February 22, 2018

What Countries to Target When Dropshipping?

What markets to dropship first and how to actually select countries for targeting
Are you new to the idea of dropshipping? Or think about going international to expand your online business? In the article below we'll answer a question what countries to focus on first and how to actually select markets for targeting.

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Dropshipping USA: Why Target

There are many reasons why dropshippers target the USA for product promotion.

  • The reason number 1 why this happens is that there is no doubt it's easier to sell to the country you live in. Many dropshippers are citizens of the US and they sell within their own country. What can be easier?
  • If we take into consideration such a crucial factor like a developed economy, we realize that US people are able to buy products as their quality of life is high. Annual online sales reached $340 billion last year.
  • Online purchases are in the culture of the country. They are comfortable to shop online.
  • The market size is huge. The United States is currently the second largest ecommerce country in the world (China is the first one).
  • Language is an important factor too. Many dropshippers are native speakers. English is the third most spoken language of the world, so there are lots of people who speak it.
  • Fast and low-cost delivery is very significant for those dropshippers who ship goods from Asia.

All the above factors explain why USA is the most popular country among dropshippers. And they choose it first for targeting.

Dropshipping USA: Issues for Balance

There are mainly two things you need to balance while dropshipping the US:

  • Highly competitive market. Targeting USA is very competitive. Cost per click on Facebook Ads is higher than targeting other countries (don't trust me, just test).
  • Low-cost items on Amazon. The other countries don't have such a giant ecommerce competitor like Amazon.
Note: you may use 9 free tools to spy on your Shopify competitors.
International Dropshipping: Criteria to Choose Countries
If you sell locally and now think about moving to a global level, or you start your dropshipping business and think between going local first or international, you may be interested to learn some criteria to take into consideration while selecting countries. There is no doubt you start from the countries where you expect the good probability of success.

  • Proven to work - as for the dropshipping business model, such countries like the USA, Canada, and Australia are popular among dropshippers. On the other side, they are more competitive.
  • High purchasing power and high average purchase size are two important economic factors. For instance, the population in the US consume more than any other country in the world. 25% of all the goods of the world are purchased there.
  • Online purchase frequency - see how much online shoppers around the world are spending according to Statista's Digital Market Outlook
What Countries to Target When Dropshipping?
  • English speaking countries - many dropshippers are native English speakers and online stores are launched in English.
  • Number of population.
  • If suppliers ship to the countries you plan to target - this point should be checked as logistic and packaging issues are resolved by merchants.
  • If your carrier arranges shipping to the country you plan to target - check a list of countries of your carrier.
  • Economical shipping and short delivery time.
  • Product type - make sure your products are allowed for shipping to the country you plan to target, for instance, leather, wooden, bamboo and related goods are not allowed for importing to some countries. Or they should meet the import conditions.
Note legal requirements: Canada has similar privacy and spam laws to the US. You can learn more about specifics with this privacy toolkit before dropshipping Canada. The UK has stricter policies which entrepreneurs should follow in online commerce. Learn more about cookie law and spam emails to dropship the UK. Australia's policies are less stringent, especially for small businesses.
International Dropshipping: Challenges
Let's see what international dropshipping challenges expect those who plan to go international. The following 8 issues should be thought over before you start an international dropshipping business:

  • Find suppliers - you may ask your current supplier if he/she dropships worldwide. Or use sources like Dropwow or AliExpress (they don't have monthly fees). On both marketplaces, there are dropshipping suppliers from China who send orders internationally (directly to your customers) and don't require minimum orders.
  • Calculate delivery expenses - contact your carrier to learn about expenses for further calculation. Or visit a product page on Dropwow marketplace to see a shipping cost there.
  • Resolve customs charge issue - this information may also be provided by your carrier. However, not expensive items which dropshippers often select don't usually require customs charges.
  • Use ePacket - work with suppliers who provide ePacket. This shipping method is the best one if you cooperate with Chinese merchants. It's available for many countries, it's much cheaper than other variants through it has limits (small and lightweight packages) that don't actually limit dropshippers. Learn more about ePacket and its limits.
  • Find products - choose products that may be easily shipped (lightweight, small, not delicate).
  • Set up shipping rates - you're able to set up your shipping rates on the store. There are two variants to do it - by price or by weight. The shipping rate affected by price will depend on an order price. The other variant will depend on a total weight in return. Learn more about each variant and how to set up shipping rates.
  • Apply currency converter app to help your customers. Find the app in the Shopify App Store.
  • Do not translate - sometimes beginners ask if they should make a translation or not before they start promotion to other countries. In most cases, dropshippers do not do it. Especially at the beginning. As there are no limits for targeting other nations like Germany, France, Spain, etc. The point is that it's not about translating the text into a store. Your advertising, emails and online chat for customer support should be translated too and Google Translate will not help you much. Focus on sales first but not localization.
Note: Think between cooperation with US-based or China-based suppliers?
13 Best Countries to Dropship
Our rating of top 13 markets to target:

  1. USA
  2. Canada
  3. Australia
  4. New Zealand
  5. UK
  6. Spain
  7. Germany
  8. Austria
  9. Portugal
  10. France
  11. Italy
  12. Norway
  13. UAE
According to the analysis of ShippingEasy clients, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia are far and away the most common international destinations for ecommerce.
What Countries to Target When Dropshipping?
Tip: When you set up Facebook targeting, it's better to set one country for one campaign. $5 of a budget will be needed to test each country accordingly.
Countries to Avoid Dropshipping
Entrepreneurs have a possibility to dropship in multiple countries without any limit. There is no a common list of unsafe countries in ecommerce. And still, beginners ask about risk areas to avoid to exclude them in Shipping settings. Our list of markets to avoid dropshipping:

  1. South America
  2. Russia
  3. Africa
  4. Some Caribbean nations
  5. Some European nations and Asian nations

In the end, you will have your own list depending on your experience. Keeping business safe is the main factor to keep in mind narrowing a country list. Four reasons not to dropship worldwide and define a risk level:

  • In some countries, people don't buy online
  • Shipping charges are high
  • Delivery period is long
  • Fraud and chargeback are frequent
Frequent Questions
The most common questions dropshippers ask regarding the issue when they start are here for you:
Should I start national shipping and then go global or start both?
It's up to you to decide, you may start both. In most cases, dropshippers start from the US and then test ads for other countries.
Since I am not physically located in the US, do I have to register to pay sales tax?
You should pay taxes in the country where you registered your business.
Do I list my US, European or whatever address as my store address in my Shopify settings?
You can make your address visible to your store visitors or hide it from them. The address you input into "Shipping origin" in Shipping settings is required for calculating shipping rates. This setting is needed for those who have a warehouse in the US.
How to deal with free shipping offer?
If you offer free shipping for US consumers and don't offer this service to consumers outside the US, go to "Shipping" in Settings and make the USA a Domestic zone with free shipping. Then click "Add shipping zone" and make Rest of the world with shipping rates you wish.
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What Countries to Target When Dropshipping?
Gulnur Ismailova
Content Creator at Dropwow