How To

Getting Started with AliExpress

Before getting started on AliExpress marketplace, please be aware of these important requirements:

  1. Seller in Mainland China – You have to be a seller in mainland China with a valid Chinese cell phone number.
  2. Official language is English – The official language on AliExpress is English. This means you need to provide all customer-facing text, e.g. titles, descriptions etc. in English. Your customer service team should also be able to handle customer requests in English.
  3. Products must be listed in US Dollars – All listings on AliExpress must be listed in US Dollars. You will be paid by AliExpress in either US Dollars or Chinese Yuan (RMB).

If these requirements are not an issue for you, getting started on AliExpress is as easy as completing these simple steps. You will want to reference each step in this guide while you are going through your AliExpress Launch Process.


 

Launch Options


When setting up AliExpress with ChannelAdvisor you have two launch options:

  1. Self-Guided Launch – Completed by yourself using the information found in this Setup Guide.
  2. Launch Assistance Service – A paid for service offered by the ChannelAdvisor Launch Team that allows for you to have a Launch Manager and a limited number of phone-based training and assistance calls to help you get setup on AliExpress quicker and easier. To enquire about this service contact Sales for more information. Note: This service will be required for sellers who are currently selling on AliExpress and would like to maintain their listing history and pull the listing information into ChannelAdvisor.

Prerequisites


Before beginning the launch process, you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Create your AliExpress seller account – Fill out the registration form for AliExpress.
  2. Configure Templates in the AliExpress Portal – You'll need to configure your Shipping and Service templates in the AliExpress portal. This will be necessary when mapping your template in ChannelAdvisor.

Configure Inventory


Before listing your products on the AliExpress marketplace, it is important to be aware of the listing requirements on AliExpress.


Marketplace Category ID

You need to supply a Category ID to list your items successfully on AliExpress. Please contact your Launch Manager or our Support team to get the latest category mapping file. Once you have please make sure that you always choose the leaf category and enter an ID, not the category name. And note, that you cannot list an item in more than one category.

If this kind of information does not already exist in your inventory, you may need to add a new attribute to your inventory and populate that attribute with the values that AliExpress accepts. To learn more about adding attributes, please refer to the Using Inventory Attributes page.

If you already have a similar data point in your inventory but your values do not match the AliExpress values, you can utilize a business rule or a lookup list to transform your value to match an AliExpress value.

Please refer to the SSC page on Business Rules and Lookup Lists to learn more about utilizing these tools to manipulate your data.

Product Variations

AliExpress supports variations. To list items as Variations you need to set up the items in ChannelAdvisor as a variation and put both the parent and child items on the label defined in the AliExpress settings page. The attributes available to vary by are Color and Size. These are configured in your AliExpress template. For Color, you can also use a custom color name.

Additionally, you need to provide a product description and other specific information like pricing for each child item. AliExpress requires at least 1 picture per variation. The picture is at the parent level.

Images

You can submit images for your products. Allowed formats are jpg, gif or png. You can send up to 6 images and can add new ones or delete old ones anytime. All images sent through ChannelAdvisor are also stored within the AliExpress image bank as they must be hosted with AliExpress.

Other Inventory Considerations

  • Item prices are a key factor when competing with other sellers. This combined with the number of orders on the item and your feedback rating also play into the sales ranking on your item.
  • You need to provide your own, unique product number when creating items on AliExpress. As we are automatically sending your product SKUs in the backend you don't need to map this in the template.
  • Delivery time and product dimensions are required data when sending products to AliExpress.
  • AliExpress allows only basic HTML tags (examples: <b>, </br>, <p>, <ul>, <ol>, <li> and <hr>). No script, forms/buttons, or external style sheets are accepted.
  • Title is limited to 128 characters.
  • Short description and long description are important on the marketplace to help ensure your item is properly described to the customer.

Back to Top

 

Configure Marketplace Settings


 


Configuring your AliExpress Settings will set the foundation for your account integration with the marketplace. You will select a label that will be associated with the inventory you want to send to AliExpress, define quantity settings and enter account information. Begin by navigating to Marketplaces > AliExpress > Settings. View the Marketplaces Settings page for more details on the setup.

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List Your Products


Once you have completed the Marketplace Settings you will need to complete the AliExpress Product Mapping Template in ChannelAdvisor, located under Marketplaces > AliExpress > Product Mapping > Template.


Mapping the Template

ChannelAdvisor Product Mapping Templates are used to define the exact data that will be sent to the marketplace when creating or updating a listing. The template will contain all the fields accepted by the marketplace and will allow you to specify what product information should be sent for each product listing. You will have four options to complete each template field. The option that works best for you will depend on how you have prepared your inventory for each site's data requirements.

