Today we have a big fight on our hands, it’s Amazon vs Shopify…
Which of these two online business platforms are going to come out on top.
There are major differences between these two eCommerce platforms and I want to help you work but which is right for you and your business.
My name is Nick (That’s me above) and i am a full time Amazon seller…
I also have a shopify store for one of my private label brands.
With this in mind i think i’m in a good position to referee this fight of the juggernauts.
Before we start the fight, let’s look at some of the key differences.
What’s the difference between Amazon and Shopify?
In order to make sure this is a fair fight we need to keep a few things in perspective.
When it comes to Amazon vs Shopify you could argue that these two are in entirely different weight classes.
Firstly Amazon is a marketplace where as Shopify is not.
Amazon is a shopping destination…
Millions of people already go to their websites to buy products.
Shopify give you the tools you need to build your own shopping destination…
All you have to do is go out there and find your customers.
This is the key difference.
Amazon have a huge existing base of customers….
Once your products are live you can quickly reach millions of customers across the globe.
Of course there is a price to pay…
You have to play by their rules AND they will take a percentage from each sale.
Once your customers know where to find you, the sales will roll in and you’ll be able to keep more of the profit.
I wanted to highlight this point before we start the fight…
Shopify and Amazon are very different business models, so we can’t compare them in a literal sense.
The point of this article is to help you work out which of the two platforms is best suited to you and your business model.
Anyway let’s get this fight underway.
Ding Ding Ding… Round One!
Shopify Vs Amazon: Pros & Cons
Let’s start by looking at the shopify pros and cons, this is based on my experience of using the platform.
- One of the cheapest way to build your own fully hosted online store
- It’s pretty easy to use
- A well established company with over 800,000 users
- Easy to customize and change the look of your store with a huge selections of themes
- Mobile friendly – It’s easy to built a fully optimized store for mobiles users + it’s easy to manage your store on the IOS or Android App
- The abandoned cart tool is incredibly effective – You can use this tool with the $29 monthly plan
- It easily integrates with A LOT of different software (Amazon, WordPress, Clickfunnels, Wix… The list goes on)
- You can make use of a two week free trial before committing
- When the sales roll in you don’t have to pay 15 – 30% like you would with Amazon
- You can ensure your site is GDPR compliant with a selection of third party apps
- When using Shopify payments you won’t have to pay any transaction fees
- You have full control over your business – You can play by your own rules
- A huge opportunity to build a long term business asset
- You have to drive your own traffic
- Your marketing costs will probably increase
- Some coding knowledge is required for advanced store customization (I usually use a freelance developer)
- You only get access to the reporting function from the mid level plan
- If you are using a third-party payment integration you’ll pay a transaction fee
For anyone just starting out you might be thinking but how does Shopify work? I’ve written an article to cover all the details in full.
Anyway, let’s look at some of the Pro’s and Con’s when it comes to Amazon.
Amazon Vs Shopify: Pros & Cons
Theses are a few of the pros and cons from my perspective as an Amazon seller.
- You can gain almost instant access to millions of customers
- It’s easy to start selling all over the world (Just make sure you understand the laws and regulations for each marketplace)
- High level of buyer intent – People go onto Amazon to buy, the traffic is about as hot as it gets
- Your business will benefit from the huge marketing budget Amazon pile into google and social media
- The volume of sales can be staggering – Some of the top selling products will surpass 2500 units per day (I’ll show you an example later)
- Market Research – If you use the right tools it’s easy to find hot selling products with low levels of competition
- With every sale you make you will pay around 15% – 40% to Amazon
- Your business is in the hands of Amazon – Sellers are suspended everyday for breaking Terms of service
- There are high levels of competition – As more people flock to the platform, profit margins are driven down…
- As a seller you lack control – You cannot re-target previous customers, their information is fiercely protected by Amazon
- Dirty seller tactics – This can be a real problem for third party sellers
I’ve been selling on the platform for a long time now, hopefully this gives you a good overview from an Amazon sellers perspective…
In my opinion round 1 goes to Shopify…
If you can sell to people on Amazon you can sell to people on your own website and keep more of the profit.
In the long term i want as much control as possible…
If you build a big Amazon business without selling anywhere else i’d say you could be leaving yourself in a vulnerable position.
Anyway… onto Round 2!
Let’s talk about the difference in pricing between the two.
