I have, in my time, set up a few new stores on Shopify, so I think I'm in a good position to offer some advice to any new e-commerce business people. First of all, be aware that your suppliers (this Worldwide Brands review talks about finding good suppliers easily) are just as important as the design of the site itself, and that's where many new store owners go wrong.
Ali Express or Worldwide Brands?
There's a great new app for Shopify called "Oberlo" which allows you to browse AliExpress.com and import products directly to your new store. Once imported, you can even manage orders through Oberlo with each supplier (they are all drop shippers) and set up email updates for your customers too. That makes it amost hands free e-commerce!
There's an issue though – Ali Express is the leading marketplace for wholesalers and drop shippers in China, and very few products listed on their site are shipped from the United States. This makes delivery to your customers will be very slow, and that results in more complaints and fewer repeat orders.
A potential solution is to use US based suppliers, which can be found in directories like Worldwide Brands. Worldwide Brands is an edited directory of over 8,000 wholesalers and drop shippers and from these they have over 16 million products listed at trade prices. That's not as many as Ali Express, but it's a huge number, and Worldwide Brands has the advantage of listing only fully verified suppliers that are guaranteed to be reliable – something no other source of drop shippers can match.