Dropshipping from AliExpress to Shopify is one of the most popular business models in the eCommerce industry today. It is a profitable venture that gives us a flexible time managing our online business anywhere globally.
Many dropshippers have already established their eBusiness through these platforms. However, as beginners in dropshipping, we first need to equip ourselves with the right information so that our online stores will thrive in this industry.
Newbies in dropshipping need not worry because this article is a complete beginners’ guide to dropshipping from AliExpress to Shopify. We will discuss the steps to dropship successfully on these platforms, from establishing an online business to increasing sales.
What is Dropshipping And How Does It Work?
Before we proceed, let us first discuss the basics of dropshipping for those new in this field.
Dropshipping is an online business model that allows the seller to fulfill customers’ orders online.
Since this eBusiness framework does not require the dropshipper to retain a physical inventory of the items, the seller only oversees the marketing and selling of the items. Conversely, the quality, storage, inventory, and delivery of the products to the customers lie in the supplier’s hands.
Here is how dropshipping works:
- Step 1: Customer buys the product
- Step 2: Seller fulfills the order
- Step 3: Supplier ships the package
- Step 4: Dropshipper makes a profit
Step 1: Customer Buys The Product
The first step to dropshipping is when shoppers purchase items available in our online stores.
We list these products from our supplier pages to our selling channels. For example, we source products from AliExpress and dropship them on our Shopify stores. By doing this, customers can readily buy products from our dropshipping stores.
For instance, a customer buys a dog collar in your online store. Upon check out, the buyer pays for the order at the price you set.
Step 2: Seller Fulfills The Order
After customers place their orders in our store, we need to fulfill them through our supplier.
Our supplier then prepares the package for shipment directly to our buyers.
Continuing with the example above, after the customer buys the dog collar from your dropshipping store, your store forwards the order details to the supplier with the help of an order fulfillment software (or, you can purchase it manually with a personal buyer account). You, the dropshipper, pay the wholesale price of the dog collar to the supplier.
Step 3: Supplier Ships The Package
Once the supplier receives your order, they will prepare and deliver the dog collar directly to the customer and provide you with tracking details once they are available.
Step 4: Dropshipper Makes A Profit
After we complete our customers’ orders, we gain profit from our sales. The profit comes from the difference between the retail price (or what the customer pays you for the product) and the wholesale price (what we pay to the supplier).
What Is AliExpress?
AliExpress is one of the world’s largest eCommerce platforms based in China. This Alibaba Group-owned marketplace offers flexibility and convenience in the products it offers.
Here are the top features that make AliExpress a dependable supplier for our dropshipping ventures:
- Vast product selection
- Competitive prices
- Worldwide Global Shipping
- Dropshipping center
AliExpress offers about 100 million product choices that we can list in our online stores. Since the production, manufacturing, storage, and other related costs are relatively lower than in western countries, AliExpress products are available at competitive prices. So, sourcing items at lower costs lead to higher profit returns.
Additionally, this dropshipping-friendly supplier offers low taxes and competitive currency practices in the dropshipping industry. Also, the supplier has various languages available, which makes it a user-friendly site for dropshippers globally.
AliExpress also ships items to almost anywhere across the globe. This feature enables your dropshipping business to reach a broader market.
Finally, AliExpress has a dropshipping center that helps dropshippers research trending products to sell on their dropshipping stores. Given all these benefits we get from AliExpress, it is undoubtedly one of the best suppliers for dropshipping.
What Is Shopify?
Shopify is an online selling platform that aids businesses in marketing their products to the global dropshipping arena. Moreover, Shopify boasts about 500,000 online stores today.
Here are the top reasons that make Shopify one of the best selling channels for your dropshipping business:
- No selling limits
- Fully customizable
- No technical skills required
There are no listing limits in Shopify, which means that we can list as many items as we want in our dropshipping stores from day one. Because there are no inventory restrictions, this is a promising avenue for dropshippers who wish to offer a wide variety of products without limitations.
In addition, Shopify stores are more scalable, allowing you to reach larger markets and list as many products in as many categories as you see fit.
Moreover, Shopify allows us to fully customize our dropshipping stores. We can also create our own domain name. Additionally, Shopify conveniently offers product customization, mobile shopping apps, and easy website development, among others.
Since site navigation on this platform is easy to understand, working on our Shopify stores requires no technical skills. There’s no need to code – no matter how professional you want your site to look.
Can I Sell AliExpress Products On Shopify?
Now that we know how AliExpress and Shopify work separately, let’s answer the question: Can we sell AliExpress products on Shopify? The answer is definitely yes. We can dropship AliExpress items to our Shopify stores. AliExpress is a dropshipping-friendly marketplace and Shopify is a dropshipping-friendly platform to sell your products.
First, we need to search for trending products to sell from AliExpress. Then, we list these items on Shopify. After these products become live on our online stores, we market them and profit from our sales.
Is Dropshipping From AliExpress Legal?
At this point, we know that dropshipping from AliExpress to Shopify is possible. However, is dropshipping from AliExpress really legal? Yes, it is totally legal to source dropshipping products from AliExpress.
In fact, AliExpress encourages dropshipping. For instance, AliExpress has a dropshipping center that helps dropshippers search for the hottest products to offer in their online business.
When dropshipping from AliExpress, we should bear in mind to avoid offering copyrighted items in our Shopify stores. We can check out the eBay VeRO Database for the list of intellectually protected brands. Also, this tool provides names of companies keen on enforcing these rights on any dropshipping platform, including Shopify.
Additionally, dangerous or illegal categories must not be present in our dropshipping stores. These categories include but are not limited to weapons, ammunition, tobacco, alcohol, and many more.
Here are Facebook’s Commerce Terms and Policies that include the best practices we can adopt when working with Shopify.
Finally, numerous dropshippers offer AliExpress items to shoppers daily and do so entirely legally. Similarly, we can select millions of legal products from AliExpress and sell them in our Shopify stores.
Is Dropshipping Illegal On Shopify?
Just like dropshipping from AliExpress, dropshipping on Shopify is also legal.
Moreover, Shopify allows and encourages entrepreneurs to dropship. Moreover, Shopify owns Oberlo, a software specifically supporting dropshipping from AliExpress to Shopify.
Shopify is a top choice among dropshippers when choosing the platform where they can offer their products to sell. Furthermore, many popular brands started as Shopify dropshipping stores from suppliers like AliExpress.
As long as we’re not reselling products that we’re not allowed to (as explained above), the skies are our limits.
Is Dropshipping From AliExpress Dead?
Dropshipping from AliExpress is far from dead. On the contrary, dropshipping with AliExpress is a profitable business to manage, and it continues to get better each year.
According to Statista, the dropshipping industry was valued at about 128.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2020.
Furthermore, forecasts show that between 2021 and 2026, the dropshipping market shall grow as much as 476.1 billion U.S. dollars.
These data prove that dropshipping is a thriving industry and that now is the best time to venture into the AliExpress to Shopify business model.
However, before attaining success in dropshipping, we must understand how to select the right products from AliExpress so that our Shopify store can yield high profits.
How Much Does Dropshipping From AliExpress To Shopify Cost?
Starting an AliExpress to Shopify business is absolutely free. However, marketing can cost if you advertise your online business through paid platforms like Google, Facebook ads, or Influencer Marketing. Then again, there are also numerous free marketing methods available.
Now, let’s tackle the cost of utilizing the AliExpress platform. AliExpress doesn’t charge any fees to dropshippers. We only pay for the products after our customers buy them from us.
On the other hand, Shopify offers a 14-day free trial for those who want to test the waters on the platform. After the trial period, we can subscribe to the Basic Store Plan of Shopify that starts at 29 USD per month.
Moreover, Shopify sellers need to pay a low selling fee of 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction (every time someone purchases from our store). If your sale profits are high (as they should be), this fee is almost negligible.
Beginner’s Tip: Before starting a Shopify store, we should have a high-potential product list ready. That means that we must conduct product research before opening an online store to not waste our 14-day free trial.
Will Customers Know That My Items Came From AliExpress?
Most of the time, customers only care whether or not the items they receive match what they order from our Shopify stores. Nevertheless, some dropshippers want to keep the anonymity of their sources to help establish their store’s unique brand.
When it comes to white labeling parcels, select a shipping option other than ‘AliExpress Standard Shipping‘ whenever possible. This shipping option often includes identifying information that prevents us from white labeling our packages.
However, we must check for the availability of tracking options when choosing another shipping method. Bear in mind that having access to tracking is vital when selling online – for both the buyer and the seller’s protection.
Another option is sending a direct message to the supplier. Inform the supplier that you are dropshipping the product and exclude any information about the item’s source.
