Aspiring online entrepreneurs have plenty of options. You could use dropshipping to offer curated products to your target audience, invent your own special offering, or a combination thereof. As e-commerce platforms are now quite user-friendly and affordable, the sky’s the limit!
However, that doesn’t mean you should try to sell everything under the sun. As with any enterprise, it’s vital to know your audience and market something that perfectly meets their needs and interests. That’s why many online entrepreneurs are creating one-product stores.
Rather than curating and testing a lot of products, you develop a flagship offering that your ideal customers will love. It’s a great way to be distinctive in a saturated online market — but it does incur some risk. Is a one-product worth it? Let’s take a look.
What is a One-Product Store?
As the name suggests, a one-product e-commerce store sells just one product, although it may have variations or accessories. The product is typically the brand’s proprietary creation and is heavily associated with the company name.
A One-Product Store vs. a General Store
Many e-commerce sites are dropshipping retailers, which means they market products that are fulfilled by suppliers. It’s not unlike Wal-Mart or Target selling items from various brands. The difference is that as a dropshipper, you don’t need to store inventory. You choose the products to sell and the supplier handles the rest.
Thanks to this flexibility, many dropshipping sites are general stores. In a general store, you sell multiple products from various categories and brands. The more you sell, the wider your audience and therefore the greater likelihood you can find a winning product mix.
By contrast, a one-product store means you’re putting all your eggs in one basket. However, you can brand that product and market it as your own rather than trying to compete with mega general stores such as Amazon.
Pros and Cons of a One-Product Store
- Stand out with a unique product in a busy e-commerce market
- Effectively market to your target audience
- Higher conversion rates as most traffic is pre-qualified
- Easier to brand and promote your core offering
- Opportunity to work with influencers and dominate social media
- More likely to rank for target keywords in search engines
- Ability to upsell the product’s premium version or cross-sell variations or accessories
- High-risk endeavor due to relying on a single product to market
- Must find your own distribution/fulfillment option
- Requires tons of research to get started
- Brand must be fully optimized with high-quality assets and a clear value proposition
Pros and Cons of a General Store
- Target a broader audience with multiple categories and offerings.
- Test your sales so you can choose the best products for long-term growth.
- Easier to adapt to shifting demand and market factors
- Cross-sell related products for greater revenue
- Harder to niche down and therefore resonate with your target audience
- High competition with other e-commerce retailers
- Difficult to rank in search engines
- Prices race to the bottom as other retailers may offer the same products for cheaper
- Harder to refine your marketing strategy or partner with influencers
- Less clarity on your expertise or value proposition
Ultimately, the pros of a one-product store outweigh the cons. They also solve the cons of a general store. In today’s market, it’s often easier to achieve e-commerce success with a one-product store — as long as you do your homework.
With that said, here’s what to keep in mind when developing a one-product store.
How to Build a One-Product E-Commerce Store
Step 1: Develop a Product that Closes a Market Gap
As a business owner, your top goal should be to meet your target customers’ needs. That’s often much more likely with a custom product because you’re developing something unique! What problem do you solve while competitors don’t? Can you offer a solution that’s more accessible to a certain demographic?
For example, let’s say that many brands sell Thingamabob with Features A and B, but you think Feature X would resolve an issue many customers experience. Feature X would be your key differentiator to stand out from competitors.
Or, let’s say that Thingamagig is an ideal solution, but it’s expensive to produce and therefore too costly for lower-income customers. If you can innovate a cheaper way to make Thingamagig, you can sell your version for less and capture that demographic.
In sum, look for a gap in the market and how your flagship product can effectively close that gap.
Tip: Short on ideas? Browse Google Trends to see what types of products people are searching for. Then, identify any shortcomings or accessibility/pricing gaps you could resolve.
Step 2: Develop Your Brand
What is Amazon’s brand? It revolves around convenience, happiness, etc., but it’s also disconnected from the products it sells. We’ve all bought products off Amazon that failed to meet our expectations.
That’s why a one-product store can be highly compelling to consumers. By specifically marketing a product you believe in, you show that you stand by your offering. However, that also means you need to develop and refine a compelling brand.
Take the time to research your target audience, competitors, market trends, and so on. Then, position your store in its ideal position. Start by identifying your core purpose — your “Why” — and your brand personality. From there, you can choose the best brand name, aesthetic, key messages, and even your colors and fonts.
Step 3: Create Your Landing Page
With just one product to sell, your homepage is essentially a landing page. Your primary benefit should be front-and-center, and visitors should be able to instantly move down the funnel. Because you don’t have tons of products to promote, it’s simpler to lead with one super-enticing message. What will capture visitors’ attention and convince them to take the next step?
Step 4: Develop Your Product Page
Once you’ve warmed up the audience on your landing page, let them discover your product. Follow up on the landing page messages. For example, if Thingamabob’s Feature X was meant to solve Pain Point A, go
into more detail on the product page. Make it clear that your visitors must solve Pain Point A and that’s why they need the benefit of Feature X.
Ultimately, it’s up to you which type of e-commerce store you want to create. Developing a new product comes with its own set of challenges. If it’s feasible, though, you’ll often find that it’s much more lucrative to create a one-product store. You can truly refine your brand and improve your ranking and conversion rate, all of which make success more likely.
It all starts with thorough market research, product optimization, and branding. Do your homework before diving in — crafting the website itself is relatively easy in comparison!