Do you want to build an eCommerce empire? Well, establishing a general online store is an excellent way to start your eCommerce venture. With a general online store, you can explore an endless selection of niches while earning massive sales.
Meanwhile, dropshipping is a lucrative eCommerce model with low risk and high rewards. Thus, managing a general dropshipping store is a promising business to start.
Hence, this article will explore the step-by-step guide on starting our general online dropshipping business. Plus, we will gain insights into the strategies of the market’s most successful general online stores. So, let’s get into it!
General Online Store Vs. Niche Online Store
When selling online, we can either establish a general store or a niche store. Essentially, a general store lets us offer items from a wide range of categories.
On the other hand, a niche store focuses on selling items under a specific product category. For instance, we can have a niche store that highlights women’s fashion. As such, this niche store would only offer women’s fashion products.
Thus, starting our eCommerce venture with a general online store is more promising. Doing so lets us easily test diverse products from different niches until we find our best-sellers.
With the dropshipping business model, we can easily create general online stores. Interestingly, dropshipping doesn’t require us to clear our stocks before being able to test new products and niches. Thus, we have more flexibility and freedom with our product listings when dropshipping in a general online store.
10 Best Examples Of A Successful General Online Store
Before establishing our general online store, let’s take inspiration from some of the most successful businesses. With that said, here are ten of the best general online stores in the market:
- Inspire Uplift
- Best Choice Products
- Trendy Goods Market
- Buy It Carl
- Genie Mania
- Until Gone
- Super Shop
Let’s begin uncovering the features that make them successful and profitable.
1. Inspire Uplift
To start off our list, we have Inspire Uplift. This general online store covers a diverse selection of product categories, including home, clothing, beauty, electronics, art, and more. With millions of satisfied customers worldwide, Inspire Uplift has unlimited product listings, a broad customer base, and safe payment options.
Besides that, this store offers new products every day and free shipping on most orders. In fact, customers can score top-rated items at discounted prices from this general online store. Moreover, Inspire Uplift clearly showcases its policies to protect buyers’ rights and sellers’ interests.
Following our best general online stores’ list is 5econds. As a one-stop shop for all customer needs, this online business offers the best deals, such as up to 50% discounts. Aside from its top sellers section, we can find a wide array of product categories like consumer electronics, home goods, jewelry, toys, and more.
Furthermore, 5econds provides standard delivery on all orders to over 200 countries worldwide. Plus, customers can enjoy free returns without questions asked and money-back guarantees for worry-free shopping. On top of that, 5econds has a built-in order tracking feature on its website, allowing customers to locate their packages in real-time.
3. Best Choice Products
Next up, Best Choice Products is established based on these pillars to success: products, customers, and value. Notably, products in this store are uniquely developed by the company. Plus, Best Choice Products has a built-in blog where buyers can find guides about top-caliber products to purchase.
Meanwhile, it offers a 60-day return period for replacement or refunding eligible products. On the other hand, products that don’t qualify for returns can still enjoy a warranty period and product support team assistance.
Furthermore, Best Choice Products has a help center that offers live chat, ticket submission, phone lines, and text messaging. Thus, these helplines provide excellent customer service.
4. Trendy Goods Market
Another top general online store is Trendy Goods Market. Here, we can find high-quality products at affordable prices. On the homepage, visitors can access trending items, newly-released products, the most popular categories, and other deals.
Remarkably, the website showcases badges like Secured Payments, Namecheap, and SSL Secure to ensure confidence while shopping. Besides that, Trendy Goods Market has a 60-day money-back guarantee for unsatisfactory or defective products. Moreover, this general online store caters to over 200 countries with its free shipping perks.
5. Buy It Carl
Our fifth general online store on the list is Buy It Carl. Interestingly, buyers can access new arrivals and best-sellers on the website. Despite offering only about 50 products online, this store has numerous positive reviews, showcasing the top-quality services it extends to customers.
Additionally, Buy It Carl has partnered with Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal for a secure online shopping experience. It also offers worldwide shipping, even delivering products as fast as 1-3 days within the United States. Apart from that, Buy It Carl highlights its contact, company, and purchase information so that customers are well aware of the company’s policies.
6. Genie Mania
When entering Genie Mania’s website, we are welcomed by a free shipping banner for orders $40 and above. In addition, this store showcases a diverse array of product categories, including beauty & health, kitchen & dining, home improvements, and more. Plus, its homepage highlights featured products at marked-down prices.
