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Amazon FBA vs Shopify Dropshipping: How to Choose the Right Option

Written and researched by experts at AvadaLearn more about our methodology

By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce

Drive 20-40% of your revenue with Avada
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In this article, we'll delve deep into the intricacies of Shopify dropshipping vs Amazon FBA, providing insights to help entrepreneurs choose the right platform for their e-commerce ambitions.

       Key Takeaways
  • Shopify Dropshipping is best for entrepreneurs seeking low upfront costs and a customizable branding experience.
  • Amazon FBA is best for sellers aiming for high volume sales with the advantage
    of Amazon's established customer base.

Shopify Dropshipping vs Amazon FBA: The key difference

Shopify Dropshipping 

shopify dropshipping vs amazon fba
  • Platform: Shopify is an e-commerce platform that allows you to create your own online store. With dropshipping, you don't keep the products you sell in stock. Instead, when a customer places an order, you purchase the item from a third party and have it shipped directly to the customer.
  • Initial Costs: There's a minimal upfront investment. You primarily pay for the Shopify subscription and any additional apps or designs you choose. You don’t need to purchase inventory until you receive an order.
  • Control: You have more control over branding, customer data, and user experience. Your site, your rules.
  • Marketing: You are responsible for driving traffic to your store, which often requires a strong digital marketing strategy, including SEO, PPC, and social media marketing.
  • Fulfillment: Rely on third-party suppliers to fulfill orders. It's essential to maintain a good relationship with trustworthy suppliers to ensure timely and accurate product delivery.
  • Profit Margins: Can be higher since you set your own prices, but it's offset by marketing and advertising costs.

Amazon FBA

shopify dropshipping vs amazon fba
  • Platform: Amazon FBA means you sell your products on Amazon, but Amazon handles storage, packaging, and shipping. You send your products to Amazon's fulfillment centers, and they manage the logistics from there.
  • Initial Costs: Higher upfront costs because you need to purchase inventory before listing. There's also a fee for storage at Amazon's fulfillment centers, and additional fees for selling on Amazon.
  • Control: Limited control over branding and customer data. Your product is one of many on Amazon's vast marketplace.
  • Marketing: Amazon's enormous user base provides inherent traffic, but competition is fierce. Many sellers still use Amazon-specific advertising like Sponsored Products to stand out.
  • Fulfillment: Handled by Amazon, providing quick and efficient shipping, often with Prime 2-day shipping, which is attractive to customers.
  • Profit Margins: Often slimmer due to Amazon's fees. However, the potential for high sales volume can compensate for this.

Shopify Dropshipping vs Amazon FBA: Pros and Cons

Amazon FBA

Immediate Customer Base: Amazon is the world's largest online retailer, meaning products listed on Amazon have access to a massive and diverse audience, right from the start. This is also one of the reasons that this is the perfect choice for the question “Should I dropship on Amazon or Shopify?”
Leverage Big Data: Amazon offers a wealth of data and analytics tools for sellers. By using these tools, sellers can glean insights into sales trends, customer preferences, and more.
Saleable Asset: A successful Amazon FBA business can be seen as an asset. If you ever decide to exit, you can sell your FBA business to interested buyers for a good sum.
Customer Service Taken Care Of: Amazon handles customer service for your FBA products. This includes dealing with returns, refunds, and general customer queries, saving you time and effort.
Generate Higher Profits: With the potential for high sales volumes and efficient fulfillment processes, sellers can achieve significant profits, especially if they have a high-demand product.
Borrowed Trust: Selling on Amazon lets you leverage the platform's established reputation. Customers often trust Amazon-backed purchases more than unknown online stores.
Focus On Growth: With Amazon handling inventory storage, shipping, and customer service, sellers can focus their efforts on business growth, product research, and marketing.
Ease Of Setup: Starting with Amazon FBA is relatively straightforward. The platform offers numerous resources and tools to guide new sellers through the setup process.
Global Expansion: Amazon operates in numerous countries worldwide. With FBA, sellers can easily tap into international markets, expanding their reach and increasing sales potential.
Higher Fees: Selling via Amazon FBA incurs a variety of fees, including storage fees for products in Amazon's warehouses, fulfillment fees, and referral fees. These can quickly add up and eat into your profit margins, especially if you're not moving inventory quickly.
No Customer Data: One of the significant downsides of selling through Amazon is that you don't get access to customer data. This means you cannot retarget customers with marketing campaigns, making it harder to establish a loyal customer base or upsell to previous buyers.
Risk Of Suspension: Amazon is known for its strict selling policies. Any violation, even unintentional, can lead to your account being suspended. This can be catastrophic for sellers who rely solely on Amazon for their income, especially if the suspension process takes a long time or leads to permanent account closure.
Poor Support: Many FBA sellers feel that Amazon's seller support is lacking. Responses can be slow, and resolving issues can sometimes feel bureaucratic. This can be frustrating, especially when facing urgent problems that impact sales or account standing.

