Shopify vs Etsy: Which is Better for Your Business

Comparing Shopify vs Etsy is relevant in conditions of the trend toward entrepreneurship picking up steam where more and more potential business owners are using eCommerce platforms to launch their websites. This post will compare two popular solutions, Etsy and Shopify. These platforms offer the opportunity to set up online stores quickly but have distinct business requirements that cater to different business types.

Shopify empowers users to build independent online stores, making it ideal for those selling manufactured goods and seeking cost-effective solutions. In contrast, Etsy provides a straightforward entry point for hobbyists and creators, focusing on handmade and unique items, albeit with higher transaction fees. We'll explore these platforms' key differences, features, and pricing to help you understand which is better Etsy or Shopify.

Why Shopify

Shopify is an eCommerce platform that empowers users to start online stores, including the ability to manage orders on their site while simultaneously listing products on platforms like Instagram and Amazon. In contrast, Etsy primarily hosts stores on its platform, with the option of Etsy Pattern for a separate website at an additional $15 per month, accompanied by Etsy's transaction fees. Although the initial setup and building of a customer base may require substantial effort, Shopify's lower transaction fees than Etsy can be a compelling incentive.

Integrated into all subscription plans, Shopify Payments eliminates the need for third-party payment processors, offering various payment methods and competitive processing rates. It makes it a favorable choice for businesses utilizing Shopify as their eCommerce platform or point-of-sale system. Alternatively, Etsy imposes a 3% transaction fee, an extra 25 cents per transaction, and a higher fee of 6.5%. Additionally, Etsy charges a 20-cent fee for each newly listed product, with listings remaining active for four months. As sales volume grows, Shopify becomes more cost-effective.

Shopify sellers can easily list products on various third-party shopping platforms, simplifying order management through a unified dashboard - a valuable feature for omnichannel commerce. Check the best Shopify integrations to make your eCommerce store grow. Furthermore, users can employ third-party apps to post Shopify listings on Etsy. Conversely, Etsy allows creating social posts and adding listings to Facebook or Instagram shops directly from the dashboard. However, manual listing creation is required for platforms beyond Etsy.

Why Etsy

Etsy is a central eCommerce platform that specializes in handmade goods and crafts. Despite imposing notably higher transaction fees compared to Shopify, it offers the advantage of requiring less store setup effort. It makes it particularly appealing to artisans and creators who sell their products as a part-time endeavor rather than a full-time occupation. Listing on Etsy reaches this audience directly. Shopify, however, requires navigating competitive spaces like Amazon and search engines, which can be challenging for smaller businesses with limited online marketing resources.

Setting up an Etsy store is a relatively straightforward process, allowing you to begin even without a fully developed brand or business name. Customization options are limited, primarily involving a shop introduction and a few banner and icon images, so there's no immediate need for a comprehensive brand identity. Additionally, you can easily change your shop's name if necessary. In contrast, Shopify requires more extensive groundwork for establishing a complete website. While website creation may be relatively simple, having your business far enough along is crucial to commit to a domain name and a well-defined brand identity before embarking on the process.

Etsy has lower monthly subscription costs but higher transaction fees than Shopify. You can use Etsy for free if you have modest sales volumes. The Plus plan is $10 monthly, including $8 in monthly credits for listings and ads. The Pattern plan is $15 per month. Shopify does not offer a free plan and requires a minimum monthly subscription fee of $29 for a standalone website. The lower-cost option is Shopify Starter, which costs $5 per month with a 5% transaction fee. It does not include a separate storefront.

Shopify vs Etsy Comparison

When it comes to deciding between Shopify and Etsy for your online business, it's crucial to weigh the pros and cons of Etsy vs Shopify carefully. To ensure that you make an informed decision, we will thoroughly analyze various aspects to determine which platform aligns best with your business needs.

Pricing Options

Is Shopify cheaper than Etsy? Shopify and Etsy offer different pricing options. Shopify has five plans ranging from $5 to $299/month, while Etsy has a free plan and a $10/month Plus plan with a 6.5% transaction fee. Shopify Plus offers custom pricing for larger businesses.

Fees Policy

Regarding Shopify Fees vs Etsy Fees, Shopify sets itself apart by not charging transaction fees when you use Shopify Payments and by offering compatibility with various payment gateways. In contrast, Etsy applies listing fees, transaction fees, and additional charges for credit card payments.

