You probably found this article because you're not sure if you should start with a general, niche, or one-product dropshipping store, right?
Well, don't worry! We're here to provide you with a no-nonsense breakdown of each store type.
The main difference between a general, a niche, and a one-product dropshipping store lies in what they sell: a general store offers a diverse range of trendy products, a niche store concentrates on a specific category appealing to a targeted audience, and a one-product store exclusively sells a single item.
If you're new to this game, we suggest starting with a broad niche dropshipping store. Think ‘pets' instead of exclusively ‘dogs' or ‘outdoors' instead of just ‘camping.'
To help you better understand, let's start with an overview of these three types of online stores.
Overview: General vs. Niche vs. One-Product Dropshipping Store
Each type has unique benefits and challenges, which we will outline below:
|General store||An online store that sells products in various categories.||Easy to take advantage of product trends.||Difficult to market.|
|Reach more people.||Challenging to build a loyal customer base.|
|Niche store||An online store that is focused on a single niche (e.g., fitness or hiking)||Focus on a specific target audience.||Hard to pick a niche and stick to it.|
|Upselling is easier.||Supplier dependency|
|One-product store||An online store that sells just a single product.||Dedicated focus on a single product||Crucial to sell a winning product.|
|Easier to optimize marketing campaigns.||No possibility of upselling or cross-selling.|
A general dropshipping store may be the right choice for you if:
- You aim to target a wide range of customers with varied interests.
- You have the resources to manage a store with multiple products.
- You're willing to adapt swiftly to changing market trends and consumer preferences.
A niche dropshipping store may be the right choice for you if:
- You have a hobby or a strong interest in a specific field.
- You want to engage with a dedicated audience that shares a particular interest.
- You want to build a more personalized brand around a niche, fostering loyalty.
A one-product dropshipping store may be the right choice for you if:
- Your chosen product is innovative, exceptional, or hard to find elsewhere.
- You prefer a simple business model centered around one core product.
- You can dedicate your resources to extensively market and promote a single item.
Ultimately, the decision rests on your individual goals and resources. All three options can be successful, provided you conduct thorough research and tailor your approach to match your strengths and aspirations.
Now, if you want to hear our take on whether you should choose a general vs. niche vs. one-product dropshipping store, don't forget to read the end of our article.
First, let's take a more in-depth look at these three types of online stores!
What is a general dropshipping store?
To start off, we will quickly explain what a general, a niche, and a one-product dropshipping store are, then we will go over all the upsides and downsides of the three to then give you my final answer of what we suggest you choose in 2023!
So, what is a general dropshipping store?
A general store is basically a store without any specific niche.
It can sell everything and anything from coffee mugs to swimsuits. We know it sounds random, but that's what a general store is all about.
People usually do this to sell what's popular right now. They advertise products that are trending at that moment and have a great chance of selling (like those spinning fidget toys).
Upsides of having a general dropshipping store
Let's begin with the upsides of having a general dropshipping store.
1. Flexibility to add various products
This is great if you don't have any prior experience. You can just start testing without stressing over whether the product precisely matches your store and target audience.
2. Easy to add trendy products
You don't need to worry about whether a product falls inside your niche. Simply import, and you're ready to roll with the latest trends!
3. Broad audience reach
All of your products will have different kinds of people liking them. This way, you can reach more people than a niche dropshipping store.
Downsides of having a general dropshipping store
Now, let's move on to the downsides of having a general dropshipping store.
1. Challenging customer retention
Most of the customers you get will be one-time purchases, sadly.
People just do not have a reason to revisit your store and look around like you would with a niche store where your new potential customer could love every product in your dropshipping store.
2. Inconsistent sales
Trends change rapidly. If a popular product category declines, it could affect your overall sales, making revenue less stable.
3. Competitive market
Since you're not concentrating on a specific niche, you'll likely face fierce competition from niche stores and larger retailers. Standing out in such a crowded market can be tough.
4. Brand identity
Maintaining a consistent and clear brand message while establishing your brand across a diverse product range can be demanding, especially if you're new to dropshipping.
What is a niche dropshipping store?
But what about a niche dropshipping store? What exactly does that mean?
