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AliExpress Dropshipping: Boost Your Business Success Guide

sahil bajaj

Sahil Bajaj

Senior Specialist - Marketing @ Shiprocket

June 18, 2024

17 min read

Nowadays, storing and shipping every product you wish to sell online can be stressful and costly. Dropshipping is a solution for it. This supply chain method is gaining popularity in today’s market dynamics. The worldwide drop shipping industry was valued at USD 155.6 billion in 2021. With a forecasted compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.1% from 2022 to 2031, the value of the dropshipping market is expected to reach USD 1670.1 billion by 2031. 

Dropshipping is a method of selling goods without having to manage transportation or inventory. In this business model, a third party such as a manufacturer or distributor will handle everything on your behalf when a consumer purchases products from you. 

AliExpress is a well-known dropshipping website that offers a large selection of goods and a worldwide customer base. Let’s examine dropshipping on AliExpress, its advantages, possible earnings, and other topics.

AliExpress Dropshipping

Defining Dropshipping

Dropshipping is an eCommerce strategy that allows businesses to avoid the hassles of inventory control and shipping. After a consumer purchase from your platform, you provide your supplier with the required information so they may send the item straight to the buyer. By using this approach, you can focus on promoting business development and scalability without having to worry about the hassles of inventory distribution and storage.

Since this supply chain model makes use of suppliers’ inventories, it does not require an initial capital investment or ongoing operating costs. Profit margins will rise because of lower inventory-holding expenses.

Entrepreneurs favour this model for its simplicity and cost-effectiveness. It provides a strategic way to quickly establish an online presence and offer a wide range of products to consumers without the hassle of managing inventory.

Significance of AliExpress Dropshipping in the Indian Market

In the Indian market, AliExpress dropshipping can be extremely important for prospective businesses. It is a great alternative for getting into eCommerce since it can bring in about 50% more profit than conventional inventory-based models. Through the elimination of inventory management, shipping, and order fulfillment tasks from your end, drop shipping offers you a low-cost entry point into the market while reducing operational difficulties and hazards.

Dropshipping offers an ideal environment for your business to flourish, especially when India’s eCommerce market is expected to develop at a rate of 51% every year. India’s robust supply of both completed goods and raw materials makes local cooperation to manage supply chains possible. This further improves the profitability of your dropshipping business.

Dropshipping has enormous market potential in India. The Indian drop shipping industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 25% from 2022 to 2030. By automating processes and utilising shipping services, you can take your business to international market and scale heights. You can profit from India’s growing eCommerce market in an affordable and low-risk manner.

How AliExpress Dropshipping Works?

Establishing an online store with items directly purchased from AliExpress is known as AliExpress dropshipping. Products are imported, priced, and promoted to draw customers after the business is set up. As orders come in, you place matching orders with AliExpress suppliers, entering the shipping information provided by the buyer to ensure precise delivery. Even though you don’t have to do the warehousing tasks, providing great customer service by answering questions and processing returns quickly is essential.

AliExpress dropshipping allows for a low-cost introduction into the eCommerce world through its huge supplier network. Choosing the right products, setting fair prices, promoting them effectively, and providing excellent customer service are all essential to your success. 

Key Benefits of AliExpress Dropshipping

Some of the main benefits of opting for AliExpress dropshipping for your business are:

  1. Cost-effectiveness: Using AliExpress dropshipping to launch an online business in India takes only a small upfront expenditure. Unlike traditional retail strategies, you don’t have to invest cash in inventory.
  1. Easy Setup: Starting a dropshipping business on AliExpress is simple and quick. You can get your business up and operating in a matter of days and take advantage of India’s quickly expanding eCommerce market.
  1. Risk Management: AliExpress dropshipping reduces monetary risk. Since you do not need to make a large initial investment, the losses incurred from business failure will be minimal.
  1. Rich Product Selection: You can customise your inventory to suit Indian customers’ tastes, thanks to AliExpress’s extensive product selection. This mobility allows you to target specific audiences and profit from developing trends.
  1. Profit Potential: AliExpress offers reasonably priced items, and you may price your offerings competitively while maximising profitability in the Indian market. You can also potentially earn large profit margins.
  1. Access to Global Network of Suppliers and Products: AliExpress gives you access to a worldwide network of suppliers and goods. This expands the reach of your company, enabling you to find distinctive products and adjust to the changing needs of Indian customers.
  1. AliExpress Affiliate Programme: By incorporating the AliExpress Affiliate programme into your dropshipping business, you can generate extra income. Your earning potential is increased when dropshipping and affiliate marketing techniques work together.

Steps to Start Dropshipping with AliExpress

You can follow these steps to start dropshipping with AliExpress:

Step 1: Understanding Dropshipping Basics

It’s important to understand the notion before starting dropshipping in India. eCommerce entrepreneurs who use the dropshipping business model offer goods without keeping inventory on hand. Rather, they depend on suppliers to complete orders and ship them straight to clients. AliExpress’s vast marketplace, which links drop shippers and suppliers, makes it an invaluable platform for sourcing providers.

Step 2: Selecting Suppliers on AliExpress

A few important things to consider when exploring AliExpress for vendors are as follows:

  1. Location of Supplier: As with most of AliExpress’s suppliers, confirm that the provider is headquartered in China.
  2. Ratings and Reviews: To determine a supplier’s dependability, look through their ratings and reviews.
  3. Free Delivery to India: Verify whether the supplier provides free shipping to India.
  4. Delivery Schedules: Examine the supplier’s suggested delivery schedules to ensure they align with client expectations.

Step 3: Establishing Supplier Relationships

Communication must be started as soon as a possible provider is identified. Express interest in their dropshipping programme by sending them an email. Provide information about yourself, your business, the items you’re interested in dropshipping, your country of residence, the name and URL of your store, and any other pertinent facts. When they respond, see whether you can move further with establishing a connection.

Step 4: Creating Your Online Store

Building your online store comes next after you’ve been in contact with suppliers. Shopify and other similar platforms provide several features that are suited for dropshipping businesses, along with user-friendly interfaces.

Step 5: Adding Items to Your Online Store

Now that your business is operational, it’s time to add merchandise to it. To locate items that fit your specialisation, browse AliExpress. A CSV file allows you to add goods one at a time or in large quantities. Make sure that the product details, costs, and delivery details are correct.

Step 6: Choosing the Goods and Delivery Mode

When choosing a product, consider the shipping specifics. Choose the “ePacket” delivery option in drop shipping for its dependability and quickness. After making your selections, place your orders on AliExpress.

Step 7: Writing the Title and Publishing

Create listing names and descriptions after deciding on items and delivery options. You can include featured photos and tags if required. Publish your listings after completion and distribute them via the URL of your store.

Step 8: Managing Orders and Scaling Up

As orders come in, manage them efficiently by fulfilling them through your suppliers. Keep track of orders and consider scaling up your business by expanding product offerings and refining marketing strategies to attract customers and increase profitability.

Dropshipping in India: Overview

Here are some things to think about if you want to drop ship from India. This is a business strategy in which goods are sold without being held in stock. You deal with suppliers instead, who take care of your shipping and inventories. This is great news for someone who is just starting an online business because you can launch your internet business with very little cash upfront.

In India, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is in charge of eCommerce. Drop shipping restrictions and other internet company policies are formulated by the Department of Commerce, which is a part of this ministry. As an internet business in India, you have to abide by all norms and regulations. The Government E-marketplace (GEM) is one useful location where you can obtain advice on how to perform drop shipping correctly and learn more about it. In India, drop shipping may be a great way to launch your own company, but you must do your homework and make sure you’re ready for the road ahead.

Challenges and Opportunities in the Indian Dropshipping Market

Entering the dropshipping business model offers several opportunities and also poses some challenges. consider them as you embark on this journey.

Opportunities of Dropshipping:

  1. Reduced Startup Costs: Do away with the high overhead of setting up physical shops or acquiring goods. Dropshipping allows you to develop an online presence with a small financial commitment.
  1. Entry-level Difficulty: Starting an online business is quite simple. By avoiding the difficulties of inventory management, you may quickly set up your online business.
  1. Inventory Free of Hassles: Forget the hassles of handling logistics and inventory. When suppliers manage backend operations, you can stay focused on marketing and sales.
  1. Operational Flexibility: With just a laptop and an internet connection, you can do business from anywhere.
  1. Broad Product Offerings: Leverage the adaptability to quickly provide a variety of items, meeting market demand without having to worry about keeping inventories under control.
  1. Scalability: As you focus on growing your advertising and order processing, scaling up your firm goes more smoothly. The logistics are managed by suppliers, which makes expansion smooth.

Challenges of Dropshipping:

  1. Intense Competition: Be ready for a crowded market with intense competition. Your ability to provide outstanding client experience is as important to your success as the things you sell.
  1. Limited Control: The shipping and inventory management procedures will fall within your control. So, you have to maintain product availability and quality to ensure customer satisfaction.
  1. Narrow Profit Margins: To maintain profitability in the face of fierce competition, navigating through narrow profit margins necessitates concentrating on producing large sales volumes.
  1. Operational Restrictions on Modification: It is difficult to improve the client experience beyond a certain point because of the limitations on customisation choices and value-added services.
  1. Challenges in Customer Service: Especially when it comes to returns and exchanges, managing customer assistance may be difficult. It takes effective problem-solving and communication abilities to coordinate with suppliers to guarantee client satisfaction.

Benefits of AliExpress Dropshipping for Indian Entrepreneurs

AliExpress dropshipping is an excellent opportunity for Indian entrepreneurs. It offers several benefits, as mentioned below:

  1.  Initial Investment

Starting a firm doesn’t require a large initial investment. Since you will only buy things when your customers order them from you, you won’t need to acquire a lot of inventory to fill your store.

  1. Wide Product Range

AliExpress has a large selection of goods. It resembles a vast internet marketplace where you may get nearly everything you can imagine. This provides you with a wide range of alternatives for what to stock in your business.

  1. Absence of Inventory Control

You won’t have to worry about inventory management or product storage when you use drop shipping. The supplier ships straight to the clients when they purchase from your shop. Without having to worry about product storage, you can concentrate on managing your business.

  1. Flexibility and Scalability

You can quickly expand your business as it grows. Adding new products or reaching out to more customers is straightforward. This means you can start small and gradually increase your business over time.

  1. Global Reach

You can sell to customers all over the world. This gives you access to a much larger market than if you were selling locally. It opens up many opportunities to increase your sales and grow your business.

  1. Reduced Risk

Since you’re not buying products upfront, you don’t have to worry about getting stuck with inventory you can’t sell. This lowers the risk of losing money, especially when starting.

  1. Ease of Entry

It’s easy to start dropshipping on AliExpress. You don’t need a lot of technical knowledge or experience. With a bit of research and some effort, you can set up your online store and start selling products relatively quickly.

  1. Supplier Diversity

AliExpress has thousands of suppliers offering various products. This means you can choose suppliers who provide good quality products at competitive prices. Access to different suppliers gives you more flexibility in sourcing products for your store.

  1. Automation Potential

Various software can help you automate many aspects of your dropshipping business, like order processing and inventory management. This can save you a lot of time and make running your business more efficient.

  1. Location Independence

You can run your dropshipping business anywhere with an internet connection. This means you’re not tied down to a specific location. You can work from home, at a coffee shop, or anywhere else you like, as long as you have internet access.

Critical Considerations for AliExpress Dropshipping in India

 If you’re considering starting a dropshipping business in India using AliExpress, there are several essential things you need to know.

  • Legal Compliance: Ensure you adhere to Indian import regulations, including customs duties, taxes, and legal requirements, to avoid potential legal issues.
  • Product Selection: Choose products with demand in the Indian market. Conduct thorough market research to identify popular products and current trends that resonate with your target audience.
  • Shipping Times and Costs: Manage customer expectations by communicating accurate shipping times and factoring in shipping costs into your pricing strategy to provide transparency and reliability.
  • Quality Control: Ensure products meet your standards by researching suppliers diligently, reading reviews, and ordering samples to assess product quality before selling.
  • Customer Service: Provide exceptional service by being responsive to inquiries, addressing concerns promptly, and maintaining clear communication throughout the purchasing process. This will build trust and satisfaction among customers.
  • Payment Methods: Offer various payment options, including credit or debit cards, digital wallets, and local options like Paytm and PhonePe to accommodate different preferences and enhance convenience.
  • Language and Localisation: Adapt your website and marketing materials into languages commonly used in India, such as English and Hindi, to effectively communicate with your target audience and improve engagement.
  • Currency Conversion and Pricing: Display prices in Indian Rupees (INR) and provide accurate currency conversion rates while maintaining competitive pricing to streamline the purchasing process for your customers.
  • Returns and Refunds: Establish clear policies for returns and refunds to manage customer expectations and resolve disputes effectively,\. This will help to foster trust and confidence in your brand.
  • Marketing and Promotion: Develop a targeted marketing strategy leveraging social media, email marketing, SEO, and other digital channels to increase brand visibility and attract customers to your dropshipping store.

Alternative Platforms for Dropshipping in India

When considering alternatives to AliExpress for dropshipping in India, there are several platforms you can explore. Here are some options:

  1. Amazon

With its wide range of products and reliable service, Amazon is a great alternative. It boasts quick shipping and various payment options, making it convenient for buyers.

  1. Flipkart

Like Amazon, Flipkart offers affordable prices and swift delivery, making it a popular choice among Indian consumers.

  1. eBay

eBay is another option worth considering, offering a diverse selection of goods and dependable customer support.

  1. Banggood

Banggood, though less known, provides a vast array of products and accepts various payment methods, making it suitable for dropshipping.

  1. DHGate

DHGate is a marketplace with a wide range of items similar to AliExpress, making it a favoured choice among drop shippers.

Exploring Income Potential in Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a business model where retailers don’t keep the products they sell in stock. Instead, when you sell a product, you purchase the item from a third party (usually a wholesaler or manufacturer) and have it shipped directly to the customer. This means you don’t have to handle the product directly or worry about inventory management and storage.

Now, let’s talk about income potential:

  1. Low Overhead Costs: One of the most significant advantages of dropshipping is its low barrier to entering business. Since you don’t have to invest in inventory upfront, there are minimal startup costs compared to traditional retail businesses. This means you can start making profits sooner rather than later.
  2. Scalability: Dropshipping businesses can scale relatively quickly. You’re not constrained by physical inventory or storage space limitations, so, you can expand your product offerings without significant overhead costs. As your business grows, you can increase your sales volume and profit margins.
  3. Flexibility: Dropshipping allows for flexibility regarding where and when you work. Since you don’t have to manage inventory or handle shipping, you can run your business from anywhere with an internet connection. This flexibility can be particularly appealing if you’re looking for a side hustle or want to travel while running your business.
  4. Profit Margins: While dropshipping can offer low upfront costs and scalability, profit margins can vary depending on the niche you choose and your marketing strategies. Typically, profit margins in dropshipping tend to be lower than those of businesses where you hold inventory. However, generating a healthy income is still possible with the right products and marketing efforts.

How Much Can You Make by Dropshipping?

In India, the owners of dropshipping businesses can expect to earn between INR 20,000 to INR 5,00,000 every month. The profitability percentage depends on the number of items sold and the pricing strategy of the products. After opening a new venture, it is not easy to expect to earn a high profit. Once the sellers get recognition or become familiar with the customers over the years, the sellers can draw a decent salary every month.  

The sellers should fix the prices of the products in such a way that it also includes the shipping fees apart from paying the amount to the wholesalers. The sellers should also pay a certain amount to the dropshipping website to maintain the business account and to market the products, like running Google Ads or Facebook Ads. Once the payment is done, the rest of the amount will be enjoyed by the business owner. For instance, a drop shipper can earn 20%-30% profit from the sales of the products.

Current Status of AliExpress in India: Is AliExpress Banned in India?

As of the latest updates, AliExpress is presently not accessible in India. The Indian government has implemented restrictions on the platform, leading to its unavailability within the country’s borders. Consequently, individuals residing in India are unable to access AliExpress or engage in any transactions through the platform.

The decision to restrict AliExpress in India stems from various considerations, including regulatory concerns and national security interests. These factors have prompted the authorities to impose measures that effectively prohibit the operation of AliExpress within Indian territory.

Transform Your Shipping Journey with Shiprocket: Optimise Operations, Maximise Revenue

Shiprocket is an invaluable tool for simplifying your shipping processes and improving overall business efficiency. It helps streamline your shipping tasks and enhance customer satisfaction. This platform enables you to manage all your domestic shipping in one place. Using AI-powered courier selection, Shiprocket ensures reliable and cost-effective delivery options for your packages. It also offers hyperlocal delivery services, enabling swift deliveries within cities, and providing added convenience for your customers.

For businesses looking to expand globally, Shiprocket provides cross-border shipping solutions. With its user-friendly design and seamless integration with over 12 sales channels, Shiprocket simplifies order management, inventory tracking, and other tasks, making it easy for merchants to stay organised and efficient.


AliExpress is a prominent participant in the eCommerce space, acting as a link for global trade. The popular dropshipping strategy on AliExpress is cost-effective and takes technical know-how, efficient procedures, and strategic alliances to mitigate trade-related issues. It’s important to recognise the inherent problems of drop shipping, despite its appeal to companies looking to avoid logistical complications.

AliExpress offers a good development path, but achieving its full potential will take careful strategy and implementation. Through strategic and resolute navigation of these challenges, businesses may effectively use AliExpress to support their eCommerce endeavours.

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