Is it possible to launch a thriving, money-making business from the comfort of your home? What does it take to get one? Anderson, our today’s guest, is a happy owner of a successful sell from home business he launched in the midst of the pandemic – what’s his secret?
Disclaimer: all the success stories published in AliDropship blog are the results of interviews conducted in the written form. Even though the editors may make some minor changes to the grammar, spelling, and/or punctuation, the respondents’ writing styles, views, opinions, stores’ screenshots and personal photos are left unchanged.
Hi, please introduce yourself!
Hello, my name is Anderson, I’m a Growth Marketer from Brazil, São Paulo. I am a self-taught lifelong learner and entrepreneur, curious, of an executor profile. I have already created some digital businesses. Among them, there’s an ecommerce store with more than $115k in revenue made in just a few months!
Please, tell us more about this successful sell from home business!
Earlier, I had a small Digital Marketing Agency. But when the global pandemic came, clients started canceling their contracts with us. That’s why I started searching for an extra source of income and decided to try selling stuff online.
Facebook Ads and Google Ads prove to be the most efficient for me, and I use data from the running ads to learn more about my buyers: what they like, what they do… I spend about $5K/month on advertising.
There was a “funny” story once: I did a campaign with a bigger Brazilian influencer with an 8+ million Instagram audience.
… I sold only a few products!
What are you selling, exactly, and what’s your product strategy?
I research buyers’ demand and look for quality products that I’d love to buy myself. Usually, I add new products around every 2 months. To get my dropshipping profits, I multiply the original price by somewhere between 3 and 4,5.
What does your daily routine look like when you run a sell from home business?
It takes me about 2 hours per day to manage my stores, with Customer Support taking most of my time. Still, I believe there is no such thing as difficult customers. You just must provide awesome customer support and they can buy from you again.
The biggest challenge, however, is making a proper profit margin. I’m working with high-quality products and sometimes it’s hard to generate so much value on the offers. So I’m just creating new offers! For example, “buy 2, 3 or more with a discount” ( this increases the average order value), or “buy this and get that for free”, etc.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to run this business in the long term, which is why I registered it officially. I’m thinking of developing a brand, too! In some years, I’d love to sell my brands for millions. I really like to work, always thinking about the long-term perspectives.
How has your life changed?
Everything has changed! The sensation of freedom is priceless.
At first, my friends and family thought I was crazy. Now, they ask me to teach them 😀
Any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
If you haven’t applied branding in your business, now is the time to do it! And if you don’t have your online business yet, don’t wait to start: freedom is priceless and time doesn’t go back.
What an inspirational insight! With due effort, even a tiny dropshipping store can easily grow into a lucrative business with a brilliant potential. We are beyond grateful to Anderson for his exciting feedback, and can’t wait to see his stores break new records and achieve new milestones!
I have to admit: to me, these numbers are pretty scary.
That’s why I’d love to share a couple of tips on reducing the development costs with no damage to the store functionality and appearance!
Shall we begin?
What are the 100% must-haves that an ecommerce website cost needs to cover?
For a start, let’s first of all make a list of the essential website elements. Here, we will talk about the absolute basics. Without this stuff, your dropshipping store won’t operate at all, or will work in a really bad and inefficient way.
Without hosting, you can’t make your website data visible to Internet users. Simply speaking, no one will be able to see and access your store, which obviously means that your business won’t exist.
So, an inevitable expense that you will have as a website owner is a hosting fee. It is paid every year, and it depends on the hosting provider and the volume of data you need to process. The hosting plans provided by AliDropship, for example, vary from $48 per year to $220 per year.
Domain is the main part of your store’s URL address: similarly to a real-life building, a website doesn’t exist in a void. The address identifies the exact location of a site, and gives Internet users the opportunity to find and access it.
The amount of payment for a domain can also vary greatly: it depends on the overall domain appeal and its probable demand. Plus, the registrars (the services selling domain names) set their own prices for the available domains even though they all have the same database.
CMS, or a content management system, is a platform that forms the basis of your website. Simply speaking, it defines the appearance, layout, and functionality of your store.
Sometimes, inexperienced dropshipping newcomers register within specialized website building platforms. They use their capacity to create a store within this particular exommerce system. In this case, they play by the rules of this service and never become 100% owners of their stores. Technically, these sites belong to this platform which has the right to put specific limits on the entrepreneurs’ activity.
As an alternative, if you want to run a totally independent business, you can either install an already existing CMS on your site (there even exist awesome free options like WordPress), or develop a completely new one. Obviously, the development will require a solid technical background or a considerable sum of money to pay to skilled developers.
Website planning and development
So, you have a domain, a hosting, and a CMS. In other words, you have already built the ultimately necessary foundation for your future dropshipping business.
Still, at this moment, it is not a store yet: it is just an empty shell of a website that you need to fill with the necessary content.
There are lots of things to do at this stage as you need to:
Install a theme that defines the visual side of your store
Create a product base
Structure the items into convenient categories
Make information-rich pages like Terms and Conditions
Integrate payment gateways
Make sure that the site is responsive enough to be correctly displayed on any type of device
Optimize the site for search engines, etc.
If you’re going to outsource these tasks, don’t forget to include them in your list of future expenses, or take your time to learn how to do it all yourself.
What should preferably be included in an ecommerce website cost as well?
Now, let’s talk about the online store elements that are desirable, but not obligatory. Without them, your store will work anyway, but with their help, you can achieve much greater results.
Good-looking product pages
Captivating product photos and descriptions don’t simply give your store an attractive appearance. They inspire visitors’ trust, stimulate more active shopping, and improve your store rankings in Google search results.
Various design elements, such as logos and promotional banners placed within your online store, play a crucial role in your brand image creation. They make it easier for your current and prospective buyers to associate themselves with the brand message, remember your store, and differentiate it from competitors’ sites.
By integrating social networks’ widgets on your website, you provide your store visitors with highly valuable social proof. Therefore, you make it easier for your potential buyers to make up their minds and place their orders more quickly.
By setting up email notifications, you get the opportunity to reach your buyers via emails and notify them about the latest changes in their orders’ status.
These and other marketing-related additions to your site can radically change the principles of the buyer-to-seller communication, and heavily improve your conversion rate. So, if you want to enjoy a higher volume of profit, you should definitely give them a try.
High-quality maintenance is a really important aspect of your store functioning. In order to make your store secure and protect it from the actions of hackers and malware, you should at least update all the tech pieces (CMS, themes, plugins, extensions, etc.) as soon as their newest versions get announced, and create backup copies of your website to get back to them if something happens to your store.
How to cut down an ecommerce website cost?
Even with such a long list of necessary and desired elements, a dropshipping store can still be quite inexpensive to launch. Here are some tips for you to consider!
Don’t overpay for the domain
As I have already mentioned it, domain names can be bought from several different providers, and each of these services has their own pricing strategy. Read this article to learn more about the most reliable registrars, and to find out how to scan them in a smart way when you’re looking for a specific name.
Don’t overpay for the CMS
Certainly, you want your store to be awesome, super functional, and unique in its appearance. Still, it doesn’t mean that you need to pay extreme sums of money for custom development. Instead, use WordPress as your core platform (read here why this free CMS is your #1 choice), and complement it with any additional plugins and extensions at your choice.
Read what you’re buying
If you ever decide to launch your store on a platform provided by a website building service (it’s your choice, after all), read it super carefully what exactly you’re agreeing on. Does it require a one-time payment or a recurring monthly/yearly fee? Can the amount of these payments change depending on the number of orders you process or the volume of profit you get? Will you need this platform owner’s approval for any of your business actions? Can the platform’s owner coordinate your product choice and promotional activities?
Check what’s included in the package deals’ cost
Again, when ordering a service from an external specialist, read it twice what you will get for your money, and try to evaluate how beneficial this purchase will be for you. For example, the already mentioned hosting solution from AliDropship doesn’t include a domain price (which is fairly logical because no one can predict how much will YOUR domain cost), but, at the same time, it goes with a free SSL certificate. Simply speaking, this certificate is visually displayed on your website, and proves that this store guarantees the security of the buyers’ payments processed on this site. Do you think it is a valuable addition to your store?
Zero ecommerce website cost: how to get an online store for $0?
Made for you exclusively in up to 1 business day, it has everything: payment gateways, catchy product pages, domain, hosting,… The site is tailored to your specific business goals and is professionally set up by a team that has already built thousands dropshipping stores for entrepreneurs worldwide.
Products ready to sell
Already stocked in a Fulfillment Center in California, these products will reach any US address in 1-3 business days! Their info is on your website already — no need to create product catalog from scratch! — so you can just go straight to selling.
Launch your winning campaigns in a click! No more guesswork and costly ad experiments: use the ad materials already proven to sell! These are made for you by a digital marketers’ team, and are free to use.
User manuals and marketing roadmaps
There’s no need to spend months and years trying to learn how this business works and how to make the most of it. With the ready tutorials and webinars that go together with your store, you’ll be running a successful online business in no time.
