AliDropShip Review: An In-Depth Look (2021)
Find out if Ali DropShip is worth it or not Below!
Table Of Contents
The AliDropship can turn your normal WordPress site into a highly functioning and automated Dropshipping store in just a few clicks! It gives other platforms like Shopify a run for their money.
- Straightforward installation
- Broad flexibility than other platforms for customizing
- No contracts or random monthly fees
- You get a whole bunch of additional features and add-ons that can help run your store
- Heaps of training and guidance offered in-case you get stuck
- You might have to pay for several add-ons that are usually free
- Free themes offered look outdated
The dropshipping business is BOOMING with Shopify stores popping up left and right. We’re all pretty much familiar with Shopify, but there’s a new kid on the block, AliDropShip. AliDropShip aims to turn a regular WordPress website into a highly functioning dropship site! Is it any good? We’ll find out today in this in-depth review that aims to guide you to make the right decisions.
Before AliDropShip, WordPress can also be used as a dropshipping site, and you’d have to do it manually. Hence why most people would instead use already-automated platforms like Shopify or Oberlo to run their stores. I mean, no one would have the time to manually run a dropshipping store on top of doing the other billion things on the checklist. Unless you have very little traffic, it’s still not sustainable, and your business will never grow.
But with the launch of AliDropShip, I kept seeing it pop-up during my internet excursions, and it piqued my interest, so I gave it a shot.
Since you’re here, then you might already know the basic concept behind the dropshipping business model. But I will still reiterate for the sake of this review.
Here are the basics of a dropshipping business:
- Conduct some online research on what product you intend to sell. (This can be done by going through platforms like AliExpress or even Facebook to search for trending products.)
- Get high-quality product pictures from the platforms so that you can upload them onto a storefront.
- Ensure that you have all the variants of the product, including the correct costs and pictures.
- Then it’s all about pricing. You will need to work out the best price for your product, considering any costs and your profit margin.
- Once you’ve displayed the product you want to sell, it’s time to wait for an email notification to let you know an item has been sold.
- A spreadsheet containing the details of your customer and the product origins will appear, and you should fill in the relevant fields. And finally, make the payment for the product.
- Once the payment has been made, you need to notify the customer on the shipping details then and update them every step of the way. The whole process could take up to a month, depending on where your supplier and customer are located.
- When the item finally reaches your customer, you will then need to manually update your inventory and make sure it tallies with the number on your dropshipping site.
Now that’s the gist of it. Imagine manually doing this whole process for each customer?? I did it when I first started off but I was already dead tired after a week. And when my store became more popular and I received more orders, I was at wits end. I knew I needed some help as I’ve heard of Oberlo and Shopify. However, trying to save money and not wanting to make monthly payments, I looked for another option and found AliDropShip. And with my extensive experience with WordPress, I knew it could be my way out.
What is AliDropShip?
AliDropShip comes in two plugins as it caters to both WordPress and WooCommerce plugins. The difference is that the WordPress plugin is more standard, and the WooCommerce plugin gives you more flexibility. We will also explore how you can use several add-ons to enhance your AliDropShip experience further.
Since this is an in-depth review, we will be looking at both plugins and discover the differences between the two. It would also help you decide at the end of this article.
Features Included with the AliDropShip WordPress Plugin
1. Pre-made themes
There are many free themes available on the internet, but with AliDropShip, you will be given six free pre-made themes. You can also get the latest Andy Warhol theme for $67. These themes have been professionally built with HTML5 and designed to make your products the star of your page, to help you sell better.
The themes come with pretty impressive features such as image zooms, easy-to-navigate product grids, and uncluttered product selling page, and you can even group your products. One of the pre-made themes called Dali also has an added feature where you can run promotional banners and even feature blog posts, and Instagram feeds.
I think the themes look a bit outdated, but they are still very functional! Andy Warhol and Dali stood out as they look similar to Shopify stores.
2. Quick Search & 1-Click-Import
AliDropShip allows for the seamless and effective importation of your products directly from URLs or AliExpress. If you’re using AliExpress, then you’re in luck as you can import whole categories, subcategories, or even just the page you want. You can also import products without being on the site as you will be given a Chrome Extension.
You can also further narrow your searches to look for specific criteria, including shipping. For example, if you only want products with e-packet shipping or only products that ship to certain countries.
3. Easy Product Edit
Once you have your products imported onto your site, you can still edit or update their details if needed. You can import images, variations, and descriptions with no problem at all. And then, you can edit the photos, pricing, descriptions, or anything you want to make you stand out from other stores. This tool is a massive plus as other stores don’t allow you this flexibility. I mean, it even lets you edit images! Here’s a tip, I always like to scale down my images, so they take up less space and look less cluttered.
The only complaint I have is that the extension only allows you to edit one product at a time. You aren’t even able to build up a backlog of imports on AliExpress. However, you can add the products to an import list and edit them as you progress. I don’t think this is a big deal unless you have a lot of products to import and a lot of editing to do.
4. Pricing Automation
Pricing automation is necessary especially if you have a lot of products. Imagine if you have 50 products and you need to set their prices individually, that could take a long time! With AliDropShip, you can pre-set pricing formulas. For example, you can set your items that are priced between $1 to $5 to be multiplied by 5 of the original price. This will be your profit margin so its best you do your calculations before setting the formula. Trust me, this opens up a world of possibilities and it saves you so much time and frustration!
5. One-Click Checkout
The one-click checkout isn’t a unique feature as its standard with the other platforms, but thank god AliDropShip also included it. One-click checkout allows you to easily order customer’s products without having to edit anything each time. You can further save time by adding notes of your customer’s contact details so your customers won’t be contacted all the time by AliExpress. Another added advantage is that you can also queue items that you want to add to the checkouts, and their respective shipping addresses will process the items. So, if you have a lot of products a day, you can queue orders up to several days to save time.
6. Auto Tracking
Going along the automation train, AliDropShip also lets you import shipping ID and shipping information straight from AliExpress. This information will then be automatically emailed to your customers so that they are up-to-date with their orders. Trust me, and once your customers place an order, they expect to get a response on their expected delivery time ASAP!
7. Other Features
After all the amazing features above, AliDropShip even gives you quite a few extra features that can help your dropship business slowly come together. These tools can help with tasks such as further automation, customization, marketing, reporting, and general management.
a. Updating Mass Products
When your store is already up and running, sometimes you might need a mass update of your products, but most platforms don’t have this option. AliDropShip does, and you can update from every 5 minutes to even 5 hours with the latest information. You can also update products with different pricing structures. This way you can always stay on top of any stock changes and pricing updates if you have more than 100 over products.
b. Payment Providers / Gateways
Usually for other platforms like Shopify, this section will need you to download or buy a separate add-on for your dropshipping site. AliDropShip, however, comes with PayPal and Stripe plugins, and you won’t need any other providers as these are great! Most people also already know about these providers, which increases trust. They even have 2CO and PayU so you can offer your customers more flexibility.
On the other hand, if you use the WooCommerce plugin, you’re only limited by WooCommerce, but you can find local providers.
c. Cash Back / Affiliate Cash
Cashback has become increasingly popular, and AliDropShip allows you to integrate this onto your site! You’d usually need a separate plugin for this but not with AliDropShip. What this means for your business is that you can earn an additional 1 to 20% on top of whatever you’re already making. Although it’s not much, it does accumulate to a significant figure over time. You can then use this extra money and invest back into your business.
d. Discount Coupons
Discounts are a brilliant way to attract customers. We’re all suckers for good deals at the end of the day. AliDropShip lets you offer special discounts and coupons to subscribers who are on your newsletter or mailing list. You also get to choose how you want to present these discounts such as pop-ups or just adverts with the codes displayed. I love this feature as its very effective in getting my customer’s attention and converting them or getting their email address.
e. Abandoned Cart Emails
As this feature usually cost a lot of money to the add-on, primarily if you use Shopify, I’m uber thankful that AliDropShip includes it for free. I mean, this feature alone usually costs the total price of AliDropShip itself, so it’s already worth your money.
AliDropShip will give you a pre-made email campaign that you can then edit according to what you like.
f. Product Reviews
Product reviews are critical as it helps increase your credibility and also your customer’s trust. With AliDropShip, you can seamlessly import all your product reviews and even filter out irrelevant reviews.
g. Email Lists
If you want to succeed in dropshipping or any other eCommerce business, building your email list should be your top priority! You can get this information by offering lead magnets in exchange rather than just hoping they will sign up. Trust me that will never happen.
You can integrate a plugin for autoresponders like GetResponse to help you communicate with your customers via email.
8. AliDropShip Add-ons
Yes, there’s more! AliDropShip is the software that keeps on giving, but some do come with additional one-off costs, which means there is no monthly payment. For example, the UpSell plugin with Shopify is $15 a month, whereas, with AliDropShip, you can get it for a one-off $37 for all 1,000 over downloads.
You can also include the urgency add-on for a mere one-off $29 while you usually have to pay between $5 to $15 monthly. There are also free ones but they don’t function too well.
What I Enjoy About AliDropShip
Overall, I love the flexibility that I can run AliDropShip on WordPress. I also love the fact that all the plugins are either already included or I can just easily install. All this made the whole process so seamless and I had no complaints. Even if you aren’t familiar with WordPress, you get a myriad of training and guides to help you! Let’s also not forget about the COUNTLESS features and add-ons that you get as mentioned above.
What I love is that the features are all intend to help you maximize your profits and keep your customers happy. This is the equation to a successful dropship business. For example the cashback functionality is not exactly necessary but it helps you save so much once it adds up! On the other hand Oberlo uses this functionality to help THEMSELVES make money from YOU.
And lastly, I find that AliDropShip is very reliable. This can be seen with their efforts to constantly improve by updating their themes and converting their training material to videos. They’re also always coming up with new plugins to add on. You can tell that they are very user-centric and that’s why I trust them.
All these features on other platforms like Shopify also does exist, but at the end of the day you will be spending way more money than one-off for AliDropShip. You’re also at the mercy of the platforms whereas with AliDropShip you’re in control of your own site. For example, if Shopify were to shut down one day, you’d be out of business!!
