Sometimes it can be difficult to decide which e-commerce platform you should go with. Things can get even more complicated when you are entertaining the idea of running an online dropshipping business. When embarking on your e-commerce journey many factors will impact your decision like; initial start-up costs, recurring costs, wholesale product access and customer support. Let’s analyze the key differences between eMerchantClub and Shopify platforms to help you make the best decision based on your needs:
eMerchantClub is without a doubt the more cost effective dropshipping option. eMerchantClub’s starter dropshipping website is custom built for their members and pre-loaded with products for a start-up cost of only $24.99. This start-up cost includes a free domain, SSL, training call, lifetime support and wholesale product access with connection to their American warehouses.
Shopify costs are more expensive. The monthly price for a business Shopify membership is $79/month. That doesn’t include the cost/time for a website developer. Shopify does not build your website, they simply provide you with the framework to create a website. If you want to dropship products on Shopify you must pay to connect to one of their 3rd party dropshippers and that’s when the costs really add up. Dropshipping Shopify connections will be an additional $29.99 – $299.99 per month, depending on how many products you want access to. On top of all that, Shopify currently does not offer Free domains (they average $14 per year)
In terms of cost eMerchantClub is the big winner between the two platforms.
eMerchantClub takes a white glove approach to e-commerce and dropshipping. The entire dropshipping website is built for eMerchantClub members and the website is pre-loaded with wholesale products to sell right away. Shopify requires their users to build their e-commerce website from scratch and connect themselves to dropshippers or wholesale product suppliers.
eMerchantClub’s platform was designed for individuals who are not technical wizards or website developers. eMerchantClub also offers American-based technical support to answer any questions that may arise with your website. On the other hand, Shopify’s platform was designed for the more tech-savvy person who already has an established business. Most Shopify users have sound technical knowledge and can develop their own website or pay someone else to do it. Because of this a less experienced user can become overwhelmed very easily with the Shopify platform.
Customer service matters! Both eMerchantClub and Shopify offer their own brands of customer/technical service. But who has the superior service that will inspire more confidence in the users of their platform.
eMerchantClub support – eMerchantClub is an American company with a technical and customer support team based in the United States. They have real agents answer the phones 5 days a week. eMerchantClub members can be confident that a real person will pick up the phone to assist them (no customer service is outsourced). Furthermore, eMerchantClub also offers a variety of online learning resources for their members. The Learning Center & Marketing Center were designed to help their members to be more successful with launching their websites. The Learning Center includes advice on how to apply technical changes to the actual dropshipping website and the Marketing Center has great tips on how to execute marketing for the members brand.
Shopify support – Shopify support is extremely difficult if not impossible to get on the phone. Because of this most of their support exists online in extremely comprehensive resources. Shopify has a Help Center with a large amount of support information for users. Online Shopify claims that they support their users through email, chat and phone 24/7. Although, you can only get ahold of a phone representative if you are on the upgraded Enterprise level of Shopify. All in all, this is understandable because of how large Shopify is, but if you are a person who likes to get clear answers over the phone you may be out of luck.
Your time matters. More importantly, the amount of time you are willing to spend on your dropshipping business should play a factor in what e-commerce platform you choose. eMerchantClub and Shopify usually have completely different customers with very different time commitments:
eMerchantClub – The average eMerchantClub member is looking to earn more but doesn’t want the efforts to be equivalent to an entire week of work. The eMerhcantClub platform allows them to make online sales without investing half their day to the success of their online business.
Shopify – Because Shopify is such a robust platform and the users are responsible for all website development, add-ons, and dropshipping connections, being successful takes a lot more commitment and time. The typical Shopify user is using Shopify for an already established business and has the time and resources to invest.
When analyzing the technical differences between eMerchantClub and Shopify there are obvious contrasts. All eMerchantClub websites are hosted on the Magento open-source e-commerce platform. When most people think of Magento they think of a very capable and expensive e-commerce platform used by industry giants like Ford and Nespresso. Although, eMerchantClubs technology platform allows their members to use the Magento platform for a fraction of the normal cost. Because the Magento websites come pre-build and stocked with wholesale products, eMerchantClub members don’t need to get overwhelmed with development issues.
Shopify has one of the best e-commerce platforms in the world as well. Their customers have more ability to customize their website with unique plugins and add-ons compared to an eMerchantClub website. Although, most ad-ons come with a price and take development knowledge to implement effectively. All-in-all, if you are not website and development savvy you will struggle with the Shopfiy platform. If you are great with development and website customizations you may fare better with Shopify.
Quite simply, one platform has products that comes with the membership and the other does not. eMerchantClub builds you an e-commerce dropshipping website pre-loaded with wholesale products. In addition, eMerchantClub gives all their members access to their American warehouses. On the other hand, Shopify does not build your website or give you access to a product membership. If you have a Shopify website you will need to connect to one of Shopify’s 3rd party product wholesalers for an additional monthly fee. These wholesalers have a lot of products but 98% of them come from overseas. Overall, you will get a larger selection of products from Shopify but will definitely be paying for it.
Ultimately, the choice is yours. We find that different dropshipping platforms work for different people. At the end of the day you need to have a clear understanding of your goals, budget and expectations when making a decision on a e-commerce dropshipping option.
Here is what we believe are the competitive advantages for eMerchantClub and Shopify:
– Cost effective (low start-up and maintenance costs)
– White glove service (they build the site)
– Free domain, SSL & product membership
– American product warehouses
– U.S. customer support team
– 1-on-1 training
– Less time investment
– Diverse product selection
– A lot of options for plugins and website add-ons
– Wonderful option for experienced web developers
– Hundreds of theme options for your website