Shopify Dropshipping 

Lower Initial Investment: Starting a dropshipping business on Shopify requires minimal upfront capital. Unlike traditional retail, you don't need to invest in bulk inventory. Instead, you only purchase products after customers place orders, significantly reducing financial risk.
More Control: Shopify gives merchants complete control over their online store's design, branding, and user experience. This flexibility allows businesses to create a unique brand identity and customer journey tailored to their target audience.
Better Cash Flow: With dropshipping, you only pay for goods as customers order them. This model minimizes the capital tied up in unsold inventory, leading to improved cash flow and reduced risk of dead stock.
Access Customer Base: Having a standalone store on Shopify means you can gather and analyze customer data. This invaluable information allows for targeted marketing campaigns, personalized offers, and building long-term relationships with your customer base.
Finding Your Own Audience: Unlike platforms like Amazon that come with a built-in massive audience, with Shopify dropshipping, you're starting from scratch. Attracting traffic and building a customer base requires a significant effort in marketing, advertising, and search engine optimization (SEO).
Questionable Customer Experience: Since you're reliant on third-party suppliers, there's a risk of inconsistencies in product quality, packaging, and delivery times. Any negative experiences can reflect poorly on your brand, even if the root cause was a supplier's mistake.
Customer Service Requirements: While Amazon FBA handles customer service for you, with Shopify dropshipping, the onus is on you. Handling complaints, returns, and general inquiries can become time-consuming, especially if suppliers aren't prompt or cooperative.
Website Expertise Required: Running a Shopify store demands a degree of expertise in website management. Even though Shopify is user-friendly, optimizing the store, handling plugins, and ensuring a smooth customer experience require a learning curve.
Lower Profit Margin: Because of the convenience and low entry barrier of dropshipping, it's a competitive field. This competition often drives prices down, leading to slimmer profit margins. Plus, you might encounter higher shipping fees or other hidden costs with third-party suppliers.

Shopify Dropshipping vs Amazon FBA: In-depth Comparison

Pricing, Fees, and Payments

Subscription Pricing

Shopify Dropshipping 

shopify dropshipping vs amazon fba
  • Monthly Plans: Shopify offers different tiered plans, including Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify. These plans range from $39 to $399 per month, with each tier offering more features than the last. You can click here to see more.
  • 3-Day Free Trial: Shopify allows users to set up and test their store with a 3-day free trial, giving them a feel for the platform before committing financially.
  • After the free trial, you can continue experiencing Shopify with just $1 for the the first 3 months.

Amazon FBA

shopify dropshipping vs amazon fba

This platform offers 2 main plans:

  • Individual Seller: This plan is more suited for sellers who plan to sell fewer than 40 items a month. It has no monthly subscription fee, but there's a $0.99 fee for each item sold.
  • Professional Seller: For a monthly subscription fee of $39.99, this plan is designed for sellers expecting to sell more than 40 items a month. The per-item fee is waived for Professional Sellers.

Other Fees

Shopify Dropshipping 

  • Transaction Fees: Depending on your chosen plan, Shopify charges a transaction fee ranging from 0.5% to 2% unless you use Shopify Payments, its integrated payment gateway.
  • Credit Card Processing Fees: These fees are charged when you accept credit card payments. The rate, like transaction fees, varies based on your Shopify plan.
  • App Fees: Many essential dropshipping tools or apps may require additional monthly fees.

Amazon FBA

  • Referral Fees: Depending on the product category, Amazon charges a referral fee on each item sold, most ranging between 8% and 15%.
  • Fulfillment Fees: This is for picking, packing, and shipping your products. It varies based on product size and weight.
  • Storage Fees: Amazon charges for storing products in their warehouses. Rates change depending on the season (higher in October-December).

