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No. 1 Guide To Oberlo in South Africa

Oberlo is a popular e-commerce platform that enables entrepreneurs and small business owners to easily source and sell products from various suppliers, primarily focusing on dropshipping.

For those unfamiliar with dropshipping, it’s a business model where the seller doesn’t keep any inventory; instead, they partner with suppliers who handle the product manufacturing, storage, and shipping directly to the customer.

In recent years, Oberlo has gained significant traction in South Africa, offering local entrepreneurs a convenient way to start and grow their online businesses.


With its intuitive interface and seamless integration with popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Oberlo has become a go-to solution for many South African sellers.

Here are the key advantages that have contributed to Oberlo’s success in South Africa:

  • Ease of Use: Oberlo’s user-friendly platform makes it easy for even beginners to set up their online stores and start selling quickly.
  • Extensive Product Range: Oberlo provides access to millions of products across various categories, giving South African sellers a wide selection to choose from.
  • Supplier Reliability: Oberlo vets its suppliers to ensure high-quality products and reliable shipping, which is essential for building trust with South African customers.
  • Cost-Effective: With no upfront inventory costs and competitive product pricing, Oberlo allows South African entrepreneurs to start and scale their businesses with minimal investment.

As the e-commerce landscape continues to evolve in South Africa, Oberlo’s presence and popularity are expected to grow, empowering more local entrepreneurs to succeed in the online retail space.

Benefits of Using Oberlo for South African E-commerce Businesses

Oberlo has emerged as a popular platform for South African e-commerce businesses, offering a range of benefits that can help entrepreneurs succeed in the competitive online retail landscape.

Here are some of the key advantages of using Oberlo in South Africa:

Low Startup Costs and Minimal Risk

One of the primary advantages of using Oberlo is the low startup costs and minimal risk involved.

With Oberlo’s dropshipping model, businesses don’t need to invest in inventory upfront, which significantly reduces the initial financial burden.

This makes it easier for South African entrepreneurs to start their online businesses without taking on substantial financial risks.

Wide Product Selection

Oberlo provides access to millions of products across various categories, giving South African sellers a diverse range of options to choose from.

This extensive product selection allows businesses to cater to different customer preferences and stay competitive in the market.

Supplier Reliability and Quality Control

Oberlo carefully vets its suppliers to ensure that the products offered on the platform meet quality standards and shipping timelines.

This level of quality control is crucial for building trust and credibility with South African customers, who expect reliable service and high-quality products.

Automated Order Processing

Oberlo seamlessly integrates with popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify, enabling automated order processing.

When a customer places an order on an Oberlo-powered store, the order details are automatically forwarded to the supplier, who then handles the packaging and shipping.

This automated process streamlines operations and reduces the risk of errors, allowing South African businesses to focus on other aspects of their online stores.

Customization and Branding Options

Oberlo allows sellers to customize product details, descriptions, and pricing to align with their brand identity.

This level of customization enables South African businesses to create a unique brand experience for their customers, fostering brand loyalty and recognition.

Analytics and Reporting

Oberlo provides comprehensive analytics and reporting tools that help South African businesses track their sales performance, identify bestsellers, and make data-driven decisions to optimize their product offerings and marketing strategies.


As South African businesses grow and expand their product lines, Oberlo’s platform can easily accommodate their scaling needs.

With a vast range of products available, businesses can seamlessly add new items to their stores without worrying about inventory management or logistics.

South African e-commerce businesses can mitigate risks, streamline operations, and focus on growth by using Oberlo’s features.


Getting Started with Oberlo in South Africa

Getting Started with Oberlo in South Africa

If you’re a South African entrepreneur looking to start an e-commerce business or expand your existing online presence, Oberlo can be an excellent platform to consider.

Getting started with Oberlo is relatively straightforward, and the platform provides a user-friendly onboarding process.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started with Oberlo in South Africa:

Step 1: Choose an E-commerce Platform

Oberlo integrates seamlessly with popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce.

Select the platform that best suits your business needs and technical proficiency.

Many South African sellers prefer Shopify for its ease of use and comprehensive feature set.

