How to Start Dropshipping with AliExpress and WooCommerce

    Lavanya Deshmukh
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dropshipping with AliExpress and WooCommerce
How to Start Dropshipping with AliExpress and WooCommerce 1

Dropshipping is one of those things that seems too good to be true right?

I am, by default, skeptical of anything that promises ‘low cost, high reward’.  But it is hard to ignore the fact that in 2018, the global dropshipping market size valued at USD 102.2 billion (I know!)

In fact, by 2025, the B2C eCommerce market is estimated to be worth $7,724.8 billion. Dropshipping with AliExpress and WooCommerce is a great way to get a piece of all the action.

So let’s dig into it a little bit and talk about how you can get started and set up your dropshipping store.

Let’s Review Dropshipping Basics

The dropshipping business model is not complicated but it’s vast. You probably already have an idea of how dropshipping works. This next section will take you over all the basics about dropshipping with AliExpress and WooCommerce.

What is Dropshipping? 

For the most part, it’s like having an eCommerce shop. The difference is you don’t hold any physical inventory. Once a customer places an order on your shop, you place an order with your vendor. The vendor is the one who fulfills the order, not you. The start-up cost is low because you don’t pay for anything until someone places an order. Neither do you have to deal with packaging and shipping! However, depending on the vendor, there might be a dropshipping fee involved.

How does AliExpress tie into it all?

AliExpress is a big eCommerce marketplace based in China similar to Amazon or eBay. Sometimes, instead of having a tie-up with individual sellers, dropshipping stores use AliExpress. You can find a wide variety of items from electronics to clothes to makeup from reliable sellers. And because most of the AliExpress sellers are overseas manufacturers, their prices are very competitive. Which means that you have a higher profit margin.

Example scenario – women’s clothing store

You want to set up a dropshipping store that sells trendy women’s clothing at very reasonable prices.

Now, dropping with AliExpress would mean first you have to set up a store to sell these clothes. That is where WooCommerce comes in. WooCommerce is the e-commerce plugin you will use to turn our WordPress website into a store.

You will be in charge of setting up the website, images for the clothes, and all other website content.

Once a customer places an order, you will place the same order with the vendor on AliExpress. So the vendor is the one who ships the item to the customer and the price difference is your profit.

So you don’t hold any inventory and also don’t have to worry about shipping. 

How to use AliDropship + WooCommerce to start your dropshipping business

There are many ways to start your dropshipping business. The one we’re going to be focusing on dropshipping with AliExpress and WooCommerce.

Why WordPress + WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is the most popular choice when it comes to dropshipping platforms. A primary reason is that it makes it very easy to set up and manage your store.

It is the eCommerce plugin for WordPress and comes with every functionality you need to run a store. And it’s also quite convenient! It has a setup wizard that gets your store ready to go in minutes and you can start adding products immediately.

But more importantly, you get to have complete control over your store. You get to have a one-of-a-kind store and customize it any way you want. You also have a large repository of plugins at your disposal. Its flexibility means you can add features as you need them.

Why do you need the AliDropship Woo plugin?

If you’re dropshipping products from AliExpress, the AliDropship Woo plugin will save you hours. Not kidding.

It’s got everything you need for a dropshipping shop. It allows you to import products and their details directly from AliExpress in a single click, saving you loads of time. You can use a pricing markup formula to automatically price your products or edit fields as you wish. You can even import customer reviews to give your products that extra boost. And because it is synced with AliExpress, the information on your product pages is always up to date.

And when it comes to placing the orders, you don’t have to manually replicate your customer’s order details. Once an order is processed on your store, the same order is placed on AliExpress automatically and all you have to do is pay. 

AliDropship vs AliDropship Woo plugin – Which should you choose?

They both have core dropshipping functionalities – importing products, reviews, placing orders. The difference is that AliDropship works with any WordPress website while AliDropship Woo is specifically for WooCommerce.

A limitation often encountered with the original plugin was that it only works with themes developed by Alidropship. Which might or might not appeal to your brand. The AliDropShip Woo plugin overcomes this limitation. Plus you get all the benefits of WooCommerce.

Think of the Alidropship Woo plugin as a WooCommerce add-on. So it only adds the core dropshipping functionalities to your Woo shop.

While the AliDropship plugin also has additional features, built-in themes, it’s own dashboard, etc.

So if you want a heavily customizable option go for AliDropship Woo. But keep in mind that it’s a less ‘out-of-the-box’ solution. The best way to customize your Woo store to reflect your vision is to enlist the help of a WooCommerce expert developer.

Tips for beginners starting a Dropshipping Business

There are a few things to always keep in mind when starting a dropshipping business:

#1 Select the right products

To make the most of your dropshipping business, be selective about the type of products you sell. Rather than have a random hotch-potch of products it is better to carve out a niche for yourself. And add your unique take to your shop.

Choosing a popular category like ‘electronics’ might mean smaller profit margins but more sales if marketed the right way. A very niche category like ‘carpets’ might make for higher profit margins but very few sales. So do your research on products that are trending and in demand. try to establish a balance where you have a big enough profit margin while still having demand.

#2 Have a returns & refunds policy in place

When dropshipping with AliExpress and WooCommerce, select your suppliers carefully. And know their return and refund policies inside out. Based on this, decide the returns & refund policy for your store.

What are the acceptable reasons for demanding a refund? How long is the return period? And always give yourself a considerable margin. If the supplier has a 15-day return policy, yours needs to be 12 to give you time to coordinate things. 

#3 Use your Woo dropshipping store to boost sales

Your WooCommerce shop can be a great channel to upsell products, cross-sell products, for marketing, tracking analytics. So, don’t overlook it.
Here are a few tools you can use:


A marketing automation tool that allows you to track your customer’s journey. You can also use it to integrate sale boosting features like sale popups, cart abandonment emails and more.

Customer Specific Pricing

Dynamic pricing plugin that helps you offer special discounts and offers on product categories or quantities.

WooCommerce Wishlist

It lets your customers add products to a wish list to purchase later.  

The Road Ahead

A lot of people have found success with their dropshipping business. The low investment cost helps. But at the end of the day, you’re running a business and it needs work.

Work on making your store stand out, select great products and always maintain good relationships with your sellers and customers alike.

And with that, we leave you to go and start your store! If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and we’d be happy to answer them!

Lavanya Deshmukh

Lavanya Deshmukh

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