For detailed information on how to utilize templates in ChannelAdvisor please visit the Customizing Template Fields page of the Strategy and Support Center.

AliExpress Template Strategies

Be sure to complete all required template fields (indicated by a red asterisk). Below is a list of these fields along with additional information to keep in mind when mapping the template:

  1. Category ID – You need to map the marketplace Category ID in your inventory items with this field.
  2. Delivery Time – This refers to the amount of time after buyer payment to the completion of tracking details.
  3. Product Name – This is the item title. We recommend keeping the title accurate, clear and brief.
  4. Description – Where you will provide in-depth information about your product.
  5. Product Keyword – You can send one keyword to describe your product that is used during search.
  6. Product Photo 1 – This is the main image field on the item.
  7. Retail Price – This is the product selling price including the transaction fee.
  8. Sold in Lots – Used if your product is sold in a bundle.
  9. Unit Type – Defines the package type for the product (example: carton, dozen, piece/pieces, etc).

Additional information – also on the other fields – is displayed when you hover your mouse over the question tag icon next to each field in the template.

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Activate Integration



Activate AliExpress Integration

At this stage, your account is ready to be activated to communicate and exchange data with the AliExpress marketplace. First, you will assign the label you selected in your AliExpress settings to your designated inventory items. Next, you'll activate the marketplace feed. Please navigate again to Marketplaces > AliExpress > Settings to complete this step. View the Activating Your Marketplaces Integration page for more details.

Communication Frequency

Now that your AliExpress integration has been activated, ChannelAdvisor and AliExpress will be able to communicate. Depending on the number of SKUs and the complexity of your inventory information, the amount of time it takes to process, communicate, and update on the marketplace could vary. Refer to the Marketplaces – Processing and Communication Frequency page for more information on this subject.

Back to Top

 

Manage Your Listings


Once you have activated your AliExpress integration, you should begin seeing activity almost immediately. You may notice that some of your products have not listed properly or have not listed at all. It will be crucial that you consistently manage your AliExpress account integration in ChannelAdvisor to monitor these issues.


AliExpress Dashboard

ChannelAdvisor provides you with a dashboard that assists you with this effort. The AliExpress Product Overview page is a marketplace-specific dashboard that provides you with an overview of the current status of all your products assigned to AliExpress. You can access this page via the menu from Marketplaces > AliExpress > Products > Overview.

Product Status View

The Product Status view will serve as your AliExpress listing management headquarters. From Marketplaces > AliExpress > Products > Product Status, you can view detailed information about all of the products you are sending to AliExpress. Here you will be able to monitor the performance of your items as well as troubleshoot any listing errors you may have received.

Resolving AliExpress Errors

There is a wide range of listing errors that you may receive when listing to AliExpress. Resolving these errors can typically be accomplished by utilizing one of these two methods.

  • Method 1: Edit Your Template Mappings – The AliExpress Template is what tells ChannelAdvisor what data to send. Failure to map the appropriate fields with the appropriate values from your inventory can result in listing errors. When you receive a listing error it is almost always a good idea to check your template.
  • Method 2: Edit Your Inventory Data – If you find the template appears to be mapped correctly and in accordance with AliExpress's specifications, more than likely the source of the error is in your inventory data.

Back to Top

 

Fulfill/Cancel Orders


Sales are handled through the integrated shopping cart of each Marketplace. Order information details are then imported to ChannelAdvisor in the All Sales view ( Sales > Orders/Transactions > Orders) where you can manage your fulfillment process.


Importing Orders

From your All Sales view, you can easily manage the fulfillment process for all orders imported from the marketplace. Whether you use ChannelAdvisor or a third party fulfillment system to manage your orders, ChannelAdvisor offers the tools to optimize your fulfillment strategy.

  1. After a purchase has been completed, the ChannelAdvisor Complete software will automatically import all the relevant order details needed for fulfillment. AliExpress orders should be imported within 15 minutes after the purchase.
  2. Once imported, your orders will appear in the Sales > Orders/Transactions > Orders view alongside all of your other orders.

Please refer to the Sales and Fulfillment section for additional information.

Update Shipping and Tracking

After fulfillment is complete, your next step is to update the ChannelAdvisor Complete software with shipping and tracking information. This step is important since you will not be paid for your sales until this information is received by the Marketplace.

Once your tracking numbers are provided and your order status is updated to shipped ChannelAdvisor will send this information to the Marketplace. There are three primary methods to complete this process. Refer to the Updating Shipping and Tracking Information page for further details.

