Now, on to the article’s most important part—find out which are the most popular ecommerce platforms and choose the best for your online store.

a man sitting on a couchSource: Shopify

Shopify has established itself as a leading ecommerce platform, boasting over 1.75M businesses across 175 countries. Renowned for its user-friendly interface and extensive customization options, the platform caters to both beginners and experienced merchants alike. Selling on Shopify allows you to use a range of integrations for dropshipping and marketing and create an authentic, brand-aligned customer experience.

Shopify’s streamlined processes, like easy setup and automated features, make it a wonderful ecommerce platform for store owners who want a reliable, efficient, and scalable solution.

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Pros

  • User-friendly interface: Intuitive design, ideal for beginners

  • Extensive app marketplace: Offers a wide range of plugins for customization and functionality

  • Robust integration with dropshipping suppliers: Includes a seamless integration with Printful

  • Reliable customer support: 24/7 support through different channels

Cons

  • Transaction fees: Additional charges apply if not using Shopify Payments

  • Limited free templates: Premium templates can be costly (starting at $140)

  • Scalability costs: Higher-tier plans can be expensive for small businesses

Shopify offers a tiered structure to cater to businesses of different sizes. Their basic plan costs $39/month, providing all the essential features needed to start a small online store. As businesses grow, they can opt for more advanced plans.

Shopify pricing plans

Shopify subscription plans. Source: Shopify

There are no transaction fees if you’re using Shopify Payments. If you choose third-party payment providers, also known as payment gateways, there will be an additional fee per payment based on your subscription:

  • 2% for the Basic plan

  • 1% for the Shopify plan

  • 0.5% for the Advanced plan

Plus, there’s a small fee to accept major credit cards, such as Visa and Mastercard, as payment in your store. These credit card fees vary depending on your plan.

Valuable read: What to Sell on Shopify: 10 Best-Selling Product Niches And 30+ Product Ideas

a screenshot of a websiteSource: WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a free plugin for WordPress that can also be considered an ecommerce software platform. In 2023, the WooCommerce marketplace dominated, owning 39% of the market shares.

a bar graph with numbers and textLeading ecommerce software platforms in 2023. Source: Statista

Building a dropshipping store with WooCommerce is particularly appealing to brands with a WordPress website who want to expand into ecommerce.

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Pros

  • High customizability: Extensive options for customization and scalability

  • WordPress integration: Seamless integration with existing WordPress sites

  • Large plugin ecosystem: Access to a wide range of WordPress plugins and themes

  • No initial costs: Being a free plugin, it’s accessible for businesses starting out

Cons

  • Requires WordPress: Limited to WordPress users

  • Some technical know-how needed: More suitable for those with some technical background

While WooCommerce itself is free, running an ecommerce store on this platform may incur various costs, such as web hosting, extra security, payment gateways, and additional plugins or themes.

The most value-packed hosting platform is Woo Express. It’s created by WooCommerce and tailored to online stores, providing security, enhanced store performance, and more. The least expensive plan costs $39 monthly.

a screenshot of a websiteWoo Express pricing plans. Source: WooCommerce

The total cost of selling on WooCommerce varies depending on your choices in hosting and add-ons. However, this pay-for-what-you-need model allows flexibility, especially for small to medium-sized businesses looking to control costs while growing their online presence.

Valuable read: WooCommerce + Printful: How to Set Up Your Online Store

a man holding a signSource: BigCommerce

BigCommerce is special for its exceptional scalability, making it ideal for businesses aiming to grow. It’s also well-known for its extensive built-in features, reducing the need for external apps. You can sell on BigCommerce regardless of the size of your dropshipping business, but the platform is especially beneficial for mid-market and enterprise brands. 

Regarding live store count, BigCommerce is smaller than Shopify and WooCommerce. There are only around 50K stores on the BigCommerce platform. And that could be an advantage! 

