Open a Dropshipping Store on Shopify with Oberlo and Aliexpress in 9 Easy Steps
While the official article on AliExpress and Dropshipping gives you just a high level overview of the process, our guide will teach you how exactly to launch your online dropshipping store in 9 steps.
If you’re still not sure if Shopify is the right platform for your online store, don’t worry. Just be sure to check our other guide on how to create a dropshipping store with Aliexpress & WordPress.
This will automate the drop shipping fulfillment process. If you’ve wanted to create your own automated drop shipping store, then continue reading. This method doesn’t completely automate it, but it greatly streamlines the process for you.
This is going to be a 9 step process.For each step I’m going to show you screenshots and give you instructions so that you can follow along.
Here are the 9 easy steps that I will be going through:
Here’s how to open a dropshipping store on Shopify with Oberlo and Aliexpress in 9 easy steps, step by step:
- Create a Free 14-day Trial Account with Shopify
- Install & Customize Your Great Looking Theme
- Install Oberlo
- Add Great Products from Aliexpress to Your Shopify Store with Oberlo
- Customize Your Items & Set Up Free Shipping for Your Products
- Create an About Us and a Contact Us Page
- Create a Custom Menu
- Choose a Custom Domain Name
- Open Your Store & Start Selling
And I’ve got a bonus at the end of my tutorial. I’m going to order an item from my store and then fulfill it using the plugin Oberlo so that you can see how it automates the process almost entirely.
You can go ahead and get your free 14-day Shopify trial right away.
Now I’m going to give you a quick preview of the site that we are about to build.
Here you can see we’ve got a Cart, we’ve got a logo and we’ve got a Menu. I’ll show you how to make Collections.
This one here is a collection of products.
So you can see I’ve put the products on the site. If we scroll down I’ll show you some more of the design.
I’ll teach you how to create a banner which has images that change. It it looks really nice and professional.
And we’ve got content on the homepage. I’ll teach you how to add this Popular Products section.
We will have a look at how to create this Footer like that.
I’m just going to open up one of the products that I’ve created.
You can see it looks very nice and professional. I’ll teach you how to add content like this. Also, we can change the images so customers can see them.
I’ll teach you how to add variations and just to show you that it works, we can add this to Product Cart and we can check out.
I’ve set this site up so that it’s checkout with PayPal. I’ll teach you how to do all of that as well. So this is the site.
Now let’s get started.
Create a Free 14-day Trial Account with Shopify
We’re going to set up a free 14-day Shopify trial.
I’ve already created an email account for my site which is going to be called
brewedtreats.com and it’s going to be a coffee store.
So here you just put in the password that you’re going to use and you’re going to enter in your store name.
Now for the email address that you use, I would suggest that you pick one that is a PayPal email or an email that you’ve got for a PayPal account already if you have one.
That’s because of the fact that it’s going to make it a little bit easier down the road. But if you don’t have a PayPal account or you want to use a new email address, that’s fine. You’ll be able to set up a PayPal account with the new email address that you’re going to use.
So here we’ve got a survey.
It really doesn’t matter what you put in it. It’s just for Shopify. It’s not relevant to you.
So here you need to put in your address. Put in your actual address because this is going to be connected to your payment details.
Just fill this out here and then very shortly we will get started.
It’s just signing this up here and we’re done. Let’s move on to the next step.
Install & Customize Your Great Looking Theme
We’re going to install the theme Minimal. Let’s install a new theme.
Click Online Store and then you should already be on the Themes tab.
Now we’re going to scroll down the page because we’re going to find this cool button called Explore Free Themes.
This is going to let us find a free theme to use. I personally really like the theme Minimal, so I’m going to teach you how to use Minimal.
Click on that. Once you’ve clicked on that, you’re going to have three styles to choose from.
You can choose either Vintage or you can choose the Music one, or you can choose the Fashion one.
Personally, I like the Music style, so we’re going to click that one.
So click Install Minimal.
Now we’re going to have to Publish the theme.
