The plugin 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)
For those who may be looking at moving away from 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.
In the past, I have used Shopify + Oberlo to run my stores, and for one or two, I still do, but I also wanted to try it using WordPress, as I knew how to use it, and I knew of other DropShippers sites being taken over or shut down by platforms, so I decided to investigate.
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, AliDropShip was the one plugin that kept appearing in searches, I had to give it a go.
If you have read the DropShipping guide, then you know the basic concept behind it.
So, you need to do the following;
Bit fed up?
I was, after doing this for a week.
It got worse when the store went viral, and I was getting hundreds of orders, it became hell!
So I quickly went looking for a new solution, I had heard of Orbello and Shopify in the past, but I didn't want to tie myself to a recurring price every month, and I had had lots of past experience with WordPress.
In steps AliDropShip.
What is AliDropShip?
AliDropShip is made up of two separate plugins, a standard all in one WordPress plugin, with its own specific themes, as well as a WooCommerce plugin designed to give you even more flexibility.
As part of this AliDropShip review, I will look into both plugins, as they do offer different abilities depending on what you are trying to achieve.
AliDropShip can also be enhanced with a number of add-ons, which will also be reviewed and analysed later on.
For this write-up, I am focusing on the AliDropShip for WordPress, and not the WooCommerce version (you get access too both as part of the plugin)
Features Included With The AliDropShip WordPress Plugin
Pre Made Themes
The AliDropShip plugin comes with professionally designed themes that have been built and tailored to show off your products and help you sell.
There are 7 different themes, each designed to give your store a different flavour, 6 of them are free, with the latest (Andy Warhol) coming in at $67.
The themes are built with HTML5 and come with a number of features, including product grids, image zooms, clean product selling pages and the ability to group your products.
Others such as Dali also add the ability to run Instagram feeds, blog posts and even promo banners, so you can really mix and match to find a style that suits your own.
From a personal point of view, some of the older themes do look a bit outdated, but Dali and Andy Warhol really bring these into the 21st century and compete against the likes of Shopify or Big eCom.
Quick Search & 1-Click-Import
The AliDropShip plugin has it’s own built-in product importer, that allows you to import products directly from Ali-Express, or via URLS.
Once you are on Ali-Express, 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.
You are also given a Chrome Extension, that can be used to import products without having to be on your site to begin with.
Easy Product Edit
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.
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.
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! I used to get announced that I could only do set amounts or have to do products singular, so this was an absolute beauty!
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.
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.
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! It's such a smooth transition...it's beautiful.
Unlike other platforms, AliDropShip comes with a number of extra features, that can really help you when it comes to thinks like;
- Reporting & General Management
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.
Payment Providers / 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 credit).
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.
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 such a unique offer (some even put their own in..).
Another useful feature when it comes to clinching that deal. Some customers live for the deal, they want to see that special discount.
You can offer unique coupons or discounts to newsletter subscribers, pop-ups or just old fashioned adverts with codes inside.
Abandoned Cart Emails
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.
This feature alone is worth the one-off cost for AliDropShip.
Another feature that can become a pain when trying to use separate apps, trying to get product reviews from AliExpress.
You can instantly import your product reviews, filtering off different types of reviews that don’t fit your criteria.
An email list is invaluable. People who join your list, either in exchange for product launches, coupon codes or just to keep up to date with your promotions.
You can plugin different autoresponders/list builders such as GetResponse.
Now, you do get a lot of features already included, I accept that, but the guys do also provide a few extra add-ons that may or may not make your life easier, at an additional cost.
Now all the addons they sell, are one-off costs. For example, the UpSell plugin, that has nearly 1,000 downloads, costs $37 one off. A similar one on Shopify app store is $15 a month (base).
Or the Urgency add-on that uses social proof, trust and cart timers to help motivate your potential customers, only costs $29 and again it’s a one-off payment. Similar ones will cost around $5 - $15 each a month unless you can find free ones ( that don’t look naff).
What I Enjoy 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.
On other platforms such as Shopify, you might start adding $$’s a month to include these.
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 beyind the AliDropShip plugin are constantly trying to improve. They recently updated their themes, they have dropped training, they do videos, they have come up with a number of extra paid-for plugins and they even provide custom-built stores.
It shows they care about their market and customers.
Oh, and it’s also cheaper to run than other platforms..such as Shopify. Plus your store isn’t at the mercy of those platforms (yep, if Shopify doesn’t like your store they will shut it down, just like that).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ease of use8.5/10
Support & Reliability9.5/10
- 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
James started The Online Student as a typical blog telling people about his struggles and woes with DropShipping, Amazon FBA and even Affiliate marketing. He then decided that blogging about it all would give people the skills, knowledge and apps to get up and running (while making a little extra on the side). After a few months he realised it was quite lucrative and decided to work his ass off making it a bit more than just a hobby!