In this article, you will learn how to add products from AliExpress to your Shopify store. For how to spot winning products, check out our product research process.
You can now automate this once very tedious process with 3rd party apps, some of them free. We’ve listed down the best of them for your review.
Generally, there are two ways to import products from AliExpress to Shopify:
- searching and importing products straight from a third-party app’s product catalogue, or
- importing a listing from AliExpress website itself with a Chrome extension.
Article updated on Oct 24, 2020.
Importing From App Product Catalogue
One known advantage of importing products from a third-party app’s product catalogue is this: the listings come from reputable and reliable suppliers. That’s because the app developer has likely verified them before allowing them to offer their products for dropshipping to the app users.
To import vetted products from a catalogue, you first need to have an app like Oberlo installed and connected to your Shopify store. The instructions below are from Oberlo, and are applicable to other apps that come with the same function.
- Go to the app dashboard, from there go to the product catalogue. (Find products)
- Use the search and browse through the products.
- After finding a product, click on Add To Import List and the product will be added to your import list.
- Go to the import list, edit the details of the product, and click on Import To Store and the product will be automatically listed in your store—together with its price, variants, and available stocks.
- If you want to make further changes to the product details, you can do so from the Product List on Shopify Admin.
It is important you write for your product a good description instead of using the description from your supplier. Because the latter is usually written poorly with bad English or is written in a simple bullet-point form.
A good product description convinces your customers to buy from you. A poorly written product description drives them away. Learn more about product landing page design.
Importing With A Chrome Extension
When importing products from AliExpress to Shopify using a 3rd-party app’s Chrome extension, you’ll need to take the following steps:
- Install the Chrome Extension as instructed by the app’s website.
- Log-in to both the app and AliExpress. This is to allow you to sync the imported product(s) and its details into the app system right away.
- Browse products on AliExpress. Once you’ve found a product you’d like to import (you can find sellable products with this method), simply click on the extension button at the upper right corner of your browser while on the product page.
- Click Add to Import List.
The rest of the steps are similar to the previous.
Choosing a Dropshipping App: Things To Consider
There are three essential criteria to consider when choosing an app to import products from AliExpress to Shopify:
1. Ability to import all variants, images and videos
Importing them to your Shopify store will save you time and effort as compared to entering the details of the product—from variants, titles and descriptions, right down to images and videos—one at a time manually to complete the listing.
2. Automatic order fulfillment
With this function, the app can pick up any customer orders on the imported products. Upon review by you or automatically, the app places purchase orders on AliExpress with the right suppliers and makes the payment.
It sends the shipping details automatically to the suppliers and update Shopify orders with the tracking numbers the suppliers provide. It helps you to track your customers’ orders from time to time.
Thus, this function is a must-have in the dropshipping app you’re going to use.
3. Support adding multiple suppliers
There will likely be times when your lead supplier can’t fulfill orders for you due to having little to no stocks at all. Being able to add other suppliers as backups will not only help you keep up with your customers’ demands, but also improve their trust towards you.
You should also consider the following more advanced features:
Importing from other sources
This feature is best for those who want to have product sources other than AliExpress, including other wholesalers and e-commerce platforms. This also increases their chances of finding a new winning product before others do.
Another advantage of having suppliers in multiple locations is that you can then choose to fulfill your orders with a supplier closest to your customers’ location, and thus reduce the shipping time.
Some apps like Importify have this feature, but it likely makes the app more expensive than others. So, if you wish to cut down on some business expenses, you should think about whether or not you truly need this kind of function.
Real-time price and inventory update
You are selling a product at a marked-up price. If the supplier’s price increases to twice the original price, then your pricing doesn’t come close to breaking even.
Or you could be selling a product that you didn’t know has already been sold out. Not only will you likely lose sales due to refunds. You will also lose the trust of your customers.
Having an app feature that can update the listing’s price and inventory in real-time will help you avoid the issues mentioned above.
Reviews tell people the quality of the products or services you are providing.
But since there won’t be any reviews available for a product that’s newly imported, you’ll want to use an app that can import reviews from AliExpress.
It will give you a marketing headstart when customers check out your store. It provides you the much-needed social proof to gain their trust.
Although there are apps that allow you to import reviews, being able to do so with your dropshipping app without installing another app is a bonus.
AliExpress cashback / affiliate program
While you can quickly look for and import a product to sell from AliExpress, some of these will turn out to be hard sell due to many dropshippers selling the same item.
