Looking for an affordable, non-intimidating way to build a WordPress dropshipping store? We’re about to tell you how to do that with a plugin and theme combo.
The story begins with Andy Warhol, which is, in our case, not a famous artist, but a namesake store WordPress theme fully optimized for the AliExpress dropshipping business.
But any theme (if responsible developers craft it) primarily takes charge of the visual part. Most of the heavy lifting, i.e., the store-related functionality, is done through the AliDropship WordPress plugin from the same developer. Let’s elaborate…
Andy Warhol is a new addition to the collection of WooCommerce themes compatible with the mentioned AliDropship plugin. Since this plugin is entirely responsible for the connection to AliExpress, there are two crucial things to understand:
- This plugin allows you to run a holistic dropshipping store without WooCommerce or any other WordPress eCommerce plugin.
- This plugin works with the AliDropship-compatible themes, Andy Warhol among them.
However, if you are looking for a dedicated AliDropship functionality to connect to any WordPress WooCommerce theme of your choosing, there is also a great solution – AliDropship Woo plugin version by the same company.
To make it clear – with the Andy Warhol theme powered by the AliDropship plugin, you can build your AliExpress dropshipping business under one roof, without a need to resort to extra WordPress dependencies.
So there are two significant aspects we need to look at to properly review the theme in question: AliDropship powerhouse (functionality) and the actual theme design.
How to make it work
So how to turn your WordPress website into a functional dropshipping website? You need:
Step 1. Install and activate the plugin: AliDropship (a one-time payment).
Step 2. Install and activate the Andy Warhol theme: Download Andy (a one-time payment).
Once these two pieces are ready, you don’t need anything else and can start building your AliExpress dropshipping eCommerce website.
Please keep in mind that you also need to ask your WordPress host to turn on IonCube (it’s required to put an extra protection layer to the code of your store). The most popular hosting providers, such as Bluehost, support the easy way to hook up IonCube.
Built-in AliDropship plugin for seamless connection with AliExpress
Although we already have a detailed review of the plugin that powers Andy, let’s try to cover its main functionalities briefly. It’s going to help you get a better sense of it without digging into details.
First of all, you can find and import the needed products in clicks, not leaving your WordPress dashboard (the products are sourced from AliExpress automatically). It’s much easier and faster than adding custom products from scratch, by the way.
So here are two ways you can do it with AliDropship and Andy:
- Find and import the needed products directly from your dashboard via the integrated DropshipMe service (it’s already there, no additional actions are required).
Thanks to the recent DropshipMe update, you can import unedited products directly from AliExpress or import already edited products from the AliDropship base. You can also customize all the product details once they are imported just like you would do with a normal WordPress post but with extra settings from AliDropship (seasoned WordPressers might think of it as a custom post type).
- Import products selectively while staying on the AliExpress website (through their dedicated Chrome extension).
Let’s now focus on the main features. The AliDropship plugin fulfills several important functions:
- The plugin doesn’t just import the products to your store; it provides real-time AliExpress synchronization, so you always have up-to-date information on each product.
- Order fulfillment in several clicks along with automatic customer notifications (you don’t need to do anything until an order is placed!)
- Import product reviews.
- Easy SEO guidance.
- Taxable pricing and lots of recognizable payment gateways to enable.
- Coupons system.
- Optional shopper registration at your online store.
- Holistic sales and traffic reports (our test store isn’t doing that well…yet).
That is just a quick list, but the main idea is that the plugin ships with all the tools required to start and manage a fully-functional dropshipping store.
Let’s now go over to the actual Andy theme.
The Andy Warhol theme overview
We’ve tried to look at the theme in different aspects to share our observations.
Want a teaser? The three winning features of the Andy theme are polished performance (fast-loading website pages), focus on conversion-boosting elements and smooth e-commerce checkout flow. As for details…
The UX and UI
- A completely performance-oriented theme: no unnecessary design gimmicks, minified CSS (i.e., the heavy part of the source code is stripped down), and effective lazy loads. You can rest assured that your dropshipping store will load in a blink of an eye (check the demo to see what we mean).
- An uncluttered shop directory (adds up a lot to the mobile-first design, which is a great forward-looking approach in serving modern shoppers).
- Immediate focus on products and easy filters – you can be sure that you won’t lose your prospect on the home page.
- Perfectly structured individual product pages with a fully customizable look.
- Concise categories and the search bar on the front page, which will surely get a prospect to the needed product page in minimum clicks. Thanks to a massive focus on the category-led user journey, you can more easily measure interaction with your website through various analytic tools.
- You can enable infinite scrolling to implement smooth and seamless product loading. If you don’t find this UX pattern reasonable for your particular store, it’s easy to turn it off.
- A hero banner for discounted products or category call-outs on the front page (you can replace it with any custom one).
- Custom badges to create a sense of urgency (“Selling fast”) and the fear-of-missing-out effect.
- Pop-ups for in-high-demand products to push for a quick purchase.
- Feature the number of products ‘left in stock’ to encourage decision-making for your prospects.
You can enable and disable any of them with a toggle via the theme customization settings. It’s easy to run A/B tests to decide which of those pushers are the most effective for your particular audience.
- A proper space for social proof (customer reviews).
- “Verified by shoppers” trust banners.
- Employ the power of authority by marking the products as “Staff pick”. Modern shoppers are already familiar with a similar approach on the mobile app markets, so customers usually trust an expert opinion.
- Recently viewed and Recommended products for better cross-selling.
E-commerce checkout flow
- Checkout is quick and easy. Lots of spots (directly on the checkout page and in the footer) for security seals give you a chance to show shoppers that your store adheres to transaction security standards. You can quickly turn on any payment gateway, including PayPal, Stripe, and 2Checkout.
The checkout page is completely customizable so that you can go with any preferable behavior.
- The checkout page is AJAX-enabled, which means the payment happens without the page reloading.
- Easily accessible return policy.
You can easily take control over essential design elements:
- Designate the number of products shown per row separately for mobile and tablet devices.
- Set up colors for multiple design elements: links, prices, cart buttons, etc.
- Configure the header behavior (sticky header, hide categories on scroll).
- Add a Youtube video to the front page.
- Update or hide a home page promo banner in header.
- Tons of options for the single product page (e.g. you are free to enable/disable social share icons, sticky Add to cart, product details, user reviews, size guide, etc.)
- Completely customizable conversion-boosting elements.
- Deep tailoring options for the checkout page.
- Digital trust seals (upload your ones).
- Fully customizable dedicated pages (About us, Contacts, etc.)
- Several footer widgets you can update in clicks.
And we are just scratching the surface!
You got the idea – the customization is a breeze. Compared to many other store themes chock full of numerous confusing settings and extra add-ons configurable via different screens, Andy feels much more user-friendly.
They try to put the user experience first, which is the right strategy for the eCommerce website design. We have to admit that the AliDropship team knows how to make complicated things simple.
On the cons side, such a minimalist design isn’t memorable and distinguishing enough, so it may be hard to separate yourself from the competition. However, simplicity, a polished UI and decent performance, which are the main focus of the theme, are your best friends when you’re just starting. Smooth launch is of key importance; brand identity features can be added over time.
The best thing about this theme? It’s the cost! $67 is a one-time payment so far, meaning you don’t need to pay every year for updates and support. One license can be used for one domain only. Plus, you need the AliDropship core plugin, which is $89, a one-time fee as well.
Moreover, if all this sounds great so far, but you want to hand a whole process to experts and get a bespoke WordPress dropshipping website, you can do that by purchasing the needed package from the AliDropship team.
Final word: Why Andy Warhol for your WordPress dropshipping store?
So are there any benefits of choosing the Andy Warhol theme for AliDropship over other dropshipping solutions? We believe yes. To back up that claim, here are the things we absolutely love about Andy:
- The theme communicates a bare-minimum, no-frills yet functional design. No monkey job with setup, no headache with which button to click, etc. Even beginner AliExpress dropshipping merchants can handle the process.
- Lightweight code for better performance.
- Lots of supporting tools (e.g. AliDropship extension for Chrome) that ensure almost hands-off experience in setting up and running your dropshipping store.
- Though-out consumer engagement tools: the theme is optimized to boost your conversion rates through smart badges, banners, and trust signals.
- Much more affordable pricing model compared to other popular solutions: both the AliDropship plugin and the Andy theme are one-time fees.
Overall, Andy Warhol is a great starting point for small or mid-level AliExpress dropshipping company. And we must say, such great all-in-one solutions are in short supply.