AliExpress DropShipping: How to Start a Dropshipping Business Easily
If you are looking for an easy way to start dropshipping with AliExpress, you are in the right place. Since you are here, you can rest assured and need not worry anymore. In this guide, you will find all the answers to your questions regarding AliExpress dropshipping.
We will start from the basics and cover every aspect of what dropshipping is and how you can start your dropshipping business.
In this article, we’ll be using one of our favorite plugins for creating an AliExpress dropshipping shop: Alidropship
Dropshipping is a great way to make money. You can even start a side business for dropshipping and later when you see you are making enough money from your dropshipping business; you can go full time as well.
According to a recent survey by McKinsey Global Institute, nearly 162 million people from Europe and the US, are involved and depends on some independent work. This makes up to 20-25% of the whole population.
It is not even just about the money. McKinsey’s report states that people who are working independently are more satisfied with their daily lives regardless of their incomes, age, education, country, etc. You too can be a part of this group and start an independent income source with AliExpress dropshipping business.
If you are little lost and do not know what dropshipping is, then let’s understand that first.
What is Dropshipping Business?
Dropshipping is a profitable business model that is gaining popularity at a swift pace in the world of online business.
In simple terms, dropshipping business is a unique type of business where you sell the products to your customers which you do not own. Your customer places the order on your website, and the order gets forwarded to the supplier. Your customers receive the order or the delivery directly from the supplier. Sounds confusing?
How dropshipping works?
Let me explain this to you with the help of an example.
Let’s say you are selling mugs on your website and your supplier is in China. A buyer from the US places an order on your site. With the help of dropshipping, your supplier, who is in China, will get the details of the order and will ship the product directly to the customer in the United States. You do not worry about the packaging, handling, and, shipping at all. You keep your percentage and forwards the remaining amount of the product to the supplier.
This way, you make a sale on behalf of the supplier with your eCommerce store and do not have to worry about delivery, shipping, etc. and make a good percent commission on the product.
Benefits of Dropshipping
Various benefits come with Dropshipping. I am sure you must have some ideas popping up in your head by now, but if you are having a hard time seeing how dropshipping can help you in your business, you can check them here.
- Huge Savings: Since you do not own the products yourself, you do not have you pay for storage and warehousing. This directly eliminates the expenses of storing, warehousing, maintenance, and other costs related to stocking.
- Wide Reach: Since you are doing online business, there is no limitation to the audience that you can reach. You can even serve the global audience if you want.
- Free and Independent: You do not have to report to anyone. You can work from home and at the same time, you can work from anywhere in the world. This gives you seamless possibilities to grow and expand your business.
- Newcomers Friendly: Dropshipping business is straightforward to set up and to get started with. You do not require any previous experience, and you can start with a minimal capital which will be just for your website and hosting plan.
- More Time to Expand: Since you do not have to worry about shipping, handling, and inventory management, you can focus on how you can better market, advertise, and promote your business.
I am sure by now you know how profitable dropshipping business is and how you too can grow with dropshipping, let’s now take a look at what is AliExpress dropshipping and why you should go with it.
What is AliExpress Dropshipping?
AliExpress is one of the largest eCommerce platforms in the world and is created to bring together Chinese manufacturers and the rest of the world. Sellers or vendors and even corporations from China use this platform to sell their products to the rest of the world.
Since these items are listed at a very low price, this makes an excellent platform for a dropshipping business. Also, this is one of the few platforms which sell a product in single pieces. So, low prices and small volumes together make AliExpress one of the best platforms for starting a dropshipping business.
The store is not small at all. There are more than 100 million products listed on AliExpress. This makes it possible to work with every dropshipping business owner to start a profitable business.
You also get the best prices from AliExpress, and you do not have to worry about competitive prices at all. Low rates also give you the option to maintain a right margin for your store. For some products, you can even keep the markup prices 5 to 10 times to what you are paying. This will create a good room to grow your profits and business.
There are various sellers on AliExpress as well. Often you will see that multiple sellers are selling a single product and you can choose your desired seller based on the reviews and the price they are offering.
