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

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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.

No more testing! Replicate one of these successful AliDropship Premium Stores and start getting profits right away. Click here to learn how.

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.

Shopify is not a dropshipping store by default. You will need to install their Oberlo app to turn it into an AliExpress dropshipping business.

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.

Note: The AliDropship plugin does include their own WordPress shopping cart themes to choose from.

Shopify: $29 / month (lowest cost plan) + $29.90 / month Oberlo’s basic plan = $720 a year
AliDropship: $89 one time fee + $48 yearly web hosting (optional) = $137

Another thing to keep in mind is the apps that you may need to install or want to install to make your Shopify store more efficient.

I recently browsed Shopify Exchange (a platform for Shopify store owners to sell their stores) and clicked on the dropshipping category.

Then I clicked on one of the featured dropshipping stores that are for sale. As I scrolled down, I came to the “business expenses” section (view the screen capture below):

shopify dropshipping business expenses

As you notice in the image above, this particular Shopify store owner has various apps installed that amount to another $120.00 per month on top of your monthly Shopify fee.

AliDropship already has a ton of features built into their plugin and their add-ons are reasonably priced with no ongoing monthly fees.

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.

The plus about ordering a custom store from AliDropship is that it is still a one-time fee (no recurring fees) and you are also assigned a personal manager.

This enables you to ask questions and provide feedback through the entire process.

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.:

AliDropship accepts various payment gateways to include popular options such as 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.

Remember that when you create an account with Shopify, you are also agreeing to their terms of service—you know, that page hardly anyone takes the time to read.

This screen capture is what is listed in their TOS page:


Keep that in mind! That means so long as you have your store on their platform, they have the power to close your account at any time for whatever reason.

As a dropshipping store owner, I do not want that hanging over my head. That worry is eliminated when you use WordPress and AliDropship.

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 seriously 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.

The plus with AliDropship is that you get lifelong customer support and plugin updates. They also have a very active user forum and knowledge base that are both excellent resources.

How Do I Find The Best Products To Dropship?

AliDropship is continually creating new add-ons, plugins, and features for their products. One that you must check out is the DropshipMe Plugin.

dropshipme product

What this plugin does is enable you to easily import some of the best selling products from AliExpress into your store. How is this different from the default importing feature?

Well, the AliDropship team manually selected and created a database of over 50,000 of the best selling items on AliExpress. They’ve already edited the product titles, descriptions, and images for you.

Therefore, all you have to do is search for the items that you want to import, click the import button, and the item is added to your store already edited for you.

What are the benefits of using DropshipMe? They include:

  • No need for product research
  • Save a huge amount of time on editing products
  • Start selling items immediately
  • Higher conversions and repeat purchases
  • Improved shopping experience
  • Fewer disputes with selected suppliers

This plugin also includes the ability to import user reviews.

As for Shopify, you can use the Oberlo app to figure out which items sell well. They have all of the ratings displayed for you when you search for items.

However, you are still going to have to do any editing yourself as far as the product titles, descriptions, and images go.

What if I Want My Store Built For Me?

Another feature that stands out between AliDropship and Shopify it that AliDropship offers custom store creation. You can find services that will build a custom Shopify store for you.

However, you may be surprised at what is available with AliDropship’s custom store service. The one feature that stands out among any other custom store service is that AliDropship provides you with your own personal manager.

What they provide is a truly turnkey solution. Let’s take a look at some of what their custom store service offers:

Saves a Ton of Time

Yes, you can build your store yourself but no matter which service you choose to do so, there is a lot of work involved. You must complete a number of tasks such as niche research, product research, importing products, editing product pages, customizing your store, building social media profiles, and more. AliDropship will handle ALL tasks necessary to build your store.

Niche Research

Stuck on what to sell or what niche to go into? The AliDropship team knows how to do the proper research and can select an in-demand, trending niche for your store.

Product Importing

The team will import only the best selling products into your store. Unlike some services, they do not bulk import items without doing any prior research.

Social Media Accounts

Depending on the package that you choose, you will have one or all of the major social media accounts and pages created for you.

SEO Ready

They will handle your on-site SEO so that your product pages have the best chance of being discovered in the search results.

A Store That is Ready To Sell

Overall, everything is done for you so that when your store is delivered, you can immediately begin marketing and making sales.

You can find Shopify dropshipping stores for sale at the Exchange. However, keep in mind that the already established stores that are making a profit are quite expensive.

The ones that are inexpensive are stores that someone has set up and you take over and do the promotion on. Keep in mind that buying a Shopify store that is already built means that you are still responsible for the monthly software fees.

