Last Updated on May 29, 2020
Dropshipping in South Africa has recently attracted a lot of interest, but there is very limited information on how to use it. Internationally, it is a revenue strategy that allows people with access to audiences to sell their products from around the world. If you are interested in dropshipping from South Africa, it can be used as a method of supply.
There are people who have successfully used this model. There are also a number of specific challenges in this model for South Africa. In this article, I’ll give you information about some of these obstacles and other solutions that people use in this process.
What Is Dropshipping?
To quote Wikipedia, drop shipping means that the retailer does not store goods, but rather transfers customer orders and sends details to the manufacturer, another distributor or a wholesaler who then sends the products directly to the customer.
For whom is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is suitable for anyone who can market and wishes to do so online without using the stock itself. Internet marketers and social media influencers, for example, use dropshipping.
For example, if you are an influencer in social media and have large followers who are very involved with your brand, you can do dropshipping to sell products to your audience. Your role is to bring customers and manufacturers together with your brand.
If you have internet marketing expertise, you can create an online shop from which you will sell products in that shop. One of the most popular ways of marketing dropshipping products is through Facebook marketing and Facebook ads. You’ve probably seen advertisements shipping around the world for clothes when you browse your Facebook and Instagram. Most likely, these ads come from dropshipping stores. If you influence your social media, dropshipping is a potential business model that you can use to monetize your online brand. Tell us you have a social media page, and your page is largely fashion-focused. You can then market your audience with specific items sold by a supplier selling dropshippings to your audience.
What do I need to begin?
You will need an online shop (which you use for interactive customer interface) and a provider to fulfill customer orders.
For example, you’ve seen a product sold by TakeAlot and accommodated by another company if you’ve been shopping on an online market before that. Completion refers to the goods ordered for packaging or shipment by the customer.
Shopify is the best user platform to use. You are going to build your store there. You are given a free 14-day trial to build a test shop and see what the platform offers. Many people in South Africa use Oberlo for order fulfillment. It’s an inventory platform that can also serve as a market place for your products. Oberlo is free for the first 50 orders.
Your online store tips for operation
Create an ecosystem for transmitting traffic to your store
Have an account on all platforms with social media. The most commonly used are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but also Pinterest and Google Plus. Especially because Google Plus expects a lot of traffic from Google and Google Plus will help Google rank websites.
Have a goal approach to your products
Don’t be partial when it comes to products, have an objective approach to your products. If you believe that one item is the best, it is irrelevant if it is not in your interest for your audience.
Optimize your mobile store
It’s easy to overlook mobile optimization, but it’s extremely important because you’ll get lots of that.
You have to test a lot
The items you most sell are often not the ones you’ve expected from.
Make the greatest effort on things that bring you the most money
Get out of the product and see how your audience will react if they like it.
Dropshipping Challenges in South Africa
Falls in international shipments to South Africa are the result of the bad reputation of the local postal system. Common grievances and barriers are very long turns, strikes and package loss. This is why many suppliers are not shipping to South Africa for those with experience buying from Amazon.
The biggest problem for dropshipping in South Africa is that it is very expensive to do it efficiently and offer the good customer experience.
If you do this via Oberlo, AliExpress is likely to produce most of the products you sell. When shipping regularly, the delivery of items to customers lasts from 1 month to 3 months. There is a premium shipping option, which however inflates shipping costs up to 50 percent or even 100 percent of the item’s price.
You must be familiar with the consequences for imported goods, such as customs duties and excise duties. Research shows that duties are not charged for goods that are R500 or less. However, this only applies to the customer’s first three purchases and duties are then charged.
Import costs can be nearly half of the item’s cost. Therefore, during various steps in the purchase process, it is extremely important to emphasize these implications to customers.
Trade Agreements (ePacket)
Unlike in countries where many people see success with drop shipping, South Africa is not on the ePacket list. EPacket is an option offered by suppliers in China and Hong Kong, enabling faster ePacket delivery to a variety of countries
Dropshipping alternatives locally
While dropping locally, allowing smaller local suppliers is an alternative strategy. To build confidence with future suppliers, you would need to build your business profile. More work is needed, but the bulk of the risks of international dropshipping to South Africa are eliminated.
There are dedicated warehousing and performance companies such as ParcelNinja and Efinity. In order to work, you will bear overhead costs, which unfortunately excludes the main point of sale for dropshipping. Do this, you will buy and send your products to one of the local executing companies. These are the renowned companies that satisfy customers from start-ups to big companies.
These companies will store the inventory. The completing company packages the product and ships it to your customers when your customers place an order.
International Customer Base of Dropshipping
If you have an international audience, which is not uncommon due to the global nature of information, you can use international dropshippings.
You want to fit certain criteria in products…
- The ePacket is available, ePacket shipment is fast (12 – 20 days) and fairly inexpensive (usually less than $ 2), so your margins are not too affected.
- The supplier offering a particular product should have an estimate of more than 4.5 gold stars (for product quality and reliability)
- You want to review specific product reviews and ensure that good reviews are received from ordinary countries and look for product images to ensure product quality.
- Good pictures. Products / providers with good quality photos (used for ads) account for a large part of the shop’s success.
South Africa dropshipping status quo
Dropshipping currently has many drawbacks that distinguish it especially for new internet marketers and beginners in eCommerce. But a simple change, for example, would remove most of the slowdown challenges by adding South Africa to the ePacket. Many South Africans use dropshipping to generate income, and there is definitely potential for this method.
The business is scale where the challenges lie, because the long lead times, the bad record of our local postal system and import charges mean that the production of a good customer experience makes affiliate marketing very expensive offers many of the advantages that dropshipping offers and is now much better in South Africa.
You can promote goods without handling or shipping them, which removes the great challenge of South African dropshipping.
Solutions for the future
As a sustainable sales method, the growth of local dropshipping depends on the entry of larger local manufacturers and suppliers into the dropshipper area. Companies must increase their online presence along with their entry into space to enable potential partners to find them.
In this area, South African entities are generally behind the curve. However, innovative businesses are driving this forward, but they are not yet achievable. One of them that tend to be a leading company is Mantality, which monetizes its partner publisher with other retail methods. Hopefully other suppliers will follow suit.
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