June 21, 2019 - by
“Should I start a general or a niche dropshipping store?”
You’ve read so many things about this and received so much guidance from others. You’re filled with a lot of ‘reasonable’ advice, and as such, you couldn’t make a final decision. You don’t know which to start.
One day, you think you know your choice, and the next, you’re uncertain again. “Sell a niche product but I have no experience with it. Hell yeah, it’s better to open a general store, but how could I compete with others?” It’s maddening!
Hard to choose. We know. We hear it all the time.
Some weeks ago, we did a bunch of research and we’ve now learned the exact answer to this question. You’ll know it in this post.
As a side note, instead of picking the better store type, we decided to do something a bit different. That is, we’ll give you:
And, if you’re wondering why we don’t pick the best one for you, it’s not because we can’t. It’s because we want to keep this post objective, and we know (also, the truth is) everyone is different.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
When someone settles on a general store, their goal is to sell many items of different types. They want to compete with others on price and the diversity of products.
This part will explain to you what a general store is and how it does (and doesn’t) benefit you.
A general store, like Walmart, allows you to sell a wide range of different products from clothes, toys, electronics devices, bracelets, etc., – all on the same site.
For example, as a general store owner, you might build a store around clothes. But not just T-shirts or tank tops – many types of clothes. Dresses, jackets, coats, skirts, underwear, etc. This also means your general store is made of multiple niches.
Running a general store comes with some practical benefits. Simply put, it lets you:
Sell anything: There is no limitation to the number of product categories you can add. Free to make a list of trending products in all niches and then add them to your store.
Reach more people: When you sell several different products, you target a broader audience. With a bigger market, you’ll reach more potential customers and probably have more sales. You can even do upselling and cross-selling easily.
Test multiple niches at once: Because a general store includes a bunch of product niches, you can test many products at the same time to find a winning one.
However, a general store isn’t always good. You’re probably faced with:
High rate of irrelevant traffic: Your ads can be shown to a lot of people who have no interest at all in anything you offer. You throw money into advertising but get only a few sales.
Making your store stand out: When you sell various stuff, how could you make them consistent with your brand, let alone building brand awareness? Also, it isn’t easy to find your unique selling point, but that’s another story.
From now on, if everyone tells you that you have to open a general store, think twice. Don’t take their word for it. You should get to know the other choice before making the final decision.
For some people, a niche store sells only one product. This is totally wrong.
Let us tell you why.
A niche store sells one specific type of product, not just only one specific product. The keyword is ‘type’.
For example, you can pick phone cases and sell a huge number of them. You don’t have one product page, you have many of them. But your store is built around a single theme, a single niche. If someone goes to your store, they might think you have expertise in phone cases. This is a cornerstone to build trust with them.
When you choose to run a niche store, you want to focus on a specific group of people and try to meet their specific needs. Your potential customers become narrower.
The older you get, the more likely you’ll realize less is more. That’s why building a niche store can be better in the long run.
Build brand awareness: When you start a niche store, you build everything around that niche. Sooner or later, you’ll be known for what you do in particular. You get people’s attention easily since they know what you are focused on.
Easy to recommend relevant products: When someone adds an item to their cart, you can show relevant products to them. Because all listed products are about a topic, your customers will be far more interested. This will also make it easier for you to do a follow-up email marketing and run promotional campaigns.
Become an expert in your niche: A niche store allows you to position yourself as an expert. It means that when people come to your site, you can say, “Hey, are you looking for a new phone case. You can start a live chat with one of our phone case experts. We have been selling phone case for 10 years. Just tell us your phone type and your preferences. We can help you to choose the right one in a minute.” Sound convincing, right?
Clearly, a niche store can bring you more sales, more conversions, more authority, and more loyal customers.
Like a general store, a niche store isn’t always an ideal option. It also comes with drawbacks that you need to keep in mind.
Not friendly for beginners: As a newbie, you don’t have much experience in doing dropshipping. You have no idea how to find the right niche and how to run your store. It’s a risk if you just follow the majority.
Need many trials and tests: Niche dropshipping requires a lot of testing to choose the right product niche. You need to work harder and be more patient than when you start a general store. It’s not an overnight or 1-week success.
Little predictability: No one can be sure their niche will be still trending in the five or ten years. No one can tell how long a niche can appeal to people. Plus, when your niche becomes more popular, other people can jump into that market and compete with you. It’s quite hard to predict a niche growth pattern.
Here is a comparison table between a general store and a niche store.
Let’s face this:
You can have a good product, but if you don’t know how to market it, you won’t make any money from it.
Similarly, you can have a not-good-enough product, but if you know how to market it, you can make the best money.
If you excel at finding winning products and having great marketing skills, you’ll make a mountain of money.
All things considered, it’s not necessarily about products, but it’s more than about your skills. That’s why we think for beginners, we suggest you start with a general store.
You’ll have more room to experiment and get to know the market. You can have more time and effort to test winning products and convert them into a niche. Sooner or later, you’ll find your best converting niche.
Once you’ve learned how to run an online store and know your niche, you should then switch to a niche store.
All 6-figure dropshipping stores out there tasted many failures before reaching success. So, don’t rush to make money. Instead, hone your skills first.
“Should I start a general store or a niche store?”
Sometimes the answer comes down to what your strengths are and where your advantages lie. Sometimes, it’ll be about luck. Only you should be able to answer it for yourself.
We do hope this article help you know the differences about a general store and a niche store that you need. Let us know which you prefer and why.