One Product vs Niche vs General – Which Dropshipping Store is Best?

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Why are more dropshippers not talking about this? If you’re a beginner, you’ve got to read this article! People in the dropshipping community are not making a big deal about the best type of dropshipping stores and they should be!

If you’re in the early stages of your dropshipping venture and deciding which type of dropshipping is right for you, you’re in the right place. I have experience with all 3 of these dropshipping stores and I’ll guide you through each type and help you decide which store is best for you.

Understanding the different types of dropshipping and the various approaches each requires is one of the most fundamental aspects of dropshipping. From my experience, this is one of the most neglected yet important factors in determining your overall success.

Don’t assume dropshipping is just dropshipping no matter the type you do. Each variation of dropshipping is unique and will require a specific approach. Knowing how they all work and the important aspects to focus on is key. Each will take a different level of experience.

If a dropshipping guru is telling you to build a specific store type without knowing your skill level or the products you plan to dropship, they’re doing you a disservice.

Below is a comparative guide to help you understand the various aspects of each store type and the areas you need to focus on to be successful.

FeaturesGeneral StoreNiche StoreOne Product Store
AdvertisingA lot of work with advertising as it can be a constant game of product testing.Finding an audience with a real need or passion for your niche then optimizing your ads should be your goal.Testing your ads with multiple creatives, videos, offers and angles until it’s optimized.
BrandingBranding isn’t as important as the products aren’t related.Require a cohesive theme and brand centered around the niche.Requires branding and ideally your logo on the product.
ConversionThe lowest conversion rate of the 3 types.Good conversion rate as visitors is interested in your niche.The best conversion rate as visitors is there for your specific product.
ExperienceBest for beginners as you don’t need branding and can test multiple products.Beginners can do niche stores but best if they have some knowledge in branding and the niche.Require the most experience as your success depends on branding and testing different ad variations initially.
High Ticket
Not ideal, as high ticket isn’t perceived as trustworthy as other stores.Most high ticket stores are niche stores as you can create trust and authority around a specific niche.You can have a one product high ticket store as long as the product is of high quality.
MarginsLowest margins out of the 3 types as most stores are trending impulse buys.Branding a niche store and building authority around a niche will enable a higher perceived value and better margins.Private labeling a unique product with a professional website means you can charge a premium price.
Repeat BusinessLittle repeat business as email marketing back to your customers isn’t effective.The best option for repeat business as your customers are interested in your niche and will most likely be back if you market to them effectively.Repeat business is only likely if it’s a product people need multiple of or you have accessories.
SEOUnless you create a huge general store it is very difficult to rank in Google.Building authority around a niche with a blog and unique content can help generate free organic traffic.As with a niche store, ranking in Google for the relevant keywords is much easier than a general store.
Store CreationBecause general stores aren’t branded, they are easier to create but can be time consuming if you are creating unique content for every product.Can require some experience to theme the store correctly. Can be time consuming depending on the number of products.The fastest to create is a single product store, although for beginners, it can be the most difficult to get it right.
Store ManagementMore ongoing work dealing with multiple suppliers and searching for winning products.Medium amount of ongoing work depending how many suppliers you deal with and if you create a blog around your store.The most passive of the 3 types of dropshipping once all setup.
Success RateMost general stores can make money initially but are not as sustainable in the long term.Finding an unsaturated niche with a hungry audience is key to long term profits.Most likely to fail initially, although can be profitable long term once optimized.
SuppliersMost general stores require multiple suppliers from AliExpress which can cause problems.Best to either use reputable domestic suppliers or deal with a single reliable supplier from China.The best option is you can purchase in bulk from a single supplier and let fulfillment centers ship your product/s.
UpsellsUpsells can be difficult as the products aren’t related and the customer is less likely to be interested in the upsell.The best type of store for upsells as the customer is interested in the niche.It’s always worth having some accessories or related products as upsells for one product store as this can improve your average order value.