Nowadays, dropshipping is almost everywhere. So, exert more time and effort to find the best products and improve your Shopify stores, instead of worrying much about packaging.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Dropshipping From AliExpress To Shopify?
Dropshipping from AliExpress to Shopify is promising. However, it comes with benefits and drawbacks, like any business venture.
AliExpress to Shopify Pros
- Access to millions of low priced products
- Global shipping to almost any country
- Dropshipping oriented services and solutions from AliExpress and Shopify
- Low startup costs
- Dropshipping-friendly supplier
AliExpress to Shopify Cons
- Long shipping times from China
- No bundled orders
- Language barriers
To address the downside of dropshipping from AliExpress to Shopify, we can select products from AliExpress’ domestic warehouses or choose Chinese sellers that can ship orders faster.
Additionally, we can manage conflicting languages by directly messaging the sellers before listing any product. In this way, we will know whether they’re responsive and know how to communicate in English.
How Do I Dropship From AliExpress To Shopify?
There are seven steps that we need to undertake to set up an AliExpress to Shopify dropshipping business:
- Step 1: Find products on AliExpress
- Step 2: Create an account with AliExpress and Shopify
- Step 3: Find a Dropshipping Automation Shopify app
- Step 4: Import your products from AliExpress to Shopify
- Step 5: Market your products and store
- Step 6: Fulfill orders
- Step 7: Repeat for success
Let’s expand our discussion on each step, starting with the first one:
1. Find Products On AliExpress
Sourcing top-grade products from AliExpress is the first and the most crucial step in dropshipping. It is essential because offering the products according to the market’s needs and demands will attract shoppers to our stores.
Product research can be a challenging task. However, we don’t need to waste our time and resources testing multiple products to find the winning ones. Instead, we’ll prioritize listing trending products in our store, and from that, we can identify the ones that sell fast.
How To Find The Best Products On AliExpress
There are three ways to find the products with the highest chance of success:
- AliExpress Dropshipping Center
- Top Ranking Section
- AutoDS Product Research Tool
For starters, visit the AliExpress Dropshipping Center. It features helpful tools to help you find and analyze trending dropshipping products.
Also, it can update you with an item’s market performance in real-time.
Alternatively, we can start our product research on the home page. These two sections provide us with information on the hottest items to dropship:
- Top Ranking
- Flash Deals
The Top Ranking section lists the best trending products based on customers’ demands. On the other hand, Flash Deals enables us to access top-notch products at a lower cost, increasing our profit margins.
To further help us with our product research in AliExpress, we can utilize the AutoDS’ Product Finder. Using this program, we can filter search results to find the hottest items in AliExpress. Additionally, we can add this tool to our Shopify stores as easily as one click.
2. How To Create A Dropshipping Store With AliExpress & Shopify
After identifying the top-quality products to list in our dropshipping stores, the next step is to create a dropshipping store with Shopify.
2.1. Create A Free Account With AliExpress
Creating a free AliExpress account is simple. First, go to the AliExpress website. On the home page, click the ‘Join’ button.
Then, fill in the necessary details, and your AliExpress account is good to go.
After establishing your account with AliExpress, let’s proceed with starting a store on Shopify.
2.2. Open A Shopify Store
To continue with your dropshipping adventure, go to the Shopify website and register for a 14-day free trial.
Then, Shopify will ask you to input your store name. You can also utilize a custom domain when available. After naming your store, select a template for your dropshipping store.
Now, you can start listing your items in your Shopify store, including their titles and necessary information. You can further optimize your products by adding photos and other related media.
Finally, set your products’ prices and publish them in your store. Here, your Shopify adventure commences. But let’s see how we can simplify this process in the next step.
3. Find A Shopify Dropshipping Automation App
At this point, we need an application that can help us automate dropshipping processes. Dropshipping automation can help us save time, so we can allocate our efforts to expanding our eCommerce empire instead.
So, among the available dropshipping software, which one is the most efficient and convenient to use? Of course, it’s none other than AutoDS.
Primarily, AutoDS is an all-in-one dropshipping solution from product listing to order fulfillment, and so much more.
Moreover, with AutoDS, you can manage multiple online stores on the platform. Also, AutoDS lets us connect our Shopify stores directly with our suppliers, such as AliExpress.
Whatever sales channel you’re utilizing, AutoDS offers the automation of the order fulfillment system. The software places the orders, tracks updates, and manages returns for you. Additionally, the program also involves price and stock monitoring for your convenience.
