Shopify vs Etsy – Which Ecommerce Platform Should I Pick?


Shopify vs Etsy: Want to start your ecommerce business? You need to know which platform is best. Read our comparison and grow your online store sales faster.

shopify vs etsy

Are you looking to start an online store, but you don’t know which platform will be more profitable for you?

Thankfully, this article will help you understand the benefits and drawbacks of an eCommerce platform that will help you set up your online business smoothly, like Shopify.

Simultaneously, you will find all the means to publish your product listing alongside other sellers and stand out on the Etsy marketplace.

This article is a detailed look into the scalability, flexibility, eCommerce tool selection, and profitability each platform can provide you.

Shopify is a robust eCommerce platform that will help your small-to-midsize business do cash or check in-person sales, integrate your payments with the POS system, with a scalable structure that allows you to grow out of a small operation when the time comes.

Etsy is the online marketplace for handmade crafts, where each seller is granted a storefront at their website susceptible to website traffic consistently ranked among the top 150 in the world.

Find out if it’s the most profitable to sell on Etsy, start an online store on Shopify, or combine the two through integration.

What’s the Difference Between Shopify and Etsy?

1. Two different approaches to selling online

While they are both online sales channels, the two differ in approaching and selling to customers on the fundamental level.

When comparing the two, you should first look at what selling method aligns with your resources and business goals the most.

Shopify vs Etsy - Key Differences

Shopify is an eCommerce (web store) platform that enables people to set up and grow their online stores, selling different products and services.

Etsy is an online marketplace that connects sellers with buyers, primarily used for selling vintage items, handmade goods, arts, and crafts.

No matter which eCommerce platform you choose, you will find insights into equipping your store with the best selling products, aligning with your niche, and attracting the most customers through the best eCommerce practices.

In terms of popularity, results can be quite ambiguous when comparing web stores and marketplaces.

Shopify vs Etsy Statistics

Like eBay or Amazon, Etsy features third-party sellers that consumers can buy from.

Etsy has different categories and rating systems for the consumer to choose the products they’re after from the best retailer within their niche.

On the other hand, shoppers are oblivious to the software your website runs on.

When searching, your buyers will search for your products or business name regardless of whether your store runs on Shopify or other eCommerce platforms.

Based on that, we can see that mostly merchants search for a web store like Shopify.

For corporations, you can find guaranteed server uptime, API support, dedicated merchant success manager, dedicated SSL/IP address, and much more in Shopify Plus.

You will get more exposure selling on Etsy due to the large audience the site has generated over the years.

Many sellers start off on Etsy because they can jumpstart the selling process and throw their product into the buying conversation within their customer’s niche.

All of this doesn’t mean that Etsy is more popular if it’s more searched than Shopify.

3. What can you do in Shopify?

Shopify allows you to build your eCommerce website, upload physical or digital products, track customer orders, select customized themes to meet your branding requirements.

Parallax Theme - Key Features
Source: medium.com

While Shopify allows its users to build their store without a developer, the platform provides access to both HTML and CSS.

In Shopify, you will find templates, a payment processor, email marketing tools, insightful blogs to help you build and market your online store through the whole process.

The Lite program enables you to sell an unlimited number of goods, but you can’t construct a complete online store.

Instead, you can sell products on your Facebook page, sell goods and manage inventory in a physical location through your store, sell goods on another website, or a blog with the “Buy” button.

For generating more sales, providing the stage for your products through eCommerce platforms and inventory management software tools managing costs of your online store is a powerful combination.

All Shopify plans above $29 provide complete eCommerce functionality, including diverse template selection, product catalog, credit card payment option, third-party app access, gift card selling option.

Features like reporting and third-party real-time carrier shipping come with the more advanced plans.

You can assign inventory to locations like warehouses, retail stores, pop-ups, but like with staff accounts, the number of available locations varies with each plan.

Shopify - Smarter Way to Track Inventory Across All Your Locations
Source: shopify.com

Shipping discounts and transaction/credit card fees go higher and lower as the pricing plan is more advanced.

Shopify Usage Statistics

4. What can you do in Etsy?

Once you open your shop on Etsy, you can select your shop name, language, country, currency, as well as a photo/logo and a shop banner.

You can align your bio, description, listing titles, product descriptions, tags, price points with the SEO best practices by comparing with the products in similar listings.

The Etsy stock allows you to create listings, add high-quality photos, set prices that cover the supply cost, shipping fees, etc.

Advantages of selling on Etsy

Monitor your traffic, get insights into what products aren’t reaching your audience, revise your listings with new photos or keywords, and consider ads to increase your sales.

As far as shipping goes, it’s best for you as a seller to provide professional customer service that informs the customer about the time the product arrives and what to do if complications arise.

