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Should I Dropship with Amazon or Use Shopify? Which One Is Better for Your Dropshipping Business

August 19 2021 10:14
Winnie

Amazon dropshipping vs. Shopify dropshipping, which is better for your business? There is a lot to that question. Both options provide robust platforms on which to run your eCommerce business. However, they both have their own features, benefits, and limitations. In addition to that, each online seller has their own set of needs and unique circumstances to consider. So the question isn't really which one is best, but rather, which one is best for you.

Amazon Dropshipping vs. Shopify Dropshipping – Getting it Right from the Start

If you are just getting started in eCommerce or are thinking of adding another storefront to your existing business, the choice of platform is critical. You need to carefully assess the options and comb through the pros and cons based on your particular needs. Making the correct choice not only means that you can create a seamless experience for you and your customers, but it also keeps you from having to make a major change mid-stream.

Once your eCommerce store is up and running, starting over with a new platform would be a significant waste of time and money. Still, if the platform you choose just doesn't work for what you are trying to do, you may have no choice. A little research can help you avoid such a costly outcome.

Comparing Shopify vs. Amazon for Dropshipping

To help you make the right choice the first time, we will examine the ease of use, features, customization, support, and available analytics. We will also look at the pricing for each and look at what help if any, they offer to help attract customers.

Ease of Use

We will start by comparing Amazon Dropshipping vs. Shopify Dropshipping in terms of ease of use. That is because, for some, this is the most crucial issue. Today, you don't need to be a technical wizard to start an eCommerce drop shipping business. However, some platforms make things easier than others. You can decide for yourself where you stand in terms of technical ability and desire to learn new things. Once you do, you may choose where this category sits in terms of priority.

In other words, if figuring out new things isn't your cup of tea, and you don't happen to have an expert helping you, you might prioritize ease of use. If that is the case, you will likely find that Amazon is the favorite here. This is because Amazon does most of the work for you. Just create an account and follow the steps on the startup pages. For many, the hardest part is dealing with uploading images, but that gets easier the more you do it. As you will read later, keep in mind that Amazon keeps it simple by keeping the feature set limited.

This isn't to say the Shopify requires a high degree of technical know-how. However, since there are so many customization options and powerful features, it may take a little more time and learning on your part. Fortunately, even with all the features, Shopify's interface is intuitive, and plenty of help is available. Even people with no website building experience should be able to get up and running without too much friction. In addition, if you need some help, Shopify's Experts Marketplace offers experts for hire to assist in just about any aspect of getting started.

Amazon Dropshipping vs. Shopify Dropshipping: Features

If having access to the broadest range of features is important to you, and you want the power and flexibility to create a store that works the way you want it, you will likely want to look at Shopify over Amazon for dropshipping. While Amazon's limited features make it easy to get started, Shopify has every tool you might need to run your eCommerce store your way.

Not only does it have all the basics for setting up and running your site, but it also offers tools for running your business. These include an inventory system, tax calculator, logo maker, and a pay stub generator. Shopify now even has a feature that allows you to accept tips from customers.

Customization

In making the decision of Shopify vs. Amazon for dropshipping, it is critical to think about customization. Depending on your vision, business plan, and featured products, the ability to customize may or may not matter to you. However, suppose you want the most control over the look and feel of your site, plus the ability to set and follow your own store policies. In that case, Shopify is probably the right option for you.

You can build your custom store starting with a pre-designed, dynamic template that will look great on computers, tablets, and smartphones. From there, you can adjust the settings until everything looks the way you want. From there, you can customize your own discounts, checkouts, payments, and more. 

Shopify vs. Amazon for Dropshipping: Support

When running your own eCommerce business, running into problems can get expensive fast. This is especially true if you are stuck waiting for support while your site is offline and you aren't selling anything.