Fewer sellers = less competition

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Pros

  • Scalability: Suits growing businesses that want to handle increased traffic and sales with ease

  • Built-in features: Offers a plethora of out-of-the-box features, reducing the need for external apps

  • SEO friendly: Has strong SEO tools to improve online visibility on search engines

  • Diverse payment gateway options: Supports a wide range of payment methods with no transaction fees

Cons

  • Complex for beginners: Can be overwhelming for newcomers due to its extensive features

  • Limited free themes: Premium themes come at an additional cost

BigCommerce offers a tiered pricing structure. Their Standard plan starts at $39 monthly and best suits a new online business. Your plan will be automatically upgraded as your business grows based on your trailing 12-month sales volume

a screenshot of a price listSource: BigCommerce

Before committing to any plan, you get a 15-day free trial. Plus, you can save 25% by paying for the subscription plans annually. 

a screenshot of a websiteSource: Wix

Wix is a cloud-based web development platform with a handy and intuitive drag-and-drop interface. It’s one of the top ecommerce platforms for dropshipping because building beautiful stores requires no prior knowledge or technical skills. Currently, there are almost 700K sellers on the ecommerce platform, and at the end of last year, Wix drew in 50M visitors from all over the world. 

For best results, we advise using either the Wix desktop version or the mobile app. The mobile web version could disrupt your configuration process.

Pros

  • User-friendly interface: Intuitive drag-and-drop builder ideal for beginners

  • Beautiful templates: 900+ designer-made customizable storefront templates

  • Integrated marketing tools: Built-in SEO and marketing tools

Cons

  • Less scalable: May not be suitable for large, high-volume stores

  • Template restrictions: Once a template is chosen, switching to a different one requires rebuilding the site

Wix provides a cost-effective entry point for new ecommerce store owners. Although Wix offers 4 plans, there are only 3 plans that support accepting payments—Core, Business, and Business Elite.

Wix picing plans for POD businesses

Source: Wix

When selling on Wix, you also pay a percentage-based transaction fee per order.

a screenshot of a credit cardSource: Wix

The payment service fees depend on the payment provider and selling region, so research and compare these costs before deciding on the dropshipping platform you’ll use.

Valuable read: How to Set Up an Online Store with Wix Stores and Printful

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a screenshot of a websiteSource: Squarespace

Squarespace, widely embraced by the creative community, is a robust content management system that doubles as an ecommerce platform. In 2023, it was the second most popular website-building platform worldwide. Selling on Squarespace lets you create a polished-looking store with award-winning designs and themes.

a graph of a bar chartMarket share of the leading website builders in 2023. Source: Statista

Squarespace is another excellent ecommerce platform for dropshipping for individual creators, beginner merchants, and smaller businesses who prioritize design and aesthetics but may not have extensive technical skills for website development.

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It’s a suitable ecommerce platform for content creators and artists who want to start dropshipping print-on-demand merch like custom t-shirts and custom hoodies.

Valuable read: How to Sell Print-on-Demand Products with Squarespace and Printful

Pros

  • Designed for creatives: Artistically-oriented templates ideal for showcasing creative work

  • Squarespace commerce: Specialized features for selling both physical and digital products

  • Ease of use: Intuitive for beginners, with a focus on user-friendly design

  • Integrated marketing tools: Automated email campaigns and social media integration for effective marketing

Cons

  • Ecommerce capabilities: The platform may not match the advanced features of dedicated ecommerce platforms

  • Customization limits: Some customization is available, but may not suffice for highly advanced needs

  • Pricing for full functionality: Access to all ecommerce features requires subscribing to higher-tier plans

To sell products on Squarespace with Printful, subscribe to a Squarespace plan with selling enabled: Business, Commerce Basic, or Commerce Advanced.

Squarespace subscription plans

Source: Squarespace

Note that the Commerce Basic and Commerce Advanced plans give you advantages like 0% transaction fees, built-in tools to increase sales (e.g., related products, product waitlists, low stock alerts), and more. If you buy the Business plan, you’ll pay a 3% transaction fee for every sale you make.

