Are you a small business owner looking to sell online? Our Shopify vs Etsy comparison will help you choose the best platform for your eCommerce project.
Here, we’ll identify the key features, pricing, along with the pros and cons of using these two popular marketing platforms.
Key differences between Shopify and Etsy
Choosing the right digital domain for your products is one of the most important decisions you can make for your business.
Shopify and Etsy are two industry-leading brands and both platforms will allow you to market your products to a vast web-based audience. However, there are some significant differences between Etsy and Shopify that potential users must be aware of:
Shopify offers a 2-week free trial period after creating your online store before requiring you to sign up for any of the available plans.
At this point, Shopify users must pay a monthly subscription fee to keep their stores online. There are also credit card charges for each sale you make. In addition, the platform lets you sell limitless products, over an unlimited period without paying a pre-listing fee or coughing up extra cash as your business scales.
Shopify comes with 3 different account plans. However, the monthly subscription fee increases along with your feature capabilities:
The Basic Shopify plan costs 29USD monthly, Shopify goes for 79USD each month, while the Advanced Shopify plan is available for 299USD payable after every 30days.
Keep in mind that each Shopify plan comes with USPS, UPS, or DHL shipping discounts, and downloading add-ons from the Shopify App store will cost extra.
Etsy also offers a free standard plan but it throws in a Plus plan which you can activate for 10USD a month or you could opt for the newly launched Premium plan. With this, you can expect to enjoy unrestricted access to more features and tools including a custom address, email marketing tools, and online shop customization.
Plus, you’ll need to pay the following fees for every Etsy plan you choose:
· Transaction fee: Etsy users must pay 5% per transaction.
· Listing fee: Etsy charges a listing fee of 20 cents per item to make your product appear on top for up to 4 months.
· Payment processing fee: Users must pay 3% Etsy Payment’s processing fees.
Although Etsy charges reasonably low listing prices, its additional fees overshadow Shopify’s. Eventually, you could end up shelling out more cash for your Etsy store than you would while paying for Shopify’s monthly-based subscription fees; depending on your product and sales volume.
Ease of Use
Shopify and Etsy both make it easy for eCommerce newbies to get started with selling online. After signing up for a new account, the onboarding process on each platform is pretty straightforward.
Additionally, you get further support from multiple video tutorials and online resources.
With Shopify however, you’ll have to create a new website from scratch before you can start adding products. As such, you must become acquainted with tasks like brand creation, web page building, template customization, and more if you wish to get your Shopify store off the ground.
While Shopify was designed to facilitate seamless progress, there is still a considerable bit to learn especially if you’re new to web design.
Etsy on the other hand operates by letting you add listings to an existing website. And while this may sound easy, you’ll still need to pay considerable attention to imagery, copy, and product pricing.
Designs & Templates
Shopify is feature-laden with digital storefront building, management and marketing solutions that will help support from the ground up.
You can start by picking from more than 70 professional template designs for building and customizing your online store. You can even use any of the available domain names or you could just buy one through Shopify and transfer it easily to your Shopify-themed store.
Afterward, you can accept and process all major credit or debit card payments securely via Shopify Payments and at no additional extra cost. Or you could choose to integrate other recognized third-party payment gateways.
Once your website is up and running, Shopify serves up an extensive collection of store management features you can use to integrate with dropshipping apps, access powerful performance analytics, save your customers’ billing and personal information, connect to popular fulfillment centers like Amazon, fulfill orders with one click, and more.
While Shopify lets you create a standalone digital store, Etsy in contrast works by aggregating sellers onto an existing website. Bear in mind that the platform was initially built as an online marketplace for artists, creators, and sellers to showcase their vintage items and handmade goods. As such, the platform isn’t the ideal resellers’ choice but more like a hub for original, one-of-a-kind items.
However, very small business owners and side-hustlers will love Etsy because you don’t have to put in the much effort that a full-blown online store would require. Etsy store users don’t have to build, manage, and process payments before they can start selling through the platform’s in-built parameters.
In addition, Etsy can serve as a supplement to your digital store, regardless of whether it’s hosted by another e-commerce store platform including Shopify.
Shopify and Etsy offer phone, email, and live chat customer support. You’ll also find various other searchable community forums and online resources available to help new users learn more about the product.
Shopify provides support in 21 different languages whereas Etsy boasts 11.
As with most modern-day eCommerce platforms, Shopify and Etsy will prompt you to browse the help pages for an answer first whenever you’re searching for contact details. And while this will annoy some users, you can only get access to the support team’s contact details after doing so.
Shopify comes well-stocked with handy platform integrations for connecting remotely to list, manage and sync products on your online store.
However, you’ll have to pay some additional fees to use these integrations. Afterwards you can use them to facilitate the best digital marketing experience, your website and brand and via Shopify, along with unlimited online marketplace access.
Like Shopify, Etsy also lets you manage orders and listings, plus communicate with buyers through the Etsy App or via an online dashboard. The only major difference being that Shopify supports third-party payment integration.
In contrast, Etsy users can only use an in-built payment processor which however accepts all major online payment forms, including PayPal, ACH, credit or debit card payments, Google Pay, and Apple Pay.
Yet another noteworthy feature Etsy offer for business owners is the platforms ability to tap into an extensive online customer base which eventually minimizes any effort required to attract the right audience for your brand.
Etsy users can only sell certain types of products such as handmade goods, and vintage items. In contrast, you can sell almost anything on Shopify — so long as it’s legal in your country.
Either of both platforms will work fine if you’re into selling any of the accepted products with Etsy users benefitting from the added advantage of an existing online audience consisting of craft and handmade item lovers.
Apps & Widgets
Shopify offers a wide range of ways to facilitate selling online, from product collection to local delivery services. The Shopify App store comes with hundreds of highly-customizable solutions for letting you build and manage your own digital storefront.
Shopify lets you do more than just list products online — you can use it to create a fully-fledged local business complete with a digital presence that reflect a physical store’s essence. You can also take advantage of improved SEO marketing strategies for improved local visibility by integrating Shopify widgets on a standalone site using your domain.
Etsy also caters specifically to your product to certain degree by letting you reach your target local audience. But in general, the platform is more focused on selling niche goods to an existing online market. This makes Shopify the better bet if you’re looking to boost local focus for your business.
The success of your online marketing campaign may very well depend on which eCommerce platform makes the best of your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts
After successfully setting up your digital storefront on either Shopify or Etsy, you must familiarize yourself with how the platform’s search engines work.
Google is the search engine of focus for Shopify users as it is the search engine of choice for a significant amount of potential customers searching for products like yours.
The Etsy search engine is the primary focus for Etsy sellers and this works quite differently from Google. It operates by presenting you with search results containing ready buyers, instead of people who might buy.
In the end, you’ll need to conduct in-depth SEO research if you wish to maximize your Shopify or Etsy store’s online selling potential.
After putting so much time and effort into writing detailed product descriptions, and creating stunning product photos you’ll want your website to get the attention it deserves.
Blogging is a great way to ensure that your work doesn’t stay hidden in the internet’s backwoods.
Shopify offers you the right blogging tools to promote your brand. By consistently updating your Shopify website’s blog section with relevant posts and stories, you can keep visitors engaged to your platform until they no longer search for any other store name.
You could also become a successful seller by starting an Etsy blog for your digital shop.
Your Etsy blog is a great place to cultivate an audience by signing up your biggest brand fans, communicating, and sharing ideas with them more often.
Now that we’ve looked closely at the key differences between Shopify and Etsy, you have a better idea of what that makes each product good.
Still, maintaining a presence on both platforms can offer up more ways for your business to expand.