A one products Shopify store can be one of the smartest ways to do dropshipping. It can also be the hardest. It poses a lot of challenges but the rewards can be immense.
We’ve all seen these scammy looking dropshipping stores that sell a thousand different products that are completely unrelated.
Those “general stores” worked really well when AliExpress was relatively unknown. Now, most people have caught on and either know of it or even shop on there themselves. Making a general dropshipping store work these days is a lot more challenging but it is still very lucrative if you do it right.
The ‘one product shopify store’ is a totally different approach. You build an entire store around only one product. This is so different from most dropshipping stores that no customer who lands on your one product store will even think that you are dropshipping – if you are doing it right.
Advantages of a Single Product Shopify Store
+ Customer Perception
When a customer lands on your one product store, the immediate response will be that this is specialized. If you compare it to a store that sells everything and anything, the perception is that you will get something better from a specialized store.
In most cases, your customer will never even imagine that you are a dropshipper selling something from China.
A one product store allows you to focus your efforts. Running a Shopify store with a big inventory can be daunting to manage. Suppliers come and go, products come and go and you have to constantly maintain your catalog.
Having just one product allows you to really focus.
You can craft an entire store and idea around this product. You can have a story and get customers to buy into and idea – as opposed to just buying a product. (think Apple – not Huawei).
One of the biggest things with a single product Shopify store is that you can create a brand. Most products from AliExpress or Alibaba are “blank” without any branding.
If you just create a great logo for your store that focuses around the 1 product you are selling then you will already set yourself apart from all the dropshippers who are just selling blank products.
Depending on your fulfillment strategy, you can easily brand your own products. In very basic terms, you can print your logo on your own packaging. This is quite cheap and easy to do even if you do not do massive volume yet.
You can also get your logo etched, embroidered or even lasered on to your products but this is a higher level of branding and you should not even consider that until you do decent volume.
Some Alibaba suppliers will do this either free or very cheap IF your order volume is high.
The customer perception of a brand is that it has more value. With the right branding you can command much higher prices for the same product. What people are willing to pay for a product depends almost entirely on your branding.
On average you can sell for 3x to 4x your product costs if you create a great brand. I’ll also talk a bit about prices in the next point…
+ Fulfillment & Sourcing
Fulfillment and sourcing becomes a lot easier if you are just selling one product. If you sell a big catalog then it is almost impossible to stock your own warehouse.
Having multiple products with multiple sizes or colours means you will need to buy thousands of dollars worth of inventory if you want to fulfil from your own warehouse space.
One massive benefit is that you can start using fulfillment agents in China. They usually require that you sell at least 50 units per day (of a particular product). An agent can ship your orders same day and offer fast shipping from China (typically 8-10 days from order to customer in USA).
They also give you much better prices which means much better margins for you. The fulfillment is also much easier and you do not have to deal with fulfilling one order at a time like you do with Oberlo or other fulfillment apps.
+ Lightweight and Fast
What I really like about a 1 product store is that it is light and fast. Unlike these store that carry hundreds of products you only have one. This means your Shopify store is light and fast. Faster stores perform better.
Its a fact – please see my article about how to optimize your Shopify store for higher conversions.
+ Creating your own marketing
Every guris preaches that you have to order the products you sell and make sure they are “good”. This makes sense for stores with one (or a few) products but not if you have a big catalog.
With a 1 products Shopify store you can order the product from a few suppliers and make sure you have the best quality. This won’t cost you much (depending on the product).
Another huge benefit is that because you can easily order the product you can take your own photos and videos. Amateur looking marketing materials do very well on social networks because it showcases “real people” using the product.
+ Building an Asset
Building a brand as opposed to selling products has the huge advantage of building an Asset. If you look at Blendjet, they build a massive brand around a cheap AliExpress product. This brand is more than just a product. Its a real asset and its a business that you can sell.
General dropshipping stores are like cash machines. You can use them to generate cash but as a business and as a brand they have almost no value. Anyone can copy it within an hour or two.
Don’t belive me? Check out Empire Flippers or Flippa. Dropshipping stores don’t sell and when they do, its not for much.