Back to Top

Before getting started on AliExpress marketplace, please be aware of these important requirements:

  1. Seller in Mainland China – You have to be a seller in mainland China with a valid Chinese cell phone number.
  2. Official language is English – The official language on AliExpress is English. This means you need to provide all customer-facing text, e.g. titles, descriptions etc. in English. Your customer service team should also be able to handle customer requests in English.
  3. Products must be listed in US Dollars – All listings on AliExpress must be listed in US Dollars. You will be paid by AliExpress in either US Dollars or Chinese Yuan (RMB).

If these requirements are not an issue for you, getting started on AliExpress is as easy as completing these simple steps. You will want to reference each step in this guide while you are going through your AliExpress Launch Process.


 

Launch Options


When setting up AliExpress with ChannelAdvisor you have two launch options:

  1. Self-Guided Launch – Completed by yourself using the information found in this Setup Guide.
  2. Launch Assistance Service – A paid for service offered by the ChannelAdvisor Launch Team that allows for you to have a Launch Manager and a limited number of phone-based training and assistance calls to help you get setup on AliExpress quicker and easier. To enquire about this service contact Sales for more information. Note: This service will be required for sellers who are currently selling on AliExpress and would like to maintain their listing history and pull the listing information into ChannelAdvisor.

Prerequisites


Before beginning the launch process, you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Create your AliExpress seller account – Fill out the registration form for AliExpress.
  2. Configure Templates in the AliExpress Portal – You'll need to configure your Shipping and Service templates in the AliExpress portal. This will be necessary when mapping your template in ChannelAdvisor.

Configure Inventory


Before listing your products on the AliExpress marketplace, it is important to be aware of the listing requirements on AliExpress.


Marketplace Category ID

You need to supply a Category ID to list your items successfully on AliExpress. Please contact your Launch Manager or our Support team to get the latest category mapping file. Once you have please make sure that you always choose the leaf category and enter an ID, not the category name. And note, that you cannot list an item in more than one category.

If this kind of information does not already exist in your inventory, you may need to add a new attribute to your inventory and populate that attribute with the values that AliExpress accepts. To learn more about adding attributes, please refer to the Using Inventory Attributes page.

If you already have a similar data point in your inventory but your values do not match the AliExpress values, you can utilize a business rule or a lookup list to transform your value to match an AliExpress value.

Please refer to the SSC page on Business Rules and Lookup Lists to learn more about utilizing these tools to manipulate your data.

Product Variations

AliExpress supports variations. To list items as Variations you need to set up the items in ChannelAdvisor as a variation and put both the parent and child items on the label defined in the AliExpress settings page. The attributes available to vary by are Color and Size. These are configured in your AliExpress template. For Color, you can also use a custom color name.

Additionally, you need to provide a product description and other specific information like pricing for each child item. AliExpress requires at least 1 picture per variation. The picture is at the parent level.

Images

You can submit images for your products. Allowed formats are jpg, gif or png. You can send up to 6 images and can add new ones or delete old ones anytime. All images sent through ChannelAdvisor are also stored within the AliExpress image bank as they must be hosted with AliExpress.

Other Inventory Considerations

  • Item prices are a key factor when competing with other sellers. This combined with the number of orders on the item and your feedback rating also play into the sales ranking on your item.
  • You need to provide your own, unique product number when creating items on AliExpress. As we are automatically sending your product SKUs in the backend you don't need to map this in the template.
  • Delivery time and product dimensions are required data when sending products to AliExpress.
  • AliExpress allows only basic HTML tags (examples: <b>, </br>, <p>, <ul>, <ol>, <li> and <hr>). No script, forms/buttons, or external style sheets are accepted.
  • Title is limited to 128 characters.
  • Short description and long description are important on the marketplace to help ensure your item is properly described to the customer.

Back to Top

 

Configure Marketplace Settings


 


Configuring your AliExpress Settings will set the foundation for your account integration with the marketplace. You will select a label that will be associated with the inventory you want to send to AliExpress, define quantity settings and enter account information. Begin by navigating to Marketplaces > AliExpress > Settings. View the Marketplaces Settings page for more details on the setup.

Back to Top

 

List Your Products


Once you have completed the Marketplace Settings you will need to complete the AliExpress Product Mapping Template in ChannelAdvisor, located under Marketplaces > AliExpress > Product Mapping > Template.


Mapping the Template

ChannelAdvisor Product Mapping Templates are used to define the exact data that will be sent to the marketplace when creating or updating a listing. The template will contain all the fields accepted by the marketplace and will allow you to specify what product information should be sent for each product listing. You will have four options to complete each template field. The option that works best for you will depend on how you have prepared your inventory for each site's data requirements.

