Is AliExpress Dropshipping Dead? 5 Statistics Proving Its Relevance in 2024

April 4, 2024

AliExpress dropshipping isn’t dead because order volumes on the AliExpress website are increasing by 60%. This shows that the business model continues to be scalable, with consistent market demand. AliExpress is also expanding globally into new markets like South Korea and Saudi Arabia. According to their financial report for the last quarter of 2023, AliExpress's international wholesale segment rose by 6%, which shows a growing user base of dropshippers and ecommerce sellers. 

Low overhead costs make AliExpress dropshipping an attractive model for entrepreneurs, and the increasing number of websites using AliExpress for sourcing products shows its value in the digital marketplace. It's possible to stay profitable and achieve growth with AliExpress dropshipping in 2024.

AliExpress is an online retail service based in China. Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma established it in 2011. AliExpress specializes in offering wholesale and retail products to international online buyers. It's known for low prices and a wide variety of items. Some claim AliExpress is "dead" because of challenges like long shipping times, inconsistent product quality, and increased competition. According to EcomCrew, dropshipping isn’t dead but because of these challenges, it makes it hard to succeed in this market. 

This article explains if AliExpress dropshipping is dead and provides 5 statistics proving that it’s still relevant in 2024. It will also address concerns about the platform's challenges while highlighting its strengths and opportunities. At the end of the article, I will also introduce a potentially more lucrative business model than AliExpress dropshipping.

5 Statistics Proving AliExpress Relevance in 2024

1. 60% Surge in Order Volume

AliExpress saw a big jump in how much people are ordering because of a special feature called Choice. This feature makes shopping easier and better by providing free shipping and timely deliveries. It has made the platform more appealing for dropshipping. According to PR Newswire, the Alibaba Group’s financial report highlights a 60% surge in AliExpress's order volume as of December 31, 2023.

Choice orders over $10 or any three selected items get free shipping in most places. Customers in over 20 markets like Spain and France could return Choice products for free. This shows the importance of effective logistics management and customer service in the dropshipping business model. 

2. ePacket Shipping is Number 1

ePacket shipping is a fast and affordable delivery service from China and Hong Kong to several countries. It’s the number 1 option for dropshippers who want to send products faster to their customers. ePacket shipping features lower costs and faster delivery times compared to traditional international shipping. It’s available in over 40 regions worldwide, including the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. ePacket shipping times take an average of 7 to 20 days, depending on destination, customs, and other delays.

3. Expansion to 230 Territories Globally

AliExpress's international expansion to 230 countries makes it easier for dropshippers to access a vast array of products. According to Zawya, a press release from the Alibaba Group states that AliExpress has expanded its Affiliate Programme to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. With this expansion, influencers will gain access to over 150 million affiliate products and numerous sales opportunities.

AliExpress dropshippers in other parts of the globe gain access to wider product and shipping options. In Brazil, there are over 12 million users who actively use the platform every month. This broadens the customer base and strengthens AliExpress's position as a global e-commerce and dropshipping resource.

4. $0 Starting Costs

AliExpress dropshipping eliminates the need for a physical inventory and hefty initial investments. It’s free to dropship with AliExpress and you only need to pay for shipping fees when you meet the minimum order requirement. You can get free shipping when you order with ePacket. Setting up an AliExpress dropshipping website only costs $20 or less. This makes it a cost-effective entry into e-commerce. Dropshippers can launch and scale their businesses with minimal financial barriers. AliExpress’s extensive product range also enables sellers to explore various niches with lower financial risk.

5. 13,463 Websites are Using AliExpress

More websites are using AliExpress because it offers a vast selection of products at competitive prices. According to BuiltWith, 13,463 live websites are using AliExpress. 71,140 sites had used AliExpress previously. More dropshippers and consumers are using the platform to source products for their B2C retail stores. In December 2023, AliExpress received over 519 million hits worldwide, according to Statista. This also coincides with the growth of interest in dropshipping as a business model. According to Google Trends, there were 650,000 searches for the term ‘dropshipping’ in late 2023.

Is AliExpress Dropshipping Dead or Alive?: Two Sides of the Story

Aliexpress dropshipping is alive

Aliexpress dropshipping is dead

Shipping Options: The availability of ePacket shipping minimizes delivery times. This makes it competitive and appealing to customers looking for quicker deliveries. According to Shopify, ePacket shipping times take an average of 7 to 20 days.

Shipping Times: Delays in shipping can deter customers, especially when faster alternatives are available. Longer wait times may lead to dissatisfaction. According to NextSmartShip, AliExpress shipping to the US can around 15-60 days.

Customer Support: AliExpress has improved its return and refund processes. They now offer clearer guidelines and support. This is also driven by AliExpress’s introduction of Choice, which is a premium e-commerce service available with better after-sales service. It lets you source AliExpress products directly from merchants and factories to shorten the supply chain. Choice is available in 215 countries and regions.

Return/Refund Process: The complexity of handling returns or refunds internationally can frustrate customers. You can’t return some orders on AliExpress. Individual customers still experience difficulties with the return/refund process.

Quality Control: There's an increasing emphasis on offering high-quality products. AliExpress and sellers are working to enhance product quality control measures. For products exported to Europe, AliExpress has specific entry points for submitting product qualifications. These include CE marks and product labels to align with international regulatory requirements.