As you can tell from the above guide, each has its pros and cons. Below is some more detailed information on each store type followed by my opinion on which is best so you don’t have to waste your time and money on a store type that isn’t right for you.

General Store

A general store sells products from any niche or category and has no real theme within its products. Because a general store is less branded than a niche store, they tend to focus more on best selling, trending and impulse buy products.

General products going to a laptop

Advantages of a General Store

Testing

This is without a doubt the best reason to start a general store. As a complete beginner, it can be hard to know which products are going to be successful. Most experienced dropshippers have a difficult time finding profitable products, so for a complete beginner, the odds are against you.

Testing products will give you the information you need as to whether a product is worth keeping in your store or if it’s worth using the product in a niche or one product store.

Product Choice

You are not limited to a specific group of products and you can add whichever products you want from any category or niche to your store. This makes finding hot trending products easier to find as you’re not restricted.

Easy Setup

General stores are easier to set up in a way because they are not normally branded in the same way as a niche or one-product store is. Because of this, you don’t need to spend the same time creating your store.

Once you have learned how to use Shopify, you’ll be able to create a complete general store in a number of hours. The most time consuming part will be organizing quality images and product descriptions if they are not already provided.

Wider Market

You have the ability to target any market of people. You can utilize Facebook ads, testing different audiences for a variety of products and see which is the most effective.

Simpler

It’s not exactly easy to make money with a general store but the process is simpler. You can get aspects of your store wrong and still potentially make money because branding isn’t as important. People buy from a general store based more on logic and less on how it makes them feel.

Disadvantages of a General Dropshipping Store

Email Marketing

Future email marketing won’t be anywhere near as effective with a general store. With a general store, you’ll have a diverse group of people with a large variety of different interests as they have all purchased unrelated products.

Compare this to a niche store, people have come to your store because they are interested in that specific niche. This makes it far more likely they’ll be interested in that niche in the future.

Don’t underestimate how powerful email marketing can be. Your email list can be one of the most valuable assets you can acquire in your business.

Not as Passive

Because most general dropshipping stores are based on trending products, the products aren’t as sustainable. This means, you need to keep finding new products and it becomes an ongoing game of product testing to find the new hot products.

Profit Margins

The margins are lower on unbranded products due to the perceived value they represent to customers. Branded products can have higher margins due to the fact that a customer is purchasing the product based on how it makes them feel more than logical.

There’s a reason why people pay a premium for luxury items and high-end brands. Buying a jumper from a Nike store is a very different experience to buying a jumper from Walmart.

On top of this, if a product is unbranded people are far more likely to Google the same product and do a price check and simply buy it from whoever is selling it the cheapest.

Multiple Suppliers

When you’re selling products from multiple categories, you’ll also most likely need to deal with different suppliers. This will get more complicated and will increase the chances of you running into problems with some suppliers and means you can’t negotiate better prices as you won’t be selling high volumes with the one supplier.

Google Ranking

Ranking in Google for free organic traffic is much more difficult with a general store. This is because you have no real authority in any specific search term and you can’t create a community or a blog around your specific niche for people to search for.


Niche Store

A niche store is focused on products from the same category or the same interest. A niche can be as broad as a sports store selling everything sports related or only selling products from a single sport. Niche stores are generally targeted at selling to a specific, passionate audience.

If you’re looking at creating a niche store, check out my article for 550+ Niche ideas for a dropshipping store.

Advantages of a Niche Dropshipping Store

Authority

You have far more authority as a niche store compared to a general store selling the same product. If you have a niche store selling surfboards but a general store is selling surfboards, cat beds and baby toys, you are perceived as far more of an expert than the general store.

Audience

Although your audience isn’t as large as a general store, you can target a specific group of people who have a real passion for the types of products in your store.

Email Marketing

Your future email marketing will be far more effective as you know your customers are already interested in the type of products you sell.

Social Media

It is much easier and more effective to build a social media following around a specific niche.