Payment Options

Shopify Dropshipping 

  • Diverse Payment Gateways: Shopify integrates with over 100 payment gateways, including popular ones like PayPal, Stripe, and its own Shopify Payments.
  • Shopify Payments: Provides 0% for transaction fees and is integrated directly into the platform. It's available in certain countries and regions.

Amazon FBA

  • Amazon Payments: All transactions are processed through Amazon. This simplifies the process but gives sellers less flexibility.
  • Two-week Payment Cycle: Unlike Shopify, which allows for more frequent payouts, Amazon typically transfers funds to sellers every two weeks.


Shopify is the winner.

For sheer flexibility in plans and a free trial option, the potential for multiple fees, especially for storage and fulfillment and the variety of integrated gateways and more frequent payouts, Shopify Dropshipping tends to have an edge when comparing with Amazon FBA.

Ease and Speed of Getting Started

Shopify Dropshipping 

Quickly Get Started in an Hour 

shopify dropshipping vs amazon fba

Shopify, as an e-commerce platform, is designed to be user-friendly, especially for beginners. The basic steps involve:

  • Choosing a Domain: You'll first select a unique domain name for your online store, which becomes your brand's web address.
  • Designing Your Store: Shopify offers a range of pre-designed themes, both free and paid, that you can customize according to your brand. This can be done with simple drag-and-drop tools or more advanced coding, depending on your expertise.
  • Setting Up Products: For dropshipping, you'll usually integrate with apps like Oberlo, which helps you source products from suppliers. Once you've chosen your products, you can list them on your store with product descriptions, images, and pricing.
  • Payment and Checkout Setup: Shopify provides integrated payment gateways, making it simple to set up payments.

In essence, with a computer, some basic marketing knowledge, and an hour or two, you can have a rudimentary store up and running. However, refining it and ensuring it's optimized for sales might take additional time.

Amazon FBA

Amazon FBA Startup Varies Dramatically Depending on the Business Model Chosen

shopify dropshipping vs amazon fba

The process of starting with Amazon FBA is more complex and varies depending on your chosen business model. Here's a general overview:

  • Research and Source Products: Before even setting up on Amazon, you'll need to decide what products you want to sell. This involves market research to determine profitable niches. Once you've identified products, you need to source them, either through wholesalers or manufacturers.
  • Register and Set Up an Amazon Seller Account: You'll need to choose between an Individual or Professional account, depending on your sales volume expectations.
  • List Products on Amazon: This requires creating detailed product listings with high-quality images, descriptions, and optimized keywords for search.
  • Send Inventory to Amazon: Once you've sourced your products and listed them, you need to send your inventory to Amazon's fulfillment centers. This involves understanding Amazon's packaging and shipping requirements.
  • Monitor and Restock: One of the continuous tasks is monitoring inventory levels and ensuring you restock in time to avoid stockouts.

Given the steps involved, the Amazon FBA startup process can be more prolonged, especially considering the research and sourcing phase. 


Shopify is the winner. 

With just a computer and a few hours, even newcomers can launch a basic online store, making it more accessible for those eager to dive into e-commerce swiftly.

Product Sourcing

Shopify Dropshipping 

Shopify Dropshippers Get Products From Marketplaces With Business to Consumer Suppliers

shopify dropshipping vs amazon fba

Shopify dropshippers commonly source their products from online marketplaces that cater to the dropshipping model. Platforms such as AliExpress and SaleHoo offer a range of products in various niches. These platforms are essentially intermediaries connecting dropshippers to suppliers, often based in China or other parts of Asia. The model is characterized by:

  • Ease of Use: Most of these platforms are user-friendly, making it simple to search, select, and list products.
  • Variety: There's an expansive range of products available, allowing dropshippers to test different niches with ease.
  • Flexibility: With no requirement for bulk purchases, dropshippers can quickly pivot their product offerings based on trends and demands.

Amazon FBA

Amazon FBA Sellers Usually Go Straight to the Manufacturer

Sellers using the Amazon FBA model often source their products directly from manufacturers. This approach provides several advantages:

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Purchasing directly from a manufacturer can lead to better price negotiations and lower product costs.
  • Quality Control: Dealing directly with manufacturers gives sellers more control over product quality, customization, and branding.
  • Exclusivity: By working closely with a manufacturer, sellers might get exclusive deals or products that aren't widely available on dropshipping platforms.


