Shopify vs. Etsy: Which is Best for Your New Online Business

If you’re starting an online business, you might be wondering what platform is best for you. Shopify and Etsy are the most common options for selling online, but which one is right for you? Check out this Shopify vs. Etsy comparison and find out.

When making a comparison between Shopify and Etsy, it is less about which platform to use and more about which technique of selling makes the most sense for your business. It can be like comparing apples to oranges.

Etsy is a marketplace for artisanal, handmade and vintage products while Shopify is a webstore or an e-commerce platform that allows running and set up your online shop using your own domain.

In other words, Shopify is software that sets up an online store for you while Etsy is a marketplace where you can get an account. Though they are both e-commerce sales channels.

On the other hand, when it comes which one is better, actually there is no wrong or right answer. Because as an online shop owner, you need to decide which one is suitable for your business resources and goals. And in some instances, you may possibly want to sell on both Etsy and Shopify.

Nevertheless, in this article, we will compare Shopify and Etsy to help you make the right decision for your online business.

But before anything else, let us first define what Shopify and Etsy are.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is considered as one of the biggest e-commerce platforms in the world. Believe it or not, it hosts thousands of both small and big businesses as well as the prosperous community of retailers.

Shopify, on the other hand, has been everywhere for more than 10 years. In addition, this e-commerce platform provides lots of e-commerce tools from large businesses to individual retailers.

Every Shopify store is highly customizable meaning to say you can do whatever you want in your online shop when it comes to design. You can pick up a free 14 day trial of Shopify by click here.

What is Etsy?

As we have mentioned a while ago. Etsy is a marketplace for individuals and actually, it really differs from Shopify, wherein Shopify is a big network of shops and stores while Etsy is a shop where crafters, artists, and designers show their crafts and wares.

However, it does not necessarily mean that Shopify is far better than Etsy, but it definitely means they serve various audiences. In fact, even though Etsy is just like a craft fair, it has a total of 1.8 million sellers.

On the other hand, this marketplace also claims that they have hundreds of millions of visitors per month and more than 30 million buyers.

While Etsy looks like a minor production, it can be enormously cost-effective for the right type of business.

Now that we have to define Shopify and Etsy let us now take a look at their differences.

The Difference between Shopify and Etsy

The main reason why we are comparing Etsy and Shopify is to identify which platform is the best place where you can sell your products. However, when it comes to selling your products, there are only a few important points or things to bear in mind when comparing these two platforms and here are the following.

  • Fees and Pricing
  • Product Types or Selection
  • Exposure
  • Ease of Entry

Actually, these important points are where Etsy and Shopify are basically different. Nonetheless, these will provide you a good hint of which e-commerce platform will work better for your business or why you may possibly consider selling on these two platforms.

Shopify versus Etsy: Product Type or Selection

Aforementioned, Etsy is a marketplace for vintage items, craft supplies, and handmade goods. Etsy on the other hand also opened a network for wholesale retailing. But, you should take note of this, Etsy has strict guiding principle on what items or products can and cannot be traded on their market.

While in Shopify, there is no restriction in what kind of product or item you can sell but make sure it is legal.

Nevertheless, if you are not selling craft, vintage, or handmade supplies, then Etsy marketplace is not for you. But if you are planning to expand beyond those kinds of items Shopify can be a great option.

Most importantly, when making a decision don’t only focus on the current situation, it is very important that you should also consider the future of your business.

Shopify versus Etsy: Fees and Pricing

Perhaps, you are curious who has better pricing. Actually, the price will depend on how much you are selling. The dissimilarity in selling fees derives to what subscriptions each platform charges you.

Shopify is a bit costly upfront but Etsy can be more costly as the years passed by because of its transaction fees.

Selling Fees for Shopify

As stated in Shopify’s pricing page, here are the plans that are currently available.

  • Basic – $29 per month
  • Shopify – $79 per month
  • Advance Shopify – $299 per month

For you to decide which plan works best for your business, you need to comprehend what functionality is crucial for you as well as how many products you want to trade. Nevertheless, here are the primary things that may possibly change your plan.

  • Shipping discounts
  • Credit card rates
  • Total number of available staff accounts
  • Extra functionality such as shipping rate calculators, report builders, reports, and cart builders.

Though, there are some hidden fees with Shopify like pay for SEO experts, web designers, and other services that can improve your shop’s design and functionality and build and attract more customers.

Selling Fees for Etsy

In Etsy, you don’t have to pay for the subscription or membership fee. Merchants, on the other hand, need to pay these three major fees.

  • Transaction Fees – 3.5 percent on every purchase
  • Listing fee – $.20 per product to be listed for four months
  • Processing Fee – $.25 + 3 percent on every purchase

Either way, if you’re just getting started, Etsy is worth considering, but as your sales increases, Etsy’s transaction fees will become higher, depending on your profit margins and plan. Nevertheless, Shopify is cheaper compared to Etsy.

Shopify or Etsy: Where you can Get More Exposure

Do people recognize your brand like Apple or Nike? Odds are, if you are comparing Shopify and Etsy, your business does not have similar name recognition. In fact, building up a brand recognition requires a lot of time as well as effort, especially if you are beginning from scratch.

However, there is no doubt that when it comes to exposure, Etsy is superior compared to Shopify. In fact, Etsy gets a lot of searches. So if you’re running a new business, then you may possibly need the exposure Etsy can give. Nevertheless, Etsy drives more traffic than a web store can offer.

Is it easier to Sell on Etsy or Shopify?

Actually, selling on Etsy is very easy because you don’t have to set up a page for your products or set up your own website. In Etsy, all you have to do is to provide an image and description of your product.

In addition, you need to create an account (seller) on Etsy, but this process can be done in just a few minutes. Most importantly, it will not cost you anything till you begin selling and listing your products.

Shopify, on the other hand, is also easy and simple to set up. But it is more expensive and harder to begin compared to Etsy.

Selling on Both Etsy and Shopify

Aforementioned, Etsy and Shopify are two different platforms as well as a way of selling. One is a webstore while the other one is a marketplace, Sometimes, you don’t have to choose between the two, because you can sell on both platforms all at once.

Similar to Amazon, a lot of sellers sell on their webstore and in the marketplace. In fact, starting or opening your business in a marketplace is a good idea. In fact, it is not unusual for sellers to begin on Etsy in order to grow their brand or business and create their own webstore afterward.

Final Thoughts:

We cannot make the decision on your behalf, but we are hoping that this content will help you a lot in deciding which platform is suited for your business.

Both Shopify and Etsy have its own advantages, but the best choice comes down to how much and what you are selling. And it is all about what is the best way of selling for your online business. Nevertheless, you can sell on both Etsy and Shopify depending on your desire.

But, to help you decide a bit easier take a look at this list.

You can Opt for Etsy if:

  • You’re a crafter, designer, or artist
  • You have a small budget
  • You are not worried about customizability

You can Opt for Shopify if:

  • You sell lots of items or products
  • You have lots if inventory
  • The majority of your products are not art, vintage, crafts, or handmade
  • You want an online shop that is fully customizable

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