This is a tutorial and a guide to help you make an informed decision and also help you move your site from Shopify to WordPress (self-hosted) with little or no help.
Every Dropshipper knows best to use Shopify when starting their store because with five clicks you have a full-fledged store without actually writing a code which is quite refreshing.
What is Dropshipping?
Drop shipping is selling products with your price while the product delivery is taken care of by the supplier. So you don’t have to spend much starting up because you need your store and a few dollars to buy your first product immediately you make a sale.
Simply, selling products without holding an Inventory.
The Products goes from the Product Supplier to your Buyer Automatically while you take your profit.
Every Dropshipper needs a Web store where your customers can see the products you are selling, and your website needs to be of standard, beautiful and easy to navigate because you are trying to build trust; no one is willing to give out their money to someone they don’t know really.
Which where you need an Online Store, and there are different platforms to run an E-commerce Store like;
- Woocommerce (WordPress)
But out of this options, Shopify and Woocommerce (WordPress) are the most popular and guess what, I have used both and with my experience as a Website Designer with over 6years of experience I can categorically guide onto the next big thing for your Web Store.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an Online Store Platform that you can use to design your Online Store.
It has all the tools you’d need to set up a successful store because everything is managed In-house.
With few settings and 5minutes of work, you can have your store ready with a Payment processor all connected and managed in one central dashboard.
But with Dropshipping you will need to import your products and these days almost every Dropshipper uses Aliexpress because products are cheaper there compared to other Big E-commerce sites.
Now, you need to select products and understandly you might want to import 100 – 1500 products to your store, which is where Oberlo comes in.
There are different Apps on Shopify that can be used to import products from Aliexpress, but Oberlo is the most used.
With Oberlo you can run a Dropship business in few clicks because they take care of lots of things from:
- Importing your Products
- Editing the Price and Product Descriptions
- Editing the Picture of the Products (removing watermarks etc.)
- Order your Products
- Track Orders too.
So Oberlo does an excellent job in helping you run an automated drop ship store.
But Oberlo is exclusively on Shopify which means you can’t use it on WordPress or any other site.
You might have different reasons for wanting to move from Shopify to WordPress, but I guess one of the reasons can be linked to:
- Subscription payment for Both Shopify and Oberlo
- You are limited to what you can do on your store
- You cant reuse your website files on other website platforms, so you are Stuck on Shopify.
It merely means Zero freedom, because if you decide to pause your website subscription for just a Month, then you lose your website, your products all your data which are problems you won’t face with a WordPress Store, a WordPress website/store is limitless in features and flexibility.
What is WordPress (Woocommerce)?
WordPress is a Content Management System that works out of the box as a blog, but it is mighty.
WordPress can be used for a lot of things from a Full Business Website, An Online Store, A Listings Directory, and many more.
A WordPress site can be designed in minutes with Premium themes and Plugins with most of them Drag and Drop.
Examples of themes and plugins marketplaces are;
- Envato (Themeforest, Codecanyon, Videohive e.t.c)
- Theme Palace
- Mojo Marketplace
- Studio Press
And many more.
Plugins are used to extend the functionality of a WordPress site, and an example is Woocommerce.
Woocommerce is one of the Plugins that can be used to create a store on WordPress, it helps you create a full-fledged store and with it new updates you can set it up within minutes and even have it connected to your Stripe or Paypal account or even both.
Since Woocommerce is virtually Shopify on WordPress with Steriods, it also has modules or Addons to extend its functions further; you can even run a Subscription business on WordPress.
How I Moved a Dropship Store with Over 200 products to WordPress (Woocommerce).
Since Oberlo is not compatible with WordPress or any other site for that matter, I had to look for a way to migrate a Dropshipping Store with over 200 products; I can’t copy the products one by one you know.
So I had a lot of goals for this, and I will list them below;
- Move all post and pages from Shopify to WordPress
- Move all the Products to Woocommerce with there Image (No information loss)
- Connect them to Aliexpress using a Similar Plugin to Oberlo for Woocommerce
- Make it more Powerful than a Shopify Store.
I will show you step by step on how I did it.
All I have to do now is to Install a WordPress Site which I quickly did in 2 clicks with Softaculous (It comes with your Bluehost Shared Hosting plan).
Then I moved on to getting a suitable WordPress theme, I could have chosen one of the Free WordPress themes on the WordPress theme store, but I prefer a Premium Woocommerce theme because I want the best for my Store in security, designs, and flexibility.
I got one for $39 on Themeforest, and Yes Premium themes make it easy to build a website, it came with Built demos and also additional Premium plugins to make it easy for me to develop my Store.
I went on to Install Woocommerce Plugin on my WordPress site, and then the main work starts.
After setting up my Woocommerce, I had to choose the best Plugin to migrate my website easily from Shopify to WordPress, and I got one called Import Shopify to WooCommerce – Migrate Your Store from Shopify to WooCommerce.