A dropshipping niche means having a store that specifically caters to a group of individuals who share common interests.
For example, picture a dropshipping store exclusively selling dog-related products. The purpose here is to connect with individuals who love dogs.
Consider this scenario: You have a niche store dedicated to dogs. Now, what do you think would occur if you suddenly introduced cat products into this dog niche store?
Your loyal customers will be like, “What? We love dogs, not cats… I won't shop here again!”
Furthermore, a niche can be divided into two categories: steady and trendy. To explore the differences between these two types of niches, you can find more information by clicking here.
Upsides of having a niche dropshipping store
Now that you know the upsides and downsides of a general store, let's move on to a niche store.
We will start off with the merits of managing a niche dropshipping store.
By sharing niche-specific content on social media, you can attract followers who share a common interest, eventually converting them into loyal customers.
People will have a reason to follow your channels. For instance, if you run a store focused on dogs, having an active Instagram page all about dogs will draw in fellow dog lovers.
2. Create a blog for more website visitors
Getting free traffic from search engines becomes simpler with a niche store, as you can optimize your store's SEO more effectively.
That's why you should consider having a blog on your dropshipping store. You can learn more about SEO for dropshipping here.
3. More repeat purchases from past customers
Imagine this: You have a store focused on cats. When you promote it to a cat lover, and they browse your store, there's a higher likelihood that they will come back or make additional purchases because everything related to cats interests them.
Moreover, if they make a purchase and you introduce more products aligned with their interest, they're more inclined to return for those items as well.
4. Easier to do email marketing
You can begin collecting email addresses and send them useful stuff! This might include tips, more info about the niche, and more.
All with the goal of getting them to buy from your store again.
You can read here why email marketing is important for a dropshipping store. Plus, that article will explain everything you need to know if you're new to email marketing.
5. More upselling opportunities
Most people visiting your dropshipping niche store will like multiple products because it interests them.
For example, if you advertise a dog toy to a person who likes dogs, you're more likely to get them to buy a dog-themed mug rather than a fishing rod.
You can learn more about what upselling is in this helpful article from Oberlo.
Downsides of having a niche dropshipping store
Now that we have the upsides covered let's move on to the downsides of having a niche dropshipping store.
1. Supplier dependency
In niche markets, you might have to rely on a limited number of suppliers for specialized products.
This dependency can be risky if a supplier experiences issues or discontinues a product.
2. Hard to stick with your niche for beginners
You're restricted to promoting products within that specific niche, and it can take time before you witness significant sales.
This can be demanding if you're just starting out and facing a steep learning curve.
What is a one-product store?
Finally, let's learn about a one-product store!
A one-product store is an online store that sells just a single product.
For example, a store that sells just fidget spinners. A few years back, fidget spinners became a viral trend, and many dropshippers created one-product dropshipping stores exclusively selling these hand-held toys.
If you're interested in launching a one-product store, your focus would be identifying a winning dropshipping product and structuring your entire store around it.
Upsides of having a one-product store
Let's understand the pros of having a one-product store!
1. Dedicated focus on a single product
With a one-product store, you will have the time, energy, and resources to ensure your product is shown to visitors in the best possible way!
2. Easier to optimize marketing campaigns
You will be able to spend 100% of your marketing budget to test all kinds of audiences, ad variations, and pain points. In short, you will have a much better chance of finding the ‘winning' combination and running a profitable ad campaign.
3. Improved conversion rate
First of all, your customers will think that you are the expert on your product (just like for a niche store). However, the fact that you only offer a single product will help your customers improve their decision-making quality.
4. Easy to build a brand
A one-product dropshipping store can quickly become linked with its unique product, making it easier to create a strong brand identity.
This recognition can be a key asset, making the store a go-to destination for customers seeking that particular item and improving its market position.
Downsides of having a one-product store
Last but not least, let's get into the downsides associated with running a one-product store.
1. Dependence on selling a winning product
As you will be selling just a single product, it must be a great one! Otherwise, you will receive minimal orders, making profitability a challenging feat.
2. No upselling and cross-selling opportunities
You won't be able to upsell or cross-sell your customers with complementary products during the order process. Because of this, you might miss out on some potential additional revenue.
