In today’s world, we are finding more and more ways to make money and huge help has come from the advancements in technology and the internet. In years gone by, we were all excited about ‘electronic mail’ but now we have mobile devices in our pockets that remind us to make a dentist appointment.
In recent times, it has been e-commerce and ‘dropshipping’ that has gained much attention and Aliexpress has been a leader in this market. By reading this, you clearly have an interest in the topic and you’re in the right place because today we have a complete step-by-step guide on how to build an Aliexpress niche store. Without further ado, get your pen and paper ready for notes (or mobile phone, of course!) and let’s get started!
What is Aliexpress?
Essentially Aliexpress is a huge marketplace where businesses and customers meet. As a result of the sheer amount of sellers, there is a wide variety of products to be found from electronics to clothing to homeware. Currently, most sellers on the site fully recognize that dropshipping is extremely important and popular which is why you will be in a great position with your niche store. Ultimately, you can start dropshipping for absolutely no charge – if that doesn’t pique your interest, we aren’t sure what will!
What is Dropshipping?
Before we head any further, we should explain the process of dropshipping because this is critical to everything. Once again, it is a simple concept and one that sees you hold your own website stocking superb products. Rather than having a warehouse holding all the products though, you work with a wholesaler or manufacturer who stocks and sends them for you. After paying them the wholesale cost, you keep the premium from the selling price and everybody is a winner.
What is a Niche Market?
With sites like Amazon and even Aliexpress, they can afford to sell products from a variety of different departments. For example, they sell clothing, video games, lawnmowers, iPods, and books. Why? Because they have the brand recognition and millions of customers. Since you will be starting from scratch, you will need to choose a niche in which you can specialize.
Why a Niche Market?
If you were to choose many different markets, you would struggle to compete first and foremost but you also come across as a beginner. Instead, you want to be seen as the expert in one particular niche. In addition to this, you will only have to work with one wholesaler and it is a great way to get started. As soon as you get a few great reviews, you are suddenly seen as the go-to within your niche and you can continue to grow. Check out our post 11 Tips on Conducting a Market Search for Your Dropshipping Product
Step 1: Domain Name
With all of the basics out of the way, we can start the simple process of getting started. To start, you should know what type of products you want to sell and this will affect your domain name. Initially, you should be researching products that have enough interest yet still enough room from the wholesaler to make a profit. Once you have this, you can head over to our recommendation of ‘Leandomainsearch.com’. At this site, you can check available names as well as finding similar ones if yours is taken.
Step 2: Hosting
If you have a name and are ready to proceed, you can then head to a reputable hosting site and pay for the domain name. At this stage, you will have two options – either hosting your own website or hosting through sites like WordPress and there are advantages and disadvantages to both.
WordPress – With this option, it is normally a little cheaper because you won’t be in control of your site fully. Instead, you will have a site through the WordPress service. When people type in your web address, it looks a little unprofessional because it will have ‘Wordpress’ in it and this is normally the option chosen for light bloggers and those that aren’t too bothered about a reputation.
Self-Hosting – On the other hand, this option sees you have full control of your site and you will have your very own domain name which is important when you are trying to gain credibility with potential customers. When setting up, you will be in control of WordPress and all other installations of plugins and more.
Step 3: Choosing a Theme
Regardless of the option you choose, you will have to select a WordPress theme and this is basically the design of your site. By visiting the WordPress store, you will see a number of themes that can be chosen for free and we recommend choosing one that suits your niche. For example, you won’t want a really serious theme if you’re looking to sell prank and joke gifts. Instead, you should look for a theme with color and a bit of character.
At this point, think about the sites you use to buy products online and maybe even make some notes on them. What is it about the sites that you like? What features do you want to put into your own site? If you take all the best features of these sites and find a theme that offers this, you are onto something great already!