In modern web service platforms, there are two types of support. The first is the "DIY" type which offers guides, tutorials, videos, forums, and other tools that you can access yourself any time you want. Both Shopify and Amazon both offer robust DIY support. Amazon's beginner's guide will show you everything you need to get started. Shopify also features a help center with resources to improve and troubleshoot your site.

The second type of support refers to when you need an actual human via phone, email, or chat to help you. This is where Shopify shines over Amazon. If you run your dropshipping business on Shopify, you can count on 24/7 phone and chat support. There is always someone available to answer your chat message or take your call. That means you can get your problem fixed or question answered fast and get back to business. Amazon does offer human support. However, it can be confusing to understand what is available since different support levels are tied to plan levels.

Analytics

If you want to thrive in the dropshipping eCommerce business, you must pay attention to your analytics. The right data can help you make decisions about inventory, marketing, site layout, pricing, and many other aspects of your business. Without the data available through analytics, you are merely guessing what is working and what is not. For the average seller, Shopify has a clear advantage in the comprehensive analytics available to everyone on the platform.  You see an overview of sales with a scope as broad as monthly and as narrow as specific periods within the day. Sellers can also see data on conversion rate, completed checkouts, and even abandoned carts. You can even link your Shopify store to your Google Analytics account for even more in-depth analysis.

If you choose to host your dropshipping store on Amazon, you will not have access to anywhere near the same level of analytics. Amazon provides some basic data like referrals, traffic, and sales. However, their more in-depth analytics are currently reserved for sellers who own their own brand.

Amazon Dropshipping vs. Shopify Dropshipping: Pricing

There will always be overhead to running an eCommerce business. Still, the lower your costs, the higher your profits. Thinking about price can be difficult if you are just getting started. This is because picking the better pricing model depends on how much volume you anticipate moving through your store and what you need from your platform. For example, while Shopify offers a flat-rate pricing model, Amazon works on a per-unit-sold model.

Shopify offers three tiers of pricing $29, $79, and $299 per month. The only additional per-transaction fees are credit card fees if using their payment processor or transaction fees if you use another payment option. Amazon takes a different approach with no monthly cost and a per-unit-sold price of $0.99. Their additional transaction fees are much higher, though, starting at 8% and going up from there. Amazon now has some monthly pricing packages, but they are mainly for larger sellers and still include additional fees.

Still, most people, when considering Shopify vs. Amazon for dropshipping, take a more comprehensive look at cost. Some business owners would gladly pay higher rates on Amazon in exchange for what they provide, access to a massive, motivated stream of customers. On the other hand, sellers who can develop their own source of potential customers might be drawn to the more consistent price structure of Shopify.

Even within Shopify, there is a large range of pricing between the packages. There is quite a difference in cost between a $29/month plan and a $299/month plan. However, a closer look at the features of each shows that higher volume sellers will quickly recoup the extra costs due to lower fees and more significant discounts on expenses like shipping.

Help Reaching Customers

You can have the best dropshipping site in the business, and it won't do much good if you can't reach new customers. When deciding between Amazon dropshipping vs. Shopify dropshipping, you need first to determine how you will approach finding buyers for what you have to offer. What draws many sellers to Amazon is the built-in customer base. With millions of monthly visitors, if you sell the right product at the right price and can find your way to the top of search listings, you will have instant customers.

With Shopify, you are far more responsible for attracting customers. Whether through social media marketing, email, Google ads, organic search, word of mouth, or something else, it will be up to you to get people to your store. On the positive side, you have more freedom to market the way you want to since you don't have to follow any of Amazon's restrictions. Also, once you get customers to your Shopify store, you are not competing with the other sellers competing for eyes and dollars on Amazon.

Amazon Dropshipping vs. Shopify Dropshipping: Who is Best?

As mentioned earlier, both Shopify and Amazon have their own features, benefits, and limitations. At the same time, you alone as the seller know what you need from your selling platform. That means there is no clear winner for everyone. Still, if you take your time to review all the information from both platforms, there will likely be a clear winner for you and your business.