What I Didn’t Enjoy About AliDropShip
Although I may sound biased through the first half of this review, I’ve just had a pretty great experience with the platform so far. Hence, there are some faults that I’d like to point out to even the scale.
Some of the themes that you get seem outdated as they are filled with clutter and a lot of things you don’t need. If you like those kinds of layout then you’d have no problem but I personally like minimalistic themes. However, the Dali and the paid Andy Warhol theme are great so at least you get one a couple of uncluttered themes.
Some of the add-ons come with unnecessary add-ons. For example, you need to separately add on trust badges if you want to use them. Customers seem to like this feature as it shows them that they can securely make payment for their orders. I feel that it’s a feature that should already exist on the main platform.
Who Would Benefit From AliDropShip
AliDropShip is great for anyone who is looking to start their own dropshipping business. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a hopeful dream getter. It’s also for anyone who already has a dropship on other platforms that have recurring payment to switch to something one-off. Honestly, this alone could’ve gotten me to switch to AliDropShip. If you have a business on the other platforms, you might be out of a store if either Shopify or BigCommerce shuts down one day. Your entire business will be gone, just like that and you will have to start from scratch. If you don’t want that to happen, then you should also consider AliDropShip. For this reason, and all the other wonderful features and add-ons it offers, you should consider this platform.
AliDropShip is an alternative, being the newcomer to original dropship sites like Shopify. Because it’s the original dropship site, Shopify is one of the largest eCom store builders on the market. But I think AliDropShip will give Shopify some heavy competition.
As I mentioned previously, the difference in cost alone makes me choose AliDropShip for the one-off payment.
If you have a Shopify store, you’re probably paying a total of $65 MONTHLY for the BASIC plan once you’ve included the credit card fees etc. Keep in mind this is just the base price per MONTH, as you would need to BUY a bunch of other add-ons that also have monthly payments. Add-ons include upsell apps and email capture apps which might cost you another estimate of $35 per MONTH. If you want to add an auto fulfilment tool alone will cost $30 a month. Once you crunch the numbers, you will be shocked to know that you’re spending $120 a month and even up to $1,440 a year! And this doesn’t even include a paid theme that will cost you around $60-$100!
With AliDropShip, you won’t be getting that many numbers for you to calculate as its just a one-off payment. Lets say you use a plug in that brings your one off payment to $89. Spread that out to 12 months and you’re only paying $7.40 monthly! Oh and just a minor setback due to being self-hosted, you can just buy the most basic package at $4 a month. Their most expensive hosting package is $6 so even that wouldn’t set you back much. But I think this is a steal as being self hosted means you won’t be affected if Shopify or BigCommerce decides to shut down one day. With AliDropShip you don’t even have to pay for any apps so that’s $0 cost. You also won’t have to pay for themes as it comes with free and usable themes, another $0. All in all, I’ve estimated that you need only $46.40 a month with AliDropShip, or $556 a year. Another great thing is that your cost will lower to $490 a year as you would’ve paid off your initial investment.
This means you get to save a whopping $1,000 a year using AliDropShip when compared to other sites like Shopify! You will even be self-hosted so you can monetize your site and attract more visitors. Trust me, once you have a dropshipping business, you will realise that every penny you can save is crucial! You can use this extra money to reinvest into your business, or buy other add-ons that you will need when your business expands. If you have nothing to invest in, you can even invest in yourself! After all, you deserve the reward for all the hard work.
2. Ease of Use
If you haven’t used WordPress before that you might experience a little setback. But no worries! AliDropShip provides you with a lot of training material to help you get started. And you can build one from scratch in a couple of minutes.
Whereas if you’re navigating between Oberlo and Shopify, you will need to keep alternating between both platforms to find products or make changes. I don’t think that’s practical at all and you might even get a headache at the end of the day. On top of that, you’re also limited to what you’re allowed to do as they hide a lot of options. Although its not a big issue, some people might find this frustrating.
3. Purchasing and Downloading AliDropShip
AliDropShip pricing begins at $89 and it’s a one off fee if you download and install the standalone WordPress version. As mentioned above, you do need a separate hosting package and domain name if you want to be self hosted. But it only comes up to less than $10 a month for this. Once you’ve made the payment for the plugin, your download link will guide you to all the files that you need. You even get both the plugins and themes required with the WordPress version. You can use their handy and simplified chart in the FAQs to figure out which one is for you.
Personally, I chose the WordPress version because I already have experience with it and I didn’t want to pay extra for the WooCommerce themes, add ons, etc.
You will need to make sure that your server is ready for either Ion Cube or Zenloader. If you’re not sure, the Bluehost support team is there to help.
And thus we’ve reached the end of this AliDropShip plugin review which we’ve covered extensively. If you’re looking for a dropship platform that you can just pay one-off and not have to worry about the other stuff, then AliDropShip is for you.
For only $89, you get both the WordPress and WooCommerce plugins. Which means you can still decide which one’s for you down the line. Hosting is $4 a month, so $48 a year, and it ads up to less than $150 a year! So, if you’re someone like me who values value-for-money, then you won’t want to miss this out.
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