Etsy Pattern is an eCommerce platform Etsy has created with fewer restrictions on the products than the Etsy marketplace.

It is a nice add-on if you want to sell your store goods through Etsy, but it’s not near the same standard as Shopify.

Distribution of International Etsy sellers

Pros and Cons of Selling on Shopify

Pros

Easy to use – after setting up your website and product page with the images and descriptions, you can have your basic Shopify site set up within a few days, and Shopify will help you sync your inventory, track orders

Attractive and device-adapting templates – the templates are engaging and mobile-friendly, and you get to choose from over 60 themes to make your brand stand out while covering a whole range of specific industry needs 

Dropshipping at minimal cost – save inventory space and don’t pay for products until you’ve sold them, optimize marketing while talking to your customers, with worldwide warehousing and new product, suppliers, and sales channel tests

Shopify is great for starting a dropshipping business

Abandoned cart recovery available on lower plans – send emails to the customers who have abandoned their products at checkout and encourage them to return (12 – 15% of customers)

Built for all store types – scale up easily with your small business or a large company, establish your branding identity, upgrade to access more features like multichannel selling for 10+ social media platforms, discount  codes, gift cards, and more.

Benefits of Making Ecommerce Website with Shopify

Ultimate customization through powerful extra features – third-party calculated shipping rates, fraud analysis, Shopify POS (Point Of Sale) app, free SSL certificate, and many more features across different plans

Add whatever you want from the extensive app store – Judge.me Product Reviews, Facebook & Google channels, DSers – AliExpress Dropshipping, PageFly Landing Page Builder, VITALS, Loox Product Reviews Referrals, and over 5K different apps

55+ Shopify Marketing Tools to grow your ecommerce business
Source: shoppop.com

Country-specific billing – calculate the US, Canadian, and EU tax rates automatically with multi-currency functionality

Benefit from shipping discounts – use the built-in Shopify Shipping service to deliver your products at a generous discount, depending on the country

Create AMP versions of product pages – speed up the content delivery for mobile devices by stripping code bits from web pages through Accelerated Mobile Pages, and reduce the number of site abandoners of slow-loading sites and benefit from the Google algorithm AMP priority

Comprehensive POS (Point Of Sale) options – sell in physical locations using your iOS or Android device (with the help of barcode readers, tills, receipt printers) with several apps allowing you to sell in a pop-up shop, fro a market stall, at an event, in a retail outlet

Cons

Traffic is dependent on brand awareness, marketing, and exposure – unlike marketplaces with high search volume, customers can’t know if your site was built on Shopify

A limited number of product variant options – for the 100 variants of a product you can create, these can add up to 3 product options, while the third-party payment gateways are only available in certain countries

More complicated premium themes – all free themes are officially supported by Shopify, but you may need to contact a developer to help you with the installation and customization of certain premium themes

Adding custom fields is more complicated and expensive – to add text boxes or file upload options, you need to navigate through an unnecessarily complicated process or spend extra money on an app

You can’t avoid transaction fees when using a third-party payment gateway – you will receive a transaction fee between 0.5 and 2%, depending on what plan you are on

Shopify pricing - additional fees using all payment providers other than Shopify Payments
Source: Shopify

No reporting functionality under a $79+ plan – professional reporting and third-party real-time carrier shipping are only available in the expensive plans 

Coding knowledge or an additional fee for file uploads – if you want to offer your customers the option of uploading a file, you need to pay an extra amount for an app or have some coding expertise

You can send one follow-up email for abandoned cart recovery – Shopify includes the abandoned cart automated email functionality in all its plans, but you can send only one email to visitors that abandoned your site

Ethical background of dropshipping – the quality of dropshipping suppliers is ambiguous, with many of the drop shipped goods being produced in the far east come with notoriously poor working conditions

GDPR compliance involves a third-party app – cookie consent (for displaying a cookie banner that allows your visitors to choose cookies before they run or revoke consent later on) is where Shopify falls down

Why is GDPR important - Penalties of noncompliance

Pros and Cons of Selling on Etsy

Pros

Easy to set up and run your store – set your store up without performing any technical tasks because all you need to do is upload product images and information to start selling.

buyer segments of etsy

Jumpstart your growth – utilize the immense audience of the marketplace and start selling without having to make a name for yourself first

Analyze your performance and make data-driven decisions – track visits, orders, conversion rates, revenue, Etsy ad clicks, Etsy ad visits, dates the buyers clicked on an ad, through which channel or website the buyer arrived, which listings the buyer purchased after clicking on ads, and much more

Etsy - Stats for month - Traffic
Source: fiverr.com

Perfect for SEO – analyze your analytics results and tweak your SEO strategy by checking for keywords the people are searching for when they find your shop

Excellent for online advertising – track Etsy ad clicks and visits to compose a sublime online advertising strategy

Examine your statistics – download your sales and financial statistics for review easily and simplify your end-of-month finances

Sell for no extra monthly charge on the Standard plan – you won’t be charged a monthly subscription until you upgrade, while the listing fee is $0.20 for each item with no additional fees for the Pattern site or editing a list

Allow your buyers to purchase made-to-order items – create private, custom listings in your Etsy shop and enable custom order requests for one-of-a-kind items

Helpful mobile app – clarify buyer communication, listing updates, stat checking, and everything else on the go

Almost 60% of Etsy sales are on mobile

Mark “available for free shipping” for the outstanding products – reassure the quality and demand of all your items to $35 or above, tagging them free of shipping charge

Adjust your prices according to the free shipping Smart-Pricing guarantee – select Bulk Editing on your listings price or Individual Pricing for the products below $35

Multi-channel selling – sell on Etsy Marketplace, your Pattern site, or in-person with Square integration

International outreach – besides purchasing and printing Global Postal Shipping labels from the Shop Manager, Etsy provides you with automatic customs forms for international shipments, and automatic language and currency translations

Cons

Limited product selection – not the best suited for medium to large-scale sellers that offer anything besides homemade goods, vintage products (20+ years old), or craft supplies, and these rules are quite fixed

Most popular Etsy product categories

You will be restricted in brand image creation – all seller pages are designed the same with no room for customization, and there is little chance for your product to stand out from the crowd visually, which makes for a forgettable brand first impression

Etsy Pattern is not the biggest rival to Shopify – you can only access Etsy’s website builder if you are already an Etsy seller, and the tool itself is significantly less diverse than Shopify

No custom domain – Etsy makes your brand harder to identify because you can only have your domain if you are using the Etsy Pattern website builder

Inventory is not included in your store account – because Etsy is not an eCommerce platform, you have to keep track of the inventory yourself

More expensive than average transaction fees – Etsy will charge you $0.20 per product for listing fees (active for 4. months or until the product is sold) and an additional 5% transaction fee, as well as a 3% + $0.25 payment processing charge after a product is sold

Etsy fees vs. Shopify fees
Source: aeolidia.com

No guarantee of interested visitors – with a platform as immense as Etsy is, there is no clear-cut strategy that will make your product stand out from the 50 million existing ones

Not a comprehensive support center – while the help center and the community forum can be insightful, they can’t compete with the more in-depth, personalized support of Shopify

Suspended and deactivated accounts – according to many formal complaints written by users, Etsy closes seller accounts often without warning, so you will need to study their terms of use attentively to avoid sudden account termination

Biased towards the buyers – reports have risen of Etsy choosing to side with the buyers in chargebacks and other disputes frequently

Design Flexibility

Shopify

Shopify provides you with over 60 themes to choose from for your online store design.

You receive guidance throughout the design process as you select each element in the design pallet that best captures the visual identity of your unique product.

Shopify aligns the colors, fonts, photos with your brand identity and incorporates everything from the banner and shop icon to product photos so that it sparks the interest of your visitors and makes total sense.

You will be able to create a memorable shop icon that resonates at every size, a polished banner that highlights your best photography, experiment with collage and carousel, use lighting and props to perfect your images.

Shopify - Browse all themes
Source: Shopify

Apart from maximizing your listing photos, you will curate your listing arrangement, grab the attention with the most eye-catching inventory, highlight specific listings with the sophisticated mixed grids layout, and reinvigorate your about section with photos and videos.

The theme you choose will come with features that benefit the industry your store represents, and there are ten free themes to choose from.

The paid themes range from $140 to $180, and you can switch between them and get equal mobile responsiveness and elaborate design.

Etsy

Every store page in Etsy follows the identical layout and design.

Etsy - banner example
Source: Etsy

This can be a benefit and a drawback at the same time since it frees you of the hassle of designing your store, but it doesn’t allow you to establish a strong visual brand identity.

You get to fill out your store name, logo, products, and descriptions as you wish, within the pre-designed framework of an Etsy store.

The default design is clean, visually-appealing, and easy to navigate through, but it makes it hard for you to stand out.

The limited design choice becomes a problem once you decide to outgrow the beginning stage or make a name for yourself.

Winner: Shopify

While Etsy can be useful for people that don’t want to deal with the hassle of designing, Shopify will give you a full spectrum of customization tools you can use to make your brand stylish and instantly recognizable.

Ecommerce Tools and Features

Shopify

When it comes to having the best eCommerce features on the market, no tool can match Shopify.

Shopify dashboard analytics
Source: shopify.com

With no restrictions on what products you can sell and an unlimited amount that’s present in all its plans, Shopify is an ideal solution for any business that wants to grow.