Notably, Genie Mania entitles customers to order modifications within 24 hours after making the purchase and prior to the order being fulfilled. Moreover, this general online store serves customers from different countries worldwide, with free shipping on most items in the US. All in all, Genie Mania assures clients with a 100% satisfaction guarantee service.
Interestingly, Materiol has a huge product catalog, including office, home, kitchen, outdoor, bedroom, hygiene, beauty, and other categories. Moreover, it has a dedicated section for best-sellers and trending products at marked-down costs. Its website also offers product deals, such as 10% off when purchasing three products or as much as 15% off for buying at least four items.
On top of that, it extends free shipping for orders $60 and above. Plus, Materiol provides flexible payment methods, such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, American Express, and more. Ultimately, this online store provides a contact form where clients can submit their queries and receive answers shortly.
8. Until Gone
The next top general online store on our list is Until Gone. Upon entering this general online store’s website, we can see offers like free shipping for orders $25 and above. In addition, it has financing solutions that offer four interest-free payments, a pay-in-30-days feature, and monthly financing.
Moreover, Until Gone extends a stress-free return guarantee when no tracking number is given within three days of purchase, incorrect orders, and more. To add to the benefits, the store’s cashback rewards let buyers gain points for every purchase and redeem points as vouchers. Subsequently, Until Gone has a refer-a-friend program that enables buyers to earn rewards for every customer referral.
Undeniably, Commonlee is a top general online store in eCommerce due to its business values. As such, this store curates new items monthly and aims to spread positivity and creativity with its product listings. On its homepage, buyers can score feature products at discounted rates.
Aside from that, Commonlee vows to satisfaction guaranteed service by offering high-quality products at competitive prices. Plus, it integrates with major payment solutions, such as PayPal and Stripe, for an SSL-certified checkout. On a final note, Commonlee extends a 30-day free replacement warranty for all products, subject to the company’s guidelines.
10. Super Shop
Last but not least, Super Shop provides everyday deals on fashion, electronics, health, furniture, and other categories. To help buyers find the perfect product, Super Shop’s website enables search filters like price range, category, condition, and packaging. Moreover, this online store has rewards, cashback, discounts, and other features when you sign up.
Besides that, this general online store dispatches orders within 24 to 48 hours upon checkout. Additionally, Super Shop offers free shipping on most items and extends secured payment options. Finally, it has a 30-day return period for defective or inadequate products, resulting in hassle-free returns.
With all the key metrics and insights from the best general online stores, we can scale our own dropshipping stores and take them to the next level. But before we can achieve that, let’s discover how to start our general online dropshipping stores.
How To Start A General Online Dropshipping Business
After getting an overview of the best general online stores, it’s time to establish our general dropshipping business. So, here are the eight steps to start a general online store:
- Find Best-Sellers: Product Research
- Select A General Dropshipping Supplier
- Choose A Dropshipping Selling Channel
- Import Products To Your General Online Store
- Market Your Dropshipping Products
- Fulfill Customer Orders
- Provide Customer Service
- Automate Your General Online Store & Scale
Next, let’s go over how each step works.
1. Find Best-Sellers: Product Research
Above anything else, finding products to dropship is a crucial aspect of a general online store. Since there are endless categories and items we can choose from, we must offer best-sellers.
To do this, search the AutoDS Winning Products for the best-selling items from the general online store. Click on it to view insights regarding the product.
Then scroll down, and you’ll find its Facebook or TikTok Ad. Here, you’ll see how many engagements the product has. For this particular product, we can see that it has 16k likes and over 3k comments. That’s a very high engagement and signals that the product is really in demand among consumers.
Moreover, there are other reliable tools that can help us find our next winning products:
- Spy On The Competition
- AutoDS Winning Products Hub
- Search Supplier Best-Sellers
- Google Trends & Google Lens
To illustrate, spying on the competition allows us to uncover the secrets behind the successes of our competitors. With the use of a spy tool, we’ll gain insights into product listings, item prices, sales volumes, and more.
Remarkably, there are several tools we can use when spying on the competition. For instance, the Koala Inspector Tool lets us spy on other sellers on Shopify. Then, we can adopt and improve winning products and effective methods from successful online stores, just like the ones on our list.
Meanwhile, the AutoDS Winning Products Hub offers a diverse selection of dropshipping products. This platform provides valuable features like product insights and competitor analysis. Users can access information such as the item’s cost, retail price, and profit potential.
Furthermore, the Hub assists in evaluating the competition by analyzing existing sellers and Facebook ads. These insights enable us to understand our target audience and implement effective strategies for a successful business. Importantly, the platform automates the product research process, saving users valuable time that would otherwise be spent searching for profitable products.
2. Select A General Dropshipping Supplier
Remember that running a general online store requires diverse product listings. Therefore, we need a supplier that offers a wide product range that we can source from. Aside from that, here are other factors we should consider when selecting a general dropshipping supplier:
- International warehouses
- Practical return, shipping, and payment policies
- Affordable & quality products
- Positive reviews
- Excellent customer service
Remember that our suppliers provide the products and services that we extend to our customers. That’s why it’s important that we work with reliable suppliers that can serve as our business partners.
3. Choose A Dropshipping Selling Channel
Once we have suppliers to source our products, we then need a selling platform. In general, a selling channel is an avenue where we can sell our products to customers. Specifically, selling channels can either be a marketplace or a customizable website.
On the one hand, marketplaces are existing platforms where we can dropship our products. Typically, marketplaces have higher market competition due to the presence of many sellers. Nevertheless, we can enjoy free organic traffic on these platforms.
Meanwhile, we can establish our dropshipping stores from scratch with website builders. Although these platforms don’t have organic traffic, we can utilize various marketing strategies to increase website traffic to our store.
Now, here are top-notch selling channels for our general dropshipping stores:
As our partner in dropshipping, AutoDS synchronizes with our selling channels and assists us in creating our product pages. With features like a rich text editor, advanced image editor, ready-made templates, and more, we can easily optimize our general online stores.
4. Import Products To Your General Online Store
Yay! At this point, we’re ready to add items to our general online stores. When importing products, we can either utilize manual or automatic methods.
With manual importing, we need to copy all product details from the supplier’s website and transfer them to our selling channel. While this method sounds simple, it can be prone to human errors. Besides that, manual importing can be tedious when we’re adding several products in a day.
Therefore, automatic importing is a better way to add trending products to dropship. Using this method, dropshipping software takes care of the importing process on our behalf.
As a leading platform in dropshipping automation, AutoDS provides easy-to-use automatic importing methods:
- One-Click Importer
- Multiple Product IDs/URLs
- Single Product Uploader
- Bulk Importer
Now, let’s briefly demonstrate using the bulk importer.
Using the bulk importer, we can add several products at once using a CSV file. Before anything else, we must install the AutoDS Dropshipping Helper extension.
To begin, head over to the supplier’s website and search for the products we want to import. Then, click the AutoDS extension icon on the lower-right corner of the screen.
After doing so, click the ‘Extract’ button, and all product IDs will appear in the dialog box. Now, it’s time to save the CSV file containing the product information. To do this, click the ‘Export as CSV’ button, and the file will automatically save to our computer.
Next, proceed to the AutoDS platform and click ‘Add Products’ on the left sidebar. After doing so, select the ‘Multiple Products/Stores’ option.
In the dialog box, click ‘Upload CSV’ at the top section. Then, choose the CSV file from the computer. We can also do this by automatically dragging and dropping the CSV file into the dialog box.
By clicking the ‘Add As Draft’ button, all items inside the CSV file will transfer to the ‘Drafts’ section of the AutoDS platform. Once the products are available as drafts, we can start optimizing them.
In particular, optimizing the products allows us to set search-engine-optimized (SEO) titles, descriptions, tags, images, and more. By doing so, our product will appear professional in our stores and will help the item to rank higher in customer searches.
After the optimization process, click the ‘Save’ button to apply the changes. If everything is ready to be published to our selling channel, click the ‘Import’ button.
At this time, the items will transfer to the ‘Products’ page, signifying that our products are live in our general dropshipping store. Now, customers can start purchasing our items, and we’ll begin getting profits.
Ultimately, running a general online store requires us to add a vast array of products with multiple variations. Thus, it’s crucial that the import process is efficient and convenient. And, we can only achieve this by automating the import process.
5. Market Your Dropshipping Products
Inevitably, many general online stores will offer similar products to ours. Therefore, it’s necessary that our business stands out from the competition. To do this, we need to utilize effective marketing techniques that will help our general online store become distinct.
