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How Many Products Should I Start With When Dropshipping?
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Aleksandra -
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Chief of Content Marketing
Aleksandra teaches marketing and management at various levels in High School. She writes about marketing, the economics and logistics of the dropshipping business and ecommerce in general.
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Chief of Content Marketing
18 minutes

How many calories should I eat daily to lose weight? Of course, you can’t answer, because you need information about my current weight, height, age, gender, body type, lifestyle, whether I exercise, and many more. So, there’s no ideal answer about How many products you should start with when dropshipping with Shopify.

Well, this is the case for every single thing, so it is for dropshipping! There are a lot of things to consider, like what’s your knowledge level about the dropshipping business?

What type of store do you have, or you are willing to have one?

Is it a Niche store, a General one, or a One-product store?

Furthermore, you need information about your customers, what they want, what is their buying behavior, shopping quantities, money spent, etc.

You can sense it, right? It’s not a simple answer to be given.

Therefore, this article might be suitable for your question, because we provide you with a detailed guide through all these aspects mentioned above.

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How Many Products Should I Start With for a General Store?

A general store does not specialize in anything. It can offer and sell everything! Everything from underwear to furniture. Yes, this sounds completely odd, but that is exactly what a general store is!

Most dropshippers do this to keep up with trends.  They promote things that are popular at the time and have a high likelihood of selling.

So, here’s the “bigdropshipping question. How many products should I start with when building a general store? 

If you choose a general store for your dropshipping business then we might say there’s no limit.

A general store should have between 20 to 50 products for the start

For example, let’s say that you are walking into a grocery shop and find only one shelf with 15 goods and the rest of the store empty. You’d probably leave with a negative experience and go shopping elsewhere. 

Maybe you will ask yourself whether this store is closing permanently or is not even a store.

dropshipping products meme

If the number is less than 30, the shop will lack credibility in the eyes of potential consumers.

With a general store, you must ensure that you have enough items to give convenience to your dropshipping business. You should add additional goods in the future, but 30 to 50 products is a reasonable starting point.

However, I do not recommend a general shop if you want to build your personal brand. Hence, many people purchase the exact same products from other retailers before you even begin offering them. They are also more difficult to sell, and there is little room for branding.

Amazon and eBay might be leaders in this industry, and great examples of successful dropshipping businesses, but not as great examples for dropshipping newbies! 

👉 Check out the Best 20+ Dropshipping Products For Valentines + How To Start.

So, here’s an example.

I always find Next Deal Shop inspirational when it comes to general dropshipping stores. Hence, They’ve been at it since March 2017, which is a good sign they’re doing something right. They’ve got a bunch of things, but they seem to really love home and garden stuff.

On the tech side, they’re using Shopify with their own fancy theme. It looks pretty cool. Take a peek at their products, and you might notice they resemble things from AliExpress. Also, they’ve got some nifty apps like PushOwl, Recover Lost Cart, and Product Reviews.

Guess what? They’ve got a whopping 1,500 products available. That’s a lot to choose from, huh? Overall, it’s a solid store with all the usual things you’d expect from a general store. The vibe and features will make you feel right at home. Definitely worth checking out!

Pros & Cons Of General Store Dropshipping

PROS
Diverse Product Range

Market Trend Adaptability

Exploration of Niche Markets

Lower Risk of Saturation

Testing Product

CONS
Lack of Expertise

Targeting Challenges

Brand Identity Issues

Higher Advertising Costs

Competition with Specialized Stores

Pros of Dropshipping with a General Store:

✅ Diverse Product Range

General stores allow you to offer a wide variety of products, catering to different customer interests. So the question about how many products should i start with when dropshipping is most relevant here.

This flexibility of a wide range of products can attract a broader audience.

👉 Check out the Best Dropshipping Products In Any Niche For Max Profits.

✅ Market Trend Adaptability

With a general store, you can quickly adapt to changing market trends. This flexibility allows you to test various products and adjust your inventory based on demand.

✅ Exploration of Niche Markets

While it’s a general store, you have the opportunity to identify niche markets within your product range, allowing you to target specific customer segments.

👉 Check out the 15 Trending Kitchen Dropshipping Products To Sell Online.

✅ Lower Risk of Saturation

Since you’re not confined to a specific niche, the risk of market saturation is reduced. You can explore different product categories to find profitable opportunities.

✅ Testing Product

General stores are excellent for testing the viability of different products. You can assess customer response without committing to a specialized niche.

Cons of Dropshipping with a General Store:

Lack of Expertise

Operating a general store may mean you lack in-depth knowledge about specific products or niches. This can impact your ability to provide expert advice or marketing tailored to a particular audience.

Targeting Challenges

General stores might find it challenging to create targeted marketing strategies since the audience is diverse. Tailoring campaigns to suit everyone can be difficult.

❌ Brand Identity Issues

General stores may struggle to establish a strong and memorable brand identity. Specialized stores often find it easier to create a brand that resonates with a specific audience.

❌ Higher Advertising Costs

Since your audience is broad, advertising costs may be higher as you need to reach a larger and more diverse group of potential customers.

Competition with Specialized Stores

General stores often compete with specialized stores that focus on specific niches. These specialized stores may have a more in-depth understanding of their audience, giving them a competitive edge.

How Many Products Should I Start With a Niche Store?

Niche stores have a distinct marketing approach and are focused on a certain product, category, or brand.

For example, if you want to target women of a specific age group, you may open a dropshipping store that solely sells fashionable women’s apparel.

So, a reasonable starting point of product quantity here might be from 5 to 20.

Customers will comprehend a limited product selection better in a niche store than in a general store because people believe that if your business is focused on a specific product type, it delivers better quality and it appears more legit. 

If you offer swimwear, you’ll probably need 10 to 20 distinct models to feel like you’ve covered the market properly.

However, with anything more particular, such as one-piece swimwear, you may offer fewer as there are fewer options. You only need enough in a specialty store to seem authentic to the ordinary internet consumer.

There are various examples of niche dropshipping stores on Shopify, like, Warmly– a lighting niche store, Fashion Nova – women’s clothing, Taylor Stitch – men’s clothing, and many more. 

Here’s an example.

Also, a great example is GymShark. It is a famous fitness clothing brand and a niche dropshipping store based in the United Kingdom. It’s recognized as one of the top players using the Shopify platform.

Thanks to a big social media following and customers spanning over 130 countries, GymShark has made a mark on the world stage. Nowadays, the GymShark website draws in over 9.6 million visitors every month.

And here’s the cool part about niche dropshipping stores – they make it simpler to connect with your target audience, boost conversions, and let you dive into something you genuinely enjoy, especially if you choose a niche that excites you.

Do you need help choosing a specific dropshipping niche? Or, maybe you need information on which one is most profitable?

Knowledge is power, so collect as much information as you can. Read about each dropshipping niche on our website.  

Pros & Cons Of Niche Store Dropshipping

PROS
Targeted Audience

Expertise and Authority

Efficient Marketing

Lower Advertising Costs

Brand Recognition

CONS
Limited Product Range

Market Volatility

Initial Market Research

Competition with Established Brands

Diversification Risks

Pros of Dropshipping with a Niche Store:

Targeted Audience

Niche stores focus on a specific market segment, allowing for a more targeted and personalized approach to marketing. This often leads to higher conversion rates.

Expertise and Authority

Specializing in a particular niche allows you to showcase expertise and build authority in that specific industry. Customers may trust your store more for niche-related products.

Efficient Marketing

Niche stores can tailor marketing efforts to a well-defined audience, making campaigns more efficient and cost-effective. You can speak directly to the needs and interests of your target customers.

Lower Advertising Costs

Targeted marketing often results in lower advertising costs.

You can reach a more engaged audience, reducing the need for broad and expensive advertising campaigns.

Brand Recognition

Niche stores can establish a strong and memorable brand identity within a specific market, making it easier for customers to remember and recommend your store. So, when it comes to how many products should i start with when dropshipping in a niche store, I rather emphasize building a brand with a few first.

Cons of Dropshipping with a Niche Store:

Limited Product Range

A niche store might have a more limited product range compared to a general store. This could potentially limit the number of customers and revenue streams.

Market Volatility

Niche markets can be more susceptible to economic fluctuations or trends. If your niche falls out of favor, it may impact your sales more significantly than a diversified general store.

Initial Market Research

Setting up a niche store requires thorough market research to identify a profitable and sustainable niche. This research can be time-consuming and may not guarantee success.

Competition with Established Brands

Niche markets often have established competitors. It can be challenging to compete with existing brands that have a strong foothold in the niche.

Diversification Risks

Relying solely on a niche means higher dependence on the success of that specific market. If the niche becomes less popular or faces challenges, your business may be at risk.

One Product Dropshipping Store

Probably your question here would be, What am I going to do if selling only one product? How can I offer multiple choices? The truth is you don’t have to!