Step 2: Create an Online Store

Once you’ve chosen your e-commerce platform, set up your online store by following the platform’s instructions.

This typically involves selecting a domain name, choosing a theme or template, and configuring basic settings like payment gateways and shipping options.

Step 3: Install the Oberlo App

After setting up your online store, you’ll need to install the Oberlo app or plugin.

This integration allows you to import products directly from Oberlo’s marketplace into your store.

Step 4:Set Up Your Oberlo Account

Create an Oberlo account by providing basic information such as your name, email address, and store details.

Oberlo will guide you through the process of connecting your online store to the Oberlo platform.

Step 5: Explore Product Options

Oberlo offers a vast selection of products across various categories.

Use the platform’s search filters and browse options to find products that align with your target market and business goals.

Consider factors such as product popularity, pricing, and supplier ratings when making your selections.

Step 6: Import Products to Your Store

Getting Started with Oberlo in South Africa

Once you’ve identified products you want to sell, import them into your online store with just a few clicks.

Oberlo allows you to customize product descriptions, prices, and images to match your brand’s identity.

Step 7: Customize and Optimize Your Store

With the products imported, take the time to further customize your store’s design, navigation, and content to create a seamless shopping experience for your South African customers.

Ensure that your store is mobile-friendly, as a significant portion of online traffic in South Africa comes from mobile devices.

Step 8: Set Up Payment and Shipping Options

Configure your store’s payment gateways to accept popular payment methods used by South African customers, such as credit cards, EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer), or digital wallets.

Additionally, set up shipping options and rates that cater to your target market’s preferences and locations.

Step 9: Promote Your Store

Once your store is ready, it’s time to promote your products and drive traffic.

Leverage social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and X to reach potential customers in South Africa.

Consider running targeted advertising campaigns, collaborating with influencers, and leveraging content marketing strategies to increase your online visibility.

Step 10: Monitor Performance and Optimize

Regularly monitor your store’s performance using the analytics and reporting tools provided by your e-commerce platform and Oberlo.

Identify best-selling products, analyze customer behavior, and make data-driven decisions to continuously improve your product offerings, marketing strategies, and overall customer experience.

Launching and growing your Oberlo-powered e-commerce business in South Africa can be successful if you stay patient, persistent, and adaptable to the dynamic world of online retail.


Popular Product Categories and Sourcing Options

Oberlo offers a vast selection of products across various categories, catering to diverse consumer interests and preferences.

For South African entrepreneurs, understanding the popular product categories and sourcing options can help them make informed decisions and capitalize on emerging market trends.

In this section, we’ll explore some of the top-selling product categories and sourcing strategies for Oberlo sellers in South Africa.

Popular Product Categories

  1. Fashion and Apparel: Clothing, accessories, and fashion items have always been in high demand among South African consumers. Oberlo offers a wide range of apparel products, including women’s clothing, men’s fashion, children’s wear, and accessories like jewelry, sunglasses, and bags.
  2. Electronics and Gadgets: With the growing adoption of technology in South Africa, electronics and gadgets have become popular product categories. Oberlo provides access to various consumer electronics, such as smartphones, tablets, headphones, smartwatches, and portable speakers, among others.
  3. Home and Garden: As South Africans increasingly focus on creating comfortable living spaces, the home and garden category has gained traction. Oberlo offers a diverse selection of products in this category, including home decor, furniture, kitchenware, gardening tools, and outdoor furniture.
  4. Health and Beauty: The health and beauty market in South Africa continues to expand, driven by consumer demand for personal care products, cosmetics, and wellness-related items. Oberlo’s product range includes skincare products, makeup, hair care products, supplements, and fitness equipment.
  5. Toys and Games: South Africa has a significant youth population, making toys and games a popular product category. Oberlo offers a wide variety of toys, puzzles, board games, and educational products suitable for children of all ages.

