E-commerce vs. Dropshipping: Which Is Better For Your Company?

eCommerce

E-commerce vs. Dropshipping: Which Is Better For Your Company?

Ecommerce vs dropshipping Which Is Better

The internet has enabled entrepreneurs to start businesses more easily than ever before. All you need is a notion, a supplier, and a website to sell goods or services online with minimal difficulty.

This gold rush is the result of two major business models: e-commerce and dropshipping.

Classical e-commerce is for high rollers seeking scale, but the former has smaller stakes and profits, making it perfect for casual and first-time sellers.

We’ll look at the main distinctions between e-commerce and dropshipping in this article so you can choose the one that best fits your requirements.

What is eCommerce?

E-commerce companies include, for instance:

  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Asos
  • Wayfair
  • Boohoo

Millions more people are selling anything and everything you can think of, including jewellery, household goods, food, clothing, electronics, and others.

When a business uses the conventional e-commerce model, customers select the products they wish to purchase from a website listing those products. They put them in their cart, check out, and pay using a credit or debit card.

After receiving the order, the business processes it. They will select the inventory from a warehouse, package it, and dispatch it to the client by courier. Bigger businesses, such as Amazon, might employ their delivery drivers.

E-commerce companies depend on a network of important partners to help them create and complete orders. Among them are:

  • Manufacturers and suppliers
  • experts in inventory management
  • Gateways for payments
  • Partners in shipping and logistics
  • Advertisers
  • Support for IT and technology

Agents of customer service Even though smaller companies might not have specialized staff, the procedure is still the same.

The product is supplied straight from the manufacturer, who sells it out of their warehouse. They take inventory from their location and handle every aspect of the order internally.

What is Dropshipping?

Although it operates somewhat differently, dropshipping is a type of e-commerce. Dropshipping is the practice of a merchant selling goods to consumers, with the order fulfilment being handled by a third party. In other words, dropshipping is the practice of selling goods that a company does not physically stock or ship.

Dropshipping is a business strategy that eliminates the need for a physical store or warehouse. However, you still require a website and suppliers to get started. Similar to e-commerce, dropshipping is gaining popularity and currently makes up about 25% of all e-commerce sales.

Dropshipping, particularly for personalised goods, is widespread in the fashion sector. After logging on, a user will peruse the products on the website, put the ones they desire in their basket, and check out.

In the background, the business they purchased from transfers the order to an outside vendor that produces the goods and dispatches them from their warehouse. The original business never touches the goods; instead, it handles all customer support and fronts the business.

Some examples of dropshipping companies are:

  • Printify
  • Warmly
  • CJdropshipping
  • Meesho
  • AliExpress

In many cases, consumers are unaware of drop shipping arrangements where two businesses are involved since they only deal with one business.

The advantages of online shopping/eCommerce

The traditional e-commerce approach has several advantages, which is why thousands of new e-commerce companies are founded every day.

Adapts to the contemporary style of shopping

First of all, it’s quickly taking the place of choice for shopping. Consumers are shifting their shopping to the Internet, and estimates show that by 2040—less than 20 years from now—more than 95% of all transactions will take place there.

This is partly because of how pervasive the internet has become in our lives, but it’s also because people are demanding more convenience. People frequently don’t have time to physically purchase goods since they work long hours. They have an excellent solution to that issue with e-commerce.

More affordable to operate

Many e-commerce companies are exactly that:

They don’t currently have a physical store and never will.

The advantage is that you can avoid paying exorbitant rent in pricey retail parks or shopping centres. This enables you to start moving quickly from almost anywhere, even your living room.

In the realm of e-commerce, there are innumerable success tales ranging from dining rooms to boardrooms, with many well-known firms like Amazon beginning in small homes.

The initial investment is limited to the cost of the items. If the company expands, it might need to move into a warehouse, but this still costs less than operating a store.

Gives shops and consumers greater options.

Beyond increasing brand recognition and creating a more consistent revenue stream, the internet’s boundless potential for retailers (as well as customers) is another advantage.

You won’t have to stress about the difficult chore of visually merchandising everything you sell.

This is fantastic from a business standpoint since it allows you to provide more solutions for the issues that your clients face. It gives customers additional options to select the greatest fit and investment for them.

Strengthens brick-and-mortar stores

Small brick-and-mortar businesses can access new revenue streams by opening an online store since they can reach a wider audience and even draw clients from around the globe.

Additionally, these stores can outperform larger competitors by selling online, which can be far more difficult to achieve on a high street.

Cons of online shopping/eCommerce

Even with all of its beauty, e-commerce has drawbacks. There are more advantages than disadvantages, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

Demands end-to-end oversight

You’ll need to familiarize yourself with the process if you’re new to selling products online. After all, you entirely must fulfil the orders placed by your customers.

This implies that you must become accustomed to handling orders, distributing them, and making sure you have all of the inventory on hand—a full-time job in and of itself.

Necessitate a physical location to be stored

Because traditional e-commerce fulfilment entails keeping a physical inventory, it requires a physical location from which to operate. Your dining area will eventually give way to a modest office, and then a warehouse.

