More small retailers are turning to drop shipping to manage order fulfillment and get orders to customers more quickly. Drop shipping is an order fulfillment method that involves purchasing your products directly from the manufacturer at the time that the customer orders. Instead of shipping the product to your warehouse, and then from the warehouse to the customer, the manufacturer ships the product directly to the customer. AliExpress is one of the most popular marketplaces for drop-shipped manufactured goods.
AliExpress is a flexible marketplace that caters to end customers and resellers, making it a great place to find low-cost goods that match your niche, provide a good margin, meet your customers’ needs, and are eligible for drop shipping. You can drop ship products with no additional subscription cost, fee, or up-front commitment – drop shipping from AliExpress costs exactly the same as shipping to your warehouse.
The key to having a successful retail business is to provide a niche product, and AliExpress is a source of thousands of them. Whether your niche is specific like women’s winter outerwear, or broad like women’s clothing, you can source your products on AliExpress by creating and refining a checklist of criteria and searching according to them. Your criteria depend on what is important to you as a retailer, but some examples include:
Eligibility for ePacket free shipping. If you’re sourcing Chinese-manufactured merchandise, then ePacket is your quickest shipping option, at 10 to 15 days on average.
Quality photos. This lets you judge the quality of the product to the best of your ability without actually being there to see and examine it.
The right price point. Choose your target margin (such as 50%) and only buy products that you can sell at that margin or higher.
Many prior orders and reviews. This is a great indicator of reliability and product quality, as well as product demand.
Once you’ve chosen your products, it’s time to get your products listed on your e-commerce store. Here are a few quick rules of thumb:
Craft your own photos and product descriptions. Some sellers may allow you to reuse theirs, but unique content helps you rank better on Google – and this way, you have full control of the quality.
Pass on the savings. If you’re buying from a seller who offers free ePacket shipping, then pass on the free shipping deal to your customers. They’ll appreciate the deal.
Keep your customers in the loop. Get in the habit of contacting customers when their orders ship with a rough delivery estimate. If possible, provide tracking information, although this isn’t always practical with overseas shipping.
Have a process. Each time you receive an order, contact the AliExpress seller right away and input the customer’s shipping information so their order goes out as quickly as possible.