AliExpress is a global eCommerce platform and a renowned marketplace for dropshippers. Its unique infrastructure facilitates exchanges between buyers and suppliers, and therefore is a great way for international buyers to source product from.
Both AliExpress reviews & products can help you grow your business, but only if you can use them in your store. In this post, we're going to help you do all of that - importing Aliexpress products & AliExpress reviews to Shopify.
We're doing a comprehensive guide, so we're going to talk about some things you may already know. But don't worry, you can quickly scan our table of contents and go straight to the information you need.
1. Dropshipping with AliExpress on Shopify
AliExpress is one thing, Shopify another. Link AliExpress to Shopify and you've got a whole different thing - an interesting business model that saves you, as a reseller, a lot of time and money.
a. What is AliExpress?
AliExpress is a huge marketplace founded in 2010 and owned by Alibaba with more than 100 million products available.
i. Value Proposition
One thing that makes AliExpress very different from sites like Amazon, is that they don't sell things directly to consumers. AliExpress is just a platform on which other companies or individuals sell their products. In that sense, it is more similar to eBay than it is to Amazon.
And that's a key difference, because if you're looking to sell products from AliExpress on Shopify, you need to make sure you find a supplier that you can rely on. Technically, that's a big part of the value you provide as an intermediary - you curate interesting products for a niche group of people whose needs you understand and can communicate with effectively, and you find a reliable supplier so that they don't have to go through that trouble, and in doing so, you end up building a store your customers can trust.
ii. Is dropshipping from AliExpress still relevant? (2021)
Now, with so many people doing the same thing, (and so many of them failing) it's fair to ask whether or not you can still make a profitable business out of dropshipping from AliExpress on Shopify in 2021.
This question gets asked every year.
Short answer is: business is still growing. You can check out some key pointers on that from last year's Cloudways' blog post "Is DropShipping Business Dead?"
A more nuanced answer is that whether or not your store is successful depends heavily on the value you're providing through your curation of products, how well you've worked on the sales pitch (the product page), how well you're targeting the ads you're running (finding that niche group that's interested in your curated products), how reliable your supplier is (it's your job to make sure you've got a good one), and, among other things, providing quality customer service.
As you can see, that's a lot of work. And there's plenty of room for error, which explains why so many Shopify dropshipping stores aren't successful. On top of that, you have to remember that dropshipping is a business model that thrives on low-profit margins and large volume, so you'll need to find a lot of buyers cheaply.
There is one more thing to consider here; you can't make a living out of dropshipping products that your customers can find on Amazon which they already view as trustworthy and offers a way faster delivery time. Doing that is setting yourself up for failure. Even if you're offering that product at a lower price, the convenience of Amazon's customer service means most people won't risk taking a chance anywhere else.
So when someone asks whether dropshipping is profitable or not, the answer can come in the form of another question: did you select great products from reliable suppliers that are of interest to a niche, and are you providing them with quality customer service? Did you work on your product pages? Did you do A/B testing to optimize for conversion? Is your store optimized for mobile? Because yes, it can be profitable, but that doesn't mean that it will undoubtedly be profitable for every single store, especially if you don't put in the work.
The age of dropshipping isn't over.
2. Setting Up A Dropshipping Store from AliExpress on Shopify
Adding AliExpress products to your Shopify store is a very popular way to set up a dropshipping business. This allows you to focus strictly on selling the product and let AliExpress handle inventory, shipping, and handling. Now we're going to show you how to do it.
a. How to add a product from AliExpress to Shopify
Technically, all you have to do is find the product that you want from a reliable supplier on AliExpress, offer that product on your Shopify store, and place an order every time a customer makes a purchase on your store, using their information so that the product arrives directly to them. But there's a better way to go about it.
The reason dropshipping is more popular than ever is because it's never been easier - Shopify apps can help you do that automatically so that you don't even have to worry about placing the order.
So let's start with that.
i. Choosing an app
There are several apps that can help you import products from AliExpress to your Shopify store. So let's take a quick look at the options.
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Clearly, this is the most widely used option, and understandably so, as it is Shopify's own, it's free and easy to use. However, if you want to import products from sites other than AliExpress then you might want to give other options a try.
Oberlo also offers courses and information that can help you understand dropshipping better and help you succeed. And it makes sense that they do this since having more people successfully setting up Shopify dropshipping stores helps Shopify grow. It's a win-win situation.
Other options you can consider are Importify and Dropified. They're not as widely used but they do offer the option to import products from other sites.