If you buy the subscriptions annually, you get a 14–29% discount and a free custom domain for the first year.

a screenshot of a videoSource: Square Online

Square is a financial service platform that acquired Weebly, a web hosting and development company, in 2018. A year later, Square Online emerged as an ecommerce platform that’s especially loved by businesses that operate across multiple sales channels.

One of the main benefits of selling on Square is the integrated online and in-person sales experience. But this platform is also a fantastic option to sell print-on-demand products on your dropshipping store. Square Online is an open-source platform that lets you connect with various print-on-demand services, streamlining product listings and order processing and ensuring a smooth operation of your store across all sales channels.

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Pros

  • Ease of setup: User-friendly interface, excellent for ecommerce novices

  • Integration with print-on-demand services: Easily connects with many print-on-demand platforms, simplifying product listing and order fulfillment

Cons

  • Limited customization: More limited design options compared to specialized website builders

  • Basic features: Lacks some advanced ecommerce functionalities

  • Dependent on Square ecosystem: Best suited for businesses already using or planning to use Square’s other services

Regarding pricing, Square Online offers a range of plans. The Free plan is a great starting point, albeit with limited features. For expanded capabilities, get the Plus plan for $29/month or the Premium plan for $79/month. These paid plans offer additional features like custom domain support, advanced reporting, and a free domain for a year.

The Free and the Plus plans have a 2.9% product price commission, the Premium plan has a slightly reduced product commission of 2.6%, and all plans entail paying $0.30 per transaction.

a screenshot of a websiteSource: Square Online

Square Online is a well-suited option for those already within or planning to enter the Square ecosystem, offering basic online selling tools without the complexity of more advanced platforms.

a screenshot of a phoneSource: Ecwid

Ecwid is a unique ecommerce platform that allows business owners to add an online store to their existing ecommerce website instead of building a new site from scratch. It stands out for its ability to integrate with several website builders like WordPress, Wix, and Weebly.

Pros

  • Easy integration: Seamlessly integrates with existing websites, blogs, and social media pages

  • Mobile management: A mobile app for managing your store on the go

  • Global reach: Ideal for international sales, supporting multiple languages and currencies, 

  • No transaction fees: No setup or transaction fees with any of the plans

Cons

  • Limited design customization: Design options can be somewhat restrictive compared to other ecommerce platforms

  • Basic features in cheaper plans: Advanced features are limited to higher-tier subscriptions

  • Dependent on existing website structure: Ecwid’s functionality relies on the capabilities of the website it’s added to

To sell on Ecwid, you must choose between 4 plans to fit your dropshipping business needs. If you’re not paying annually, the Venture plan costs $19/month, the Business plan is $39, and the Unlimited plan is $99 monthly.

screens screenshot of a price listSource: Ecwid

You should also know that pricing is more expensive outside the US.

a yellow and black textSource: Style Factory

Ecwid is cost-effective because there are no transaction or setup fees. Plus, there’s a free plan that you can use to build your dropshipping store and upgrade to a paid plan later on.

a hand holding a bookSource: Big Cartel

Big Cartel is tailored specifically for small, independent artists and creators looking to sell their work online. It’s a niche platform that focuses on simplicity and ease of use, with a particular emphasis on handcrafted goods and print-on-demand products.

The most popular product category on the ecommerce platform is apparel. Coincidentally, apparel products are continuously among the top best-selling print-on-demand products.

a circular chart with different colored linesSource: Store Leads

Valuable read: 11 High Profit Margin Dropshipping Products + Examples

Pros

  • Specially designed for artists: Ideal for individual creators and small businesses

  • Ease of use: Simple setup and management

  • Free for small stores: A free plan for up to 5 product listings

Cons

  • Limited features: Basic functionalities compared to big ecommerce platforms

  • Finite customization: With 20 design templates, customization is somewhat restricted

  • Scalability: This dropshipping platform may not be suitable for expanding businesses

  • No built-in payment processor: To accept payments, you must pick Stripe or PayPal

Big Cartel’s pricing structure is particularly appealing for new, small-scale sellers. It allows you to start for free with up to 5 product listings, making it an excellent choice for artists beginning to explore online sales. 