So, here are effective marketing strategies in correspondence with their selling channels:
Shopify & Wix
- PPC Ads
- Influencer Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Promoted Listings Standard
- Promoted Listings Advanced
- Volume Pricing
- Order Discounts
Facebook Marketplace & Facebook Shops
- Facebook promotions
- Instagram promotions
- Buy & Sell Groups
Remember that investing in these promotional methods can help us improve our brand visibility in the market. And, when our business starts to attract more traffic, we’ll achieve greater sales conversions.
6. Fulfill Customer Orders
Once customers flock into our general dropshipping stores, we need to cater to their demands promptly. When fulfilling customer orders, here are the methods we can utilize:
- Manual Order Fulfillment
- Automatic Orders
- Fulfilled by AutoDS
For the manual order fulfillment method, we have to purchase the product from the supplier’s website. Upon checkout, we need to provide the supplier with the customer’s shipping information and payment details. Afterward, we must manually inform our customers of the tracking information and other order details.
When there are lots of orders we need to cater to, this method is time-consuming and prone to input errors. To save us from the hassle, automating the fulfillment process will help us serve customer orders quickly. With that said, AutoDS offers two dependable methods to automatically fulfill customer orders: Automatic Orders and Fulfilled by AutoDS.
When using the Automatic Orders feature, the system uses our buyer accounts to fulfill customer orders. Plus, we can easily access real-time tracking updates under the AutoDS dashboard.
On another note, Fulfilled by AutoDS utilizes our auto-credit accounts when serving customer orders. Besides that, this feature offers cashback for supported suppliers and a one-click return button.
Undeniably, automating the order fulfillment process gives us peace of mind that no customer order will be left behind. As such, we can attain customer satisfaction with our timely delivery of orders.
7. Provide Customer Service
Another crucial aspect when running a general dropshipping business is providing exceptional customer service. Essentially, the kind of service we provide speaks about the quality of business we have. Thus, we must offer the best support to our customers so that they become satisfied with our service.
While there are several means of extending excellent customer service, here are some proven ways to offer support to buyers:
- Live chat
- FAQ page
- Ticket submission
To mention some strategies that the best general online stores utilize, Best Choice Products has a help center that provides live chat, ticket submission, messaging, and more. On the other hand, Materiol has an online contact form that buyers can submit if they have queries.
Overall, superb customer service doesn’t end after a customer buys a product from us. It must extend up to after-sales support, so customers will feel that we value them as our clients.
8. Automate Your General Online Store & Scale
Undoubtedly, managing an online business that works 24/7 can be laborious. That’s why, we need dropshipping automation tools to help us run our general online business efficiently.
Once again, automation helps us save time and eases our everyday business tasks. With AutoDS, we can enjoy more automation features to help us optimize our profits:
- Price/Stock Monitoring
- Automatic Price Optimization
- Tracking Updates
- Customer Management Tool
- Advanced Image Editor
- and more!
With business automation, growing our business is as easy as a few clicks away. Ultimately, we can relax while scaling our business to greater heights.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A General Online Store?
A general online store allows you to offer a diverse product selection under various niches. So, you can test different items and categories and see which ones work well for your business.
What’s The Difference Between A General Online Store And A Niche Online Store?
Notably, the difference between a general online store and a niche online store is the type of products you can sell. As such, a general online store covers a wide range of products under different categories. Meanwhile, a niche online store enables us to highlight a specific product category and build our name around such a niche.
Is It Worth It To Start A Dropshipping Business With A General Online Store?
Yes, starting a dropshipping business with a general online store is worth it. Especially with beginners in eCommerce, you must explore different niches before finding your best-sellers. And, venturing into a general online store allows you to find the perfect niche among the great selection of product categories.
What Is An Example Of A Successful General Online Store?
A successful general online store must have unique selling points. For instance, it must have distinct branding, practical logistics, wide market reach, and more. Some examples of these stores include Inspire Uplift, 5econds, Best Choice Products, and Trendy Goods Market.
So, are you ready to build your general online store? With the insights we’ve learned, we are just a couple of steps away from our dropshipping business success.
However, attaining success requires more than top-selling product listings and reliable platforms. As such, we must adopt business automation to optimize our store processes and maximize our profit potential.
On top of that, we must expand our dropshipping knowledge as we scale our general online stores. So, here are insightful articles that will help us understand how to run our dropshipping business: