AlIDropShip Review Summary;
The product itself is a one off cost, so no monthly fees (aside from hosting)
Ease of USe
If you know WordPress, you get an advantage, but it's still fairly easy to install and get going. Plus they give training and help guides.
You get a lot for your money, with a number of pre-made themes, apps and add-ons designed to help you run your store.
I have only had to speak to them once or twice and they offered around 24hour turn around time. They may be quicker these day, but i felt that the support was OK.
Summary: A great alternative to running a DropShipping store on a platform like Shopify, the AliDropShip plugin turns your WordPress site into a fully functionality and most automated DropShipping store with just a few clicks (well, ok a number of clicks, but still easy)
A single $89 payment (other options and add-ons can be found on their website)
Note: It has been 2.5 years since I wrote my original AlidropShip WordPress Plugin review, as such I felt it needed a big update, with all the fresh features and themes etc that are now offered. So, I am pleased to say this AliDropShip review has now had a fresh 2020 lick of paint.
Using the widely popular WordPress platform, AliDropShip can turn a normal looking blog into a DropShipping empire, but is it actually any good? Find out more with this AliDropShip review.
What is AliDropShip?
AliDropShip was originally the name of a plugin, or two plugins really that allowed someone to take a normal looking website, or WooCommerce store, and turn it into an automated DropShipping store.
These days, AliDropShip is really a brand, that includes plugins, themes, services and even custom made stores. They have grown a lot since the original review, but this review is meant to cover the overall 'brand' of AliDropShip, with some focus on the plugins.
As part of this particular AliDropShip Review I do mainly focus on the features and tools that help build a WordPress website, rather than the WooCommerce version, but you do get access to both of those plugins when you purchase it.
How Does the AliDropShip Plugin work?
The plugin works in 2 different ways, as I stated before, depending on which version you decide to use will depend on the level of automation provided.
AliDropShip for WordPress works by changing adding a variety of tools, settings and items to a standard WordPress blog, including themes, add-ons, pricing automation, import tools, checkout functionality, basically everything you would need to get started with DropShipping, without needing to pay for a stand alone eCommerce platform.
By default it plugs into the AliExpress website, and will find and import products from there, but you can always create your own listings and keep your own track of sales ,if you so wish, especially as more people are looking for products closer to home, using sites such as Salehoo too achieve that.
The AliDropShip for WooCommerce part, doesn't change the whole look and feel of the site, as it's essentially an add-on to the already powerful WooCommerce plugin that exists. It simply adds the functionality you would expect, such as pricing, search and import tools and other additions to again help create your new eCom website.
What Is Included With The AliDropShip WordPress Plugin?
As mentioned above, the AliDropship plugin comes with a huge variety of features, add-ons, themes and extras to turn your standard blog or website into a fully fledged eCommerce store.
There is a lot to cover, so I have tried to stick to the high level features and explain how some of them work, certain sections now have more in-depth articles devoted too them due to the growing nature of them. Especially the themes section.
Pre Made Themes
As of 2020, AliDropShip has vastly updated their offerings for themes, increasing the number from about 5 or 6 in 2018, to 11 AliDropShip original themes, as they like to call them and 9 WooCommerce themes that they recommend or have created themselves.
There are a number of free themes that can be installed and activated without muscle hassle, there are also a growing selection of high quality paid for themes (around $69), which again can be purchased and the installed much like any other WordPress theme.
These days, the themes vary drastically in look and feel, from a single page stores designed to help sell single products, to large multi-product, multi-niche themes aimed at increasing conversions from start to finish.
Some include Instagram feeds embedded in them, allowing you to showcase your products or possibly highlight happy customers, others have large bright vibrant sections devoted to including high quality images and product features.
The designs are fairly clean these days, and do come with features (if you want to use them) such as sale ribbons, discount notifications, star ratings and a bunch of additional features that can help increase sales.
