So you probably know that Shopify and Etsy are two of the best ecommerce sites for selling products online.
But what is the Difference Between Shopify And Etsy?
Why would you choose one platform and not the other?
These are both important questions to ask.
Both platforms are very popular there’s no doubt about that…
But Etsy and Shopify are popular for different reasons.
As a seller the choice of platform will effect your results, there is no doubt about that.
Some businesses are better suited to Shopify and others to Etsy…
It’s important that you understand this before you make your decision.
In this article, we explore the main differences between the two online selling platforms.
Hopefully by the end of this article you’ll know which one is right for you and your business.
Shopify and Etsy – The Basics
Ok let’s start with Shopify…
Shopify is without a doubt one of the most popular eCommerce platforms out there.
Thousands of business owners are flocking to the platform to build their own online store.
Shopifys popularity comes from forward thinking features and complete ease of use…
In the video below i build a brand new Shopify store in around 1o minutes.
See it’s pretty easy isn’t it.
As you can see the platform really will allow any entrepreneur to build their own custom website with very few IT skills.
With the theme templates, drag-and-drop editors, and customization options it’s very straight forward to set up even if you have a small budget.
If you want more information i’ve written the following article to show you how to build your shopify site step by step…
Who Does Shopify Suit?
Shopify is best suited to anyone looking to build their own website.
Etsy in comparison is an existing shopping destination where you can set up your own online store.
I know a lot of people that use both Shopify and Etsy…
Shopify is a platform that allows you to build your own website, Etsy is an existing marketplace a bit like eBay and Amazon.
If you want to build a beautiful website Shopify is a smart decision…
The platform benefits from a range of analytic and marketing features, the design functionality can really give your store an edge.
If you are looking for a like for like alternative to shopify this platform may also be worth considering.
With Shopify or any website builder you do have to be willing to drive your own traffic…
This of course is different to Etsy as you’ll be setting up a store on an existing marketplace.
So yer it is hard work driving your own traffic, there’s no doubt about that…
But when you do you hold much more control, you can abide by your own rules…
As you start to build your own audience and customer base you can start improvements based on your customers purchasing behavior and feedback.
You can also integrate Shopify with pretty much anything… You can even integrate with Etsy!
Yup… you really can.
Why not build your own Shopify store and then import your products into your very own Etsy store.
This way you can make use of both!
You can integrate Shopify with thousands of third-party apps, there isn’t much you can’t integrate with.
As you may know i’m a full time Amazon seller.
A few years a go i decided to set up Shopify store for one of my brands and it was a great decision.
Selling my own private label brands on Amazon is great but with Shopify you don’t have to worry so much about the every changing Amazon landscape.
You can use both Shopify and Amazon together to great effect, in the video below i explain the best ways to do it.
If video isn’t your thing, you might prefer this article i’ve written about the Amazon Shopify intergration.
My advice with Shopify is simple, if you are looking for a website builder it’s a fantastic solution.
The best thing you can do is jump in and get started…
Reading and doing research like this is fantastic, the more you learn the more you can earn and all that.
But the learning won’t mean earning unless you are going out there and taking action.
For me that’s where the real learning starts!
I learnt much more setting up my first Shopify store than i did for the ten plus articles i read when researching how to do it.
Anyway, let’s talk about Etsy.
Ok so as mentioned Etsy is a little bit different to Shopify.
It’s still a very viable business option…
For some people setting up an Etsy store will be better than building a website on Shopify.
First things first, Etsy is not a platform that allows you to build your own website…
Etsy is a robust and established online marketplace that you can use to sell your own products.
Originally people used Etsy to sell handcrafted or vintage items but nowadays there’s demand for a lot of different product types.
Let’s look at some of the best selling items on Etsy:
- Handmade Items
- Craft and Supplies
- Paper and Party Supplies
- Home and Living – Candles, Wall decor etc
- Toys and Books
I could go on but we’d be here all day.
Etsy look to be adding more and more categories all the time too.
On Etsy all you need to do is create a account and put up your products up for sale.
Thanks to Etsy, you don’t have to worry about building the infrastructure for your website since everything has been set up for you.
Have you been selling your crafts to your friends online and offline in pop-up markets?
If so Etsy could be an excellent way for you to scale your business…
If you’ve got a full time job Etsy might be the perfect place to start, it really does depend on your business and our experience.
The Etsy marketplace gives you the opportunity to connect with millions of people ready to buy your products.
Of course as with any marketplace there will be competition…
But if you have the determination and the right products you can succeed.
You could argue that there’d be less competition on Etsy compared to the more established marketplaces like Amazon and eBay…
In reality the levels of competition will depend on the types of products you are selling.
Let’s look at some of the key differences between the two.
Differences Between Shopify and Etsy
Let’s look at some of the differences between these two online platforms, this way you can work out which is best for you.
Now we must keep in mind that the two platforms are very different…
Shopify is a website builder, Etsy is a marketplace…
Let’s look at the statistics.
According to reports, merchants using Shopify sold more than $40 Billion of products in 2018 alone.
Currently more than 600,000 online businesses are powered through the Shopify platform.
I’m sure you get it Shopify is a big platform, it’s used by A LOT of sellers…
Etsy is A LOT smaller in comparison and that makes complete sense…
It’s a marketplace where people go to shop, where as Shopify is a platform where people go to build a website.
Etsy’s numbers are still pretty impressive, with over 2.1 million active sellers and over 39 million registered buyers.
Why wouldn’t you want to get your products in front of that many people…
When we look at the statistics it’s obvious that Shopify is a bigger business…
If you are trying to decide whether you should use Shopify or Etsy the statistics don’t really matter.
The decision you make is going to depend on your business objectives.
You could of course design to do both.
There are some key differences to consider here.
You can sell pretty much anything legal from a Shopify store.
Shopify isn’t so much worried about the kind of products you sell as long as they are safe, legal and in line with their T’s & C’s.
Etsy, on the other hand, will only allow you to sell certain types of products…
It’s makes sense Etsy has a loyal base of returning customers and they like certain types of products.
When you think of Etsy, think about hand made and decorative looking items…
Etsy has set itself apart from other marketplaces by sticking to two specific niches/ product categories- handcrafted items and vintage pieces.
If you are selling vintage products, they must be more than 20 years old.
With these limitations, Etsy might not be a good option for you if you are planning on selling certain types of products.
You don’t have to just stick to things you have made yourself or really old vintage items…
People are making a fortune following the print on demand business model.
It’s pretty simple…
- You create amazing looking designs that are popular with people on Etsy
- Decide on the product types that suit the design (e.g. Journal cover, T-Shirt, Pillow cases etc)
- Find a print on demand partner that will create and post out your products
- Sync Etsy to your chosen partner, sit back and watch the orders come in
If you decide to create a Shopify store you could even do the above, sync to Etsy and upload your products to the Etsy marketplace…
Domain and Account Setup
The internet might have undergone significant changes over the years, but URL/ domain is still the foundation of every website.
If you want your products to be found online you are going to need a URL.
When setting up an online store on Shopify, you will receive a temporary, customizable URL…
This URL represents the home to your online store.
The temporary URL is a starting point but if you are building a serious website you’ll want to purchase your own domain.
Usually this would be something like brandname.com or brandnamestore.com – the possibilities are endless.
Once signed up to shopify you can connect or new domain or connect to an existing one.
You may want to connect an existing domain if you already have a website but you want to move to shopify.
With Shopify you will have your own online store and your own unique domain name…
You’ll want to choose a domain name that is going to represent your brand in the best possible way.
On Etsy you’ll be given a subdomain name under the main Etsy URL…
This is because you are setting up a store on Etsy’s website, not your own.
In a nutshell, with Shopify it’s your own brand store… With Etsy it’s your Brand’s Etsy Store.
Branding and Design
If you choose to set up a shopify store you will be responsible for the website design…
To customize the look of your store you can choose from either a free or paid theme.
It has to be said Shopify has a lot of very good looking themes.
Setting up your store is a little bit of work but it’s not difficult to get your first store up and running pretty quickly.
On Etsy things are a little different…
The design side of things is much easier as you are putting your products onto a pre-designed global marketplace called the Etsy shop.
You have the option to customize the look of your etsy store you do of course have to follow the parameters set by Etsy.
It’s simple, select your preferred layout upload your logo and away you go.
As you start to feel more comfortable using Etsy you can get a little more advanced…
My advice is to start simple and build up your store.
Pricing and Fees
Let’s look at the cost side of things.
With Shopify, you have to pay for the store’s account and the storefront setup.
The fees start from $29/month.
This fee covers hosting and website support services…
Their customer support is actually very good!
With Etsy you won’t be charged a storefront or account setup fee…
But you do have to pay $0.20 to list a product.
Etsy also charge a transaction fee of 3.5%, as well as the relevant credit card processing fees.
To add an Etsy Pattern account (which allows you to set up an independent store on Etsy), you have to pay $15/month.
With Shopify you have to drive traffic to your store…
If you are setting up a brand new store from scratch it’s a bit like setting up a shop in a very remote location.
Nobody will know about your store unless you have a bank of existing customers.
When starting your Shopify store make sure you take the time to think about your marketing strategy…
How are you going to get people to your online store?
With Etsy you are taking advantage of an existing marketplace.
If you are setting up an Etsy store it’s a bit like setting up a store on a street filled with other stores.
When creating your Etsy store you’ll need to find a way stand out from your competitors.
How are you going to convince people to buy your products?
All you need to do focus on selling products that people love…
If you do that those people will return and they might even bring their friends.
These two platforms are very different.
Your choice between the two will depend on your business objectives…
If you have a need for it i think setting up a shopify and an Etsy store is a very good idea.
Shopify is perfect for building your own online store..
Etsy is a great marketplace with a huge tribe of loyal Etsy customers…
I hope this article has helped you understand the differences between Shopify and Etsy.
If you have any questions let me know below!
Until next time,