S2W – Import Shopify to WooCommerce help you to import data from Shopify to WooCommerce easily. With only two steps, your Shopify store data will be imported included store settings, shipping zones, taxes, pages, blogs, coupons, customers, products, orders. The plugin uses Shopify API key to transfer data from Shopify to WooCommerce store directly; your data is kept private.
It also gives you unlimited Imports, which means you can import as many Products as possible with all there data in just a few clicks.
Then after I imported the Products I needed a Plugin that can connect my sites to Aliexpress and make my whole Dropshipping easy ( a Plugin that works like Oberlo), there were various Alternatives like;
I made my mind to choose only a Plugin I had to pay for Once and have it to be mine forever ( I left Shopify because of Subscription payment, heck I can’t do the same on WordPress. Am Free).
I decided to either go for AliDropship or Ali2Woo but when I looked at the cost and features that Ali2Woo gave I had no choice than to go with Ali2Woo because a license cost $40 while AliDropship more than double.
Ali2Woo plugin allows you to easily import any AliExpress products directly into your WooCommerce store and ship them directly to your customers – in only a few clicks.
You can start your AliExpress dropshipping business as well using affiliate programs (AliExpress Portal or Admitad). They even help you migrate from some of the alternatives above to there Plugin.
Some of its Features are Listed below;
- Import any Products from Aliexpress
- Import Products Variations like Colour, Sizes, Materials
- Import Aliexpress Shipping Methods and show them on your site Frontend
- Filter Aliexpress Content
- Customize products; you can edit Images, Product Description, and many more.
- Auto Update Price and Inventories
- It has a Built-in Image Editor to remove Watermarks and add any text you so wish.
- Automate Order fulfillment and Tracking
- Import Product Reviews and many more cool features
Now, after installing the Plugin, I had the problem of connecting the products I already imported from Shopify to the Ali2Woo Plugin so that I can enjoy all the cool features of Ali2Woo Plugin.
Another reason for me deciding to use Ali2Woo is because: I contacted AliDropship support, and also Ali2Woo Support and AliDropship told them how I need to connect my products to either of there plugins, but only Ali2Woo told me it was possible.
When I contacted the Ali2Woo Plugin support staff, I was told I only need to Populate the External Id field under the A2W data tab with the correct Aliexpress Product SKU and then their Plugin will do the rest of the heavy lifting for me.
The Plugin I used in Importing the products do import SKU, but the SKU imported were not the Aliexpress SKU’s but Shopify SKU’s for each product.
So I was in a dilemma, I contacted Oberlo support staff, and I was told there is no way I can get the correct SKU’s unless I Click on each product inside the Oberlo App then Click on the Button Below which will then lead me Aliexpress where I can get the SKU I need.
Then I was in a state of despair because it means I have to open over 200 product pages of Aliexpress products to get SKU codes and also edit over 200 Products on Woocommerce, I guess you can guess my reaction to this.
SKU of every aliexpress product is always at its URL, check the image below for a pointer.
Then my mind went to a fantastic plugin that allows me to edit Woocommerce Product in Bulk i.e. I can edit Over Products on the same page. I was so happy because it meant I have been able to cut my work in half.
I Installed Advanced Woocommerce Bulk Edit plugin, and I was able to finish adding all SKU’s within a 2hours timeframe.
Adding the SKU’s is quite hard because you are adding it to the A2W data Tab (see below image)
Check how to add Product SKU to Products in Bulk using Advanced Bulk Edit Plugin (see below video)
You might be wondering why I had to move from Shopify to WordPress, but the reasons are not farfetched.
It is most Cost effective for me to have my store on WordPress than on Shopify.
How much I saved by Moving to WordPress (Woocommerce)
A One year host on Bluehost (Plus Plan which allows you have unlimited websites) goes for $95.40
Plus a Premium theme of $39
Plus Ali2Woo Plugin for $40
Plus Advanced Bulk Edit plugin for $27
AND Shopify to Woocommerce Plugin IF am migrating my products from Shopify for $29
and I have spent a total of === $230.4.
To set up and have my Shopify Store for a Year while only $95.46 will only be the recurring cost for another 365days.
While Shopify lowest plan which does not contain all the features you need will have you coughing out over $348/year WITHOUT Oberlo, which is compulsory if you want to have a Dropshipping Store. Oberlo for a year goes for another $358.8/year adding up to over 700 bucks for a year.
You can see it is not as cost effective as a WordPress site with Woocommerce where you have all the freedom and even have more sites using your host.
If you are also busy you can get all this tools, host, themes and get a web developer/designer to set it up for you, so you won’t need to get your hands dirty with too many clicks *winks*
Please tell me if you will switch to WordPress (Woocommerce), become a WordPress Fan Today and also share your experience with both Platforms WordPress (Woocommerce) and Shopify.
If you also have any other guide you are looking towards, please tell me, and I will create a blog post on it for you.