Disadvantages of a One Product Shopify Store
– Store setup
Setting up a 1 products Shopify store requires a lot more work than selling a big catalog. Why? Because every word and image will have an impact. On large general store people don’t really read too much into the detail.
If you sell just one product, people are more interested in the details. You will most likely also attract a different audience – someone who buys into your brand.
Any inconsistencies on your store will stand out and scare buyers off. Your product images need to be great! Because you are brand. Your sales copy needs to be great and compelling. It needs to be coherent and your store needs to look great.
You will not get away with a scammy looking store when you try and build a brand and sell only 1 product.
If you are selling just one product and you are selling it as a “brand” then quality becomes a big deal. You can not sell people crap from China. You can not command high prices if the products look like shit or do not work properly.
You simply HAVE TO buy the products yourself and make sure the quality is good (and not just good enough). If its not, then your brand will not make it in the long run. To sell 500 to 1000 products per day you can not sell shit.
– Only One Chance
When you have niche store, making sales is much easier. If you get targeted traffic then everyone who lands on your store may be interested in a variety of products that you offer. With a 1-product store you have just 1 chance. If the product does not resonate with the customer they will leave quite quickly.
You essentially have just 5 seconds to grab your customers. There are no other products in your store to suck them in. This is why a single product store are often a hit or miss. If you miss, you will have to make some drastic changes – often changing the product will be necessary.
This means that a lot of work for nothing – even though every failed store should be a huge learning curve.
– Upsells and Cross Sells
With niche stores that sell a lot of related products, it is quite easy to boost your AOV (average order value). There are so many related products that your customers may be interested in. If you sell just one product, this can be a problem.
Using order bumps or adding additional products that are only visible on the back-end may be necessary to boost AOV. You can also upsell via email or offer different product upgrades but in general it is much harder than just straight cross-selling.
– Sourcing and Supplier Issues
Selling just one product can make sourcing and suppliers easy because you just have 1 product and 1 supplier to deal with. The problem is that because you do large volume, one glitch can cause your entire business to go down.
If your supplier switches products on you (without getting your approval) or if they run out of stock you can be completely stuck.
– Customer Expectations
When you are selling a brand, your customers have a much higher expectation than when they buy from a general store. Most of the time, people do not buy a product. They buy a solution to a product or they buy into an idea – which is what a brand really “sells”.
If you do not deliver on this, your customers will feel disappointed. They will either not buy again, leave bad reviews or get a refund.
They are also much less patient with customer support and shipping times.
The Best Themes for a One Product Shopify Store
Setting up a 1 product store for Shopify will need a very different theme than stores with a large catalog. Some themes are built for showcasing and handling large catalogs with thousands of products. You do not want this.
You need a theme that allows you to showcase just one product throughout the entire theme.
The best free option is Shopify’s own Debut theme. This theme is easy to customise, is lightweight and allows you to craft a great home page around a single product. It will require some editing and you will need to be familiar with editing themes to make this look great.
The best paid option is Out of The Sandbox’s Turbo theme. This is the “standard” for dropshippers who use 1-product stores. You can use it “out of the box” and requires almost no editing of the theme.
It allows you to build great product pages and you can insert a lot of information into your product page itself.
Most of all, the Turbo theme is fast. It can make a huge difference in conversion rates as this theme is stripped of all the unnecessary code that slows down most Shopify themes.
Using Clickfunnels for a One Product Shopify Store
When you set up a one product store you also have the option to not even use Shopify. In fact, using a sales funnel can be much more efficient and convert much better than a standard Shopify store.
This is something that does not make any sense if you sell multiple products or have a niche store.
When you use Clickfunnels to sell just one product you essentially give a customer nowhere else to click or navigate to. With a funnel you really can sell a store and a product very well.
You also have all the benefits that comes with Clickfunnles like building an email list upfront, having 1-page checkouts and easily upselling customers with 1-click upsells post purchase.
Setting up one product “stores” with Clickfunnels is simple enough but you will need to have your fulfillment process sorted out. Chances are you will have to have your supplier accept CSV files for the orders.
There are also apps you can use but this is for another discussion.