I am pleased to say that these days the increased number of themes allows for a much more varied and wide ranging selection. Meaning someone can use AliDropShip to create a single product site, or a multiproduct store without much trouble.
Some of the older themes are a bit dated, they have got newer versions of them, such as Da Vinci 2, that updates the look and feel, so at least they are trying to ensure stores look modern.
A more in-depth review of the AliDropShip themes can be read here.
Quick Search & 1-Click-Import
One of the main features of AliDropShip, aside from turning your blog into a DropShipping store, is the direct link to AliExpress and their product import tools.
The AliDropShip Plugin has it’s own built-in product importer, this allows you to apply a number of filters, and then search AliExpress with these filters in place, including keywords and categories.
Or, you can use the direct import tool, something I found particularly useful.
Once you are on AliExpress, you are then given the option to import the whole subcategory, category or just the page, you will find a variety of settings to change what you want to see.
If you want to narrow the search down, you can look for very specific criteria such as only e-packet, ships to certain countries and also what you want to do with the products when you import them.
You are also given a Chrome Extension, that can be used to import products without having to be on your site to begin with.
For me, the tool is quick and easy, allowing me to either browse the AliExpress website myself, and import directly from there, or I can run a more detailed search within AliDropShip and be shown a variety of products I can then use.
The part that wins over Oberlo for this, is the fact you are not using Oberlos 'suggested' manufacturers, the ones they get a slice of the cart value for. You have the freedom to use whatever store, listing or product you want. Complete freedom.
Easy Product Editors
As part of the 1-click imports or quick imports, you can also quickly and easily update each of the listings, including if you want to;
- Import the images
- Import the descriptions
- Import the variations
When importing the products you get the ability to change the images, pricing, descriptions and so much more, allowing you to make your imported items unique to your store.
This inbuilt editor is really useful from my personal experience, as other similar apps or tools don't give you such a depth when trying to import them.
As you can see from the images above, you really can edit and change as you see fit, you can even load your own images if you have taken your own. I would suggest taking images and scaling them down to take up less space.
I will admit, there is a downside to the AliDropShip chrome extension, you can only edit one product at a time, and you have no ability to build up a backlog of imports (while on AliExpress). Alternatively, you can add your chosen products to in import list, and change and edit them as you go.
One of the biggest issues many shop owners face is the pain of having to set all the prices individually, this is more of an issue when you have 20 - 50+ items because it takes so long!
AliDropShip gives you the ability to set pricing formulas, for example, you can set all imported listings priced between $1 - $5 to be priced at $14.99 or x4.5 the original price.
By giving you the option of either a set amount or a formula it increases your possibilities.
Again, possibly not a big 'wow' moment, but being able to set a whole store to use the same formula for me is massively useful, especially when running larger stores, knowing your margins and setting prices to be at least
Not a new concept, but one-click checkout is such a time saver. AliDropShip allows you to quickly and easily order your customers goods, without having to edit and change your orders every single time.
You can also add extra information such as notes, default phone numbers and default email addresses.
This is brilliant if you don't want AliExpress sending emails to your customers... Yes, that's a thing.
You also have the ability to select a number of different sales and queue them up to add too the checkout (it then just processes the shipping address for every sale, one after the other). This is great for those who have to process 10’s or 100’s of orders a day or who want to bundle up a day or two days worth of orders.
As with other plugins or apps, you can grab the updates straight from AliExpress and grab the shipping ID and shipping information, the plugin will then send out an email to your customer with the tracking information, and then link them to your website.
You can also direct your users to your own tracking page, giving customers that sense of security, especially in this modern day and age whereby customers want to track everything, right to their front door.
Abandoned Cart Follow Ups
This feature can cost a lot of money to have on its own, especially if you use apps on eCommerce Platforms. AliDropShip will show you it’s pre-done email campaign for you and then allow you to edit and change as you wish.
For me, getting something like this as a free add-on is worth the price of the plugin alone. Using similar plugins on Shopify cost between $19 - $49 per month, depending on if they include emails, how smart they are etc.
