AliExpress is the king when it comes to dropshipping. Not only are they giving you direct access to the manufacturers, you also get the ability to sell millions of different products at low prices.
If you already went through our part 1 of how to set up your ecommerce store, it’s now time to focus on your products. In part 2, we will go over the in’s and out’s of AliExpress. You’ll also learn how to write conversion-driven product descriptions, how to price your products, and apps that can boost your store.
You don’t want to just work with any vendor or sell any products on AliExpress. There are specifics that you should follow so you can get the best products at the lowest price with the best services. This is a 4-point checklist for products and vendors on AliExpress:
- Product Selection
When it comes to searching for products, you should sort products by lowest price first. There are lots of vendors on AliExpress selling the same product and will compete each other for your business. Once you’ve sort by lowest price, look for products with a minimum of 100 orders so there are enough orders to have people leaving a review for it. Make sure the product has at least 4.5 out of 5 stars to ensure it has good quality.
- ePacket Availability
Because of ecommerce giant, Amazon, fast shipping has been normalized and expected by many people. But given that majority of the vendors on AliExpress are from China, shipping time can be quite long and costly. However, there’s a shipping method on AliExpress called ePacket that gives you the fastest and least expensive shipping. It also comes with a tracking number.
When you’re searching for a product, always try to look for something that offers ePacket shipping. With Shopzie, we have a filter on our Chrome extension that quickly shows you which product has ePacket without you clicking into the listing.
- Vendor Selection
Not all vendors on AliExpress are the same. Some of them may have really bad services that you don’t even want to work with them. So even when you’ve found a really good product with ePacket, you have to make sure the vendor is also a reliable business partner. You will know by checking their “Positive Feedback” score. If you hover your mouse over the vendor’s name, you’ll see a drop-down menu that shows three grading system: Items As Described, Communication, and Shipping Speed. Make sure all three of these have an “Above Average” grade to ensure it’s a responsible vendor.
- Order Processing Time
A lot of people tend to forget about order processing time. This is not to be confused by shipping time, however. Order processing time is the time it takes for the vendor to process the order, while shipping time is the time it takes for the order to arrive to your customer’s door step from the vendor. Order processing time can vary between 1 to 14 days. The longer the processing time is, the longer it will take for your order to get shipped out. For example, if the order processing time is 7 days and the shipping takes another 7 days, then it takes a total of 14 days for your customer to receive the product.
Unfortunately, AliExpress doesn’t tell you the order processing time from each vendor. But with Shopzie, you can tell instantly from the search result page on AliExpress. We recommend choosing a vendor with an order processing time of 3 days or less.
Hopefully by now, you have a pretty good idea about finding products from appropriate vendors. The next thing you should do after you’ve found the right products is work on your product descriptions. Although vendors on AliExpress give you the default product description, you’re going to destroy your sales if you actually use them. The product description provided by the vendors only showcase the features of the product very bluntly, without adding any creative marketing skills. Follow this product upload checklist instead to write conversion-driven product descriptions:
Name Your Product
If you have a butterfly necklace, don’t just give it a boring and generic name like “butterfly necklace”. Be creative and stand out in the market by giving it a more unique name. This will allow customers to perceive a higher value of it because when a special name is attached to the product you sell, they believe it is branded but they just never heard of it.
For example, instead of calling it just “butterfly necklace”, you can call it “enchanted apodemia butterfly necklace”. This of course would require a little research as we’ve found Apodemia is a type of spotted butterfly usually found in Canada and Brazil. Basically, the more story you have behind the name of the product, the higher the perceived value of the product would be.
A Well-Written Product Description
Even if you’re not a professional copywriter, there are several easy ways to write conversion-driven product descriptions:
- Mimic top Amazon sellers – these sellers usually have the best product descriptions. Often times, the product or something similar to what you want to sell is already on Amazon. Just do a quick search and mimic their product descriptions.
- Sell with emotions – Every human on the planet somewhat makes decision based on emotions. It can be based on happiness, sadness, excitement, anxiety, fear or anything in between. Consumer buy products online based on their emotions and most of the time, it is based on the want and not need.
- Use a story – Stories always sell because they build an instant rapport with your customers. Let’s take fishing as a quick example. If you have a fishing bait that helps you increase your chance of catching a fish, you can talk about the story behind it on how the bait helped.
Always Have A Call-To-Action
If you write out exactly what the person has to do, they will usually do it. This is why having a call to action in your product description is very important. You need to tell them exactly what they should do. When your customers are reading your product description and at the end you have a call to action, as they read it, they will be moving their cursor or thumb (if they are on mobile) to click the button.
Provide Delivery Information
The last sentence of your product description should end with your delivery information. Something short and simple like “Note: Please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery” is good enough. By being upfront about your delivery times, you can avoid any customer headaches in the future on why they haven’t received their orders yet.
Pricing Your Products
Pricing your products can be tough. You don’t want to price it too high where your customers will not want to buy from you or price it too low where you will lose out on your profit. However, the universal goal of ecommerce is to buy low and sell high. The margin in between is what you pocket.
The easiest way to price your products is by keystone pricing. What this means is that the price of your product should be 4 times of whatever your cost is. For example, if the product costs you $5, then 4 times of that would be $20 ($5 x 4 = $20). The reason why we multiply the cost by 4 times is because 25% of that covers the cost of good, another 25% covers gross profit margin, and 50% covers advertising cost. This pricing method keeps your business sustainable by being able to afford advertisement while having a decent profit.
However, this pricing method does not work all the time. Keystone pricing only applies when you are going to take the product into advertising. You don’t have to price every single one of your product 4x, because in retail, it’s rare that you’ll ever get such a great margin unless you are the manufacturer of the product. We suggest that 2x is the lowest you should ever go because it gives you just enough margin to create a sales event or promotion.
The Shopify App store offers thousands of apps, some are free and some are paid. Apps are important because they provide a lot of useful services and tools that Shopify alone doesn’t have. Here, we have 3 apps that we love:
Sales Pop (free)
Sales Pop is a great app that boosts conversion by showing recent activities of your customers on your website. This builds trust and credibility by letting your customers know what other shoppers are doing on your store.
Abandonment Protector (paid)
This one is a must. You’re going to get a lot of customers abandoning their orders at the checkout page. Abandonment Protector helps retain your orders back through email marketing. You can also create follow-up emails with it like order receipts, thank you email, etc.
Order Lookup (paid)
Once you have this app installed, customers can visit your site to check the shipping status of their order. This app reduces the need for customer support since customers can easily look up the orders themselves, and it ensures customers that their order is on the way.
In the second part of how to set up your ecommerce store, we went over the in’s and out’s of AliExpress. We shared tips on product selection, shipping, and vendors. How to price your products and apps that can turbocharge your store are also explained in this article. If you’ve followed the first and second part of this series, you should be ready to dive into the last part of setting up your store.
Part 3 of 3
The final part of setting up your ecommerce store will focus on your Facebook checklist. We will go over your Facebook fan page, business account, and touch base on advertising. As you head towards the last few steps of setting up your store, we will also share tips on how to get your first sale.