Finally, AutoDS works with over twenty-five suppliers globally. This feature gives dropshippers the liberty to choose from a wide selection of products to sell to multiple markets worldwide.
4. How To Import Dropshipping Products To Shopify On AliExpress
After selecting our Shopify dropshipping app, we can begin importing products from AliExpress to Shopify.
We have two methods to import products: manually and automatically.
In the manual listing of products, we need to copy all product information and download images from AliExpress. Then, we paste these details and upload the photos to Shopify. These tasks make the manual listing of products consume significant time and effort.
Therefore, product importing automation is a more efficient and convenient way of listing items on our Shopify dropshipping stores. Instead of copying product information line by line, we can automatically copy all product information from AliExpress and let it create a product listing for us on Shopify. Then, we can use all the saved time to grow our AliExpress to Shopify dropshipping business.
To emphasize, the AutoDS Dropshipping Product Importer can add products from AliExpress to Shopify in multiple ways:
- One-click importing
- By URL/ID
- Bulk importer
The first method is by utilizing the one-click importer. The second one is copying a product’s URL/ID, and the third option allows us to import products in bulk through a CSV file.
We recommend reading How To Import Products from AliExpress to Shopify to learn how to save time importing products within a few clicks.
5. How To Market Products On Shopify
Now that we’ve imported products from AliExpress to Shopify, it’s time to market them to customers.
Marketing is a critical concept when running a Shopify store. Due to the lack of significant organic traffic, we need a good marketing strategy to ensure a steady traffic flow to our stores.
There are various marketing methods available to Shopify store owners. Some of these include:
- Facebook ads
- E-mail marketing
Facebook Ads is an effective way to promote our business because the platform has one of the most diverse users worldwide. Moreover, Facebook has a significant amount of information regarding its users’ preferences and demands.
Therefore, utilizing its ads can help us reach more audiences likely to take an interest in our products. Customers enter our Shopify stores by clicking the ads. The more we test, the better our results.
To better understand how to run Shopify Facebook Ads, here is a Free Shopify Dropshipping Course from AutoDS which includes how to create Facebooks ads, target the right audiences, budget spending, video production, and everything else you need to successfully run and manage dropshipping ads.
Another marketing strategy that we can adopt is Influencer Marketing. Utilizing influencers to market our business is effective since people listen to their suggestions and trust their statements. This way, their testaments about our products can help convince more customers to try out our items as it provides them with the social proof that they need.
To learn more about Influencers and how to use them to market our Shopify stores, check out the 10 Influencer Marketing Platforms for Finding and Partnering with Internet Influencers.
Next on the list is email marketing. In this method, we send out emails to our customers. Doing so will allow consumers to receive notifications for any promotions or announcements from our stores.
Finally, the above-mentioned methods are the most popular ones today. However, we are not limited to these platforms alone. We can always explore more marketing strategies to help boost the visibility of our Shopify stores.
6. How To Fulfill Orders From AliExpress To Shopify
We are basically on the last step of dropshipping from AliExpress to Shopify – order fulfillment.
Once we start driving traffic to our Shopify stores, we need to fulfill our customers’ orders. We can either fulfill orders manually or automatically.
To manually fulfill orders, we must log in to AliExpress, purchase the product and input the buyers’ shipping details. Hiring a virtual assistant can help us manage customers’ orders when we need to cater to high demands.
On the other hand, order fulfillment automation with the help of dropshipping software is a faster and more convenient option. We don’t have to go through the tedious process of entering our customers’ information on AliExpress one by one. Instead, the automation software will do the job for us, and fulfill our orders even while we sleep.
For the order fulfillment automation, we can utilize the Fulfilled by AutoDS service. This tool enables automatic order fulfillment, tracking updates, one-click returns, and more. Moreover, Fulfilled By AutoDS provides real–time updates on our customers’ orders.
7. Repeat The Process
Finally, to attain success for your AliExpress to Shopify dropshipping venture, just repeat the cycle, improve your methods, and continue to expand.
Add more products similar to the ones that are selling. Remove those slow movers and replace them with better products. The more we work at it, the better we become at it, and the sales and profits start to pour in.
How To Run An AliExpress To Shopify Dropshipping Business
Running a dropshipping business can be both challenging and satisfying. The right tools and reliable platforms we’re working with can help us achieve our success in the field of eCommerce.
So, how do we run an AliExpress to Shopify dropshipping business? For starters, price and stock monitoring and order fulfillment automation is an absolute must.