So having one that I can turn on, add some logic too and even have a few boiler plate emails that I can plugin means I can start saving time and energy instantly.
An addition to the abandon cart plugin, you do get the ability to keep the email list of those who might have simply added their contact details, but never bought anything or where browsing, went to purchase but didn't
So you can build up the list of visitors with automation.
Something I brushed past on the original AliDropShip WordPress Plugin Review, where the reports that you can keep an eye on in the back end.
You get 3 standard reports that can be looked at at any time, you can also add your Google Analytics ID into your website to track even more data, which is massively useful.
The reports provided include;
- Sales Report
- Best Selling Products
- Best Selling Categories
- Total Sales
- Activities Report
It does very much as it says on the tin, it will show you how well your store is doing from a sales point of view, including number of orders, how much it costs to purchase from Suppliers, your profit margins, average orders and even starts to delve into top products and categories to allow you to start understanding how well your store is doing.
The reports are easy to understand, clean and well laid out. For the average store owner, this is pretty much all they require to allow them to focus their efforts.
The traffic report uses Google Analytics to help you keep an accurate view of your site. This is also fed back into the order report, and can be used to understand conversion rates.
If you are running ads, you can also add the cost of acquisition etc and start to understand how much it costs to get those customers and how much they spend.
Only really useful if something happens to go wrong or a product disappears, the activity list tells you everything that has happened from an admin point of view. Including the adding and removing of your listings, as well as changing the pricing.
Helpful if you have VA's or employees who also have access, as you can see if orders have been fulfilled, or if a product has been removed.
AliExpress Best Sellers - Auto-Import
Another 'new for 2020' is access to 50 imports of their own database of 50,000 high performing products. They are in a variety of niches, and it is a service that they actually now sell as an additional extra called 'import packages'.
The import packages essentially allow you to import pre-edited pages, including images and descriptions. So if you have a niche in mind, you can head over to their database and find high performing 'best sellers', import them in and either leave as is, or possibly do some minor edits to fit with your brand and style.
They have also put aside a stand alone service of 'product-packages', whereby you can pay between $29 - $199 (100 - 1000 item bundles). I have spoken more about some of AliDropShip services here, if you want to get a better understanding of what they have to offer.
Multiple Payment Gateways
They offer Stripe and PayPal straight off the bat, which is great as they are some of the best payment providers out their (customers trust PayPal, so gives your store more credibility).
There is a huge variety of payment or checkout options now, not just the standard Stripe or PayPal. So if you are in a country that has high fees or only supports certain checkouts, you can find the best one for you.
If you use the WooCommerce plugin, then you have even more providers and you are only limited by WooCommerce, nothing else. This means you can find providers who are native to your country and people may recognise.
Updating Mass Products
When using other platforms and apps, I found that trying to do a mass update was either difficult or the functionality didn't exist. Thankfully AlIDropShop does allow you to mass update as you wish, for example, you can do a force update every 5minutes or 5 hours to get the latest information from AliExpress, or you can update all products with a different pricing structure.
The auto-updating throughout the day always ensures that you have the latest stock, pricing and variations, which when running 100 + item stores can save you lots of time.
Cash Back / Affiliate Cash
Possibly one of the best parts of AliDropShip is that they allow you to add in your Affiliate ID or cashback ID when shopping via AliExpress. Yes, that means you can earn an additional 1 -20% on top of the money you make from selling your items. When you are trying to fulfil a few hundred orders a day/week this really adds up!
As far as I am aware, no other plugin offers this ability, Oberlo actually puts their own links in (it's one of the ways they get paid).
Not essential, though something I find really useful, being able to have custom discount codes can be great for tracking affiliate sales or simply offering a discount in exchange for an email address.
They can be used with Instagram influencers, or pop-up/email capture forms to help build that email list up.
