WordPress or Shopify for my Dropshipping Business?

WordPress or Shopify for Dropshipping, Dan put a ship in the image for extreme cleverness

One of the goals I have for 2018 is to build two additional streams of income beyond my web design business 5espressos. One of the business models that is most intriguing to me right now is dropshipping, but one of the first decisions I have to make before I proceed with testing ideas is a crucial one. Do I use WordPress or Shopify for my dropshipping business?

Lets define a few things before we dig in.

Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a style of order fulfillment an e-commerce business can use to deliver goods to a user without actually holding inventory. A customer visits a website, places an order, and then the business owner works with a supplier to get the product sent directly to the customer. This style of business isn’t without it’s challenges, but not having to handle a lot of inventory is certainly an advantage.

Shopify

Shopify is an e-commerce platform that allows users to easily set up an online store and get selling. Because the service is focused around selling online, everything that they include in their service is geared around what you might need to manage your store.

Their plans start at 29 per month for a startup ecommerce platform, but their plans can scale up to fit the needs of a business as it expands.

WordPress

WordPress is a CMS (Content Management Service) that a webmaster can use to build websites. It was initially a blogging platform, but has expanded into a bit of a monster. It’s currently the most popular CMS to use for a website — commanding 60 percent of the market share of websites that are using a CMS for their building blocks.

Simply put, WordPress can do just about anything. But that being said, it doesn’t necessarily do E-commerce better than a specialized service like Shopify.

In order to replicate what Shopify offers for 29 a month, one would need to tap into multiple different resources in order to piece together a WordPress-based Shopify Experience. And before I make my decision on whether or not I use WordPress or Shopify for my dropshipping business, I wanted to give a breakdown of what it would take with both options.

Oh, and primarily I’ll be using services that integrate with WooCommerce- one of the largest e-commerce solutions built for WordPress.

Note: 5 espressos primarily uses the WordPress platform to build websites for our clients, and even though I have experience with building e-commerce solutions for our clients, this is still a helpful breakdown for me to research.

The Breakdown:

 

Shopify

WordPress 

Monthly

29 / mo

This will vary a ton, but for 5-10  dollars a month you can get a reasonable host. Siteground is a host I’ve used and recommended in the past.

Transaction fee for Card

2.9 % + 30c

2.9 %+ 30c (using Stripe)

Number of Products

Unlimited

Unlimited

Staff Accounts

2

The World is your Oyster

File Storage

Unlimited

Based on Hosting Plan

Retail Package

49 per month

79 per year (Woocommerce extension — ~6.58 per month)

Shipping discount

Yes

I’ll discuss this below

Print Labels

Included

I’ll discuss this below

24/7 Support

Included

Support is largely dependent on the quality of your webhost

Fraud Analysis

Included

Included with Stripe Payment Processing

Manual Order creation

Included

Doable

Discount Code

Included

Included

Website and blog

Included

It’s WordPress, yes!

Free SSL

Included

Yes, with Lets Encrypt — most webhosts these days are getting better about offering this to clients

Domain Name included?

 No.

Some Hosting Plans include a domain name, other wise most .coms will run 10-15 per year.

Design?

Free and Premium Themes

Free and Premium Themes, also 5 espressos 😉

Order fulfillment with WordPress —

So this seems to be one of the biggest hangups with using WordPress as you an e-commerce platform. Integrating in real-time shipping costs can be done, but only achievable after investing more money in an additional 3rd party plugin. The same goes for printing shipping labels. One service i’m interested in is called Shipstation that would take care of any of these issues, but at the cost of an additional monthly subscription — starting at $9 per month.

That being said- this all might not be that big of a deal with a dropshipping business in mind, as shipping orders is the responsibility of the supplier!

The Verdict: Will I use WordPress or Shopify for my Dropshipping Business?

So before I started preparing this post, I didn’t actually know whether I would want to use WordPress or Shopify for my Dropshipping business, I don’t necessarily think there’s a wrong choice here.

If you’re looking to scrape by on the cheap, you can likely find a way to make WordPress fit your bill exactly, but if you’re looking to completely replicate all of the things that Shopify offers to you right out of the gate, it doesn’t take long to justify the 29 per month they are charge.

I think if I end up starting two dropship experiments this year, I’ll do one on Shopify and then one on WordPress, but if I only do one, I’ll be giving it a shot on the Shopify platform.

A couple reasons for that.

  1. I’ve never built a website using Shopify, and i’m a ridiculously curious person.
  2. I’m not looking for a robust setup, so I’m confident I won’t be limited by Shopify’s offering.
  3. Where WordPress can offer anything, you have to tap into several different plugins and support teams to achieve your goal, with Shopify it’s all under one roof, and for a side hustle, I’m not sure you can really beat that simplicity.

So what do you think? What did I miss? and are you going to start a new income stream in 2018?

 

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