AliDropShip Review – An in-depth look

AlIDropShip Review Summary;

AliDropShip Review – An in-depth look 1 AliDropShip review

Pricing

The plugin itself is a one off cost, so no monthly fees (aside from hosting)

AliDropShip Review – An in-depth look 2 AliDropShip review

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.

AliDropShip Review – An in-depth look 3 AliDropShip review

Functionality

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. 

AliDropShip Review – An in-depth look 4 AliDropShip review

Support

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)

  • Easy To Install
  • Cheaper Per Month To Run
  • A lot more Versatility than other platforms
  •  not tied to contracts or random increase in monthly costs
  • you get apps and features designed to help your store do well included
  • they offer training and guidance to help you Succeed
  • Some themes do look outdated
  • Not everyone will enjoy using wordPress and will want the full ecom platform experience
  • Some of the 'Success Stores' look to be copy and pasted, but may work with the right advertisment
  • Some of the paid add-ons could easily be added for free

One off payment $89 for the plugin (other options and add-ons can be found on their site)

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. 

For those who may be looking at moving away from the standard platforms used for DropShipping, such as Shopify or Big Commerce, then AliDropShip may be the answer for you. 

Using the widely popular WordPress platform, AliDropShip can turn a normal looking site 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 WordPress site, or WooCommerce store, and turn it into an automated DropShipping site. 

These days, AliDropShip is really a brand of products, 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. 

I do dive into the AliDropShip Themes & AliDropShip Custom store in their own reviews, to allow for a more detailed look at the other offerings they have these days. 

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 the look, feel and inner workings of a standard WordPress website, and turning it into a pretty much fully automated Dropshipping site.

It includes 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 such as Shopify. 

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 and products 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 a DropShipping store for you. 

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 one 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. 

Single product page - AliDropShip
Multi Product Store - AliDropShip

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 ca use the direct import tool, something I found particularly useful. 

AliDropShip 1 Click Import

Once you are on AliExpress, you are then given the option to import the whole subcategory, category or just the page. 

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. 

AliDropShip Review - AliExpress Import tool from AliDropShip

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 products, 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 products unique to your store. 

AliDropShip Review - Edit The Description tool From AliDropShip

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 products.

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 got better ones (I would suggest taking images and scaling them down to take up less space).

One downside to the AliDropShip chrome extension is that 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.

AliDropShip Review - Individual Import From AliDropShip

Pricing Automation

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 products 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 

One-Click Checkout

Not a new concept, but one-click checkout is such a time saver. AliDropShip allows you to quickly and easily order your customers products, without having to edit and change your orders every single time. 

AliDropShip Review - One Click Ordering AliDropShip

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 products and queue them up to add too the checkout (it then just processes the shipping address for each one, 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. 

Auto Tracking

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.

AliDropShip Review – An in-depth look 5 AliDropShip review

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 Shopify. AliDropShip will show you it’s pre-done email campaign for you and then allow you to edit and change as you wish. 

AliDropShip Review – An in-depth look 6 AliDropShip review

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. 

Email Lists 

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.

Reporting Tools

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. 

Sales Reports

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. 

AliDropShip Review – An in-depth look 7 AliDropShip review

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. 

Traffic Report

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. 

Activities

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, such as new products, removal of products or changes in pricing.

Helpful if you have VA's or employees who also have access, as you can see if products have bee 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 products, import them in and either leave as is, or possibly do some minor edits to fit with your brand and style. 

Multiple Payment Gateways

Again, unlike other Drop Shipping plugins, AliDropShip gives you the ability to use different payment providers.

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).

With AliDropship they open up that option to other services such as 2CO or PayU, to give you more flexibility.

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 products, 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 selling a few hundred products 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). 

Discount Coupons

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. 

Product Reviews

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 sites such as Shopify 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. 

AliDropShip Review – An in-depth look 8 AliDropShip review

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-os that the AliDropShip team think people will need. For example, the Beginners Set includes;

  • Urgency - A plugin 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 plugin 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.

AliDropShip Services 

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.

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 apps 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 the AliDropShip plugin 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 carousells 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 DropShipping

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 may just be the one 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 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

Costs

A big one, and one that I come back to quite a lot. If you read this post, it sums up a few of the different options, but it boils down to;

Your store, you will pay $29 a month for 'Shopify Basic' + around $35 worth of credit card fees (2.9% + 0.30c per). This takes our total to $65 per month. 

Now, you are going to want to have at least, some apps to run your store with. I would usually recommend having at least 1 abandon checkout app (we actually found one for free!), a smart upsell app ($9.99 per month) and an email capture app (wheelio is one of the most popular apps at comes in at $15 a month). We could also add a decent currency exchange app, which will set you back another $10). All in all, even with a fairly slim number of extra apps you are now up to an extra $35 a month. 

Just to add insult to injury, if you want to use the most popular auto fulfilment tool for Shopify, you need to spend an additional $30 a month.