This type of store gives customers an image of a dropshipping business that is professional at its job and delivers high-quality products. Because you have all the time in the world to focus on it and master it!

Have you heard about Snooz? This dropshipping business sells one product- a portable noise machine called Snooz and is a great example of a successful one-product store. 

BONUS: Top 10 Products To Dropship In September 2024

how many products should i start with

When starting a one-product store, all you need is a well-thought-out marketing approach and a specific viewpoint that customers circle. Your product needs to solve someone’s problem, and Baam, Sales!

One-product stores have great potential for success. The advantage of using a single-product approach is that you can focus your marketing efforts more effectively because they are time-consuming tasks.

So here we break the rule of “how many products is the perfect amount for dropshipping” because you can master the dropshipping market with even a well-established one-product strategy.

There are many other examples of successful one-product stores on Shopify, such as:

  • Palmpress
  • Neos
  • Death Wish Coffee
  • Pipcorn
  • IDRAW
  • Seattle Cider Co.

The one-product store is an excellent choice for beginners in the dropshipping business.

It leaves you time to focus on important things, learn about this business world, explore markets, etc. This type of store is a great educational opportunity.

If you are successful, keep trying, maybe you will be able to establish a specific niche around the product with accessorized or similar products.

Pros & Cons Of One Product Store Dropshipping

PROS
Simplicity

Clear Marketing Focus

Brand Recognition

Easier Testing and Optimization

Lower Initial Investment

CONS
Dependency on Product Success

Limited Revenue Streams

Market Saturation Risks

Upsell and Cross-Sell Challenges

Market Trends and Seasonality

Pros of Dropshipping with a One-Product Store:

Simplicity

Managing a one-product store is straightforward. There’s less complexity in inventory management, order fulfillment, and marketing strategies. So, is there a “how many products should i start with” question?

Yes, you can have a one-product store, and still keep it simple, offering few related products to it.

Clear Marketing Focus

With only one product, your marketing efforts can be laser-focused. This allows for targeted advertising and messaging, making it easier to convey the product’s unique selling points.

Brand Recognition

A single-product store can create a strong and memorable brand identity around that specific item. This can lead to better recognition and recall among customers.

Easier Testing and Optimization

Testing and optimizing your store, product pages, and marketing strategies are simpler when dealing with a single product. It’s easier to track what works and make adjustments accordingly.

Lower Initial Investment

Managing a one-product store often requires a lower initial investment compared to stores with a broader range of products. This can be advantageous for entrepreneurs with limited resources.

Cons of Dropshipping with a One-Product Store:

Dependency on Product Success

The success of your business is heavily dependent on the success of the single product. If it loses popularity or faces competition, your revenue may decline significantly.

Limited Revenue Streams

Operating with just one product means relying on a single revenue stream. Diversification is limited, and any changes in market demand can impact your business more substantially.

Market Saturation Risks

If the product becomes oversaturated in the market or faces copycats, maintaining a competitive edge may be challenging.

Upsell and Cross-Sell Challenges

With only one product, opportunities for upselling or cross-selling are limited. This may result in lower average order values compared to stores with a broader product range.

Market Trends and Seasonality

The success of a one-product store can be affected by market trends and seasonality. If the product is a trend or seasonal item, your business may face challenges during off-seasons.

💡 Tip: Learn everything you need to know about One Product Dropshipping Store: Pros & Cons, Guide & Examples.

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What Do The Customers Want?

how many products should i start with

No matter what type of dropshipping store you have, whether is a general, niche, or one-product store, your target audience might be your greatest compass! Just like the picture above implies ” customer is always right”.

Well, it means that the customer will remain your customer as long as you satisfy his/her needs.

So, uncovering the customer needs can lead you to the right answer How many products should I start with when dropshipping with Shopify?

If you want to build a brand and expand your business, you need to focus on your customers’ needs and wants.

So, what should you focus on when analyzing customers?

  • Divide customers into market segments according to their monthly income.
  • Consider your customer’s age range, because the needs and wants of customers differ according to their age range.
  • Discover their lifestyle. This is very important because in this way you will meet your customers closely, knowing their hobbies, how they spend their free time, what they will prefer to buy, whether products with affordable price, luxury products but with higher quality. This may tell you a lot about the number of products and categories you should start with.
  • Search through their buying history. You can understand the buyer’s behavior by using data from previous and current transactions. You will know what things they buy and how much they spend.

👉 Check out the 20 Best Dropshipping Suppliers For Amazon In 2024.

More One-Product Store Tips To Follow

Balance The Number of Products

Having too many product options not only makes it hard to pinpoint your choices, but it may also give customers the impression that you aren’t confident enough to deliver the best.