The app store

Shopify’s app store is filled with apps that will help you add customer reviews, enhance email marketing, receive in-depth analytics, publish your products on Facebook, or anything else.

Shopify App Store - Product Reviews
Source: shopify.com

Oberlo can help you source a supplier, while Offset neutralizes your shipping emissions enabling your product and environmental cause to co-exist.

You can turn new customers into repeat ones through ReConvert’s custom thank you page or get live recordings of your shoppers’ sessions to see how people interact with your store through BetterReplay.

Multi-channel software

The multi-channel software will enable you to optimize inventory control, leverage merchandising templates, facilitate listing and updating products, streamline orders, measure channel performance, and more.

Shopify Plus offers more than 20. sales channels that will allow you to sell anywhere your customers buy.

Shopify app store - Browse all apps
Source: Shopify

You will expand and diversify your reach to online stores, buy button websites, Shopify wholesale channels, Facebook shop, Facebook Messenger, Pinterest, Instagram, Shopify POS, and so on.

Discount codes

All Shopify plans include discount codes, and you can offer a fixed value, percentage, or shipping discounts on products, collections, or variants.

You can validate codes by specific dates, the maximum amount of handed out codes, the minimum order amount before the code is activated, etc.

A discount code can apply to up to 100 specific products and variants.

Shopify dashboard - Discounts
Source: medium.com

Activate the buy x get y promotions and attract new customers while rewarding the loyal ones.

An example of buy x get y campaign would be if you gave a free leash for each dog toy you sold, or you can reward your loyal pet store enthusiasts with a free leash after they have spent a required amount on any given day.

The combinations are endless from here on.

Free SSL certificate

Encrypt your store’s content and publish it securely through HTTPS with Shopify’s free SSL certificate.

Abandoned cart recovery

Abandoned cart recovery is available in the online store, buy button, and Plus wholesale channels.

Apart from discount codes, exit offers and security badges are among the best checkout abandonment prevention tools.

You can send the customer a link to their abandoned cart manually so they can complete their checkout, or you can do it automatically.

Automatic email - Abandoned checkout
Source: omnisend.com

Either way, the best way to tempt them into completing the checkout is with a discount, and you can copy-paste a checkout link into an email and customize the abandoned cart plea yourself.

Gift cards

Gift cards can be used for payments for future orders from your online store.

Sell gift cards through your store like other products, share links to gift card products on social media, or send gift cards for free as rewards or purchase incentives to loyal customers.

Third-party calculated shipping rates feature

Display the negotiated shipping rates with the carrier you have an account with for the customers at checkout.

Included in the advanced plans and purchased in the lower plans, you can utilize the third-party calculated shipping rates feature to show the expected shipping times along with the shipping rates.

You can ask for the shipping feature to be added for free when switching from the monthly to yearly billing on the Shopify plan or below.

Fraud analysis, Shopify POS app, the prolific inventory system that allows you to bulk-upload products along with in-house stock management tools, and much more refined features make Shopify the eCommerce toolkit software to purchase.

Etsy

Etsy can give you access to marketing and advertising tools that will help you expand your customer base, get discovered online easily, and attract new followers.

Google Shopping Ads

Third-party tools like Google Shopping Ads will showcase your product widespread across Google search, unlike promoted listings that show only on Etsy.

Customize your Google Shopping settings and change the daily limits or remove items with lots of clicks but a few sales.

Social media sharing 

Promote your shop and share important updates on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest from your computer or through the Sell on Etsy app.

Through Etsy, you can share up to 25 of your latest listings, the most recent milestones achieved, upcoming sales and coupons, favorited items, 5-star reviews, shop updates.

The Sell on Etsy app also allows you to post photos that show the work in progress, highlight new products, and display different uses of your products.

Listings and product promotions through social media, newsletter, and SEO

Tools like Outfy will help you promote your listings and publish your social media posts automatically while building promotion templates and lists of hashtags to use in your posts.

The Mad Mimi integration allows you to drag and drop product images and descriptions to your newsletter, which you can send out to your mailing list.

After a campaign is finished, the app generates data about clicks, opens, and engagement.

The Marmalead app will find keywords real shoppers use and find listings similar to yours, and you can apply the best-performing keywords to bring your product to the next level.

The app gives you insights into search volume, keyword engagement, market-based pricing, an estimate of days needed to ship a product, and more.

Learn some of the best SEO practices to improve the ranking of your online store, best combined with other marketing practices like coupons and shipping discounts, and watch your products soar.

Coupons

Send coupons to abandoned cart shoppers 24h after they have abandoned their cart or special offers to buyers that favorited your items, 48h after doing so.

