One of the most common questions dropshippers ask these days is whether they should open a general store or a store that sells only one type of item.
A niche dropshipping store has a higher rate of conversion, but a general store gives beginners more options. If you have enough experience, you should choose a niche store.
Still, finding what works isn’t as black and white as that because it depends on a lot of other things as well.
So, in this guide, we’ll give you an unbiased look at both of these dropshipping models so you can make the best choice.
Let’s just jump right in!
What Is a General Dropshipping Store?
A general dropshipping store, as the name suggests, doesn’t limit you to a certain niche or product.
You can sell almost anything, from clothes to pet supplies, as long as it’s not against the law.
This also means that you can make money from viral trends without having to worry about straying from your original business plan.
Most of the time, beginners are told to start with a general store because they don’t have to write down a lot of details before they get started.
If your current listings don’t bring in enough sales, you can always change them or add more products. However, this is also one of a general store’s biggest flaws.
Customers often look for stores that specialize in certain products when they shop online, so it makes sense that general stores wouldn’t be at the top of their list.
Perfect for dropshippers with little or no experience.
can be started for a small amount of money.
Ability to change based on what’s popular at the moment.
It is easier to design the website.
Getting to more people is easier.
Lower the rate of conversion.
Hard to get to the top of SERPs
There is more competition.
Marketing isn’t always easy.
What Is a Niche Dropshipping Store?
Niche dropshipping is more about limiting your choices to a specific segment or category.
For example, you can build your business around selling pet supplies, or you can go one step further and only sell dog supplies.
In contrast to a general store, where there are no limits, the goal of a niche store is to find a more specific direction.
You might wonder why you would limit your choices if you can sell everything. The answer is simple: the conversion rate goes up when you focus on a niche.
First of all, ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) is easier for niche stores because your keywords are more specific.
In the same way, it’s easier to come up with creative ways to market your products when they’re made for a specific group.
Since there are so many ways to advertise your business, it makes sense that you will get more customers.
But it can be hard and take a lot of time to find a niche that works. So, it’s easy for beginners to feel overwhelmed.
The rate of sales in niche stores is higher.
It’s easier to rank on SERPs.
Creative marketing opportunities like starting blogs.
More buying over and over.
Upselling is easier.
Finding your niche can take a lot of time.
Challenging for beginners.
The design of websites needs to be more specific and optimized.
Requires a greater investment.
Comparison Table of General vs. Niche Store
|Metrics||General Store||Niche Store|
|Experience Level||Perfect for inexperienced/beginner dropshippers||Intermediate dropshipping experience may be needed.|
|Required Investment||Easy to start with a low investment||Higher investment is required for website design and marketing.|
|Traffic Potential||Harder to market thus lower traffic potential.||Higher traffic potential as it is easier to rank on SERPs.|
|Profit Margins||Depends on the current trends and luck but generally lower than niche stores.||Not dependent on trends and higher profit margins due to more traffic and recurring orders.|
|Risk Factor||Lower risk as the listings can easily be changed.||High risk in case of wrong niche selection.|
If none of these work for you, you can also try a store that only sells one thing. For more information, check out our Ultimate FAQ Guide on How to Start a One-Product Store.
General vs Niche Store: The Final Showdown
Still can’t decide what kind of store to go with?
Here’s a closer look at some of the most important things you should think about before starting your dropshipping business:
Even if dropshipping sounds easy, you might not want to start right away if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Expert dropshippers say that only 10 percent of dropshipping businesses succeed in their first year.
As we’ve already said, anyone with little or no experience and a small amount of money can open a general store.
So if things don’t go as planned, you won’t be on the verge of going bankrupt.
On the other hand, niche stores need a lot of planning, prior knowledge, and an understanding of how to attract your target audience.
So, it’s safe to say that a general store gives you more freedom in terms of experience, and the financial risk is also much lower.
To run a successful business, you need to know everything you can about your competitors.
General vs niche store competition levels
Unless you’re selling something that’s very rare, there are probably already hundreds of dropshippers selling it.
This is one of the worst things about having a general store nearby. The more different things you sell in your store, the harder it is to keep up with the competition.
Even if you tried to do that, it wouldn’t be a very good time. It will take up most of your time because you can’t put it into a single category.
On the other hand, niche dropshipping is all about going deeper and focusing on a specific category to cut down on competition.
So, if you don’t want the whole world to be your competitor, you should definitely start a niche dropshipping store.
Search Engine Ranking
All businesses now try to get higher rankings on search engine results pages.
No one knows for sure how to get to the top, but having more specific keywords is a big part of it.
And, as you may have guessed, there isn’t a specific group of keywords that could be used for general stores. When you bring out a new product, you’d have to market it in a whole new way.
This is why niche stores have a better chance of ranking higher on the SERPs.
You only need to find the keywords for the category you’re in, and then you can build your SEO plan around them.
So, the better your listings are optimized for a keyword, the higher they’ll probably rank on search engines.
So, a niche store usually does better than a general store when it comes to search engine rankings.
A lot of what goes into making a good marketing plan depends on who you’re trying to reach.
You can find out more about what people search for these days by using tools like Facebook Audience Insights and Google Trends.
Marketing is more of a double-edged sword for general stores. On the one hand, it can be hard to come up with creative ways to promote your business as a whole through sales copy.
On the other hand, you can easily use the tools we mentioned to learn about the current population and what’s popular so you can add it to your listings.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that making a marketing plan for a niche store is much easier.
Since your marketing plan is focused on just one segment, you don’t have to think about what to do next all the time.
When you start using online tools, it’s much easier to figure out who your target audience is, and you can get more relevant traffic.
This is a hard decision, but since niche stores have more marketing options, we’ll give them the win.
In 2022, it was thought that the dropshipping market would be worth $196.8 billion.
So it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that dropshippers all over the world make a lot of money from this business every year.
But the type of store often makes a big difference in how much money you spend.
In this case, the higher conversion rate means that niche stores usually make more money.
It shouldn’t be a surprise, since we’ve already talked about how a niche store is not only easier to rank on SERPs but also easier to market.
Even so, this doesn’t mean that running a general store wouldn’t make you any money.
In fact, general store dropshipping businesses can also make a good amount of money, though usually not as much as if you ran a niche store.
General vs. Niche Store – Who’s the Winner?
Based on the score above, it’s safe to say that a niche store is a clear winner.
But at the end of the day, your personal preferences and your overall experience will have a lot to do with your choice.
Niche stores can be a good way to make money if you are willing to take risks and spend more money.
You can’t go wrong with a general store, though, if you’re just getting started with dropshipping and want to learn more about the business.
So we hope that after reading this guide, you’ll be able to decide what’s best for you.