A Beginners’ Guide To International Dropshipping
International dropshipping allows you to sell products worldwide without even leaving your home. Sounds impressive, right?
This article is going to help you find your footing in international dropshipping.
What doesn’t catch on with the customers in your country may be a profitable opportunity in another one. And you don’t need to travel to these countries to launch your business.
Dropshipping blurs the international borders. Your business is no longer tied down to your location. You can live in Uganda and sell goods to the USA or Europe. You can even travel to your heart’s content without any harm to your online business. All you need is to take your laptop with you.
Sounds too good to be true?
Believe it or not, but it’s really so. And you don’t have to work miracles to become financially independent and lead a life you’ve always dreamed of.
However, it doesn’t mean you should dive into dropshipping without planning it out. Without a plan, you’ll run up against plenty of unnecessary problems that will get you down fast.
To let you avoid this, we’ve drawn up this roadmap to international dropshipping. Take one step at a time and watch your business grow.
#1. Make the list of the countries you want to dropship to
Obviously, the first thing you should do before starting your online business is research a potential market. You need to know where your products could do the trick and bring money in.
Thanks to the tools like Google Trends, you can easily evaluate the level of demand for certain items. You just need to type your keywords in the search field and see how the interest in the product has been changing over the years.
In some countries, a product can be desired by a large number of people, while in others, the level of demand will be far less.
Thus, you need to weed out the countries that don’t have any interest in the items you’re selling. Draw up the list of the most promising countries to sell your goods to. It’s going to be helpful for your further work.
#2. Size up the level of competition in your niche
When you have a list of potential countries, you should look at each of these regions closer. Some countries could be flooded with online stores that occupy the same niche.
In these kinds of circumstances, it’s going to be difficult and quite expensive to win over the competition. There, customers have a lot of alternatives to your store – plus, promotional campaigns on oversaturated markets cost a lot more.
However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a high level of competition is a sign for you to back out.
Remember that the competitors’ products and promotional campaigns may not be of the highest quality. And here is where you can break into the market and come out on top!
Yet, if your common sense drops hints that the competition is too tough, then you’d better focus your effort on the countries with better conditions.
#3. Choose suitable dropshipping suppliers
We’ve mentioned before that the reliability of your business partners is of utmost importance.
But besides this, there is one more thing to consider if you want to dropship internationally. Your suppliers should be able to deliver the products to every country you target.
Plus, your clients want to receive their packages as soon as possible. And, most certainly, they have little desire to pay extra delivery fees.
Meanwhile, it may turn out that an AliExpress seller has a free or a low-cost shipping option for one country but doesn’t have it for another. Or it could occur that the shipping to some states costs higher than the item itself. Who would like that?
Thus, you need to go to AliExpress and try to choose the suppliers who provide cheap delivery services, such as ePacket, to all your target countries.
Finally, another thing worth mentioning is the tracking code. When you pick your suppliers, make sure their shipping options include the tracking information. Tracking a delivery order helps avoid all kinds of troubles. If you can track the goods, you will have information about the status of the shipment, whether it has been delivered to the address or if it’s experiencing some delays.
In any case, with having access to the tracking of the package, you will be able to resolve any issues much more effectively.
#4. Try to find suppliers that store their products near your customers
If the order takes a large amount of time to reach its destination, you risk running into various predicaments with your customers. The most impatient and irritable of them could be a real pain in your neck and cause some serious troubles.
To keep customer anger at bay, you should work towards reducing the delivery time. The best way to achieve this is to search for the sellers on AliExpress who store their products in the countries you target or in the neighboring states.
It’s simple – the shorter the distance is, the faster the delivery.
In one of our articles, we explain how to find the suppliers with the warehouses in the USA. This way, you cut down the shipping time from 20 – 30 to 7 – 5 days.
The good news is, you can repeat the same trick with any other country you need. Some AliExpress sellers have their warehouses in various countries like the one in the pictures below.
#5. Set suitable payment gateways
You come across an item that you want to buy right on the spot without any delay. But, you can’t. The store doesn’t accept your credit card and you’ve left your cash at home.
If you don’t want your clients to feel the same way, you need to integrate suitable payment gateways in your online store.
Make sure that the gateways you’re about to set are available in the countries you’re going to target.
#6. Run separate promotional campaigns for each country
Every country has its own history, culture, and traditions.
What puts people off in India could be right up your alley if you’re a US citizen. And the other way round.
While creating your advertisement, you need to consider the diversity between countries. You should have a specific approach to each country you target. Besides, if you want to get the best results from your advertisement that targets a specific country, you need to translate it into the local language.
#7. Translate customer reviews
Your reputation is one of the most essential parts of being successful in international dropshipping.
How do people figure out if your online store is worth buying from?
From the people who have already had this experience, of course! Don’t even doubt it: your store visitors read the reviews that the previous buyers have left about your products and your customer service.
Fortunately, you can build a sound foundation for your online business right from the beginning. Even if nobody has bought anything from you yet.
With AliDropship Google Chrome Extension, you’re able to add the reviews along with the products you import to your store.
But, the customer feedback on AliExpress could be posted in different languages. They may not include the ones your target countries speak.
Thus, you should translate the positive reviews into English, at least. For better results, you need your product reviews to include comments in all the languages your potential clients speak.
#8. Provide a great customer service
As a rule, unsatisfied customers are more inclined to take their anger out on you by leaving negative feedback. If everything goes well, people just take it for granted.
If you don’t want bad rumors about your online store to run rampant on the Internet, you should provide your clients with excellent customer service.
It means that there is no room for any misunderstanding between you and the customers. If you can’t speak English or the other target languages fluently enough, there will definitely be some problems.
The key to handling this difficulty is hiring somebody who has the necessary knowledge of the language. They’re going to take care of your customer support and save your reputation. Freelance platforms like Fiverr, UpWork, Freelancer let you easily find someone who is fit for this.
#9. Additional international dropshipping features you should be aware of
If you are indeed interested in creating a dropshipping business that will target other countries, then there are a couple of additional factors you should be aware of.
Let’s go over them one by one.
The laws and regulations of the destination country
It’s no secret that every country has its own restrictions for international shipments. If you wish to run a profitable business you need to make yourself familiar with the laws and regulations of the countries you decide to target. Thus, you will avoid any unnecessary troubles with the law and keep your profits to yourself.
For example, in certain countries, you are required to file information about the incoming order. If you fail to file this info, you risk facing various fees and penalties.
As you can see, the outcome can be costly for your business. So, making yourself familiar with the laws is strictly in your interests!
A poorly packaged product can be a major letdown, especially to consumers who enjoy it when the package is of high quality and represents the product in the best way. However, aiming to please your potential customers is not the only reason why you should try to create a custom package. Besides ensuring your items are delivered in the best condition, it heavily affects the shipping rates, as they will differ depending on the size and weight of the package.
For this reason, if you want your dropshipping business to look like an actual business, you should invest in the packaging to make it more presentable and memorable to your customers.
Make a creative packaging design that best reflects your brand. Moreover, try to use lightweight protective materials to ensure low shipping rates.
Return terms and conditions
Just like any other wholesale business that sells various products, make sure to get acquainted with the return policies of your dropshipping suppliers. Moreover, don’t forget to list your own return policy on your online store, to provide your customers with this information. Provide straight and clear information about the payment methods, guarantees, etc.
By getting better acquainted with the general features of international dropshipping, you better prepare yourself when you start dropshipping your goods to customers from other countries and increasing your profit margins.
Now, you’re good to go! You know the most essential things about international dropshipping and can give it a shot. If something still holds you back, feel free to leave your questions in the section below. We’re always ready to help you.