So, should you go for a general, niche, or one-product dropshipping store in 2023?
We suggest you start with a niche, but only if you find one that genuinely interests you, even if it's just a little bit!
This will help you push through the beginning phase of your dropshipping store.
To find a great niche for your dropshipping store, we recommend reading the articles we have linked below:
- Top 10 Dropshipping Niches to Avoid as a Beginner in 2023
- How to Find the Best Niche for Dropshipping? (7 Methods)
- How to Find out If a Dropshipping Niche Could Be Profitable in 2023?
For example, do you have any interests, hobbies, or passions? Do you enjoy gardening or have a knack for baby care?
You could easily switch this interest to a niche dropshipping store!
One last thing: If you're new to everything, like ecommerce and marketing, we suggest picking a broader niche.
For example, choose ‘pets' instead of just ‘dogs' or ‘cats.' This approach gives you a larger playing field to test various products, and you'll have a bigger chance of staying motivated.
What's great about this strategy is that if you later decide you don't want to sell dog products anymore, you can seamlessly pivot to other pet-related items.
In contrast, if you initially focused solely on a dog store, you would have limited your options to just that niche.
Alright, but what if you can't find a dropshipping niche for your store?
What if it's hard to pick a good topic for your store or turn your interests into a store?
Or if you can't find something you really like after looking? If that's the case, we recommend starting with a general dropshipping store.
This way, you can learn so much valuable information. You can then always use this in the future to build a niche dropshipping store!
Here's one bonus tip: If you're going with a general store, test, test, and test until you find a winning product, and then build a niche store/brand around that very product!
Picture this: Let's say your “Pineapple Bracelet” (random, we know) sells really well.
You could then build a store around that, adding products like a “Pineapple Ring.”
While your main focus remains the bracelet, you now have an opportunity to grow into a comprehensive Pineapple brand!
For more information about starting a general store, check out this article here!
Plus, explore these general dropshipping store examples here for some great inspiration.
Yet, if you're not sure about pursuing a general store, you could consider starting with a one-product dropshipping store.
However, exercise caution: Your chosen product must be a winner, capable of impressing your audience with exceptional profit margins or impactful problem-solving abilities.
Feel free to read our article on how to start an online one-product store and learn some awesome tips to beat your competition!
Before we go to the conclusion, we've created a quick summary of this article for you so you can easily remember it:
- The key distinction among general, niche, and one-product dropshipping stores is their focus: a general store offers a variety of popular items, a niche store specializes in a specific category for a targeted audience and a one-product store exclusively sells one item.
- Launching a general online store demands more effort due to the larger product range.
- Creating a successful niche online store becomes simpler when you're passionate about or interested in the chosen niche.
- For a one-product dropshipping store, the product you choose significantly influences your store's success. Thorough research is crucial to identify a winning product.
- When starting out, opt for a niche dropshipping store aligned with your interests, prioritizing it over general or one-product stores.
So, there you have it! All the upsides and downsides to having a general, niche, or one-product dropshipping store in 2023.
After reading this article, we hope you have decided what's best for you and your dropshipping store!
Also, consider diving into our comprehensive Shopify dropshipping guide!
It's a huge article, but it contains everything you need to know to create your own Shopify dropshipping store in 2023. Think of it as a free dropshipping course!
This guide will provide a solid starting point and maintain your motivation as you embark on and continue your dropshipping journey.
Just don’t forget that success takes time. Keep improving each and every day!
Should you have any feedback for this article or inquiries about dropshipping, please share your thoughts through the comments below or the ‘Contact Us' button at the top.
Wishing you all the best with your journey in general, niche, or one-product dropshipping stores!
Want to learn more about dropshipping?
Ready to move your dropshipping store to the next level? Check out the articles below:
- 23 Awesome Shopify Dropshipping Store Examples
- 12 Reasons Why Most People Fail With Dropshipping in 2023 | Beat Them!
- The Complete Guide: Can You Start Dropshipping Without Money in 2023?
Also, if you want to get started with Shopify, then you can click here to get a free 3-day trial + pay $1/month for the first 3 months!