When you install the theme, it does not by default change over the theme.
You have to click Publish Theme to your online store.
So click that button and then click Publish and then you’re done.
Now it’s time to move on to the next step.
Customize our website theme
We’re going to edit the design and the homepage.
Go to to Online Store and make sure you’re on Themes.
Click on Customize Theme and I’ll show you all the exact options that you want to follow.
The first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to edit the Header.
Click on the Header.
Now you need to upload your logo.
I’ve already got a logo. I’ve created this logo for free and you can use the one that I used so that you can save a bit of money there.
I recommend that you go down and click Center Main Menu Below Logo because I personally think it looks really nice like that.
Then click Save and then after that we’re done with the Header.
And we’re going to move on to the next section which is the Slideshow.
Click on Slideshow.
Here you’re going to add in your images to the little slideshow. I recommend you click Show Slide Indicator Dots so that people know how many slides you got.
I already got some slides I’ve created in advance. If you don’t know what images to add to this, keep in mind that the products that you’re selling through Aliexpress have images, so you can use those images for your slides.
This is because of the fact that the Aliexpress suppliers let you use their images. So don’t worry if you don’t have any professional images to add yourself. You can just use their stock images that they’ve created and advertise the products that you’re selling through that.
You can even paste a link to the product pages and you can see that I haven’t done that for mine, but you could do that as well.
So now that we’ve done the Slideshow, let’s head over to the next section.
We’re going to talk about your brand. This is where you’re going to add content.
Now I’ve already created some content in advance, so that you don’t have to watch me type out some content.
This content has been a little bit SEO optimized, so I tried to kind of optimize it around coffee accessories as though I was actually creating a store myself and just going to copy and paste in my content here.
I don’t like to make it too much for the home page. I don’t try to SEO out the home page too much just because of the fact that it’s difficult to do that while keeping it look nice.
So click Save there and then we’re going to head back and we’re going to go to the Feature Collection.
I’ll teach you how to set this up fully later on. Now keep all that as is, but change the Heading. I’m going to put in Popular Product Set. You could put in like Hot Products or whatever you like and so, and once you’ve done that click Save.
There are some other things you need to do. Click Show Products Sale Circle and then I’d also recommend that you Center Text Below Product Images because I think it looks really nice that way.
Then click Save and then once we’ve done that, the only thing we need to do is to edit the footer.
I’m going to remove this Latest News section.
The Latest News section is the blog. I’m not going to teach you how to bother with the blog because of the fact that that’s maybe for another tutorial.
I’m going to delete the Social Icons.
Only delete this if you don’t have any. I don’t have any social pages for
brewedtreats.com, so I’m going to remove them.
But if you’ve got some, any of them, keep the section and add them here. I don’t have them, so I’m going to delete them.
I’ll show you how to setup the Links section later on and you definitely want to keep the Newsletter.
So that’s it. We have customized our store and now it’s time to move on to the next step.
Click on Apps and then from here, you can scroll down because Oberlo should show up here.
Click on Oberlo.
If it doesn’t, here’s how you can find this page.
Once you’re here and you’ve load it up, click Get.
Now just type in your Store URL and Login here.
The store URL should already be there, so click Login and just let that load up.
We’re going to have to make some edits in the Settings. Now click on this little tab here which will be your Settings tab.
Now click on Shop Settings.
What you want to do is you want to click Auto Updates from here.
What I recommend is that when a product disappears that you Unpublish the product and that you click Notify Me.
So When a Variant Disappears, I recommend that you Remove it and that you click Notify Me when the cost changes.
I recommend that you definitely set it so that it notifies you, so that you can change the product price to make sure that you’re not making a loss.
Then for When inventory changes, I recommend that you update automatically and then just click Save Settings.
That’s it – you’ve installed Oberlo.
Add Great Products from Aliexpress to Your Shopify Store with Oberlo
Let’s add some products into our Shopify store.
Click on Apps.
From here we’re going to go and select Oberlo, because Oberlo makes it extremely easy to add products using Aliexpress.
