Dropshipping vs eCommerce In 2024

Let’s begin the clash of business brilliance between Dropshipping vs eCommerce. 

I’ve used both models to establish my OWN online business. Dropshipping prioritizes efficiency. And eCommerce HITS THE BULLSEYE through quality.

And the winner goes to…

Dropshipping! Enjoy the low start-up capital required in this model. Managing fulfillment and inventory is also ELIMINATED. Freeing up money and workload on your plate. Focus on increasing customer satisfaction!

Keep reading to create an online business.

Dropshipping vs eCommerce

What is Dropshipping Business Model?

What is Dropshipping Business Model

Dropshipping is a business model requiring low initial investment and overhead costs. 

Dropshipping store owners ACCESS an extensive product inventory. WITHOUT having to own or store them. In other words, they don’t need to manage inventory. As dropshipping suppliers DO THIS TASK on their behalf.

The beauty LIES in easy scalability.  It’s easy to add more products. And even automate this process to speed up the growth process. 

But there are downsides, too. Like lower profit margins. Lack of control over product quality. Since product quality on the dropshipping model relies on a third-party supplier. 

Dropshipping is convenient, but there are TRADE-OFFS to consider.

What is eCommerce Business Model?

What is eCommerce Business Model?

Think of eCommerce as a traditional retail business transported online. The eCommerce site owner stores the items. But the STOREFRONT exists online. 

When buyers purchase from the online retail store, products are shipped to customers. 

Sure, there’s MORE WORK involved in the eCommerce model. But it offers higher profit margins and personalized product control. 

You may choose the cheapest suppliers. Easily control packaging and shipping costs. PLUS, there is no need to pay EXTRA for eCommerce fulfillment.

Dropshipping vs eCommerce: Pros & Cons

Dropshipping vs eCommerce: Pros & Cons

Dropshipping Business


  • Maintenance-Free Operation. Suppliers take care of stocks and send out orders. Freeing up TIME to focus on planning and TAKING CARE of your customers.
  • Efficient Staffing. Running most operations ONLINE streamlines our daily operations. We save up resources and eliminate the need for hiring physical staff.
  • Global Reach. We were able to establish connections with MULTIPLE SUPPLIERS globally. Cutting our shipping costs.


  • Slimmer Profits. Profit margins are NARROWER due to higher buying prices. Unlike when buying wholesale. 
  • Quality Control Issues. I’ve personally faced setbacks. Receiving SUBPAR PRODUCTS that took a toll on overall reviews.

eCommerce Business


  • Higher Profit Margin. Enjoy a BETTER profit margin compared to other business models.
  • Personal Management. Entrepreneurs HANDLE inventory, logistics, order fulfillment process, and returns. Ensuring a superior customer experience.
  • Quality Control. Maintain CONTROL over product quality. Allowing for inspections and personalization to CATER to buyer preferences.
  • Creativity in Offerings. Freedom to offer unique, custom items. Attract the attention of your target market. Fostering STRONGER CONNECTIONS.


  • Capital Requirements. A traditional e-commerce model REQUIRES MORE capital. Used for inventory and storage expenses.
  • Intense Competition. FIERCE COMPETITION on every e-commerce platform.
  • Product Risks. Possibility of being stuck with UNSOLD INVENTORY.

Shipping your product to import from china?

Leeline helps buyers ship products at the best costs.

Differences Between Dropshipping vs eCommerce

1. Profit Margins

Dropshipping businesses make less money than traditional eCommerce businesses. Even though it needs LESS initial investment upfront. Sharing the workload with a dropshipping supplier CUTS into your profits.

That said, eCommerce makes more money than drop shipping. This is because you’re creating a PRODUCT and a BRAND. The money spent GOES ON buying and storing products. 

It’s a trade-off between spending less money upfront on dropshipping. Or investing more for potentially HIGHER PROFITS with eCommerce.

2. Niche Selection

Dropshipping is all about finding niches that people are SUPER INTO. Keep an eye on what’s trending among other dropshippers. And what’s HOT on social media?

Now, for eCommerce, it’s a bit different. 

