When I was surfing at dropshipping communities, I saw a question as, “When starting out with dropshipping, should I only market to the USA instead of targeting other smaller markets?”
Spoiler alert: No.
First off, it’s an extremely competitive market. The US is home to lots of e-commerce giants that sell —well, just about everything. There’s Amazon, Walmart, Jet.com, and more are cropping up all the time. The presence of these companies alone can make dropshipping in the US pretty challenging. And of course, it’s not just the Walmarts of the world.
Big, developed markets like the US have tons of smaller merchants. Shopify powered 500,000 stores in 2017, and a majority of them were based in the States. Bottom line, there is tons of competition in the US.
Another significant factor: Advertising costs are high. If you cater to the US market, you’ll need to spend more on ads to stand out from all the competition. Getting your ads in front of potential customers in the US is just more expensive than in other countries.
Alright, so we know that the US presents some unique challenges for dropshippers. So you might be thinking, then where should we be dropshipping? So glad you ask. But before we go on, let me say that I’m assuming you already know what to sell. Because if you don’t, check out some of the best items to sell.
OK, back to the topic at hand: dropshipping options outside the US. There are a few key things to keep in mind — the size of a country’s English-speaking population, purchasing power, and whether or not there is a sufficient delivery infrastructure.
Choose Markets With A Significant English-Speaking Population
If you don’t have time and money to invest in translating your entire store into another language —and most of us don’t— consider targeting markets that already have a big English speaking population.
For instance, only 5% of Brazilians speak English, while in Denmark, Sweden and Norway, that number is more like 85 or 90%. Of course, e-commerce makes buying from an online store very intuitive no matter the customer’s language.
Oberlo users with English sites get loads of orders from non-English speakers from around the world. Still, consider favouring markets where English is widely spoken.
Consider Purchasing Power
Because the cost of living is already pretty high, lots of Norwegians will actually be okay spending $30 on a T-Shirt. In other markets, $30 might be a price reserved for a high-end clothing item. Pay attention to these differences from country to country because they might significantly impact your conversion rate. Advertising in markets like Norway or Finland is cheaper, there is less competition, AND people have high purchasing power.
Research Delivery Infrastructure
Some developing countries have less than reliable postal support. These markets also tend to have stricter customs policies, as well as flawed postal services. That’s not to say you should ignore developing markets!
For example: Let’s say you want to try shipping to Mexico. Run a limited ad set with clear shipping expectations established from the outset. Wait for an order, then see if it works. If there are no issues, ramp up and spend a little more.
Conclusion: Dropshipping USA vs International
The US has a massive e-commerce market and could be an excellent spot for
Remember: Smaller and cheaper markets don’t always mean lower profits. No matter where you want to sell, it’s vital to do some research and analysis at every step of your dropshipping journey. This will help you make more informed, data-driven decisions that really benefit your business.
Muammer is a Marketing Analytics Manager at Turkcell. His mission is to empower entrepreneurs and to help them achieve their goals. He also has a passion for illustration.