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Shopify Dropshipping South Africa: How To Go About It

Have you ever thought about starting your own business but felt overwhelmed by the idea of managing inventory? Well, I’m here to tell you about an exciting opportunity called dropshipping. Today, we’ll explore what dropshipping is and how you can use Shopify to start your own business without needing to stockpile products.

What is Dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a way of selling products online where you, the seller, don’t need to keep the products in stock. Instead, when you make a sale, you purchase the item from a third party and have it shipped directly to the customer. This means you don’t have to worry about inventory storage or shipping hassles.

A lady using a phone

Opportunity with Shopify in South Africa

Now, let’s talk about Shopify. Shopify is a platform that allows you to create your own online store easily. The great thing about Shopify is that it’s accessible to people in South Africa who want to start their own businesses. With Shopify, you can set up your store, choose products to sell, and start making sales without the need for a physical storefront or lots of inventory.

How Does Dropshipping Work?

Dropshipping is a way of selling products online without keeping them in stock. 

Instead, you partner with a supplier who holds the inventory and ships the products directly to your customers when they make a purchase. 

Let’s break down how dropshipping works in simple terms:

Step 1: Setting Up Shop

Retailers create an online store using platforms like Shopify.

They choose the products they want to sell and list them on their store.

Step 2: Customer Orders

When a customer buys a product from the retailer’s store, the order details are sent to the supplier.

Step 3: Supplier Ships Directly

The supplier packages and ships the product directly to the customer.

This means the retailer doesn’t have to handle inventory or worry about shipping logistics.

Step 4: Making a Profit

The retailer earns money by selling the product at a higher price than the wholesale rate they pay the supplier.

The difference between the sale price and the wholesale rate is the retailer’s profit margin.

Why is Dropshipping popular in South Africa?

a). Low Startup Costs: Setting up a dropshipping business on Shopify requires minimal investment compared to traditional retail stores.

b). Flexibility: Retailers can run their businesses from anywhere with an internet connection, offering flexibility and convenience.

c). Wide Product Selection: With dropshipping, retailers can offer a wide variety of products without the need for a physical inventory.

d). Scalability: As the business grows, retailers can easily scale up by adding more products or expanding their marketing efforts.

Finding the Right Suppliers

When you’re just starting, it’s crucial to find reliable suppliers who can provide quality products to your customers. Here’s how you can do it:

1. Use Apps Like Oberlo and Spocket Integrated with Shopify

Oberlo and Spocket are handy apps that work seamlessly with Shopify. They allow you to browse through thousands of products and easily add them to your store. These apps also handle the order fulfillment process, making it hassle-free for you.

2. Filter South Africa Based Suppliers by Product Category

With Shopify and its integrated apps, you can filter suppliers based in South Africa. This means you can offer products that are locally sourced, which can be appealing to your South African customers. Whether it’s fashion, electronics, or home goods, you can find suppliers catering to various product categories.

3. Evaluate Supplier Credibility Indicators

Before partnering with any supplier, it’s essential to evaluate their credibility. Look for indicators such as reviews from other dropshippers and fulfillment rates. Positive reviews and high fulfillment rates indicate that the supplier is reliable and can deliver products on time.

By following these steps, you can find trustworthy suppliers for your Shopify dropshipping business in South Africa. Remember, building a successful online store takes time and effort, but with the right suppliers and dedication, you can achieve your entrepreneurial goals.

Choosing Products To Sell

When you’re picking products to sell, it’s essential to choose those that people in South Africa really want to buy. You want to sell things that people are already looking for and are willing to pay for.

Before you decide what to sell, you need to do some research. Look for products that have a lot of people interested in buying them. This means there’s a demand for these products in South Africa.

Make sure that the products you choose have enough profit for you. Profit is the money you make from selling something after you’ve paid for it. You need to be able to sell the product for more than you bought it for so that you can make money.

It’s important to find suppliers who can give you the products you want to sell. Suppliers are the people or companies who give you the products you want to sell in your store. Make sure your suppliers can package your products professionally and include any inserts or special notes you want to send to your customers. 

Validating And Listing Products  

When you’re starting your Shopify dropshipping business in South Africa, it’s crucial to make sure your products are just right. Here are some steps to validate and list your products successfully:

Create Engaging Descriptions for Social Media

Write descriptions that tell people about your products in a way that catches their interest. Use words that make them excited to buy. Think about what makes your product special and share that with your potential customers.

Take Custom Photos for South African Customer Sensibilities

Take pictures of your products that South African customers will love. Make sure the images show the item clearly and in a way that makes it look appealing. Good photos help people understand what they’re buying, and it’s especially important for your customers in South Africa.

List Pricing Competitively After Competitor Analysis

Check what other people are selling similar products for. Make sure your prices are fair and competitive. Customers often compare prices before buying, so it’s important to be in line with what others are offering. This way, you attract more buyers and keep them interested in your products.  

Read also: How to Make Money With Amazon Online

Marketing Your Shopify Store

So you’ve set up your Shopify store in South Africa, but now comes the big question: how do you get people to notice it? Marketing is the key to getting your products out there and making sales. Here are some ways you can do it:

a). Influencer Endorsements on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok

Many people in South Africa use social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. Influencers, or people with lots of followers, can help promote your store by talking about your products. When they recommend your products, their followers might want to buy them too. It’s like having a friend tell you about something they really like.

b). Leverage Existing Following by Promoting Your New Store

Do you have a social media account or a blog with followers? You can tell them about your new Shopify store! Let them know what you’re selling and why they should check it out. Your followers already trust you, so they might be interested in what you have to offer.

c). Use Affiliate Marketing Networks

Affiliate marketing is when other people promote your products for you. When someone buys something through their special link, they get a commission, which is like a reward. There are networks in South Africa where you can find people who want to promote products like yours. This can help get your store in front of more people without you having to do all the work.

Managing Post-Sales Logistics  

When you run a Shopify dropshipping business in South Africa, managing what happens after a customer buys something is super important. Let’s talk about how to handle the post-sales logistics smoothly.

Integrate delivery partners for managing last-mile distribution

Once a customer buys something from your Shopify store, it needs to get to them, right? You can make this happen smoothly by teaming up with delivery partners. These partners help take the products from where they are to where your customers are, whether it’s in the heart of Johannesburg or the beaches of Cape Town.

Share shipment tracking notifications

Imagine waiting for a package to arrive but not knowing where it is or when it will get to you. That can be frustrating! So, to keep your customers happy, you should share shipment tracking notifications. These notifications let them know where their package is and when they can expect it to arrive. It’s like giving them a little map to follow the journey of their purchase!

Handle returns back to suppliers

Sometimes, customers might want to return something they bought. It could be because the item doesn’t fit right or they changed their minds. When that happens, you need to handle the returns smoothly. This means organizing the item to be sent back to the supplier so you can get things sorted out for your customer. It’s all about making sure your customers have a good experience, even if they decide to return something.

Read also: How To Get Organic Traffic To Your Shopify Store (Using A Blog)


Starting an online retail business in South Africa through dropshipping using Shopify can be a smart move. By carefully choosing suppliers, researching products, and promoting them effectively, you can kickstart your business without needing a lot of money upfront.

Dropshipping allows you to sell products without keeping them in stock. This means you don’t have to worry about inventory or shipping hassles. Shopify makes it easy to set up your online store with its user-friendly platform, and it already has a lot of customers who trust the brand.So, with the right strategies in place, dropshipping with Shopify in South Africa can be a promising venture.

Read also: How To Increase Conversions On Shopify (Using Ads Strategy)