In this round, Amazon FBA emerges as the winner, especially for those aiming at product uniqueness, quality assurance, and cost savings in the long run.

Inventory and Startup Costs

Shopify Dropshipping: No Inventory Required

shopify dropshipping vs amazon fba

Shopify dropshipping primarily stands out when comparing Shopify Dropshipping vs Amazon FBA due to the absence of a need to hold inventory. Costs associated include:

Basic Shopify Plan

This is the monthly subscription you'll pay to Shopify to keep your store online. It was priced at $39 per month.

Custom Domain

While Shopify provides you with a free myshopify.com domain, you'll likely want a custom domain for branding. This can cost anywhere from $12 to $15/year.

Sample Products

While you don't need inventory, it's a good idea to order samples to check product quality. Its pricing depends on the product.


Crucial for driving traffic to your store. Costs vary widely based on your strategy.

Amazon FBA: Inventory and International Shipping Add Up

shopify dropshipping vs amazon fba

The FBA model requires more upfront costs, primarily due to inventory:

Amazon Professional Seller Account

This costs $39.99/month.

Product Research Tool

Essential for market research. Tools like Jungle Scout (starting at $49 per month) or Helium 10 (starting from Free Plan) are popular. Their pricing range based on the plan and tool that you choose.

Product Sample

Like dropshipping, you'll want samples. These have a various range of pricing, depending on the product. 

Quality Assurance Inspection

This ensures the bulk products meet your standards. Inspections can cost depending on the product and inspection depth.

Product Bulk Order

This is a significant cost and varies greatly based on the product. 

International Shipping and Import Duties

Costs here are variable based on product weight, dimensions, and import duties. 


Packaging, logo, and other branding elements might cost between $275 to $1,000, depending on design complexity and quality.

Amazon PPC

Like Shopify marketing but specific to Amazon. A starting budget ranges from $0.1 to $6 per click.


Shopify is the winner. 

The no-inventory model and lower upfront costs make it more accessible to a wider range of entrepreneurs.

Customers and Competition for Them

Shopify Dropshipping 

Customers Are 100% the Responsibility of the Seller When Dropshipping on Shopify.

shopify dropshipping vs amazon fba

Shopify dropshippers operate their own online storefronts, which means:

  • Building from Scratch: Sellers have to start from ground zero in terms of gaining visibility and attracting customers.
  • Marketing and SEO: Driving traffic requires effective marketing campaigns—whether through social media, pay-per-click ads, or organic SEO.
  • Retention Efforts: Since you get to own the customer relationship on Shopify, you can employ email marketing, loyalty programs, and other retention strategies. However, this also means it's your responsibility to keep customers coming back.
  • Fierce Competition: The dropshipping model is easily accessible, leading to a saturated market. This makes it crucial for sellers to differentiate their offerings, whether through unique products, branding, or customer service.

Amazon FBA

Amazon FBA Provides the Customers and Serves Them Too

shopify dropshipping vs amazon fba

Mentioning the differences between dropshipping on Shopify vs Amazon, selling on Amazon's platform comes with its set of advantages and challenges:

  • Massive Built-in Audience: Amazon boasts hundreds of millions of active users. By listing on Amazon, you're putting your product in front of this vast audience.
  • Trust Factor: Customers are more likely to purchase from a platform they trust. Amazon, being an established e-commerce giant, provides that trust.
  • Competition on the Platform: While you have access to a larger audience, so do thousands of other sellers. Standing out requires effective product listings, positive reviews, and potentially investment in Amazon's advertising.
  • Lesser Control over Branding: Unlike Shopify, where you control every aspect of your brand presentation, Amazon's platform is standardized. This makes it more challenging to create a distinctive brand identity.
  • Customer Loyalty to Amazon: Most customers on Amazon are loyal to the platform, not individual sellers. This can make repeat business harder to achieve.


Amazon FBA is the winner in terms of providing a ready-made, trust-worthy platform with a vast customer base between dropshipping Amazon vs Shopify. 

While competition is fierce on both platforms, the built-in audience and trust factor that Amazon offers make it easier to generate initial sales, especially for newcomers to e-commerce.

