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    Shopify vs Oberlo: Which is better overall, Oberlo or Shopify?

    Last Updated | January 17, 2024

    Overview: What is Shopify vs Oberlo?

    Shopify is an eCommerce platform that is self-hosted and is fully functional on its own. It is based on subscriptions by its users and is widely used to sell products online, via web stores, especially by businesses that have planned to go online in the midst of the eCommerce boom around the globe. Shopify also has a point of sales (POS) system and an application of their own that handles the stores and makes selling easier for the business owners. From building a store, inventory management, product management, etc. all the way to payment gateways and shipping of orders, the Shopify platform provides all of those features, with zero hassle for users and business owners.

    Shopify development

    Oberlo, on the other hand, is quite a different platform, because it has no hosting requirements and is not a store builder, rather, it is an application that enables businesses to bring in outsourced products or source products into their own product catalogs. Through Oberlo, most of the business owners source in products of AliExpress and their suppliers that gives the business owner great access to their resources, so they can also add products to their catalogs that they themselves do not even keep in the inventory. Just a few clicks on Oberlo will enable customers to purchase any product from AliExpress suppliers and get it shipped to them without any further hassle.

    Why do we need to compare Oberlo vs Shopify?

    The trend of using eCommerce platforms has risen by a multitude in recent years, especially during the pandemic where almost the whole world was operating online, and all the buying and selling was also being done through eCommerce, rather than physically. This is a major time when most of the physical businesses shifted their stores online, and new online stores came into existence due to the online market being the most lucrative business that existed.

    Shopify, being one of the mainly used online eCommerce development platform, saw a rise in users and business owners turn to them for building their online stores, and managing them further for the best results. Since Shopify is a self-hosted platform and has all the tools and features already in-built, this was not a difficult task for them; rather, they managed very smoothly.

    Oberlo is another platform that caught attention during this online eCommerce boom, and people were curious to know what it was. Upon research, it was found that Oberlo is not actually an eCommerce store builder; rather, it is a mediator when people want to have outsourced products into their store and sell those under their own names, which is what Oberlo does. Oberlo enables business store owners to source products from other platforms, essentially AliExpress, and sell it through their own store, which is a highly profitable business.

    Thus, in comparison, Oberlo is actually just a piece of software, and only an app, whereas Shopify is a whole self-hosted website builder and much more, which is why we will be comparing these two very different platforms here.

    Shopify development

    Shopify vs Oberlo Functionality

    In terms of functionality, Shopify is well known around the world for being one of the best eCommerce platforms, with smooth functionality and ease of use. Experts can work well with all the functions provided by Shopify, but even beginners can work well because all functions are in-built in the Shopify system itself. All options, tools and features are available on the platform itself, along with self-hosting and POS options too.

    Read Also Shopify Custom App vs Private App

    Oberlo’s functionality is different from that of Shopify because they fulfill two different purposes, but Oberlo is known to be easy when it comes to importing products into your online store from AliExpress. This importing of products is especially easier to bring into the Shopify platform, therefore, these two platforms work very well together. The Folio3 Custom Shopify Website Development Services can give a better idea in relation to what works best between Shopify and Oberlo.

    Shopify versus Oberlo Design

    Shopify is highly easy to use and is designed to assist all sorts of business owners, whether professionals or amateurs. When it comes to designing on the Shopify platform, the user gets multiple customization options, starting from the themes, all the way up to the payment gateways, everything is customizable, and can be set by the users according to their own design requirements.

    Oberlo is another easy-to-use tool, according to its design, and gives all its users a high chance to customize some of their online store features. These customizable features include: editing details of products, importing a complete product listing from AliExpress, and also editing images or variants of the products listed, etc. The Folio3 Shopify Website Designs Company has professional developers that can guide you best as to which designing options will be most profitable for your business.

    Shopify or Oberlo Themes

    Shopify has multiple theme options and templates available that are in-built, with most of them being free, and some being charged for. These themes that Shopify offers are highly mobile responsive, can load on all the different devices and gadgets and are easy to manipulate and use according to the needs of the business.

    Oberlo, itself, does not have the kind of themes that Shopify offers, because it is fulfilling a different purpose, but it has a few themes that are used to attract customers towards themselves or the platform they are linked with, such as Shopify, etc. This way, they are able to attract customers to the online store and gain profits through it.

    Shopify and Oberlo Development Time

    To develop an online store and having it up and running as soon as it is made is very simple, quick and easy to do on the Shopify platform, as the only time taken for development is the time the client takes to customize or choose their options. So, the development time for Shopify can vary from within a day, to taking a few days, depending on the clients and their fulfillment of demands.