The drawback is that operating from a larger property will result in higher costs. This could take you off guard if you’re not ready.

fierce rivalry

Although competition benefits consumers, it severely reduces a company’s profit margins. The e-commerce market is overflowing with vendors offering comparable goods at disparate pricing points.

They engage in intense price wars as a result of this competitiveness, constantly cutting their rates to draw in clients. This may make it challenging for you to maintain your firm or make investments in high-quality goods if you’re a startup.

To combat that, you could have to spend a lot of money on marketing and advertising to get new clients, which would further reduce your overall profitability.

The danger of being outdated

The stuff you own can easily become out of date as society changes. Consider the individuals who opted to hoard goods in COVID, only for governments to quickly open access to them for everyone. Their actions were morally dubious.

If you overstock some things, you could still lose money even with the best of intentions.

The advantages of dropshipping

Dropshipping is a separate business strategy with its advantages, but it also has many of the same benefits as e-commerce.

No prerequisites needed

Since dropshipping companies don’t keep inventory, they don’t require a storage facility. They don’t even require an office to handle deliveries because they don’t send out stock.

If you want, you can operate a dropshipping company out of your bedroom without having to pay for any kind of office space rental.

Saving money like this will enable you to lower your overhead expenses and increase your profitability.

No employees

It’s the largest dropshipping companies that have customer service representatives on staff; otherwise, you can handle things on your own.

This is an excellent method for people who are just starting to develop a brand that is entirely your own.

Worldwide reach

Theoretically, any e-commerce company can sell internationally, but not all of them do. This is because delivery procedures for purchases placed from abroad differ, and may require payment for imported products at customs.

Dropshipping businesses can circumvent this by working with manufacturers situated on every continent and nation. This implies that the consumer won’t have to pay customs duties and that the pricing will stay reasonable.

As a result, rather than just operating domestically, many dropshipping companies now have a global presence.

No interaction with the stock

The benefit of not being in touch with stock is that your supplier has the responsibility of monitoring stock levels instead of you.

You may then devote all of your focus to finding new items and developing strong client relationships.

Cons of dropshipping:

Dropshipping is not without its drawbacks. Even though it’s a perfectly workable business plan, there are some things you need to know in advance.

Minimal profit margins

This is one of the main disadvantages of dropshipping and the reason why so many companies choose not to use this e-commerce model. Dropshippers don’t have control over the price of their products because they function as intermediaries.

Companies must price their goods following the market and, on the one hand, pay suppliers more for shipping a single item. Compared to traditional e-commerce, which benefits from buying in bulk and can price more cheaply, this leads to smaller profit margins.

Returns and refunds

You have few options for helping a client who is unhappy if something goes wrong with your stock. The product’s trade price will have been paid, and you won’t be able to control the return procedure.

Offering a refund would be your best bet, and your terms and conditions should make this very apparent.

Insufficient quality assurance

You cannot ensure the highest quality for your customers or identify shipment flaws before dispatch if you do not handle stock yourself. If something goes wrong, you can be subject to problems with customer service.

It’s advisable to order multiples of any item you wish to sell before you begin as a precautionary measure to determine what your consumers might receive if they place an order with you.

Restricted authority over the delivery schedule

The extremely lengthy shipping duration is one of the main disadvantages of dropshipping.

Dropshippers typically need to import goods from foreign vendors. Customers may become irate and have a negative experience as a result, giving the shipper little to no influence over delivery delays.

They also have to pay exorbitant transportation expenses, which reduces profit margins and lowers the overall cost-effectiveness of the products.

Similarities

  • To sell goods, both need to set up a digital storefront, such as a website or an app.
  • With the help of these business concepts, you can contact clients anywhere in the world.
  • Both models use comparable marketing techniques to draw clients.
  • Both of these customer-focused models depend on interaction with customers in order to succeed.

Differences

  • While dropshipping eliminates the need for inventory purchases and storage, traditional e-commerce does
  • In dropshipping, suppliers handle fulfilment and logistics, whereas in traditional e-commerce, these tasks are managed in-house.
  • Dropshipping gives you less control over product quality than traditional e-commerce, which gives you total control.
  • While dropshipping can be launched on a shoestring, traditional e-commerce demands far more capital.

Which business strategy should you pick between dropshipping and e-commerce?

Deciding to switch from dropshipping to standard e-commerce is a big one that needs to be carefully thought out.

We recommend that if you currently run an offline store and stock products, you should consider adopting a classic e-commerce approach. This will help you grow your business while avoiding the need to compete for the smallest margins. By selling online, you will have complete control over your brand.

If you are a beginner and planning to start an online retail business, we suggest considering the dropshipping model. Dropshipping is an excellent choice for novice online entrepreneurs as managing their website and handling the inventory and warehousing costs can be challenging in the initial stages.

Stay tuned for more interesting updates, and be sure to follow our blogs to stay up-to-date.


Alexia Barlier
Faraz Frank

Hi! I am Faraz Frank. A freelance WordPress developer.