Looking to find the best countries to dropship to in 2021?
Then this guide will help.
Did you know that eCommerce is booming worldwide? In 2019, an estimated 1.92 billion people made purchases online, and all signs suggest that will continue to grow and grow.
There’s a big wide world out there – with tons of lucrative opportunities and interesting niche markets to tap into for dropshippers.
Plus, it’s never been easier to connect with reliable suppliers around the world (you can find out more about this in our guide to finding dropshipping suppliers).
With plenty of resources at your fingertips, there’s no better time to start dropshipping across the globe!
The Best Country to Dropship to in 2021
If you want a safe bet, you can’t go wrong with the United States.
This sounds like an obvious answer, but really, it’s true. The US has a huge population (over 331 million people in 2020). It’s the third-largest country in the world, with a rich history when it comes to eCommerce. After all, Amazon, eBay, and Etsy were all launched in the US.
Plus, the online shopping stats for the US are pretty huge: by 2023, it’s predicted that there will be 300 million online shoppers in the US, and the eCommerce market revenue was $343.15 billion in 2019. It’s a thriving market, with plenty of successful retailers on every scale to learn from.
How does this compare to other countries? Well, it has 7.5% of the total eCommerce retail sales. That makes them second, after China (we’ll talk more about China later in this article).
The downside is the fact that it’s an oversaturated market. The competition is fierce, and you may have to spend more on advertising.
Plus, US shoppers have pretty high standards: in a world of Amazon Prime and rush delivery, they may expect a quick turnaround, which can be a problem if you’re sourcing products from China.
Still, if you’re looking for a country to target for dropshipping with a huge market, the U.S is the obvious choice.
9 Other Countries to Target for Dropshipping
Still on the hunt for the best countries to target for dropshipping? Here’s a rundown of some of the most lucrative options:
First up, the UK. It’s at the top of the list for countries in Europe with the biggest eCommerce market, with over £76 billion (or just over $103 billion).
Online shoppers here spend the most on fashion, so it’s worth putting some effort into advertising in the UK if you’re a fashion dropshipper (you can find out more about this in our Guide to Partnering with the Best Fashion Dropshippers). It’s a huge market, expected to reach $35.2 by 2024. According to the Royal Mail, Brits are most likely to buy t-shirts online, with 46% of online fashion sales dedicated to that one item.
Shoppers here pay using popular methods like PayPal, credit or debit card, and (increasingly popular) buy now, pay later services like Klarna.
Like the U.S, U.K customers are increasingly using next-day or same-day delivery services, especially through Amazon. The expectations may be pretty high in terms of speed of delivery.
So, let’s look at the pros and cons:
Want to focus on a fast-growing market? Go for Sweden. Just look at the rate of growth: by the end of 2017, eCommerce sales totaled $7.83 billion, reaching over $9 billion in 2018.
Sweden’s eCommerce market is expected to continue to grow, and now is a good time to jump on the bandwagon.
English isn’t Sweden’s official language, but nearly everyone there speaks it, so you won’t have to worry about translation in your marketing materials.
The most popular category in Sweden for online shopping in 2020? Health and beauty, followed by fashion and books. If you’re focusing on one of those niches, it’s well worth focusing your marketing efforts there.
Bonus tip: it’s worth investigating all the Scandinavian countries (Sweden, Norway, and Denmark). All of them have booming eCommerce markets.
Wanna dropship to New Zealand? It’s a good choice: like Sweden, New Zealand is experiencing pretty rapid growth when it comes to eCommerce. According to JP Morgan, New Zealand’s eCommerce market value stood at $4 billion at the end of 2019, with mobile eCommerce taking $1.3 billion.
Platforms like Amazon, eBay, and Trade Me (the most popular eCommerce platform in New Zealand) perform very well there.
What to sell there? There’s a booming market for sales of tickets and accommodation by New Zealand shoppers, but ladies’ fashion, books, and men’s clothing also do well.
The downside? It’s a small country at 4.8 million, so there’s a smaller scope for sales than in countries like the U.K and the U.S.
Italy’s eCommerce market share continues to grow along with many other countries in Europe – a predicted $23 million will be spent on eCommerce in Italy in 2021. That doesn’t sound that big compared to the others on this list, but it’s growing quickly, and it suits certain niches very well.
Maybe unsurprisingly, fashion dropshippers will do well in Italy. According to BigCommerce, clothes, shoes, and accessories are the second-most popular categories for eCommerce.
However, the top spot goes to vehicle parts and accessories. If you’re interested in that niche, you’d do well to focus your advertising efforts on Italy.
The market share is small though, compared to some other countries – so you may not be able to make a huge amount of money here. It’s also worth remembering that 29% of Italians speak English, so you will have to ensure that your marketing is translated well.
Australia is another good country to focus on. By 2024, eCommerce sales are predicted to hit $32.2 billion – a huge amount! If you want to sell in Australia, now’s the time to get going.
Yet again, fashion is king here, with clothing making up a large percentage of items bought online, but books, games, electronics, and shoes rank highly too (if you’re interested in this niche, check out our In-Depth Guide to Finding the Best Shoe Dropshippers).