For those requiring up to 50 listings, subscriptions start at $9.99/month. If you want to list over 50 products, you must get the plan for $19.99/month, and you’ll get priority customer service as a perk.

a screenshot of a websiteSource: Big Cartel

Big Cartel’s subscription plans are designed to be straightforward and affordable, aiming to support independent artists and small businesses without the complexity and costs associated with larger, more feature-rich ecommerce dropshipping platforms.

To sell online with Big Cartel, you must choose Stripe or PayPal as your payment method because Big Cartel doesn’t have a built-in payment processor. With Stripe, you’ll pay 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. PayPal charges 2.59% + $0.49 per transaction.

a screen shot of a laptopSource: Weebly

Weebly is a drag-and-drop website builder that helps business owners create online stores, blogs, and more. Weebly joined the Square ecosystem and is now Square Online.

Pros

  • Intuitive drag-and-drop builder: Simplifies website and store creation

  • Integrated marketing tools: Offers built-in SEO, email marketing, and social media integration

  • Mobile-optimized: Ensures your store looks great on all devices

Cons

  • Limited customization: While user-friendly, customization options are more limited compared to advanced ecommerce platforms

Weebly’s pricing for ecommerce starts with a Pro plan at $20/month or $15/month when billed annually. The Performance plan costs $35 or $27 a month when billed monthly or annually, respectively.

Weebly subscription plans

Source: Weebly

Weebly charges a 3% commission on product sales, which should be factored into your pricing strategy. 

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screens screenshot of a video chatSource: TikTok Shop

TikTok Shop represents the fusion of ecommerce and social media, leveraging the immense popularity of TikTok as a platform. It allows businesses to integrate their online store directly within TikTok, tapping into a vast audience. 

With over 1.9B active users worldwide, TikTok has rapidly become a favorite dropshipping ecommerce platform for those who want to do social commerce.

Currently, TikTok Shop is only available in the US and the UK. TikTok is working to expand this feature to other markets.

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Valuable read: Step-by-Step Guide to Connect Printful to TikTok

Pros

  • Massive reach: TikTok has 1.9B users worldwide

  • Integrated social commerce: Seamlessly combines social media engagement with sales

  • Live stream selling: Unique feature for real-time product showcasing and sales

  • Viral marketing potential: High potential for content to go viral, boosting sales

Cons

  • Platform dependency: Sales heavily reliant on TikTok’s platform and algorithms

  • Limited audience demographics: Primarily younger audiences, which may not suit all products

  • Content creation pressure: Requires constant, high-quality content creation to stay relevant

  • Hefty commission on orders: TikTok charges a 5% commission on each order

Setting up a TikTok Shop seller account is free, but sellers are charged commission fees per transaction based on a percentage of the total sale price. In both the UK and the US, the platform starts with a commission rate of 1.8% for the first 90 days, after which it rises to 5%.

So, which is the best ecommerce platform for you?

We’ve looked at 10 of the best dropshipping platforms for on-demand stores that cater to different needs and goals. To decide which dropship platform is the right one for you, evaluate which of the 6 aspects we looked at are most important to you. Then, review the platforms and see how they measure up.

As always, we’d be happy to hear your suggestions or questions in the comments section below. Best of luck in your business endeavors!

Frequently asked questions

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By Karlina Rozkalne on Jan 30, 2024

Karlina Rozkalne

SEO Content Writer

Karlina is an SEO Content Writer specialist at Printful. As a firm believer in attitude over aptitude, Karlina gives her 100% whenever she works on something new. Karlina spends her free time reading, traveling, and doing yoga.

Karlina is an SEO Content Writer specialist at Printful. As a firm believer in attitude over aptitude, Karlina gives her 100% whenever she works on something new. Karlina spends her free time reading, traveling, and doing yoga.