Sourcing Options

Oberlo provides several sourcing options to help South African sellers find the perfect products for their target markets:

  1. Oberlo Supply: Oberlo’s primary product sourcing option is Oberlo Supply, which gives sellers access to millions of products from various suppliers. Oberlo Supply is known for its reliable shipping times and competitive pricing, making it a popular choice among South African sellers.
  2. Oberlo Verified: Oberlo Verified is a curated selection of products from highly rated and verified suppliers. This option is ideal for sellers seeking high-quality, reliable products with a lower risk of issues or defects.
  3. Supplier Catalogs: Oberlo allows sellers to browse and import products directly from specific supplier catalogs. This option enables sellers to establish long-term relationships with trusted suppliers and potentially negotiate better pricing or terms.
  4. Custom Products: For South African sellers looking to offer unique or personalized products, Oberlo provides the option to source custom products from suppliers. This can include custom apparel, personalized gifts, or products tailored to specific customer preferences.

When sourcing products, it’s essential to consider factors such as product ratings, supplier performance, and pricing to ensure a positive customer experience and profitability.

Additionally, sellers should stay informed about emerging trends and consumer preferences in South Africa to make strategic product selections.

South African entrepreneurs can build successful online businesses by leveraging Oberlo’s extensive product range and sourcing options to cater effectively to the diverse needs of their target markets.

Marketing and Promotion Strategies for Oberlo Stores in South Africa

Launching an Oberlo-powered online store in South Africa is just the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey.

To achieve success and stand out in the competitive South African e-commerce landscape, effective marketing and promotion strategies are essential.

In this section, we’ll explore various tactics and channels that South African Oberlo sellers can leverage to drive traffic, increase brand awareness, and boost sales.

Social Media Marketing

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, X, and YouTube offer powerful opportunities for South African Oberlo sellers to connect with their target audience and promote their products.

Here are some effective social media marketing strategies:

  • Create engaging content: Share visually appealing product photos, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and informative content that resonates with your target audience.
  • Utilize hashtags: Research and incorporate relevant hashtags to increase your content’s discoverability and reach on platforms like Instagram and Twitter.
  • Leverage influencer collaborations: Partner with social media influencers or micro-influencers who align with your brand and can help promote your products to their engaged followers.
  • Run targeted advertising campaigns: Utilize the powerful targeting capabilities of social media advertising platforms to reach specific demographics, interests, and locations within South Africa.

Content Marketing

Producing high-quality, valuable content can help South African Oberlo sellers establish themselves as industry experts, build trust with their audience, and drive organic traffic to their online stores.

  • Start a blog: Create a blog section on your website and publish informative articles, product guides, and industry insights related to your product categories. This will not only improve your search engine rankings but also position you as a knowledgeable resource within your niche.
  • Guest posting: Contribute guest posts to popular blogs or websites within your industry or related niches. This can help you reach new audiences, build backlinks, and establish yourself as an authority in your field.
  • Video content: Create educational or entertaining video content related to your products and share it on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. Video content can be highly engaging and can help you stand out from competitors.

Email Marketing

Building an email list and leveraging email marketing campaigns can be an effective way for South African Oberlo sellers to nurture customer relationships, promote new products, and drive repeat sales.

  • Offer incentives for sign-ups: Provide discounts, exclusive content, or other incentives to encourage website visitors to subscribe to your email list.
  • Send regular newsletters: Keep your subscribers engaged by sending regular newsletters featuring new product arrivals, promotions, and valuable content related to your niche.
  • Personalize communications: Segment your email list based on customer behavior, interests, and purchase history to deliver personalized and relevant messages that resonate with each audience segment.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Optimizing your Oberlo store and content for search engines can help South African sellers improve their online visibility and attract organic traffic from potential customers.

  • Keyword research: Identify relevant keywords and phrases that your target audience is searching for and incorporate them strategically throughout your website’s content, product descriptions, and metadata.
  • On-page optimization: Ensure that your website’s structure, headings, images, and other elements are optimized for search engines by following best practices in on-page SEO.
  • Local SEO: Focus on optimizing your store for local search results by including location-specific keywords, creating local business listings, and encouraging customer reviews to improve your visibility in local search results.