Your personal manager’s assistance is part of the deal, too! You can count on professional guidance at any step of your business journey.
A full-scale, well-operating online business that doesn’t cost you a penny! Isn’t that a generous offering to explore?
You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to make your online business up and running. It’s possible to cut your ecommerce website cost down to zero — and start your online business for $0! Wouldn’t you love to give it a try?
At some point, a vacation for an online business owner is a must. Let’s figure out how to easily leave your store behind, and how to minimize the negative effect of your temporary absence!
Everybody loves taking some time off.
Rest and relaxation are vital for our mental and physical health, which is why we would like to ask you to remember when you had your last vacation 🙂
Of course, we understand that dropshipping store owners, as much as any online business owners, are commonly unsure (and even nervous) about going on a vacation. Naturally, they are worried about the development of their cherished ventures, and they are afraid something can go wrong while they are away.
This is why we want to help you plan your online business activities for the period of your next vacation! We know how important it is to organize everything in the smoothest way possible in order not to harm the profits and the reputation of your enterprise. So, how does a vacation for an online business owner should look like?
How to plan your vacation if you’re an online business owner
First of all, answer the following 4 questions:
What is the aim of my vacation? Is it to get rest, or to spend time with my friends and family, or to seek inspiration for new business ideas, or something else?
Will I be able to go online, or the place where I’m going has no Internet coverage?
Will I take my laptop with me, or I will only be equipped with a smartphone?
Do I really want to keep working on my online business during this vacation?
Generally, the following 3 scenarios are possible:
Really need to get some rest, so I just want to forget about the store for some time
I don’t mind working a bit, but the Internet coverage will be really limited / I won’t have the opportunity to take my laptop with me
I simply want to try running my online business from a new location, so I’m taking the laptop and hoping for a bunch of new ideas to come!
Now, let’s discuss what you should do in every case!
I am a super tired online business owner and I just want to relax with no responsibilities
Sometimes, a vacation is not just a whim, but a life-saving necessity.
We are all going through different life situations, so if you feel like you can’t take it anymore, just ignore the business temporarily. Don’t blame yourself for it; remember that you’ve totally deserved this vacation!
To make your full absence harmless for the business, you need to notify your potential buyers about the pause in your store’s activity. This is how it’s done:
Think of a short yet clear and informative message
Don’t include too many details: your clients don’t really need to know much about your personal life and the reasons to put the business on hold. Something like this will be more than enough:
The store is currently under maintenance, so it won’t accept and process any orders, calls, and messages from May, 14th till May, 27th.
Please come back on May, 28th for happy and enjoyable shopping!”
That’s it, basically: you let the person know it will be temporarily impossible to get in touch with you, plus you specify the period of your absence and explain when you will return.
Make a post in every social network account linked to your store
The message you just created serves a really important purpose: you will use it to make a text post or a colorful banner, and place it on every social network page that is associated with your store.
On Facebook, it is possible to pin this post to the top of your page’s timeline. This way, it will be the first thing that a person sees while checking your page. On other social networks, just don’t post anything after this notification: this post should be clearly visible even to an inattentive reader.
Set up an auto reply email
In case someone tries to send you an email while you’re on vacation, they will automatically receive your pre-written letter explaining you’re currently unavailable. This makes a much better impression than no answer at all!
Change the mood message in Skype
If you have listed Skype as one of the possible ways to get in touch with you, use the mood message field to write about your temporary absence. Again, simply state that the store will undergo some maintenance, and provide details of its unavailability period.
Put your website in the ‘Coming Soon’ mode
Okay, so, as a smart and proactive online business owner on vacation, you’ve warned everyone the store will be under maintenance. Now, let’s make it look like it.
This free WordPress plugin makes your website content invisible to the visitors. They will only see a ‘Coming Soon’ page that basically says that the site is currently unavailable. This way, no one will be able to browse the website contents and place an order, and it’s great because no one will have any troubles because of a pending order that is not getting processed.
Finish all the ad campaigns
While you’re absent and the website is unavailable, the promotional campaigns are meaningless and even harmful for your reputation, while paid ads on Facebook and Instagram shoutouts are also a waste of money.
If you keep them running, you will basically attract visitors to a non-working store that doesn’t make it possible to buy anything, and it makes no sense at all.
Leave your SIM card at home
Make sure that the phone number specified on your website/social network account won’t be available during your absence. You don’t really want to receive business phone calls while being on vacation, right?
TIP: give yourself 2-5 days to recover before getting back to business
If, for example, you are returning from a holiday trip on May, 24th, don’t put this exact day into your notifications! Make May, 28th your first official working day after the ‘maintenance’ works: these extra days will come in handy to sort out the store-related works and to set yourself in the right working mood.
My gadget/Internet resources will be limited, but I’d like to work a bit during the vacation
So, you don’t mind keeping an eye on your dropshipping store while you’re away, but you can’t do as much as you’d like because of tech limitations.
For example, if you only have a tablet or a smartphone with you, you can definitely view your store stats or edit single product pages, but it might be technically impossible to process newly placed orders or to add new products.
Or, if you’re staying in a place with a limited Internet access, you can’t possibly be online round the clock, so even if you take a laptop, it won’t help you much.
In other words, this scenario means that you can only perform some part of the necessary business tasks, while the rest of the issues are nearly impossible for you to manage.
In this case, the best option for you is to temporarily delegate the store management to a different person: it can be either your acquaintance, or a virtual assistant hired through a services marketplace like Fiverr.
It might seem scary for an online business owner on vacation to make a complete stranger responsible for the whole venture, but with due preparations, you can totally handle it in a smooth and efficient way. This is how you should do it:
Automate as much as you can
The more processes are automated, the more difficult it is for your assistant to make things go wrong 🙂
It’s not a secret that automated dropshipping solutions make it possible to deal with the most challenging aspects of this business. A correctly chosen platform helps you easily perform the majority of managerial tasks, from product import to orders processing.
If you use such type of solutions to organize your daily dropshipping routine, it gets really easy for you to hand over the most important parts of it to someone else: all the procedures are streamlined, and basically, it takes only a couple of clicks to complete every task.
Find an assistant
It doesn’t really matter who exactly will be helping you while you’re on vacation.
It can either be a person you already know (a friend, a relative, a colleague, etc.), or a so-called virtual assistant whose job is to pick up someone else’s duties.
This person doesn’t have to be experienced in dropshipping: it’s only a temporary task, so it won’t be necessary for your assistant to make any important decisions and determine the vector of the business development. You simply need to make sure that the person has some computer literacy, and speaks the language of your potential buyers (in case you’re targeting some other region than your home country).
Hand over the online business owner responsibilities
After this, you need to write down the sequence of actions you need to take when something happens in your store. You need to explain what to do when there’s a new order, or when a buyer asks for tracking details, or when a refund request appears, etc.
It would be great to do some preliminary training: before going on vacation, try giving your assistant the access details, and watch him/her doing your ordinary job. This way, you will closely monitor this person’s performance, and instantly notice if he is doing something the wrong way.
Work out the communication plan
Since you have the opportunity to dedicate some of your vacation time to your online business management, you can use this time to get in touch with your assistant.
Discuss how often you will contact him/her. What way of communication you will use (Skype, email, WhatsApp, etc.). What exact figures/actions you will be looking at, and what events should be an immediate report to an emergency.
Sort out the marketing strategy
Even though you have someone to keep an eye on your store while you’re away, it is a questionable idea to launch a new Facebook Ads campaign, or to negotiate with a new Instagram shoutouts partner during this period of time.
For a person unfamiliar with the specific features of your business and with the nature of your target audience, it will be quite challenging to plan and launch an appropriate marketing campaign, which is why the best decision is to put these activities on hold until you return.
If you don’t want to ‘abandon’ your social networks accounts, you can keep them active with the help of relevant plugins like Social Rabbit. After you apply the desired settings, this tool will automatically share the content of your webstore in social networks of your choice, boost your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram accounts, and repost related content from the sources you specify.
Plus, a considerable experience is required to edit single product pages of the newly imported items (for example, to write consistent product descriptions, import reliable reviews, create a good-looking picture gallery, etc.).
If you’re not ready to trust your assistant with this type of responsibilities, it’s completely fine (and understandable). Don’t worry – you will update your product later, after you return.
Before you leave, make sure your product info gets automatically updated: this way, neither you nor your assistant will have to worry about any unexpected changes to your supplier’s product details.
Plan the technical updates schedule
In order to guarantee smooth and secure functioning of your dropshipping store, it is commonly recommended to make regular updates of all the plugins, themes, and other software elements used for the store management.
If you decide to delegate this task to your assistant as well, create a backup copy of your website in advance, and write detailed instructions on restoring the site with the help of this backup. In case something goes wrong, it will give you the opportunity to get back to the properly working store version, and make the updates yourself when you’re back.
TIP: don’t make any major changes to your store when you’re about to leave
It’s not exactly wise to start working with a totally new supplier just before you go on vacation. Or to add an item that you’ve never tested before. Or to design and upload brand new banners. You get the idea.
First of all, it’s very likely that you’ll have a limited amount of time, and won’t be able to finish what you’ve planned in a proper way.
Besides, if something goes wrong with the new seller or the new item or something, you’ll need to take an immediate action to fix it, and you certainly don’t need such a stressful situation to happen during your vacation.
I will simply relocate and keep working on my dropshipping store from the new place
It is quite a common situation: an online business owner doesn’t want to take a vacation at all. Instead, he/she chooses to move to a different country or region, and to continue working with the same intensity as usual.
In this case, the following actions are necessary:
Think how long you will be offline
When you’re on the road, it’s not always possible to be online all the time.
Imagine that you’re going to have a 14-hour flight, and then drive to your new place of residence, and then unpack, and then have a rest, and then figure out the local Wi-Fi network…
If the trip itself is going to take several hours, it’s fine: most likely, you won’t need to change anything in your daily management routine.
But if you know you’ll be on the road for a whole day or two, and if you guess it will be challenging to be online while you’re travelling, it’s a good idea to put your website in the maintenance mode for this period of time (we have covered this process in the ‘super tired’ part of this article).
The reason is simple: you can’t be sure that the Wi-Fi network in this location is fully safe. It is especially important if you’ll be working from a cafe or any other place that provides public Internet access. Even if someone hacks your store, you won’t have trouble restoring it to a previously saved version.
Check the access details required for online business owner
Logins, passwords, ID numbers, links, bookmarks – all these and many other tiny details are essential for your online business management. This is why it is vital to check twice if you saved all the access details in a single file on every device you’re taking with you (if one gets broken, another one will help you out).
Change phone number if necessary
If you’re going to a different country, consider getting a local SIM-card to handle phone calls more conveniently. In this case, it’s necessary to update the contact details on your website and social networks’ accounts.
Automate the business
It’s quite likely that it will take you some time to adapt to the new working and living environment.
In order not to worry about inefficient use of your time, choose and get an automated solution with the widest range of features related to the store automatization.
It will help you organize your daily management routine with the same intensity and efficiency as usual. This way, your holiday will be productive and relaxing at the same time.
TIP: want to rest easy on a vacation and have your business still function to its fullest without your participation? Meet Sellvia, a unique ecommerce solution that will help you achieve new heights. You can enjoy your vacation, while your online store continues to take the incoming orders and process them.
For an online business owner, an unfamiliar mentality, lifestyle, and cultural background can play a major role in business development.
If you don’t want to abandon your dropshipping store while being on vacation, explore the place you’ve relocated to. Relax and enjoy the most from new working and living conditions. Chances are, it will help you figure out an unexpected yet successful approach to fuelling your business growth. It’s definitely worth trying!
Now, you know how a vacation of an online business owner can go on with little to no harm to the performance and reputation of his/hers dropshipping store. Which strategy will you choose for your next holiday? 🙂
Have you always dreamed of becoming an independent entrepreneur? What’s the key to choosing the right solutions that would help you make it happen? We’re discussing these life-changing questions today!
Here’s the thing. We’re living in a dynamic, ever-changing, fast-paced world where everyone wants the best for themselves and their families.
People all over the world are looking for safe and proven ways to secure a higher quality of life for their loved ones. Of course, they have lots of questions in front of them.
Comparing the alternatives and assessing their own resources, these explorers commonly choose to start some kind of an ecommerce business – and here is why.
Why are ecommerce models suitable for an independent entrepreneur?
Indeed, there are numerous reasons for internet users all over the globe to view ecommerce enterprises as their way to financial independence – and, in fact, business freedom. Here’s just a handful of benefits and opportunities that online businesses offer to newcomers:
Traditional brick-and-mortar businesses require huge time and money investments, as you can imagine. But when you’re starting an ecommerce venture, you don’t need to buy and stock products, rent facilities, hire staff, etc. In other words, your startup costs are much lower.
Besides, it’s not always even necessary to have background knowledge or first-hand experience in the area. Thanks to free video tutorials and detailed step-by-step instructions, any newcomer to ecommerce can make first guided steps to launching a potentially successful business.
But do all online business models allow 100% business ownership to an independent entrepreneur?
We can’t speak for everyone – but there’s at least one specific online business type we fully trust 😉
Tips for independent entrepreneurs
So, by now you have an understanding of what it means to be an independent entrepreneur. But, where do you go from here?
To make sure you won’t get lost on your entrepreneurial path we’ve prepared a list of tips for independent entrepreneurs.
Set goals (daily, weekly, annual)
Since you’re an independent entrepreneur, most likely you won’t have anyone to answer to, besides yourself. So, in order to grow your business, you must set short, medium, and long-term goals.
This is a highly productive practical activity that’s incorporated by many modern workplaces to ensure their workers grow and develop as professionals.
So, to set effective goals, look over your previous achievements and failures in the past (for example in the previous year) and set some realistic goals within a specific time frame i.e. within 12 months. For example, increase your revenue by 10%, or grow your number of customers by a certain percentage. Shorter-term goals can be defined by something smaller, for example, sending out a set number of emails, launching a specific set of ad campaigns, etc. Daily goals can be a set of objectives written down as a schedule: “9 am to 11 am: Come up with 10 post ideas for the next 5 days”, or “1 pm to 4 pm: write a sequence of emails”.
Promote your business
Make sure to let everyone know about you by creating a social media profile. Be sure to separate your personal account from the one you’re going to promote. Let your personal account be the place for your personal posts, and keep the updates about your business on your business profile.
For many independent entrepreneurs, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn will be the perfect place for their promotional activities.
However, depending on your specialty, other social media platforms will work as well. For instance, if your business specifies on some kind of visual features, platforms like Instagram and Pinterest will also work well.
If you really want to showcase your business to the fullest and possess a promotional budget – you can try paid search advertising. These ads are typically sold through a bidding process and the cost varies depending on the competition of your niche market.
Invest in a high-quality website
If you’re an independent entrepreneur, you want to separate yourself from the competition, and having a high-quality website should be one of your top priorities.
Your website should be user-friendly easy to navigate. After all, you don’t want your customers getting lost in your store and simply closing the tab. They should understand what they need to do to go to a certain page in a blink of an eye.
If you don’t have a website or the necessary skills to build one, you can always turn to the services of third-party developers or freelancers.
But, what if you want to take a step even further. What if there was a way for you to have all the ecommerce and marketing features you need to seamlessly start and grow your business in one spot? Achieve your financial independence with Sellvia! Access to a lucrative market, top-selling products, lightning-fast delivery, and a dream online store. Sounds like a recipe for success.
7 reasons for an independent entrepreneur to choose dropshipping with AliDropship
Around the globe, AliDropship is chosen by thousands of people regardless of their level of technical knowledge and previous experience in digital marketing. To them, it’s beginner-friendly software that can turn even a basic blog into a fully functional dropshipping store. Let’s take a closer look at the details!
Making entrepreneurs’ life so much easier, AliDropship solutions are famous for their outstanding features.
AliDropship solutions guarantee 100% business ownership and the owners’ full ecommerce independence.
Here’s where it shows!
#1 Transactional/regular fees
Whether you’re buying the plugin to create your store by yourself or are ordering a ready-made store from the team, you only need to pay once. That’s right: all AliDropship offers, including services and themes, require a one-time payment only.
There are no monthly or yearly fees to pay for the right to use your AliDropship solution. Plus, no matter how many orders you processed in your store, how much money you made with it, or how many new products you imported, you won’t be charged anything. Isn’t that a nice contrast to the ecommerce solutions requiring transactional and operational fees?
When you order a custom store, your personal manager advises you on the most promising niches for you to take. Nevertheless, the ultimate choice is always up to you. Our goal is to give you a range of options and never limit you in your business decisions.
#3 Products choice
The same principle is true for the way you choose products to add to your store. Running a business powered by AliDropship, you are free to import any amount of any items at any moment. Again, the decision is all yours!
However, we don’t track our clients’ business performance on purpose. There is simply no reason for us to do this! Indeed, we don’t charge sales fees and don’t oblige our users to meet any ‘sales targets’. Whether you just made your first sale ever or have been in this business for years, it’s fine with us: every entrepreneur develops their venture at their comfortable speed.
#5 Business logistics and partners’ choice
Different types of online businesses require different ways of organizing the working process. For example, in some types of ecommerce, entrepreneurs need to buy products in advance, stock them in a secure and organized location, and ship them to customers by their own effort.
To deal with these tasks, business owners commonly partner with different service providers. One of the programs making these entrepreneurs’ life easier is Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). It lets entrepreneurs store their products in Amazon’s fulfillment centers and delegate packing and shipping tasks to Amazon employees.
However, since recently, FBA has been partially suspended. As a measure to help battle the global coronavirus outbreak, Amazon announced it is now prioritizing shipment of household items, medical supplies, and essential goods highly demanded by quarantined online shoppers worldwide. Unfortunately, this socially responsible measure means that FBA members and retail vendors can’t create new inbound shipments until further notice. Obviously, it takes a toll on their businesses.