You must also still abide by Shopify’s terms of service as mentioned earlier. With a custom store from AliDropship, you will have zero monthly software fees and you retain complete ownership of your store.

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.

If you are ready to launch your dropshipping business using AliDropship, you can get started by clicking here.

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

56 thoughts on “AliDropship or Shopify – Which is Ideal for Your Drop Ship Store?”

  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?

    • 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!

    • 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.

    • 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!

  4. Hi Eartha,
    Thanks for such review which will help of course to decide which one should I use. I really looking at Alidropship as better option here.

    My question is; does Ali dropship have the apps and add ons which are available with Shopify?

    Also just to share that with us, is Alidropship have the advantage of being sourced by Aliexpress or it is just like Shopify done by totally different party and have no closer relation to Aliexpress


    • Hi Ahmed,

      To answer your questions, there are other plugins that you can use because it is using WordPress. There are likely tons of plugins to choose from depending on the features you need. AliDropship does connect to AliExpress to import products. That is the main feature of the AliDropship plugin. Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comment!

  5. Hi Eartha,

    Thank you so much for writing this article! It’s truly amazing. I see that it has helped many, and myself as well.

    I have already purchased a Shopify store, but currently have it paused. I haven’t run any real ads yet, so I haven’t gotten any sales. I’ve been reading up on Alidropship lately and I’m thinking that it may be the way to go. I’ve seen some example stores that have used Alidropship, like I’m just wondering if it would be difficult for me to make my store look that good? I spent hours on Shopify making my store look just the way I wanted, but I think I understand that Alidropship won’t be that simple? I hope there is no coding or anything.

    I just want to make sure that my store doesn’t end up looking boring and dry, making customers turn away. Would you consider website design rather easy to learn, even if you aren’t a techie?

    • Hi Kevin,

      If you go with AliDropship, you will be building your store using WordPress. There are different store themes available to use so hopefully, you can find one that won’t require a lot of modifying. Otherwise, it isn’t overly difficult to learn how to modify a theme. You would need to learn about CSS and HTML. Both are very easy to learn and free lessons are online. I hope that whichever e-commerce option you go with works out well for your store. Thank you for leaving your comment!

  6. Hi Eartha
    your review was invaluable and well balanced. I have been considering the two options myself and have the same concerns about Shopify (affordability and ownership). Shopify and Alidropship both have pros/cons. At the end of the day I am starting a business and any ongoing costs will impact on profit margin.

    I am going with Alidropship start-new-business option which I believe is real value for money! (I have no connection with Alidropship either)

    My decision is based on ownership. After doing my own research, another plus with Alidropship/WordPress is that you can have one or multiple niche dropship sites that are owned outright by you. Shopify controls any you set-up using their platform.

    Just to add to Ahmed’s question, I’m not sure what apps or add ons you are referring to. But Shopify do have an app that can be uploaded to your website. As Eartha has pointed out, there are tons of plugins, and those offered by Shopify can also be added to used in WordPress.

    Thanks again Eartha.

  7. Hi Cie,

    I agree with you on the ownership issue. I would be devastated if for some reason I had to move my store but couldn’t have any of the files (store theme, etc.) I think it is a legitimate concern and AliDropship does provide that peace of mind since it is simply a plugin and works with WordPress. Thank you for visiting and leaving your feedback. I wish you the best with your online store!

  8. Hi Eartha
    Great blog, got all my questions answered except 1
    Im looking forward to alidropship but do we really need “wordpress business plan” to set up plug in? the business plan is $299 a year. A little confused here as the basic and premium wordpress plan doesn’t mention plugin.

    • Hi Rayyan,

      The AliDropship plugin can be purchased by itself and used with any WordPress installation. The $299 you’re referring to is the custom webstore creation service that they offer as an option if you do not want to create one yourself. Hope that helps! Thank you for stopping by. 🙂

  9. This is a great analysis of the two products. I think I would prefer ALiDropShip over Shopify because you retain ownership. However, I did notice that shopify had a 14 day free trial, which is awesome. That means that someone on a budget or who is not terribly comfortable with the service can try it before they buy it.
    I haven’t tried either of them before, but if I do decide to start a drop ship business, I think I would go with AliDropShip because I’d want to retain ownership and be more hands on.

    • Hi Melinda,

      Yes, retaining ownership is definitely a key factor when deciding which dropshipping store to go with. Retaining ownership was one of the main reasons I’d choose AliDropship over Shopify or most other e-commerce platforms used for dropshipping purposes. Thank you for leaving your comment!

  10. Hi Eartha
    Thanks it lots of easy way for me i have shopify for 4 months from now which i just close without a single sale. just closd . so i found aliexpress but i want know which one is batter and i found your things which made my decision.

