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Dropshipping To India: A Short Review Of The Indian eCommerce Market

By Alexandra B.
July 01, 2019


Is dropshipping to India a good idea? Let’s find it out! 

India is one of the fastest growing eCommerce markets these days. In 2017, the eCommerce market revenue in India was $20.5 billion, and it’s expected to grow to 62.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2023.

Besides that, India has a great number of digital buyers – about 273 million users purchase products online and their number is expected to rise to 330 million. 

What is more, India is the second most populous country in the world – its population is about 1.37 billion people. In addition, more than 65% of its citizens are below the age of 35. Everyone knows that the younger the generation, the more tech-savvy it is. So the number of people using the Internet will also grow significantly.

As you can see, dropshipping to India seems to be an attractive opportunity. Is it really so? Let’s figure it out!


Dropshipping to India: pros of the Indian eCommerce market

Although some advantages of the Indian eCommerce market were mentioned above, there are lots of other positive moments that you should draw your attention to.

Lots of government initiatives

The government of India has lots of plans on how to improve the eCommerce market of the country. So, it runs and supports different campaigns such as Digital India that help make the country more digitally empowered and contribute to the growth of the eCommerce market.

Besides that, the Indian government is working on building a secure cyberspace for India’s citizens and businesses. In 2017, the country even made it to the the 23rd place of the UN Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI)

Increase in the number of payment options

Some time ago it was hard for Indian business people to choose the most appropriate payment gateway for their eCommerce stores because of a small number of available options. 

But the situation has changed significantly. These days, there are lots of services that you can add to your store to accept payments. Among the most popular ones, there are PayPal, PayU, InstaMojo, PayTabs, etc. All these payment gateways are available for AliDropship plugin, so if you’re living in India, it will be easy for you to start your own online business.

Positive consumer sentiment

Most Indians feel positive about purchasing goods online. The study compiled by Google India along with TNS says that online shopping in India saw 128% growth in the period between 2011/2012, and people are eagerly buying items from different product categories. 

Among the most frequently purchased product categories are consumer electronics (32%), clothing (31%), books (27%) and home decor (4%). The remaining 6 percent are related to many other things such as jewelry, baby products, and healthcare.  

Dropshipping to India: cons of the Indian eCommerce market


Now, let’s see if there any barriers to exploring this market!

Limited Internet knowledge of potential buyers

Although computers, the Internet, and social media are an essential part of our lives, there are lots of people in the world who aren’t good at technologies or don’t know how to use them yet. 

According to the data published by UNESCO in 2017, only 70% of Indian citizens aged 15 and above can both read and write. As for digital literacy, only 46% of Indian population aged 14 and above can operate a computer. 

When these people start using the Internet to buy something from online stores, they will probably face different issues. It is likely that they will have troubles with finding the necessary products and placing their orders.

Of course, it doesn’t mean that you can’t work with these customers! On the contrary, you can be the person (or the company) that guides them through this new exciting world. It will require lots of your patience, energy, and time, but the result will totally be worth it.

Psychological barriers to online shopping

Although the number of digital buyers in India is increasing, a lot of Indian consumers prefer to touch a product before purchasing it. This is especially the case when buying clothing, shoes, perfumes, and accessories. 

The lack of touch and feel experience may significantly affect Indian customers and put up barriers that stop them from buying.  

The solution is to create product videos and detailed product descriptions that will help your potential customers better understand what the chosen product looks like and what features it has. 

If you’re living in India and want to start a dropshipping business, you need to register your business officially. And you may feel confused when choosing the most appropriate business form and dealing with the paperwork.  

Actually, there are 4 popular types of companies in India: 

  • Sole proprietorship
  • One person company
  • Limited liability partnership (LLP)
  • Private limited company

The type of business form determines how money flows in and out of the business, how the business is taxed and what documents you need to start it.

The easiest way of company registration is deciding on the sole proprietorship model. You will just need your Aadhaar and PAN cards, a bank account and a proof that you have an office. That’s it.

This business type is ok for people who have never had their own businesses and just want to try their strengths. 

However, if you have some experience in eCommerce, you can focus on other forms. Although it takes more time to get all the necessary documents, these business forms are more flexible and have some more benefits than the sole proprietorship model. 

Are you dropshipping to India? What advantages and disadvantages do you see in starting a dropshipping business there? Leave your answers in the comments section below!

