For some e-commerce vendors, having multiple products isn’t the right path to take. Instead, they opt for a single product e-commerce store. A single product e-commerce store is simply a store that focuses on selling one thing really well. This way when someone mentions your store name, people automatically know who you are and what you sell.
For some vendors, running a single product store is scary. What if no one likes your product? How do you hope to have a successful SEO strategy if you only have one product?
All these concerns are genuine, but once you have an idea of how to run a single product e-commerce store, you’ll find that it can actually be super profitable.
In this post you’ll learn:
- How to set up your single product store for success
- How Casper uses the single product strategy to sell millions of mattresses
- How Soma expands its product line without losing focus
- What you need to do to get started.
Getting your single product e-commerce store ready
The reason why people set up general stores is usually because there is a much larger chance of them making a sale. Think about it. If you offer 1000’s of products, that’s 1000’s of opportunities to make a sale.
But the same can be held true for single product stores, you just need to focus more on the marketing aspect.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to perception. When someone lands on your store and sees that your focus is on one type of product their assumption is that you know what you’re talking about. If you only sell one product it’s fair to assume that you are the authority about that product. But what does it mean to become an authority?
You can show your authority through your marketing. If someone is in the awareness stage (still deciding the best route to solve their problem) and all their research leads them to your store when they are finally ready to make a purchase, who do you think they will think of first? You, of course.
And once you become an authority, you have the ability to let your prices reflect this. A single product e-commerce strategy depends on you showing your value.
And because you have fewer products to sell, you probably need to increase your prices to ensure you’re always making a profit. But the good news is that if you can convince people you’re the best place to buy X product, then convincing them that they also need to pay your prices is a no brainer.
Single product store example: Casper
You’ve probably heard of Casper mattresses. Not only do they sell great mattresses, but they hit the press when they first launched because they focussed on getting as much attention on them and what they’re doing.
In fact, their strategy worked so well, they were able to go from zero revenue to $750 million in just four years.
So how did they do it? How did Casper use the single product store strategy to capture a huge audience and generate tonnes of revenue?
The first thing Casper understands is that a mattress is a long-term purchase. Unless you’re buying mattresses for multiple rooms, you’re likely to only buy a new mattress every few years or so. Some even say to change your mattress after ten years.
That’s a long time wait time to get more revenue from that customer and so the onus to focus on quality.
Even though Casper’s mattress is expensive, they also offer a 100-night trial, free shipping and returns. What this means is you can try a Casper mattress for 100 days and if you don’t like it, you can get your money back.
What this tells customers is that Casper trusts in its own ability to provide you with a mattress you’ll enjoy.
And if we look at the prices, you’ll see it’s expensive. It’s not the type of purchase you make on a whim. You usually put a lot of thought into what kind of mattress you’d like to buy and what sleeping style you’d like.
To help you make that decision, Casper’s product page is detailed and packed full of information to help you make the right decision.
So on an SEO front, they’re able to target a range of keywords because their product pages are rich with information about their mattresses.
All this added detail is what allows Casper to charge so much for their mattress, especially when you compare it to other stores.
If we compare Casper’s product page to this one from Argus, there’s a stark difference.
Not only is it much cheaper but there’s also a lot less information offered for each customer. If you’re someone who really cares about the type of mattress you buy, you’re much more likely to spend the extra money and go with a business who only sells mattresses. This way, you’re much more likely to get a mattress that really suits you.
If you’re hoping to run a premium (high-priced) product only, make sure you’ve put some serious effort into your e-commerce site including your branding to show potential customers that within your industry, you’re the best.
Expanding your product line
If you go to any single product store, you’ll often find that they sell more than one product. This is common and it’s a process known as expanding your product line. For general stores, expanding your product line is normal. You might even add a whole category of new products to your store.
But for single product e-commerce stores, expanding your product line means adding supplementary products to support your main offering. This is an effective way to increase your revenue as you give your customers more choice.
When customers have the option to buy more than one thing, their average order value increases. This is a great pricing strategy for single product stores, but getting it right is important. Let’s see how Soma utilises this strategy.
Soma is an aesthetically pleasing e-commerce store that cells mugs. They have a very clear brand and lets their customers know that they are b-corp certified, use sustainable BPA free materials and give back to charity.
But even though they’re known for their flagship product (highlighted in the hero image above), they also have a small range of other (similar) products.
All their other products are around the same topic and have the same ethos as their core product offering.
If they only sold the ceramic mug, the average order for each customer would be around $30.00. The only way for them to increase this would be for a customer to buy multiple.
But now they offer other supplementary products, they’re able to increase their average order value.
Imagine someone bough the ceramic mug but also the brew bottle. Their order now increases to $70.00.
If you’re thinking about expanding your product line, make sure you have built your brand first. When a customer knows your brand and knows what you’re about, the decision to buy supplementary products from you is much easier.
Are you ready to get started?
You now have an understanding of what it means to run a single product e-commerce store and how you can start doing it. Maybe you’re running a general store and would like to open a second, niche store that focuses on just one product.
Or perhaps you’re new to the world of e-commerce and want to know how you can get started just selling one product.
Either way, whatever position you’re in, you’ll find the best practices listed here will help you not only set up your store, but set a pricing strategy that always keeps you in the green.