Choose a fixed amount off, percentage off, free standard shipping coupons, and enter a coupon code that you will send to shoppers, which they can enter into their cart at checkout.

Etsy - Apply shop coupon codes
Source: etsy.com

Shipping discounts

Purchase and print discounted postage through your Etsy account, and save money on shipping costs while speeding up the delivery process.

Etsy has made order fulfillment easier and more affordable with tools like shipping labels, calculated shipping, and shipment tracking.

Etsy - Select shipping profile
Source: etsy.com

Etsy Shipping Labels enable your customers to save up to 30% with shipping discounts from USPS, FedEx, and Canada Post.

The Shipping Profile Bulk Editor can help you set up profiles for multiple items of the same shipping price.

What other ecommerce tools can you access in Etsy?

Etsy can help you access a variety of tools that will help you edit your listings fast, promote your products through the word-of-mouth approach, provide an all-in-one promotional, marketing, SEO solution, and much more.

Etsy on Sale will schedule sales campaigns that you don’t have the time for and help you manage multiple Etsy shops with ease.

The app will schedule sales events, promote them on the Etsy on Sale site, as well as assist you in editing your listings and creating an automated photo backup and restoration.

If you connect your Etsy store with Printful, you will be able to put your designs on t-shirts, pillows, mugs, posters, and Printful will prepare and send out the product under your brand’s name.

Etsy Plus

If you upgrade to Etsy Plus, you can gain access to additional features like 

  • Advanced shop customization 
  • Deals on your web address 
  • Discounts on business cards and custom shipping boxes 
  • Restock requests 
  • Email alerts for customers waiting for a restock 
  • Advertising credits

Winner: Shopify 

Etsy’s basic features won’t overwhelm you with endless choices and are perfect for small accounts, but Shopify’s app store, multichannel software, and many discount options come without limits to what you can add to your website.

Domain and URL Structure

What does a domain name achieve?

Having your domain name makes your small business look professional and allows you to take that name when you transfer Web hosts or switch to an in-house server.

Apart from building a noticeable presence, a domain name can help you steer the surge of traffic to your site if the domain name matches the concept of your business (e.g. a car equipment store registered as Wheelz.com can attract visitors looking for wheels).

Shopify

Shopify will help you with an automated setup and configuration process of setting up your memorable domain name.

Apart from your primary domain, you can manage sub-domains, manage email forwarding, renew your domain names, and remove domains from your store.

Target customers within a specific country/region to boost your search engine ranking among the international market with an international domain.

Etsy

Etsy allows you to use their default URL, and you can create your domain only with the Etsy Pattern builder.

If you’re looking to make money through your online store, you can execute the most practical strategy and learn how to create a free domain name.

You can register up to three domain names through the Tucows integration. 

Through the Pattern dashboard, you can manage domain records, set renewal preferences, and create an email address that aligns with your domain name.

If you have a domain name registered, connect a third-party domain to your pattern site by editing records from your domain provider’s website.

You can continue using a domain you registered through Etsy even if you cancel your Pattern subscription.

Winner: Shopify 

Etsy makes your business harder to get noticed without the custom domain option, while Shopify gives you a professional look that reassures your brand credibility with a custom address.

Attracting Customers and Demand Generation 

Shopify

How do the visitors come to your online store?

In Shopify, your visitors are not aware that your store runs on any eCommerce platform.

Below, you can see the traffic source percentage for an average Shopify store.

Top Traffic Sources for Shopify Stores

Any traffic you generate will come from the visitors searching your store name or products, which is why you need to make your brand as commanding of a presence as possible.

Shopify will serve you all the SEO, email campaign, multichannel selling, and other tools you need to promote your brand to success.

Audience targeting and SEO tools

Audience targeting allows you to reach your ideal shoppers through content marketing, SEO, and social media.

Increase the start-up success of your online store by defining your target audience and attracting them through social media, blog, and audience targeting tools.

Shopify - Create a Custom Audience
Source: shopify.com

Shopify’s built-in blog can help you boost your store traffic and build a sustainable audience.

The SEO tools will help you rank higher in the major search engines and increase traffic and sales.

Edit title tags, meta descriptions, and product details.

Blog, email, Facebook, Instagram, and Google

Shopify Compas can help you build your audience on Instagram.

Create online marketing campaigns and promote your products through email, Google, Facebook, and blog.

Select a ready-made design and deploy email marketing campaigns through Shopify Email.

Google Smart Shopping and Facebook Ads

Utilize Google Smart Shopping to develop strategic campaigns on a set daily budget.

Target your model shoppers, based on the customers’ interests and behaviors, with Facebook ads and fuel your business growth without much advertising experience.

Conduct image, video, carousel, and collection marketing campaigns to match your products with a list of users’ interests, traits, and behaviors, resulting in a higher likelihood of reaching your perfect audience.

Opt for the paid Facebook and Instagram ads to come from your brand’s social pages, which will increase your brand exposure and attract new followers.

Etsy

How do the visitors come to your Etsy shop?

Promoting your products on Etsy comes as a double-edged sword, as your brand is immediately accessible to 33 million buyers.

People can find your products without searching for your brand specifically, but this doesn’t guarantee that the people looking for your niche will pick you.

How can you stand out?

Your products on Etsy can be discovered with your title and tags working together effectively.

Here is what Etsy found out to be the most important to its users.

Etsy - Quality of images - cost of the item - shipping cost - reviews
Source: etsy.com 

Get rid of the unnecessary duplicate tags to make room for the new ones, and have your tags be multi-word phrases that lead directly to your item.

The key is to be non-ambiguous and descriptive in your store title while elaborating on and classifying the items further in the separate sections.

A good example of this would be a store called “Handmade Leather Jackets From Italy”.

On the other hand, “Italian Handmade Leather” would be too ambiguous and could steer many potential customers away in the search.

Upload high-quality item photos under Etsy’s size recommendations to pack the most punch visually with beautiful about page photos that illustrate your passion and expertise in the workspace.

Analyze the performance analytics and make your shop’s Facebook page more appealing for the younger on-the-go mobile users, or understand the reason behind the traffic surge from your Instagram profile to nurture positive marketing habits.

Take the time to examine your store on multiple devices through the eyes of your shoppers, and you will understand how appealing your listings look on the Etsy.com mobile website and the Etsy App in comparison to other successful brands.

Winner: Etsy

Shopify does offer all possible marketing channels at your disposal, but Etsy’s 30+ million buyer platform allows anyone to reach your product, promoting your brand through the engine of a world-renowned eCommerce stage. Shopify can be too much of a challenge, trying to gather an audience for a starting business fast.

Pricing Structures: Etsy Fees vs Shopify Fees

Shopify

There are no set-up fees on any of the plans in Shopify, and you can use the software for 14 days for free before having to decide on a subscription plan.

Shopify includes unlimited, secure eCommerce hosting on all plans except the Lite plan, and you can use the Buy button to add eCommerce to any existing website.

There are three plans available, ranging from $29 to $299 for the Advanced Shopify plan.

Shopify pricing - additional fees using all payment providers other than Shopify Payments
Source: Shopify

To choose if the Shopify middle plan, Basic entry plan, or the Advanced Shopify plan suits your business the best, you need to evaluate how many items you can sell and what functionality matters the most to you.

As you scale up the plan, functions like staff account number, shipping discounts, credit card rates, gift cards, reports, report builders, abandoned cart recovery, shipping rate calculators will change.

The Basic plan will cost you $29 per month, and you can benefit from

  • Online store (eCommerce website and a blog)
  • Unlimited products
  • 2. staff accounts
  • 24/7 support
  • Sales channels (sell on marketplaces and social media)
  • Up to 4. inventory locations (retail stores, warehouses, pop-ups)
  • Manual order creation
  • Discount codes
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Gift cards
  • Shipping discount
  • Print shipping labels
  • Fraud analysis
  • Online and in-person credit card rates
  • Additional fees for payment providers outside Shopify Payments
  • Shopify POS Lite and Pro
  • Multi-currency selling (up to 133 different currencies)

In the Shopify plan, you get everything from the Basic plan, plus

  • Additional 3. staff accounts
  • An additional inventory location
  • Professional reports
  • USPS Priority Mail Cubic pricing
  • 0.3% lower online credit card rates
  • 1.0% lower additional fees for outside payments
  • Manual foreign exchange rates
  • Up to 2. foreign languages to sell in
  • International domains

The Advanced Shopify Plan gives everything from the middle plan, plus

  • Additional 10. staff accounts
  • Additional 3. inventory locations
  • Advanced report builder
  • Third-party calculated shipping rates
  • Lower credit card rates and additional fees
  • Additional 3. languages to sell in

The abundance of features and long-term scalability make Shopify equally as accessible to a starting business as it would be to an established brand looking for more advanced features.

Etsy

The Standard plan has no monthly fees in Etsy, apart from the listing fees, transaction costs, and payment processing charges that vary depending on the location of your bank account.

benefits of Etsy plans

The Plus plan will cost you $10 per month, and it will provide you with more diverse and customizable store growth tools.

The Etsy Plus plan will provide you with 

  • 15. listing credits each month 
  • Access to custom web address discounts 
  • Restock requests
  • Advanced shop customization 
  • Custom shipping boxes 
  • Business cards and other printables
  • Discounts

Listing fees

Etsy charges its sellers $0.20 for each item they put on their listing, with no additional fees for items on the Pattern site.

simple and transparent Etsy pricing

Sellers won’t be charged with a listing fee for items available only on the Pattern site, as well as private listing items until the private item is sold.

