Hi, I'm Gui, Senior Developer here at Dropified and I want to shed some light into the question of finding the right e-commerce platform to support your dropshipping business.
An e-commerce platform is simply a website that provides a front customer-facing portion and an administration area to your online store.
Shopify is an excellent platform with lots of resources and third party plugins. But as excellent as this sounds, it may not always be the best or the only solution out there that fits your needs. Some of the most successful dropshippers I have seen maintain a long term relationship with e-commerce service providers and platforms other than Shopify. So take your time to check them out and make the right choice for your needs.
Ok, now let's start with a few basic requirements most e-commerce platforms have, that you should evaluate, starting from front to admin.
Easy To Use Checkout
Customers want an easy checkout experience when on your store and you don't want any distractions that can prevent them from paying. Having them being redirected to a consolidated payment platform is a good way to start. You will need your e-commerce platform to provide integrations with known payment gateways like Paypal or Stripe.
Your store should have your brand and your colors. Make sure the platform you choose allows you to easily update your store’s look and feel without losing its professional face. After all, we all want a unique store, just not so different that people are scared when they visit, but just enough for them to recognize it’s an e-commerce store and have a sense of familiarity.
Customers are the lifeblood of your store and you want them back after the first purchase. Having a customer area that saves their profile information and that is easy to use is important. Using a platform that provides the ability to send emails with order status is key so your customers feel safe and cared about.
You should also consider having easy login buttons with Facebook or Google because not everyone wants to spend more than a minute filling in identification forms.
When editing or adding your products, you want it to be fast. You’ll want to have multiple customizing features like variants, uploading images, setting inventory so you don't sell out of stock items and the ability to define the price with discounts for each variant.
Some of the things that should be possible with multiple variants are:
- Attract different customers with specific variant discounts
- Show only a few variants of your product, simplicity is key
- Show a lot of variants to your products, variety is key
- Define which images show for each variant to increase user experience
Ahh… the rewards for a job well done. This is where you'll see each cart order that was checked out and paid for. Your regular e-commerce platform displays your orders as soon as they come in and provide the correct status for each of them. From here you will process your sourced products and send confirmations to your customers.
It’s also handy to be able to easily refund orders. Sure it hurts, but sometimes it can be converted into another sale, so don't get upset when providing refunds.
These are some of the basic requirements for a platform.
Some of the platforms outside of Shopify that offer these basic requirements are:
So yes, setting up your dropshipping store without Shopify is possible and very easy to do with the platforms listed above.
Try them out and see how you like each one, then pick the right one for your needs.
Then when you’re all set up, don’t forget that Dropified has simple integrations with all of those platforms and is ready to help you source and fulfill products with all of them.