Paid Advertising

While organic marketing strategies are essential, complementing them with targeted paid advertising campaigns can help South African Oberlo sellers accelerate their growth and reach new audiences quickly.

  • Google Ads: Utilize Google Ads to create search and display campaigns that target specific keywords and demographics, driving qualified traffic to your Oberlo store.
  • Social media advertising: As mentioned earlier, leverage the advertising capabilities of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to promote your products to highly targeted audiences based on their interests, behaviors, and demographics.
  • Influencer marketing: In addition to traditional advertising, consider partnering with influencers or content creators to promote your products through sponsored posts, product reviews, or giveaways.

South African Oberlo sellers can effectively increase brand awareness, drive targeted traffic to their online stores, and ultimately boost sales and revenue by implementing a well-rounded marketing strategy that combines these tactics.

Costs of using Oberlo in South Africa

Costs of using Oberlo in South Africa

Here’s a breakdown of the costs of using Oberlo in South Africa, along with factors to consider:

Oberlo Pricing Plans

Oberlo offers three pricing tiers, and you’ll need to consider the features and limitations of each to match your business needs:

  • Starter (Free):
    • Up to 500 products
    • 50 orders per month
    • Basic Oberlo features (product import, order management, etc.)
  • Basic ($29.90 per month):
    • Up to 10,000 products
    • 500 orders per month
    • Additional features like shipment tracking and bulk order management
  • Boss ($79.90 per month):
    • Up to 30,000 products
    • Unlimited orders per month
    • All features, including multiple staff accounts

I want you to remember:

  • Oberlo is designed for Shopify: This means you’ll also need to factor in the costs associated with running a Shopify store (Shopify plans range from $29 to $299+ per month).
  • Transaction fees: Like any e-commerce platform, you will likely incur transaction fees, either from your chosen payment gateway or Shopify Payments, depending on your settings. These fees usually range from around 1% – 3% per transaction.

Additional Costs to Consider

  • Suppliers: The prices charged by your suppliers for products will directly affect your profit margins.
  • Shipping fees: Shipping costs from your suppliers to your South African customers will impact your pricing or cut into your profit. Consider the location of suppliers and the weight/size of items as these factors heavily affect shipping.
  • Marketing and advertising: It’s essential to budget for reaching your target audience in South Africa. Consider using social media marketing or paid advertising options.
  • Import taxes and duties: Products imported from international suppliers might be subject to import taxes and duties.

Is Oberlo Right for Dropshipping in South Africa?

While Oberlo offers benefits for dropshipping, there are a few things to keep in mind regarding South Africa specifically:

  • Limited South African suppliers: Oberlo primarily connects with AliExpress suppliers (mostly based in China). Direct integration with South African suppliers is generally not available.
  • Long shipping times: Products may take longer to reach South African customers, particularly if they are coming from abroad.
  • South Africa Post (SAPO) reliability: You might face potential delivery issues if you rely on the national postal system for final deliveries.


  • Explore local South African dropshipping suppliers or wholesalers, though options might be limited.
  • Consider platforms that support integration with a wider range of suppliers and marketplaces.

Key Takeaways

  • Oberlo is a popular e-commerce platform that enables South African entrepreneurs to easily source and sell products through a dropshipping model.
  • Key advantages of using Oberlo in South Africa include low startup costs, wide product selection, supplier reliability, automated order processing, customization options, analytics and reporting, and scalability.
  • Getting started with Oberlo involves choosing an e-commerce platform, setting up an online store, installing the Oberlo app, exploring product options, importing products, customizing the store, configuring payment and shipping, and promoting the store.
  • Popular product categories for South African Oberlo sellers include fashion and apparel, electronics and gadgets, home and garden, health and beauty, and toys and games.
  • Oberlo provides various sourcing options, such as Oberlo Supply, Oberlo Verified, supplier catalogs, and the ability to source custom products.
  • Success stories of South African Oberlo sellers, such as Lebo’s Fashion Boutique, TechGear South Africa, and Green Thumb Gardeners, demonstrate the potential for growth and success using the platform.
  • Effective marketing and promotion strategies for South African Oberlo stores include social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and paid advertising tactics.
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