When you’re running a dropshipping store, you have a much higher level of independence while organizing your business procedures. Still, you rely on multiple partners who help your website function. Hosting providers help your website stay connected to the internet, payment providers accept and process money transfers made by your clients, and suppliers manufacture products and arrange their delivery.
And whether you’re promoting your store by yourself or with someone else’s help, it’s fine! We don’t monitor our clients’ independent marketing campaigns and don’t ban or restrict them in any way. You’re the one to decide what to write and show in your ad, where to place it, and which audience to target. It’s your business, and we put no limits on its presentation.
#7 Business growth strategies
What will you do to your AliDropship store after you launch and try it? Will you start promoting it on social media and elsewhere, encouraging more and more people to visit? Or, will you redesign and rebrand the store, filling it with a completely new product range? Maybe, you’ll even resell it for profit in some time and start a new store in another niche?
We don’t know, honestly. 😉 But whatever decision you make, we’ll support you – and help you with it if you want us to.
As a 100% owner of your AliDropship business, you are free to keep, grow, and use it in any way you fancy. Acting as an independent entrepreneur, you can even close your store down or resell if you feel like it. Unlike some other ecommerce solutions providers, we don’t force our customers to make business decisions they don’t approve of themselves.
Summing it up, AliDropship provides and guarantees full business independence to its clients, without limiting or controlling them in any way. We respect our customers’ desire to run their businesses on their own and are truly happy to assist them upon request – but they always are and will be their own bosses!
Our readers greatly enjoy this format of our blog articles, and so do we! This is why it’s time for another Q&A session. This one is all about dropshipping for beginners who are absolute newcomers to ecommerce with no previous IT experience at all.
We’re really happy that our solutions are motivating and encouraging even for people who have no idea how it all works. This is why we will do our best to help you out!
When someone visits your store and places an order, you buy this item from the supplier, but ask him to deliver the product on your client’s address
You get the profit from EVERY purchase – your profit is the difference between the seller’s price and your own price
As you can see, it’s not difficult at all. This business model has tons of benefits as you:
Don’t need to have anything ‘physical’ – products, office, warehouse, etc. All the deals happen in virtual sphere
Have no need to buy items in advance, and therefore, experience no risk of not selling them
Don’t need to rent an actual office and warehouse, or hire people to manage these facilities
Can start the business with the minimal financial investments, only spending money on the store development
Have an opportunity to run the business from any point of the globe as all you need is PC or laptop, and a stable Internet connection
Can increase the sellers’ prices any way you like, and have no one who would limit your profit
Are your own boss – the business fully belongs to you
2. How does the buying and selling process work?
So, you have a ready store with product images and descriptions.
A store visitor likes some of your offers, and places an order.
You accept the payment and ask for the client’s name and address.
As soon as you receive the money from the buyer, you transmit the same order to the original AliExpress seller. AliDropship plugin does this automatically, so you won’t get confused with all the orders, sellers, items, countries, addresses, etc.
The seller gets money and customer details from you, makes the package, dispatches it to your buyer, and gives you the tracking code.
You, in turn, send this tracking code to the client, and keep an eye on this order to see how everything’s going.
Nothing extraordinary, in fact!
3. Can I do dropshipping without the AliDropship plugin?
The reason why people all over the globe use this plugin for WordPress-based online stores is that the plugin does the biggest part of the job automatically. Still, the plugin is quite young, even though this business model exists for a long time already. So, several years ago people were just doing dropshipping without any technical help.
Speaking in VERY simple terms, it’s a piece of web publishing software.
It’s the most popular solution globally used for building websites and blogs – around 28% of ALL the existing websites are created and managed with the help of WordPress.
You download it from the official provider, install it on your site – and here it is! Now you can easily and conveniently manage your website.
It truly does a lot to simplify dropshipping for beginners and experienced entrepreneurs alike. WordPress is free, user-friendly, and super flexible. There exist thousands of plugins, extensions, and themes compatible with it. You can download (or buy) any of them to boost the functionality of your website and make it totally unique.
Basically, by giving you hosting, they help you upload all your website information to the Internet.
As soon as you get hosting, everything that you’ve added to your website (texts, pictures, videos, etc.) becomes accessible to Internet users. Therefore, people can find your website, browse it, and view it.
6. How can I make profit using AliDropship plugin?
Oh, that’s an essential part of explaining dropshipping for beginners! 😊
7. Does the AliDropship plugin have a trial period?
There’s no demo or trial period, but we provide 30 days money back guarantee on the plugin.
8. Can I use your standard free theme without AliDropship plugin?
No, the themes will only work if you have installed the plugin.
9. Do I need to register my business?
AliExpress suppliers won’t ask you for any official registration, which certainly is a blessing for dropshipping beginners. In fact, they will work with you even if you’re just an ordinary customer who buys their items for personal use.
Still, every country has its own legal rules. Check the relevant laws carefully!
10. Do I need to sign up dropshipping agreement to start business with you?
No, you don’t need to sign any papers.
11. What do I need to avoid when starting a dropshipping business?
Even though dropshipping itslef is a simple business model, it can certainly have its pitfalls that beginner entrepreneurs can stumble upon. Here’s a small list of things you need to be aware of when starting a dropshipping business.
Select the products that sell
This is probably one of the most common mistakes beginners make. Many dropshippers truly believe that product selection does not matter. When it’s actually quite the opposite. What they do is fill up their store with an array of products that they are unable to sell.
When selecting the product for your store you need to consider the following:
The product is something that people actually want and need
There is already some hype about the product (it has an interested audience)
Choosing the wrong niche
Staying on the topic, you must choose not only a product that sells but also the right niche. What we mean by this is that you ideally want to choose the products that you’re somewhat familiar with, that also have a steady stream of sales, with a relatively low level of competition, and have a good profit margin.
To avoid this, we recommend you complete thorough market research of a niche you’re interested in. This way, you will have an understanding of what opportunities lie in front of you and the potential pitfalls a niche might have.
Lower product prices to get sales
Another common mistake beginner entrepreneurs tend to make is lower the price of the products to beat the competition. The result of these actions leads to getting no profit at all.
Make sure to devote some time to establishing a proper pricing strategy that will bring you not only sales but a huge profit.
Consider all parameters calculating your profit
During the process of profit calculation, you can’t simply consider one or two factors – there are several factors you’ll need to account for. Here are some of the factors beginner dropshipping entrepreneurs skip:
Shipping costs (if there are any)
Having a poor website
Your website is up there with the most important factors of establishing a successful ecommerce business. It is the place where your customers will decide whether to purchase from you or not. For this reason, it is important to have a professionally designed, functional, and user-friendly website. And don’t forget that it has to work smoothly on mobile devices as well.
So, if you’re ready to take on the incredible world of dropshipping, there are just a few things to look out for to fully maximize your chances of building a successful online business.
First of all, don’t treat the dropshipping business model like it’s risk-free. You’ll still invest a lot of time into finding the right dropshippers, establishing your website and social media pages, so carefully do the necessary research beforehand.
Most people who manage a dropshipping store find the most success when they find a specific niche and focus solely on it by ensuring that every product they sell is the perfect fit for their niche audience and brand.
Once you’ve found several potential dropshipping suppliers, try completing a test order. This way you’ll be able to see how the supplier operates for yourself. How long does it take for the order to arrive? What does the packaging look like? What is the quality of the product?
Develop a marketing plan by investing the time into every little detail, from discovering your target audience to cooperating with potential influencers in your specific niche. Also, targeted ads can be an excellent way to kick off your website and place it before your potential customers to see.
Finally, define your return policy, shipping communication, and customer service. When things go wrong, you want to be prepared to act quickly and regulate any issues that may occur between your customers and dropshipping suppliers.
13. Is dropshipping still profitable in 2022?
The short answer – yes, it is still profitable.
As you can see from this Google Trends image, in the last 5 years dropshipping has seen a significant increase in interest.
We live in a time where everything is going digital and ecommerce is becoming more and more popular. With that – more people are buying online than ever before. So, even in 2022, dropshipping is still going strong and is showing no signs of slowing down.
Is there a reason to look at success stories of entrepreneurs when you’re planning to start an ecommerce venture yourself? Of course!
It’s normal to have doubts when making any decision, even when it’s not something that can potentially change your life. Imagine how thrilling it is to consider launching a business that can turn your daily routine upside down!
In this case, understanding other people and their business experiences can play a crucial role in making a final decision. That’s why we’re summing up different success stories of entrepreneurs in this article. We hope it will be helpful for both aspiring newcomers who are deciding whether they should try dropshipping or not and well-established business owners who just need a piece of advice!
All success stories of entrepreneurs start with a bold decision
Choosing a product is one of the vital steps of creating a store, no matter if it’s a brick-and-mortar or an online one. We recommend our clients to go for the niche that they’re genuinely interested in. That way, they’ll have enough energy, knowledge, and enthusiasm to work with that kind of business for a long time.
