Whether you are brand new to dropshipping or you are interested in expanding your current operation, choosing a platform can be confusing and challenging. Why Unified and AliDropship are two of the biggest names in dropshipping, and each platform comes with its own unique set of pros and cons. Learning more about these companies and what they offer can help you make better decisions about your own business ventures.
AliExpress is one of the biggest names in e-commerce. In fact, in 2020, the giant positioned itself as one of the most popular and largest business to consumer retail platforms in the world with more than 150 million unique buyers. It is part of the Alibaba Group, which is a massive Chinese tech company with roots in not only e-commerce, but also in retail, technology, and Internet. While the Alibaba Group does not own AliDropship, the two are in collaboration. AliDropship launched in 2015 and it is owned by Sunshine Digital Marketing, LLC.
Option 1: A Custom Store in Your Chosen Niche – AliDropship offers a variety of pre-built custom stores in the niche or niches of your choice. If you don’t like the idea of building a store from scratch, this may be a good choice.
Option 2: A Store Built by the Experts at AliExpress – If none of the pre-built stores suit your needs, you can pay an AliDropship expert to build a store for you. There are various service tiers available to suit your needs.
Option 3: A Self-Built Store – When you want complete control over your store and the products in it, you can utilize AliDropship’s plugins for WordPress and WooCommerce.
The user experience with AliDropship is very hands-on, so if you already have some experience in e-commerce, it could be a phenomenal option for you. However, there are some pros and cons to explore before you make your final decision.
WordPress & WooCommerce Plugins: AliDropship offers exceptional plugins that you can integrate into WordPress or WooCommerce to build and manage your store. They make it easy to change anything you like, and the customization options are almost limitless. However, if you are new to dropshipping, there is a significant learning curve with these plugins.
Pre-Built Store Niches: The option to buy pre-built stores may be a better choice for newer users. AliExpress provides very little information about them, and it is impossible to tell whether these stores have been tested and proven or if they have been filled with random products that fit the niche.
Website and Store Control: When you choose AliDropship, you maintain 100% ownership and control over your website. With that ownership comes responsibility, though, since you will need to maintain and run the website on your own with very little support from the platform.
Excellent Ratings and Reputation: AliExpress is one of the top-rated e-commerce platforms in the world today and maintains an exceptional 4.2-star rating across trusted review platforms. Those who rate the platform at less than 5 stars often cite poor customer service as their primary complaint. Because users rely on their own tools and knowledge, AliDropship provides very little support in most areas, so you should keep this in mind before getting started.
While AliDropship goes to great lengths to make its offerings seem simple, easy, and foolproof, this is often not the case. In fact, people who are new to dropshipping are often disappointed with the platform.
The layout of the AliDropship website makes it seem as if the platform offers more than it really does. You can find the same information across multiple pages, and while it may look like completely different offerings because of this, it’s actually all the same.
The pre-built stores are bare bones offerings. If you want to get the most out of it, you will need to purchase addons. Depending on what you need, this can be costly.
You have access to an unlimited number of AliExpress products, but some products are considered “premium,” so you will need to pay additional fees to list them in your virtual store.
The limited support for your store is set up in a “pay-to-play” model, and it costs anywhere from $19 to $990 a month to access different levels of support.
The plugins have a steep learning curve, even for seasoned dropshippers.
The lack of customer support is evident in the Dropship Community Forum, where you can find hundreds of people trying to help each other with various aspects of store setup, maintenance, and more.
AliDropship does offer a free demo that you can test drive before you buy, but it consists of an empty WordPress or WooCommerce dashboard and very little guidance. It often creates more questions than it answers.
The Niche Test option is unique, and while it can help you choose products based on your personal preferences, interests, or knowledge, it can be a bit misleading. The items that appeal to you may not be the items that actually sell in your store.
The AliDropship team has gone to great lengths to provide access to numerous guides for various aspects of its platform, but it’s up to you to read them, absorb them, and apply them.
While the e-commerce platform claims that it is headquartered in the United States, there is no physical address listed anywhere on their website.
Why Unified is an excellent dropshipping platform that addresses many of the pain points that cause aspiring dropshippers to fail. Unlike AliDropship, which provides you with the bare minimum and sends you out into the e-commerce world on your own, Why Unified has a team that does it all for you. It is a fully-fledged sales and marketing platform, and like AliDropship, Why Unified offers different plans that are tailored to your individual needs.
Ads – If you already have a store online, the Ads plan is designed to help you reach shoppers who are on the cusp of making a purchase. It includes campaign setup, audience building, and more.
