Dropshipping vs Affiliate Marketing: Which is more lucrative?

Dropshipping and affiliate marketing are one of the feasible ways to make money online in Nigeria.

In fact, over the last 5 years, the most successful internet marketers in Nigeria have been those who are into either dropshipping or affiliate marketing.

What does that tell you?

There is money in there for the taking. Whether you go with dropshipping or affiliate marketing, you can’t be wrong, and you’ll definitely make good money.

In this article, we’ll look at the contrast between dropshipping and affiliate marketing, to help you make a clearer choice on which to start.

Let’s get started.

Is Dropshipping different from Affiliate Marketing?

In the simplest sense, dropshipping isn’t much different from Affiliate marketing. With both dropshipping and affiliate marketing, you are marketing other people’s products with the aim to make a profit.

So, both are still marketing in action.

But the dynamics can be quite different when you embark on any of them. With dropshipping, you have this sense of control of the business, while with affiliate marketing you are mostly dependent on the platform that enables the business.

Ease of Implementation

In my opinion, affiliate marketing is way more easier to implement than dropshipping.

In many cases, affiliate marketing is essentially plug and play. All you need to do is sign up on the affiliate platform, find products you like and start marketing them.

On the flip side, dropshipping requires you to think deeply and strategize on many aspects of the business such as customer acquisition, logistics, and market trends.

Physical vs Digital Products

It is easy to think that the distinction between dropshipping and affiliate marketing is that of selling physical products vs digital products.

Yes, dropshipping is mostly 100% physical products but affiliate marketing is not 100% digital products.

So, affiliate marketing gives a lot of room for different kinds of affiliate marketers to come in.

Whether you want to start recommending physical or digital products, you can find a suitable affiliate program for you.

But dropshipping requires you to know what you want and have a strategy right from the beginning if you want to make any profit.

You have to find the right eCommerce platform, the right market to target and the right pricing to make sales and have a profit.

Income Flexibility

This is the biggest point for me when making a choice between dropshipping and affiliate marketing.

While affiliate marketing can be as easy as signing up on an affiliate platform and selecting products to recommend, you have no control over the products pricing and how much you make.

In fact, most affiliate marketing platforms offer a fixed commission that you either accept or leave it.

Not so with dropshipping.

Dropshipping gives you the room to fix the product price as high or as low as you want. If the customer is willing to pay the price, then you’ll make your profit.

While the average income of most affiliate marketers hover around 10% of the product price, dropshippers are making as high as 500% of the original product price.

The income disparity is just too much.

Which is more lucrative?

Truth be told, I’ve done some affiliate marketing programs that offer as high as 95% of the product price.

But that is dwarfed by what many dropshipping opportunities can offer you.

Most dropshipping businesses make a minimum of 200% percent profit on the original price, and sometimes they make even more.

So, even though dropshipping is harder to set up, there is a higher ceiling for making money and it is definitely a more lucrative venture than affiliate marketing.


Starting with either dropshipping or affiliate marketing shouldn’t just be a means to an end.

The question is, can you go beyond just making a few bucks? Can you build a brand around the hustle?

Can you go from 10k to 1 million in monthly earnings?

That is why you have to consider scalability when you want to choose an online business.

For me, affiliate marketing is a restrictive way to make money online. Yes, it could get you by and help you get started making money online, but it is a limited online business and there is less income flexibility and less price control.

Dropshipping on the other hand prepares you for running an actual business. You have to put your mind into it otherwise you wouldn’t make any headway. But it is definitely scalable and could take your income to a whole new level.




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