The downside is that there is an element of oversaturation when it comes to eCommerce in Australia. If you want to avoid this, go for something further down the list – cosmetics, stationery, and bags/accessories may be lucrative.
It’s estimated that Canada’s eCommerce revenue will grow to $33.3 billion by 2024, and with a population of 37 million, it’s one of the best countries to dropship to. In the past few years, over 28 million people have made online purchases.
Computers and electronics made up the biggest category in 2019, closely followed by women’s fashion, books, and men’s apparel. It could be a good idea to tap into one of the niches further down the list – for example, health products or office supplies, to avoid having to deal with tons of competition.
In our opinion, it’s definitely worth targeting Canada for social media ads. Facebook is the most popular platform in Canada – 83% of adults have a Facebook account. That could be a good way to draw in some new customers.
The Netherlands is another good country to look into. The eCommerce market is rapidly growing there, with the revenue projected to grow to $22,185 million by 2024. In 2018 it was the third country in Europe (in terms of using eCommerce), and 96% of its 17.28 million population use the internet.
Fashion is a hugely popular market here, as well as health and beauty.
Something to keep in mind is the payment methods people use in the Netherlands:
iDEAL allows users to pay using their bank accounts without having to input their bank information to eCommerce websites. So, payment method is something to bear in mind if you want to target the Netherlands, as iDEAL is so popular there.
In fourth place for the biggest eCommerce market in the world, Japan has an eCommerce market value of $150.1 billion, with mobile commerce taking up $36.6 billion. With a population of 126.8 million, a whopping 90.9% of that population uses the internet. In short – it’s a big market.
It’s a little different than some of the other countries on this list. While fashion still tops the list, it’s not miles ahead of the other categories, with toys, DIY, and hobbies coming up quite closely behind apparel.
Food, electronics, and furniture are also thriving markets. Personal care products are popular too, and may be a good niche to target as it’s less likely to be oversaturated.
The challenge for selling in Japan is of course the potential language barrier. It is estimated that as little as 2 percent of people in Japan speak English fluently. So, you’ll have to bear translation in mind, especially if a customer comes to you with a problem or request.
The most popular social media network in Japan is LINE, which you may not be familiar with, but Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are popular too, so those are good options for targeting ads.
South Africa’s eCommerce market may be small compared to some of the others on this list, but it’s growing quickly, so now may be a good time to start selling there.
It’s expected that revenue from eCommerce in South Africa will reach over $6 million by 2025, with a growth rate of 13.4% year-on-year.
Key product categories include clothing, books, and beauty products.
The Worst Countries to Dropship To
What countries should you avoid? Here’s a few to steer clear of:
Indonesia has one of the biggest rates of fraud in eCommerce transactions in the world – up to 44.1% of online transactions are fraudulent, which is a pretty good reason to pick somewhere else instead.
While China has a massive population, households are used to finding items online for very low prices, which makes it difficult to make sales.
Plus, more people will be familiar with items sold on AliExpress or Alibaba, so if you use those, you may be less likely to be successful there.
India is next on the list, because of the main payment method used in eCommerce:
COD stands for Cash on Delivery, which means payments are made on delivery, instead of in advance. This can mean higher transaction costs, which will shrink your profit margins.
Getting Started with Dropshipping
Once you’ve figured out which country you’d like to dropship to, what do you need to do next?
Choose Your Niche
You may want to figure out your niche before you start – picking the right niche is so important. Ideally, your niche will be something you are interested in (even if only a little), something that you know a little about, and something you can market well.
Ideally, you’ll have figured this out before you choose a country. If you’re not totally decided, it’s worth looking at the popular niches within that country.
Still stuck for ideas? Check out our guide on the 30 Best Dropshipping Business Ideas That Will Make You Money in 2021.
Find Good Suppliers
Sounds easy, right? Well, it can be a little more complicated than it sounds. Finding reliable suppliers that won’t let you (or your customers) down is vital. There are a few ways you can find suppliers, but one of the best ways is to use a supplier’s directory.
Our Dropshipping Supplier’s Directory is aimed at every level of dropshipper, from beginners through to established businesses. We’ve collected only reliable, highly rated suppliers. You can search through our directory by niche, city, state, or country (or a combination of all of them). We also update it regularly, and you only have to pay once for lifetime access.
Using a directory can save a lot of time and headaches!
If you want more tips, try our Ultimate Guide to Finding Dropshipping Suppliers.
Set a Pricing Strategy
Pricing can be tricky. It’s tempting to set your pricing lower than your closest competitors, but this might not leave you with enough profit, especially once you’ve considered all your costs. It’s hard to find a balance between making more sales and making enough profit per sale, and it might take a bit of trial and error.
Check out our guide to Dropshipping Startup Costs to help you figure out how much you’ll need to get going.
Competitor analysis may not sound that exciting, but it’s vital. Competitor analysis will help you to create the best strategy for selling in your chosen country, so it’s important to look at local sellers in that country as well as international sellers.
Work on Your eCommerce Store
If you haven’t already, you can start looking at building your eCommerce store now. We recommend Shopify for dropshippers, and if you don’t know where to start, try our guide on how to start a Shopify store in 20 minutes.