Etsy charges its sellers for creating or renewing the listings, but there is no fee for editing.

Transaction fees

Etsy will charge you a transaction fee of 5% of the price for the item displayed and sold through Etsy.com, plus the shipping and gift wrapping charge.

If you sell from the USA or Canada, the transaction fee doesn’t apply to sales tax, GST, HST unless you have included those charges in your listing prices.

For sellers outside of the USA and Canada, the transaction fees apply to the listing price, shipping price, and gift wrapping fee.

With little upfront costs and generally cheap subscription plans, Etsy is best suited for individual sellers looking to jumpstart a store on a budget.

Winner:

Etsy – for individual sellers

Shopify – for business with solid budget

While Etsy does offer all features necessary to set up a store at a low price, it doesn’t go beyond the needs of an individual seller like Shopify that offers a diverse range of scalable tools.

Help and Customer Support 

Shopify

Shopify will assist you in need and address your issues with actionable steps with the utmost expertise and persistence.

Shopify Customer support

Shopify applies different support methods like 24/7 phone support, 24/7 live chat, social media, email, video tutorials, forums, and advanced specialist support (Plus plan).

Here’s a screenshot of Shopify’s Help Center YouTube channel.

Shopify Help Center - youtube channel

Little time-saving shortcuts like when Shopify takes you straight to the help page if you ask for help in the editor, are what makes Shopify’s help center thoughtfully designed with direct responses to customers’ pain points at arms reach.

Shopify’s Help Center will help you navigate through all stages of store development and growth.

Learn all there is to know about Shopify migration, Shopify admin, how to manage your staff’s access, bills, and financing.

Get actionable insights into how to increase sales from your Shopify website, use Shopify POS apps to sell in any retail setting, use different online sales channels, and customize the checkout process for your customers.

Shopify POS apps - LiveChat
Source: zendesk.com

Scan through the thorough management guidelines and learn to manage your inventory, set up Shopify Payments, track inventory and fulfill orders for multiple locations, set up Shopify Shipping, add customer records to your store, and handle orders.

Conduct marketing promotions, create discount codes and expand your business abroad with Shopify’s Cross-Border solutions.

Etsy

Etsy also has a search bar that generates the most relevant solutions for problems you are facing in your store.

The help center is insightful and concise, making it very easy for you to navigate to your aimed section.

There is a forum that you can read if a discussed subject resonates with your issues. 

Join a community discussion on the topic of your interest and get some free advice.

Numerous articles on the support page cover every subject related to your store like design, shop policies, free shipping, categorizing and tagging, marketing, payments, etc.

Etsy - Featured articles

Manage your shop section has clear and applicable guidelines branched out into dozens of sub-categories regarding everything about

  • Shop management
  • Orders & shipping
  • Listings
  • Finances
  • Marketing & promotions
  • Community & forums
  • Pattern
  • Your Etsy account

If the issue is more delicate and you would like a bit of personalized advice, you can email the support staff or schedule a phone call.

Etsy - Contact - Selling on Etsy
Source: tamebay.com

Winner:

Shopify. While Etsy does have an admirable community forum and a clear-cut support center, Shopify’s 24/7 phone support and live chat combined with refined social media tools, video guidelines, and more make it the comprehensive support system.

How to Integrate Shopify with Etsy

Using Etsy with Shopify will give you the benefits of both platforms in one set-up.

The Etsy Marketplace Integration app allows you to achieve full-scope growth as a seller, with real-time synchronization assuring your Etsy and Shopify stores align without overselling.

Start with a 7-day free trial, listing up to 10 products and managing an unlimited amount of orders.

How to Integrate Shopify with Etsy

What is the procedure?

  1. When you enter the Etsy Marketplace Integration app, you will have to enter your Etsy store name in the “Connect with Etsy” search bar.
  2. If you don’t have an Etsy seller account, you can create one or register into your account.
  3. You need to create your first product listing in Etsy (test listing), upload product images, enter inventory and pricing details, create at least one shipping template, set your payment terms.
  4. After you enter your store name in the search bar, you can redirect to your Etsy store by clicking on the “Allow Access” button.
  5. After you have authorized your Etsy store, you can go on to product import.

With an Etsy integration, you will move the inventory faster, accelerate customer acquisition, drive sustainable growth, and use automated inventory updates for optimal selling easier than ever.

Shopify vs Etsy FAQ

Which is cheaper, Shopify or Etsy?