Amazon Fee’s Vs Shopify Fee’s
You need to choose a platform that suits you and your budget.
But for me it goes further than just comparing the numbers…
In my opinion neither platform is expensive, they both offer exceeding good value if you know how to use them.
Amazon do have two separate selling plans: Professional & Individual
The individual plan is free but you will pay $0.99 per item sold + additional fees depending on the product & category.
The professional plan is $39.99 per month + additional fees per sale depending on the product & category.
Let’s assume you want to open a professional selling account and sell the following product for $26.55 on the Amazon platform…
The cost of selling the product will largely depend on your business set up…
The figures in the middle column assume you are going to be picking, packing and sending the products out to your customers (Your Fulfillment).
Per sale Amazon would charge $3.98 – That’s 14.99%
The column on the right shows the cost if you were to make use of Amazon FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon).
This means they would pick, pack and send out the products on your behalf…
With Amazon’s fulfillment option you would be charged $8.80 per sale – That’s 33.15%
With this product you’d need to feel pretty confident in your fulfillment method…
This one product sells around 2274 units a day!!! Yep that’s nearly $2,000,000 a month in revenue (Check out the #1 product in the screenshot below!)
If you want to fully understand the in’s and out’s Amazon’s fee’s have a read of the article below:
Regardless of the cost – Your choice should depend on your business objectives…
Are you willing to sacrifice control for a ready made marketplace?
Shopify has three main price plans….
- The Basic package will cost you $29 per month
- The “Shopify” Plan will cost you $79 per month
- The Advanced Plan will cost you $299 per month
In my opinion the Basic package gives you everything you need when you are starting out….
It’s $10 cheaper than Amazon on a monthly basis and you won’t be charged a fee for every item you sell.
It’s worth noting that you may occur additional monthly costs if you add on any paid apps…
When i started out i kept my costs to a minimum… as you scale you can always add paid apps.
So when it comes to Amazon Vs Shopify who wins on pricing?
I’d say round two goes to Shopify… It’s a TKO
You pay less per month and in the long term it’s much more scale able…
With Amazon some products are restricted and they will charge more where they want.
You will also be competing with Amazon in certain situations…
Amazon have a number of private label brands that are slowly making their way into the marketplace.
Using Amazon With Shopify
What a lot of people don’t realize is that you can actually use both of these platforms hand in hand…
If you set up a Shopify store, you can connect it to your amazon selling account and instantly reach Amazon customers.
The amazon shopify integration works in more ways than one, in the following video i explain how it all works…
If you’ve got any questions please leave a comment on the video, i’d be happy to help!!
Amazon vs Shopify: Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a few of the common Shopify Vs Amazon FAQ’s
Which Is Better Shopify Or Amazon?
There is not a one size fits all answer to this question.
If you want a long term business and you have a clear marketing strategy i’d say Shopify.
If you want to instantly find customers and are happy to play by someone else’s rules i’d say Amazon!
Which Costs More Amazon Or Shopify?
On the monthly subscription side of things Shopify is cheaper…
The basic package will cost you $29 a month compared to Amazon’s $39.99 per month.
Even with the “Shopify” or “Advanced” package over the long term Amazon will probably prove more expensive.
As you scale the percentage they take on each sale will add up and in the end you’ll have less to reinvest back into your business.
Is Shopify The Best eCommerce Builder?
In my opinion…. YES
At the moment i haven’t found a better option.
Automation and store customization is easy and the huge variety of apps means you can integrate with pretty much anything.
I do like Clickfunnels but really the two aren’t comparable…
I’ve used Wix and i still use wordpress…
But i have to say Shopify is my preference with it comes to eCommerce.
Conclusion: Which Is The Best eCommerce Platform?
For me Shopify has won the fight within two rounds…
This of course is only from my perspective, please let me know below if you disagree!
I’ve sold on Amazon for years, it’s an incredible platform that really can open a lot of doors.
I wouldn’t say Shopify is better, i’d say Shopify is different…
In the long term building your own store is going to serve you well IF you do it in the right way.
That doesn’t mean to say you can’t take advantages of both of these platforms, that’s what we do!!
If you already sell on Amazon, shopify can help take your brand to a whole new level.
If you are just starting out and you are willing to work hard… i’d build your own store from the very start.
I’d love to know your thoughts on this, leave a comment to let me know if you agree or disagree with what I’ve said!
There will be more from me very soon.
Thanks for reading.