So for a relatively small store, that is using a free theme (yep, we have tried to save money!), and a small number of apps designed to bump sales or increase retention, you will be looking at spending $120 per month or $1440 a year. 

Compare that to AliDropShip, The calculations for this method is slightly different, especially as AliDropShip is a one-off cost, so I will take the cost of the plugin and spread it out over 12 months. 

So the cost is $89, as a one off payment. Spread out over 12 months gives you a grand total price of $7.40. 

Because you are using WordPress, you are going to need to do some self hosting, sorry guys! The best hosting I found while DropShipping was from Bluehost. Using their most basic package, for $4 a month. A steal really for what you get. Even their more expensive hosting is only $6. 

Now, for the charges, again I am going to use the same $1000 a month in revenue calculation. The cost of this roughly works out the same, but you can shop around. I will use standard PayPal and it calculates to be $35 a month in credit card charges. 

Right, onto the apps. The good thing about AliDropShip, is that it comes with apps that you need. So your total cost per month for apps. $0. 

You are also given a variety of themes, so again no cost associated there for you. Plus, AliDropShip wont charge you for becoming more successful (i.e Oberlo).

Your total spend per month, will be $46.40 or $556 per year. Which reduces to $490 per year after you have paid off your initial investment. 

You save nearly $1,000 a year by using AliDropShip compared to using Shopify and the only thing you may have to change would be hosting if your site started attracting a lot more visitors. 

Ease of Use

Because I have used WordPress before, I found it easy to set up. But you can get a hosted Shopify store created or at least the bare bones of it sorted within about 1 - 2 minutes. 

The actual navigation between Shopify and Oberlo is difficult though because it's not Shopify doing the ordering or updating the products, its the Oberlo app, you have to keep diving in and out of it to make changes, or find new products and I find that clunky. 

You are also limited to what you can do code-wise, and they hide alot of the options away to stop you from being able to fiddle too much, probably not a big issue for most entrepreneurs, granted. 

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.

Obviously, you will need a domain name and a hosting package and these are not included in the cost, so take into account you may need to spend around £10 extra a month for this.

Once you have purchased the plugin, you will be sent a download link that takes you to the files that you require, both versions of the plugin and the themes that are required for use with the WordPress version.

To give you a bit of an idea on which one to use, read the handy little chart that they provide in their FAQs.

AliDropShip Plugin Comparison

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 WordPress 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.

Why Did I Look For An Automated WordPress DropShipping Solution?

So a little bit of background to the reason why I was looking for something like AliDropShip.

In the past, when I first started DropShipping, I used Oberlo + Shopify, it's kind of the done thing to do. But for me, I had already spent years building and running blogs, client websites and other sites using WordPress. 

I wanted to move my stores over to WordPress, letting me use my own quick hosting provider (Siteground these days) and ensure I was only running one platform.

I had also noticed a growing number of stores being shut down by Shopify, or at least horror stories of them being shut down. I had also noticed more payment gateways where becoming 'anxious' about DropShipping stores, so needed something that may offer alternatives. 

You can run a WordPress DropShipping site, manually, if you so wish.

But it takes a lot of effort, especially if you are running an e-commerce site with decent traffic. Even bundling them all together and sending via XML or CVS, it can still take time.

If you have read the DropShipping guide, then you know the basic concept behind it.

  • Find a product that you want to sell (search through a few hundred categories and a few thousand listings), 
  • Add that newly found product onto a storefront, grabbing the images from AliExpress or from a DropShipping site.
  • You then need to ensure you have all the variants, with the appropriate costs and images behind it.
  • You then need to work out the best price for the item, do you go with 1.5 or maybe 4x cost price
  • After you have done all this, you need to sell said product, so you wait for the email or the update to say you have sold something
  • Then open the spreadsheet that tells you where your product came from, you then copy and paste your customers details into the relevant fields and then finally pay.
  • You will then need to update your customer with the shipping details, send out updates for when the item is processed, then shipped and finally within the designated country.
  • Once you have done all this you need to reduce the total number you have in your inventory and check it's the same amount as on AliExpress or your designated DropShipping site.

That becomes tedious, quite quickly, every time I searched for an answer, AliDropShip appeared. So I decided to give it a go, and then eventually write this AliDropShip Review.

Final Thoughts

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?

The plugin sells for $89 and that includes the WordPress Plugin & the AliDropShip plugin for WooCoomerce, so you can work out what best fits for you. 

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
4.45

Price

4.5/5

Ease of use

4.3/5

Functionality

4.8/5

Support & Reliability

4.8/5

Integrations

4.0/5

Pros

  • Both WooCommerce & WordPress functionality
  • Pre Built Themes
  • Easy to install and get started
  • One off cost, no on going cost

Cons

  • Some themes look outdated
  • Installation can be tricky if you don't know wordpress
  • You do need reliable hosting