Being able to utilise the product reviews from AliExpress is a great way to build trust for your site, if a product you sell has lots of 4 or 5 star reviews, then your customers know they are getting a good deal.
Importing these product reviews onto your store allows you to then use them either on the product sales pages, or simply used as a 'rating'. It also helps you decide if it's a product worth selling.
Similar apps for other sites, usually cost a few $$'s per month or will have a one off cost.
Additional AliDropShip Addons
I admit, you get a lot of features and functionality for an $89 plugin, with a ton of free add-ons that they have included and added over the years, but they do also have their ow marketplace.
The add-ons they sell are one off costs, so you will pay $39 for the split test add-on one time, and then it's yours for life on your store. They are tied to your web store, so if you own 5 webstores, you would need to buy 5 licences, but that's pretty similar to any other program or platform.
They have a large and growing number of apps and add-ons that can be purchased to help increase sales, find more traffic or split test your pages.
AliDropShip have also created a number of packages, or bundles that allow someone who is possibly new to AliDropShip or DropShipping in general to get a little head start with their store.
The bundles put together a number of add-ons that the AliDropShip team think people will need.
For example, the Beginners Set includes;
- Urgency - Designed to showcase number of times the product has been purchased, how many views it currently has and how many people are about to purchase it right now
- Product Bundle - Allows a user to put together their own packages or bundles, increasing the value of a cart , while also offering the customer a discount
- Reviews Pages - You can build whole pages dedicated to reviews from the products you sell
- Promo Banners - A great way to highlight the fact that a sale is on, or new products have arrived. With different promo 'looks and feel' you can have ones set up for different occasions
- SEO Image Optimiser - Speed is essential, and increasing how quickly your pages load, especially when heavily image focused can keep user on your site longer (or attract new ones quicker).
- My Suppliers - A neat addition that will start to collate stats about your suppliers, letting you find information about the products they sell, the feedback scores, if their pricing is decent and even what categories they fit into.
AliDropShip also offer a number of other plugins or add-ons that can be purchased when and if you feel you need them.
Having a play around with one of the demo stores recently, the split test plugin was great, it allows you to find which product page converts better, essentially letting you increase your sales and conversions.
I also found the product bundle and purchase upsell add-ons helpful, having used similar add-ons on my Shopify-stores in the past. They can really help boost that final checkout value, so paying around $70 to get them installed on a store isn't that bad.
Some of of the apps I wouldn't use, and I have spoke about previously on other reviews, such as the eComTurbo review, such as the countdown timer, as I feel they are overused and don't add much value.
Alongside increasing their apps, improving their themes and basically buffing their value stack, AliDropShip have increased their service packages since the last time I looked.
These services usually revolve around the AliDropShip-Plugin, but they do have some that are simply 'store focused'.
For example they have data entry services for products, theme switching, website installation, check-ups and a whole host of other services you can get.
You can take a look the different services and AliDropShip offer, including my own review of them here.
AliDropShip Custom Store Packages
Another item that I didn't include when I first wrote this review, is the fact that they now offer a custom store creation service. They offer a variety of packages, from,
- Basic - $299
- Advanced - $499
- Ultimate - $899
These packages come with a differing number of ready to sell products included, with the higher tiers adding more features such as social media page set up, promo videos provided and even additional promo tools provided.
There is also a secret, or possibly just hard to find Supreme Package, which is really for those looking to smash the competition and to be given a really quick head start on the competition.
What I Enjoyed About AliDropShip
For me, one of the biggest things that made AliDropShip stand out was the fact I had the freedom to run it on WordPress.
I had run blogs, built websites and done thing with WooCommerce in the past that meant me installing a plugin (takes about 5mins) and getting set up was easy.
The training and installation guide meant that this was a breeze and I have gotten readers in the past to follow the training after they have purchased the app to show just how easy it can be to get sorted without needing any knowledge of WordPress.
Other things that I love is the sheer number of addons that come with AliDropShip Plugin. You get cart abandonment, email list builders, image resizers, mass updates, instant review imports and so much more.
