Settling the Debate: One Product Stores vs. General Stores

In the adaptive world of online businesses, where trends shift & new strategies constantly evolve, a single debate continues to captivate the minds of entrepreneurs everywhere: One Product Stores vs. General Stores. Which one has the upper hand? A question that has stood the test of time, and upon careful examination of both paths, it became increasingly evident that there is no definitive answer. Though, each approach undoubtedly carries its own array of unique benefits & potential disadvantages that are worth considering.

Many entrepreneurs grapple with making this decision, and it's not uncommon to get caught up in the dilemma of determining which option will bring you the better results. But the key is to not let your quest for the perfect choice block you from tangible actions. While it's certainly crucial to weigh your options, don't let overthinking prevent you from making the moves necessary to achieve your goals. Embrace the concept of testing ideas to avoid getting stuck in a loop of indecision. This analysis aims to explore both distinct options; in hopes to provide comprehensive insights that will guide better informed decisions & ultimately shed light on a topic that frequently leaves beginners uncertain.

In this blog, we’ll untangle this question & settle the debate once & for all: One Product Stores vs. General Stores.. Which one comes out on top?

Let's begin by deciphering the enigma that is the general store. A general store, as the name suggests, encompasses a wide variety of products under one digital roof. It's akin to the shopping mall of the online world, where you can access a diverse assortment of offerings all in the one place. The allure of the general store lies in its versatility. It's a space to efficiently test multiple products and evaluate their potential without having to rebuild multiple websites each time - instead, simply uploading a new product. This approach can be particularly fruitful when aiming to discern which product resonates most effectively with your audience.

However, the concept of niche-specific general stores is where things get interesting. Imagine this as a shop within the mall that caters to a very specific audience or customer: for example, a Golf Shop or Jewelry Store. This approach allows you to introduce new products seamlessly, injecting freshness into your business & giving you the ability of selling to the same customer over & over again. After all, staying relevant & innovative is the lifeblood of any successful business 

The Temptation of the General Store: A Deeper Dive

A significant advantage of general stores is their potential to increase the Average Order Value (AOV). With an array of products at your customers' fingertips, they're more inclined to explore and add items to their cart, boosting their overall spend. Yet, let's not be blinded by the allure of versatility. The more SKU’s you manage (colors, sizes, etc), the trickier inventory management can become, which can lead to potential supply chain issues or require large investments in order to stock all the variations of your product. 

Another noteworthy benefit of featuring multiple products is the longevity it imparts to your business. The introduction of new products stands as the foremost method to sustain and invigorate a business, a principle exemplified by industry titans like Amazon and Netflix. This steady influx of new offerings not only retains customer interest but also fosters ongoing engagement and revenue generation.

On the downside - having a multitude of products can at times divert customers from their original purchase intent or encourage a more casual "window shopping" approach. This could potentially dilute the focus and intention of your marketing efforts, requiring a broader range of strategies to effectively engage customers and prompt conversions for each product.

Moreover, its always worth considering the content side of things too. With a plenitude of products, your marketing efforts need to cover a much broader spectrum. You need to involve more time and resources to ensure each product gets its spotlight, which can be a challenging feat that demands extremely strategic content creation and distribution processes.

The Elegance of the One Product Store:

Now, let's pivot to the simplicity of the one product store. Imagine a stage with a single spotlight, focused on a star performer. The one product store dedicates its entire existence to showcasing a solitary product. This approach has its charm, especially when you have a product that speaks volumes on its own. Customers are immersed in an experience tailor-made for that product, which greatly increases its chances of conversion.

It’s clear that a one product store comes with its own set of unique advantages. Inventory management becomes remarkably efficient and its streamlined nature allows for precise, laser-focused direction. However, it's crucial to acknowledge that if your initial product doesn't resonate with your audience as anticipated, you will get stung due to your commitment to a single product. The process of creating an entirely new store for each trial and error is less than optimal in terms of time, money, and effort. 

This stands in contrast to the approach of testing multiple products on a single website, a strategy that a general store readily accommodates. It allows you to gauge real market responses in the most efficient way possible. As a result, it might even be a good idea to consider initiating your product testing through a general store. Once you've gathered valuable market insights & validated the concept with favorable market responses, you could then strategically transition into a one product store in order to create a better customer experience with higher conversion rates.

The trade-off also includes a lower average order value (AOV) potential, but on the flip side, a higher percentage of visitors arrive with a strong intent to purchase. Their understanding of the product & their predetermined emotional investment in it drives a higher likelihood of conversion. In contrast, a general store can attract extremely diverse traffic, some of whom may simply explore your catalog without a specific emotional connection to a product just yet.

However, there is a caveat with one product stores. Once the customer's need is fulfilled, the likelihood of repeat purchases diminishes. Your challenge really lies in your ability to captivate them with such a remarkable experience that they become repeat customers & lifelong advocates of your brand. Achieving that with one product will need to meet a certain criteria or will require a certain finesse to ensure a lasting impact & recurring sales / higher customer lifetime value (LTV). 

A Dual Conclusion: The Yin and Yang of E-Commerce

In the tug-of-war between one product stores and general stores, there's no singular victor. Each strategy holds its own merit, tailored to specific goals and visions. The general store dances with variety, testing grounds, and the potential for higher AOV. On the flip side, the one product store elevates the individual experience, providing the spotlight that one exceptional product deserves.

As you contemplate your e-commerce journey, remember that it’s been proven both approaches can lead to success when wielded with skill and strategy. The choice between them hinges on your objectives, resources, and your own goals. With careful planning and execution, both roads can lead to an extremely successful online business.
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