There are 195 countries around the globe, many of which have similar problems with:
- These territories are geographically remote;
- These countries are known for their long delivery times and high shipping costs.
- Inaccessibility of major payment gateways, which are widely used in global eCommerce.
However, these are not the only factors that can prevent you from starting your own dropshipping business!
Dropshipping offers equal opportunities to everyone. Dropshipping is a business that offers equal opportunities for everyone, even if your country of origin is far away.
How do you explain?
Let’s take South Africa as an example!
How to Start Dropshipping in South Africa
This business is very popular in South Africa, according to our experience. We regularly process requests from new entrepreneurs in this country!
It is clear that South Africans are keen to start a dropshipping company and want to learn more about its many benefits.
What do you need to know if you are interested in opening a dropshipping shop?
The process of opening your dropshipping shop is easy for anyone anywhere in the world. View our beginner’s list.
The article linked above explains the technical resources you need and the market knowledge that you should have. I also gave a complete action plan to launch and promote your website in order to make your first sale.
These steps should be followed regardless of where you live. This is the key to getting the best business results.
If you are a South African resident, you will need to make specific decisions about the location of your store. Let’s look at what I mean when I say that the most important decision is to choose the target market.
Two ways to start a dropshipping business here in South Africa
There are two options when it comes to running your online business.
- Living in South Africa, and targeting your fellow citizens
- Living in South Africa but targeting a foreign market instead of the local one.
Each option has its pros and cons. It’s crucial to weigh all the options before you launch your company.
The pros of the local market
This can seem quite logical. You can adapt your business to local requirements if you are a resident of this country.
In this instance, you have the following benefits:
- The laws are known
You won’t be scared off by taxes, customs policies, bans on certain product imports, or other bureaucratic issues. You are a citizen of that country and you will know the regulations applicable to your business. If you don’t know, you will surely be able to find the codes and other legal documents that provide the information.
- It is clear what the most promising products are.
You should aim to stock your store with products that are popular but not commonly found in this area. If you have been in the same country for many years, you will know which products are most popular and which aren’t (not sold in stores, or sold at a high price). You can sell these products online and get a huge competitive advantage. Plus, you’re doing a great thing for your community.
- You know your target audience quite well
You can target your fellow citizens by knowing their language, where they are most comfortable with information, and what they will spend money on your products. Even if you don’t know much about your potential customers you still have direct access to the market and can conduct your own research. Your product policy, marketing strategy and pricing decisions will all be influenced by the data you gather. These data will allow you to tailor your business to meet the needs of your clients.
- Researching the market is much simpler
I have already spoken about the importance of research. I must also say that you are a citizen of the target country and therefore have an advantage. You will at least know where to find the relevant stats (governmental statistical bureaus, regional search agencies, etc.). The stats can be accessed in your native language. You don’t have to translate any of the information. There is also no language barrier that will prevent you understanding the data or the terminology.
- It is easy to get your first sale
Your first sale usually occurs several weeks after your business launches. If your dropshipping business is targeted at people in your country, you may be able to speed up the process. You might try convincing your friends, family and relatives to purchase a few items from you. You can test everything and make sure it works. Their real shopping experience will be the foundation for the socialproof in the store, which is great news for your media coverage, reputation and customers’ trust.
Do you think it sounds like a chance of a lifetime
Cons of the local marketplace
You should be aware of the specific regional aspects of dropshipping if you are a South African resident and want to start a business there.
- This country is not available to every AliExpress seller.
It is a fact, but it is not a problem.
Some Chinese manufacturers are unable to arrange South Africa delivery. But, that shouldn’t discourage you.
It is best to filter these sellers at the beginning of your AliExpress search. Look at the top right corner on your AliExpress page. The system should recognize your location in the “Ship to” field.
AliExpress also allows you to change the default currency. Don’t forget about saving your settings!
After applying these filters, AliExpress is now easy to use. You can browse AliExpress with confidence and not worry about whether the seller will be able to ship the item to your country. You can add the products to your store if they are displayed to you with these filters on.
- Delivery options may not be convenient for buyers
This is another thing to think about if you are interested in dropshipping to South Africa.
Here’s the truth: There are not many shipping companies that will deliver AliExpress products to South Africa at no cost. It can take them up to a month to deliver orders. You will need to pay more for faster delivery.
It can be very unpleasant. There are some tricks that can help improve the situation.
Take a look at the product page. This seller will ship the item to South Africa automatically by China Post Ordinary Small Packet Plus. This shipping method is free and takes between 42-59 days.
Click on the small arrow beside the name of your default shipping provider to choose an alternative shipping option.
You’ll see a window listing all the options available. From there you can find more suitable items.
This article will help you choose the best option from all available options.
Don’t let that stop you from enjoying a longer delivery. It’s better to be able to purchase a product that takes a month before you can buy it. If you sell products that aren’t available in your country or region, your customers will be delighted to find a way to purchase them.
- South Africa is not the only country where payment providers that are internationally recognized do not work well.
PayPal is the most widely used global payment gateway for eCommerce businesses around the world. It works technically in South Africa too. However, users complain that it is difficult to use. The money must be withdrawn 30 days after it was received, and it is mandatory to have a card in order to use the system. You can find out more.
You don’t have to be worried about anything! Dropshipping is not limited to PayPal. You can integrate many other payment systems around the world into your website.