Product Quality: The variability in AliExpress' product quality can lead to customer mistrust. Not all suppliers maintain high standards, which might affect the overall reputation. A dropshipper reports buying 10-15 of the bestselling products from AliExpress and 80% of the products were defective.

Market Opportunity: Despite saturation, there's a growing demand in emerging markets. AliExpress's global reach provides opportunities to tap into new customer segments. According to China Internet Watch, AliExpress has over 150 million active buyers.

Market Saturation: The dropshipping market is becoming increasingly saturated. This makes it harder for new entrants to stand out and succeed.

Accessibility: AliExpress continues to expand its reach, making it easier for new sellers to start and grow their dropshipping businesses in diverse markets. AliExpress’ parent company Alibaba is expanding rapidly to countries like South Korea, Spain, and Turkey to contribute to the global supply chain.

Regulatory Challenges: Increasing import restrictions and changes in international trade policies can pose challenges to dropshipping models.

Is AliExpress Dropshipping Dead: Reddit Answers

No, AliExpress dropshipping isn’t dead. According to Reddit user UnderstandingAdept45, AliExpress dropshipping still works and people will spend on what you sell as long as you pick the correct niche. User Motown Assasin mentions that even though Amazon mostly has faster shipping, AliExpress still has products with shorter shipping times. They also advise to offer products that Amazon sellers are not selling so you can stand out from the competition.

Is AliExpress Dropshipping Effective for Shopify?

Yes, AliExpress dropshipping is effective for Shopify because of its seamless integration according to AutoDS. This simplifies the setup and scaling of your Shopify dropshipping business. It makes it easier to manage your dropshipping product and collaborate with AliExpress suppliers. Automation tools such as AutoDS, Oberlo, and Dropified streamline product importing, inventory management, and order processing. This efficiency allows Shopify dropshipping store owners to concentrate more on marketing and enhancing customer service.

Is AliExpress Still Good for Dropshipping?

Yes, AliExpress is still good for dropshipping because it offers a vast selection of products at competitive prices. According to Statista, AliExpress has an average of 431 million monthly visitors between July 2023 and December 2023. This makes it an attractive platform for dropshippers to tap into a vast customer base. Shopify adds that unlike eBay or Amazon, the infrastructure of AliExpress is highly suitable for dropshipping order fulfilment. 

However, some dropshippers believe that AliExpress is no longer effective because of long shipping times, low-quality products, and unreliable suppliers.

Nazan Nazareth is a 22-year-old Shopify dropshipping mentor and founder of Outright Ecom from Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. He claims that AliExpress isn’t a good dropshipping supplier because of poor product quality and long shipping times. Relying on AliExpress for dropshipping can hinder the scalability and sustainability of an e-commerce venture. Nathan advises to establish relationships with private suppliers for faster shipping and better product quality.

Mohammed Kamil Sattar, better known as “The Ecom King” is a British Pakistani E-commerce entrepreneur. According to Sattar, the long shipping times involved with AliExpress dropshipping have led to customer dissatisfaction, chargebacks, and refunds, eroding profits. He advises that dropshippers should turn to private suppliers in Europe, the USA, and China. They can offer better shipping times, quality control, and communication with suppliers.

The key factors you should consider when dropshipping with AliExpress are identifying in-demand products, supplier reliability, shipping options, understanding laws and regulations, and customer service. You should also monitor market trends and analyze consumer feedback so you can improve your product listings. These will ensure the smooth operation of the dropshipping business.

Is AliExpress Dropshipping Still Profitable in 2024?

Yes, AliExpress dropshipping is still profitable. In a YouTube video by Zik Analytics, CEO Nahar Gueva talks about how a Lithuanian eBay seller has leveraged dropshipping from AliExpress to generate over $2,000 in monthly profit within 4-6 months. The seller maintains 1,305 active listings with a 21% sell-through rate and focuses on high profit margins, averaging 40%. The strategy includes detailed listing descriptions, targeting specific demographics like Spanish-speaking customers, and a diverse product range.

Why Local Lead Generation Will Stay Alive Longer Than AliExpress Dropshipping

Local lead generation will stay alive longer than AliExpress dropshipping because it doesn’t need to manage challenges like low product quality and delayed shipping times. Meteor Space says 33% of the 24 million online stores and businesses use dropshipping as a fulfillment model. Although this shows the potential success if you use AliExpress dropshipping, it also means it’s extremely saturated. With several established and maybe even viral stores on the platform, standing out would be difficult and require a lot more effort to maintain in the long-term. 

Local lead generation has less competition. By targeting specific local markets and niches, you can become a key player by creating websites that generate valuable leads for businesses. It’s also easy to manage because automation and digital marketing tools can streamline the process. It requires less day-to-day oversight compared to AliExpress dropshipping. Once you create a local lead generation website and it generates leads, you can have monthly passive income ranging from $500 to $2,000 or more.

conclusion-lead-gen-maps

With local lead generation, you create websites or content that attract potential customers. You then connect those leads with local businesses for a fee. When your lead generation site ranks highly on Google, it directly targets potential clients searching for the services you offer. This business model offers an easier income stream with less competition and more control over your success. You focus more on skillful marketing and networking to generate leads.

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