Price and Stock Monitoring gives us the following benefits:
- Save Time
- Stay Safe
- Optimize and Grow
We don’t have to worry about losing profit brought by unexpected price changes in the market with price and stock monitoring. That’s because as soon as there are price or stock changes on our suppliers’ website, AutoDS will automatically update our stock and prices accordingly.
In other words, we don’t have to check the price or stock status of the products we import to our stores, therefore saving us plenty of time we can invest into growing our business.
Also, you can implement the pricing optimization feature to raise your prices on products that are selling (so that you can profit more) or decreases prices on products that aren’t selling (so that they’ll have a higher chance of selling).
How Do I Keep Track Of My Dropshipping Products And Sales?
Tracking our dropshipping products and sales is easy. When utilizing Shopify as our selling channel, the sales data are readily accessible in the platform’s dashboard.
However, a better option is to track our sales using AutoDS software. It can monitor sales and profits, show us our top-selling items, tags, and collections, while at the same time controlling all other aspects of running and scaling our Shopify dropshipping stores.
Furthermore, we can track and run multiple Shopify stores all under one screen.
Are There Alternatives To Dropshipping From AliExpress?
AliExpress is only one of the many suppliers we can use to source dropshipping products. Therefore, we have diverse options of alternatives for AliExpress.
We can work with AliExpress alternatives like Banggood or others based in China. Moreover, we can utilize domestic suppliers that are more expensive but can also offer faster shipping times. We have an endless number of suppliers to source items from various niches.
Additionally, AutoDS supports over twenty-five outstanding suppliers with their distinct automation features.
So, what are the best alternatives to AliExpress dropshipping? Among the Top 10 Aliexpress Alternatives For Dropshipping are Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, CJ Dropshipping, and many more.
Does Shopify Dropshipping Work In Any Country?
Yes, Shopify works in any country worldwide. It is one of the best features of dropshipping from AliExpress to Shopify.
AliExpress offers worldwide shipping on most of its product offerings. Similarly, Shopify works from any location, so a broader range of markets can readily access our dropshipping stores. All you need to do is set the right shipping zones for your products. You can learn how to do so in our free Shopify course as explained above.
By working with AliExpress and Shopify, we are providing our buyers the benefit of purchasing top-notch items domestically and internationally since we can ship their parcels wherever they are on the globe.
How Do I Increase My Shopify Store Sales?
At this point, our Shopify stores are up and running. So, the next thing that we would like to achieve is to get more sales and gain higher profits.
The following are some popular ways to increase our Shopify stores’ profits:
- Trust Badges
- Upselling + Crosselling
Trust badges are symbols we can display in our stores to gain customers’ confidence. We can equate these badges with the authenticity and legitimacy of businesses. Examples of these badges are “Satisfaction Guaranteed” or “Expert Seal of Approval.”
In eCommerce, badges display is popular because it psychologically impacts our customers, as long as we can showcase them befittingly. When customers see that our stores have these distinctive badges, they can easily earn our trust and know that we are a serious business.
Upselling + Cross-selling
Upselling is a way of upgrading the purchase to a more expensive product. Moreover, upselling is a well–known sales strategy in physical and online stores. This technique works when we invite our customers to buy more expensive items than their original choices.
Implementing upselling techniques will help us gain higher profits as we are increasing our AOV (average order value). At the same time, we’re offering our customers other product choices that they didn’t know about before.
As a result, shoppers receive upgraded versions of what they intend to purchase. So, it makes upselling a win-win situation for both the customer and the seller.
On the other hand, cross-selling involves topping up the original item with additional products instead of upgrading it (like adding accessories and bundling the original purchase.
Using either of these two strategies can help us improve our stores’ sales and increase our overall Shopify dropshipping profits.
Finally, strategic marketing is another powerful technique to increase our Shopify store sales. As discussed above, marketing our dropshipping products can improve our store traffic, resulting in more sales.
We can market our Shopify products using multiple methods – the popular ones being Facebook Ads, Google Ads, eMail marketing, Influencer Marketing.
We’ve come a long way in understanding the ins and outs of AliExpress to Shopify dropshipping.
It’s safe to say that we’re ready to begin our very own thriving Shopify dropshipping store. With the right tools by our side, we have all that we need to succeed. Furthermore, we can expand to more niches and categories and replicate our initial success once we start getting sales.
Good luck with your Shopify stores, and continue reaching greater heights with your dropshipping career with these related articles: