Types of Shopify Stores broken Down For you
Welcome to our today’s post Types Of Shopify Stores. So, now we come to the last lesson of this introductory ecommerce training, where we first looked at the different types of e-commerce business models, then I walked you through choosing the right business model for you.
Last post was really all about introducing Shopify and explaining in depth, you know the features and benefits of using it and the full functionality of the platform. And so in this one now I want to talk a little bit more practically about how this applies to the types of Shopify stores or store you’re going to build.
Shopify + Shopify themes is basically where you get the ability to create any type of store that you want. And choosing the best type of store theme is going to be based on your goals, what you want to sell, who your target market is.
Because, you’re creating a brand and so there’s differences, are you building a one product store or are you building a multiple product store? Are you selling to older generation or a younger generation?
Based on the type of thing that you’re selling and who your target market is, there’s going to be different functionality you might want within your store, well, that’s going to determine the type of theme that 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. And there’s a few ways to classify that – one is a general store, this would be a Shopify store that is really 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
General Shopify Store
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 but 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 the 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 like pigeon holed into any one niche, so you have room to like pick and choose around different things and there’s room in the scale, but that’s kind of a weak Pro.
Cons Of having A general Store
I just 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. It’s really difficult to compete with big players at this point and you’re probably going to waste lots of money testing bad ideas and honestly it’s starting to become a saturated market.
With the rise of dropshipping and all these courses that have come out and flooded the market and flooded 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 just sell everything and a lot of these stores are selling the same exact products and ripping each other off and using the same branding and same product descriptions creating terrible store names.
My Take on A general Store Shop
I personally think that this is a model you should avoid unless you have some type of unique strengths, like for example the guys that founded wish.com, which is a huge drop shipping site, its a billion dollar company at this point I think, those guys had a huge strategic advantage.
They had a strategic advantage of their knowledge and their business and probably their resources and 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 really 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 kind of a turn-and-burn model.
You’re constantly testing new products and trying to find new winning ideas and you’re moving across multiple collections. Again it’s not to say that it can’t work, Inspire uplift is a great example of the general store on Shopify that does work and they do very well. I just think it’s extremely difficult to get started this way nowadays
A Niche Shopify Store
A niche store is the opposite side of the spectrum. This is a store that would only focus on selling items in one niche. For example dog store – think of any dog store in the world that you’ve ever been into, not a pet store, a dog store. All they sell are food, toys, and items for dogs.
Now, the pros to this are really high brand value, because you’re so focused in your audience.
You know exactly who you’re selling to, it’s easier to create a loyal following, which makes it easier to sustain and also easier to build assets and eventually, sell as well. There’s higher brand value for that.
Now when I say easier, I don’t want that to confuse you, that it’s easy to build a niche store. I just mean that, in the sense of trying to create a loyal following and create something sustainable and having one unique targeted audience.
With a general store, 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.
The cons to a niche store are one 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.
Now, as an example, dogs is not something too small or too competitive, because it’s a huge massive that you’re have so many breeds of dogs, so many dog owners all around the world.
And there’s constantly new dog products coming out, it’s not too small or too competitive.
Something like steampunk – now you may not even know what steampunk is, but if you do, it’s like a style of vintage sized sci-fi kind of apparel and dress. It’s a really small niche, like if you go into the steampunk niche, you’re going to be capped for earnings.
In my opinions, that would be very difficult, I think to even build a million-dollar year business in the steampunk niche.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 being that, if you can find a big niche with a lot of opportunity and lots of money to be made, it’s going to 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 a market capital of a few million dollars and there’s already multiple competitors, you’re going to be working so hard just 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, it’s focused only on a few products but that niche of what they’re doing is actually 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 like it’s an example of a good niche that has room for scale and growth and potential and something that he could sell eventually as well.
3.Single Product Shopify Store
Now here’s an example of a single product store called getsnooz,I don’t really 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, its one brand, it’s the snooze and it’s basically a Bluetooth speaker that operates, has multiple different functions.
Again it’s a big niche, Bluetooth speakers is something that, snooze – actually 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 a lot of people have sleep problems or problems going to sleep.
It’s a big rising industry and rising 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 that has a good exit strategy.
Let’s continue reading more of these Types Of Shopify Stores and how it will help you make a distinctive decision when it comes to Shopify store set up.
4.Selling Your own Products
Taking your existing hobby or business and putting it on Shopify, so the pros to this are obvious right – you have your existing brand value, you already know your audience, you probably have an existing social following even if it’s a small one, it’s something to start with.
It’s logical for you to expand and open an e-commerce channel to be able to sell more of your products. I don’t see any cons to this at all other than getting it set up and managing it which is not difficult.
So, if you have an existing hobby or business, then you should definitely expand that onto Shopify.
Here’s an example of one, Jaswants kitchen, where they have their actual physical location and they even have wholesale distribution within stores around them locally and nationally within the country.
But, they also have their Shopify store where people can actually visit, because selling online and social media is really powerful and you’re going to be able to reach a much wider audience.Selling your own product is my number four in this list of Types Of Shopify Stores .
Hybrid Shopify Store
This is where you are meeting in the middle of general and niche store, 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 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’s all these different categories within that, but the idea why this is great, is because this is something that can have a lot of overlap within your audiences. It’s kind of 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 that like to play sports 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 audiences you are able to move and adapt to find the niches that work for you, the niches that don’t.
It’s also still going to be easier to build an asset and sell because again that overlapping audience is going to allow you to create loyalty and create a real brand, something that is clear and defined and not just completely random.
I think that you’re not going to have as deep connection to any one of those niches, right like Dick’s Sporting Goods you know if say for example I’m a basketball fan, I’m going have a deeper one. Let me think of a different example, say for example I like to fish, because I know there’s a fishing brand out there that’s 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 the 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 that 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 just 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, this is this stores called couples choices and basically they sell items for relationships, 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 these kind of sub niche categories within the store.
Personally, this is the best place to start with hybrid store model and the couples choices is a great example of that. At the general level it’s just about relationships, relationships is a huge broad 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 if you have a great print-on-demand idea and you’re not interested in dropship products, sure you can go that way.
Or if you just want to build a one product store and you don’t really feel the need to do print-on-demand, sure 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 in the beginning when you may not yet exactly know what’s niche is going to sell the best.
This is all strategy and research from the beginning to make sure you’re testing in a smart way, that’s going to help you identify and find success quickly and then from there when you’ve identified and niches working for you well, you can build it into its own store, and its own brand and just 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 really valuable for you as an introductory level into e-commerce, e-commerce business models, how to choose a business model and then finally how you are going to be, this is strategy.
This was all like the foundational eCommerce stuff, in the next post we’re going to take it to all the foundation online marketing knowledge that you need now.
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