Here, choosing a niche aligned with passion is the goal. eCommerce markets are saturated, so it’s important that products are CUSTOMIZABLE. Making them UNIQUE to STAND OUT in the competition.

3. Product Selection

Product Selection

Dropshipping relies on BIG platforms like Alibaba for ready-to-ship items. Eliminating the need for EXTENSIVE inventory management. As you only buy items when a customer orders.

In eCommerce, the process is more hands-on. 

Here, buying samples from competitors is a must. It’s also necessary to ANALYZE negative reviews to refine your offerings. And craft items that align with brand identity.

4. Branding

BOTH dropshipping businesses and eCommerce offer branding opportunities. 

To FOCUS on branding as a dropshipper. Work with suppliers who offer CUSTOMIZATION SERVICES. That way, products and packaging ALL SHOUTS the brand of your own website. 

How about eCommerce? 

Again, it’s about being HANDS ON as the eCommerce store owner. Fill your inventory with customized white-labeled or private-labeled products. Work on the store’s PERSONALIZED branding and customer experience.

Both dropshipping and ecommerce help achieve SUCCESSFUL BRAND BUILDING. The path to success is different. 

5. Order Fulfillment

Order Fulfillment

Dropshipping lets the online retailer SKIP the order fulfillment process. The SUPPLIER finds, packs and ships the goods. Directing it to the customer’s shipping address. 

Does the dropshipper do nothing at all for the order fulfillment? 

Not exactly. The drop shipper deals with customer service challenges. Refunds and returns are your RESPONSIBILITY. Unless they are not offered to customers. 

Now, in regard to how eCommerce fulfillment works. One word: independently. 

Starting with finding products to packing, labeling, and shipping goods. The eCommerce fulfillment business handles every step of order fulfillment. 

Of course, when requests for returns or refunds come along. You, the eCommerce site owner, must also accommodate them. 

6. Scalability

Nothing is MORE SCALABLE than a dropshipping store in the realm of online businesses. You sell MILLIONS of products. Cover ALL NICHE that exists. Even without spending thousands of dollars. 

In comparison, an eCommerce website is much more difficult to grow. As products sold are only in your own inventory. Huge amounts of investments and manpower are needed to SCALE the BUSINESS.

We can Made Drop Shipping from China Easy

Leeline is to help Shopify & small businesses shipping products from China and build your branded business.

People Also Ask about Dropshipping vs eCommerce

Is dropshipping easier to start than traditional eCommerce?

YES! Dropshipping is like a gentle stroll into the eCommerce world. Minimal inventory management is only needed. Making it easier to launch. eCommerce needs a more hands-on approach. From eCommerce platform selection to branding. 

Are the profits better with eCommerce or dropshipping?

eCommerce tends to yield more profits, given the CONTROL it offers. In contrast, dropshipping provides QUICKER RETURNS. As your business grows. But the profits are often slimmer due to relying on suppliers.

Which is more suitable for beginners, dropshipping, or eCommerce?

Dropshipping is the better choice for beginners. Easy to start, less risk as an online store owner. And fulfillment is ON THE HANDS of a reliable supplier. eCommerce needs market research and demands time and dedication. 

What’s Next

Dropshipping and eCommerce offer diverse opportunities for millions of entrepreneurs. Dropshipping presents a low start-up cost IDEAL for beginners. And eCommerce demands more investment. But offers CONTROL and GREATER profit potential.

Want to start selling online but don’t know how?

Call Leeline. Jumpstart your online store with our reliable suppliers. Become a successful entrepreneur with profitable products!

Do you want ship Goods from China To Global?


Hey, I’m Sharline, co-founder of  Leeline. We’ve helped 5000+ customers shipping from China.

Do you want a better price on shipping?

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Sharline leeline founder

Article by:

Sharline Shaw

Hey I'm Sharline, the founder of Leeline. With 10 years of experience in the field of sourcing and shipping in China, we help 2000+ clients import from China,Alibaba,1688 to Amazon FBA or shopify. If you have any questions about sourcing and shipping , pls feel free to contact us.

Leeline footer

Leeline is your dropshipping agent that specializes in streamlining the order fulfillment process for shopify or e-commerce store.

Working Hours

Monday to Friday
9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
(China Standard Time)