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In the era of e-commerce, there’s hardly a person who has not heard this word. If you have ever wondered “What is dropshipping? What is all this hype about?”, this article can explain it.
Dropshipping is the form of retail where the reseller (and you actually are the reseller) collects orders from customers and transfers them to the actual manufacturer or another reseller (supplier).
In this model dropshipper doesn’t possess any stocks, he only markets the goods. However the reseller markets the goods setting the prices that are pretty higher than the ones set by the supplier, this difference is your profit.
When you open a retail store, you have 2 choices: to hold inventory, or not. You can buy products in bulk, unpack them, and ship them to your customers as you generate sales. OR, you can find a wholesale distributor (supplier) who will warehouse the items for you and ship individual items directly to your customer.
Drop ship, “pack and ship”, “direct fulfillment” – they all mean the same thing. A supplier will ship the item to your customer for you, and you never have to handle the product. Drop shipping allows the reseller to focus on marketing the business and eliminate the hassle, time, and cost of dealing with the actual products they are selling.
In dropshipping model although you don’t need to stock the goods you will still need some money at the very start. The reason is when you receive the order from the customer the money he pays won’t transfer to your account immediately but will be frozen for the safety reasons. At the same time you will have to pay for the order to the supplier which will require your own money.
What is dropshipping and how dropshipping works can be clearly seen in this video:
Dropshipping business has numerous benefits:
It’s easy and cheap to set up and manage
Your risks are very low
You can run your ecommerce business from anywhere, so it is highly mobile
Your possible profit and scale of your business are practically not limited
You can combine dropshipping with other working activities
But you should be ready to some potential pitfalls:
You badly need reliable suppliers
Level of competition is very high, so you should have a deliberate promotion strategy
Shipping issues and inventory management can complicate your customer service
Ready to start your own dropshipping business? Not so fast…
I usually dive in straight away with these plugin reviews, but here I wanted to leave a few definitions at the top. Be ready to scroll back up as you read on, because it’s not exactly straightforward!
And for the WordPress side of things:
Finally, AliDropship has two plugins for WordPress, one that works with a standard website, and another designed specifically to integrate with WooCommerce: it’s called AliDropship Woo Plugin.
If you already use WooCommerce, the answer should be obvious: AliDropship Woo offers the best integration because you can enable WooCommerce themes. However, they recommend you add a maximum of 500 products, vs a near unlimited 10,000 with the standard AliDropship plugin.
You can find a detailed comparison of the two plugins on this AliDropship resource page.
In all honesty, I’m not sure I would bother with AliDropship Woo if I didn’t rely on WooCommerce already. Remember: to use the classic AliDropship plugin you don’t need WooCommerce. A standard WordPress site will do!
First, let’s talk about the pros of AliExpress. It lets you sell more than 100M products from 100K+ suppliers. There isn’t much you can’t find there, from lightsaber umbrellas to leashes for hamsters.
About AliExpress suppliers
AliExpress supposedly vets the “trusted” suppliers who list on the platform. However, it’s not unheard of for scammers to slip through the cracks. Dropshipping is always risky, so common sense applies. Read the buyer reviews. Try to gauge their communication. It’s always wise to buy a product for yourself to see how fast it arrives at your house – especially before a bulk order.
Delivery is available in 200+ countries via plenty of carriers (UPS, FEDEX, DHL, TNT etc.). Shipping is often free and includes order tracking. Their Buyer Protection System is also good, as it includes money-back guarantee.
Now, the AliDropship plugin lets you:
You need to have WordPress installed on your site (make sure you are running PHP 7.1+ or ask your hosting company if unsure).
Find the AliDropship plugin directly on their website. (I searched the WordPress plugin directory, but couldn’t find it there.)
You need to buy the license. Bear in mind that 1 license = 1 dropshipping store.
Then, I recommend you go to the settings page.
The most important section is probably the pricing settings. It lets you define your product pricing ranges before you start importing products. If you don’t, you won’t make any profits because you would sell the product for the original price from AliExpress. I guess it’s a good time to check competitor prices to find the right margin.
For a smooth operation, you should also use Google Chrome and install the free AliDropship extension (other browsers aren’t supported yet). This will allow you to import products with one click from AliExpress. Otherwise you have to set up everything manually. That’s very tedious.
Now comes the fun part. Start browsing AliExpress and search products you like the look of.
Click import on the AliDropship banner, and that’s it! The product will automatically show up in your WordPress Products section as a draft.
Then, don’t forget to edit your own product descriptions. You can add categories, change the price, and create an inventory. It would damage your SEO if you don’t modify anything, and besides, a lot of the original descriptions are poorly written anyway.
A neat extra feature from AliDropship is that you can edit the pictures directly from the plugin. Great for removing those ugly supplier logos.
If you aren’t happy with the imported product picture, simply edit it in WordPress. No Photoshop required!
Pretty easy, right?
It’s worth noting that when you import products from the AliDropship database (rather than directly from AliExpress), there’s no way to get only product picture links and leave the photos on AliExpress.
