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Niche vs General Store: Pick the Right Model for Your Dropshipping Store in 2019

May 14, 2018

7 Min Read
Dropshipping niches vs general store
Reading Time: 7 minutes

When starting a dropshipping business, one of the many questions you will face is whether to go with an exclusive dropshipping niche or general stores. The choice you make will form the path of success in your ecommerce journey. With that said, let’s discuss further on dropshipping niche vs general stores.

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History of Dropshipping

After AliExpress was launched, it was immensely successful because of its low prices. But there were two problems.

  • The shipping time was just too much
  • It was selling more than a million products so people don’t actually know what it was selling

At that time, intelligent digital marketers came with a peculiar idea. They created their own stores and started adding products from AliExpress. In just a few days, they had a small ecommerce store that looked and felt as a US-based ecommerce store.

You may think, ‘that all is fine, but how were they making money?’

They arbitraged.

Dropshipping Model

Source: Now Revolution Book

They bought products from AliExpress for around $15 and sold for $25 with FREE SHIPPING labels. For shipping, as AliExpress shipping is pretty slow, they used ePacket-available products. The ePacket delivery system charges $3 for shipping and the ad running cost/order was $2 and $0.50 was the transaction fees. So 3+2+0.50+15= $20.50 was the total cost of the product. The margin of dropshippers will be $4.50 per product. However, not every product should be considered in this manner. There are certain dropshipping niches to avoid as they will not yield higher profits.

Dropshipping

Source: JohnnyFD

But the whole process was done manually and took a lot of time for starters. So, technically, it wasn’t as ‘passive’ as they wanted.

So, tools like AliDropship, Oberlo, and similar others were launched to cater to the dropshippers.

Now that you know the history of this business, and we know you are eager to start it as soon as possible, but let’s just hold your horses for a little more time.

What Is a Niche Dropshipping Store?

Dropshipping is an ecommerce business model in which you don’t keep products in stock. Whenever a customer orders a product, you pass the order to a supplier who then ships it to the customer.

A niche dropshipping store is based on a specific niche such as ‘Basketball Men’s Clothes,’ according to YOUSE, a dropshipper, and YouTuber.

In such a store, all items are related to that niche that will help it target all interested people on Facebook.

Pros of Niche Dropshipping Stores

A niche based dropshipping store has a few noteworthy benefits including its high relevancy in SERPs, user-interest, and high conversions. The whole list of dropshipping niches 2019 pros is provided below.

Easy to Rank

Niche dropshipping stores are easier to rank for keywords on SERPs and social searches. This is because niche based stores form a clout that is valued by both the search and social algorithms. When users start searching for niche products, these stores are the first one to show up.

Gets More Filtered Traffic

Just like a blog on a specific topic, a niche based dropshipping store gets people who are truly interested in the store. This happens because the store easily ranks on the search and social platforms and gets a ton of visitors organically.

Buyers Convert More Easily

As niche dropshipping stores target only a specific group of people that are already interested in the niche. That’s why these stores get more orders. This also increases the number of recurring orders the store gets.

Cons of Niche Dropshipping Stores

No business model is flawless. Here are a few drawbacks of the dropshipping business.

Not Suitable for Beginners

Experienced dropshippers often say that niche based dropshipping websites aren’t the best way to start a dropshipping business. A general dropshipping website is more beneficial for first-time dropshippers. Once they learn what products are selling more, they can expand their businesses further.

MadCam Publishing, a YouTube channel, has published a video on this topic and they have said that beginners are unaware of what will sell more. So, if they put all their eggs in one basket the risk increases. Instead, by adding 100 trending products to a dropshipping store and then selling them, they can make more profits and even sustainable businesses.

Requires a Lot of Trial and Testing

No one can say with certainty that a niche store will actually become successful. That’s why niche stores require a lot of trial and testing that helps the dropshippers understand how they can make the websites more profitable.

Unstable Growth Pattern

No one is sure which type of niches will work in the market. Most of the time, niches that the users select have a low competition. So, if a new dropshipper goes niche there are high chances of him failing in comparison with a general niche store.

What Is a General Dropshipping Store?