But some people don’t want to limit themselves and don’t mind selling something they haven’t previously heard about — as long as it’s a profitable product type! Ankit, for example, suggests paying attention to Google Trends in order to have a better understanding of what’s in right now. The key to success, as he says, is a good product and high perceived value.
He also says that you don’t neсessarily have to spend money on any courses – YouTube is a gold mine and you can learn everything there. The AliDropship channel with its free courses and how-tos is a great example! 😉
Dropshipping can be a profitable side hustle
Running a business can be a time-consuming thing. Because of that, many people are simply afraid to leave their stable 9-to-5 jobs, and invest all their time into a business that might not meet their expectations. This is NOT about dropshipping. You can try yourself in a dropshipping business and still have a safety cushion of a regular job. Tammy, a successful newcomer to online business, proves it!
Being a regular worker at a liquor store in Australia, Tammy has 1 running store that brings about 1,500 AUD in monthly profits. She keeps her business processes simple by running paid ads and promoting her store on Instagram through commenting, following, and partnering with influencers. And he only spends up to an hour a day on her store! That’s less than most people spend on social media!
The right audience is vital
When you know your target audience, promoting your goods gets much more productive. If you happen to target the wrong audience on the wrong platform, you might get an outcome that’s totally different from what you expected.
That’s why Valery, one of AliDropship plugin users, is so careful about the mediums she chooses to advertise her store. As she can’t invest much into paid ads, she has to pick a platform that offers her the best value for money in terms of attracting the most interested audience.
According to her experience, when it comes to promoting crafty items, the go-to destination is Pinterest – the place where all the aesthetic lovers are!
Organic traffic can work magic for your store
Many people are concerned about spending money on ads and attracting customers to their stores. Some are scared of losing money, some just want to lower the costs. Whatever the reason may be, getting organic traffic is not something out-of-this world (even though it may appear to beginners). That can be just the right solution for anyone who wants to boost the visitors’ number for little to no cost!
Angel’s success story is the perfect example. He yields a substantial amount of organic traffic from Instagram. Angel easily runs this account himself as he uploads at least one post and one story per day. And, as he has a baby products store, Pinterest also brings traffic to his website: it’s the cuteness lovers’ magnet!
Do research before launching a paid ads campaign
If you do choose to pay for ads and decide to use Facebook as the platform for your campaigns, pay attention! Anas recommends not to do Facebook ads if you don’t have any traffic yet. Why is that?
Facebook works with data, and if there’s no data – there’s no result! That means, if your website doesn’t have any visitors, you’ll just waste money.
That’s a great piece of advice from a student entrepreneur who is surely interested in cutting down the business expenses as much as possible! And we guess that’s exactly the attitude that helped Anas make $64K+ in just a year and a half of doing ecommerce!
Communication is key to the success stories of entrepreneurs in ecommerce
They say words are free, but how you use them may cost you. It’s true for every aspect of our lives — and business as well.
Proper communication is instrumental to success, and Mary, an owner of a dropshipping store that brings $10k+ a month, says that you need to talk to your customers to build a trusting relationship. It will make them return to your store!
Having a good relationship with your suppliers may give you great offers you wouldn’t have gotten the other way around. And interacting with other dropshippers can give you a ton of valuable knowledge and inspiration. So, use the power of words!
What can you learn from the success stories of entrepreneurs?
Everyone has their own story. But when looking at the stories of our clients, we can say that there’s a unique path for everyone. It’s all about finding the right approach that will suit you, and simply trying. You will never know if something works or not unless you try it, right? Test, experiment, and keep the basic things in mind to avoid making beginner mistakes.
Don’t be afraid of them, though! Every success story of every entrepreneur has some ups and downs. No one has started a business and got it running smoothly from day one. People tried and learned from their mistakes, and that’s what got them to where they are right now.
Any successful business owner can say that the worst mistake you can make is not giving it a try. Experiments are an essential part of the journey, and we need to embrace them so we can benefit from them. So, you are welcome to look through the success stories of entrepreneurs we collected for you, take notes, and use them for inspiration and new knowledge!
Are you looking to build an additional source of income? If you’re a creative person and enjoy an approach to work that requires at least some originality, then print on demand dropshipping is what you’re looking for. Let’s find out what print on demand means! Is it profitable? We’ll look at all the peculiarities you need to be aware of to create a successful online business.
What is print on demand?
Selling print on demand products is an easy way to start a business. Print on demand is an ecommerce business model where you work with a supplier to sell white-label products with your custom design. The supplier is responsible for making and distributing the customized products, while you promote and sell them in your online store.
What does the process of print-on-demand dropshipping with AliExpress look like?
The process is a simple one. First, you need to find a reliable supplier on AliExpress that deals print on demand goods and cooperate with them. Once you’ve found a reliable supplier, you can import their products to your online store.
Then the real fun begins. When a customer stumbles upon your store and finds a product they want to buy, they will place an order for that product. You receive the customers’ text or image via email, or live chat, and then resend it to the supplier via their AliExpress chat. It’s easy and free if you just use AliDropship+AliExpress. This way, you order this product from your supplier, and simply wait till it’s processed. When everything is ready, the supplier will send the package directly to your buyer.
It’s that simple! No need to order in bulk and maintain a stock of products. You don’t need to buy any equipment. Work with all kinds of products and easily customize them how you like.
3 advantages of the print on demand business with AliExpress
#1. Easy start
Starting a print on demand business doesn’t require a lot of investments: all you need is an idea and some enthusiasm to get started. If you decide to start a print on demand dropshipping business with AliDropship, you can get lots of tools to start your business with a bang. Custom and ready-made professional stores, promotional tools, etc. — you can find almost anything you need for a quick start.
#2. No inventory management
Since you will be working with the dropshipping business model, your supplier will handle the production side and the logistics. You will not need to store or keep any inventory. Instead, you’ll devote your time to other tasks.
#3. Time convenience
Since we’re on the topic of time, compared to other business models, your main tasks will consist of creating attractive designs and increasing your sales, and developing new promotional strategies.
Moreover, thanks to this business model, you can easily add or remove products and test which ones work out best.
What print on demand services other than AliExpress can I use?
Besides AliExpress, there are other options to start a print on demand business. But how do they compare with AliExpress? Let’s look at the most popular print on demand services you can use.
With Printful, a white-label service, you can easily start selling all kinds of products, like t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, backpacks, mugs, and many others with your own logo and branding features.
Moreover, it is very similar to dropshipping in the sense that you don’t need to purchase any products upfront and you can sell the products with all the manufacturer tags completely removed. Furthermore, you can have the products shipped with your own branding packaging and logo.
However, even though there is a major upside, there are also downsides you need to consider.
You still need to create your online store on an ecommerce platform or marketplace on your own and connect it with Printful. Then, you’ll create your custom products and fill your store with them. After that, all you have to do is promote your store and wait for your customers to come to you.
What’s the downside, you may ask? Well, the downside of this service is that you have to pay for fulfillment (the base price of the product and shipping) each time an order is made in your store. Additionally, you pay for all the branding elements separately if you want them to be printed on the products — $2.49 per label and $2.95 per embroidered label.
Similar to Printiful, this is a white-label service, so the Printify brand won’t be featured on any of the products that will be shipped out.
However, it differs in the sense that there are lots of different options to choose who will be printing and sending out your products.
Each print provider offers a different product variety in terms of materials, the printing methods they use, the shipping rates, shipping process, and packaging.
What about the pricing?
Printify is unique in this regard and offers a monthly subscription plan for its users. There are several plans to choose from, a Free plan, a Premium plan for $24.99 a month, and an Enterprise plan with custom pricing.
Every plan has its own perks and benefits. For example, the Free plan offers to connect 5 unique stores per account and sell an unlimited number of Printify products. However, an upgraded plan allows to add more stores (up to 10) and offers additional discounts on the Printify products (up to 20%).
Keep in mind that you still have to create an online store separately from Printify and connect it.
Now that we’ve covered the main alternatives to starting a print on demand business, let’s go over AliExpress and what you can expect to find there.
Best print on demand product categories on AliExpress
AliExpress is one of the world’s largest online marketplaces. It is well known for its wide range of products. There are literally hundreds of thousands of products from different categories for you to choose from and build your online store around. That’s especially helpful if you’re looking to build an online dropshipping store.
Let’s look at the best products you can integrate into your online store to use as a print on demand products.
The home niche
Some items you may include in your store are custom reusable bags, key hangers, carpets, towels, shower curtains, blankets, pillows, and even bedding sets. Some of the most popular products are custom-painted canvases and paintings in general.
Drinkware and mugs
Another classic option for print on demand stores is drinkware and more specifically, mugs. The best part is that there are plenty of custom mugs suppliers on AliExpress.
Another item that’s in demand is clothing embroidery patches. Or how about a simple custom stamp?
