A guide on how to start dropshipping in Africa
One would wonder how an African can scale up in eCommerce as a Dropshipper. This is how to start Dropshipping in Africa.
Dropshipping is easy for Americans and Europeans. They’ve had more success than international store owners in Africa.
They were pleased with the speed of shipping and the many payment options available to them in their Shopify store.
Dropshipping isn’t popular with online entrepreneurs in Africa or other countries such as Brazil and Pakistan. There are many reasons why dropshipping isn’t more popular.
Considering all of this, why is dropshipping not available to us?
We do the exact same thing on the same platform, but we need to deal with PayPal limitation and business closing.
Aint good right? We have a good chance of making drop shipping work in Africa, despite all the obstacles.
You have the option to target specific countries or go international.
Dropshipping on Shopify will not be without its limitations.
Online Entrepreneurship is a problem that affects almost all African countries. Dropshipping is a good example:
- Payment gateway bans and limitations, e.g. Paypal
- Insufficient US documents and business certificates ( LLC).
- Inadequate SSN/EIN to address tax-related issues
It has been difficult to deal with the fact that some global payment platforms, such as Paypal, restrict transactions in certain countries in Africa.
Paypal can be difficult to use if you are located in Nigeria or other African countries. They will limit your account without warning and may ask for additional requirements if you don’t possess them.
Fraud is rampant across most of Africa. They want to make sure that the buyer is safe when they purchase products from your shop.
When you have worked out the problem, provided all required documentation, but they still limit your options or keep your money for 180 day, that’s when it becomes a problem.
We wouldn’t have all these limitations if we had Shopify integration for local payment gateways.
This article will however cover the basics of Dropshipping and what it takes for a trade to succeed 100%.
It is possible to still own a Dropshipping shop in Africa.
These simple steps will help you to dropship in Africa.
Dropshipping in Africa: What you need to know
This analysis shows that Africa’s e- and m-commerce opportunities have a potential client base of over 400 million internet users.
Statista estimates that eCommerce in 54 African countries, with over 1.25 billion people, generated $16.5 Million in 2017. This figure is expected to rise to $29,000,000 by 2022.
Dropshipping is a hot topic in modern eCommerce. Dropshipping is a business that requires almost no capital to begin. Dropshipping is available anywhere you are.
Dropshipping is not only a focus region in Africa, but it’s also a process that can be used anywhere.
You will need the right niche, well-structured target audiences, and the necessary marketing knowledge.
Once you have this location, you will need an online marketplace, or “a Dropshipping Store”, where you can market your products.
This procedure is broken down into steps so you can understand the basics and plan your route to dropshipping in Africa.
- Know Your Audience
- Find a trusted supplier
- Choose a Good Niche
- You can get a dropshipping store (Set up a website or shop on online shopping platforms like Shopify, Amazon Webstore and eBay)
- Add products to your store
- Advertise on Payment platforms and receive money into your account
Know Your Audience ( Selecting The Right Audience)
It is important to know the potential customers for your product before you launch any online business.
Dropshipping is a great way to get to know your potential buyers before you make a decision to begin.
Drop shippers who want to start drop shipping in Africa must be able to identify the target audience.
Drop shippers who are successful target the US, UK, Canada and other European countries. Since you are in Africa your target will be based on the following:
- Budget for advertising
- Shipping method
Dropshipping is a business that requires a budget. If you don’t have enough money, you will soon lose your dropshipping business.
Advertisements on Facebook and other platforms require money. Bigwigs make a million dollars per day and spend thousands of dollars on advertising.
These are companies that you will be competing with. They may sell the same product or offer better products. This section is where the budget plays an important role.
Are you on a tight budget? If you don’t have the budget to target other countries, then it is not an option. Instead, focus on locals and use Instagram influencers to reach them.
Targeting your audience is entirely dependent on the shipping method you offer. Aliexpress offers a variety of shipping options, but the most popular for drop shippers targeting countries like the USA, e-Packet delivery, is the best.
Now E-packet delivers products to various countries, but it takes 45 days or longer.
Customers love fast delivery. If you delay the shipment, it could cause your business to go out of business.
I don’t know of any African customer who would wait 45 days for shipping. They are rare, but they have the patience.
Selling products online in Kenya is almost impossible. The typical Kenyan will insist on going to the shop, and convince them to pay before they get the product.
Jumia, an online eCommerce site, has some of the worst social media reviews.
You will need an offline backup to sell online in Africa. Dropshipping in Africa requires that you work hard on your delivery and social proof of the customers you want the product delivered. However, it is possible.
Dropshipping in Africa: Local or International
Africa is a huge internet market. As I mentioned earlier, there might be some obstacles that could hinder the smooth running of your Dropshipping Business. You need to find another audience that converts in such situations.
You would still have your advantages and disadvantages. I’ll be discussing this shortly.
You have two options when it comes to how you want to run your business.
- Advertise with fellow Africans and sell to them
- Or source audience on a continent other than the domestic market.
Dropshipping Products to Foreign Clients
It doesn’t necessarily mean you can only dropship to Africa if you are already in Africa.
