The Oberlo app is a popular dropshipping app that is used on the Shopify platform. Shopify actually owns Oberlo. You cannot use Oberlo with WordPress. It works exclusively on the Shopify platform.
The good news is that if you want to dropship using the WordPress CMS, you can do so using the AliDropship plugin. This is the plugin that I use on my dropshipping store for various reasons.
I used Shopify and the Oberlo app using Shopify’s free trial. They work well together and make it easy to open a dropshipping store. However, I still wanted a WordPress solution.
I’ll cover what the Oberlo app is and why I switched to WordPress and AliDropship.
What is the Oberlo App?
The Oberlo app is a dropshipping app that works exclusively on the Shopify eCommerce platform.
Shopify is not a dropshipping store by default. It is an eCommerce shopping cart software. In order to dropship, you must install a dropshipping app.
There are several of them available for the Shopify platform. However, Oberlo is the most widely used.
When you install Oberlo on your Shopify store, you can then import products from AliExpress into your store.
Why Source Products From AliExpress?
AliExpress is a popular sourcing option for dropshipping store owners for several reasons. AliExpress is a large online retailer that is also a part of the AliBaba group.
The service is made up of merchants primarily based in China. However, there are also merchants based out of the U.S. and other locations.
Sourcing products from AliExpress is a hassle-free way to start a dropshipping business.
Here are some of the top reasons why dropshipping store owners from around the globe use AliExpress as an inventory source:
- They do not have any registration requirements
- There are no monthly fees or dropshipping fees
- A majority of the merchants are accustomed to dropshipping and welcome it
- They carry millions of products
- They offer wholesale pricing
- You can ship faster with ePacket shipping
- You can sell products from merchants in the U.S.
- They ship worldwide
- They have a buyer protection system with a full money-back guarantee
The Oberlo Pricing Structure
One nice thing about the Oberlo app is that is free to use with the Starter plan. The Starter plan is limited in its features so eventually, you may want to upgrade to access these features.
The three Oberlo plans are as follows:
- Starter – Free
- Basic – $29.90 per month
- Pro – $79.90 per month
If you use the free Starter plan, these are the features that are NOT included:
- Variant mapping
- Bulk orders
- Real-time orders tracking
- Affiliate program
- Orders fulfillment monitoring
- Multiple staff accounts
- Captcha solver
You can definitely use the free plan when starting out. However, as your store grows and more sales come in on a regular basis, you will likely need some of those features above.
This is particularly true for the real-time orders tracking and orders fulfillment monitoring features.
Keep in mind that Shopify has its own pricing structure as well. The Basic Shopify plan is $29 per month.
Between the cost of Shopify and Oberlo (basic plans), you will spend around $700 per year to operate your store.
This doesn’t take into account other possible app fees that you may want or need for your store. Below is a screen capture of the business expenses for a Shopify dropshipping store that was for sale:
A WordPress Oberlo Alternative
Fortunately, there are some WordPress Oberlo app alternatives that enable you to open a dropshipping store.
The alternative that I use is called AliDropship. It is a WordPress dropshipping plugin that turns a WordPress website into a full-featured AliExpress dropshipping business.
Keep in mind that you must use it with the WordPress CMS that is free to download and install. Many people confuse it with WordPress.com which is where you can create a free blog.
You will need a self-hosted WordPress website. Meaning, you must register your own domain name, obtain a web hosting account, and install WordPress.
Most web hosting providers have one-click WordPress installation software like Softaculous. In the case of using AliDropship, I recommend bundling in a year of AliDropship web hosting.
When you do (during checkout), they will install WordPress and the AliDropship plugin for you free of charge. It also includes free SSL which you will need anyway.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It encrypts sensitive user data passed from your website to another web server.
How AliDropship Works
The AliDropship plugin can be installed like any other WordPress plugin. Once it is, you can begin customizing and importing an unlimited number of products from AliExpress into your store.
You will have to manually edit product titles and descriptions. You can also edit images on the fly using the built-in image editor.
In order to import products from AliExpress, you will need to use the Google Chrome web browser and install the AliDropship Chrome browser extension.
The plugin has a one-time fee and does not have any recurring monthly software fees. It includes free lifelong updates and free lifelong customer support.
Between using WordPress and AliDropship, you can save at least $700 a year in comparison to using Shopify and Oberlo.
Save Time With a Custom-Built Dropshipping Store
The most time-consuming aspect of building your dropshipping store yourself using the AliDropship plugin is having to edit each product title and description yourself.
If you are wanting to save time or simply do not feel like building your store, you can leave all of the work to the AliDropship team.
No matter which store package that you choose, you will be assigned your own personal manager:
This personal manager handles all of the details of your store’s buildout. They serve as your go-to person for any questions, suggestions, or concerns that you may have.
For full details of how the custom store package process works, read my blog post titled: AliDropship Custom Store Review.
What About WooCommerce Users?
If you are a WooCommerce user, you’ll be glad to know that when you buy the AliDropship plugin, you get both the standard version of the plugin plus the WooCommerce version.
That’s right, you get two dropshipping plugins. You can specify that you want to use WooCommerce if you want to order a custom store.
Can You Use Oberlo With WordPress? – My Closing Thoughts
Oberlo and Shopify make for a great combination when you want to open a dropshipping store.
The two main reasons why I chose to build my store with WordPress and AliDropship were:
- To save on monthly software fees
- Retain 100% ownership of my store
One thing that I didn’t point out is that when you build your store on a platform such as Shopify, you must agree to their terms of service.
In their TOS they state that they have the authority to close accounts at any time and for any reason.
While that is probably a rare occurrence, I did not want that hanging over my head as a dropshipping store owner.
Therefore, I opted to use WordPress and AliDropship to keep full ownership of my store. If I want to switch hosting providers I can do so.
Being a dropshipping store owner is fun and exciting. Keep in mind that you must promote your store consistently using both free and paid marketing methods.
Managing a dropshipping business requires hard work. However, it is made easier when using reliable dropshipping software.