Shopping around for a dropship website builder can take some time as you are trying to narrow down which service will provide what you need.
In the course of my own research, I have come across a few services in which you can create a dropship store or have one created for you.
I’ll share with you what I’ve learned about each service and my decision making process for why I would or wouldn’t use them.
Why Even Use a Dropship Website Builder?
One reason to use a dropship website builder is that attempting to operate a dropshipping business manually is next to impossible.
Can it be done? Sure, but you’ll be wasting your time trying to maintain the most inefficient online store in the world.
Dropshipping has a lot of moving parts. First, there are your dropshipping suppliers. Each supplier has different pricing and varying amounts of inventory.
Imagine having to update inventory amounts and pricing for every item in your store? These things change on a daily basis, sometimes on an hourly basis.
It is no way to start off running your business. You’ll burn out before you even have a chance to earn an income online.
Then there is order fulfillment and tracking information. Dropship website builder software handles these for you automatically.
It’s easy to understand why there is a huge need for dropshipping software.
Building a Dropshipping Business with Shopify and Oberlo
Many people new to dropshipping will learn of Shopify and Oberlo.
I was one of those people and tried out Shopify’s 14-day free trial so that I could set up a dropshipping store.
Oberlo is the most popular dropshipping app for Shopify. It enables you to import dropshpping products into your store.
Oberlo has their own source of products and also works with importing products from AliExpress.com.
Many dropshippers utilize AliExpress for sourcing products because of their large inventory and low pricing.
What I Like About Shopify
Shopify is really user-friendly. I had no problem setting up my store and connecting Obrlo to begin importing products.
Their store templates are very well done and professional looking. Using Oberlo with any of the store templates is seamless.
I also like that they have their own payment processor already built-in. There is no need to create a separate payment gateway unless you want to (each payment processor charges different fees.)
If you don’t like the fees that Shopify charges to process credit cards, you have other alternatives. It is a matter of creating accounts with those services.
What I Don’t Like About Shopify
As a new dropshipper, I was opposed to the monthly fees of both Shopify and Oberlo.
Shopify’s basic plan is $29 per month and Oberlo’s is $29.90 per month. That is $60 per month to maintain your store.
I’m not opposed to paying for software but at the moment I want to reduce my monthly expenses.
A huge part of being a dropshipper is promoting your store and that requires a marketing budget which many new dropshippers are limited in.
I began searching for a WordPress dropshipping alternative (more on that below) because I knew my expenses would be less since WordPress is free to use.
Another thing that deterred me from using Shopify is the thought of another company having so much control over my business.
By paying for their services, you are also bound by their rules and user agreements. That means they have the power to close your store at any time.
As a business owner, I want to have complete ownership over my businesses.
Creating a Dropshipping Store with AliDropship
AliDropship is the resource I found when looking for an alternative to Oberlo and Shopify. Even better, it is a WordPress plugin which meant I could finally use WordPress.
This plugin is amazing because it transforms your WordPress installation into a full-featured dropshipping store.
Similar to Shopify, it sources products from AliExpress. It also automates many of the tasks that would make dropshipping cumbersome such as:
- Auto updates product information
- Pricing automation
- Fulfill orders automatically
- ePacket shipping filter
- Auto order tracking
What I Like About AliDropship
There are several things I like about using AliDropship. One of which is store ownership. Unlike other third-party eCommerce software, you retain 100% ownership from the start.
It is a WordPress plugin which means you own your store completely. You can modify it anyway you want, sell it, give it away—whatever you want, it’s yours.
Another thing I like is pricing. It has a one-time fee of $89 which extremely economically considering that you can create a dropshipping store with huge profit margins.
What is also awesome is that they offer custom dropshipping store creation for a one-time fee starting at $299.
They will handle the complete build-out of your store from marketing research, domain registration, SEO, custom design, and more.
What I Don’t Like About AliDropship
The only issue I had with AliDropship was when I installed the plugin myself. It wasn’t so much the plugin’s fault but primarily my web hosting provider’s fault.
The web hosting requirements for using the plugin are:
- Open incoming connection
- Hosting 32bit (64bit recommended)
- PHP 5.6 or higher
- ionCube activated on your hosting (or Zend Guard Loader)
- File size upload limit: min. 10MB
These requirements are basic and are already available on most web hosting servers. However, on my particular hosting provider, the ionCube loader wasn’t installed.
I could have easily requested they install it for me but I followed their directions and did it myself. Most people wouldn’t be comfortable dealing with that.
That is why I recommend using AliDropship’s web hosting. Their servers are perfectly configured for both the plugin and WordPress.
Their web hosting is affordable as well, starting at $48 a year.
Using SellerBot for Your Dropshipping Store
SellerBot is relatively new to me so I have not tried it out myself. I did do some research on how it works.
It is marketed as an automated dropship website. Meaning, they basically provide you with a dropshipping website that auto updates products, pricing, product content, and more.
What isn’t made clear is whether or not it fulfills orders automatically and automatically provides order tracking.
Both AliDropship and Oberlo automate those processes. SellerBot is also quite expensive to use. There is a $30 set-up fee and then it costs $69 per month to use.
That equates to $828 per year. That is even more expensive than Shopify’s basic plan and much more than AliDropship’s one-time fee.
The one upside to SellerBot is that they import from other suppliers besides AliExpress.
I hope that this post has helped to provide you with some great options for choosing a dropship website builder.
I think that it will come down to preference in terms of platform, pricing, and features. As for myself, price and store ownership remain priorities for me.
That is why I chose the AliDropship plugin versus other options.
Which service sparks your interest most? Have you tried one of them in the past? Leave your feedback in the comments below.
I wish you all the best in your online business!