Step 4: Using Woocommerce
As a plugin for your website, Woocommerce is a platform that will allow you to sell the products. Currently, it is used by nearly half a million people so you will be in good company. What’s more, it is completely free and open source which means that you are free to do with it what you will.
With this platform in place, your site will be mobile-friendly, payments are made easy, you can sell whatever products you have chosen, there are no limits to products and categories, taxes and shipping calculations are simple, it works with your WordPress theme, and you will be in control of the data. When it comes to e-commerce, this is one of the best programs you will find.
Step 5: Adding Products
Once you have your site and the theme is looking good, your next step will be to add the products from Aliexpress across to Woocommerce. For some reason, this process has somewhat of a negative reputation but it shouldn’t provide too any issues. Although there are some long-winded solutions out there, we believe the easiest solution to be in the shape of plugins. With CodeCanyon and many other plugin producers, you can have it synced up so all your products will appear on your site without any problems. Luckily, these plugins can also be used for eBay and Amazon so it also provides you with more opportunities if you see success in the future.
That said, you can add new products manually by duplicating an existing product in wordpress and changing the photo and description then you can save the link to your supplier doc – the word doc with the supplier links on it.This is also an awesome chrome plugin for copying photos and product descriptions from the supplier
This is how to duplicate products and then you can change your photo and description from there.You can also delete products in wordpress if you don’t want to sell them anymore. Check this tutorial for more.
Step 6: Payment Methods
Next up, you need to add payment methods to your site otherwise your customers can’t buy your products and you won’t make any money. Once again, this is a step that leads to much confusion but there are simple solutions out there and we recommend PayPal as perhaps the easiest of them all. If you have a PayPal account for your business already, you can integrate a payment button and even a shopping cart system with PayPal. As soon as it is all ready, your customers will have an option to buy through their own PayPal accounts or even a credit/debit card. When you provide your customers with choice, you are far more likely to make sales.
To get started, you simply choose PayPal Buttons from your settings and then adjust the settings – from here, you can edit the name, price, description, etc. After generating an HTML code, this fits into your website and it will appear. Alternately, you can link your PayPal account to one of their partners and Woocommerce is included in this list which keeps things all in one place. In addition to Woocommerce, you can try Magento, Shopify, or PrestaShop.
Step 7: Shipping Methods
In truth, shipping can be a tricky step because there are a number of ways in which you can add the charge to a standard bill. While some people have a standard shipping cost, others have it adjustable depending on size and weight. Furthermore, you might also want to consider location because the shipping costs will be put on top by the wholesaler.
When you choose to work through Woocommerce, you have everything you will ever want and need because you can set your own rates. Even if you want to remove the shipping costs completely, this is achievable. In addition to shipping, you could also offer a discount if the customer can pick the product up from somewhere nearby. As you can see, there are so many options and it all comes down to what works with your products. If your products are heavier, it will cost more money to ship so you need to think about how this is passed on to the consumer. Regardless, there are many platforms that can help and Woocommerce is up there with some of the easiest to use!
Step 8: Maintenance Fees
Over time, the maintenance fees are fairly non-existent if you compare this business idea with any other. However, you do have to consider the cost of your website, whether you want to pay for a designer, and perhaps even a marketer for your brand. As long as you plan in advance, the maintenance fees shouldn’t cause you too much of a problem. In addition to this, we recommend having a contingency fund just in case you need professional help with your website or anything else.
Final Step: Marketing
Once you have done all of the above, you are ready to start selling the products and this is where you will really earn your money. At first, it can be easy to feel demotivated when you don’t make any sales but you need to keep your head high and take advantage of the many tools available. For example, you should be on social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. When on these sites, make sure you add something to the community rather than constantly trying to sell.
If you are really struggling, talk to professionals and watch what your competition are doing. After you gain some customers, ask them to share the word online and your reputation will soon build. As soon as people see you as an expert in your field, there is no reason why you can’t excel and reach the top of your niche!
Venturing online via dropshipping is easier than ever. You can CLICK HERE to get started.