Product Visibility and Generating Sales

Shopify Dropshipping 

SEO Optimized Shopify Site to Rank on Search Engines

shopify dropshipping vs amazon fba
  • SEO Challenges and Opportunities: Shopify sites can be optimized for search engines, but ranking a new website, especially in competitive niches, can be challenging. It requires a mix of keyword optimization, quality content, and backlinking. Over time, with consistent effort, a site can rank organically and drive free traffic.
  • Paid Traffic Strategies: To generate immediate traffic and sales, Shopify store owners often turn to paid advertising.

Facebook Ads and Google Ads To Generate Shopify Sales

  • Facebook Ads: They allow precise targeting based on user demographics, interests, and behaviors. With effective ad creatives and targeting, sellers can drive significant traffic and sales.
  • Google Ads: These can capture high-intent buyers searching for specific products. With effective keyword strategies and ad optimization, sellers can achieve a good return on ad spend.

Amazon FBA

Amazon’s A9 Algorithm Determines Ranking on the Amazon Marketplace

shopify dropshipping vs amazon fba
  • Algorithm-Driven Visibility: The A9 algorithm determines how products are ranked on Amazon. Understanding and optimizing for this algorithm is vital. Factors influencing rankings include product title, description, price, sales history, reviews, and more.
  • Built-in Customer Base: With its vast audience, even products that don't rank at the very top can still achieve significant visibility and sales, given the sheer volume of shoppers on Amazon.

Use Amazon PPC Advertising to Generate Sales

  • Amazon PPC Advertising: To boost product visibility, especially for new listings, sellers often utilize Amazon's in-house advertising platform.
  • Amazon Sponsored Products: They allow sellers to promote individual product listings. These ads appear in search results and product detail pages.
  • Targeted Advertising: Sellers can target specific keywords, products, or shopper interests, ensuring that their ads appear to relevant audiences.


Amazon FBA wins for immediate visibility and a higher chance of generating initial sales of dropshipping Amazon vs Shopify. 

The platform's vast audience, combined with its powerful advertising tools, make it easier to achieve sales, especially when compared to the uphill task of driving organic traffic to a new Shopify store. However, Shopify's flexibility with diverse advertising platforms offers a broader scope in the long run.

Control Over Digital Experience

Shopify Dropshipping 

Shopify Customizable Themes

shopify dropshipping vs amazon fba

With Shopify Dropshipping:

  • Total Brand Control: Shopify offers an array of customizable themes, allowing businesses to tailor their website to their brand's unique identity. This means the design, layout, colors, and overall user experience are in the hands of the seller.
  • App Integration: Shopify's App Store is filled with various plugins that can be integrated to enhance the site's functionality and improve the user experience. From chatbots to social proof pop-ups, there's a tool for every need.
  • Direct Customer Interaction: Sellers can communicate directly with customers through their Shopify store, offering personalized shopping experiences, custom deals, loyalty programs, and more.

Amazon FBA

Amazon Offers Familiarity

Amazon provides a universally recognized shopping environment, fostering trust and familiarity among its vast user base.

Enhanced Customization Ability on Amazon When You Join the Amazon Brand Registry

For those who enroll in the Amazon Brand Registry, there are added layers of customization potential to truly make a product stand out.

Amazon A+ Content

An exclusive feature for Brand Registry members, A+ Content enhances product listings by integrating enriched visuals and a variety of content formats, aiming to improve customer engagement and conversion rates.

Amazon Storefront (Amazon Store’s)

This tool allows registered brands to craft a dedicated brand-centric page on Amazon. It showcases the brand's story, its product lineup, and other unique offerings in a custom layout.


Shopify Dropshipping is the clear winner

While Amazon's Brand Registry offers enhanced customization, it still doesn't match the level of personalization and branding potential available on Shopify.

Timetable for Profitability

Shopify Dropshipping 

Expect 6 - 12 Months for Profit When Dropshipping on Shopify

With Shopify Dropshipping:

  • Gradual Growth: Building a brand and customer base from scratch can be time-consuming. Sellers must invest in marketing, create trust, and optimize their store for conversions.
  • Initial Investments: While the startup costs might be lower, a significant chunk is directed toward advertising, especially in the initial months. Balancing ad spending with revenue can be tricky.
  • Market Saturation: Dropshipping, due to its accessibility, has led to a saturated market. Differentiating and capturing market share, especially in popular niches, requires time.
  • Cyclic Trends: Some dropshipping businesses, especially those relying on trending products, might see profitability sooner but may also experience peaks and troughs in sales.