Funnels + Ads – If your store already has traffic but you are struggling to close sales, the Funnels + Ads plan is ideal. It gives you access to Why Unified’s sales funnel, which is personalized and tailored to your individual store. It delivers more relevant traffic and facilitates repeat purchases.
Dropship Lite – If you are new to e-commerce and you do not have a website, Dropship Lite is a phenomenal starter package that not only provides the store, but also gives you access to some of the most popular products across thousands of different niches before your competitors.
Dropship Plus – For new dropshippers who really want to stand out from their competitors, Dropship Plus contains all the same features as Dropship Lite, but it adds two-day shipping to help you compete with major players. Plus is also the first-ever dropshipping plan that gives you the ability to sell brand name products from companies like Crest, Starbucks, and Airborne with profit margins equal to or better than retail. Dropshippers offering familiar products with fast shipping are far more successful than those selling unbranded products that must be shipped from overseas.
Why Unified Pros
Whereas AliDropship provides you with the basics for a one-time fee, Why Unified is a subscription-based service with prices that fluctuate depending on your individual needs. It may seem as if AliDropship offers a better value, but because you will need to purchase multiple premium addons and services from AliDropship to even begin to compete with those offered by Why Unified, the monthly subscription is almost always the best bet.
Unique Platform: As of the time of writing, Why Unified is the only dropshipping platform of its kind. No other competitor offers the same tools and support. In fact, AliDropship is the closest competitor, and the difference is night and day.
Exceptional Advertising: Why Unified serves as both a dropshipping platform and a marketing agency, which can save you money over hiring utilizing both services separately. What’s more, Why Unified is the only marketing agency that caters directly to dropshippers and continues to support them throughout every stage of their journey.
Brand Name Products: No other dropshipping platform gives its users early access to brand name products. When you consider their hands-off approach, high profit margins, access to brand name products combined with industry-leading 2-day shipping, Why Unified has a clear advantage.
Personal Account Manager: You won’t have to speak to a different representative every time you need support. Instead, you will have your very own account manager who does everything on your behalf.
All-Inclusive Business Model: Everything you need to succeed in dropshipping is included in your plan. Your account manager handles all the behind-the-scenes action on your behalf, and you can expect weekly reports, access to your marketing plan and dashboard, and all the software and tools you need.
Transparency: Rather than purchasing a product and then figuring out how to use it, Why Unified designs a marketing plan for you when you sign up. You will know what is included in your plan from the outset, and if you are not satisfied with the services included, you can cancel for a full refund.
Pre-Purchase Support: If you are not sure whether Why Unified is right for you, the company’s sales consultants are standing by to help. They do more than simply suggest a plan; they help you determine why your current store is underperforming and give you the tools you need to start selling.
Lower Social Marketing Fees: Why Unified will advertise your store across multiple social media platforms for $10 a day, which is much less than the typical $1000 a month that digital marketing agencies charge. Marketing agencies charge up to 25% of your marketing budget as fees, but Why Unified does not.
com Profile: You can view information about Why Unified on Inc.com, so it is very possible that they might find themselves on the Inc 500 list in the next year. The company is growing very quickly, and that’s good news for dropshippers.
Excellent Reviews: Why Unified’s average rating across multiple trusted review sites is 4.8 stars. Most of the very few complaints surround the Ads Plan, likely because these users are relying on their own stores and processes rather than Why Unified’s hands-off approach.
Headquartered in the United States: Why Unified is headquartered in Newark, Delaware, and the team operates out of Clearwater, Florida. As of the time of writing, there were more than 25 employees, but the company is growing rapidly, according to its website.
Why Unified Cons
Why Unified is quickly becoming the most popular e-commerce dropshipping platform, and while they offer exceptional value, there are two concerns to keep in mind.
There is no telephone support, so users must rely on chat and email. The lack of a call center provides Why Unified with savings that they can pass to their users. Despite the lack of phone support, though, Why Unified customers are satisfied with the support they receive via these channels.
You will need to enter your email address to see the various pricing options. This can be frustrating for visitors, but there is logic behind it. The goal here is to show you their plans in real time. After all, it would be difficult for Why Unified to sell you a sales funnel without creating a funnel of their own.
AliDropship and Why Unified are both very popular dropshipping platforms, but they are vastly different in the pricing, the plans, and the way in which their services are delivered. Whether you are new to e-commerce and dropshipping or you are a seasoned veteran, Why Unified is the clear winner between the two. Their hands-on approach, transparency, and outstanding customer support simply cannot be outdone, and the results speak for themselves.