So let’s come up here this tab and we’re going to click Search Products.
I already know what products I want to add. You can search through and find ones. If you don’t know, you can type in keywords to see, but I want to add a self stir mug. So I’m just going to type it in here and then click Search and Oberlo is going to search for products related to this keyword.
Let’s scroll down and see what we’ve got.
This here is the mug that I want, but you know there are other sellers. We’re going to click Add to import list and then from here I’m going to add another product.
I’m going to add a travel lens mug because I think that would be nice for this example.
You’ll be able to see that there are multiple sellers for that. I mean the top one has had 19 sales in the past three days, but you can see there Oberlo lists ones that are the smaller sellers in order. I’m going to click the most popular seller which is at 72 sales. So Add to Import List.
Then going to come up here and we’re going to click on this tab here and Import List.
From here, we’re going to be able to edit some details.
So first of all we’re going to change the product name because as you can see it just imports the exact same product name that the seller has on Aliexpress from the listing. So you’re going to need to modify this. I’ve already created some content in advance.
I’m going to change this and I’m also going to add this to my Home Page collection. This means it’s going to show up on my homepage in my Popular Product section that I added which will be nice and handy.
I’m going to add this whirlpool selfstir mug.
I’ve added this also to my home page. Now I’m going to edit the Description, so as you can see it’s just like straight imported the description from the Aliexpress page. So I’ve already created my own custom one that is very SEO optimized.
So I’m just going to paste it in here.
This might be a bit boring, so feel free to skip ahead. I’m just going to edit this using the word editor here to make it look nice.
I’m going to add in some bullet points and I’m going to bold some text and everything so that it’s easy to read.
A Quick SEO Tip:
One little quick tip if you don’t want to write your item description is to see if the product is listed on Amazon. If the product is listed on Amazon, then use the Amazon listing as a basis for writing your own description.
So I used the Amazon listing for this item to help me write this description. Using Amazon listings as a whole as a basis for designing your layout and how you word everything back is really good. You know how Amazon sets it up so that at the very top of the list thing you see bullet points, then you see a description. Amazon have tested via conversions and they know how to create a high converting product listing.
You could create probably an even higher converting product listing if you didn’t care about SEO optimizing it. But if you care about SEO optimizing your listing and you want to add lots of text to it, I would suggest that you take a page out of Amazon’s book and use their design with the bullet points and everything like that when editing your listing.
All of my descriptions here have at least 500 words. I’d recommend that if you care about SEO. I’ve got a 1 to 2% keyword density. If you don’t know what any of these means, don’t worry. There are so many other ways than SEO to get traffic to your stores. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for those that don’t know is my traffic of choice as the subscribers here at wpbackend.com know.
But I’ve got so many friends that are killing it making hundreds of thousands every month using paid traffic with Facebook and Instagram, things like that. So paid traffic is really the way to go if you’ve got money to spend and willing to learn.
So don’t think that you need to make these listings SEO optimized. It all depends on your traffic strategy, if it won’t even matter.
Customize Your Items & Set Up Free Shipping for Your Products
Let’s come here and we will now click on the Variants because we’re done here.
Edit the Product Variants
So like you can see here that this product here has two Variants. It’s got a white one and a black one.
I’ll uncheck the white one for now, so go here to this Variant. Actually, looking at this here the self stir mug has three variants. I’m going to actually untick these two and what I’ll do is I’ll show you how to create a variant with the travel lens mug.
That’s how you untick Variants that you don’t want to sell.
You can click Change All Prices if you’ve got multiple variants and you click Select New Values.
So I will type in a price here like $19.99 there. Now this is cool, so I’m going to show you how to create a product on sale
This is number $24.99 and so you’ll see that there will be a price bubble, a sale bubble saying it’s on sale because it used to be $24.99.
I’m going edit this price and we’ll see this want to be $19.95. Actually, I was going to put this one on sale, but what I’ll do is, I’ll set it so that’s actually on nothing so that you’ll see what a product looks like if it doesn’t have an On Sale bubble.