Amazon FBA

Most Amazon FBA Sellers are Profitable Within a Year

Navigating Amazon FBA:

  • Access to Vast Customer Base: Amazon’s immense user base provides a ready market, speeding up the sales process and potentially leading to quicker profitability.
  • Higher Initial Costs: Investments in inventory, branding, and Amazon fees might be substantial upfront, but with effective product selection and marketing, these costs can be recouped within months.
  • Amazon’s Infrastructure: Utilizing Amazon's warehousing, fulfillment, and customer service reduces operational hiccups and can lead to smoother scaling, impacting profitability positively.
  • Competition and Algorithm Mastery: While there’s a ready audience, understanding Amazon's A9 algorithm and staying competitive is crucial. Effective product listings, reviews, and PPC strategies can expedite profitability.


Shopify Dropshipping wins as it often leads to quicker profitability when comparing between dropshipping Amazon vs Shopify. 

Scalability and Potential to Build a Valuable Asset

Shopify Dropshipping 

You Can’t Scale a Shopify Business Without a Team

shopify dropshipping vs amazon fba

Exploring Scalability on Shopify:

  • Dependence on Manpower: As a Shopify store grows, tasks like customer service, marketing optimization, and supplier communication multiply. This often necessitates hiring additional staff or outsourcing services to maintain the quality of operations and customer experience.
  • Building Brand Equity: While scaling might require more hands on deck, the process also means building a standalone brand. A recognizable and trusted brand becomes a valuable asset in its own right, potentially leading to loyal customer bases and higher resale values.
  • Direct Control Over Margins: As the business expands, Shopify store owners have the leverage to negotiate better terms with suppliers, potentially increasing profit margins. However, this also means managing a more complex financial structure.
  • Diversification Opportunities: With complete control over the store, owners can easily expand product lines, enter new niches, or even branch out into different business models, providing multiple avenues for growth.

Amazon FBA

Uncapped Potential for Scaling an Amazon FBA Business

shopify dropshipping vs amazon fba

Growth Dynamics of Amazon FBA:

  • Leveraging Amazon's Infrastructure: One of the most significant advantages of Amazon FBA is the ability to scale without worrying about logistical challenges. Amazon’s robust infrastructure handles storage, fulfillment, and even customer service.
  • Market Reach: Amazon’s vast global market ensures that there's always room to grow. With effective strategies, businesses can tap into various geographical regions and demographics.
  • Brand Expansion: Successful Amazon FBA sellers often start with a few products and then expand their brand's portfolio, taking advantage of the platform's built-in customer base.
  • Potential for Acquisitions: The FBA business model has attracted many investors and firms looking for established Amazon businesses. A well-scaled FBA business can be a lucrative asset, drawing significant buyout offers.


Amazon FBA is the winner in this category

The combination of Amazon's vast infrastructure and marketplace ensures a smoother and potentially more lucrative scaling journey.

Support for Sellers

Shopify Dropshipping 

24/7 Support for Shopify Sellers

shopify dropshipping vs amazon fba

Understanding Shopify’s Support System:

  • Round-the-Clock Assistance: Shopify offers 24/7 customer support through various channels, including live chat, email, and phone. This means that regardless of your time zone or working hours, assistance is just a click or call away.
  • Resourceful Knowledge Base: Shopify’s Help Center is comprehensive, providing tutorials, guides, and answers to frequently asked questions. This allows sellers to troubleshoot issues independently.
  • Community and Forums: Shopify’s robust community forums act as a valuable resource where sellers can share experiences, offer solutions, and provide insights. The community-driven approach can often offer unique perspectives and solutions to business-specific challenges.

Amazon FBA

Amazon is a Customer-Centric, Not Seller-Centric Company

shopify dropshipping vs amazon fba

Here is Amazon's Support Framework when comparing between dropshipping Shopify vs Amazon:

  • Seller Central Help: While Amazon provides a range of resources and tools in Seller Central, the platform is vast, and navigating its intricacies can sometimes be challenging.
  • Prioritizing the Customer: Amazon’s primary focus is on the end customer, meaning that in disputes between sellers and customers, Amazon often sides with the latter. This can sometimes leave sellers feeling unsupported or marginalized.
  • Delayed Responses: Many FBA sellers have reported delays in responses from Amazon’s support. Especially during peak times, getting timely assistance can be a challenge.
  • Forums and Community: Like Shopify, Amazon also has community forums. While they can be a resource, the sheer volume of sellers on Amazon means these forums can be overwhelming and less personal.


