Now that you have successfully imported products from Aliexpress to the Shopify store, the next…
So, what are the different types of Shopify stores?
There are four types of Shopify stores, namely single-product stores, niche stores, general stores, and hybrid stores.
And so, in this one now, I want to talk more practically about how this applies to the types of Shopify stores or stores you will build.
Shopify + Shopify themes is basically where you get the ability to create any store that you want. Choosing the best type of store theme will be based on your goals, what you want to sell, and who your target market is.
Because you’re creating a brand, and so there are differences. Are you building a one-product store, or are you building a multiple-product store?
Are you selling to an older generation or a younger generation?
Based on the type of thing you’re selling and who your target market is, there will be different functionality you might want within your store that will determine the type of theme you choose.
But it’s also what we want to look at, even more, is just like overall, what type of store you’re building. There are a few ways to classify that – one is a general store, which would be a Shopify store that is broadened and sells anything, and the picture example here is Walmart. Walmart is just the brand and doesn’t mean anything.
Types Of Shopify Stores Categories
It’s a very general brand name, and Walmart itself sells everything, from produce to apparel to home items to kitchen and baths, and while that’s home items, you get it.
Like you, if you’ve ever been to a Walmart, they’re one of the largest retailers in the world, and they have an online site as well; they sell anything and everything possible under the Sun, all in one place. That’s considered a general store.
Pros Of A General Store
The pros are that it’s easy to move and adapt because you are not pigeonholed into any one niche, so you have room to pick and choose around different things, and there’s room in the scale, but that’s a weak Pro.
Cons Of Having A General Store
I want to be fair to the model because it can work if you know what you’re doing, but the cons are that it’s too broad. Competing with big players is difficult now, and you’re probably wasting lots of money testing bad ideas. Honestly, it’s starting to become a saturated market.
With the rise of dropshipping, all these courses have flooded the market and our news feeds in the past year or two.
It is just becoming a point where so many people are trying to set up this general store idea and sell everything, and a lot of these stores are selling the same products and ripping each other off and using the same branding and product descriptions, creating terrible store names.
My Take on A general Store Shop
I think this is a model you should avoid unless you have some unique strengths, such as the guys that founded wish.com, a huge dropshipping site; it’s a billion-dollar company. At this point, I think those guys had a huge strategic advantage.
They had a strategic advantage of their knowledge, business, resources, connections, and startup cash of what they wanted to do.
If you don’t have that type of unique advantage, I don’t think a general store is a good way to go, I think it’s going to be way too broad and way too difficult to find success, and I don’t want to see you waste a ton of money charming a path like this.
But it can work now. A lot of the stores that you’re going to see out there that are working right now, like Inspireuplift, were started a year or two years ago when competition was a lot lower, and they’ve been able to take advantage of first mover and grow into something powerful.
Wish.com founders have a well-established brand, lots of customers, and lots of credibility, and you know, lots of startup cash behind, not startup cash but lots of cash flow behind them to continue running this model because it’s a turn-and-burn model.
You’re constantly testing new products, trying to find new winning ideas, and moving across multiple collections.
Again, it’s not to say that it can’t work. Inspire Uplift is a great example of a general store on Shopify that does work, and they do very well. I think it’s extremely difficult to get started this way nowadays.
A Niche Shopify Store
A niche store is on the opposite side of the spectrum. This store would only focus on selling items in one niche. For example, a dog store – think of any dog store in the world that you’ve ever been to, not a pet store, a dog store. All they sell are food, toys, and items for dogs.
The pros are high brand value because you focus on your audience.
You know exactly who you’re selling to; it’s easier to create a loyal following, making it easier to sustain and build assets and sell. There’s higher brand value for that.
When I say easier, I don’t want to confuse you that building a niche store is easy. I mean that in trying to create a loyal following, create something sustainable, and have one unique targeted audience.
With a general store, it is very difficult because you’re all over the place, but with a niche store, you’re much more narrowed in, and you’re much more focused and, so the idea of why it’s easier is because all of your efforts are continually going into the same thing.
You’re naturally building brand equity if you’re doing your best and you’re trying, and you’re constantly adapting and innovating; you’re naturally brown dating brand equity; you’re naturally building assets in what you’re doing because you’re always focused in the same area with the same customers with the same audience.
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The cons to a niche store are that it can be capped for earnings.
Depending on the niche you choose, the size of that niche, and where you’re selling.
It might be capped. That’s called a market cap; there may be a ceiling to how much money you can make with that store, or it might be too small or too competitive based on what you choose.
For example, dogs are not too small or too competitive because it’s so huge that you have so many breeds of dogs and dog owners worldwide.
And there’s constantly new dog products coming out, and it’s not too small or too competitive.
You may not even know what steampunk is, but if you do, it’s like a style of vintage-sized sci-fi apparel and dress. It’s a small niche; you’ll be capped for earnings if you go into the steampunk niche.
Building a million-dollar business in the steampunk niche would be very difficult. That’s an example of choosing a niche that is too small and is probably too capped and may even be too competitive because all it takes, you know.
Neil Patel has a great concept that I heard him say once, where he said it’s much easier to get a small slice and carve out your business in a billion-dollar industry than it is to carve out a big piece in a million-dollar industry.
Generally, the idea is that if you can find a big niche with a lot of opportunity and lots of money to be made, it will be easier for you to build a million-dollar business in that because there’s so much money to go around, so much opportunity.
Niche Store Example
If you focus on a niche, that there’s only, you know, market capital of a few million dollars and there’s already multiple competitors, you’re going to be working so hard to try and scrape that out, you know, your piece of the pie, it’s not worth it. Focus on something bigger that has more opportunity. Here’s an example of a niche store on Shopify, Boom, by Cindy Joseph.
It’s a fantastic store. The guy who runs this as a Firestone is considered one of the top ecommerce experts in the world. And you can see that this store is focused on women’s health and beauty, and they only sell a few products.
So, it is a niche-focused only on a few products, but that niche of what they’re doing is quite large.
That’s incredible; you know, they’re doing almost 20 million dollars a year in sales, and they’re doing it within a very specific niche, with only a few products. And by the way, they are white labeling these products.
This is a private label brand, so you know, it’s an example of a good niche with room for scale, growth, and potential and something he could sell eventually.
Single Product Shopify Store
Now here’s an example of a single product store called getsnooz,I don’t know anything about the numbers of how much this store is making, but I thought it was a really good example; they only sell one product; it’s one brand, it’s the snooze, and it’s a Bluetooth speaker that operates, has multiple different functions.
Again, it’s a big niche; Bluetooth speakers snooze – peaceful white noise, so it’s a Bluetooth speaker specifically for helping people sleep.
So interesting, right? That’s very niche down because now it’s not just a speaker; it’s a speaker with a specific function only for helping people sleep. But still, you know many people have sleep problems or problems going to sleep.
It’s a big rising industry trend of people looking into how to sleep better and get more quality sleep. This is one product, one niche, but an example of a good niche with a lot of room for scale and potential to build a nice business with a good exit strategy.
Let’s continue reading more about these Types Of Shopify Stores and how they will help you make a distinctive decision regarding Shopify store setup.
Selling Your Products
Take your existing hobby or business and put it on Shopify, so the pros to this are obvious right – you have your existing brand value, you already know your audience, and you probably have an existing social following, even if it’s an small one, it’s something to start with.
It’s logical for you to expand and open an e-commerce channel to sell more of your products. I don’t see any cons to this other than setting it up and managing it, which is not difficult.
So, if you have a hobby or business, you should expand that onto Shopify.
Here’s an example of Jaswants kitchen, where they have their actual physical location and even wholesale distribution within stores around them locally and nationally.
But, they also have their Shopify store where people can visit because selling online and social media is powerful, and you will reach a much wider audience.
Selling your product is my number four in this Types Of Shopify Stores list.
Hybrid Shopify Store
This is where you meet in the middle of general and niche stores, like Dick’s Sporting Goods. Dick’s Sporting Goods is one of the largest Sports goods retailers in the world, and they have multiple niches.
The idea is, you’re taking a broad level concept of, in this example, that broad level concept is sports and recreation – a huge multi-billion dollar category, and then they’re narrowing it down to certain niches within that broad category.
They sell basketball, they sell football, they sell soccer or football based on where you’re watching this from, they sell fishing, they sell camping.
There are all these different categories within that, but this is great because this can have a lot of overlap within your audiences.
It’s the same demographic in a way I might pay to play basketball, and somebody else might play football, but we’re both kind of the same demographic; we’re athletes, right? We’re active people who like to play and are interested in sports.
It’s a good strategy because you can still keep a good brand value at the broad level, and within that overlapping audience, you can move and adapt to find the niches that work for you and those that don’t.
It’s also still going to be easier to build an asset and sell because, again, that overlapping audience will allow you to create loyalty and create a real brand that is clear and defined and not just completely random.
I think you won’t have as deep a connection to any of those niches, right? Like Dick’s Sporting Goods, if, for example, I’m a basketball fan, I will have a deeper one. Let me think of a different example: I like to fish because I know there’s a fishing brand called Salt Life.
Dick’s Sporting Goods may sell fishing stuff, and I may go to Dick’s Sporting Goods to buy fishing stuff at some point, but I’m going to have a deeper connection probably with the salt life brand because that’s all about fishing that represents a lifestyle of people who only fish.
I’m probably going to have a deeper connection with that, but still, Dick’s Sporting Goods I know is a place that I am interested in still as somebody who likes to fish because they offer the type of stuff I like there.
You can still create a really good brand value, but the only con I see is that you’re not going to get the deepest level of connection with that niche, which I don’t honestly really think of as a con; I want to mention it to be fair to the business model and the things you should be aware of.
Here’s an example hybrid store on Shopify, Couples Choice, which sells items for relationship couples.
They are broad enough at the level that it’s not just one type of couple, like there may be multiple different types of categories and things that they sell, from Valentine’s gifts to couples t-shirts and hoodies, the people who are married, the people who are engaged, the people who are just dating to anniversaries.
Like they’re all overlapping, all the audiences are overlapping, and they sell both dropship products stuff,
So you have a hybrid match between the dropshipping, the print-on-demand, between the broad level category, and niching it down like this kind of sub-niche categories within the store.
This is the best place to start with a hybrid store model, and the couple’s choices are a great example.
At the general level, it’s just about relationships; relationships are a huge level buyers’ market, but when you niche it down a little bit, right here in the middle, you’ll see that they specifically talk about couple shirts and couple hoodies and like so they niche it down in the different audiences a little bit.
And then they’re also meeting in the middle with both dropship products and print-on-demand products.
I’ve explained the different types of Shopify stores and the blend of what I think is the best type of store.
Now it doesn’t mean you can’t just go with print-on-demand. You can go that way if you have a great idea and are not interested in dropship products.
Or, if you want to build a one-product store and don’t feel the need to do print-on-demand, you can go that way.
Types Of Shopify Stores: Summary
I think both print-on-demand and drop shipping are fantastic ways to start an e-commerce business, but when it comes to the niche that you choose, I would definitely do the hybrid route, where you are trying to create a kind of a broad-level brand idea and then be able to include a few different niches.
Because it gives you the flexibility to move around initially when you may not know exactly what niche will sell the best.
This is all strategy and research to ensure you’re testing smartly. That’s going to help you identify and find success quickly, and then from there, when you’ve identified niches working for you well, you can build it into its store and its brand and try to scale.
Just start testing products, start moving through and testing products, building your data and understanding, not just wasting money and throwing stuff out there but really doing research and then spending money to get data, find out how your market is reacting, move and adapt, and start moving forward in a systematic process to identify which products are going to sell and allow you to start scaling.
I hope this has been valuable for you as an introductory level into e-commerce, e-commerce business models, how to choose a business model, and finally, how you will be; this is strategy.
This was like the foundational eCommerce stuff; in the next post, we will take it to all the foundation online marketing knowledge you need now.
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