    • Hi Alpesh,

      I’m so glad you found this post and that it has helped you with your decision. I wish you all the best with your online business!

  11. Hi There,

    Thank you for posting this very helpful information in which I’m able to know between Shopify and Alidropship pros and cons. Last two weeks ago I’vel try the trial period of Shopify but I’m not satisfied with their FREE theme design.

    Though the system functionality is very good. You need to purchase premium themes for better design of your store which cost you around 140 to 180 USD. So, now I’m thinking to shift with Alidropship, as you’ve said it is good to own a store because you can sell later on.

    With that, thank you once again for your reviews.

    • Hi Edreck,

      I wasn’t aware of the cost of the premium themes on Shopify. There are pros and cons to the service for sure. However, like you, I’d rather have complete ownership of my store and that is something you can have with AliDropship. Thank you for your feedback!

  12. Hi,
    Thank you for the great post.
    By the way, is it true that Alidropship takes longer time to deliver the products to the customers as compared to Shopify?

    • Hi Guan,

      AliDropship can fulfill orders automatically. However, the delivery time is dependent upon the supplier of the products. Hope that helps.

  13. I would recommend alidropship it has got all the important features you need for dropshipping and you pay just once. If you are using shopify you will have to pay $29.99 each month plus oberlo app its free for 50 orders per month if you are dropshipping and if your order goes over 50 you will have to pay $29 each month plus you have to pay monthly subscriptions for any other apps you might need.
    In my opinion alidropship plugin is the winner..

    • Hi Mo,

      You’ve made some really good points. I wasn’t aware that Oberlo only offers 50 orders a month for free. AliDropship does save a lot of money when you consider the fees between Shopify and Oberlo. Thank you for leaving your feedback!

  14. Hello, I like the blog you post.

    I have a questions: is alidropship plugin only available in wordPress and woocommerce?

    You know I tried oberlo and shopify but I like the idea of having full ownership of you store thats why I preparr this alidropship now. Thankd

  15. Hello another questions for me is: can alidropship install in premium plan of wordPress? What is the good plan to try in wordPress for online business? Hoping for your advice. Thank you very much.

    • Hi AJ,

      You do not need to pay for WordPress. You would only need to download the free version and install it on a web hosting service. AliDropship also has web hosting for really great prices. Hope that helps.

  16. Thank you so much for this informative post. I was debating whether to go into drop shipping and if I did which company to go with. I had no idea that AliDropship existed and the fact it is a WordPress Plugin makes it infinitely more appealing than Shopify. I like the idea that you can create your own WordPress site, which I have a lot of experience with, to which you keep all rights. It makes it easier to move your site, unlike a Shopify one. Thanks again for this as it will make my decision so much easier.

    • Hi Megan,

      I’m so glad you found this post helpful. When I discovered AliDropship, I was impressed by it as well. I like having complete ownership of all of my websites. While I do like Shopify, I think AliDropship is a much better fit for saving money and having all of the great features needed to run a dropship store. Thanks for your comment!

  17. Hi eartha. I am really into alidropship. I want to purchase it today. Thank God I have found your article over the web. I am now more confident having my dropship business with alidropship. Question, if I purchase the custom store package $299+$48web hosting, they will turn over it to me after 10-13days, can I run the webstore right away and start selling the products in there since they will be putting 50products before the turn over.

    • Hi Hanna,

      Yes, once they have completed your custom store, you will be ready to start selling the products. The store will be 100% yours and ready for you to begin promoting your products. I’m glad you found the article helpful and thank you for leaving your feedback! I wish you much success with your drophip store!

  18. Hi Eartha,
    I realy appreciate your review.
    But I observed that with Alidropship you will need to subscribe for a payment gateway which has some charges of up to 3-5% per transaction, don’t you think it will also affect the cost of goods and also end up taking up all we plan to save from shopify? for me, i consider that huge, most especialy when you start making huge sales. What do you think about this?

    • Hi Becky,

      I know what you mean. The various payment gateway services charge different fees. Even Shopify has their own credit card rates. The basic Shopify plan costs $29/month with a 2.9% + 30 cent per transaction fee (read more). Being able to process credit cards is a cost of doing business. At least with AliDropship, you will not have the monthly service fee. Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comment!

  19. Hi Eartha,
    I have three question hope you can help answer it:
    1) If i choose custom store creation ($299) in Alidropship will it have Plug In function in WordPress also or not?
    2) if i use Ali plug in ($89) to my website will this Ali plug in included the Free website theme?
    3) Last I want to plug in to my wordpress does i have to upgrape to online business plan ($24.92 monthly)?