Also, when it comes to shipping, you do not have to worry about this at all. AliExpress vendors deliver their products worldwide. This gives you an option to list worldwide delivery as an option. Recently, AliExpress has also started ePacket delivery as well, which is available in the major markets and delivers the orders in 7 to 14 days. Purchases are also provided with tracking codes which helps the customers in tracking and learning where their parcel is. This puts AliExpress ahead in the game.
AliExpress Dropshipping: Why Would Someone Buy From Your Store Instead?
Listing AliExpress products on your website and making a sale seems like a challenge to some. Most of them have the same question, why would someone buy from my store instead?
Your competitive advantage is not your price or shipping, but it’s your service, customer support, marketing, and operations.
Brilliant marketing is alone a considerable advantage. Good marketing initiatives help your customers reach the desired customer faster. Many times users are no able to make a purchase or even find the product they are looking for because there is no proper marketing done for that specific product.
You can even build a brand for the products you are dropshipping and start selling to even a vast customer base. You can also build authority in your niche and expand your store as per your choice.
Another thing that can make a massive difference to your store is your customer support and after-sale services. Most of the sellers on AliExpress cannot provide service to the worldwide audience. So, you can bride that gap and can build good relations with your customers by your strong customer support.
How to Setup an AliExpress Dropshipping Store?
To set up an AliExpress dropshipping store, you need to take care of some things before you go into your WordPress dashboard and start doing the technical stuff. You need to plan and see what you need to do to make this process worth your time and speed it up with precise planning.
This guide will help you understand what all you need to do down to every detail.
The first thing that you need to do is plan what you will be selling. There might be various products on your mind already but going with them requires planning first. This brings us to our first step.
Finding Your Niche
The first thing you need to do is finding your niche. If you already have a product in mind, you need to check how popular and effective the product is in terms of sales. More popularity will increase the chances of boosting your purchases in your eCommerce store.
You can also check popular products on AliExpress. This will give you a rough idea of what products you must be looking for listing on your store.
You also need to focus on the demand for the product in the market. You can check this with Google Trends and see if the product is worth going or not. The product must show a positive or at minimum, a stable trend.
Ideally, you should be checking every possible product and subcategories which you are going to list on your website.
Lookout for Competition
It is almost impossible to find a niche that has immense popularity and still have less competition. For this, you can start looking for your opponents by searching keywords that you want your targeted users to type in. I am sure you would find at least a few stores in your niche.
If you find a lot of stores on the search keywords, it is a good idea to try looking for another niche. Your niche can be a good one, but if you have a lot of competition, it might be hard for you to rank and bring in traffic. So, a good option is to try looking for another good niche which is popular enough but does not have a lot of competition.
You might find a broad niche interesting since you will have multiple products to offer on your website, but this is something which I would not recommend going for.
You can definitely do that, and nobody is stopping you but going for that will only create problems or you since you will require a lot of effort to bring in traffic to a broader store.
For a smaller niche website, you can quickly bring in traffic since the group of people you are targeting are very specific. Also, when you narrow down your niche, you get a clear understanding of your targeted audience and about what you are going to sell.
If you build enough authority in your niche, you will get more orders on a smaller niche than an extensive store since whenever somebody wants to buy something, your store will be the first thing popping up in their mind.
Stock And Product Categories
Apart from looking at the popularity and competition, you also need to check the stock and sellers on AliExpress as well. You need to make sure that there are enough products and categories available in that specific niche.
You can start by heading to AliExpress and entering the keywords related to the product you are planning to sell. I tried out this keyword on AliExpress and found these items popping up in our search suggestions. A right amount of items translates to the right niche.
Also, you need to check if you have various vender options available or not regarding vendors. Ideally, you should have at least more than one vendor to choose from. From this, you can compare what both the vendors are offering and then go with the one that you like.
Usually, this is something that you do not have to worry about since most of the products being offered on AliExpress have very competitive prices. However, you must take care of this aspect as well.
You must always research the prices of the products you are planning to sell.
Ideally, the prices listed on AliExpress should be at least half of what your competitors are selling for. Try to pick at least 8-10 products on your niche and look up the best prices on AliExpress including shipping and other charges (if any).
The next thing you need to do is do a Google search for similar products and see the prices of your competitors.
The product with a right margin will be the one you need to go for.
