shopify vs etsy

Shopify vs Etsy: Which one to choose?

Have you been wondering between Shopify and Etsy to start selling your products which of these two would be ideal and best option to build your eCommerce store?

Then you’ve come to the right place.

I will take you through the main differences between Shopify vs Etsy and let you decide which one best suits your business. After reading this article, you will get a pretty good idea where to begin first.

Sounds good?

What will be covered on this article?
  • The main differences between platforms
  • Which one would help you sell more?
  • The different prices
  • More…

There is one main thing you need to be clear.

It all comes down to your method of selling

While Shopify is a webstore, Etsy, on the other hand, is a marketplace. This makes them quite different in their approach and sometimes, online sellers will actually prefer to use them both.

Let’s take a dive in and discover more shall we?

Shopify vs Etsy—the main difference

Etsy is a marketplace as we keep saying. But what does this mean?

Well, Etsy offers a place where artists, crafters, and designers can meet up to buy their unique self-made products. As a seller, you will not need to concern yourself with designing your own website but instead just open an account and list your products and descriptions.

Using Etsy insanely simple. In fact, for first time online sellers, it could the perfect place to test the waters.

However, there is a catch and account holders will have to abide by Etsy rules.

And now for some numerical facts.

If you are doubting the popularity of Etsy, there are 1.8 million sellers registered on the site as well as over 30.6 million buyers.

But how does Shopify compare?

Shopify is an e-commerce store building platform that offers users plenty of options in terms of website design, customization, integration, and flexibility.

You are fully in charge of your store.

With Shopify, you can customize the site and tweak it to appear just right. You will be fully responsible for maintaining your e-commerce store. That means it’s up to you to engage new clients or perform webstore conversion funnel building.

All of it!

Shopify however, still seems to attract more and more users every day. The platform powers over 500,000 businesses located in 175 countries.

In fact, the only other rival that outperforms Shopify is WooCommerce.

Now that we have understood the basic functioning between Shopify vs Etsy, let’s dissect further and look deeper into their differences.

Shopify vs Etsy—selecting products

Handmade products and goods, vintage items and other works of art—these are the only items that can be sold on Etsy. Clearly, the site is strict on its guidelines as to what can and cannot be sold.

Shopify, however, has no restrictions on the type of products that can be sold as long as they are legal.

Shopify vs Etsy—the price

The question as to which of the two between Shopify vs Etsy is more cost effective really comes down to how much you are selling.

Take Shopify. It charges its platform users a monthly subscription depending on the plan you are on. Etsy, on the other hand, may turn out costlier in the long term due to the transaction fees.

Shopify has 3 main plans which include:

  • Basic at $29 per month
  • Shopify $79 per month
  • Advanced Shopify at $299 per month

There are still credit card rates to deal with and a transaction fee of 2%, 1% and 0.5% on the various monthly plans respectively.

You will not pay any transaction fees if you use the Shopify payments.

For some e-commerce store owners, there may be a need to hire SEO experts and web designers to get the site running just right. These come with their own costs, something that you do not have to worry about with Etsy.

You will not pay any monthly subscription fees or a membership fee with Etsy. There are however 3 main fees which merchants need to pay which are:

  • A listing fee of $0.20 per item for the item to be listed for 4 months
  • A transaction fee of 3.5%
  • 3% +$0.25 payment processing fee per transaction

Shopify vs Etsy—seller exposure

Brand recognition is something every seller is trying to achieve in one way or another. If you are considering Shopify vs Etsy, then high chance your branding still has a long way to go.

Both Shopify and Etsy are great but as far as exposure and branding are concerned, Esty is the simpler choice.

What are we saying here?

We are saying it is far easier to get traffic to your products in a marketplace than to do so in an e-commerce platform.

But I’m afraid there’s more to this than it would appear.

Assume a prospective customer was to come across your product listing on Etsy. Odds are there are similar sellers offering the same item in almost exactly the same way. Your business is getting exposure but there are very few ways to make your listing stand out. Often it comes down to heading tweaking and thumbnails.

Getting loyal customers on Shopify is not simple. There are a lot of SEO and marketing efforts that you must do. However, once your site ranks high enough there will be very little competition to deal with.

It becomes easier for a site visitor to be converted into a loyal customer. Once having bought form your site, there is all likelihood that they will come back next time to make other purchases.

Esty is a good option when selling a fewer number of items. However, if you are selling many items then Shopify is the better option.

Shopify vs Esty—the pros and cons

Etsy pros

  • By selling craft supplies, crafters can get the materials needed to create their own products
  • It is possible to earn through selling eBooks
  • Fewer Fees
  • There are training courses to sell on Etsy for beginners

Etsy cons

  • It’s not easy to differentiate from your competitors
  • Much harder to rank on search engines
  • You can only sell from a limited number of categories

Shopify pros

  • Shopify uses their own servers to host your store
  • The site loads quite fast
  • SEO is easy to perform on Shopify and will help users rank higher on search engines
  • 24/7 customer support

Shopify cons

  • Is costlier with the monthly subscription plans
  • Extra costs based on hiring SEO experts and other types of experts such as designers
  • Not as simple to set up as Etsy

Wrapping it up

When choosing between Shopify vs Etsy, it all comes down to your type of business and proprieties. They both perform different functions with one being a marketplace and the other an e-commerce building website.

Etsy is simple to get started on and requires next to no e-commerce skills. Shopify, on the other hand, is a great platform when you want to scale up and diversify.


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