A general dropshipping store is made up of multiple niches. The general stores are flexible and help you reach more people. General stores aren’t highly profitable but they are stable and potential buyers who land on them are more prone to buy something.

For example, a general dropshipping store includes products from multiple industries. Such as Clothing, Electronics, Home and Garden, and Computers. The users who visit them will buy one thing from any of the niches.

Pros of General Niche Dropshipping Stores

General dropshipping niches are preferred over niche-based dropshipping stores. Here’s a list of the advantages of general dropshipping websites.

Flexible to Start

General niche dropshipping stores can be easily started because they are flexible and don’t require you to focus on a single niche. One benefit of general niche is that you can make a list of the most trending products in all niches and add them to your store to test.

Reach More People

General niche dropshipping products encompass a number of industries. This means as a general niche dropshipping store, you can easily optimize the product listings to rank them in SERPs. By reaching more people, you will eventually start selling them to potential buyers.

Test Multiple Niches at Once

Another benefit of using a general dropshipping store is that you can test multiple dropshipping products at once. Just add the products that you would like covered and promote them through Facebook and Google shopping.

Cons of General Niche Dropshipping Stores

It is better to understand everything about a business before you start it. So, here’s a list of the disadvantages of general dropshipping websites.

Order Conversion Ratio Is Low

Most visitors only visit a dropshipping store just to check out the products. The ratio of these people is a lot lower on niche-specific stores because visitors reaching niche websites have a buying intent. On the other hand, general dropshipping websites don’t have high conversion ratio because visitors with or without a buying intent are visiting them.

High Ratio of Irrelevant Traffic

As most of the visitors just want to check out the product prices, these are only consuming bandwidth of the store. These visitors also consume paid marketing budget. So, in a way, they are bad for the dropship store.

More Competition

In comparison with a niche-specific store, a general dropshipping website has competition from every other ecommerce website in the market. So, it has to marketing intelligently to outdo the competition.

Dropshipping Niche Store vs General Store (Comparison)

Metrics Niche Dropshipping Store General Dropshipping Store
Beginner Friendly Hard for beginners because the niche has a high tendency to fail Easy to start because more products on the general store sell
Traffic Gets precise traffic from advertisements Traffic for general dropshipping stores isn’t always relevant
Upselling Upselling is easy with email marketing because everyone is interested in the niche Upselling can work. It is a catch and a miss situation
Profit margins High but depends on trends Stable and long lasting
Scaling Easy to scale organically Hard to scale because you have to target multiple stores

 

Which One Is Better for Beginners: Niche vs General Store?

For beginner dropshippers, a general store is a more lucrative option in comparison with a niche based store. The best niches for dropshipping 2019 will require expertise which the beginners don’t have. If they invest everything in a niche based store and it doesn’t work as expected, they will be left with nothing.

Youse, a YouTuber and dropshipper, has put it succinctly:

“General store or a niche store? Neither and both at the same time.”

He explains dropshipping niches in the following way. You should go sub-niche and elevate horizontally as well. What this means is that if you have selected ‘Men’s basketball clothes’ then don’t only promote basketball clothes. Instead, focus on everything that relates to them. This includes clothes, mobile covers, shoes, stunt cameras and other things. This way you are neither niche nor general but in the middle of the two.

How to Benefit the Most Using Niche or General Products [Strategy]

A good way to start a dropshipping business is by finding products that you want to sell. First, select a niche that suits you and then add all relevant products that are related to it.

We have chosen basketball accessories, clothes, and toys.

Now, we will go to AliExpress and choose products from merchants that have the highest number of orders. We will then add them to the store using a dropshipping plugin.

Once they are live, we will start testing these products in carousel ads on Facebook to see which ones are selling. This will give us a fair idea about of products to take to the next level and which ones to drop right now. That’s a simple strategy to start your dropshipping store.

Note: Get Your Dropshipping Business Started Right Now with Cloudways!

Conclusion

I hope this article helped you understand the differences between the two and will help you start your dropshipping adventures.

Read more about dropshipping in our dropshipping guide.

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Sharjeel Ashraf

Sharjeel loves to write about startups and ecommerce. In his free time, he is on the road or working on some cool project in his den.

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