South Africans have shown significant interest in dropshipping as a business due to growing awareness of its countless advantages!
This article focuses on the information you need to start a dropshipping store in South Africa.
The process of launching a dropshipping business is pretty much the same irrespective of your location. For a quick rundown of the things, you would need, feel free to view a beginner’s checklist to dropshipping here.
The article linked above gives a detailed explanation of the technical capabilities and market savvy that you would need to possess; as well as a full action plan starting from the get-go of setting up your website, up until when you achieve your first sale.
These steps are generally applicable irrespective of your country of residence, and it is essential that you follow them to achieve the best business results possible.
However, since this article is targeted at Dropshipping in South Africa, we need to address some region-specific choices that you will need to make concerning your store. The most important of these choices is The choice of a target market.
Starting Dropshipping in South Africa: What are your options?
When deciding how to run your dropshipping business, regarding the target market, two options are open to you. You could be Resident in South Africa with:
- Local South Africans as your target market
- Foreign citizens as your target market.
Of Course, there are Pros and Cons to either of these options, and it is imperative that you weigh these critically before you dive into your business launch.
Dropshipping in South Africa: pros of the local market
Option A might seem like the logical way to go, and here are some strong arguments to support that assumption:
- You understand the target market
Since you’re South African, you possess an understanding of the market that comes naturally with being a local. There is no language barrier to conducting business, and you have a good idea of what the market wants as well as how much money consumers are willing to spend. Even in a case where you don’t know something about your target market, you can easily assess the market by conducting research. The data you gather can help you better tailor your business policies and strategy to suit the target market.
- You Know the Laws
As a citizen, you understand the tax, customs and import policies that hold sway in your country, and these won’t catch you unaware as you would know which of these regulations apply to this kind of business, and even if you don’t, you could easily find out.
- You know what the most promising products are
You should stock your store with products that are highly popular and in demand but not easily accessible to the general populace, probably due to high prices or unavailability in offline stores. This gives you a HUGE competitive advantage as well as an opportunity to do something relevant for your local community.
- Making your first sale is relatively easy
Since your Dropshipping business is locally targeted, you can speed up the time it takes to make your first sale, which usually would take you several weeks if your store were targeted at a foreign market. One way is to persuade family and friends to buy things from your store and provide you with feedback concerning their shopping experience on your website. Their feedback will help you gauge if your website is functioning optimally and serve as initial social proof.
Dropshipping in South Africa: cons of the local market
- Some Sellers on AliExpress don’t ship to your country
Some sellers on AliExpress cannot arrange delivery to South Africa. However, this isn’t a serious problem as you can easily avoid such sellers by using the filter function on the platform. On the top-right corner of the AliExpress website, the ‘ship-to’ field should help you get rid of sellers that don’t ship to your location.