Your hosting server will save all product photos. The average size of a product upload for ten items ranges from 3MB to 100MB, depending on the amount and quality of photographs.
If you plan on importing a large number of edited products from the AliDropship database, keep in mind that your hosting server must have sufficient disc space.
If images are missing from goods imported from the integrated database, this indicates that the image upload process has been halted. Please try to delete such products (and make sure they’re also deleted from Trash) and re-import them using the Re-import button.
Wait until: 1) the progress bar in each product is full and green; 2) the green active Re-import button transforms into a grey inactive Imported button, and 3) the message indicating that importing is complete shows. Please wait until all of the products have been re-imported before leaving or reloading the page.
Have you already started working on your fantastic dropshipping website? Great! It’s now time to let everyone know you’ve got one!
The importance of marketing for the growth of a dropshipping business cannot be overstated. This is why we’ve created a set of additional tools to assist you to grow sales, earnings, and save even more time spent on marketing duties.
Encourage your customers to BUY NOW!
You may use this add-on to make eye-catching notifications for your product pages. To create the so-called ‘fear of missing out,’ you can tweak the parameters and change the sale period and number of products accessible.
Your visitors would certainly not want to miss out on a great deal! As a result, they’ll be more likely to finalize their transaction without hesitation – resulting in a higher profit margin than typical!
Your visitors will be able to observe the flurry of activity on your website thanks to this add-on. It will show them that a lot of other people are buying things from you safely, and they won’t have to worry about your store’s reliability.
Furthermore, seeing the specific products that have been purchased will give them even more suggestions of what they can buy from you safely.
Who knows, maybe they’ll end up ordering something they weren’t planning on purchasing.
Show off your unique store offerings with style!
Are you announcing a massive sale? Do you want to show off some of your store’s new product offerings? Nothing beats a captivating banner at the top of your website for resolving these concerns!
With the help of Alidropship Promo Banner add-on, you can easily create one!
It includes a collection of professionally designed themes that make your website pages appear trustworthy and appealing. Furthermore, these banners are fully customizable, which means you have complete control over creating a unique AND purchase-inducing design for your pages.
Make the most of the power of social proof to boost your company’s profitability!
Do you want your store’s visitors to believe that your deals are worthwhile?
Authentic client reviews are used as a highly effective business growth driver in this fantastic add-on. It works like magic: the add-on collects evaluations from AliExpress purchasers as well as your own customers and organises them on a special page.
This is a simple and effective approach to show potential customers that they can trust your company – and to influence their purchasing decisions!
More than 50,000 bestselling and already 100% edited AliExpress products are available in the AliDropship product database. To develop a base full of precisely optimized products, the AliDropship team of experienced drop shippers searches for promising products and picks only trustworthy AliExpress suppliers. Alidropship experts do preliminary market research and assess each product based on a set of key criteria. Then they manually select and edit product information such as titles, descriptions, photos, variations, and so on.
The database is always expanding to provide you with a greater range of products. After importing the products and filling your store with them, you’ll be able to enjoy perfectly pre-optimized product pages right away.
Without altering, compare the following AliExpress products:
and a database product that has already been edited:
Why is it preferable to stock your online store with AliDropship products? Just think about it:
If this is your first ecommerce, you’ll be entering the weird and frustrating word of payment gateways. Essentially, they are the companies that act as intermediary between you (the merchant), your customers, and the banks. Payment gateways process card payments. And it costs money to do it.
With AliDropship, the obvious choices will be PayPal or Stripe. There are a few more options, but nowhere near as famous. They all charge between 2-4% on each transaction.
AliDropship Woo has a few more recognizable names. Authorize.net, Square and Amazon payments are also supported.
At the time of writing, there are 14 add-ons to boost your AliDropship store. WooCommerce. Here they are in picture form:
It’s not much, and it certainly pales in comparison with the 280 or so extensions available for WooCommerce.
But still, there’s some good stuff in there! The Free Abandoned Cart feature and extra Google Analytics, for instance, are great tools to add to your arsenal.
For the other add-ons, they’re a bit more niche, so maybe not essential if you’re just starting your first dropshipping venture.
Email will be your primary contact channel, but there is also a live chat. Support is good, and the answers are clear.
But what’s really impressive is the AliDropship community forums and knowledge base. It’s rare to see something like a WordPress plugin offer such detailed information and conversation around their products.
For instance, there are 490+ conversations around the themes, and 200+ discussing the add-ons. It’s a great place to ask questions and read official answers from the AliDropship team.
Finally, the knowledge base is well-populated, well-written, and often come with video tutorials, if that’s your thing.
In conclusion, I’d say there are tons of advantages of using AliDropship. But there are a number of ifs.
… then I say yes, go for it. For $89 you get such a timesaver when browsing and importing AliExpress products. And the extra features are really good too. Being able to manage your inventory and track orders from one dashboard, for instance, can help really feel really in control of your business.