Have a special occasion coming up? How about a custom wax seal stamp?
There are even customizable wooden crafts. For example, you can order a customized wood wine stopper. There are also different types of custom wooden decorations you can order for any occasion.
Kitchen products and essentials
There are lots of people who like to customize the look of their kitchen and all of the essentials. For this category of people, you can list custom wooden or rubber coasters. You can even find suppliers who sell customizable tableware with engravings. How about custom cooking aprons?
A very popular niche category is pets. There are literally millions of pet lovers among online consumers. Among the most popular goods you can find are custom dog harnesses, pet tags, personalized engraved collars, personalized toy storage, custom dog hoodies and coats, custom pet bed mats, personalized feeding bowls, custom car seat covers, etc.
Clothing and apparel
Want to sell custom clothing? On AliExpress, you can find a variety of suppliers who offer products with your design: T-shirts, hoodies, caps, hats, etc.
Want personalized hangers? You can find them on AliExpress!
Jewelry and accessories
How about personalized jewelry and accessories? Bracelets, rings, necklaces, etc. are a great choice. There are thousands of items listed on AliExpress you can seamlessly import to your online store.
A unique category of items we would like to highlight is custom neon signs. They are very popular among online shoppers.
How to start a print on demand business?
With such a vast range of products, it can be difficult to choose what exactly it is you want to sell. How do you start a print on demand business? First, you need to focus on what products you want to sell.
You might be thinking: “Do I import several categories of products?” or “Should I focus on one niche-specific product category?” Don’t worry, we have the answer!
Based on our experience in the ecommerce industry and our time-tested ideas, we recommend you to focus on one niche-specific category of products. Here is why.
Much easier to find the necessary products
Having a store with a wide variety of products is not always good. Even though it offers lots of options, some online consumers are less likely to search for what they are looking for. However, in a niche-specific store, the search is much easier, faster, and doesn’t require much effort to find what you’re looking for.
That’s why in some cases customers prefer a store dedicated to a specific niche where they can effortlessly find exactly what they’re looking for.
Niche stores provide a better customer experience
If you’re dealing with a wide range of products, you’re required to have extensive knowledge and know the specifics and details of each product offer.
However, dealing with a limited category of products, especially one you’re passionate about, you can offer a better customer experience, thus creating a special customer-friendly atmosphere.
Furthermore, having a store focused on a single niche category creates a more trustworthy appearance for online consumers.
For any online consumer, it’s important to know that the seller is an expert in his field of work and can provide knowledge about his product offerings. Especially if you have chosen a niche you are very familiar with and passionate about. Then you quickly answer any questions from your potential customers.
It’s more enjoyable to navigate through a niche store
Niche-specific stores usually create a special atmosphere around their theme of products. In return, this attracts potential customers and provides them with a much more enjoyable experience navigating through the store.
A huge role for these kinds of online stores plays the layout and the overall design. They can easily motivate customers to make a purchase and return for future purchases.
Once you’ve chosen what products you’re going to sell, what should you do next?
How to find a reliable print on demand supplier on AliExpress
Since we’re incorporating the dropshipping business model, a lot of responsibilities and work in general is going to lay on your supplier. So, here are the things you need to pay special attention to if you want to find a reliable and trustworthy supplier.
The first thing you want to point your attention to is the supplier’s store rating or its positive feedback. The rating can tell a lot about how professionally the supplier works with their customers. In general, it’s better to look at a rating that’s more than 90%.
A high rating is a clear sign that the supplier is worth working with.
How long the supplier has been active on AliExpress
AliExpress allows users to see how long the seller has been actively doing business on this platform.
The longer the seller has been active, the more reliable they are.
The customer feedback
There’s nothing that can be more trustworthy than the feedback of the customers that have previously purchased something from the seller.
To view customer feedback, simply click on the reviews under the page of the product to learn more about the product. To learn more about the feedback about the supplier, go to the store page and click on the Feedback tab. There, you’ll be able to become familiar with the feedback about the supplier during a recent time period.
How do I contact the supplier?
We have received lots of questions about how to properly contact the supplier and when is the best time to do it.
It’s actually much easier to do than many think.
Most print on demand suppliers have a “contact” button. By pressing this button, you will contact the supplier directly and will be able to upload or specify the design of the product.
Another question we get is what is the best time to contact the supplier.
The best time to contact the supplier is only when a product has already been ordered from your online store. This way, you do not have to pre-order any products beforehand or keep any products in stock.
Is white labeling available on AliExpress?
First, let’s clear up what white labeling is. White labeling is when a product is made by one company but sold by other companies under their own brands. So, is it possible to white-label products on AliExpress? Technically speaking, yes.
There is an abundance of AliExpress suppliers who offer to put your design on their clothing products.
However, most AliExpress suppliers only allow you to publish your custom prints on their products, without allowing you to put any brand labels on them.
To answer your question, yes, white labeling is allowed on AliExpress. However, do not expect the suppliers to attach any branding material to the products.
So, let’s go into more detail: how will the print on demand process with AliExpress look like exactly?
How print on demand dropshipping works with AliExpress
First and foremost, it’s important to make it clear what kind of print on demand business you will start.
The first option of print on demand business you can start is the creation of your own unique designs on various products. If you’re going to start this kind of business, you need to be aware of how to create your own designs or use other applications to purchase ready-made designs and use them on the products.
The second way to utilize the print on demand model is to list the products that are offered on the seller’s page on AliExpress. This way, your customers will be choosing the ready designs that the supplier can do.
If you’re going with the second option, then you shouldn’t experience any problems importing the products of your supplier, since the AliDropship plugin allows you to seamlessly transfer products from AliExpress directly to your online store.
However, how do you upload your own custom products to your online store?
In all actuality, it all depends on the owner of the store. If you have ready designs for your products, then you can just upload them to your online store. Or you can upload the supplier’s basic images.
Start promoting your print on demand store
When your store is filled with products, now is the time to start promoting it. First and foremost, it is important to note that the majority of your target audience is active online. That means that your promotional campaigns will all be held on various online platforms.
Therefore, here are some essential steps you need to follow to promote your store online.
Social media promotions
The best way to find your target audience is through different social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter — you have to build a presence on all the big platforms to successfully reach your audience and promote your product offers.
What’s more, is that Facebook and Instagram will serve as your primary advertising destinations where you will create various ad campaigns and promote your online store.
SEO optimization remains one of the most common strategies in ecommerce. To make sure your store is ranked higher in the search engine, you must implement all the SEO strategies, such as keyword research, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and so on, to optimize your online store and attract more traffic.
If you’re a social media enthusiast, you should consider influencer marketing. To put it simply, it is when you find and reach out to an influencer with a large number of followers to promote your products. This way you’ll be able to boost the recognition of your online store and get a strong word of mouth.
Find related forums and groups
Many many different types of groups and forums can be related to your specific niche. There you can find your target audience, interact with potential buyers, and advertise your products.
How to process a purchase of a print on demand product on your online store
When you attract customers to your online store, you need to understand how to handle the purchase process.
Regardless of the way you handle your print on demand business, to make sure the process goes smoothly every time, you have to get busy and write the supplier yourself. Let’s break it down in an example.
Let’s say you get a purchase request for one of the products listed on your website. Your next step is to contact the AliExpress supplier.
Go to the supplier’s AliExpress page and click on the “Contact Seller” tab. There, make sure you’ve selected the right product and upload a picture of your design. Then send the message to your supplier.
After that, the rest of the job is on the supplier. He will be responsible for making the custom product and sending it to the customer. You, on the other hand, will be responsible for customer service.
Print on demand dropshipping: conclusion
A print on demand business allows you to easily build your own online business with minimal investments. Much like dropshipping, you only need a website and a reliable supplier.
This business model is great for people who want to showcase their creative side and want to build an income on it.
It has lots of benefits, low investment, and thus, low risk. Once you have a design, the products are easy to create, and their making, shipping, and storage processes are taken care of. All you have to do is create the designs, find a target audience, and promote your products.
When an entrepreneur looks for the best dropshipping tools on the market, careful research is always necessary. The chosen software should simplify order fulfillment, work with product descriptions and images and solve numerous other tasks that are necessary to sell products effectively. Let’s find out what’s the difference between two of the most popular solutions from our team!
The AliDropship plugin gets chosen by thousands of people all over the globe. Both newcomers and experienced businessmen buy the plugin because they want to dropship products and manage their stores in a quick, easy and efficient way.
Sometimes our clients feel slightly confused: when we receive their order on the plugin purchase, we offer them to choose between two plugin versions which are the AliDropship Plugin and the AliDropship WooCommerce Plugin.
But how to choose the right one? Which is the best dropshipping tool on the market?
What’s the difference between these dropshipping tools?
Which one is better?
Today, we’re answering these questions once and for all!
1. What is the AliDropship Woo plugin?
So, there exists the AliDropship plugin that manages the majority of the dropshipping processes automatically.
For the convenience of its users, 2 versions of the plugin were developed by our team.