It’s all about maintaining a balance between having enough to give them an option and not having so many that they become overwhelmed and go shop elsewhere.

Add New Items From Time To Time

Your dropshipping business may benefit a lot from adding new items constantly. First, your existing customers will not get bored. Moreover, you can attract new customers to your store

Avoid the “Paradox Of Choice”

You have probably experienced the paradox of choice. It doesn’t feel pleasant, right?

The variety of product options may sometimes produce tension and, eventually, a sense of sadness.

If you’ve ever bought something, you’ve encountered the paradox of choice. You stand in front of a shelf of clothes you don’t want to try on and wish there were only two shelves.

Just as the “Jam experiment” gives us a message, when there are fewer product options, more people make purchases. (30% of buyers purchased jam when there were 6 jam options, and only 3% of the buyers’ purchased jam when there were 24 jam options)

Instead of being Amazon or Aliexpress, and selling everything, maybe you should focus on curating your product list select the ones that are the best options, and sell them! 

For example,

BlendJet is a dropshipping store that focuses on a single product – blenders, specifically the BlendJet 2 blender, perfect for whipping up smoothies and other tasty drinks. Thus, the store has perfectly selected the products they sell, starting from their main BlendJet 2 blender to a few accessories related to the blender.

Just like many other dropshipping ventures, this started as a brilliant idea from a food blogger. Fast forward, and now it’s a thriving million-dollar dropshipping business.

👉 Check out my BlendJet Review: How This One-product Store Is Making Millions?

FAQs- How Many Products Should I Start With When Dropshipping?

1. Is there an ideal number of products to start with when dropshipping?

I’d recommend kicking things off with a manageable range, maybe around 20-50 products. It helps you keep things focused and easier to handle in the beginning.

2. Why is it important to limit the number of products initially?

Well, limiting your product range at the start lets you concentrate on delivering quality, perfecting your marketing, and providing top-notch customer service. It’s like learning to ride a bike – you start with training wheels before going full speed.

3. Should I focus on a niche or offer a variety of products?

Personally, I’d say starting with a niche is a smart move. It helps you target a specific audience and craft a more tailored marketing strategy. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can always diversify.

4. How do I choose the right products for my dropshipping store?

Look for products with a buzz – high demand, low competition, and decent profit margins. Dive into trends, use some handy tools for market analysis, and trust your gut.

Also, there are various product research tools like AutoDS, Minea, and Adserea, which can help you identify the winning products for your dropshipping store.

5. Is it better to test a few products or launch a wide range from the beginning?

I’d lean towards testing a handful of products first. It’s like dipping your toes in the water before taking the plunge. Learn what works, gather data, and then expand strategically.

6. What impact does the number of products have on website design and user experience?

A smaller product range gives your website a clean and friendly vibe. It’s like walking into a boutique rather than a massive department store – easier for visitors to navigate and find what they want.

7. How can I scale my product range over time?

Once you’ve got a loyal customer base and a solid marketing game, you can slowly introduce new products. It’s like growing your garden – nurture what you have, and then add more blooms when the time is right.

8. What tools can help me manage a larger product inventory efficiently?

Think about using tools like inventory management software, slick dropshipping platforms – they’re like your personal assistants, making sure everything runs smoothly. For instance, you can use ShipBob, Inventory Source, AutoDS, etc.

9. How often should I update my product offerings?

Keep your eyes on the market trends, listen to what your customers are saying, and update accordingly. It’s like refreshing your wardrobe – stay stylish and relevant.

10. What role does marketing play in the success of a dropshipping store with a limited product range?

Marketing becomes your superhero. Craft targeted and exciting campaigns for your selected products – it’s like shouting from the rooftops to make sure everyone knows about your awesome finds.

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Conclusion

Knowing the right answer to: “how many products should I start with” is not easy at all!

There are a lot of things to consider before choosing the right amount of products, like the knowledge level about the dropshipping market, the type of store, whether is a general store, niche store, or one-product store.

Each of these types of stores has its challenges and a certain range of the best quantity that is recommended to sell. 

Don’t forget your customers! They can also be your best compass when determining the quantity you want to offer.

And, follow our additional tips for adding new products from time to time, avoiding the paradox of choice, and balancing the number of products!

About the Author

Profile picture of Aleksandra
Aleksandra Miteva
Aleksandra teaches marketing and management at various levels in High School. She writes about marketing, the economics and logistics of the dropshipping business and ecommerce in general.