When it comes to dropshipping, some commons question has been asked by freshers in ecommerce industry:” Should I start a general or niche store? What are the pros and cons of each? Which one suits my business the most?” To know these answers we have to break down both the advantages and disadvantages of each. Let’s figure out further in this article.
What is the General store?
A general store literally is a store selling a variety of products. You can think of it as a grocery where you can find all kind of products you want. For example as an ecommerce general store owner, you might build your store as a channel selling household appliances. But not for a specific kind of product such as the air conditioner or refrigerator, you sell them all.
When your store selling loads of household, your target consumer will be much larger in comparison with a niche store.
Benefits of General store
Flexible for beginner
A general store is made of a multi-niches. Therefore it can be easily started without putting too much effort into market research or customer niches. One obvious advantage when running a general store is that you can choose the most trending products in diverse industry and sell it on your website.
Target more customers
Since the general shop products comprise a wide range of industries and address a number of customers. Applying a solid ranking strategy, it’s possible that your general store reaches out loads of internet users and bring thousand of traffics back to your website.
Easy to test and improve
A general ecommerce store gives you the chance to test various trending niches. You probably making profits and testing the new products as you go, so as to seek new business opportunities.
Drawbacks of General store
Compete with intense competitors
Definitely, when you sell the whole thing at once, you can imagine that there are dozens of opponents to compete with both direct and indirect. At the first stage, it’s hardly possible for you to compete with the giants in general ecommerce retailers as Amazon or Walmart in term of products, price and shipping fee.
Decrease the conversion rate
There are a large number of visitors visit a general ecommerce website to check out the products in term of price and appearance with or without buying intention. As a result, general ecommerce website might have a low conversion ratio. Contrary, in the niche stores the CR is much higher due to visitors are more able to making purchase action because they have a buying intention.
Drive the irrelevant traffic
Since a general store selling various things, there are a number of visitors only visit to check out the price. However, These people also consumer a bug amount of paid marketing budget. Therefore, the type of traffics is not good for marketing strategy at all.
Hardly have a high ranking on the SERPs
It’s extremely hard for the shop owner to turn an only store which doesn’t have a specific product range into a SEO friendly website.
In fact, a general store can not be optimized with a unique keyword related to one specific product type. However, broader keywords such as “Online shopping” or “Buy online” are more suitable for your business. But you can imagine that how many of well-formed ecommerce business has used these common words.
In other words, with such a generic keyword, it’s nearly impossible for your site to rank high on the search engine. Consequently, internet users hardly have a chance to know you.
What is a niche store?
The meaning is told by its name. This kind of stores only sell some narrow range of products, some specific goods focus on the special type of customer. The main purpose of a niche store is to meet the special need of particular customers. Want to know specific things about niche market and product ideas? Read more at here.
Benefits of Niche store
So what are the obvious benefits of ecommerce store owner when starting a niche store?
Easy to rank
Comparing to the general store, niche store has much higher potential to rank for keywords in search engines. Since optimise keywords is a must to have a noticeable place on the search engine, choosing the awesome target keyword for your store is a significant thing to consider. By having a narrowly defined product offer, it is a piece of cake for you to pick out the extraordinary long-tail keywords. These keywords will be less competitive than the generic one and precisely describe the page content. Furthermore, long-tail keywords are seemed more appealing to customers and good for your SEO strategy (learn more about SEO advance tips and keyword research here).
Indeed, an internet user with buying intention probably google combination words which might contain some of your target keywords. If your site has high ranking and customers click on it, there is a high chance they will make a purchase sooner or later.
Get more convert from visitors
Since the niche store targets a specific segment in the marketplace, if your site has visitors, it means that they are already interested in the product you sell. That’s why niche store gets more orders. This also increases the number of reorders the store gets.
Narrow down the competitors
Different from a general store facing thousands of competitors, niche store has less opponent. If your niche store selling unique products for a specific group of people, there is a small chance that you can bump on someone sells exactly the same things.
Then, you can establish one of a kind store offering special goods that is difficult to buy from other sellers.
Generate customer’s loyalty
A niche store definitely has more engaged with customers. Once running a niche business, you must have a certain knowledge about your niche and like-minded customers. Thus, making sure to address the perfect marketing strategy as soon as possible: discount program, lead nurturing, etc to keeping the visitors. Once they already have a certain interested in your unique products, take advantage of it and turn them into your loyal fans by giving them valuable content about the niche industry. By this way, your store always has a regular customer buying your products.
Drawbacks of Niche store
Doesn’t friendly for beginner
As a beginner with zero experience in ecommerce business, it a huge challenge for you to take a niche store to start with. Before running, definitely, you have to do market research. Well, obviously you should understand what you’re selling and who you’re selling for.
Guarantee with you that this part is time-consuming. Initially, you have to carry out some market research to find out, which niche is suitable the most with your business scale, is it too small or is it too large. It takes a huge amount of time and effort to form a niche store when you are a fresher.
As a result, knowing the difficulties of fresh starter, HappyPoints has experts who have diverse experiences in reviewing and building Shopify store to guide you through the rough time. >> Sign up to have a FREE store review now! <<
Require a wide range of testing
There is no certainty that your new established niche store will gain profit at the initial time. Unlike a general store, running a niche business is similar to “put all eggs in one bag”, you do not have many chances to test and try as you go. It takes you a lot of time and failure before making any profits.
Unpredictable growth pattern
“How long this market niche is meant to appeal to the customer?” – this is a tough question to answer, no one can tell the future. In addition, if a niche getting more and more viral, no doubted that you have to cope with more new competitors. Consequently, the growth pattern of a niche store is quite hard to predict.
Factors to Consider
No matter which one you choose, there is no certain formula to success but you can create it by yourself. Take these factors into account in order to make a successful business.
The greatest thing looks at must be your investment capacity. There are a few questions to answer when it comes to budget:
- How much money you can invest in?
- For how long?
Remember that the budget for general and niche store are different in long term and short term.
A general doesn’t require you to be an expert in any specific category. Simply, you can follow exactly what the formers have done, then, make some modifies to adapt it with your business.
However, starting a niche store is not that easy. You can not just copy any previous model and apply it to your business. A niche store requires you to be an expert in your niche who has a deep understanding of your target customers.
Both two store forms require a detailed plan in order to have stable growth in the future. Ask yourself these questions to complete your business plan:
- Who are your opponents?
- Is it a new or mainstream market?
- What is the main goal?
- Which objectives do you want to achieve in the long term and short term?
- Did you set the timing for it?
- What is your marketing strategy?
There are a lot more to add in a detailed plan before starting an ecommerce store. We have suggested you some, modify it to suit your business.
Last but not least, choosing the right partner means to take a step closer to success. To be more specific, partners are your supplier, delivery company, etc. In fact, the general store owner can find a qualified partner than the niche one because of the diversity of sources.
So which one to choose?
Comparison of Niche store and General store
|Metrics||Niche Store||General Store|
|Beginner Friendly||Hard for beginners because it requires a lot of experience and researches||Easy to start because the products are covered multi-niches and have larger target customers.|
|Traffic||Gets right traffic from advertisements||Drive irrelevant traffics|
|Profit margins||Get high but doesn’t have a stable growth pattern||Lower profit but stable and long-lasting|
|Competitors||Fewer competitors in the specific niche market||Many competitors include the giants in the retailer industry.|
|Ranking||Easy to have a high ranking on SERPs because of specific long-tail keywords||Hard to have a high ranking at first time because of generic keyword|
We have mentioned all the bright side of both niche and general store above. Each has its own pros and cons, there is no better to have one or the other. However, for a fresh starter, a general store is an ideal place for you to test your business. You can start with multi-niches and a bunch of different on-trend goods. By this way, you have a testimony on a wide range of products and find out which one successful and you might want to expand it into niche later. Because a niche store requires experience and expertise which freshers don’t have. If you choose to begin your business journey with a niche store, this is a risky choice and might end up below your expectations.
Furthermore, when starting a general store is that you don’t have to stick with it forever. Using it as a testing ground for your target niche. When you receive some positive signal of a specific product, you can then make a plan to start a niche related to that product.
Instead of spending your time seeking for a suitable niche and doing market research, you can take the first step with a general store and let the general store do the work for you. As a result, you will find the most converting niches for your business.
To have your back in making an ecommerce business breakthrough, HappyPoints are here with experts support in building your unique Shopify ecommerce store. Contact us here to rocket your Shopify website right away within clicks!