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AliDropship or Shopify – Which is Ideal for Your Drop Ship Store?

It is great to have options and when it comes to opening your own drop ship e-commerce store, you have quite a few.

In this post, I will focus on two really good options which are Shopify and the AliDropship WordPress plugin.

Both are really good options and both have their pros and cons. At the moment, I have opened a Shopify store to experiment with the process of drop shipping.

I learned of AliDropship after reading some drop shipping questions on Quora.

Here is what I’ve learned so far about both platforms.

Which is Least Expensive to Operate? Shopify or AliDropship?

holding twenty dollar bills

This is probably one of the most important questions to answer because you’ll want to know what your overhead costs will be.

Shopify is a shopping cart platform that handles everything for you. You can add your products, fulfill orders, track sales, and more.

AliDropship is an AliExpress dropshipping WordPress plugin that allows you to import products from AliExpress into a shopping cart enabled WordPress theme such as WooCommerce.

Shopify: $29 / month (lowest cost plan) = $348 a year
AliDropship: $89 one time fee + $48 yearly web hosting (optional) = $137

AliDropship is definitely the most cost-efficient in the long run.

What are the Major Differences Between Shopify and AliDropship?

While both provide many features that you will need to run your drop shop business, the main difference is that Shopify is already done for you, whereas using AliDropship means creating your website on your own.

If you are already familiar with setting up WordPress and installing plugins, then AliDropship will be easy to use.

If you do not have any experience with installing WordPress, then it may be easier to use the Shopify platform.

However, AliDropship does offer custom store creation starting at $299.

Web Hosting

Shopify provides web hosting with their shopping cart service. It is also very fast which is crucial. If your visitors have to wait for your web pages to load, they will likely click away and move on.

AliDropship offers very inexpensive web hosting for your WordPress powered e-commerce store. Prices are $48/year, $86/year, and $220/year.

Payment Processing

Shopify handles your credit card payments for you. As soon as you open your store, you can begin receiving orders and accepting credit card payments.

When you use Shopify Payments, you pay no subscription transaction fees. No third-party credit card software is needed. Credit card rates are based on your Shopify plan.

Here are the Shopify credit card rates for the U.S.: https://www.shopify.com/payments

AliDropship accepts various payment gateways to include popular options such as Authorize.net and PayPal.

The different payment gateways will have their own credit card transaction rates as well as subscription fees if any.

What About SSL?

website security

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and it is what encrypts user’s personal information when it is submitted through a website.

Having SSL is critical when running an e-commerce website. Shopify already has SSL included when you open a store with them.

AliDropship does not unless you also add in their hosting package, in which case, your SSL is included for free.

If you decide to host your online store elsewhere, you will be responsible for ensuring that SSL is installed.

Will I Own My Online Store if I Decide to Leave the Service?

web worker

Here is another issue to seriously consider. Let’s say for some reason you want to move your online store to another hosting provider or service.

As far as I know, once you close your Shopify store, all files are deleted. The only thing offered is downloading your products into a CSV file.

AliDropship is a plugin so you have complete ownership of your online store, files and all. You can move your WordPress site to any hosting provider you want.

If this is a concern for you in the long run, it is something you may want to think about.

What About Customer Support?

Both services do provide customer support so whichever one you choose to go with, you are covered. When you buy the AliDropship plugin, you also get any ongoing updates.

The big plus about Shopify is that any updates or features they have will automatically pass on to you.

You do not have to update or install anything. They handle all of the technical stuff for you.

Wrapping it All Up

In the end, I think it comes down to your comfortability with maintaining your own store versus relying on a company to handle the technical tasks for you.

Using Shopify will alleviate the technical worries that you may have. The software, web hosting, and payment processing are handled for you.

AliDropship will require more of a hands on approach but isn’t extremely difficult if you are already accustomed to using WordPress.

Some people do not want to deal with plugins and rather have an all-in-one service.

I think both options are great for anyone who is wanting to dropship. Shopify works great in combination with Oberlo for importing products from AliExpress.

You can try Shopify free for 14 days.

Have you tried Shopify or AliDropship before? Which do you prefer?

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  1. This is exactly what I was looking for! I mean literally, for sooo long, I would look for different Shopify alternatives just trying to understand what makes it so much better?

    The fact that it’s pretty much done for you in shopify, does make things a lot easier – I can definitely see that now.

    Now here’s my question, if someone were completely new, with zero-to-none tech ability when it comes to setting up a shop online..

    Which one would you recommend they try / utilize first Eartha?

    I understand it comes down to what you’re more comfortable with, but which one do you feel people can benefit from, whether they have experience.. or not?

    1. Hi Rod,

      I’m so glad you’ve found this post useful. At this point, even for someone with zero technical experience, I’d probably recommend AliDropship. One reason is that it is more affordable and still offers many features. If you pay for their yearly hosting, they set up your WordPress site with the plugin and free SSL for free.

      There is also support for the plugin so even if you have no experience, you can read the knowledge base or ask questions. Another huge plus is that you keep 100% ownership of your store. That is important should you ever want to switch hosting providers or even want to sell your store down the road.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your feedback!

  2. Hi, Eartha. If I had to choose between the two, my choice is leaning towards AliDropship instead of Shopify based on your review. I have not heard of AliDropship before this. Shopify I have heard of. Thank you for sharing this very interesting post. I will consider it when I need to add this feature on my site in the future. Thank you!

    1. Hi Cindy,

      I am leaning towards AliDropship myself. It seems more cost-effective in the long run and I like that you keep 100% ownership of your store. I’m glad this post was helpful for you! Thanks for your feedback!

  3. Thank you for sharing this Eartha! I am glad I googled a comparison between Shopify and Alidropship and stumbled upon your blog before I sign up with Shopify. You got me thinking now. Will have to do a bit more thinking, numbers crunching and research.
    Thanks again for your insights.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      I’m really glad you found the post and it was able to help you with your decision making. Both options are great. It comes down to one’s budget and preferences. I wish you the best with your online business!

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