Dropshipping advertisements often promise futures of success and financial wealth without putting in much work. However, if you've been in the dropshipping space before, you know there's nothing easy about it. It's great for smaller companies without much starting capital, and we also like it for established brands that would like to branch out into a new product without having to buy in bulk.
Since dropshipping is so similar to regular ecommerce, we love finding tools that expedite the process for vendors and make business easier. AliDropship is one of those tools, and in this AliDropship review, we'll outline which features are offered to help your business and if it's worthwhile for you to check out.
If you're not familiar with AliExpress, it's part of the giant Alibaba company from China. Alibaba is similar to Amazon but it dominates the Asian market instead of more of the western world like Amazon.
Eventually, Alibaba came out with a service called AliExress, which allows businesses and individuals to purchase individual, or smaller batch, products for close to wholesale pricing. Because of this, many dropshipping plugins and apps have been created to instantly pull AliExpress products into your online store.
AliDropship is one of those plugins, but with some differences.
How Does AliDropship Work?
You may notice that Shopify seems to have the most options for dropshipping apps with AliExpress. That's one of the main advantages of AliDropship, in that it integrates with WordPress and WooCommerce instead of Shopify. You can also get hosting and build a complete website through AliDropship, without developing the site yourself.
So, essentially, AliDropship connects with your WordPress store and allows you to browse and pick products from AliExpress. After that, the products are automatically sent to your shop with product details included such as the description, title, and photos.
You have two options to choose from when deciding to pay for AliDropship. The first is the custom store, which lets you develop your own dropshipping website on the AliDropship platform. As mentioned, the hosting is provided and you enjoy 100% ownership of your shop. In addition, AliDropship has a library of templates so it's not that difficult to make your online shop.
The alternative is to consider the WordPress plugin. The plugin looks and works similar to the custom store, but it integrates with a previously designed WordPress site. So, if you're already using WordPress and WooCommerce, or you're familiar with that interface, the AliDropship plugin makes the most sense.
AliDropship Review: The Best Features
The primary feature with AliDropship is the one-click plugin that turns your entire WordPress site into a fully functional online store with dropshipping options. You could also argue that the custom websites are features, but that's more of a service than anything.
As for the features that actually come with the plugin, here are some of the standouts:
Quite a few automated tools are packed in with the AliDropship plugin. One of them is for searching for and importing your products, with filters and a button to add the products to your site. Another helps out with pricing automation since it lets you create your own rules to set your own markups when pricing changes. We also like the options to fulfill orders automatically and send out order tracking.
A Handful of Awesome Add-ons
From Google Merchant support to Facebook Business add-ons, you don't have to spend much money to include a fully automated solution into your store.
AliDropship comes with several built-in themes so you don't have mess with code. There's also WooCommerce support, a built-in image editor, and product variations.
The marketing section is one of my favorite parts of AliDropship, because you rarely get this with dropshipping programs. To start, AliDropship includes an option to share discount coupons with your customers. You can also set up an area for product reviews.
Email lists are possible if you'd like to collect emails, and the abandoned cart feature helps you bring people back to your site.
AliDropship Review: The Pricing
Although the pricing for AliDropship is fairly straightforward, there are several items you have to decide between, and the website also has some add-ons you might need to consider in the future.
To start, AliDropship sells its WordPress plugin for $89. It's not clear on the website if this is a one-time fee or if you have to pay yearly for continued support. Regardless, most plugins like this have the one-time fee and the upgrade for support. This payment includes updates, automation, unlimited products, and all of the main features we talked about.
If you'd like to construct a custom dropshipping store on the AliDropship platform, the packages start at $299. This is a one-time fee where the store starts with 50 products (added for you) but then allows for an unlimited number of products after. The online store is created for you, so there's not much development work on your end.
The other custom store plans cost $499 and $899. These upgrades have various benefits like promo videos for your products and social media promotional tools.
The hosting is quite reasonable with AliDropship, seeing as how it starts at $48 per year and includes a free SSL.
Here are all of the hosting plans compared:
- Silver – $48 per year for 3GB of space, unlimited bandwidth, a control panel, 20 email addresses, free SSL and up to five websites.
- Gold – $86 per year for 8GB of space, 40 email addresses, support for up to 10 websites, and everything that came in the previous plan.
- Platinum – $220 per year for 17GB of space, 80 email addresses, support for up to 30 websites, and everything that came in the previous plans.
The only other expense with AliDropship is if you end up paying for some add-ons.
The add-on library doesn't have that many items, but it's definitely a place to look if you need some sort of special functionality. For instance, there's an add-on for a recent sales pop-up, countdown timer, and Facebook product catalog.
Some of the add-ons are free, but they go up to $69.
What's the total cost?
For a custom online store from AliDropship, the least expensive option–with hosting and all–is $347. That's not a bad rate since it's a one-time fee.
As for the WordPress plugin, you should only expect to pay $89 unless one of the add-ons catches your eye.
AliDropship Review: The Customer Support
Customer support from AliDropship is provided for free as long as you pay for the WordPress plugin or get a custom website built by AliDropship.
A support email is a primary way to get in contact with the support team, so you'll end up in a queue and receive a response within a reasonable period of time. AliDropship also has several social media pages. You might be able to ask some questions through places like Facebook and Twitter if that's your style. The main reason I like social media for customer support is when you scroll through and look at other people's questions from before.
The knowledge base appears to have a large collection of articles for topics like improving your store, add-ons, hosting, and more. Some of the articles have videos as well, so this is clearly a larger operation than a basic plugin you would typically grab for free and install on your WordPress site.
Finally, AliDropship offers a community forum to chat with other users, along with some guides and a full blog to learn about updates and tips that come straight from the company.
Overall, the online resources are rather impressive for a company that sells a WordPress plugin and eCommerce design services. I don't notice any phone numbers for calling in, but there is a live chat that is sometimes online.
Who Should Consider AliDropship?
There are two types of companies that should consider AliDropship. The first is a brand that wants to dropship but doesn't have the desire, resources, or skills to make the online store. In that case, you could contact AliDropship and ask for a custom dropshipping solution configured with access to AliExpress and all of the backend tools to start selling. These design services are reasonably priced compared to many other developers you'll find online.
The other type of business that should consider AliDropship is one with a WordPress site already running. Or, you might have experience with WordPress and WooCommerce and want to start your dropshipping store with that platform. In this situation, you'd pay for the AliDropship plugin and install it on WordPress. After that, you're able to stick with your website's design and start adding products to the store.
A reason you might avoid AliDropship is if you're not keen on the slow shipping times that plague AliExpress. It depends on the location of your customers, but I live in the United States and all of the items I've ever bought through AliExpress take weeks, if not months, to arrive. Other than that, the pricing is usually amazing.
If you have any questions about this AliDropship review, drop a line in the comments section below.