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In this day and age, setting up an online store can be a piece of cake, thanks to the emergence of eCommerce platforms that simplify each task and therefore help you make money easier and faster.
And even when it comes to finding products that would potentially be profitable, there are a lot of online marketplaces that are sure to cater to your every eCommerce need -- though if you're not up to the task, there are also various softwares around the Internet that gives you the promise of a hassle-free and highly effective product research program (if you want to learn more about this, stay tuned and read until the end!).
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In my personal opinion, however, what bothers aspiring dropshippers the most is the fact that before any of the magic happens, they have to make an important decision: should they run a general store and sell multiple types of products? Or should they go with a niche-specific store and focus on a few number of products instead?
As an experienced dropshipper myself, allow me to tell you the difference between a general store and a niche-specific store and which one you should choose when starting your first ever dropshipping store.
General Store vs Niche Store
A general store is one that sells a variety of products coming from different niches. Think of supermarkets and department stores: these are some physical examples of general stores. In an online general store, you would normally see the menu "Shop", which will then take you to a page that will allow you to select from a number of categories, be it sports, fishing, cooking, etc.
On the other hand, a niche store focuses on one niche (hence the name) or in rare cases, a single product. Think of clothing stores or cooking stores that serve to cater to a specific need.
The power of a niche store is people go and patronize it because they are interested in the brand itself and the products that it has to offer. Furthermore, a niche-specific store would look more professional and not too tacky. However, with it, you don't know what products are going to sell and you don't know what people are buying. And even if you choose to go with a specific niche today, you won't know how profitable it would be in the coming years.
Meanwhile, generally, general stores make a lot of money since they cater to the people's many needs and solves different types of problems. They also allow you to perform an in-depth product research and see which products would make you the most money. General stores could even help you get traction on selling a certain product, and in time, you can invest more on that product and eventually create a niche-specific store that revolves around it.
Below is an example of a general store, and it's called Sugar and Cotton.
At a glance, you could tell that it is a general store because of a few things:
- The name itself "Sugar and Cotton" does not give context in terms of what kinds of products are in store for the customer -- sugar and cotton do not particularly mix well, except for the facts that they are both colored white and can be used to target ladies.
- It has the word "Shop" on the menu, which implies that they have multiple products from different categories.
- When you go to their website and scroll towards the bottom of the home page, you can see that they have a multitude of collections and categories.
So let's say that a particular product within this store performs quite well; the owner and/or administrator of this website could go ahead and create a niche-specific store for it to better target a more specific audience.
Let us take for example the product called "Body-Kun™ - Models for Artists". Below would be the niche equivalent of the general store Sugar and Cotton:
As you can see, this website focuses more on the wants and needs of artists. The owner must have gotten a lot of traction out of selling the body mannequins from his or her general store and created a massive audience out of it that he/she decided to move it onto a smaller yet more specific web store.
So, as a startup business, which one should you choose? I have devised two options for your first ever dropshipping store:
Option A: General -> Niche
First, I would suggest that you start off with a general store and see which products would be popular among your target audience. Then, if you get enough traction, you could add more products that are somehow related to that winning product.
Eventually, you can create and operate a new store that focuses around the niche of those profitable products, much like our sample stores above.
Option B: Plan Ahead
Your next option would be to "plan ahead". This is the method that I've been using for all my dropshipping stores.
All the same, you start with a general store and sell a variety of winning products. Once you filter out the better performing products from the poor ones, you gradually remove those that are unrelated to the niche and adjust your menus, ultimately transforming your general store into a more niche-specific one. It's called "Plan Ahead" method because you already have a perception that you are eventually going to create a niche-specific store out of your general store.
Instead of creating a whole new website that you are yet to introduce to an audience, why not work with one that is already performing well and is already recognized in the online space instead?
I find that this option would work better for anyone who has gathered a lot of online support from customers since you already know how your website works, you already have a loyal fanbase patronizing your brand and products, and you have already invested so much in it in terms of ad spend.
Let's Wrap It Up!
Creating and running a general store can indeed help you test out as many products as possible and see which ones people would find interesting and therefore purchase from you. From there, you have the option to create a store specially dedicated to a specific product, OR you can modify your already well-performing store and instead remove the products that are unrelated to your niche.
If you have any more questions about general and/or niche-specific stores, creating the most profitable dropshipping stores, dropshipping in Australia or anything regarding this video, feel free to personally contact me via the Contact Form HERE. You can also leave your comments and feedback below, and our team over at WagePirate will definitely get back to you with a response. For more reviews, news and updates, do not forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel!