A Guide to Drop-Shipping with AliExpress

Thinking of starting an e-commerce business, but worried about how you’ll handle the less-than-minor hurdles of inventory or shipping? As simple as listing a product for sale on your website and then requesting your supplier to ship on your behalf, dropshipping with AliExpress is likely to be your new best friend. AliExpress is a massive online marketplace with a wide selection of products. Given most AliExpress sellers are overseas manufacturers, their prices are typically very competitive.

On the AliExpress platform, you’ll be able to find products ranging from women’s clothing and jewelry, to electronics and home decor. Through the platform, e-commerce business owners can easily find products to sell on their store without having to worry about inventory or shipping.

Simply add the products you’d like to sell from AliExpress onto your store, set your price including markup, and have your AliExpress seller ship the order directly to your customer whenever you secure a sale.

The question, of course, is why customers would ever choose to buy through your e-commerce store rather than directly from AliExpress. This is where your communication skills come in: your competitive advantage in the e-commerce world is unlikely to be your price or even the uniqueness of your product.

Instead, your selling point is your ability to reach and serve your customers faster and better than your current competition. In terms of marketing, operations, and customer support, upskilling ahead of the pack is where you’ll find your niche. Good marketing alone is hugely underrated as a competitive advantage. Marketing refers to how you help your customers find, evaluate, and buy your product; it is about improving your customer’s experience with your store while driving business revenue.

Marketing also includes the umbrella of activities you undertake in pursuit of building your brand, such as creating content that is helpful and entertaining. In addition to marketing, your ability to handle the customer experience effectively will be a key differentiator, especially if your current competition provides lackluster service or is an overall frustrating shopping experience.

Easy ways to significantly improve your customer service experience include quickly answering customer questions and making it your priority to help them fully resolve issues they run into while trying to buy from your store. A good rule of thumb is to make them feel as if they are your only customer- or the only one that matters, at least.

Once you’ve got the ball rolling and made a few initial sales, you’re sure to begin looking at how to grow your drop-shipping business and make more money. In time, you’ll have a good idea who your reliable and quality suppliers are, and who are not. It seems obvious, but prioritize building relationships with reliable suppliers; this will allow you to get better prices and priority order processing.

With drop-shipping, the key to running a successful e-commerce business comes down to a well-developed branding strategy, excellent customer service, and your ability to manage relationships with your suppliers. As ever, communication is key.

Ronn Torossian is the CEO and Founder of 5WPR

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5WPR and one of the most well-respected Public Relations professionals in the United States. Ronn is the author of "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations."

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