Shopify Vs Etsy: Who Should You Pick For Your eCommerce Business?

April 26, 2022
Authored by:
Aakash Shewakaramani
Featuring:

New entrepreneurs on the lookout for an eCommerce site often end up debating between Shopify Vs Etsy. Both of these companies provide two very different services.

However, the same questions often pop up when deliberating either decision:

  • Which platform will give your products better exposure?
  • Which of the two is more user-friendly?
  • What are the fees involved with using either service?

These inquiries are essential to deciding between Etsy Vs Shopify. With enough insight into the answers, you get the information you need to make the right decision for your business. And that’s precisely what this article aims to do.

Shopify Vs Etsy: The Basics  

Before we get into the Shopify Vs Etsy debate, we need to tackle the basics. What are the primary services that Shopify and Etsy provide? Also, how many people use both these services?

The answers to both these questions will help you make a more informed choice when deciding between Etsy Vs Shopify for your eCommerce needs.

What Are The Primary Services?  

Shopify and Etsy are vastly different but with one common goal: to get your products as many sales as possible. While the two have different approaches and target markets, their aim is to help businesses succeed.

Shopify: The Shop Builder

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Shopify helps you build an effective online store. In offline terms, think of Shopify as the construction company that builds your storefront. Like with an offline setup, you customize the store to your liking.

From managing transactions to featuring meaningful content, Shopify helps businesses flourish. So, along with being a great construction company, Shopify is also an all-around great commerce buddy, too!  

Etsy: The Marketplace

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Etsy is an online marketplace. However, unlike Amazon, it doesn’t focus on mass-produced goods or memberships.

Etsy is a community-focused marketplace. It supports independent creators and businesses, and it’s home to a great collection of handmade items. If you’re a solopreneur who self-produces your own goods, then Etsy is the perfect home for you.

Etsy has an additional service that is similar to what Shopify does, as well. Pattern by Etsy is a tool that helps you launch and manage a website built with your existing Etsy shop content and tools. If more versatility is what you’re looking for, Etsy might be an attractive option to keep things unique and simple.

Here’s a short tutorial on Pattern by Etsy and how to make it work for your shop:

Target Audience And Market Size  

Numbers and stats will play an important role when you deliberate between Shopify Vs Etsy. Since both the services are different, their stats and numbers will also speak of different things.

What Are The Numbers Behind Shopify?

Shopify’s customers aren’t your products’ end consumers. The service attracts entrepreneurs and businesses of varying sizes. In fact, there are 1.75 million vendors who use Shopify. This gives Shopify the third-highest eCommerce market share, behind WooCommerce and Squarespace.

These same vendors got over 457 million buyers in a year’s time. However, this number is not indicative of how many users will visit your website. Since Shopify's aim is to help you create your own independent shop, you’ll have to generate your own customers and leads.  

There’s also a pro to this. In Shopify’s case, the total number of vendors doesn’t saturate the marketplace. Your website is independent, so you won’t have to compete with any established vendors. But is Shopify better than Etsy?

What Are The Numbers Behind Etsy?

Shopify Vs Etsy is not a direct comparison. The important data for Etsy is how many regular vendors and customers are on it. There are 4.36 million active vendors on Etsy and 81.9 million buyers.

The advantage with Etsy is that it’ll give you a ready-made market to tap into. If you’ve got something handmade, there’s a market for it on Etsy. However, this also means that you’ll have to compete for their attention.

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If your goods are similar to those of other vendors, you’ll have to attract consumer attention in some way. This can be with prices, perks, or other add-ons. The other option is to create a unique product that stands out.

Shopify Vs Etsy: Which Wins?

You might end up deciding on the Shopify Vs Etsy debate based on the features of one of the services. But truth be told, both platforms are great avenues to sell your products.

Here are some direct feature comparisons that can help you settle your mind.

1. How Easy Are They To Use?

Both Shopify and Etsy have made signing and setting up accessible. However, their setup processes require different steps.

Shopify

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Shopify guides you throughout each step and helps you set up your store. This includes everything from the category of goods, how your store looks, and essential information like your business name and address.

Etsy

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By virtue of being a pre-designed marketplace, Etsy is a lot easier to set up on. All you need to do is upload your product information to get started, which makes selling on Etsy highly simple. Unlike with a separate website, there’s no design, no searching for domains, no customization.

In this sense, while both are very easy to use, Etsy gets the job done faster.

2. What Is The Pricing Like?  

Now, we get into the real stuff: Shopify Vs Etsy pricing. Both Shopify and Etsy charge consumers some amount. However, they do it differently.

Shopify

Shopify charges you in two ways. The store builder has various plans that consumers can choose from. Each plan has a fixed recurring cost and a transaction fee attached to it.

Higher tier plans, like the Advanced plan, have lower transaction costs. This makes sure that you don’t have to pay a significant sum if your sales volume increases.

Etsy

Etsy charges a direct transaction fee of 6.5% of the prices for each listing, plus the amount you charge for shipping and gift wrapping. The advantage of this is that you don’t pay anything unless you make money. So, when you’re starting out and have low visibility, this can work in your favor.

This decision completely boils down to your financial preferences. Both Shopify and Etsy are decent options for when you’re starting out, but Shopify has the slight edge when it comes to scaling.

3. How Do These Platforms Help With Scaling?  

Every entrepreneur cares about, and plans for, scaling their business. So, it makes complete sense that you’d want to know how these platforms support that.

Shopify

Shopify makes scaling very easy with its varying plans. Higher tier plans support businesses with better sales. Additionally, Shopify also offers a Plus feature for enterprises like Heinz, Staples, etc. The tool allows you to manage all your stores, analytics, staff accounts, and automation in one place.

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With a minimum cost of $2,000 (or variable costs based on sales), the plan isn’t cheap. However, that’s pocket change for companies that want a more personal touch to their eCommerce needs.

Etsy

Etsy is pretty straightforward. You upload your products and make sales on their website. However, Pattern by Etsy offers some sort of scalability to sellers.

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If you’ve established yourself on Etsy, you can redirect your clients to your personal website. While you can do this with any website builder, it being an Etsy product makes the process that much simpler.

While both services aid with scaling, Shopify is better suited to nationwide enterprises.

4. How Easy Is It To Do SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can vastly affect your sales and visibility. Good SEO can place your website and products at the top of the list on search engine results.

Etsy

SEO with Etsy is very straightforward. You can work on the keywords for your store, your listing, and your product description. The advantage is that you have plenty of examples to look at.

But this can also be a disadvantage. With limited aspects to work on, it gets more and more difficult to differentiate yourself. After all, there are only so many ways you can describe a particular product.

Shopify

Shopify’s SEO is a little more open-ended. When you design a website, the control is completely in your hands. However, this also makes doing SEO difficult. You can always check out other websites for inspiration, but unless you’re an SEO expert, it can be a gargantuan task to spot the right keywords from a collection of webpages.

If SEO is your thing, you can completely drive traffic to your website. In this case, you won't have to worry about your products sounding the same as the others.

A good SEO tool or expert can greatly help in both cases, but it becomes closer to a necessity with Shopify, given that you’re doing SEO for an entire website.

Which One Should You Go With?

Why not both? Okay, that may not be sustainable (or even possible, for that matter). The truth is, there isn’t a ‘right platform.’ Shopify and Etsy have the same goals: maximize sales. But they approach it with different specialties.

Etsy’s biggest pro is that it is easier to start out with, especially if you’re a solopreneur. However, Shopify is a great choice if you have an established business with scaling plans.

With that being said, you don’t have to partake in the Shopify Vs Etsy debate. You can choose either and make it work for your business.

Happy selling!

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