Once you have confirmed the products you want to sell, the next thing you need to do is to set up your WordPress eCommerce AliExpress dropshipping store.
You can also check your niche with the AliDropShip’s Find Your Niche tool.
Setting Up AliExpress Dropshipping Store on WordPress
In this tutorial, we will be going with WordPress and will be setting up our eCommerce store on WordPress.
If you do not have a WordPress website, you can directly start with the tutorial, and if you do not have a WordPress website, you can do it in minutes.
You need a domain which you can find on GoDaddy and a hosting plan for your website. I recommend you go with Siteground because the value you get with Siteground is way beyond what you pay. Also, you will get WordPress pre-installed on your website, so you do not have to worry about installing WordPress separately.
Once you have your website ready to go, we can go ahead with setting up our WooCommerce Dropshipping store.
AliExpress Dropshipping: Setting Up AliDropShip Plugin
For this task, we will be using the AliDropShip plugin, which comes with the complete set of features that you need to start and set up your dropshipping business successfully smoothly. Check out our AliDropShip review.
With this plugin, you will be able to easily add products on your website just by specifying keywords, categories, purchase volume, and other options. You can also go to AliExpress.com, look for the item you want to add and then import them directly to the site in just a single click. The desired product will show up on your website instantly.
Since this plugin has an auto-updating system, you do not have to worry about the variations in the product prices, inventory, and other varieties. The plugin will keep your website up to date by reflecting any change on your website, which occurs on AliExpress’s product listing.
The first thing you need to do is installing the plugin on your website. For this, go to your WordPress Admin dashboard > Plugins > Add New.
Upload the plugin there and click on the Install Now button. Once the installation is complete, hit the Activate button to activate the plugin.
Set Up a Good Looking WordPress Theme
Now the next thing you need to do is choosing the theme for your store. AliDropShip is only compatible with the themes available on alidropship.com so you can go ahead and select the theme you want.
There are various themes available out there with different designs and layouts. You can check them out and select the one which you want to use. I recommend the Da Vinci theme. It has a simple and flat design style and comes with various customization options.
Download the theme from Alidropship website and install and activate it to your WordPress website. If you do not know how to do that, go to your website and enter the dashboard by entering the login ID and password. Now, go to Appearance > Themes and click on Add New.
Now click on the upload theme button and upload the zip file of the theme which you downloaded from alidropship.com. Click on Install Now button and once the installation is done, click on the Activate button. You can go to the front end of your website and see the changes in the layout of your website.
Customizing your Store
Now we will start setting up our store to make it look personalized and the way we want it to be displayed.
Go to the customizations option in the WordPress dashboard and click on the General option. Here you will be able to customize your store’s sitewide and general settings. You can change the favicon and icon of your shop. Further, you can enable/disable the infinite scroll, order quantity, selling fast badge, lazy load, star rating for the products listed on your website.
You can also choose a color for most of the options mentioned above.
You can change the logo of your website and can even enable/disable the sticky header option with a single toggle switch. Moreover, you can add categories and add categories links to the header of the website with the help of given options.
Coming to footer customization, you can change every detail mentioned on your footer. You can change the color scheme, menu settings, enable the back-to-top button, copyright text, contact details, and trust badges on your website quickly.
Home Page Customizations
Coming to the home page customizations, you can change almost every part of the page and the aesthetic appeal using the options and settings given.
You can customize the banner, video settings, and the article easily. You can upload the image for banner and video settings as well.
Single Product Page Customizations
Now comes the single page customizations. Since this is the part where your user will be deciding to make the purchase, you get full freedom to customize this page as per your wish and make it work.
You can change the overall settings, urgency banner, product left in the stock banner, social proof banner, payment method, staff picks, features, etc. from the settings. All the settings are self-explanatory and can be customized easily.
Other Store Customizations
Just like the single product page, you can make customization to other parts of your dropshipping store as well.
You can customize the category page, checkout, about us, thank you, contact us, customer, blog, and various other pages using these settings. Go to the page settings and change the things that you want to be reflected on your website. It is super easy to set up. Go ahead an make the changes that you want.
Defining Product Categories and Creating Store Menu
For this, go to your Dashboard > Products and then click on product categories. Here you can add a category, customize a category, and change the slug of an already existing category.
