When you decide to launch a dropshipping site, there’s one decision you need to make on day one. Are you going to be a niche dropping store or a general dropshipping store? Your decision will determine everything from your branding to marketing and the products you stock. It’s easy to shrug it off and think, “I’ll decide later”, but it’s a decision you need to make ASAP.
Whether you decide to go general or experiment with niche dropshipping, Doba is here to amplify your business by giving you access to hundreds of dropship suppliers and millions of products.
We’re looking at the topic of niche dropshipping vs. general dropshipping to help you decide which style is best for your business. While both of these have pros and cons, they’re tailored to two different skill sets.
What is general dropshipping?
General dropshipping is when a store carries multiple niches across its product ranges. Your website might offer activewear clothing alongside homeware and cosmetics. A general dropshipping store will attract a larger audience of customers, allowing them to experience a more even flow of orders and customers.
Visitors to your website will usually look for one product but may buy from another category that you stock.
The benefits of having a general dropshipping store
Most beginners in the world of dropshipping (along with seasoned professionals) chose to stick to a general dropshipping store. You can always start with a general store and create a dropshipping niche on another website once you’ve learned more about dropshipping and tailored your skills.
Having a general dropshipping store means that you have added flexibility. You’re not working on a calendar or deadlines, which you might be if you’re selling seasonal products in a niche store.
General dropshipping means that you can reach a larger audience and more potential buyers. If the idea of niche dropshipping interests you, then you can use your general dropshipping store to test drive several niches at once. You can see which products sell the best and which niches get the most engagement through your marketing posts.
The challenges of having a general dropshipping store
While general dropshipping is the most popular option, it comes with its own challenges. Most of the visitors coming to your website are just checking out what you have to offer. They’re rarely coming to your website to buy a specific product, meaning that your order conversion rate is low.
You’ll also experience a high ratio of irrelevant traffic. You might find that a large percentage of visitors are coming to your website simply to compare the prices of similar products. These irrelevant visitors can also eat into your paid marketing budget, preventing you from reaching more engaged users.
When you have a general dropshipping store, you’ll also have more competition. Instead of having a shortlist of competitors within your niche, you’ll be up against every other general dropshipping website – including Amazon.
What is niche dropshipping?
When you have a niche dropshipping store, you tailor your website and products around a specific niche. It might be stationery supplies for college students, maternity clothing, or activewear for plus-size women. With a niche dropshipping store, you’re targeting a specific demographic of people with products that relate to your niche and form one primary category.
The benefits of having a dropshipping niche
Having a niche dropshipping store comes with several benefits that you don’t get when you open your product range beyond one niche or category.
One of the major benefits is the fact that it’ll be easier for you to rank for relevant keywords within your niche. The more niche your dropshipping store is – and the more content you create that ties into this niche – the more likely you are to rank highly on the most popular search terms.
The other main reason why people choose a dropshipping niche is that your website receives more filtered traffic. You’ll usually have a higher conversion rate as your website attracts people who have a specific interest in the niche that you operate within. As your customers are actively engaged with your niche, you have a higher percentage of recurring customers.
The challenges of having a niche dropshipping store
Building and growing a niche dropshipping store isn’t for everyone. Even long-term dropshippers with years of experience under their belt will tell you that niche dropshipping stores are difficult to set up and manage if you’re new to the industry.
Most beginners choose to start with a general dropshipping store to gain the skills they need to scale their business. The benefit of choosing a general dropshipping store or a dropshipping niche is that you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket. You can start with trending products, begin making a profit, and then look at expanding your business.
Once you learn the art of dropshipping and how to market your website, you can expand into a dropshipping niche on another website.
The other thing to consider about a niche dropshipping store is that they require more time and patience than a general shopping store. You’ll experience some trial and error along the way, and you’ll need to do more research into the niche, including understanding the demographic that you’re targeting.
One thing that turns dropshippers away from having a niche website is unstable growth patterns. You never know when a niche might go in or out of popularity. Social media websites like TikTok are changing trends every day. The rise of cottagecore fashion came virtually out of nowhere, with dropshippers battling to capitalize on its popularity with niche websites.
Niche websites are always more high-risk than a general dropshipping store as you’re creating a smaller target audience.
Is it better to have a general dropshipping store or a dropshipping niche?
The choice is ultimately up to you and your skillset. Some people prefer to spread out the risk with a general dropshipping store, while others take something they’re interested in and find more enjoyment from having a dropshipping niche.
You want to consider the practicalities of each when deciding which one works best for you. A general dropshipping store is better for beginners as it’s easy to choose products while developing a dropshipping niche is more difficult for beginners.
As a niche dropshipping store, your curated marketing strategy means that you get precise traffic and higher conversion rates. When you’re operating a general store, you’ll see irrelevant traffic and website traffic that can fluctuate.
The profit margin might be the deciding factor for you. Having a dropshipping niche may give you a high profit margin, but it will depend on trends and your ability to relate them to your niche. Comparatively, a general dropshipping store has a more stable and long-lasting profit margin.
You’ll also want to consider your long-term plan when deciding between a general and niche dropshipping store. You can easily scale a dropshipping niche organically, while a general store will struggle due to having a larger competition base.
Should I have a general dropshipping store or a dropshipping niche as a beginner?
Although we’ve said that a general dropshipping store is best for beginners, there are some exceptions. While a general store can be easier to establish and give you a wider demographic, making a profit can take longer as you’ll have more competition.
One benefit of having a dropshipping niche is your ability to create a more targeted marketing strategy. Instead of creating content for a wide spectrum of products, you’ll be focusing on one niche. You can make your website feel more like an authentic brand by curating its image and aesthetic. With a dropshipping niche, you’ll be targeting one specific audience and can grow an online community around your niche.
It’s worth considering which type of dropshipping store you’ll be comfortable with. Which one plays best to your skills? Do you want to build your knowledge with a general dropshipping store? Do you want to find a dropshipping niche to target a specific audience and have a higher conversion rate? Think of your answer to questions like this.
How can I find a dropshipping niche?
If you decide to open a niche dropshipping website, there are a few ideas on how you can find the right niche for you. Research is essential when considering your niche. Most dropshippers will choose a niche that they’re familiar with to give them the ability to better understand the products.
If you’re an amateur runner, you’ll have a better understanding of the kind of products that your fellow runners and athletes need. As a result, you can feed this into your product choices and marketing style.
You can also be more clinical in your choice by looking at Google Trends and social media to see which niches are growing in popularity. Dropshipping websites like AliExpress will also show you different niches by allowing you to filter through different categories and product types.
You want to find a dropshipping niche that is popular, has an established audience, and that you understand. While you can always change your niche, you want to set yourself up for the best chance of success.
About Doba and our dropshipping service
Doba is a leading dropshipping website that introduces you to high-quality dropshipping suppliers and offers integration with top-selling marketplaces and platforms. We give you the tools to sync orders with suppliers to efficiently fulfill orders and improve the customer experience.
Our platform makes it easier than ever to launch a successful general dropshipping store or to find a dropshipping niche. Start your 30-day free trial of Doba here – and take your dropshipping store to new heights.