Upsells

Upselling and cross-selling are much more likely in a niche store as customers are interested in the products you stock.

Advertising

With a niche store you only really need to optimize your ads once, then replicate the process with the remaining products in your niche.

Conversion rate

As you are targeting people who are already interested in your niche, your conversion rate will be much higher than putting a bunch of random products in front of your customer not knowing if they are interested or not.

Free traffic

You’re far more likely to be able to rank on the front page of Google with relevant search terms. You can build a blog and create a real community around your niche which Google will love.

Disadvantages of a Niche Dropshipping store

Products

You are limited to your niche. If you find a product you believe has real potential to be profitable and it isn’t in your niche, you can’t sell it. If you try to, it will look out of place in your store and you’ll lose credibility.

Branding

Because you want to be perceived as an expert with a niche store, branding is very important. You can’t throw together a quick and easy store as you would with a general store, it needs to look congruent and have a flow and theme that your target audience will relate to. This can really pay off in the long run if you nail your theme however, it can be difficult for a complete beginner to pull off.

Failing

Niche stores can be more sustainable in the long term compared to general stores although it can be more difficult initially. If your niche doesn’t work, you can’t just start with another selection of products, you need to get rid of the store and build a whole new one.

Knowledgable

Depending on the niche, you may need to have a certain amount of knowledge in the area as you will get questions and queries regarding your products.

More Work

Creating a niche store can be more time consuming with branding and you need to have unique images, videos and product descriptions. Just importing over the content from AliExpress won’t cut it if you want to be successful.


One Product Store

A one product store sells a single profitable product, often with multiple variants and accessories which can be used as upsells. Most one product stores are branded with a cohesive theme to increase the product’s perceived value to consumers and allows better profit margins for merchants.

If you’re a complete beginner, I suggest you read my article What is a One-Product Store and How Do They Work?

Advantages of a One Product Store

Trust

Because you have an entire store dedicated to a single product, a visitor to your store will assume it must be a specialized high-quality product. This helps a customer feel that your product is much more trustworthy and they will be more inclined to make a purchase from your store.

Perceived Value

With great branding and marketing, the perceived value of a product is increased dramatically in a one product store.

Audience

With a single product, you can target you’re advertising to a very specific audience who has a need for your product. The hungry audience may be people who are passionate about your product or have a problem that the product solves.

SEO

You are far more likely to rank in Google with free traffic if your product’s keywords are searched for.

Easy to Setup

Creating a one product store is faster than creating a niche or general store as there is only one product to focus on. You will only have to write one product description and create one set of custom images and videos, although you will need to put some time into branding your product.

Conversion Rate

Conversion rates are generally high with one product store as people click on your store because they are interested in your specific product.

Purchasing in Bulk

Once you start scaling your business, it’s much easier to purchase in bulk from China and use a fulfillment center to ship your products domestically. This is much easier and less risky when ordering a single product in bulk compared to multiple products.

Cost Price

When you are selling large volumes of a single product from one supplier, you have the advantage to negotiate a better cost price per product.

Less Potential Problems

With a one product store, you have a quality product and a reliable supplier, it’s less likely things will go wrong. Compare this to a store selling 50 products from 8 different suppliers, problems will arise.

For a more in-depth answer, I recommend you read my article on the 10 advantages of selling a single product.

Disadvantages of a One Product Store

Failure

Out of the 3 types of dropshipping stores, one product stores have the highest chance of failure early on, as you’re banking on a single product to sell and there are no backup products if it doesn’t prove profitable.

Branding

Branding is essential to the success of your store. If your store is not branded or themed right it may be difficult to turn your store into a long-term and sustainable business.

Custom Content

Because your store is focused on a single product, you need to create the best, most unique content possible which should include custom images and videos of your product. This may require some upfront costs if you don’t plan to do it yourself.

Upsells

If you only have a single product without accessories, you can’t upsell your customers which will lower your average order value.

Which Type of Dropshipping Store is Best?

Girl making a decision

Should you start a general dropshipping store?

Out of the 3 types of dropshipping stores, general stores are the type I like least. The main reason is, they are more work and require you to constantly hunt for new trending products to replace others when they become saturated.

At the same time, I’d still recommend general stores for complete beginners who have had no experience in eCommerce because they are a great introduction to dropshipping and allow you to learn and gain experience in some of the important aspects.

As well as this, you can make mistakes with general stores and still be successful if you choose the right products. As a beginner, you are far more likely to make mistakes in the early stages.

Another big advantage is that general stores are a great opportunity to test products until you find products with the potential to be scaled. Once you do find a winning product, you can then create a one product store based around that specific product and scale it.

This is an effective way to validate the potential of a product before transitioning into a different store type as it can be difficult to succeed with a one product store. I have a full guide on selling multiple vs one product if you’re interested.

Should you start a niche dropshipping store?

Niche stores are the perfect balance out of the 3 types and are the most popular for dropshipping for multiple reasons. They tend to have the most pros and the least cons, however, this does not mean they are the best option in every situation.

As a complete beginner, niche stores are an option worth considering but it would be smart to learn from successful niche stores before jumping straight in. Designing and theming a store based on the type of products you sell is important.

If you are doing high ticket dropshipping, niche stores are without a doubt the best option. These stores require you to gain your customer’s trust in order to make a sale, therefore it’s essential for niche stores to provide confidence and credibility with a positive buying experience and quality branding, etc. This will also assist with the longevity of the store and the potential for repeat business.

To have a successful niche store, it’s all about the market you’re selling to. I think you could argue that choosing the right market to sell to is more important than choosing the right product to sell. Choosing a hungry group of people to sell to will make your store far easier to manage, more sustainable in the long term and convert sales easier.

When you’re choosing a market to sell to, consider people who are either extremely passionate or have a significant problem they need a solution to.

Passion niche examples:

  • Religion
  • Babies
  • Yoga
  • MMA
  • Woodwork
  • Fishing

Problem Niche examples:

  • Arthritis Products
  • Cosmetics
  • Ergonomic Chairs
  • Robot Lawn Mowers
  • Orthopaedic Pet Beds
  • Sleep Apnea Machines

Should you start a one product store?

One product stores seem to be the current trend in the dropshipping community and have been since around mid-2019 and for good reason. A one product store can be extremely lucrative and reasonably easy to manage once they are set up. For some motivation, check out these examples of single-product stores.

The problem is, they fail frequently in the early stages if everything isn’t done correctly. For this reason, I don’t recommend a one product store for beginners, however, they are a great store type to transition into once you have had some profitable products in other store types.

Branding is extremely important for these store types and if you haven’t had any experience with branding it can be difficult to get it right.

The main advantage of a one product store is the margins are generally higher due to the fact you can purchase in bulk from a single supplier and you can charge a premium price for your product as the perceived value of the product is much higher when branded correctly.

To make a one product store successful, you need to give your customers the feeling that you are the creator of the product, even though you’re not.

Name the store after the product so it feels as though the product is so good that an entire store was created just for it. Give the product a unique name that nobody else would use to stop people doing their own price comparison via a simple Google search. If you’re looking for products, check out 30 ideas for a one product Shopify store.

Summary

As you can tell, there is no exact answer as to which is the best type of dropshipping store to start. There are, however, some types of dropshipping that are more suited to people’s abilities and different types of products or niches.

Each type has specific skills to focus on to be successful, which is why it’s so important to be able to distinguish the differences between the stores to find which is the most suitable for you.

If you’re into photography and videography, a one product store may be best, if you’re good at design and copywriting, niche stores may be best, and if you’re good at finding winning products, a general store may be your best option.

Just remember, if you’re a complete beginner, do your homework and check out some successful stores before starting your own to help you make sure you’re going down the right track.

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