So, if you’re new to dropshipping, you may feel lost in the scope of the options available to you. Should you start a store selling one product, a general store, or a branded niche store?
What is the difference between a general store and a niche store? Which one offers the most advantages? or What is the best niche products?
This write-up seeks to address these concerns and illustrate why branded niche stores are the best option.
Is it a general store, a niche store, or a store specializing in a specific product? It’s one of the most often asked questions on our site, whether via messages or in the comments section.
I’m going to put an end to this controversy today. To some degree, In today’s article, I’ll describe the three distinct types of dropshipping store formats, their respective benefits and drawbacks, and, finally, six reasons why I believe branded niche stores are the way to go.
Let us not waste any further time and dive right in.
I’ve worked here for a few years, which means I’ve assisted hundreds of merchants and seen hundreds of stores in their entirety: good, bad, and ugly. I’m referring to one-product, general merchandise, and niche stores.
Therefore, you may believe that if I’ve visited so many stores, I must know the answer to this one easy question: Should you start a niche store, a one-product store, or a general store?
Regrettably, the solution is not as straightforward as the question, which is why I’m writing this today. I’ve personally witnessed all three store formats succeed in transforming regular, average folks into six-figure eCommerce legends.
Simply because I’ve witnessed each of these store styles in action does not mean that they’re all perfect for you. If you’re unfamiliar with the terms “general store,” “niche store,” or “one-product store,” allow me to clarify them.
If you’re dropshipping or beginning an eCommerce business, you’ll need to build a store around the product you’ve chosen to sell. Most dropshippers operate their businesses in three popular formats: one-product stores, niche stores, or general stores. Allow me to elaborate on each.
General, Niche, and One-Product Stores Explained
Defining a One-Product Store
A single-product store, as the name implies, sells only one product.
Consider the following scenario: you’re browsing Oberlo one day and come across cat water fountains, which inspire you to build an entire store around them.
Thus, you would import the cat’s water fountain as your sole product and then create a whole storefront to serve as a funnel for this single product.
Every line of copy, every piece of material, and every other storefront element would be devoted to this product.
Let us now discuss niche stores.
Defining a Niche Store
A niche store is a store that specializes in selling products in a single category.
This category might include everything from pet products to Chihuahua costumes. A branded niche store entails the additional step of building a whole brand for your business. And no, I am not referring to simply making a bespoke logo. However, more on that later.
Defining a General Store
A general store defines a store that sells a diverse range of products.
Consider a large-scale retailer or department store. While general stores specialize in trending items, real product categories can range from kitchen gadgets to pet supplies to even headphones.
Now that you’ve gotten a sense of what each store type is like, allow me to discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of each. To start, consider the model of the general store.
Advantages & Drawbacks
General merchandisers are not restricted to selling a single item or even a single category of item. With the general store, you may sell kitchen appliances, lava lamps, and cat litter mats along with them.
Many dropshippers with successful general stores prefer to specialize in a specific sort of product. Thus, you may come across profitable general stores that specialize in gadgets.
General stores have a lot of sways.
Indeed, entrepreneurs, the seven-figure dropshippers, who are well profiled on this subject, prefer this format. By not focusing only on a single product or niche, you may reach a broader audience and test various products.
Thus, a general store is a highly effective and practical method for identifying a winning product. As I previously stated, if you want to build a successful dropshipping business, you must first find a profitable product. And, on occasion, the most efficient method to accomplish this is to test everything simultaneously.
Some, including seasoned dropshippers, would argue that general stores are better for novices than single-product stores because they allow testing various products.
Here is the tiniest of particulars. Testing several products across multiple categories with distinct audiences on Facebook can quickly become prohibitively expensive. Not only are the products unfamiliar to you, but the audience is also. Additionally, if someone comes to your store solely to see your advertisement for a cat’s water fountain, they may go without purchasing any culinary equipment.
In general, if you have a large budget and are serious about Facebook advertising, general stores are a great option.
However, my preferred store style, which I suggest to novices and even seasoned eCommerce business owners, is a branded niche store.
Consider the polar opposite end of the spectrum: general stores. If you observe many successful dropshippers on YouTube or TikTok, you’ll find that they frequently structure their operations around one-product stores.
Selling a single product in your store has several significant advantages. Time is the first thing. Allow me to preface this by saying that if you have not yet begun your business, setting up everything and all the small things about setting up a store might take a significant amount of time. Trust me; once you start writing product descriptions, you will immediately notice the advantages.
If you’ve always wanted to start an online business but feel overwhelmed by all of the above, I highly recommend Dropshipping training. It’s a no-cost online course that will walk you through the process of building your store from start to end.
Another significant benefit of single-product stores is that you’re essentially building a funnel for a single product.
Allow me to clarify if you’re unfamiliar with eCommerce. Barry Schwartz created the term “choice paradox.” It is a very genuine phenomenon.
A tasting station with 24 distinct jam flavors got set up in a grocery store for a study conducted by a Columbia University professor.
They pared down the 24 jam flavors to only six a few hours later. Finally, they analyzed sales between when they offered 24 jam flavors and when they offered six.
You may be astonished to learn that when 24 distinct jam flavors were available, the conversion rate was 3%. On the other hand, the conversion rate was 30% when there were only six flavors available. That is correct.
One-product stores offer the advantage of allowing customers to focus on a single product, preventing them from becoming overwhelmed and leaving before deciding whether to purchase a red, blue, or orange sweater.
