Shopify vs Etsy: Shopping for Your Next E-Commerce Platform

Starting an online store has never been easier, but with numerous platforms to choose from, it can be challenging to pick the right one. If you're torn between Shopify and Etsy, this post will help you weigh the pros and cons of each platform and help you determine which one is best-suited for your needs.

Shopify is a very popular e-commerce platform that allows businesses to create their own online store Etsy is a marketplace that allows individuals and businesses to sell handmade, vintage, and “unique” goods. While both platforms offer similar features, they have different target audiences and offer different benefits.

Benefits of Shopify:

  1. Customization: Offers a wide range of customizable templates and themes, so you can design an online store that reflects your brand's personality. You can also add custom features through the use of apps and plugins. This allows you to tailor your store to meet your specific business needs.
  2. Marketing Tools: Shopify provides several marketing tools to increase sales. These include email campaigns, social media integration, SEO optimization, and more.
  3. Payment Processing: Shopify offers a range of payment options, including credit cards, PayPal, and Apple Pay. Additionally, it offers its own payment processing service, eliminating the need for a separate payment gateway and simplifies the checkout process for customers.
  4. Advanced Analytics: Provides advanced analytics tools to track sales, customer behavior, and more. Make data-driven decisions about your business, such as which products are selling well and which marketing campaigns are generating the most traffic.
  5. Customer Service: 24/7 support via phone, email, and live chat, so you can get help whenever you need it. Additionally, the Shopify community provides a wealth of knowledge and resources, including forums, blogs, and documentation.

Benefits of Etsy:

  1. Community: A large and active community of sellers, buyers, and makers can provide valuable support, feedback, and inspiration for your business.
  2. Cost: Etsy charges lower fees and provides a simpler pricing structure than Shopify. Additionally, Etsy provides free listing options, so you can test the waters before investing in a paid subscription.
  3. Reach: Etsy has a large customer base and is well-established so you can reach a broad audience and increase your visibility. Etsy's marketing efforts, such as advertising and promotions, can help drive traffic to your shop.
  4. Simplicity: Etsy is simple and straightforward and allows you to get started quickly and easily. Its basic features, such as product listings, order management, and payment processing, let you focus on creating and selling your products.

Which is Better for Your Business?

The answer depends on your specific needs and goals. If you're looking for a platform that allows you to fully customize your online store and provides advanced marketing tools, Shopify may be the answer. If you're looking for a simple, affordable platform that allows you to reach a large customer base, Etsy may be the better choice.

Take the time to evaluate the best choice for your needs today and down the road.

Want to dive a little bit deeper on the two platforms? Take a look at our Etsy vs. Shopify Calculator page here:. It will give you some real world numbers to consider as you evaluate your choices for an e-commerce platform.

One extra tip that some new online merchants might miss in all the documentation for each platform. The Etsy platform does not allow you to do email marketing. Yes, you can communicate with customers about their transactions and Etsy does a good job on the marketing emails they send out to marketplace customers. But, it’s not the same as collecting emails from your buyers AND browsers and having them available in your own email platform to send your own promotions.