In 2021 AliExpress remains one of the most powerful international marketplaces. The eCommerce platform is visited by 200 million users monthly, is worth $3.63 billion, and had 150+ million buyers in the last year’s Q4 alone. The secret of its success lays in the product range — from grand brands to Chinese manufacturers — as well as extremely affordable pricing. It’s only logical that dropshippers take advantage of a combo like that. And if you wish to join them, check our brief dropshipping from AliExpress guide for beginners.
Here’s why an AliExpress dropshipping store is a good idea:
- AliExpress is officially cool with dropshipping, unlike other retail giants that set up limitations, restrictions, and sanctions.
- Many people hate AliExpress’s official layout. The platform does the most with dozens of search result filters, but the navigation still can be overwhelmingly chaotic. With your dropshipping store, you provide customers with a neater, less confusing alternative.
- The outreach is truly global. AliExpress ships to more than 250+ countries, with big markets such as Russia, Canada, and the US being in the Top 5.
Is Alibaba Dropshipping Different From Aliexpress Dropshipping?
Both platforms belong to the same China-based Alibaba Group. Alibaba as a marketplace is more B2B: wholesale prices, customized goods sold in bulk. AliExpress is a retailer filled with ready-made items sold for end customer prices, albeit low ones. On AliExpress you can buy any quantity of the same product, from 1 to as much as the seller has in stock. On Alibaba the majority of the sellers have a minimum order quantity, usually 100+ copies of the same product per shipment.
(Interestingly enough, Aliexpress shipping time is not much longer than Alibaba’s. They also offer many other advantages such as unlimited customer protection.)
All and all, when it comes to dropshipping, Alibaba isn’t really worth it. With it, you will have to be involved in the logistics, taking serious risks (being responsible for one packet’s delivery and possible damages is one thing; with 100+ it’s different.) Dropshipping is supposed to be about holding little to no inventory, and that doesn’t really work with Alibaba’s minimum quantity rules.
First Steps of creating AliExpress Dropshipping Business
The first three decisions you should make are 1. Choosing a CMS for your online store, 2. Picking your product niche, and 3. Finding a reliable AliExpress supplier. Number 1’s best choice is creating a store on WordPress — it combines professionalism with affordability and the so-called WooCommerce has already become a separate eCommerce ecosystem. For 2-3, you can start with visiting the official Aliexpress Dropshipping Center to see what’s hot and in demand. Of course, you won’t be the one browsing those stats; do some additional hunting:
- Check GoogleTrends and social media to see what people are currently into.
- Find a product category you possess actual knowledge about. Then find a niche within that category.
- Browse the AliExpress suppliers who sell the products you wish to dropship. Pick those with the most all-time orders, fastest shipping, and best ratings.
- Use this dropshipping product search tool that collects suggestions daily. It has 7 days of free access.
These are the essentials for finding your AliExpress dropship footing. For the technical side, your online store will require dropshipping software, such as Ali2Woo Plugin for WooCommerce. It is easy to use even if you are an eCommerce newbie, and it will keep you in sync with your AliExpress suppliers.