I have to admit I enjoy the fact I can earn cashback on my own purchases. I do feel it’s a bit sneaky, but other apps such as Oberlo, actually use this technique to make money. Yeah, they pay themselves every time you use their app. Why not turn the tide?
Lastly, I actually appreciate that the guys behind AliDropShip are constantly trying to improve. They have come along way in the few years I have followed them, with new apps, training, themes and even ready built stores that can be purchased.
It shows they care about their market and customers.
What I Didn’t Enjoy About AliDropShip
I feel that the older themes do still feel outdated, especially with the layouts.
Most days people enjoy a clean product page, or simple, elegant home pages, not huge carousels filled with images of products or random things.
With the updates to the themes over the last year or so, my issue with their themes is no longer a thing
A few of the addons that they sell, could easily be added to the core themes, such as the trust badges. I am not a fan of trust badges personally, as I always feel they look a bit scammy, but customers enjoy them and I feel it’s something that could be a standard feature without needing to get the Urgency bundle.
Who Would Benefit From AliDropShip
Any DropShipper or Entrepreneur who is looking to get into this particular style of eCommerce.
For those who are frustrated with some of the lacking features from AliDropShips competitors or who are fed up with paying high monthly fees, limited payment gateways or even just annoyances with apps such as Oberlo, then AliDropShip is possibly the right option for you.
AliDropShip Alternatives - AliDropShip vs Shopify ?
The main alternative is Shopify, it cannot be denied that this platform is huge and some claim it to be one of the biggest, if not the biggest for e-com store builders.
Even though AliDropShip is a WordPress-Plugin and Shopify is a platform, you can still compare them as AliDropShip essentially makes your website a DropShipping and eCommerce platform.
To see a full breakdown to find out which if better AliDropShip or Shopify, check out this article.
Purchasing and Downloading AliDropShip
The cost of AliDropShip starts at $89 (£66 at the current exchange rate) - It's a one-time fee, with no additional fees needed, especially if you download and install the standalone WordPress version.
Once you have purchased the plugin, you will be sent a download link that takes you to the files that you require, both versions, as well as the themes that are required for use with this version.
To give you a bit of an idea on which version you may want to use, read the handy little chart that they provide in their FAQs.
Once you have got the files, you will need to ensure that your server is prepped for either ZenLoader or Ion Cube - Your hosting provider will be able to do these updates or check for you, BlueHost support is pretty good, so worth giving them a nudge!
As I said before, I opted for the standard version, because at the time I had a better understanding of building and customising WordPress themes, and I didn't fancy trying to find or pay more for WooCommerce themes, plugins etc etc. I was trying to make money while at University, not spend it.
So there you have it, an AliDropShip plugin review, that gives you a bit of an overview of the product the themes, some of the apps that you get as standard and even how it compares to one of the most popular eCommerce platforms.
The question I get asked the most, is what is the cost of the AliDropShip plugin?
You can also add hosting for the year, which works out at $48, or $4 a month, which again is a steal, especially as they set it all up for you and install AliDropShip!
That means you could get a DropShipping store up and running for under $150 if you include the price of a domain from somewhere like NameCheap.
AliDropShip$89 One Off
Ease of use4.3/5
Support & Reliability4.8/5
- Both WooCommerce & WordPress functionality
- Pre Built Themes
- Easy to install and get started
- One off cost, no on going cost
- Some themes look outdated
- Installation can be tricky if you don't know wordpress
- You do need reliable hosting
I started this blog around 2017, after realising that I wanted to let people know about all the different ways someone could make money online. From DropShipping, Affiliate Marketing, Network Marketing and more.
This blog has now grown to review and explain a variety of different tools and platforms, in the bid to help you.
This blog contains affiliate links, and I will get a commission for purchases made through these links. It doesn’t change anything for you and will on occasion save you money! Enjoy, James,