You can add as many categories you want but make sure there are not too many categories in your store. Fewer categories will not confuse your users and will help them navigate easily. Go ahead and add the categories for your products. You can always come back and change the categories later.
Once you are done, go to the Appearance > Menu to change the categories order. Add the menus and drag and drop to move them in your menu structure. Once you are done, click on the Save button.
Setting Up Currencies
Since you will be selling online worldwide, you need to set up the currencies that you are comfortable in dealing with. AlidropShip allows you to choose a default currency and gives your customers an option to check the prices in their currencies as well.
Click on the Alidropship plugin and go to Settings and then click on the Currency option.
Here you can change the default currency for your store and can even add multiple currencies that your users can convert to and see the prices. You can also enable the Geolocation option, which automatically detects the geolocation of your users and updates the prices and currencies of the product for that specific country.
You can see the conversion rate of your default currency to other currencies as well quickly on the right side of the screen.
Pricing and Markup
Alidropship allows you to set custom rules for your products in terms of markup percentages and adding pricing rules.
You can change the pricing rules easily by going to Alidropship > Settings and then clicking on the Pricing option.
You can set a custom formula or can even use the existing recommended formulae for your store. The recommended button will add seven different formulae to your pricing and products, which is optimized for the highest profits and increased conversion rate.
Coming to rounding up the prices, you often don’t want to add pricing to your products which are not consistent. For example, if your store has three different products and they are priced at $12.43, $34.63, $78.71, you might want them to look like these: $12.99, $34.99, $78.99.
For this, you need rounding up. Not just 99, you can round up the prices of your products to any number you like. You can do this easily by enabling the rounding option and assigning the desired cents value. The rates will be rounded up to this number automatically.
Payments and Payment Gateways
For receiving payments, you need to set up gateways, and here is how you can do that. Go to Alidropship > Settings and then click on Payments.
Here you can set up payments by filling up and entering the necessary details in the fields given below. You can set up PayPal, Credit/Debit card, and even Cash on Delivery. Just enter the details there, and your payment gateways are good to go.
Adding Products to your Store
Now your store is ready, and the only thing required right now is the products. I am sure you must have the niche and targeted products selected from step 1. We will soon be adding those products to our website.
For this, you will require the AliDropShip chrome extension. This extension makes the product adding procedure blazing fast and almost close to a single click operation.
Go ahead and install the extension to your google chrome browser. Click on the Add to Chrome button to add the extension to your browser.
Once you have installed and activated the chrome extension, we can go ahead and start adding products to our store.
Go to AliExpress.com store and look for the product or category you want to import in your store. You might notice AliDropShip header at the top. This is what we will be using here for importing the products to our store.
Find the product you want and select the product category from the top. Click on the import button to import the product directly to your store.
If you wish, you can change details and images of the product before you import it on your store easily by clicking on the ‘Edit’ button next to Import. This will open up another popup, and here you can change all the product details and descriptions of the product.
From the name to permalink, you can update the product and import it on your website easily. You can change the image, filters, attributes, pricing, description, and even the item specifics from the same popup.
Once you are done making changes, you can go ahead and click on the import button to import the product to your website. You can import products to your website using the import products option your dashboard as well.
You can go ahead and add full product categories on your website as well. Just go to the product categories and listing and import the full listing by clicking on the Import button.
AliExpress Dropshipping: Over To You!
You are all set! You can go ahead and do a test order on your website. Check if everything is working the way it should or not. If you face any problem, you can always reach out to the AliDropShip’s customer support.
Now you can go ahead and promote your online store on all social media platforms as well. Do not miss out on marketing. This is one of the most vital steps for any Dropshipping business. You are here to bridge the gap by making the product reach to every potential buyer. And this can be done with the help of marketing.
Make sure you are taking care of your website regularly and updating it on a daily basis. You can start and create facebook, twitter, and, Instagram accounts for your products. You can start doing social media posts on social media accounts on a daily basis, and then you can even start running campaigns for your products.
If you like this plugin and are planning to start your WordPress Dropshipping store, do comment down your thoughts below. I would love to know which niche you are planning to launch in and what are your thoughts on the same.