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.
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.
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
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Key Difference Between Etsy and Shopify
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
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.
- 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.