The first version is the AliDropship Original Plugin. It works on any general WordPress website that has no WooCommerce plugin installed. It is important to note that this plugin is only compatible with web store themes offered by AliDropship.
The second version is the AliDropship Woo plugin. It will ONLY work on your website if you have the WooCommerce plugin installed on it.
From the technical point of view, both dropshipping solutions are great for reselling products from AliExpress, really. 🙂 Both of the plugin versions are carefully tested and regularly updated by our enthusiastic team of highly skilled developers.
From the point of view of the business performance, both of the versions also show equally impressive results. For example, our client, Kingpin from India, uses the AliDropship Woo plugin which helped him achieve $28,000 in sales in the first 30 days of his business operation. Another client, Otto from the Baltic states, uses the original version of the AliDropship plugin. This is how his dropshipping business made $13,000+ in a single month.
Still, it needs to be mentioned that from the point of view of their functionality, the plugin versions are quite different.
Initially, the plugin was created for one simple purpose: to automatically perform the most important tasks of dropshipping. This is why both of the plugin versions can:
Import products from AliExpress
Import product reviews from AliExpress
Update product info
Apply pricing markup formula
Process the orders placed in your store
So, as you can see, both of these dropshipping tools on the market do the job that takes the majority of time in a daily dropshipping routine, and these processes are completed automatically.
The AliDropship original plugin has an extended range of additional features and dropshipping tools. For example, it has several built-in themes, a convenient dashboard showing the most important store stats, etc. These features make it the perfect dropshipping tool on the market for people who don’t have much experience yet. In other words, it’s an all-inclusive business solution that helps you create a turnkey-ready store without any additional development/installation works.
The AliDropship WooCommerce plugin, in turn, has only the strictly necessary features: it only performs the core dropshipping functions listed above.
Why is that?
Well, because of the exceptional mechanism of WooCommerce itself. It was designed as a solution for full website customization, which is why there exists a specific plugin or tool for every specific management task. There isn’t such a thing as a universal plugin that would do ALL the desired job. Instead, a WooCommerce website owner is supposed to be skilled and inventive enough to independently source and install a separate plugin for every single one of his/her goals.
3. I like the idea of full customization! Is it also true for the store design? I want a 100% unique dropshipping store, you know…
Yes, if you want a super exclusive store with a one-of-a-kind design, WooCommerce dropshipping is a good solution.
The thing is, thousands of developers all over the globe develop and upload numerous plugins, tools, and themes for WooCommerce. By combining and choosing these elements at your own pleasure, you get a distinctive store that has no analogs.
It’s worth mentioning that all the existing Woo themes are produced by people who live all over the world, use a very different professional background, and have really different design and development skills. This is why AliDropship, unfortunately, can’t guarantee that a Woo theme you choose will be good-looking on any device, highly convertible, and smoothly working.
Besides, we have experimented with a number of third-party WooCommerce themes. Based on our developers’ feedback, we made a list of the most appealing Woo themes in terms of their flexibility, safety, and ability to generate sales. You can find the list of the recommended Woo themes here.
4. So, I got the AliDropship Woo plugin, but, when I log in, I don’t see a logically structured dashboard in my store! What the…?!
Yes, that’s exactly what we were talking about.
When you install the original AliDropship plugin and log in to view the admin panel, the first thing you see is a dashboard that shows the overview of your store stats (you can see the example below):
But, when you work with the AliDropship Woo plugin, it gets a little bit more complicated.
If you run a WooCommerce-based dropshipping store, you can view its stats in the internal admin panel or use a different independent plugin for this purpose.
There should be a separate plugin for each separate task, remember?…
5. Oh. But your AliDropship Woo plugin still processes the orders, right?
Both our plugin versions can automatically redirect the order information to original AliExpress suppliers.
If you use the AliDropship Woo plugin, you need to go to the WooCommerce section, then choose the Orders tab, and click on the order you need to redirect. When the window with these order details opens, all you need to do is click on the ‘Place order automatically’ button.
After this, the plugin will do all the job. It will visit AliExpress, select the necessary product variation, add the chosen items to your shopping cart, and write your client’s delivery address on the checkout page.
The only action you need to take after this is to click the Confirm & Pay button at the bottom of your page.
With the AliDropship Woo plugin, it’s a whole different story. WooCommerce itself supports almost every payment gateway that exists in the world. It means that you can go on the WooCommerce official website and download any plugin that attaches the necessary payment gateway to your store. Alternatively, you can look for the necessary plugins on the official websites of the desired payment gateways.
9. Can I install Woo plugin on a general WordPress site or use the original plugin on a WooCommerce site?
Well…it’s really not a good idea in terms of compatibility and smooth working process, and here is why.
The original AliDropship plugin only runs effortlessly on general WordPress websites that have no WooCommerce plugin installed.
The AliDropship Woo plugin is specifically developed to be used on WooCommerce sites.
If you try to mix them up, your store simply won’t work as planned.
Please note: if you already have one of the plugin versions running, it will be quite time-consuming to switch to the alternative one as you will have to delete the current store contents and import all the products from scratch.
10. Is the Woo version a good choice for a beginner in dropshipping?
As you have noticed it from the previous parts of this article, WooCommerce itself is a platform that requires considerable technical knowledge and/or development skills.
If you don’t have any experience in building websites and running online stores, we strongly recommend sticking to the original AliDropship plugin. It has all the necessary dropshipping tools on the market already integrated, which is why you won’t have to waste your time and nerves on the selection and installation of additional plugins.
11. Okay, but… I still can’t decide which of these dropshipping tools suits me better.
There’s nothing to worry about! Go through this tiny checklist and tick the statements you agree with.
I want a store with a totally unique layout that doesn’t look like anything else
I am a programmer / developer / IT person
This is NOT the first online store I’m going to have
I’ve tried all the basic dropshipping solutions on my previous stores, and now I want something a bit more interesting
I’m curious to assemble my store from lots of tiny details, like a Lego bricks dollhouse
Have you just ticked more than 4 statements? Go for the AliDropship Woo plugin.
Have you just ticked less than 4 statements? Go for the original version of the AliDropship plugin.
That’s probably all you need to know about AliDropship’s most popular dropshipping tools on the market! So, which version of the AliDropship plugin do you prefer?
AliExpress can be a great dropshipping supplier. However, AliExpress shipping time often scares away people who want to launch their own dropshipping business. Of course, long shipping isn’t good for an ecommerce store. But in this article, I’m going to prove that it’s not a critical problem.
Future store owners worry that people won’t buy anything from them because of the delivery time. Typically, online stores deliver your orders in about 7-14 days, while with AliExpress shipping time mostly takes 15-45 days.
But why do you think that it makes a difference?
Here are 5 reasons why shipping time shouldn’t EVER be your worry!
If a person orders a truly unique item, he or she will most likely agree to wait even if takes up to 60 days!
2. These are not life-critical products
The whole idea of dropshipping stores is to generate impulse purchases driven by emotions. You’re not selling prime necessity items like food or medicines, and your customers don’t have an urgent need when they buy from you. They are not placing orders because of a burning reason. They just (ideally) fall in love with your items, and make a quick and easy purchase simply because they liked something. In other words, they CAN AFFORD to wait.
3. You can always put a disclaimer
To be honest, this is absolutely necessary. Write the shipping time information in a visible place for your customers’ convenience – and for your own safety! If the product description starts with a phrase like ‘Please note: the average shipping time is 30 days’, the page viewer will know what to expect from the purchase.
4. Customer support is your ultimate advantage
Upset clients start to storm you with letters when they think that their item is lost and the whole thing was a fraud. Keep calm and be patient! You can sort this issue out in 3 simple steps:
When you send your client the confirmation email, include the shipping times in it ONCE AGAIN – not everyone is attentive enough to read even basic information in the product description. When you congratulate your customers on making their purchases, it’s appropriate to remind them about the expected delivery period. For your own convenience, you can safely use the AliDropship Plugin: it automatically notifies your buyers that the order was processed and the package was shipped.
As soon as you get the tracking code from your AliExpress supplier, email this code to the buyer and explain how to use this information to learn about the current location of the package. Again, the AliDropship plugin will do this automatically, so if you have the plugin installed, you won’t waste your time and energy doing these tasks manually.
Make your refund policy very clear: kindly explain that you will surely make a 100% refund IF the item is not delivered AFTER the end of the delivery period you’ve promised. If you wrote it on your product page that the item will be delivered in 30-45 days, the buyer will ONLY get a refund from you in case the package is not there by the 46th day!
5. Find AliExpress products with fast shipping
As you probably know, AliExpress free shipping is usually the longest one. Other shipping methods are not an option since they cost several times more than the product itself. However, AliExpress delivery time depends on the location of the warehouse.
Where does AliExpress ship from? Most goods come from different locations in China. But some sellers keep some of their products in warehouses located in European countries and the US. If you order products from one of them, shipping can take just 5-15 days.
So, if you want to dropship goods to America, try looking for products with cheap or free shipping from a US warehouse.
