In 1970, Ford presented its new subcompact car – Ford Pinto. Later the company decided to export the model to Brazil, but the sales were drastically low. Why? It happened to be a translation issue. In Brazilian slang, the word ‘pinto’ means ‘small manhood’…
Anecdotes like this happen all the time even with well known brands. So does it mean that going global is not a good idea and one should stick to a local market only? Absolutely not!
Despite many issues and challenges, dropshipping to other countries all over the world can be very beneficial. You just need some tips and guidance. So today we’ll talk about the best countries to dropship to and places you should really avoid.
But first of all, what’s so good about international market?
Why Go Global?
Have you ever wondered why all companies, big or small, dream about selling goods and services to international customers? There are actually several good reasons for it.
- Sheer numbers
What’s the population of your home country? 17 million? 50 million? 150 million? Sounds good, but, according to UN data, the total population of the planet equaled 7 billion in 2011. By 2024, it’ll reach 8 billion.
Of course, these numbers include children, the poor, and lots of other categories of people who can barely become your customers. But the proportion of potential clients is still enormous!
A good businessman always aims at diversifying his or her sales markets. If one source suffers an economic downfall, others will compensate it. Besides, if the local economy shows no demand for the products you dropship, selling to other countries is your only chance.
Lastly, you may find that the products popular in one country have have even bigger success in another one. So by going global, you may be able to attract even more customers.
How To Choose Countries To Dropship To?
Before moving on to the list of best countries to dropship to, let’s talk about general criteria of choosing sales markets. Because there are many factors which determine failure or success. So what worked for one niche may not work for another, and you should be able to choose on your own.
Purchasing power & average purchase size
To put simple, these two reflect the ability to buy things. An average adult living in Canada can afford more goods and at a higher price than an average adult living in Uganda. No offense, guys…
So in general, it’s better to dropship to economically developed countries where a lot of people can easily buy products. You can find these figures on various government websites and from analytical releases.
Compare this ecommerce spending per capita ranking according to Ecommerce Foundation’s Global B2C Ecommerce Report:
- United Kingdom – $4.201
- United States – $3.428
- South Korea – $2.591
- France – $1.946
- China – $1.855
- Australia – $1.764
- Canada – $1.746
- Japan – $1.488
- Israel – $1.361
- Germany – $1.283
As mentioned above, the more people live in a given country, the more potential clients you have.
Frequency of online orders
The development level of ecommerce differs from country to country. Even if people have a high purchasing power, it doesn’t mean they like to buy online. And this is your only source of clients.
Pricing is of ultimate importance in any business including dropshipping. The better prices you offer the more customers you get. So burdening them with shipment costs is a very bad idea.
To avoid it, choose the countries with ‘Free Shipment’ option in your manufacturer’s list. In case of dropshipping from AliExpress, you would prefer the destinations served by ePacket. The list currently includes 38 destinations: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Gibraltar, Great Britain, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, and Switzerland.
A lot of dropshipping stores are owned by native English speakers. In addition, English is a global language spoken in many countries. Even if someone lives in Asia and wants to order something, buying from an English language store is a common practice.
Using English in your store enables you to attract not only native English speakers, but those who know a word or two in this language as well. And again, it means wider client base.
Certain goods may not be allowed for import in a given country. So it’s another matter to consider when choosing what countries to dropship to. Otherwise your products may get detained at the customs.
Lastly, the choice of target country is also determined by the products you dropship. And it’s very tricky.
In simple terms, you can’t expect high demand for snow in Russia or for sand in Saudi Arabia. For example, when McDonald’s first expanded to France, the demand for fast food there appeared much lower than in the US. So the company had to adjust to the local tastes.
You can try using such tools as Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends and Facebook Audience Insights to determine where your target audience resides and make the decision based on this info.
Social Media penetration
Another factor to keep in mind is the countries with a big share of social media users. It’s important because you are most likely to use Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other platforms for promotion.
For example, here are the top 10 countries with the largest number of Facebook users:
- India (300 million)
- United States (210 million)
- Brazil (130 million)
- Indonesia (130 million)
- Mexico (86 million)
- Philippines (75 million)
- Vietnam (61 million)
- Thailand (50 million)
- Turkey (43 million)
- United Kingdom (40 million)
Best Countries To Dropship To
As you know, our team has their own dropshipping business, and the following list is based on our experience, on our failures and successes. So here are the target countries that proved good for this kind of business:
- The United States
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- South Korea
Remember it’s not an ultimate list. It’s based on our own experience and statistics. Depending on your niche, it may or may not be useful for your store.
What countries not to dropship to
Along with a list of destinations best suited for dropshipping, we’ve prepared a list of countries you’d better avoid.
- Indonesia and Mexico – when dropshipping to these two countries, expect a lot of frauds.
- Africa – shipment to African countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, Tunisia, Algeria, Ghana, Morocco, Egypt, and many others takes too long in most cases, and it’s too expensive (if not free). Although it doesn’t mean that dropshipping from Africa won’t work. Read here to learn more about it.
- Latin America – countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela, Chile, Uruguay, Panama, Bolivia, Honduras, Nicaragua. Again, long shipment issues.
- China – since all AliExpress products are made in China, trying to sell them here for a higher price will not work. Besides, YouTube and most social media are blocked in China so promoting your store would be very difficult.
- Russia – the delivery period to Russia is quite long and can take up to two months.
As you can see, in most cases, the biggest problem is delivery period. However, if the given destination is currently having such issues, it doesn’t mean the situation will not change. If the demand for AliExpress products is high enough, the company will find a faster shipment options sooner or later.
To Sum Up
To find the best countries to dropship to, you need to take into account a variety of parameters such as purchasing power and population size. An ideal target country must have a ‘Free Shipment’ option and short average delivery period. English speaking countries are preferable. And lastly, don’t expect all these factors to remain unchanged for years.
And good luck with your business!
Disclaimer: This content does not necessarily represent the views of IWB.