This is a common question among newer dropshippers or those looking to start a dropshipping business. “Why buy from dropshippers?”
There’s a number of reasons why you don’t need to be too concerned about losing customers to the low prices offered on AliExpress – let’s have a look at a couple of those reasons.
Although YOU are familiar with AliExpress, the truth is, most consumers are unaware of what AliExpress actually is. In fact, only 5.11% of traffic to AliExpress comes from the United States.
Let’s take a closer look.
Many shoppers will start with a quick google search. So I did the same for this article. I searched “Green Utility Jacket”. I scrolled through the entire ‘shopping’ tab at the top of the Google search, and guess how many green utility jackets were listed from AliExpress?
So next I looked at the actual search result listing pages. Now, although statistics (Feedvisor.com) say that 45% of shoppers typically don’t scroll past the second page of search results, I decided to press on and keep scrolling. You’d be proud to know that I hung on until page 12 before I bailed out…even after 12 pages of searches, no AliExpress search results were to be found in my ‘green utility jacket’ search.
So if you’re worried about competing against Google ads and listings from AliExpress sellers, you can put your mind at ease, AliExpress sellers aren’t actively competing for your sales.
Although consumers are getting more comfortable at handing over their credit card information to an online store, their experience with an online store will greatly influence whether or not they actually make a purchase.
For this next example, let’s pretend I’m a consumer who HAS heard of AliExpress. I’ve now changed my Google search to “green utility jacket women aliexpress”, and I’m about to hit ‘enter’ on my keyboard.
I bet you’re nervous now, aren’t you!!
(Honestly, I was too, lol.)
Here’s what happened.
I found no AliExpress listings displayed in ‘google shopping’.
I clicked on the first link of Google’s search results and I was taken to a page that showed 154 results, but only TWO of the jackets on the entire first page were even ‘utility jackets’. I decided to click on the first image, and here’s what I saw:
- The product images were very low quality and grainy.
- There were no product reviews at all.
- There was text cautioning me to make sure I took my own measurements as the sizing was ‘Asia sizing’.
- Even though it stated estimated delivery was 2 ½ weeks away from my purchase, it stated in the small print that they “do not guarantee delivery time on all international shipments”.
- The price point was great for me as a consumer, but it quite honestly was overshadowed by the lack of quality information being provided.
This jacket looked ‘risky’ to me as a consumer, so I went back to my Google search and clicked on the 2nd link shown for “green utility jacket women aliexpress”.
14,742 results were displayed. Overwhelming!!
I scrolled through the entire first page and not ONE green utility jacket for women was displayed. There was, however, an option for me to scroll through another 60+ pages.
No. Thank. You.
Rather than look through 14,724 results, I changed the search field directly in AliExpress back to “utility jacket women green”, instead of the page the Google search link directed me to.
Here’s what came up.
A mere 8 results:
- One jacket didn’t meet my search criteria.
- 5 were identical to my discouraging experience from earlier.
- The remaining two (upon further investigation) were not favorable either.
- Although one of the products shown actually showed 2 reviews, the reviews were actually not even shown the page when I went to read them, so that was unhelpful.
- The pricing was favorable, but again, it was overshadowed by my lack of trust in the product I might receive.
So, if you were the consumer in this example, and this was your experience, would you be keen to purchase from AliExpress? Did the Google search produce favorable results for Alixpress? Does it seem like these sellers on AliExpress care about the quality of their product listings? Do these products seem trustworthy?
Ok, so what about the consumers who simply go to AliExpress.com and look around.
Well, the truth is this:
AliExpress can be very overwhelming for the average consumer. I liken it to being on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange, each seller calling for you to purchase their product. Any single search can return hundreds, thousands and even hundreds of thousands of results, and unless you are familiar with AliExpress, you may not know how to:
- use search terms recognized by AliExpress to find what you are looking for (as it turns out, ‘utility jacket women green’ should actually be searched as ‘army green jacket women’. This search term returned a result of 2,299 results compared to 8),
- weed through the potentially thousands of relevant and irrelevant products that show up in an AliExpress search result in order to find a quality product,
- communicate with, and determine which seller to purchase from when there are so many sellers offering the same product,
- know which products aren’t worth purchasing from AliExpress at all, and
- determine which shipping method is most reliable for your product and country.
If you read through any number of product reviews on AliExpress, you quickly see how frustrating it can be for customers to deal with AliExpress sellers directly. Your average consumer is going to ‘tap out’ rather than take the time to figure out the ins and outs of AliExpress. Your average customer may not feel they can trust they are making a good purchase from AliExpress.
And this is where you step in.
What Advantages Do You Have?
You can create a better, warmer customer experience to show consumers they can trust YOU.
Here are a couple ways how:
#1. Source High-Quality Products From Top Rated Suppliers For Your Potential Customers
Do thorough product research and find quality products from top-rated suppliers so that your customers don’t have to do any of the legwork themselves. This is why they’ll pay more for YOUR product – you’re saving them time and hassle by sourcing products they can trust.