It’s up to the individual to decide if they will market their products to Japanese students or stay-at-home moms from Australia.
Dropshipping is a business that does not require you to sign any legal agreements to begin. Dropshipping can be done from anywhere in Africa.
AliExpress now offers a more user-friendly interface. It is easy to place an order online and have them deliver it to you at the time that suits you.
In your country of operation, the authorities might require you to register the company as it grows. It might not cost much and you won’t need a lot strength to complete this process.
- There is no limit to the products that can be chosen.
You can only sell items to African customers if they are of benefit to you.
You can select from a wider range of products if you want to sell your products to people from European and American countries.
Oberlo allows you to add products that you can dropship and items you want to ship to your customers.
- You have access to a faster and more cost-effective delivery service
Dropshipping internationally is therefore very simple. You can access advanced shipping companies so that some providers can deliver your package in a few weeks and don’t charge a lot.
ePacket is a good example. This service is available for a very low price so you don’t have to disappoint customers by charging high fees.
ePacket delivery was available for 37 countries in Africa, with South Africa being included. There are many appealing locations to dropship to if you want to dropship internationally.
You are now ready to become a successful drop shipper if you have just read the content about how to start a dropshipping company in Africa.
To start a dropshipping company on Shopify platform, you will need to sign-up for Shopify’s 14-day free trial.
Dropshipping in Africa: Do you have any questions? Dropshipping in Africa is a great way to make money.
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Alidropship Sites Africa ROCKS: The company got $80k-$150k a month!
One of our active contributors to the forum, Daniel from Uganda, tells a fantastic success story. He runs 12 sites that take him around $80k-$150k a month. Let’s just ask him how he got it.
Hello, please introduce yourself to When have you begun an online company?
I am Daniel Mickoh, a web marketer that’s mainly focused on Facebook. Uganda I live in Kampala. I live in Kampala. Seven years ago, I was involved in internet marketing.
Did you possess previous experience in e-commerce, trade or generally online before you launched AliExpress dropshipping websites?
I run Amazon E-Sales as an affiliate, have done niche stores, which I do until now (I was hiring a lady who did this for me already). I’m still running Amazon E-Shops. So I have a few dropshipping sites already.
Why did you choose the business model for dropshipping? How did everything start?
I’m mainly choosing the dropshipping company because I found it easy for you to start without a stock and due to my Facebook marketing skills.
What platforms are you using for e-commerce? Do you use automated solutions to manage the sites? How do you manage the business exactly?
Ten of my websites on WordPress platform are run on Shopify and others. We use automated solutions including emails and automation of messages.
How many websites are you currently using? What’s their achievement?
I have 12 sites for dropshipping, which on average amount range from $80 K to $150 K a month.
How were you selecting the niches?
I came to pick these niches, especially for the 5 stores I was selling digital products from a niche business. Mainly product research for trendy products was in other stores. I spy a lot on competitors, however. I spend most of my time checking ads, top-sale dropships, and new markets for other people.
How can you find your online stores products and suppliers?
Do you have any strategy from time to time to add new products? How are the prices determined?
I mainly select products using three criteria; the number of active Facebook users with an interest in the product, the number of product review and order from a particular supplier, and the product trends over the last 12 months.
Usually, I consider how many units a supplier sells, how quickly the supplier reacts when contacted when I choose a supplier.
In general, I set prices mainly for my advertising and storage plans and still make a profit of at least 50 percent, if possible.
Remember your first sale from your site? Do you remember? How did you accomplish that? How quickly was it?
After four hours of Facebook ad testing, the first sale took place. Then in 24 hours we made four sales.
How are your stores being promoted? Who are your target audiences, how did you understand? What are the most efficient channels for you? Have you had a few channels to give up? How much do you cost in promoting your stores on average? (a month) by growing enormous fan communities, I promote my store on Facebook and Instagram and SEO, I create inviting content for our fans and use messenger to engage with our audiences and comment on them later.
I also use some ninja tactics. I learnt most of them from following the man who started 10beasts and Brian Deans SEO who works.
How long do you need to run your shops every day? Whichtask(s) require longer than others? Which challenges are the most difficult? How are you handling them?
I have a team of virtual support personnel who help manage these stores, carry out orders and answer customer inquiries.
How do you cope with (if you have any) difficult customers? You’ve got some funny / sad stories?
Good and bad clients will always be there, but mainly fraudsters were the worst cases. We usually provide refunds on purchases for unsatisfied customers.
Have you officially registered your company? What are your country’s (if you know them) legal requirements?
It’s my fashion label that our business is legally registered in America, but I used friends in the first place to help myself in other countries. But recently, for the drug traffic and online business, I chose to register another LLC. The other company is offline and did not want any problems which could endanger the other business by hipping.
Which are your future plans?
Major brands are created for 3 of our stores and digital products with their physical products are sold.
What can you advise our readers–those who run their stores already and those that have not yet started?
Three works are my advisory. Hold on, keep working. Start.
“Start your store now with ALIDROPSHIP, look for winning products from competitors and lower prices and sell those in countries they are not targeting, test 10 different products at a time and when you find a winning one, scale that up and get more in that line.”