Go to Images.
So the images are already automatically added in through Aliexpress and some of them will be ticked, some of them won’t be. So you can uncheck the ones you don’t want.
I’m going to take the images that I want to add. I personally like the Amazon role of only having all of my images on my front page, on front page of any collection page or the home page to only have white background. I’d recommend you do that, but outside that you could select any of these images that you wanted.
Personally I really like images that have white backgrounds if possible, because I think it looks really nice. But it’s up to you, so I’m deselecting the images here that I don’t want.
Click Push All Products To Shop.
And Oberlo is just going to add all these products to your store.
I will show you Store here.
And I’ll click on this one.
And you’ll see what product page we just created. So here we go, it’s On Sale and we’ve got different variants.
There you can click black, white and we’ve got different images. If you click on them, it’ll change what the image and as you can see the white background looks nice. And we’ve got the description.
I’ve added some more products for you. You can see I’ve pushed them to my store worth Oberlo and I’ve added some coffee spoons.
If you go to the Product tab of Shopify, you’ll see the different products that I’ve added and I also added some extra coffee mugs.
Come in here to the home page, you’ll see that I’ve added some products to the home page collection. So now it’s showing up on our home page and making that look really nice.
Coming to my Catalog you’ll see all the different items I’ve added here as well showing up.
So it’s all good.
Let’s put our Shopify products into Collections.
To turn our products into collections, click on Products and click Collections.
Come up here to this button Create Collections.
So this here lets you categorize your items. I’m going to create a category for Coffee Mugs so that people can easily browse through my coffee mugs.
Now keep all of the other boxes blank, but select Manually Select Products so we can keep everything else blank.
And then click Save Collection.
I’m going to select my different coffee mugs.
It’s automatically saved it. Click Create Another Collection.
Next for you I’ve got Coffee Spoons. So I’ll do the same for this collection as well.
I’m going to create Coffee Spoons product collection and I’m going to go down and select Manually Select Products again and keep everything else blank.
Then click Save Collection and then I’m going to come in and add my coffee spoons.
It will automatically save this. So that’s done. Let’s move on to the next step.
Customize Payment Gateways & Shipping
We’re going to be customizing very important settings such as the Payment Gateways and the Product Shipping. So Let’s edit the Settings.
Click the Settings tab.
First, we’re going to add up the Payments.
Click on Payments.
Now you’ll see that it’s set up automatically with PayPal.
It will use the email address that you’ve created your store with. If that is not an email address associated with a PayPal account, they will email you with instructions on how to set up a PayPal merchant account with that, so you can then add other ways of accepting payments and credit cards.
What I suggest that you use is you use PayPal and Shopify payments. I can’t use Shopify payments because it’s not eligible for me because I live outside of US. But if you are eligible, use Shopify payments. Otherwise just stick with PayPal.
So keep those in mind and also you can modify your PayPal email address by clicking on Edit if you’ve got a different PayPal account.
Set up Checkout Settings
So now let’s click on Checkout.
I’m going to set it so that Accounts are optional. It is your choice.
Then go down here and I’m going to keep all of that as it is. So I’m going to select it so that By default customers agrees to receive promotional emails because promotional emails are excellent for making more sales and subscribers.
There’s this neat thing where you can generate a sample refund policy. I think it’s great.
I think you should make sure that there’s a clause that is saying that you can only return faulty products, so do that you can only return faulty products and maybe make it less than 30 days. It’s up to you.
Next tab, we’re going to switch over to is the Shipping Tab.
Shopify have some shipping options set up by default to make it easy, but we’re going to delete all of those.
Click the first one, the Domestic one.
So click on Delete. Just delete Shipping Zone, so we’re going to go and delete the Rest of the World zone.
We’re going to set up Free Shipping because of the fact that free shipping is a really great way to upsell your customer.
Well not to upsell but to get them excited. It’s much easier if you just set everything free shipping and add (or absorb) the shipping into the price of your item, or just increase the price of your item.