    • Hi Dacen,

      Here are the answer to your questions in order:

      1. Yes, if you choose the custom webstore creation, the plugin is included.

      2. Yes, the AliDropship plugin by itself includes the free store themes as well.

      3. If your WordPress site is hosted by WordPress, the business plan does allow you to install custom plugins. However, it is best to contact and asking before buying AliDropship to be sure that it is something that is allowed.

      I think it is better to have WordPress installed on a separate hosting provider. AliDropship provides their own web hosting and downloading and installing WordPress is free. Then you wouldn’t have to pay the monthly fee for a business plan.

      I hope this answers your questions. Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comment. Best of luck with your online business!

  20. Hi Eartha,

    Just came across your article and enjoyed it. It is very informative and helpful. Currently, I’m interested in starting my own on line store, but had never heard about Alidropship until today. So glad to know that there are other alternatives. I haven’t made a decision yet which platform to use, but leaning more towards Alidropship.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Angela,

      I felt the same way when I discovered AliDropship. I wanted a WordPress alternative and it truly is an amazing plugin. If you don’t want to pay the monthly fees for other services, this plugin is so worth it. I wish you much success in your online business!

  21. When using AliDropship for wordpress, do you know if I have to use the WooCommerce theme (Storefront)? Or can i chose my own theme (ShopIsle) which says its designed for WooCommerce websites?

    Thank you very much 🙂

  22. Hi eartha

    Alidropship theme will make negative to customers because all the 3themes are same every person who buy custom store or alidropship plugin customers will see same as.
    Am I right….

    Shopify is providing many themes paid and free with updates. And high resolution u can differenceite shopify themes and alidropship.

    Everything is quality products

    I saw shopify themes and alidropship with customer point view…

    Any suggestions please assist me.

    Thank u eartha.

    • Hi Vivekanand,

      I understand what you’re saying about the AliDropship themes. As of now, there isn’t a lot to choose from. For me, the themes are not as important as the plugin features as well as saving money on the monthly fees. There are many AliDropship success stories of dropshippers that are doing well even with using similar themes.

      In the end, it is still about preference. If you prefer Shopify’s themes and don’t mind paying their monthly fees or paying for a different theme, then it is the better option.

      I hope that helped to answer your question. Thank you for stopping by and posting your comment. I wish you all the best in your online business!

  23. Thank u eartha for satisfaction to prefer shopify either alidropship plugin. Last but not the least. Can I source alternative dropshipping companies to add products to alidropship plugin.
    Can I add all niche products to my site.
    And what are the hidden charges alidropship take..

    • Hi Vivekanand,

      The AliDropship plugin only works with AliExpress in terms of sourcing products for your store. You can add any products you want to your store so long as it is from AliExpress.

      AliDropship doesn’t have any hidden charges. The only other charges would be from the payment gateway provider that you use. For example, if you were to use PayPal to process your payments, they will deduct their fees.

      I hope that has answered your questions. Thank you for posting your questions!

  24. Hi. I’ve been reading and learning alot about AliDropship. It’s the best cost saving over a long run as compared to Shopify. I’m kind of contemplating between the $89 and $299 plugin.
    Question :
    1) With the $299 plugin, what are the things that i need to have or set up before i purchase the plugin?
    2) What other extra things that can be done to promote or even make my webstore stands out?
    3) If i didnt purchase the $48 web hosting, meaning i have purchase the Domain name and Web Host from somewhere else?
    Sorry for the noob questions as i have no background on online business and website building. Thank you so much! ☺️

    • Hi Kai,

      I am happy to answer your questions the best that I can. Here are my answers in order:

      1. To clarify, there is only one plugin price which is $89. The $299 pricing you are referring to is the price for AliDropship to create a turnkey custom dropshpping store for you.

      2. Store promotion can be done in a number of ways. The two most popular methods are using Facebook Ads and influence marketing on Instagram (also known as Instagram shout outs.) I highly recommend reading the marketing articles on the AliDropship blog as they cover in detail methods for promoting your dropshipping store.

      3. You can register your domain and host your online store with other services. However, I recommend using AliDropship’s web hosting because you won’t run into any issues as their hosting is perfectly configured for the plugin. I host my store with another hosting provider and ran into the issue of having to install the ionCube loader.

      It wasn’t overly difficult to install and I could have requested my hosting provider install it for me. For people who are not tech savvy, hosting with AliDropship can save a lot of time and hassle. Also, their hosting is very affordable starting at $48/year.

      I’m so glad you that you posted your questions! Thank you for reading this post. I wish you much success with your dropshipping store!

    • Hello Osama,

      I have not come across one yet but it would be great if someone could create one. I’m sure it is a matter of time before someone does.

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