6. Use alternative suppliers
Some entrepreneurs who are not happy with AliExpress shipping time may want to try other dropshipping suppliers with faster delivery. If you own an AliDropship or WooCommerce store, consider trying Sellvia.
Sellvia is an ecommerce wholesaler with hundreds of products belonging to broad niches. Some of them come from AliExpress, some are made by American manufacturers. But most importantly, Sellvia’s warehouse is located in California. As a result, your customers can get their packages in 1-3 business days after the order was processed!
Sellvia is fully compatible with the AliDropship plugin and suitable for dropshipping.
As you can see, long AliExpress shipping times can’t actually hurt your business when you have all the processes smoothly organized. So, if it was the only thing holding you back from getting your own dropshipping store, put the worries aside and go on the adventure!
Have you ever wondered what to expect from your brand new dropshipping life? Handling daily operations in AliDropship’s self-owned stores that make hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, I am happy to share my typical day and tell you a bunch of little secrets on how to manage an online store!
How to manage an online store: the basics
When you run a dropshipping store, it’s easy to fall into the trap of being active 24/7 – like, you know, checking your inbox as soon as you are awake, handling an order return in the middle of a family dinner, staying super late to do some stuff in the store, etc.
Mobile technologies make it possible to work flexibly from any place and at any time, indeed. Unfortunately, some people think it means they should be managing an online store all day round to cover as many tasks as possible.
Rule #1 is to organize your day in a way that lets you have enough free time that is NOT dedicated to your business at all. Remember that you don’t run this business to make yourself exhausted and burnt out; quite the opposite, you launched your store to make money in an easy and enjoying way, right?
First things first
So, what’s the proper way of running an online store? My working day starts with checking my inbox.
When I look at my emails, I concentrate on the following types of letters:
Changes to orders
It happens a lot in ecommerce. A person places an order, pays for it, and then says, ‘Hey, look, I changed my mind, I still want this T-shirt, but in a different color. And a different size, too. And oh, can you also add a pair of sunglasses to my order?’…
It might seem tricky at first, but you get used to it soon. It’s really important to discover these letters in time. If you haven’t transferred the order to your AliExpress supplier yet, you can easily make the necessary changes.
And even if the order was already processed, it’s no big deal. You still can fix it by contacting the supplier directly and describing the query if you act immediately.
It’s not uncommon for buyers to change their minds completely, and that’s another part of ecommerce business management. For whatever reason, they may feel that they don’t want the item anymore, and cancel the whole order. Why not? They have the right to.
Alternatively, a refund letter can come from a customer who is tired from waiting for the delivery and thinks that the package is lost, or from a buyer who is not happy with the quality of an already received order.
In any case, these letters require my close attention and careful work that always starts with contacting the original seller on AliExpress.
Oh, here comes the most interesting part of managing your online store.
I check the tiniest details of all the PayPal and Stripe payments because, you know, stuff happens.
The thing is, payments made with the help of credit cards can sometimes turn out to be a fraud attempt. This is why I perform a very careful check to make sure that:
My buyer’s name (the name of the addressee) is the same as the name of the card holder
The country of delivery is the same as the country of the card holder’s residence
There were not more than 3 payment attempts made from different credit cards
What if the payment was successfully processed but personal details don’t match? In this case, I email this customer and ask to send their ID to make sure this purchase was legitimate. But what if there were attempts to use several different cards to process the payment and all of them were declined? I normally cancel the order because this purchasing behavior is typical for fraudsters.
Given that I run over 20 dropshipping stores, I have to do tons of work sorting all these emails out. On average, it takes me about 4 hours per day to go through all of the letters and to take the necessary actions.
And here I’m talking about a normal, ordinary day when I only have to process about 50-60 orders. When it’s pre-holiday time, online shopping activity rises and the amount of purchases goes up like crazy. So, the workload obviously gets heavier. That’s the thing you need to consider when you get your store prepared for any holiday season.
How to manage an online store: the core
As a dropshipping store manager, I have this really curious element of my daily routine related to order fulfillment. To be more specific, it’s all about checking the customers’ mailing details before transferring them to the relevant AliExpress seller.
During this part of the day, I:
Check the spelling of the addressee’s name and surname
You won’t believe this, but yes, people make spelling mistakes in their own names and surnames.
Fun fact: you won’t even notice it if your customer is a foreigner and you have no idea about the most common names in this country.
Obviously, this is not the only thing that can get mixed up 🙂
Check the ZIP code
Obviously, I can’t possibly know any person’s ZIP code, but there are cases when I’m 100% sure that the details are incorrect.
Some people just leave this field blank.
Some people write their phone numbers in this field.
How do I know it’s a phone number or just a wrong combination? I try to learn the ZIP code formats for the regions where my customers come from. If I know, for example, that this area should have a ZIP code that looks like SW1A 1NH (7 digits, 2 numbers, 5 letters), but the provided code is something like 644053 (6 digits, 6 numbers, 0 letters), it’s evident that there is a mistake.
Check the ‘Additional Details’ field
For some reason, some people use this field instead of the right one and write their addresses here. I don’t exactly know why anyone would do this, but it doesn’t actually matter – I take a careful look at this field anyway.
Rule #2 is to pay attention. If anything seems questionable to me, I simply write an email to the customer and ask him or her to confirm the shipping details, or to submit them once again.
This time-consuming, but simple procedure is essential. If I blindly submit incorrect shipping details to an AliExpress seller, it will most likely result in delivery troubles.
I could share lots of tips on how to run an online store, but most of this information (including small details) can be found in other articles on our blog. So, I’m going to give you two general recommendations on selling products.
Advertise your goods on social media
You can find dozens of online selling tips on AliDropship’s blog that explain how to find popular products, how to drive traffic to your shop with SEO, tips on using Google Ads and other tools, content marketing, etc. The team and I use all these methods, but most sales still come from social media, and particularly from Facebook.
Why are social media so efficient?
Partially, it’s because certain networks have very large audiences, which makes it easier to find customers among them. Partially, it’s because social media have turned into shopping destinations. People are not just used to seeing ads in their feeds. Often they expect to see an ad, find an interesting product, and buy it.
So, while using other advertising methods is desirable, social media promotion is a must for a successful online store! Describing how our team runs social media campaigns could take too long, so I recommend reading the corresponding article dedicated to our Facebook marketing strategy.
Another great way to raise sales is to send emails to previous buyers and new leads. On the one hand, the revenue from this channel may be much lower than what you earn from other sources. On the other hand, email marketing is mostly used in remarketing, which is very cost-efficient.
When you advertise goods to a new audience, these people are unfamiliar with your business and products. But if somebody left you his or her email, this person is more willing to get letters from you and buy goods.
So, sending emails should be part of your dropshipping routine, too. As for what kind of letters you should write, here’s the list of the most popular email types:
Product updates: tell potential customers about new arrivals.
Sales notifications: tell customers about upcoming sales or discounts.
Abandoned cart notifications: remind previous website visitors about the products they wanted to buy before leaving the site.
You don’t have to send these letters every day. Two or three times a week should be enough. Moreover, you can create email templates to save time.
How to manage an online store: the bottom line
After I sort out all the emails for today, I go ahead with the core part of managing an online store: order processing.
As you can guess, this procedure doesn’t take much time because the plugin does it all automatically. All I need to do is click the ‘Place Order’ button, and basically, that’s it. The system does all the rest. After the supplier sends me the tracking ID, the plugin automatically grabs this data and connects it to the order details.
After this, I only need to change the order status to ‘Shipped’, and the client will automatically receive the email notification about the successful shipment and the tracking ID. Given the amount of work I need to do manually every day, this is a huge time saver, obviously.
Once a week, I calculate the net profit: overall revenue minus advertising expenses minus the cost of ordered items.
Plus, I provide my colleagues with data on our buyers’ purchasing behavior. For example, I can see the customers’ country of origin. What’s more, I surely can tell what items sell best in a given period of time.
These details are valuable for our Internet marketing specialists because such data influences the product policy, the ads targeting, the amount of money spent on promotion, etc. I am not directly involved in the creation of promotional strategies; still, I can sometimes give a piece of advice to marketers when it comes to one specific store we run.
This store is all about a highly specific fan niche, and I’m actually a fan of it myself. Therefore, I know which communication tricks and product offerings can work well there.
The best solution is to work ONLY within a specified period of time that is convenient for you. Never sacrifice your personal life for the business’ benefit!
Lots of tricks can be used to minimize the time you’re spending. For example, I have pre-written email templates for almost every occasion. Additionally, I use AliDropship’s automated solutions that help me get enough time to sort out various queries that appear because of the human factor.
Rule #3 is to dedicate your store to something you know well. The more experienced you are in this particular field, the easier it is for you to predict what will work best for your customers.
This passion is what motivates you to keep going and to grow your business. I hope these tips on how to manage an online store will help you find the proper balance, and I wish you the best of luck with your awesome dropshipping stores!