Considering the direct and consistent support availability, Shopify Dropshipping takes the lead in this category

Their 24/7 support system, combined with a robust knowledge base and an engaged community, provides a more seller-friendly environment than the often impersonal and customer-centric nature of Amazon's support.

Shopify Dropshipping vs Amazon FBA: Table Comparison

CriteriaShopify DropshippingAmazon FBAVerdict
Pricing, fees and payments$39 - $399 monthly. 
0.5%-2 when not using Shopify Payments. 
Individual sellers pay $0.99 per sale or monthly fee is $39.99. 
Referral fees from 8%-15%.
Shopify Dropshipping
Ease and Speed of Getting StartedWithin an hour. No need for inventory or physical space. More time-consuming.Shopify Dropshipping
Product SourcingThird-party B2C marketplaces like AliExpress. Reliant on third-party suppliers.Sourced directly from manufacturers or wholesalers. Amazon FBA
Inventory and Startup CostsInitial costs include Shopify plan, custom domain, sample products for quality check, and marketing. Initial investment in inventory. Additional costs for Amazon seller account, product research tools, samples bulk orders, shipping, branding, and Amazon PPC.  Shopify Dropshipping
Customers and Competition for ThemSellers have to generate their own traffic and convert visitors to customers. Amazon's vast customer base provides immediate access to potential buyers. But, it's a highly competitive platform.Amazon FBA
Product Visibility and Generating SalesReliant on organic SEO and paid advertising (like Google and Facebook ads). Need to drive and retarget traffic.Products' visibility is based on Amazon's A9 algorithm, reviews, and sales velocity. Amazon FBA
Control Over Digital ExperienceFull control over website design with customizable themes. Predetermined layout with limited customization. Shopify Dropshipping
Timetable for ProfitabilityGenerally 6-12 months. Within a year.Shopify Dropshipping
Scalability and Potential to Build a Valuable AssetPossible but often requires building a team or using automation tools. Can build a recognized brand.Potential for significant scalability.Amazon FBA
Support for SellersOffers 24/7 customer support through various channels. Amazon tends to prioritize customers over sellers. Shopify Dropshipping

Overall Winner – Shopify Dropshipping or Amazon FBA?

When comparing the numerous aspects of Amazon dropshipping vs Shopify, both platforms offer many advantages, each catering to specific needs and preferences. However, to answer “Is it better to dropship on Amazon or Shopify?” Shopify Dropshipping emerges as the clear victor, especially for newcomers and those looking for a more hands-on experience.

Firstly, Shopify Dropshipping provides sellers with unparalleled control over their digital presence. This means that you can tailor your brand's aesthetics, messaging, and customer interactions. Such customization isn't just about the look and feel; it's about building a unique brand identity that stands out in a crowded online marketplace.

Another compelling advantage for Shopify is the ease of entry. With minimal upfront costs and no inventory requirements, it's a boon for budding entrepreneurs who are risk-averse or working with limited resources. The lack of inventory also means a fluid product offering, enabling rapid pivoting based on market trends and demands.

With Shopify Dropshipping, the potential for building a sustainable and recognized brand offers long-term value. With full ownership of customer data, the opportunity for repeat business and personalized marketing efforts becomes a game-changer. 

Although Amazon FBA certainly has its merits, especially for those aiming for rapid scalability on a vast platform, Shopify Dropshipping wins when comparing Amazon dropshipping vs Shopify for its combination of flexibility, control, and potential for brand building.

So, Amazon vs Shopify – Which Is Better For You?

Who should use Shopify? 