So type in Free Shipping here for the Zone Name and of course you may just use the free shipping option of Aliexpress.
If you’re using ePacket though just absorb the price of the item.
Just come and select which of the countries you want to sell to. I’m just going to select these three.
Maybe you want to sell everywhere, maybe you want to only sell to people in the United States, maybe you already want to sell to English-speaking countries. It’s up to you.
Click on Price Based Rates.
So what you want to do is to click this tab and we need to add a name. We’ll call this Free Shipping so that the customers can see that they’ve got free shipping and so have that tab over that little box checked and keep everything else as zero.
This will mean that every item in your store is eligible for free shipping which again may not be actually free, but we’re going to absorb the price if we’re using ePacket into the price of the item since the ePacket shipping price is so low already.
The other thing you may want to do is modify the Taxes section, if it’s relevant to you.
Create an About Us and a Contact Us Page
Let’s add some pages to our site.
Go to Online Store and click Pages.
And then come up here and click the Add Page button.
Fom here type in for the title About Us because we’re going to create an About Us page which is going to give us some authority and make our site look better.
I already got some content that I’m just going to copy and paste in here.
Now I’m going to add an image. So here’s how you add an image.
Using this rich text editor, click this button here and I’m just going to use my logo as an example.
I’ll change the size to be Medium and then I’ll click Insert Image.
You can see here that the text is not wrapped around the image. What you want to do is to double click the image and then click Wrap Text Around Image.
You can add extra spacing. You can add extra spacing around the image so it’s not hard up against the image and then come and click Save.
So I’ll give you a preview of what it looks like. Just click View and we’ll open up in a different tab.
Now we’re going to create a Contact Us page.
So click Create Another Page and this one is even simpler.
So just type in Contact Us here and then go to Template and select Page.Contact and then after that click Save.
It’s going to automatically generate a Contact Us page for us.
Let’s just preview that page – we got a little Contact Us form you don’t have to do any coding, it just did it for you.
Create a Custom Menu
Let’s see how to create a Sub menu which is something that confuses a lot of people when they’re using Shopify.
Let’s add any custom menus. Go to Online Store and click Navigation.
All right, so the first thing we’re going to do is to edit the main menu. So click Edit Menu.
I’m going to show you how to add in your About Us page and your Contact Us page to make your top menu look a little bit more filled out.
So just go and type in About Us here.
Then we’re going to select Page and then click About Us and then click Add Menu Item. Then we’re going to type in Contact Us.
Remember that you can add other items. You get other links to this here. If you’ve got a blog, you can add your blog here, you can add whatever you like there really.
We’re just going to Save that menu.
Make a Sub-menu for the Catalog
Now let me show you how to make a sub menu for the Catalog to show your different collections when people put their mouse over the word Catalog and your main navigation. By doing this different collections are going to show up under it.
It’s very specific how you do it, so go here.
And type in Catalog it has to be Catalog.
So type in Catalog if you’ve changed the main menus catalog name to something else like Products make sure that you type in Products for Name.
So I’m going to type in ‘Coffee Mugs’ here and click Collection and then click Coffee Mugs and then click Add Menu.
And then type in ‘Coffee Spoons’ and then I’m going to select the Coffee Spoons collection.
Remember, the name of the submenu has to match the same name as the button that you’re creating in the submenu.
So I’ve called it Catalog and then because Catalog is the name and the main menu.
I’m going to put some links on my Footer.
So here’s how you do it. I recommend that you add some pages to your footer links menu.
Remember what I said earlier, if you’ve got social pages like a Facebook page, Twitter page and an Instagram page for your online store, add them into your Footer because it makes your shop look really professional and adds trust for visitors.
So even if you don’t have those pages, you should be creating them anyway. You should create some for your store and then add them in to your footer.
Even if social traffic isn’t going to be your main form of traffic generation, you should definitely create those pages anyway to create trust.
And you can see that you can move these different items around. We’ll click Save Menu and I’ll give you a preview of the menu.
So here is the main menu.
