The age old question when it comes to starting an ecommerce dropshipping business - should I start a general shop or niche store?! Well, I’m here to review a few pros and cons of each, to hopefully make your decision a bit easier! Let’s get started.
A general store typically refers to a shop that has a plethora of items. There are usually many categories, and something for everyone! Think of a place like Amazon, or Walmart - these shops have just about everything, from beauty to electronics.
- You can target a larger audience, as there is something for everyone
- On the same note, it’s easy to market it as you can market to a wide variety of people
- As soon as you can establish trust with a customer, it can be used as a “one stop shop” for customers to buy numerous items from
- You open the possibility for more orders, since you offer variety
- A general store can be great to use for testing even! If you want to start a niche store, but are not sure which direction to take, you can start a general shop and see which items sell best! From there, you can narrow down your site to only offer those items, and target the specific type of audience that is buying from your shop
- On the same note of trust, trust can be hard to establish with general shops. If you are selling a bit of everything, customers may not trust the shop as much since it comes off in a way that you are not an expert in the products you offer
- With having well known, established general shops around such as Walmart and Amazon, it can be hard to compete with big players like this
- Though you can market to everyone, it can still be hard to find the right customers, as your product offerings are so broad
- Marketing can be more expensive as you need to market for a variety of products
- It is hard to make your site unique to you and your brand, since there is a large variety of items and categories
A niche shop would refer to a store selling a select type of product, sometimes even just one item. Think of a shop like memobottle! They sell one specific type of product, and maybe some accessories that go with it as well.
- It’s easy to establish trust with customers, as you seem like an expert in the product category if you market and design your site right
- Having few items allows you to tailor your site and brand towards those items. With a few amount of items you sell, you can order each item to your location and take your own product images, check for quality, etc. This allows you to brand your site to be unique to you!
- It’s less competitive since you would be more unique
- Brand loyalty is easier since you establish trust in the specific items you sell
- Marketing can be cheaper as you are not trying to market a large variety of items
- It’s more fun! Because you get to hone in on one market, and become an expert in that!
- Marketing can be a bit harder, as you really need to investigate and explore who your target audience would be. Once you figure out who would be passionate about your items, it’s easier - though it does take some time to establish this!
- It can be hard to decide on a niche, as you are pigeonholed into one category, so choose your niche wisely and do a lot of research! Stick it out though, too many people give up too early, and move from one niche to the next without giving it enough time and effort.
- If the shop is too niche (maybe you are only selling one item) you can lose the opportunity to upsell items that would go along with the item you sell. While one item shops can work really well, be open to adding a few more items if you find the shop needs it and if it can attract previous buyers to buy from you again!
Overall, there are plenty of pros and cons of each type of shop, so choose the direction that is best for you! I personally recommend starting with a general shop (if you are really unsure of what you want to sell), and then create a niche store from the items you find sell best.
If you have a good idea of the niche you want dive into after doing research, then start with that from the beginning! Give it your all, design your site to be unique to you and in a way that tells the story of your shop and brand. And choose something you are passionate about as well, as that will make things a lot more fun.
I hope that helps! Please comment below if you have any other pros and cons of either type of shop. It would be great for us to all learn from each other and share our experiences.