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Rating: 4.2 out of 234 reviews
*This, of course, are not all of the options available, but you get the idea, the most widely used by far is Oberlo
ii. Finding good products to sell
Finding good products to sell is at the heart of this. The products you sell should be, ideally, of interest to a niche market, not available on Amazon, and affordable. Oh, and it should have great pictures. If not, you're going to have to find a way to get great pictures of the product and that can prove to be pricey if you're planning to hire a photographer yourself. So making sure the product your selecting has great product pictures is also very important.
Oberlo claims to help you identify trends and, while those are helpful, those insights are available to all of Oberlo's users, so take them with a grain of salt. Always do your own research and trust your intuition.
If you've tried a product and believe in it, you should be able to sell it.
iii. Finding a good supplier
Finding a good AliExpress supplier for Shopify will make your life as a dropshipper so much easier. There are some suppliers that ship AliExpress products from within the US and those can help you cut your delivery times and be more competitive. What they're doing is stock on popular products and ship on demand. So keep an eye out for those.
But most importantly, pay attention to user reviews. Not only because they tell you a lot about a supplier, but also because you'll be able to import them later.
iv. Adding the product to your Shopify Store
Once you've checked out that the product works as intended and the supplier is a reliable one, you can then think of adding a particular product to your Shopify store.
To do that, use the Oberlo Chrome extension and click "add to import list". Then, go to the Oberlo app and click on "Import list", and then choose to import any individual product from your import list or bulk import your whole list. It's really that simple.
Of course, you still have work to do. You've gotta make sure your product page does a good job at offering the product, it may be necessary for you to change the product description. You may need to select a few variants and not all available variants (sometimes there are too many). But the main thing is that the product is already available in your store, now you just have to tweak things to make your store look more appealing.
b. Importing AliExpress Reviews to Shopify
Finally, you've imported AliExpress products to your Shopify store and you're ready to start selling them. There's only one problem - you don't have customer reviews and your brand new store has no way of providing credible social proof.
Don't worry. Importing AliExpress reviews to Shopify is a very easy process if you've got the right tools.
i. Choosing the best app
There are several apps that can help you achieve this, so let's take a quick look at the options.
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Opinew's plans start at $9.99 / month
Using Opinew's chrome extension to import reviews straight from the Oberlo app is the easiest most straightforward way to import reviews.
A few clicks here and there and you're set. Of course, you also get to import reviews in bulk if you want for all the products on your list on the Oberlo app.
Rating: 3.7 out of 1421 reviews
Product Reviews is a Shopify app that lets you import reviews manually by uploading CSV files. CSV files can prove complicated for people who aren't familiar with them, so that can prove challenging. Oh, and of course you have to get those CSV files in the first place. Also, being a free app, you can expect less in terms of support and customer service.
There are other review apps out there with which you could try importing reviews but for now, we're gonna stick with those two.
ii. Filter reviews
Sometimes you may want to filter reviews. Opinew can help you do just that. Opinew isn't an app to import reviews it's a complete service around customer reviews that includes managing your reviews. That means that you can filter out some unwanted reviews that may be irrelevant to your customers (about a variant you don't offer, perhaps) or something like that.
Making sure your reviews are relevant to your customers is an important part of managing your reviews and filtering out specific words that may be related to variants you don't offer is an effective way to do that.
iii. Making importing AliExpress reviews automatic
Opinew's $29.99 monthly plan includes a feature to automatically import new reviews from products you've imported reviews for in the past. And that's a very interesting feature for dropshipping stores out there.
Import once, enjoy new reviews all the time. That's the idea.
iv. Customizing your review widget
Customizing your review widget is an important part of this process as it helps your reviews look integrated with the rest of your store. A cohesive look is important, it helps build trust, it helps you establish a good impression with your customers who will perceive that as a sign of quality.
It doesn't take very long. All you have to do is use the same colors that you're already using on your Shopify theme so that the review widget doesn't look out of place.
It's very simple and it will help your conversion rate. There's no reason not to do it.
Another thing you will need to do is to start thinking about the different marketing strategies and tools you will use to attract potential customers to your store. There are a lot of Shopify marketing apps for dropshipping and we don't want you to get lost! Have a look at our 2021 list of best Shopify apps you would want to have on your dropshipping store!
So here's our comprehensive guide to importing AliExpress reviews to Shopify. We hope we answered most of your questions and if you've got any remaining questions be sure to contact us, we'd love to hear from you.
Download Opinew today and see how your customers can help develop your conversion opportunities through Shopify.