In the example below, I used a tool called AliExtractor to help me find a women’s utility style jacket from AliExpress. What’s AliExtractor? It’s a Chrome Extension that crawls through AliExpress pages and shows product results according to the filters you chose.
For this example, I set the filters in AliExtractor to only show me products with:
- 4.8+ star ratings
- 25+ reviews
- 50+ orders
- ePacket shipping & tracking options
- 98% positive seller feedback
…and look what I found within just a few minutes.
As you can see with this jacket, the product images displayed are higher-quality, the reviews are positive, and the supplier has an established high rating as well. This is a product I might choose to order and test myself, especially if I want to take my own product photos or create a video (recommended!!).
Let’s talk about price.
$30.09 might seem a little steep for the ‘cost’ of a dropshipping product. So, I did a search on Google shopping, Pinterest, Amazon and eBay, and found a number of similar/same jackets being offered there as well.
I looked at the price of similar/same jackets and they averaged out to a retail price of around $59. As for shipping, they averaged a time of about 8-10 days, which was only a couple days sooner than the shipping times offered on the AliExpress jacket I found.
So if I decided to sell this jacket, I might consider a retail price of anywhere from $59.99 – $69.99 (including free shipping), giving me a nice little profit of $29.90 – 39.90. Of course there would be advertising costs, etc, but overall, I think this jacket could be a competitive option for what I found during my research.
Why would I choose to price this jacket at a price around, or slightly higher than the average price of my potential competitors? Why wouldn’t I just price the jacket lower than ALL my potential competitors?
It’s because I’m going to:
- offer a stellar ‘customer experience’ (that a customer won’t mind paying a little extra for),
- create a bit more of a buffer for ad cost etc, and
- give more room to offer coupons/discounts should I decide to have a sale or offer a promotion.
#2. Design Your Online Store In A Way That Creates Trust
I have ordered products from a number of online stores over the years, and yes, sometimes I have waited a month for my product to arrive. It honestly wasn’t too big of an issue for me as a customer, and here’s why:
- There were numerous positive product reviews from other customers who had bought the same product.
- The product images and videos were high quality, and according to the product reviews, they accurately described the product.
- I was aware of the estimated shipping time before I made my purchase.
- I was clearly aware of the store’s return policy and guarantees prior to my purchase.
- The store’s SSL certificates and trust logos were clearly displayed.
- I was provided tracking information about my product so I could see when my order was processed, when it was shipped, and I was able to track it along the way.
- Any communication I had with customer service was both friendly and helpful.
- The product arrived as described, and in the cases where I’ve ordered clothing, the sizing displayed on the online store was actually ‘true to size’.
The key is this. You have to treat your dropshipping business like a ‘real business’. If you are creating an online experience that shows your customers exactly what they can expect when they make a purchase from you, you are truly going to stand out from your competitors.
#3. Go Against The Flow
Beware! The hype of getting on the bandwagon of dropshipping has caused many online stores owners to simply:
- fill their stores with products they haven’t tested,
- copy and paste product descriptions and images ‘as is’ that the supplier provided, and
- not carefully think through each step of what the buyers experience will be.
Remember, you don’t need to provide the cheapest products on the block to make sales, you need to prove you provide a buying experience your customers can trust.
If this means creating your own videos and product shots so they don’t look like your competitor’s images, do it. If it means creating your own sizing chart for accurate true-to-size clothing, do it. If it means adding a couple of extra days to your shipping policy in order to buffer unexpected delivery delays, do it. If it means taking extra time to create an air-tight return policy, do it. If it means having to send out a couple of extra emails to assure a concerned customer that their order is on its way, do it.
A little story for you about pricing and customer experience.
My two sons follow a number of not-so-common ‘bands’ on Instagram and Spotify. These bands have online stores, but they are only ‘open' for a limited number of days, 2-3 times a year. The bands give a ‘sneak peek’ of only a few of the products they will be selling, and the rest of their product line is kept secret until the online store ‘opens’.
The prices are ridiculous, the shipping rate is robbery, and the delivery times are extremely long – often taking anywhere from 6-8 weeks (or more) before the product is even in your hands.
But here’s the crazy thing…
…when these bands open their stores for those few days – they SELL OUT OF EVERYTHING, often within minutes.
They have proven that it’s not about having the cheapest price. It’s about
- knowing their audience,
- knowing how to select desirable products,
- knowing how to interact with their customers, and
- knowing how to create excitement around the products they offer.
No, you don’t need to be a rockstar in order to create demand, but if you take the time to get to know your audience, select and offer great products, build a trusting relationship with your customers by creating a great customer buying experience, you will be well on your way to making rockstar sales.
- Learn more about designing a good user experience for your online store.
- Learn more about AliExtractor (included for at a discounted rate for all Dropified member plans).
- Learn how you can use AliExtractor Lite Chrome Extension for free.
- Learn how to write good product descriptions.
- Learn where to find USA based dropshipping suppliers.
- Learn why you have to think differently as a dropshipper.