Etsy’s listing fees stay at $0.20 throughout, transaction fee at 5% of the price of the item, and processing fee at 3%.

The Standard plan has no monthly charges outside of these fees, and you can buy and print discounted postage and sell products with coupons.

The Etsy Plus plan will cost you $10 per month, but with powerful and customizable store growth features in return.

Compare that to Shopify plans, which start at $29 and end at $299, Etsy is significantly cheaper upfront.

Shopify offers everything from the basics for starting a business to advanced scaling and enterprise-level features.

With its great value for money, the Basic plan in Shopify is justifiably more expensive than the Etsy Plus, but you will find all the listings, accounts, restock, customization, shipping, discount necessities as an individual seller.

Etsy is cheaper than Shopify upfront, but the quality of the product isn’t compromised.

That being said, Etsy’s 5% transaction fees can become expensive in the long run.

Many people wanting to gain exposure for their platform on a low budget can benefit from the low upfront cost.

After a couple of items are sold, the transaction fees can catch up to a new seller.

Shopify doesn’t have these kinds of hefty fees, which makes it cheaper in the long run.

Why should I sell on Etsy?

Etsy has a market of over 33 million buyers, which means there is a strong chance for everyone offering quality products to gather an audience through the power of such exposure.

For small-scale sellers looking for customers of their vintage products, homemade goods, craft supplies, Etsy is perfect.

Etsy is a low-cost, simple-to-manage, no-commitment solution that allows you to sit back while it notifies you about any conversations and sale opportunities.

If you are selling digital products, the store takes care of itself, sending purchased files to the buyer’s email address automatically following a payment.

With the laws on digital purchases and tax dependent on the seller’s location, Etsy adapted collecting digital tax for you and settling it.

A worldwide audience, affordability, and attentiveness make Etsy among the best marketplaces to sell on.

Which ecommerce platform is better for scaling, Shopify or Etsy?

Shopify is better for scaling a business.

Because Etsy is a creative marketplace, the types of products you can sell are restricted to a couple of categories.

If you are looking to expand past this niche market, Etsy isn’t the best solution for your business.

Shopify doesn’t have any limitations on what you can sell, which makes it automatically more scalable.

The infinite number of apps and features Shopify offers and complete inventory, branding, and promotion control make this platform extremely scalable for small and large businesses.

Is it better to sell on Etsy or your own website?

What are the benefits of Etsy?

– Easier to manage in terms of layout and design, freight tracking, web traffic stats, and payment process
– Instant viewership, marketing, and brand credibility opportunities
– Community boards will guide you through any set-up, marketing, shipping, or other issues expertly

What are the benefits of building your eCommerce website?

– More control over design, marketing, and SEO on the front and the back end of your site
– No distractions, intrusive advertisements, or competitor promotions steering the customers away from your product
– Building a more recognizable, stand-alone brand better for customer referrals and media exposure

The two platforms aren’t mutually-exclusive, which means you can benefit from a double-sided exposure without hurting the other side of your brand.

As long as you are not compromising your time and effort or quality on one side, you can operate and attract more traffic by combining the two methods.

Can I make a living selling on Etsy?

Yes, you can.

Etsy can often be of best use as a supplemental income to an already established product.

The amazing thing is that the minimal effort it requires for you to set up and manage a store allows you to work your primary job and grow on Etsy exponentially without a hassle.

The massive platform and a simplistic interface will give you access to a worldwide audience in no time, and transitioning to it as your only source of income can’t ever be a miscalculated risk.

It won’t be a risk because you will grow your brand on this marketplace without having to sacrifice any obligations you already have.

You can develop a strong brand presence in a short time, and the wide reach will ensure you can only grow in sales as long as you deliver your quality products.

Shopify vs Etsy Comparison: Which One Should You Choose?

Shopify is best suited for small and large businesses looking to grow in the eCommerce market.

The boundless collection of features and an app store with tools for every occurrence make it this diversely applicable.

With no limits to what you can sell, rich customization selection, custom domain, no transaction fees, promotion tools, and a dedicated support team, Shopify will serve any business past through the 14-day free trial and beyond.

Etsy will allow small-scale businesses/individual sellers to present their products to a worldwide audience with lower upfront fees.

If you want to try your brand on a marketplace without a commitment, Etsy’s no monthly charge Standard plan will give you access to all the fundamental selling tools you need.

Great exposure, easy set-up, promotion alongside the best homemade goods, craft supplies, vintage products creators make Etsy an excellent platform to accelerate your growth no matter how niche the product is.

Overall, Shopify is the better selling platform.
The diversity and richness of the features they offer, right from the Basic plan, to the polished app store,advertising, shipping, and support team flexibility, are what make Shopify a comprehensive sales platform.

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Written by
Anastasia Belyh
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