Every beginner dropshipper has probably asked the question before, general store or niche dropshipping store? Making this choice can be quite overwhelming.
However, there is no clear-cut solution to this dilemma. It largely depends on your strengths, location, and product niche. It is also influenced by what stage of the dropshipping process you are in, whether you are a beginner or experienced dropshipper.
All factors considered; branded stores offer you the best long-term value. In this article, we break down both strategies’ nuances. You will then be able to decide which route works for your store.
General store or niche dropshipping?
Deciding on which route to take depends on your unique situation. There are success stories covering both strategies, so it is hard to tell which one will work best. Below are some major differences, advantages, and disadvantages of both so you can make the best choice.
A General Store
This kind of store sells products from many different categories. It focuses mainly on trending items, regardless of what product niches they lie in.
Advantages of a general store
Reach bigger audiences.
The major advantage of general stores is the ability to target several different audiences with different products. For example, in running a general clothing store, instead of selling only to teenage girls, you could have clothes for older buyers and kids and both men and women.
With a general store, it becomes straightforward to test out new products without affecting your brand. You needn’t worry about whether your customers would find it odd or confuse new buyers. Instead, you can add it and monitor its performance.
Furthermore, by continuous testing, you can easily find the ideal product through which you can grow your business. With that star product, you can drive more traffic to your store and push sales for your other offerings.
Disadvantages of general store
Testing can be expensive.
It can be quite costly to test multiple products with ads. You will have to create many different ads for different products that may appeal to diverse audiences.
Additionally, you cannot guarantee sales on additional products if someone followed a link to see a particular product.
Ironically, a general store makes it harder to build a brand around your store. This goes with all the benefits associated with branding. It happens because consumers have a harder time associating you with something specific.
Running a general store comes with massive competition from other similar stores and niche stores alike. So, it can be hard to break out and start driving decent traffic and sales to your store.
Since it is general, creating a unique selling point can be hard, reducing the likelihood that customers will buy from you and not someone else.
Under niche dropshipping, you sell products only from a particular product category. Usually, this kind of store aims at building an entire brand in that specific category.
Advantages of niche dropshipping
Test multiple products
A niche store also enables you to test several products within the category without much change in audience targeting. Even with ads, it becomes easier to switch ad products without too many changes in content, influencers, etc.
Lower advertising costs
A niche store can significantly lower your advertising costs. Since you are focusing on only one audience, it becomes more cost-effective to run ads. You maintain the same audience and drive higher sales since the new traffic will probably purchase additional products.
Furthermore, since it is within the same niche, there is a massive opportunity for more sales through upsells. It becomes much easier to promote additional products to customers when it is within the same niche.
Long term brand benefits
Running a niche store provides the best chance to build a strong brand around your dropshipping store. The products are all centered within the same category, making it easier for you to develop a clear brand image and brand voice.
Clear brand identity builds trust and confidence, which encourages customers to purchase and keep coming back.
Also, a strong brand gives you a higher competitive advantage in your particular product category in the long run.
Disadvantages of niche dropshipping
A niche store could only appeal to a small section of the potential market. It only sells to a particular age group or people with similar interests. As a result, you might experience lower sales and revenues. This makes niche stores unattractive options for beginners since it comes with higher risks.
Flexibility for products trends
Running a niche store limits your ability to utilize upcoming trends. Selling products outside your chosen niche would distort your brand image and even confuse customers. So when a hot new product comes around, you may not be able to add it because it is not within your niche.
A niche store may experience much slower growth than a general store. It attracts a much smaller group and therefore less traffic and sales. So, it may take you a bit longer to make thousands of dollars than if you were dealing with more products.
However, if you are in a much broader niche, this might not be as extreme.
Verdict for beginners
Both general stores and niche dropshipping stores are great options for your business. However, niche stores seem to work best for both beginner and experienced dropshippers. They could both benefit from building strong brands and growing a targeted, dedicated audience.
A general store may prove rather complicated for a beginner too. They lack the experience and resources to market a wide range of products.
Additionally, competition with general stores is much higher, making it more difficult to stand out and scale.
On the other hand, a niche store helps a beginner get their foot in the industry but might be harder to scale considering the low market.
All factors considered, it makes more sense for a beginner dropshipper to start with a niche store. That way, they can build a name within a category first before they consider expanding. Furthermore, it is less risky and costly for you to start by going all-in into numerous categories.
Best practices for a general store or niche dropshipping stores
For either a general store or a niche dropshipping stores, product testing is essential. It is not always straightforward to find a product that sells massively. By testing different products, you can identify “winning products” which go a long way in generating the sales needed to sustain your store.
Whether you choose a general store or niche dropshipping store, you must have an effective, workable strategy.
Based on your pre-set goals, you need to identify the appropriate marketing strategies to grow your store. For instance, Instagram marketing may be ideal for a niche store, while a general store may benefit from ads.
Furthermore, you must have the best products, hence the need to identify reliable suppliers. Ensure you source products with fast shipping times to increase customer satisfaction. Also, source those with low costs so you can charge higher mark-ups without being too expensive.
Running a general store or niche dropshipping store is one of the most crucial decisions for any dropshipper. Both strategies have advantages and disadvantages, which you must account for.
The choice between general and niche stores varies among beginners and more experienced dropshippers. It also depends on the product niche that you want to venture into.