15 Best Dropshipping Suppliers in South Africa in 2021 [Updated]
With a population well into the 1 billion mark and a median age of 19.7 years, based on the latest United Nations estimates (April 12, 2021), Africa is the world’s youngest continent. For instance, add to this factor the eCommerce revolution seen in recent years, and what do you get? A young continent with a huge opportunity for boosting profits.
Many African countries are deemed by many industry experts a great opportunity for starting a dropshipping business. The eCommerce landscape in South Africa is certainly growing at a fast pace. As a result, young entrepreneurs are seeing the potential of the popular eCommerce business model – dropshipping.
Online shopping habits
The territory of the African continent has seen rapid mobile and internet advances. This contributes to the fact that the young population is more and more inclined to shop online. For example, it is a known fact that young people in African countries, including South Africa, prefer making purchases via mobile phones. This, because the majority of them don’t have access to banking accounts. In fact, in 2019, 62% of South African online shoppers purchased something from an overseas retailer, compared to 43% in 2018.
The trend for online shopping with credit cards and via mobile devices is steadily increasing. This is the reason why more and more types of payment methods are introduced in Africa. Dropshipping in South Africa seems to be considered a gamechanger. Therefore, if you are looking to explore the potential in the South African eCommerce landscape, first you need to learn the country’s characteristics and its 59 million consumers’ habits. Only then you can proceed with finding the best dropshipping suppliers in South Africa.
The South African eCommerce landscape
According to a study published on Statista, the numbers for e-commerce penetration in South Africa are rather amazing. For example, there were 30 million eCommerce users in 2019, 52% eCommerce penetration, and 63% Internet penetration. Most importantly, dropshippers know that there are many possibilities to test out new products in this market.
The South African online shopper
Online shopper characteristics
- The number of eCommerce users is expected to grow by 24% to 38 million users in South Africa by 2023;
- 35% of South African online shoppers have a high household income.
- South Africa ranks 40th regarding eCommerce penetration: 52% of the population shop online.
According to Bizcommunity, the three most popular online shopping categories for South African consumers who shop online are clothing with 53%, entertainment/education with 51%, and event tickets with 51%. Moreover, among the popular categories for online shopping in South Africa are electronics and media, as well as furniture and appliances. Additionally, when it comes to buying overseas, the leading category is again clothing with 68% and jewelry/watches with 62%.
Shopify for the South African dropshipping market
The world’s leading eCommerce platform, Shopify, has teamed up with leading South African payment providers to support setting up and running an online store. This comes as an indispensable element for achieving success in the dropshipping business because many South Africans consider PayPal inconvenient. An additional advantageous aspect relating to Shopify is that there are dropshipping suppliers that provide automated integration with dropshipping stores based on Shopify which makes the experience for both the dropshippers and their suppliers easier and uninterrupted.
South African consumers’ payment habits
According to Statista, as of January 2020, it was found that 41% of eCommerce transactions in South Africa were completed by using a credit card. However, only 13% of South African adults above 15 years possess a credit card, which imposes the need for additional options for secured payment methods. And here come the trends for mobile phones and mobile banking – as of today, the available payment gateways in South Africa are:
- PUT IT ON LAY-BUY
- Coinbase Commerce
- Payment Express PxPay
- PayPal Express Checkout
Now that we have explained the key features of the South African eCommerce market, we will dive into the next important part of the dropshipping business. When it comes to the process of seeking authentic suppliers, we have distinguished the steps one must take to avoid risks to its business.
We gathered a list of the best dropshipping suppliers in South Africa that cover different industries.
Dropshipping Suppliers in South Africa
We gathered a list of the best dropshipping suppliers in South Africa that cover different industries including clothing, electronics, gadgets, pet items, and more. Here, you’ll get a few good options before you decide to start your own online business.
If you decide to follow what statistics show about the South African online shopper, you should definitely consider opening an online store for dropshipping designer clothing and pick BrandsGateway to be your supplier. To illustrate, the most popular category for South African consumers who shop online is clothing with 53%. Therefore, teaming up with BrandsGateway will allow you to offer your customers premium clothing collections for both women and men.
With warehouses at four locations across the globe, BrandsGateway ensures fast and timely delivery to any location using diverse shipping methods including UPS, FedEx, and DHL. Additionally, the company provides automated integration with Shopify which makes the dropshipping experience even easier and seamless.
2. Men’s Republic Distributors
When it comes to gadgets and electronics, Men’s Republic Distributors is considered one of the leading dropshipping suppliers based in South Africa. It is a wholesale supplier of gadgets, smartphone accessories, RC toys, novelties, and gifts for men.
In fact, they have at hand numerous products and offer a range of benefits for dropshippers. They are responsible for picking, packing, and dispatching orders to the end customers, as well as for all product returns. Additionally, they supply all of their products’ listing info.
3. The Scents
As the name itself implies, The Scents is a wholesale supplier of designer fragrances and other beauty products for both men and women. If you are planning on opening a dropshipping store that will be specializing in beauty products, The Scents is a solid choice for a supplier. They ship all their orders via shipping carriers that ensure tracking information (DHL, UPS, SAPO, POSTNET, USPS, etc.). In addition, they accept payments with all major credit cards.
ParcelNinja supports dropshippers by giving them smart warehouse solutions. By adopting these solutions, as a dropshipper, you can drop your stock off at their warehouses and schedule items to be delivered. Besides, you can get real-time tracking that will allow you to follow your order from the shelf to your customer’s door.
5. Neat Freak
Neat Freak is a South African dropshipping supplier that focuses on supplying dropshipping stores with all kinds of tools for home organizing. More specifically, Neat Freak offers everything from detergents and general household cleaning supplies to office and storage accessories. If you are looking for a dropshipping supplier that can provide you with wide-ranging household items, you can choose Neat Freak. However, make sure to explore this market to see if there’s a demand for these kinds of products.
By streamlining and simplifying product sourcing from various suppliers, Dropstore lets dropshippers find products, add them to their online store, and ship them directly to their customers fast and easily. Once your customer makes an order, the order is automatically sent to the South African supplier. Later Dropstore will ship the item with the provided tracking information.
For the technology and smart gadget-fanatics, Gadgetgyz is yet another choice of dropshipping supplier located in South Africa. More specifically, Gatgetgyz offers a broad collection of Android phones, accessories, smartwatches, and gadgets from brands like OnePlus, Cubot, Ulefone, Xiaomi, and more. Furthermore, they state that they ensure 24/7 customer support for their network of dropshippers.
Another South African supplier of gadgets and accessories is Mantality. They supply products ranging in several categories including gadgets and gear, living and leisure, geek and gaming, and also electronics and tech. Mantality is a good choice if you are planning to start up a store that will target mostly people with a passion for tech electronics.
9. Third Wave Distribution
A high-quality choice of electronics is available to dropship with Third Wave Distribution as well. We included it in our list of the best dropshipping suppliers in South Africa because of its location and the selection of products it offers. The company brings over 400 products to the table and their delivery is between 2-4 business days.
Homeware, toys, kitchen products, jewelry, and beauty products are available for dropshipping at Calasca. Based in Sandton, South Africa, Calasca supplies dropshipping stores with an extensive range of products. Their return policy is quite strict as they allow product returns only made within 48 hours after the delivery date.
Planet54 is a dropshipping supplier that offers numerous types of products that fall under several categories, such as footwear, clothing, accessories, and tech. In case you are looking to build a strong relationship with a trustworthy supplier that sells wide-ranging non-branded products and to increase your profits, check Planet54. You can choose to become a part of their reseller entrepreneurship program or source their products on Dropstore.
Another dropshipping supplier based in South Africa with an interesting offering for dropshippers is Marijuanasa. If you are interested in opening a dropshipping store that will specialize in selling cannabis seeds, and all essential products for growing cannabis. This dropshipping supplier delivers its products to South Africa, United Kingdom, Namibia, Swaziland, and Lesotho.
If you are familiar with how Shopify works, it wouldn’t be difficult to understand Shopstar. It’s a dropshipping supplier you can use both to create your store and sell different products. Depending on the pricing plan you would choose, you can have from 1-25 to an unlimited number of products.
If you are looking for a supplier of niche products, such as personalized swimwear, mugs, or t-shirts, you should try Wheelatrend. It is a widely known South African dropship supplier for printing on demand. They offer dropshipping of their products directly through their website and when you join as a reseller you will be able to buy products at wholesale pricing as well.
15. Cosmic Pets
Finally, the last company on the list. When it comes to selling pet products and items, Cosmic Pets is a wholesale supplier that is known and respected within the industry. For more than 10 years, Cosmic Pets supplies more than 500 retailers. For instance, these include pet shops, veterinary clinics, and pet care professionals throughout South Africa. They offer premium pet products with high-quality branding that they deliver within 5 days from order placement.
To wrap up
When it comes to choosing the best dropshipping supplier from South Africa, the most important aspect is to follow the statistics. Once you understand the needs and requirements of the typical South African online buyer you can start your dropshipping business. In other words, the data we mentioned above proves that the majority of the South African population shops online for clothing – 53%. Therefore, selling clothing in South Africa is a smart first step for every entrepreneur that has a desire to tackle the potential of dropshipping in this country.