When planning an eCommerce site, cost, exposure, control and market entry are all considerations when deciding on a platform. A seller will need to choose whether to sell on a marketplace like Etsy or eCommerce platform like Shopify. Both methods vary widely and have their benefits and disadvantages.
The online marketplace Etsy offers a low-cost start-up, high exposure, and easy market entry. Etsy offers a great place to start a small online venture but does not allow for a lot of customization. Esty is the perfect solution for small shops just starting off, combining low entry costs and instant searchability inside the Etsy.com website.
Shopify, on the other hand, allows for a fully customized web-store. Exposure and the ease of entry are not as automatic as Esty, and the seller will need to take additional actions to build brand awareness. The monthly fee can be intimidating at first, however, as your sales increase Shopify will be the more economical option. Shopify also offers fantastic 24/7 customer support.
|Platform Style||Online Marketplace||Web Store|
|Low Upfront Cost|
|Long Term Investment|
|Pricing||3.5% + 20¢ Per Sale||$29 Monthly|
On the surface, Etsy seems to be a cheap option for your store. While Etsy may not charge a monthly fee, they make up for that with a transaction fee on every purchase on top of the credit card processing fees. In our research, we recommend Etsy only until you hit about $700-$900 in sales per month, after that you are spending more than an e-commerce platform like Shopify.
|Average Item Price||$15||$15|
|Average Items sold/month||100||100|
|Credit Card Fees||3.0%+20¢||2.9%+30¢|
Includes Monthly, Transaction, and Credit Card Fees
Etsy is an easy way to get online, but you are restricted to the look and feel that Etsy decides. With an e-commerce platform like Shopify, you can apply what ever art direction you would like to your site.
Etsy wants people to come to their website; they don't care who's products the person ends up buying because they get the transaction fees either way. With your store, you are the only reason a searcher is going to your site. While initially, this may seem overwhelming, Shopify makes it incredibly simple and straightforward.
In summary, if your store is doing less than $700 per month in sales, Etsy is the best spot for your starting business. As you gain sales and brand awareness you should begin moving away from Etsy to a full e-commerce platform like Shopify. The best advice we can give is this - photos and images make the difference between no sales and lots of sales. Good luck on your business venture.
Text Connects is a Shopify Partner, learn more about Shopify on our What is Shopify page.