    Oberlo is a part of the software, so there is hardly a development time if you bring it into your Shopify system, and even ordering time is low, as an order can be placed by just a simple click. The most time that Oberlo takes is in the shipping process, which will be discussed later.

    Shopify to Oberlo Features

    Shopify offers all its clients a wide range of features that include: a fully integrated blog and review section, customer data and inventory management, its own payment gateways that are faster and cheaper, a customer support system that is beyond efficient, and customizations available at every step of building an online store.

    Oberlo as well, provides a wide array of features for its users, which include: customizations of products, add products easily from AliExpress, inventory management and tracking of orders with regular updates, fulfillment of sales and orders, having multiple accounts for users on the platform, and changing the supplier of products as per the clients’ choice, etc.

    The Folio3 App Design Agency knows what the best combination of features are to suit your business needs, so hiring these professionals can benefit your business from all sides.

    Shopify vs Oberlo Payment Gateways and Fees

    The best part about payment gateways in Shopify is that there is a separate Shopify Payments method whereby Shopify offers its own payment methods that are free of cost and easy to use by the customers. Along with these, Shopify is known to accept payments from different gateways such as PayPal, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, Stripe, 2CheckOut, WorldPay, etc.

    Oberlo also is user-friendly when it comes to payment gateways because it accepts payments and is flexible in terms of all the famous gateways, such as PayPal, Stripe, Square, SecurePay, 2CheckOut, WorldPay, etc.

    Shopify vs Oberlo Budget and Pricing

    Shopify fits the budget for all the kinds of clients that exist because they have different payment plans that fit different kinds of business owners. Their payment plans are as follows:

    Shopify Plans Pricing
    Shopify Lite $9 per month
    Basic Shopify $29 per month
    Shopify $79 per month
    Advanced Shopify $299 per month


    Oberlo does not earn from advertisements as other platforms do, but it also has a pricing plan that has only two options but fits most of the clients’ budget. Their plans are as follows:

    Oberlo Plans Pricing
    Basic Plan

    (Ideal for 500 orders per month, includes tracking and monitoring of orders)



    $29.90 per month

    Pro Plan

    (Includes all features of the Basic Plan, and also allows multiple accounts for users)



    $79.90 per month


    Shopify vs Oberlo Marketing Tools

    The marketing tools that Shopify has in-built are in themselves enough to market products and online stores, such as spinning wheels, discounts, vouchers, email marketing, having blogs and related review displays, free shipping for large orders, social media marketing, marketing through search engines, and many other attractions for customers. Shopify also lets third-party marketing tools integrate with it for better marketing, taking customer satisfaction to a higher level.

    Oberlo has some attractive plans for successful campaigning of its products or related companies, such as marketing through social media, search engine optimizations, collaborations with companies and their products, having good public relations, regular giveaways, having related articles and blogs, etc. that have made Oberlo quite successful as of now.

    Shopify vs Oberlo SEO

    Shopify has top-of-the-line search engine optimizations when it comes to eCommerce platforms, and it is known to work for all the major search engines that exist today. This feature, as well, is already built into the Shopify system; therefore, the client does not need to add anything in this regard.

    With Oberlo, there are multiple search engine optimizations that are available for the use of the clients, such as: using H1 tags, catchy titles and meta descriptions, keeping within the word count rule, and using appropriate keywords that attract maximum audience.

    Shopify vs Oberlo for drop-shipping

    Shopify already has a vast number of businesses working on it that have their own inventory and sales system, but it also offers its clients the drop-shipping method, whereby the client does not have to keep an inventory of their own, rather, they act as the middle person between a transaction. This way, customers buy from them, but they have other suppliers that provide those products.

    Oberlo itself is one of the best pieces of software for drop-shipping purposes because it mainly deals with AliExpress, which is one of the biggest selling companies around the world, and is the guru of the drop-shipping method as well.

    Shopify vs Oberlo Customer Help and Technical Support

    The customer support and technical help department of Shopify work tirelessly, 24/7 in order to solve any issues that may pertain to customers at any point in time. From live chat, phone calls, messages, to emails and call center support, the Shopify team offers them all. In addition, the professionals in this department know exactly what they are dealing with and have a very prompt response rate with the customers.

    Oberlo provides its customers with a wide knowledge base and forum on their website, where the customers can seek any help that they need themselves, which is not bound by time. Additionally, call-center support, live chat and email support are also provided to customers in case of emergencies or when in need of first-hand support.