By Alexandra B.
Alexandra is a content creator and a huge fan of blogging. She strongly believes in the power of words and likes writing in the casual and friendly tone.
Mihai Dobre July 1, 2019 14:44:14

What if i want to sell in India from Europe? Any barriers? What type of products is working there to sell and which not? 🙂 Best Regards

Prasad Marketing Private Limited July 11, 2019 11:37:12

I am in India. will you please guide me about GST and custom related issues if I want to dropship to India from other countries.

Olga L. July 15, 2019 11:32:19

Hi, thank you for your question! Please, read this article:

Pratyaksh Somani July 15, 2019 11:31:05

Hi Alexandra,

That was a crisp post about the drop shipping in india. But you forgot to mention that the lead time for AliExpress to India. And also its a notable fact that buyers in India cannot wait much long for delivery.
Since Flipkart and Amazon has enabled same day to 1-2 days delivery, long delivery is a great challenge for drop shipping business in India.

Pratyaksh Somani

Mukesh August 20, 2019 3:24:21

I am also from India and doing the same business and 100% agree with pratyaksh about late delivery timeline. Indian customers always compare delivery time with Amazon and Flipkart.

Even shipping method also affecting the price of products because if we add in our products so customer says it’s costly and if we use seller shipping method without tracking details so customer raise refund request and ask us proof of delivery so AliExpress must work on delivery timeline because as I also purchased wallet from AliExpress before start dropshiping which reached through China post in 45+ days and belive me I forgot about my order in this days😁

Final comment : In India dropshiping model will not work if you deal on behalf of AliExpress only as in last 1 year only received 3 orders after investing money in Alidropship store and plugin, SEO service, New Theme purchased and ads on social media. But I am trying to improve as I was new in e-commerce.

If any further thing need to improve so please reply as I mentioned my website name below.

Visit and check my website – Urbestow

Olga L. August 20, 2019 10:30:11

Hi, thank you for your feedback!

We appreciate that you share your first-hand experience of dropshipping in India. Please, take a look at this free conversions guide: we hope it will help you get a better store performance

Also, please, read this article on AliExpress shipping: we hope it will help you solve your issues with a long delivery time

We wish you the best of luck with your venture!

Vivek Thakur August 20, 2019 12:16:10

As per Pros And Cons..Late delivery like 28 days or more than 28 days.even after paying aliexpress standard shipping cost,buyer will get item after 15 days.This is 21st century and no one want to wait for his/her order for more than 5-7 days.Lated delivery is the Main Cons of aliexpress.

Suman Prakash August 20, 2019 3:39:28

Longer estimated time should also be added in the cons section of dropshipping in India. Apart from that, there are many places in India where delivery isn’t assured by the carrier providers of Aliexpress. I have experienced this issue with one of my client. The client was from Patna and ordered for a brooch. I opted for normal delivery option on Aliexpress that doesn’t facilitate tracking option. It has been more than 6 months, however the customer hasn’t received his product yet.

Olga L. August 20, 2019 10:31:37

Hi, thank you for your feedback!

We appreciate that you share your first-hand experience of dropshipping in India. Please, take a look at this article on AliExpress shipping: we hope it will help you solve your delivery issues

We wish you the best of luck with your venture!

Akash August 20, 2019 6:38:06

Is there need of any investment to do dropshipping with AliExpress in India

Olga L. August 20, 2019 10:32:58

Hi, thank you for your question!

Yes, you will need to make some investment. Please, watch this video to learn more:

Jay August 20, 2019 11:35:34

You missed a big negative point. Indian gov is banning products coming from China on all ports. Packages marked as gifts will be scanned. Advisories are issued to port authorities & courier companies. Also, they are taking actions against companies which are trying to avoid gst tax by importing products as gifts. Package imports are dropped from 2 lakh a day to 1 lakh a day recently.

Olga L. August 20, 2019 13:23:11

Hi, thank you for your feedback! It’s a highly valuable note.

Could you please share some links on the official resources that give more information on this? It’s important for us to learn more about the local challenges that our customers can face.

Jay August 20, 2019 19:54:46
bilyaminu August 20, 2019 13:35:33

I want to start dropshipping from nigeria. Any tips please

Olga L. August 21, 2019 9:37:47

Hi, thank you for your interest!

Please, read this article:

Also, you might be inspired by this success story from our Nigerian friend:

Nathaniel Sam George August 20, 2019 17:07:11

And there’s a 42% duty on orders above $50. Once I ordered a package form Alibaba to Kerala and I had to pay it even though the seller kept the order amount to be $35 only. I had to pay almost ₹4000.

Shekhar August 21, 2019 11:55:02

If we start dropshipping in India, the biggest problem is shipping and the customs charges.

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