Easy of Use

Shopify and Etsy both have their merits. Shopify simplifies setting up a robust online store, offering tools for building branded websites and scaling product sales. In contrast, Etsy caters to those less tech-savvy, providing a straightforward account setup within its marketplace eliminating the need for extensive self-marketing.

Customers Attraction

Shopify provides tools to establish and market your business, but driving traffic depends on your efforts. Etsy's vast user base offers significant product exposure, but attaining visibility and drawing visitors demands dedicated effort.

Customization Options

Why Etsy is bad here? Shopify provides extensive design tools for customizing your store's appearance, while Etsy prioritizes your product's uniqueness to set you apart from other sellers. Shopify suggests custom domains for brand identity, while Etsy's marketplace format lacks individual domains, which may confuse customers.

E-commerce Functionality

Shopify provides a broader range of powerful eCommerce tools and a vast Shopify App Store for crafting a tailored online presence. It offers marketing tools, email functionalities, and the ability to expand across multiple sales channels. Read how Shopify Power BI Integration Helped Two e-Commerce Companies to Succeed in the European Market. In contrast, Etsy's features are functional but limited to improving your shop's performance for its customer base.

Support Assistance

Shopify offers a robust support system, including 24/7 phone and live chat, email assistance, and a comprehensive help center. Etsy provides a helpful help center, a community forum, email support, and call requests.

Key Difference Between Etsy and Shopify

Both Shopify and Etsy offer eCommerce platforms for shop owners to sell their products and services online. The primary distinction lies in the way they operate. Shopify empowers users to establish their distinct branded online stores, while Etsy is a marketplace where sellers can list handmade items, vintage goods, and unique items alongside other artisans. Shopify distinguishes itself in the comparison of Shopify Fees vs Etsy Fees by not levying transaction fees with Shopify Payments and offering support for multiple payment gateways. In contrast, Etsy charges listing fees, transaction fees, and extra charges for credit card payments.

The main difference between Etsy and Shopify is their handling of customer emails. Etsy does not provide customer email addresses, limiting your ability to build a separate customer base beyond the Etsy platform. While customers can "favorite" your shop on Etsy and receive notifications about new products, direct marketing emails are not an option, which could pose challenges if Etsy's platform were to disappear unless you use Etsy Pattern for email marketing.

In contrast, Shopify allows you to send newsletters and updates to customers who opt-in during checkout. Even if Shopify ceases operations, you can access your customer list for ongoing marketing efforts. Many Etsy shop owners choose to maintain dual stores, leveraging Etsy's broad marketplace reach for exposure. They often include cross-promotion strategies, such as offering discounts through their Shopify store when mailing packages to Etsy customers. As revenue grows on Shopify, some shop owners may discontinue their Etsy presence to reduce fees.

Etsy vs Shopify: Which is Better

Whether it's Shopify or Etsy, both eCommerce platforms offer valuable solutions for online sellers. But the right choice, which is better Etsy or Shopify, depends on your business requirements. Shopify is well-suited for established retail businesses with a significant product volume seeking customization and multi-platform selling. In contrast, Etsy is an excellent option for newcomers, especially those dealing in handmade or artisan goods, as it doesn't charge a monthly fee but has many fees per sale.

Shopify is the best choice if you:
  • Have a high monthly sales volume, as the monthly fee is offset by lower transaction fees, making it cost-effective for businesses with substantial sales.
  • Seek extensive website customization options to create a unique online presence that aligns with your brand.
  • Plan to sell on multiple platforms beyond your website, as Shopify supports multi-channel selling.
  • Already have a strong brand identity or are ready to invest in building one to establish a clear and recognizable presence in the market.
Etsy is the best choice if you:
  • Offer a smaller range of products or specialize in crafts, art, or handmade items.
  • Prefer a simpler, hassle-free setup process without monthly fees for the basic service.
  • Still need to prepare to commit to a robust brand identity and rely on Etsy's built-in audience.
  • Are comfortable with slightly higher transaction fees, as Etsy provides access to an established customer base interested in homemade and unique products.
To answer the question, is Shopify or Etsy better? It should align with your specific business goals, sales volume, and branding preferences to ensure you choose the platform that best suits your unique needs.


In summary, the choice between Shopify and Etsy depends on your business's needs. Shopify caters to established retail businesses with customization options and multi-platform selling, while Etsy offers a user-friendly entry for newcomers, especially those in handmade or artisan goods. Consider your sales volume, customization requirements, and branding preferences to determine which platform, Shopify vs Etsy, aligns best with your unique business objectives.
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