    Shopify vs Oberlo Integration

    Shopify is an eCommerce platform that is open to integrations with most of the software, programs and applications that exist in the online world today. It provides its customers a smooth integration process with whichever third-party application or program they want and is friendly with almost all the different platforms. Even migrating from one platform to another can be a smooth transition when it comes to Shopify, but the Folio3 Shopify Migration Services can help you out in this regard.

    Oberlo, being a small part of the software, cannot integrate anything into itself, but it can be easily integrated into other programs and platforms. Such is the case when Oberlo is integrated with Shopify; there is a smooth process, followed by great results from both these platforms merging together, as they bring great profits for the clients. The Folio3 Shopify Integration Services has a team of experts that can guide you through this whole integration process in a much better way.

    Shopify vs Oberlo Sales features

    The sales features that Shopify clients receive from this platform are beyond amazing, as it caters to everything in one place. These features include Shopify’s own point of sale (POS) system, recovery of abandoned carts, separate calculations for shipping prices, analysis of repeat purchasers and top buyers, selling through all the different media, social media channels, and many more.

    Oberlo’s sales features are mostly in relation to the platform it is working with. It imports products from AliExpress, but if it is integrated with Shopify, then all the sales features that Shopify offers will work well with Oberlo as well.

    Shopify vs Oberlo Inventory Management

    Shopify has a whole system of inventory management that it offers its clients. This management includes making orders as per need, tracking orders that have been received or made, maintaining minimum order quantities, etc. which are all taken care by Shopify itself.

    Oberlo does not need a complete inventory management system because it does not keep an inventory of its own, rather, it helps platforms like Shopify to import items and product listings from AliExpress and sell them under their own store, and thus, Oberlo needs no inventory of its own.

    Shopify vs Oberlo Mobile Responsiveness

    As earlier mentioned as well, all of the themes that Shopify offers, whether free or paid for, are highly mobile responsive and work well with all different kinds of devices. In addition, Shopify also has its own app for iOS and Android mobiles, making accessing the web store easier for clients no matter where they are. The Folio3 Shopify Maintenance Services can help the clients in further working with mobiles and responses.

    Oberlo is also highly responsive when it comes to mobiles, and also has a mcommerce department that deals with mobile commerce and selling over the mobile. Thus, their mobile responsiveness is great and helps the clients in many ways.

    Shopify vs Oberlo  Application Integrations

    Shopify, as an eCommerce platform, has its own app store, where many different applications exist that Shopify is easily integrated with, or which can be integrated into Shopify. Other than those, Shopify is also open to integrations with different applications, as it is a customizable and easy-to-use platform.

    Oberlo cannot integrate any applications within itself, but it is highly flexible and can be integrated into any other application, no matter where and when. For example, if Oberlo is integrated into Shopify, it works well with all other applications that exist in Shopify as well.

    Compare Shopify and Oberlo – Final Thoughts

    Shopify and Oberlo both are very different kinds of platforms, and both fulfill different kinds of purposes, thus, there is no real comparison between the two. In addition, Oberlo can be used with Shopify as an integrated program, giving the best results to all Shopify users who opt for it, meaning that they can both work in utter harmony.

    The use of either Shopify or Oberlo, or both actually depends on the kind of business the store owner is carrying out or the kind of store they are operating. The needs of the business and the requirements of the owner are what come in the way of choosing either or both of these platforms.

    Shopify and Oberlo both provide eCommerce solutions to different kinds of business and clients, and cater to different kinds of markets, but one major benefit that Oberlo brings to its pool of clients are all the products and categories of AliExpress that can be imported into the system and sold under their own store just because Oberlo has complete access to them all, so the question arises here: is Oberlo the next Shopify? Only time can tell.

    FAQs – Shopify vs Oberlo:

    Do I need Oberlo for Shopify?

    No, Oberlo is not required for Shopify because Shopify itself is a self-hosted eCommerce platform.

    However, Oberlo integration with Shopify is essential, and so; you may need Shopify if you want to use Oberlo.

    How much does Oberlo cost?

    The Oberlo Explorer is free of cost, and you can make multiple orders on it. Though Oberlo only works on the Shopify platform, thus, Oberlo Shopify integration is required and you need to pay for Shopify eventually.

    How does Shopify work with Oberlo?

    Shopify vs Oberlo is not a debate, because Oberlo is a part of Shopify that gives the platform complete access to product listings and suppliers of AliExpress, so that Shopify users can sell AliExpress products under their own store, where Oberlo is the mediator.


    Folio3, a Software Powerhouse established in 2005, is one of the leading eCommerce solution providers for SMBs and Fortune 500. The Company has expertise in diverse industries such as Animal Care, Retail, Automotive, Food and Agriculture, and Health care. From ecommerce store design and development to full-scale ERP deployment and integration, Folio3 has done it all.