Welcome to the world of online selling! If you are unsure whether to use Etsy or Shopify to sell your goods and services, you aren’t alone.
Both are extremely popular platforms for selling online. Explore the benefits of Shopify vs. Etsy now.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a platform that lets you build an online store. It has the tools you need to set up and run your business. The platform helps people build their own scalable online store with hundreds of built-in features and tons of apps. You can sell products directly on your website and social media.
Shopify is great if you already have face-to-face sales, as you can use Shopify Point of Sale (POS) to bundle all your credit card transactions within a single system.
What is Etsy?
Etsy is an online marketplace that lets you list your products alongside other online sellers. Etsy targets small businesses or sole proprietorships that are selling on a smaller scale.
The features are less robust than Shopify, but it is much easier to use. Also, instead of a standalone website for your store, you’ll have a storefront at Etsy’s website.
Shopify vs. Etsy
When deciding between the 2, it’s less about which platform to use and more about which method of selling makes the most sense for you.
Shopify is a webstore platform. Etsy is an online marketplace. They are both online sales channels, but the ways to sell or reach potential customers on each platform are fundamentally different.
Below we’ll cover some of the significant features of each, so you can see where your online business fits in.
For Those That Require Flexibility
Shopify offers customers endless options to customize and scale their online business. You can list an unlimited amount of items without extra fees.
Etsy doesn’t give you too much flexibility to market your website individually. The only way to stand out from competitors on Etsy is with your photographs. Etsy also charges for each product listing that expires after 4 months.
If you require more flexibility in how your site looks and functions, Shopify is a better choice. Etsy is less flexible, but it allows you to quickly and easily list your items.
For Those Who Require Better Plugins
The Shopify App Store has a collection of free and premium plugins that extend your online store’s functionality. There are countless plugins, but some of the most popular allow you to attract customers with free shipping, a simple return policy, premium wishlists and 1-click social logins.
When you list on Etsy, you cannot add additional plugins to your store. You are dependent on the functionality and policies of the Etsy site.
If your business requires plugins to increase your online store’s functionality, Shopify is the clear winner.
For Those Who Require Better Templates
Shopify offers numerous templates to fit your branding. You can customize fonts, navigation, layout and add as many pages as you’d like.
Etsy gives you some basic template choices that allow you to include your logo, but you will not get a lot of flexibility. It can be challenging to grow your brand and make it stand out from your competitors, as everyone’s page looks the same except for the logo and product images.
Shopify is the winner in this category as it offers better templates than Etsy. However, it does require more work to get your site up and running, so you will need some website design knowledge and patience to design your site. Etsy’s templates and layouts are basic but much easier to set up.
For Those on a Budget
There are 3 main plans in Shopify’s pricing structure. Shopify offers 5 plans in total, but most of their business falls into either the Basic, Shopify or Advanced Plan.
Prices range from $25 per month to $299 per month. The main difference in pricing is the number of staff accounts you can have. There is a payment processing fee on all transactions that is 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction.
Listing items on Etsy is easy and cheap with only a $0.20 listing fee per item. This fee will keep your listing active for up to 4 months. You’ll also pay a transaction fee of 5% on every sale and credit card processing fees. To add Pattern by Etsy, it costs an additional $15 per month, but it still has design and features limitations.
Etsy is a better choice if you are on a budget and have fewer items to sell. There is no monthly fee, and it’s relatively cheap to list your items. However, Shopify becomes more cost-effective if you have a more significant business with more products.
For the Better E-commerce Experience
Shopify offers unmatched sales features, making it perfect for any business that is looking to grow. The platform lets you sell unlimited products on all its plans and doesn’t have restrictions on the products you can sell. The Shopify app store gives you access to hundreds of apps that help you customize your online store.
Etsy uses basic but functional e-commerce features, which makes managing your online store easy. The Sell on Etsy App allows you to sell products on-the-go.
You can share your listing across social platforms like Twitter and Instagram, create coupons or apply 3rd-party tools for Google Shopping to ensure more people find your store. Etsy’s e-commerce tools are simple yet effective in helping you run your store proactively and efficiently.
Shopify has a better e-commerce experience since it offers much more room to grow and gives its customers superior customization tools.
For the Better SEO Features
Shopify is built to be an e-commerce platform, and it has SEO built into that functionality. It has all the features you need for your online stores to perform well in search. Shopify structures its SEO around the fact that getting a page to rank well differs from getting a product to rank well. Shopify is excellent at helping people find your products.
While everyone has heard of Etsy, it can be challenging for shoppers to find your products on the website. You will need to know how to optimize your Etsy store for your listings to be found.
Etsy offers many online guides and tips to help your products get discovered, but you will need to do your research to get the most exposure. Your item title and product description will need to be optimized for SEO.
If you are going to compare Shopify vs Etsy for SEO, the clear winner is Shopify. If e-commerce is your primary focus, Shopify wins due to its robust SEO functionality.
For the Better Support
Setting up an online business requires good customer support, even if you are a seasoned web developer, and especially if you are not!
Shopify offers 24/7 support team availability by chat, email, and phone. It also has a robust Help Center with user guides, answers to commonly asked questions and tutorials. Shopify-approved experts assist with e-commerce design, development and marketing. It has active discussion groups and an online Shopify community called Ecommerce University.
Etsy customers can get help via phone or email or community forums. Etsy is excellent at continually updating the Etsy Seller Handbook, and it sends a newsletter with tips to improve your shop.
This is a tough call because Etsy is easier to use, so the need for customer support may be less than Shopify. However, we gave Shopify a better customer support award since a 24/7 support team is an unbeatable customer support feature.
Shopify is an excellent e-commerce site but also a blogging platform. Shopify understands that blogging is a great way to build your audience and generate more traffic and sales for your business. Setting up a Shopify blog can help you build a community around your products and your brand.
If you have an Etsy Pattern account, you can set up a blog for your online business. Etsy also gives you the chance to tell more about your products and why you love them through blogging.
When comparing Etsy vs. Shopify in terms of blogging alone, we have to say both are winners.
Get Started in E-commerce Today
Shopify and Etsy both allow you to sell your products, but your decision really comes down to the type of business you have and the goals you have for your products.
Etsy is a creative marketplace that is best suited for selling crafts and handmade and vintage items. It’s a great choice when you are selling items on a small scale. It’s effortless to set up and easy to understand. The most significant benefit of selling on Etsy is its already massive, engaged audience of buyers.
Shopify is better if you intend to sell your products full time, sell in-person and grow your brand. It’s more scalable, more flexible and offers better e-commerce tools than Etsy.
If your needs fall in both categories, it’s also totally possible to list your products on both. Review both platforms, and get started in e-commerce today.