Now the Submenu is here. You can see I’ve got the different links to the collections and then I’ve got the links in the footer.
So that’s how you add menus.
Let’s move on to the next step.
Choose a Custom Domain Name
Let’s add a Domain Name to our Shopify store.
Go to Online Store and then click Domains.
So from here what you want to do is you want to click Buy New Domain.
Now type in the domain name that you’re going to buy.
I’m going to buy
brewedtreats.com and then go and select the extension that you want. If you’re selling to USA customers or creating a general store aimed at multiple countries, click
.com. The best one to select is
So click that and then click Check Availability.
Mine is available, so I’m going to fill up my credit card information and I’m going to blur it while I’m doing so.
One piece of advice is if you’re selling to a specific country like let’s say you’re setting up a store aimed at UK residents, if you want to sell directly to the United Kingdom, pick the United Kingdom extension. So pick a .uk.
But if you’re either selling to USA customers or you’re selling worldwide, click
.com is the most trusted domain extension that there is.
Another thing to keep in mind is that it may take up to 24 hours for this domain name to become live on your store.
In the meantime it’s going to have an error message saying that it’s down. That’s fine. Just wait there 24 hours. It’s a normal part of the process when you’re purchasing a domain name for it to take up to 24 hours to go live for your store.
So just click I have read and then click Buy Domain Name.
Once this is done and redirect all of traffic to
brewedtreatsonline.com and you can click Redirect all traffic to this domain if you like.
Again, it may take up to 24 hours.
All good and at that point there we’re done. It’s time to move on to the final step.
Open Your Store & Start Selling
I’m going to show you how to remove the password from your storefront so that customers can flood your site and you can start making sales.
Now we just need to remove the password.
Go to Remove Password.
I’m and going to click on Pick a plan. You need to pick a plan and you need to sign up to one to remove the password from your store.
So what I suggest that you do is click the Basic Shopify plan.
You don’t need the more expensive one. Just click Choose this plan and then go and select Bill Me Once a Month.
For most people just click Once a Month and then click Confirm Changes and then you’ll have a Shopify account and it’s already saved your credit card from when you purchase a domain name. So you don’t need to enter it again
Now you need to go back and get rid of your password. So go back, click this box here to get rid of the password. To get to it click, Online Store and click Preferences.
So click Online Store and then click Preferences and scroll down to the Password and then remove it and then you’re done.
That is it! We are done!
Let me Show You How Oberlo Works on Your Store
Now I’m going to show you how Oberlo automates the dropshipping fulfillment process by making a purchase in my store and then fulfilling it with Oberlo.
Okay, so we’re over here at the Orders page.
Now I’ve made a purchase for this vintage flower coffee spoon as an example. So to fulfill this, I’m just go and click Order Product.
What it’s doing is it automatically adding it to My Shipping Cart and then it is automatically filling out the customer address details that they have provided.
Oberlo fills that in for you. I’ve blurred the details.
Then just go down here and leave a message for the seller. Tell them that you want to blindly dropship and you don’t want any advertising or invoices.
So as you can see this process isn’t entirely 100% automated because you still have to do a little bit of manual work when fulfilling the order.
But it’s really really fast. Hence it is partially automated. And then after this we’re going to select the shipping.
You can select whatever shipping you want.
If you want ePacket you can select that. I’m just going to select Free Shipping for this example and then just go and fill out your credit card.
If you’ve got a VA otherwise known as a virtual assistant for filling orders for you, once you grow and get bigger that it’s super easy for them and they’re not going to have to do much work with Oberlo because of the fact that it’s automates the process for you.
So just go and click Done and then just click Confirm and Pay.
What I’ll do is that once this is finished processing, I’ll head back to Oberlo and I’ll mark the order as Shipped so that I’ve got a record. And for Shopify that has been shipped.
So just come here, click Mark as Shipped and that’s it.
We are done!
To get started, simply go and get your free 14-day trial.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comment section below. We’ll try to answer as many as we can.
Thanks for reading!