One of the advantages of ecommerce, and especially dropshipping, is that anywhere with an internet connection can be a target market.
After all, you’re not looking for foot traffic in your store. You’re looking for web traffic in your store.
That said, some markets are better than others. This post will look at Oberlo’s own data and hit on some of the best places for you to sell. We’ll look at:
- The biggest markets for dropshippers
- A few less obvious markets that outperform their populations
- Some of the traits that the best performing markets have in common
So if you’ve ever wondered about the best countries to dropship to, read on!
No Doubt: The US is the Top Market
We’re going to devote lots of ink to all of the countries where you can dropship other than the United States. But before we do, let’s be clear that the United States is a huge market for Oberlo merchants.
We thumbed through some data and identified which countries placed the most orders for Oberlo-sourced products in 2017. Here is what the Top 10 looks like, sans the United States:
And now, with the US:
Let’s splice that another way: Total orders from the US versus total orders from the rest of the world:
Yeah, the United States is definitely the top dog when it comes to generating dropshipping sales. It’s not hard to cook up theories for why that is. It’s the biggest economy in the world, for starters, and has the most mature ecommerce industry around. Amazon is from the US, eBay is from the US, Etsy is from the US, and on and on. Oh, and the US has launched more ecommerce stores with Oberlo than any other country for three straight years.
Of course, there are some drawbacks to targeting the US. The market is thoroughly saturated, which both increases competition and drives up advertising costs.
So with all due respect to the States, let’s take a closer look at some other countries that you should consider as you build your marketing campaigns and dropshipping strategy.
Here are the 20 countries that accounted for the most Oberlo orders in 2017:
- United States
- Great Britain
- New Zealand
A diverse group, to be sure. Although one thing is consistent across the board: With the exception of India, each country supports ePacket delivery.
ePacket, for those not familiar, is a cheaper, faster delivery method for products coming out of China. Given the high volume of dropshipping products that are sourced from China, ePacket lets store owners offer better delivery options to markets around the world.
There is a chicken-or-egg element to this: Are buyers in these countries placing so many orders because of the ePacket delivery system? Or is ePacket available in these markets because they are huge ecommerce players?
It’s hard to say, but the fact remains: The top 20 markets for Oberlo merchants are almost exclusively countries that have ePacket.
If you want to take advantage of ePacket, it’s one of the filters you can use when you search for products to import into your store inside Oberlo:
Here’s the full lowdown on ePacket:
That list of top 20 markets for Oberlo merchants is thoroughly diverse. Countries span North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The languages spoken include English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Dutch, as well as the 780 languages spoken in India.
Despite this diversity, however, you can’t help but notice that Scandinavia – those three sparsely-populated countries sitting atop Europe – is very well represented. When we look at where Oberlo orders were sent, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark all sit in the 11-20 range.
This is noteworthy for a few reasons. Here is that 11-20 group by population:
Okay, India (1.3 billion) and Mexico (127 million) kind of skew things. Here is that same group, minus India and Mexico:
Now we can see just how petite Norway (NO), Sweden (SE), and Denmark (DK) are. Sure, New Zealand (NZ) and Ireland (IE) have even smaller populations, but Scandinavian countries combined have about 21 million people.
So why are they such good countries for dropshipping? Let’s speculate.
First off, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark have spending power. As anyone who’s ever gone out for a drink in Oslo or Copenhagen knows, these countries are expensive. According to the International Monetary Fund, all three are among the 11 most affluent countries in the world, per capita.
But that’s part of the beauty of dropshipping: You can sell to markets with huge spending power without having to pay local prices. You’re not paying Scandinavian manufacturers to produce products, and you’re not paying Scandinavian rent prices to own a store.
You’re launching Facebook campaigns and including those countries in your location filters. And chances are that whatever you’re charging for your dropshipping products, it’s not as much as Scandinavians are accustomed to paying for local brands.
Another possible factor: People in these countries speak exceptional English. In all three countries, more than 85 percent of the population speaks English.
English isn’t the official language of dropshipping. There is no official language. But it’s a good one to have in your back pocket. A Facebook ad or catchy Instagram post in English will have a bigger potential reach than a Facebook ad in, say, French.
So remember that Scandinavia is a place where your English headlines and products descriptions will be understood. And not only that, understood by people who, on average, have more money to spend at your store than just about anybody else.
The only catch: Your target audiences need to be on Facebook.
So Facebook penetration is something to keep in mind if you use Facebook for marketing.
Let’s look at a list of countries with the highest Facebook penetration, starting with Taiwan and its 66 percent Facebook penetration. The bold countries also appear in the Top 25 of total orders from Oberlo merchants.
There are a few things for dropshippers to note.
* Malaysia, the eighth-ranked country in terms of Facebook penetration, has been 28th, 24th, and 29th in total orders of Oberlo-sourced products from 2016 to 2018.
But still, Malaysia has consistently accounted for a healthy chunk of Oberlo orders.
* The Philippines, meanwhile, has for three straight years been in the top 30 in Oberlo-sourced purchases, despite ranking lower than 100 in spending power.
We don’t want to make too many assumptions, but we do know that Malaysia and the Philippines have a high rate of Facebook usage, and that there are lots of English speakers in each country: In Malaysia, the majority of residents speak English, and in the Philippines, English is one of two official languages.
If you’re in North America or Europe, Malaysia and the Philippines might seem like the edge of the world. But they’re actually a lot closer to China – the potential birthplace of the products that you’re selling – than more “traditional” markets.
These are both countries to keep in mind if you have an English store or set up English ads.
One of the biggest advantages of dropshipping is that you can get your products anywhere. The United States, United Kingdom, and other “usual suspects” will continue to account for the biggest chunk of Oberlo merchants’ orders.
That said, our data shows that there are viable dropshipping markets scattered from Scandinavia to the Asia-Pacific. And you don’t need to do anything to reach them that you wouldn’t be doing already.
While different countries have their own quirks when it comes to shipping, chances are that your suppliers will be able to deliver products to customers no matter where they are.
Some food for thought the next time you ask yourself which markets to target!