Thus far, the prospect of selling a single product in a store appears preposterous. If this is what professional dropshippers are doing on YouTube, why shouldn’t you? That being said, here’s the deal. Drop shippers who are professionals are precisely that.
They have sufficient experience to make profitable wagers on products they believe will succeed. If you want to run a profitable dropshipping store, you must first find a winning product. If you’re new to dropshipping, this process may take two to five rounds of testing.
If you’re creating a new single-product store for each product you’re testing, you’re highly likely to burn out and leave. Trust me; this is a genuine occurrence.
As a result, I would suggest one-product dropshipping to someone with dropshipping experience.
1. Increased Customer Value Over Time
First, I root for a branded niche store because it is significantly more effective at building customer lifetime value. Customer lifetime value refers to the total amount of money a customer contributes to your brand during their tenure as a paying customer.
After a customer purchases something from your store, they are automatically added to your email list. That means you can start emailing them weekly, monthly, or anytime you like about new promotions and products.
If a customer purchases a cat’s water fountain, there is a good possibility they will be interested in more products for their feline companion. Of course, they were previously interested in cat products, and maybe again.
However, it’s critical to remember that acquiring a new customer is five times more expensive than retaining an existing one.
If you’re constantly focused on customer acquisition, you’ll notice that your advertising costs are pretty expensive. However, if you focus on building relationships with existing clients and selling to them, you’ll end up with a lot higher profit in the long term.
2. Reduced Advertising Expenses
The second reason I suggest a branded niche store is that it may save you money on advertising. A niche store allows your Facebook Pixel to focus exclusively on a specific audience if you’re running Facebook ads. While you may need to switch between different products and creatives, your Pixel will retain information about your target customer.
Additionally, any internet traffic you send to your store will have a greater likelihood of remaining and browsing other relevant products. Plus, as I indicated previously, emails. Sending them to your customers via email is a form of free promotion.
Allow me to restate that. Using email to communicate with your customers is essentially free promotion. Therefore, do not neglect to take advantage of this.
3. Conduct Multiple Product Evaluations
As previously said, a niche store sells a variety of products that fall into multiple categories. For instance, if I wanted to offer cat water fountains but did not want to confine myself to that one product, I could start a store called perfectpets.com. Apart from cat water fountains, I could also sell cat leashes and littermates, as well as everything else you could need for your ideal pet.
There are multiple benefits to establishing a branded niche store of this nature. The first significant benefit of selling in a niche store is that you may experiment with multiple products without changing your audience or store.
Identifying a winning product might be pretty irritating if you’re just getting started, as there is no way to tell without trying it.
If you’re running Facebook ads or collaborating with affiliates on TikTok or even Instagram, for example, swapping different types of cat products will be far easier than finding entirely new influencers or audiences to target.
4. Branding Possibility
I recommend creating a niche store because it provides the most opportunities for branding and social media growth. Now, when I mention “brand,” I do not simply mean “create a distinctive logo.” That is, giving your entire business a voice and a mission.
Branding your business is the underlying foundation for all of the benefits I’ve discussed thus far. Branding establishes a lasting impression of your business and enables you to develop a relationship with your customers that keeps them coming back, trusting you, and ultimately purchasing more products.
Additionally, branding your business simplifies the process of creating social media accounts. If you’re just getting started and don’t have a large budget, this is the most cost-effective method of driving organic traffic to your store. Whether on TikTok, Instagram, or Pinterest, having a branded niche store allows you to diversify your offerings while focusing on a specific audience.
5. Business Foundation
The fifth and penultimate argument is that having a branded niche store lays the groundwork for future growth and expansion of your business. It provides you with a great deal of freedom. It enables you to develop a relationship with your customer and earn their confidence while also allowing you to experiment with new products, creatives, and approaches.
While it may take slightly longer to get started than a one-product store, you are laying the groundwork for your business’s future success.
While single-product stores and general stores both have their place, I believe that branded niche stores are ideal for beginners and seasoned dropshippers.
The sixth & final reason I recommend having your own branded niche store is for upsells. If you’re new to eCommerce, you may have heard the term “upsells” mentioned here and there but maybe unaware of its true power.
Upselling is a sales tactic in which you invite customers to add a product to raise the average order value. This is a highly effective strategy that can generate significant revenue for you because the customer has already expressed an interest in purchasing it.
With a niche store, the customer may be interested in several products. For example, if a customer comes to buy a cat’s water fountain, you can invite them to combine it with a beautiful translucent cat’s food bowl.
This would not be possible if you were running a one-product store. And if you run a general store, it would be far more difficult to suggest an add-on to someone’s order if they aim to purchase cat water fountains, but the only other products offered are kitchen gadgets.
If you want to build a successful dropshipping business, you must first find a profitable product. A niche store is more effective at building customer value over time—the seasoned seven-figure dropshippers prefer general stores over one-product stores. Most often hold that general stores are better for novices because they allow for the testing of products.
There are multiple benefits to selling in a niche store of this nature. Branding establishes a lasting impression of your business and enables you to develop a relationship with customers. Upselling is a sales tactic in which you invite customers to add a product to their order.
So, what are your thoughts on these various store formats? I’d like to hear it. Kindly notify us if you’ve started a one-product, general, or niche store.
And how successful has it been for you? Did you make a change? I’d like to know. And until next time, have a prosperous hustle.