For detailed information on how to utilize templates in ChannelAdvisor please visit the Customizing Template Fields page of the Strategy and Support Center.

AliExpress Template Strategies

Be sure to complete all required template fields (indicated by a red asterisk). Below is a list of these fields along with additional information to keep in mind when mapping the template:

  1. Category ID – You need to map the marketplace Category ID in your inventory items with this field.
  2. Delivery Time – This refers to the amount of time after buyer payment to the completion of tracking details.
  3. Product Name – This is the item title. We recommend keeping the title accurate, clear and brief.
  4. Description – Where you will provide in-depth information about your product.
  5. Product Keyword – You can send one keyword to describe your product that is used during search.
  6. Product Photo 1 – This is the main image field on the item.
  7. Retail Price – This is the product selling price including the transaction fee.
  8. Sold in Lots – Used if your product is sold in a bundle.
  9. Unit Type – Defines the package type for the product (example: carton, dozen, piece/pieces, etc).

Additional information – also on the other fields – is displayed when you hover your mouse over the question tag icon next to each field in the template.

Back to Top

 

Activate Integration



Activate AliExpress Integration

At this stage, your account is ready to be activated to communicate and exchange data with the AliExpress marketplace. First, you will assign the label you selected in your AliExpress settings to your designated inventory items. Next, you'll activate the marketplace feed. Please navigate again to Marketplaces > AliExpress > Settings to complete this step. View the Activating Your Marketplaces Integration page for more details.

Communication Frequency

Now that your AliExpress integration has been activated, ChannelAdvisor and AliExpress will be able to communicate. Depending on the number of SKUs and the complexity of your inventory information, the amount of time it takes to process, communicate, and update on the marketplace could vary. Refer to the Marketplaces – Processing and Communication Frequency page for more information on this subject.

Back to Top

 

Manage Your Listings


Once you have activated your AliExpress integration, you should begin seeing activity almost immediately. You may notice that some of your products have not listed properly or have not listed at all. It will be crucial that you consistently manage your AliExpress account integration in ChannelAdvisor to monitor these issues.


AliExpress Dashboard

ChannelAdvisor provides you with a dashboard that assists you with this effort. The AliExpress Product Overview page is a marketplace-specific dashboard that provides you with an overview of the current status of all your products assigned to AliExpress. You can access this page via the menu from Marketplaces > AliExpress > Products > Overview.

Product Status View

The Product Status view will serve as your AliExpress listing management headquarters. From Marketplaces > AliExpress > Products > Product Status, you can view detailed information about all of the products you are sending to AliExpress. Here you will be able to monitor the performance of your items as well as troubleshoot any listing errors you may have received.

Resolving AliExpress Errors

There is a wide range of listing errors that you may receive when listing to AliExpress. Resolving these errors can typically be accomplished by utilizing one of these two methods.

  • Method 1: Edit Your Template Mappings – The AliExpress Template is what tells ChannelAdvisor what data to send. Failure to map the appropriate fields with the appropriate values from your inventory can result in listing errors. When you receive a listing error it is almost always a good idea to check your template.
  • Method 2: Edit Your Inventory Data – If you find the template appears to be mapped correctly and in accordance with AliExpress's specifications, more than likely the source of the error is in your inventory data.

Back to Top

 

Fulfill/Cancel Orders


Sales are handled through the integrated shopping cart of each Marketplace. Order information details are then imported to ChannelAdvisor in the All Sales view ( Sales > Orders/Transactions > Orders) where you can manage your fulfillment process.


Importing Orders

From your All Sales view, you can easily manage the fulfillment process for all orders imported from the marketplace. Whether you use ChannelAdvisor or a third party fulfillment system to manage your orders, ChannelAdvisor offers the tools to optimize your fulfillment strategy.

  1. After a purchase has been completed, the ChannelAdvisor Complete software will automatically import all the relevant order details needed for fulfillment. AliExpress orders should be imported within 15 minutes after the purchase.
  2. Once imported, your orders will appear in the Sales > Orders/Transactions > Orders view alongside all of your other orders.

Please refer to the Sales and Fulfillment section for additional information.

Update Shipping and Tracking

After fulfillment is complete, your next step is to update the ChannelAdvisor Complete software with shipping and tracking information. This step is important since you will not be paid for your sales until this information is received by the Marketplace.

Once your tracking numbers are provided and your order status is updated to shipped ChannelAdvisor will send this information to the Marketplace. There are three primary methods to complete this process. Refer to the Updating Shipping and Tracking Information page for further details.

Back to Top

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