Some started to take advantage of an cashback / affiliate program from AliExpress which allows them to get extra commission for every sale they make, on top of what they’re earning from dropshipping.
It’s worth noting though that only some apps support this program and allows placing orders in a way that dropshippers can earn the said commission.
A List of AliExpress Product Importer Apps
You already know the things to consider when choosing an app/extension.
Here are some of the best dropshipping apps you can use to import products to your Shopify store.
Free (Starter), $29.90 (Basic), $79.90 (Pro) per month
When it comes to dropshipping, Oberlo is practically a household name.
Aside from being officially recognized by Shopify as an AliExpress import app, it has notable features such as product customization, supplier change, automated pricing, and sales tracker.
Apart from Oberlo, there are many competing apps in the market that offer better functionalities. Below contains a brief introduction of each, a more in-depth review of these apps can be found here: Oberlo Alternatives.
Free (Starter), $19.90 (Basic), $39.90 (Business), $79.90 (Enterprise) per month
ShopMaster is not just known for its Alibaba support and AliExpress API integration.
It also has multiple store management, which allows you to dropship to Shopify, WooCommerce, eBay, Wish or 3DCart using just one account. It has product price and inventory changes monitoring and updating, as well as multiple order purchasing and a whole lot more.
$14.99 per month
Deemed to have the best integration with AliExpress and Shopify, SellersDash is also best known for its multi-language and multi-currency support.
With this app, you can also make complex pricing rules. To make a transition from Oberlo to SellersDash, you can import products and orders from Oberlo directly.
Free (Basic), $19.90 (Advanced), $49.90 (Pro) per month
DSers is another dropshipping app officially endorsed and supported by Alibaba, together with ShopMaster.
It’s free of charge and best known for its AliExpress import and auto fulfillment features. It also has automatic tracking number sync, as well as CSV bulk ordering and multiple store management.
It is worth noting that they are able to sync tracking numbers to Paypal, something people do manually.
$14.95 (Basic), $27.95 (Premium), $37.95 (Gold) per month
(You have to sign up for Premium plan, if you dropship from AliExpress)
Importify not only allows you to import products to Shopify in one click, but also allows you to see the Hot Selling products from AliExpress first.
It features smart pricing that lets you automatically price your products per your specifications, as well as a built-in editor for product descriptions. It also features supplier change in case your primary supplier runs out of stocks, and semi-automatic order fulfillment.
More so, you can import products from a large number of sources with this app. As mentioned before, this will help you broaden your choices and find more winning products to sell in your store.
$18 (Basic), $60 (Regular), $129 (Advanced) per month
Nimble is another app that features AliExpress import for Shopify stores. It also features a fully automated system – from ordering right down to delivery.
It also comes with smart shipping that chooses the best shipping method for your customers’ orders, address corrector that allows you to change any address mistakes upon checkout, downloadable invoices generator for bulk payments, and affiliate commissions, amongst other notable features.
$47 (Builder), $127 (Premier) per month
Dropified is an all-in-one dropshipping app.
Aside from its automatic order fulfillment and AliExpress importing, it’s also known for the following: automatic price changes and availability updates, as well as quick profit reports to help you better understand your earnings.
Even more so, Dropified is known for its excellent customer support. You can contact them for support anytime of the day via live chat or e-mail. Their blog is also consistently managed with outlined guides and app updates. This allows you to resolve any issues you encounter without delay.
Product Import: Frequently Asked Questions
On a related note, here are two frequently asked questions about product import:
When you use AliExpress to find a product, do you have to contact the supplier to let them know that you are dropshipping their products?
Generally, it’s a good idea to let them know because you’ll know how fast they respond.
You can tell the suppliers not to include any promotional materials in the package or anything that gives away to customers that your store is dropshipping.
In come cases, the product is branded and they discourage dropshipping and they will let you know.
One example is this baby stroller / baby carriage product. It’s from a brand called BabyFond, which may or may not allow dropshipping.
If you use Oberlo to import products from AliExpress, does the supplier have to know?
If you’re ordering products in bulk, suppliers will likely tag you as a dropshipper. Thus, there’s no need to contact them to let them know.
If the products appear in Oberlo’s product catalogue, then the supplier is already vetted by Oberlo, so they should know that you are dropshipping. Thus, there’s no need to contact them again.
If you use Oberlo Chrome extension to import products from AliExpress, it is advisable to let the store know you are dropshipping before you start to make your first order.