Shopify is best for:

  • Fashion Designers: With Shopify's easy setup and customizable themes, designers can swiftly transition their unique brand identity online, attracting a wider audience to their collections.
  • Local Boutique Owners: Given the ease of getting started and the low initial investment, boutique owners can efficiently expand their reach, transitioning from a local shop to a digital platform without breaking the bank.
  • Bookstores & Authors: Shopify's ability to optimize for SEO means bookstores and authors can increase their online visibility, ensuring their titles reach their intended audience efficiently.
  • Photographers & Visual Artists: The platform's emphasis on control over the digital experience allows artists to present their work in a distinct manner, ensuring their brand's essence is preserved online.
  • Organic Farmers & Specialty Food Producers: The ability to tap into Facebook Ads and Google Ads via Shopify ensures specialty producers can target health-conscious demographics effectively, enhancing their sales potential.
  • Home Decor & Furniture Makers: The detailed product visibility features on Shopify mean craftsmen can offer immersive 3D views, videos, or high-quality images of their pieces, driving customer engagement and sales.
  • Fitness Trainers & Nutritionists: Considering the importance of finding your audience in Shopify dropshipping, trainers and nutritionists can leverage targeted ad campaigns and SEO strategies to build a dedicated following and sell tailored programs.
  • Musicians & Indie Bands: With Shopify's focus on providing better cash flow and its 24/7 support, indie artists can ensure their digital storefront is always operational, maximizing their revenue from track sales and merch.

Who should use Amazon?

Amazon is best for:

  • Import/Export Entrepreneurs: Those dealing with international trade can capitalize on Amazon FBA's global expansion capabilities, seamlessly reaching out to vast markets without the complexities of global logistics.
  • Private Label Cosmetic Manufacturers: Given the trust Amazon commands, new cosmetic brands can use FBA to introduce their products, with the assurance of A+ content to showcase the unique benefits and ingredients of their cosmetics.
  • Sustainable Product Innovators: Entrepreneurs championing eco-friendly products can harness Amazon's vast customer base, and the platform's borrowed trust to pitch their innovative, sustainable goods to an audience already inclined towards eco-conscious buying.
  • Sports Equipment Designers: Those crafting specialized sports gear can use Amazon Storefront to effectively create a branded online space, allowing for immersive product demonstrations and testimonials.
  • Artisanal Food Producers: Specialty food makers can leverage Amazon FBA's ease of setup to introduce gourmet and artisanal foods to a wider, global audience looking for unique flavors and culinary experiences.
  • Fitness Equipment Inventors: With the fitness industry booming, inventors of niche fitness gadgets can benefit from FBA's customer-centric approach, ensuring their innovations reach fitness enthusiasts swiftly.
  • Collectible Merchants: Sellers specializing in rare collectibles, from coins to vintage items, can use FBA's infrastructure to securely store and ship their valuable items, tapping into Amazon's vast network of collectors.

FAQs: Shopify Dropshipping Vs Amazon FBA

Amazon FBA has the potential to generate higher profits due to its vast customer base and trust factors. However, profitability depends on various factors like product selection, market competition, and effective management of fees. Dropshipping with Shopify might offer a lower initial investment, but the profit margins can sometimes be slimmer compared to FBA.
From our research, Shopify is better as it provides more control over the store, product listings, and customer data. Amazon, while not primarily a dropshipping platform, can be used for it but comes with more restrictions.

No, Amazon FBA and dropshipping are distinct. With FBA, sellers send their inventory to Amazon's warehouses, and Amazon handles storage, fulfillment, and customer service. In dropshipping, especially on platforms like Shopify, the seller doesn't hold the inventory; instead, when a product is sold, it's purchased from a third party and shipped directly to the customer.

Yes, Shopify is a popular choice for dropshipping due to its user-friendly interface, customizable themes, and integrated payment systems. Its structure is tailored to support dropshippers, making it easier to manage online stores without hefty investments.
While starting with $100 is possible, it's on the lean side. This amount might cover your initial Shopify subscription, a custom domain, and maybe some basic marketing. However, to effectively test products and drive initial traffic, a larger budget is usually recommended.
Shopify dropshipping has a learning curve, especially in areas like selecting profitable products, marketing, and customer service. However, with the numerous resources, tutorials, and community support available, many find the journey manageable and rewarding.
Income from Shopify dropshipping varies widely based on factors like niche, marketing strategy, and product selection. Some dropshippers earn a few hundred dollars a month, while others generate thousands or even more. It's essential to remember that success often requires time, research, and consistent effort.


In conclusion, the choice between Shopify dropshipping and Amazon FBA hinges on individual business goals, resources, and desired operational control. Each platform offers unique strengths, and understanding these nuances will pave the way for informed and strategic e-commerce decisions.

Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.