The age old question that newbies always post on communities is Niche Vs. General store. Before they start their own ecommerce business, they want to know if it’s better to focus on a specific niche or cover everything out there.
It’s not a newbie question. Even some veterans struggle with the same issue and don’t know whether focusing on a niche is better or going for a wide general audience with their store.
Sometimes the answer depends on what your strengths are and where your plus point lie. Sometimes it’s all about luck factor. Still, it’s a pretty valid question and only you should be able to answer it for yourself.
We are going to provide you with all the information regarding niche and general stores so you can make an educated decision regarding picking one over the other.
First of all let’s start with the differences between both these categories.
The Difference Between Niche Store and General Store
Many people believe that niche stores are the key to compete in the ecommerce industry. They believe that a niche store can quickly gain dominance in their specific category on the market.
While a general store, on the other hand, aims to please everyone with its more comprehensive selection. General stores often compete on the basis of price and range of products.
The risk, however, remains the same that all these varieties of products can get out of hand and become to difficult to manage.
Every newcomer to the ecommerce business is confused regarding the general store and niche store. They don’t know what works. Here’s the secret…both type of stores are successful and make money for their owners.
But, if you have a long-term business in your mind then yes, niche stores can be much better for you. You must find a specific niche and stick to it to build a sustainable long-term ecommerce business. But, stores like Amazon and AliExpress are doing great as well despite being general.
So, in the end, it comes down to how much work you are willing to do and what you are most passionate about.
Niche Store Pros
- Much easier to develop a full blown social brand image.
- Passionate customers that are already in love with the products.
- Easier to develop a “cult like” following that’s passionate about your products.
- Much easier product selection for marketing purposes.
- Easily run targeted ads to focus on your target audience.
- Easy to market the store in communities developed for the specific niche.
Niche Store Cons
- Very limited amount of products and items to offer.
- Starting all over again from scratch when you are trying to break into a new niche.
- Requires more money and more time to keep the business running.
General Store Pros
- Much simpler and easier to scale the business (more items, more revenue).
- Better flexibility to test out any niche or product.
- Leaves room to adapt to different trends.
- Much more cost effective (less cost for product updates and operation).
- Gives you the opportunity to learn while you make money (sell whatever is selling).
General Store Cons
- Very low effect when it comes to viral effects specially when building your brand.
- Less passionate and enthusiastic customers (low conversion rates), but you can use niche based Facebook groups/pages to counter this problem.
- Lower open/click rates with email marketing since you’re not targeting specific audience.
- Lower brand loyalty as your audience will be more interested in cheaper prices.
Which Store Should You Choose?
If you want my opinion then I suggest you start with a general store. If you are starting out in the ecommerce industry then starting with a general store will give you more room to experiment.
You don’t have to pigeon-hole yourself into a single niche and a specific audience from the start. That will mostly backfire and you will end up demotivated ultimately closing your store while feeling bad about the ecommerce industry as a whole.
You can start with a bunch of different products and/or niches. By doing this there’s a possibility of your stumbling upon some successful product or a niche that you can later expand into.
Starting with a general store doesn’t mean that you have to forever stay general. You can use this as a testing ground for the niches you are interested in.
When you see people interested in a specific category or a specific product on your general store, you can then start a niche store related to that product/category.
However, the niche store will always give you a higher number of sales and a better profit per visitor. So, once you get the hang of running your online store, you should branch out into one or multiple niche stores as well.
As already mentioned, you will have your general store up and running. This is where you do your testing and the winning products can be branched out into a niche store with complimentary products surrounding your winning product.
You can even use your Facebook pixel from your winning product in your new stores.
So, instead of spending your time looking for a niche and doing research, you can just start with a general store and let the general store help you with finding the best converting niche(s).
So, we have already mentioned what good comes with niche stores and what goods come with general stores.
It’s very easy to get into a niche store once you have tested the waters for yourself. Starting off with a niche store, however, is quite risky and might not work out so well for you.
Just begin with a general store and let it be the testing ground for your favorite niche products. Afterwards you can get into those niche markets and use the already gathered data to your advantage.
Hopefully, you learned something and now at least have an idea regarding what type of store you should get into.
Feel free to comment below and let us know if you prefer general stores or niche stores and why.
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