Shopify and Amazon are two of the biggest and most popular eCommerce platforms. Amazon has more than 150 million visitors monthly in the US alone. This is proof of how it has become a household name in the American market.
Meanwhile, Shopify has over 600,000 online shops and has sold more than $82 billion in products from its eCommerce platform. Seeing stats like these surely makes it hard to choose between the two, right?
However, many people are having a hard time choosing between them. This is why I carried out in-depth research on the two eCommerce platforms.
This will help you learn their differences, pros, cons, and platform style. We’ll also discuss their features, ease of use, customer support, and many more.
Shopify vs. Amazon: The Basics
Shopify and Amazon are two of the biggest names in the eCommerce industry.
Knowing their differences can help you choose which of the two to use for your business.
Shopify is the go-to option for companies wanting to create their website from scratch. They’re a great choice if you want to promote customizability and a unique branding identity.
Small businesses will also have an easier time developing their online store because they can easily accept credit and debit payments.
Meanwhile, Amazon is your best bet if you’d want to start selling ASAP. Being an Amazon seller means that you quickly gain access to a huge customer base who are always on the lookout for new items on Amazon.
It’s also way easier to set up an Amazon account compared to Shopify. This means that it’s ideal for beginners or those who aren’t too tech-savvy.
Both these platforms offer tons of benefits to anyone who wants to start selling online. But which between the two is better to use for your business?
Let’s find out…
What’s the Major Difference Between Shopify and Amazon?
Amazon and Shopify have lots of similarities. But they work in (very) different ways!
The easiest way to differentiate the two is to note that Amazon is an online marketplace with millions of active online shoppers. On the other hand, Shopify is a full-fledged eCommerce platform that lets you create your website.
Shopify gives you your own space to start your online business. And it’s because of these differences that Shopify and Amazon cater to different sellers with different needs.
One of the best things about Amazon is its FBA, which stands for Fulfillment by Amazon. FBA is responsible for storing, packing, and fulfilling the order of the buyer.
This also includes added customer service.
And then there’s the Shopify Fulfillment Network which rivals FBA. But, Amazon’s free two-day shopping and its more trusted logistics services make it hard for Shopify to even contest it.
It’s safe to say that it’ll take a while for Shopify to meet Amazon FBA’s standards.
You should also consider the conversion rate when planning to sell online.
The higher the conversion rate, the more sales. Amazon does a great job with that.
Here are more factors to consider when choosing between Shopify vs Amazon:
Ease of Use
Ease of use is very important when it comes to choosing the right business model. You need to choose one that makes it easier for you to post and sell your products online.
Shopify is pretty good at this because it has a sleek user interface. This means that you can easily find the features you want to use and the details about your product’s status.
You can even create product listings and create marketing strategies in a matter of minutes.
There are also different tabs that keep all vital data in an organized manner.
Shopify’s interface is all about helping you focus on value delivery. Meanwhile, Amazon has an intuitive platform for online sellers.
You can create an account and post unique listings in just a few minutes. They also have their Fulfillment by Amazon feature, which simplifies the shipping and packaging processes.
Platform Pricing and Fees
You need to pay a certain amount for both platforms’ processing fees. This is required for all sellers.
The pricing for Shopify starts at $29 per month. It also has plans for $79/month and $299/month.
As for Amazon, expect to shell out $2 to $100 or even more for every fulfillment with Amazon. The cost of storage is also $0.69 to $1.32 per cubic foot daily, depending on the area.
You also need to pay online card payment processing fees. This is usually around 2.9% plus 30 cents.
Both Shopify and Amazon secure payment getaways to ensure smooth payment processing. There’s not much difference between the two because both accept online services like MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, and many more. These are already secure avenues for payments.
Design Options and Customizability
Amazon features Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) that can help improve your store’s online branding elements. The only downside is that the options and templates aren’t fully customizable.
Shopify is what you need if customization and aesthetic appeal are your main concerns. This platform has a clear advantage when it comes to branding and market customization.
It provides many perks such as logo creator, business name generator, and custom URL set up to further develop your brand.
Shopify lets you easily customize your online store, as well as integrate it with other apps. This improves your store’s value and brings it closer to the mass market, just like Amazon.
Just take note that costs will add up when you add integrations and templates. There are, however, many ways to customize your store by adding add-ons, making personalized edits, and accessing integrated features.
You can also integrate your Amazon account with your Shopify because of Amazon’s huge marketplace and free open integration policy. Simply connect the two platforms, set up a seller account on Amazon, and then add a personalized Amazon Sales channel to your online shop.
Control Over Site
Amazon usually has way higher traffic compared to Shopify. Meanwhile, Shopify is more on giving you the experience of selling online, and you want to have more control over your store’s functionality and design.
Amazon controls how your store page looks and which products to display. It might seem easy on your end, but it somehow limits your shop’s branding and business identity.
With this, it’s a no-brainer that Shopify is a clear winner when it comes to providing greater control. It also gives you a stronger brand identity and more flexible pricing.
Shopify is a great choice if you want to ensure that your products get the online presence they deserve. They have an app store that is fully loaded with promotional and marketing tools.
Users can use these to boost their sales and extend their market reach. You can also use Shopify if you want to promote advocacy such as merchandise for an organization or club.
Reporting and Analytics
Shopify has its report builder and calculated shipping rates platform. It even has an analytics feature that lets you see the needs of your potential customers.
This includes fraud analysis, POS Lite technology, and multiple language selling options. Shopify can help if you want to study your market and forecast its profitability status.
Help & Support
Shopify users are considered the platform’s direct customers. This is why the platform places huge importance and value on its subscribers.
They make sure that their users are comfortable with their customer support team that’s available 24/7. There’s also a live chat feature that caters to the users’ questions and concerns.
Shopify users can even access written tutorials and videos that help you understand how the platform works and what its features are. It’s also easily accessible around the globe.
Amazon also has seller support, live chat, an account manager, and many more features that help the selling process.
Shopify vs. Amazon: Pros and Cons
Shopify and Amazon are undoubtedly great choices if you’re looking to build an online shop. You can create your own shop using Shopify. Meanwhile, Amazon is all about creating an account using the Amazon platform. Each platform has its strengths and weaknesses. Knowing these can help you better determine which fits your business needs, wants, and style.
Shopify has a range of eCommerce tools designed to help you build and promote your online store.
It comes with highly-functional features and tools such as the Shopify Business Name Generator, the Image Resizer, and Oberlo.
It can even give suggestions on what products your customers need, as well as analyze your profit margins.
You can easily create your personalized brand with Shopify. This is great when it comes to marketing your brand because you have free reign over how you want your site to look.
You can create your logo, add in your preferred tabs, or put some add-ons to improve the overall feel of your online shop using Shopify’s custom scripts, checkout customization, etc.
Shopify has many diverse templates that can make your online store unique and yours. You can easily create a UI-rich store without compromising UX.
This is very important when it comes to ensuring that people are going to buy from you because they find it convenient and enjoyable to browse through your online shop’s offerings. This is all thanks to your customized site design, arrangement, tabs, and many more.
Shopify has excellent customer support because it’s very responsive and is available 24/7. They have a dedicated team of customer service experts that you can get in touch with through phone, chat, and email.
This ensures that you can smoothly and flawlessly run your business without getting too many negative reviews.
Shopify has its monthly fee which ranges from $29 to $299 per month, depending on your chosen plan. The cheapest plan is the basic package worth $29 monthly.
There’s also their main package worth $79 a month and the Advanced bundle costing you $299 monthly. Also, note that there are paid external apps that can add up to your monthly costs.
You don’t get much help from Shopify’s admin to promote your brand. You are the only one who is fully responsible for promoting your online shop and creating brand awareness with your customers.
This means that you need to be witty and creative to make your brand stand out, knowing that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of other competitors out there.
Nonetheless, there are also a lot of opportunities out there such as paid advertising, SEO, collaborations, native ads, and many more.
Setting up your Shopify account is time-consuming because of the many features present in the interface.
Yes, there might be predefined templates, but it’s still confusing to choose between them knowing that there are hundreds of them.
You also need to consider the buttons, functions, tabs, and other things that build up your site.
It’s important to be very familiar with Shopify’s interface, from the setting up process to the site launching.
The nice thing about Amazon is its high traffic as there are millions of people who visit the marketplace every month. This means that your products get huge exposure.
Amazon is your best bet if you want to ensure you get wide coverage without exerting too much effort. You need to have lots of exposure to ensure profitability.
But, note that high traffic doesn’t immediately relate to sales because some people merely visit your page and do not buy anything.
Getting high conversions isn’t the problem when you’re selling on Amazon. Instead, it’s the part of becoming visible.
Amazon also has tons of additional services in-store such as inventory storage, packing, and shipping.
Amazon caters to more people compared to Shopify. You don’t need to start from scratch in creating your site.
You simply just have to create an Amazon account, list your products, and take care of the descriptions and processing. There are already a lot of potential buyers on Amazon who are just waiting for the right product.
And if it happens to be you, then you already have yourself a deal. Amazon also has its AI algorithm called A19, which helps you rank and sell your items.
Setting up your own Amazon account is very easy because you simply just have to fill in your account details, follow the platform’s guidelines, etc.
Setting up an account is simpler and involves a shorter process compared to Shopify.
There are millions of items sold on Amazon. This means that you also have to compete with other similar products.
Amazon even has products that they prioritize and give higher rankings. This just puts their sellers’ products below the list to give way to their own items.
It’s hard to create your own personalized brand if you’re on Amazon. You can’t customize your page and give it the personalized touch you need to improve branding and marketing.
You just can’t build your own brand identity if you’re with Amazon.
Shopify vs. Amazon: Which is Right For Your Business?
Amazon and Shopify are both great for online businesses. But, Amazon’s online marketplace nature makes it simpler and ideal for people who are just starting out.
This might compromise brand identity and customization. But that’s not a big deal if you’re just starting.
Meanwhile, Shopify is for those who are more peculiar to branding and long-term success. Profits might come in slow in the first few months, but they’ll get better through time.
Shopify is ideal if you want to prioritize style and class while giving a more personalized approach to your shop. The competition is also less compared to Amazon which has millions of active sellers.
Why Choose Shopify?
- You want to have a personalized online store.
- You like to build a robust online presence.
- You can put a lot of effort into building your online shop.
- You don’t worry that much about competition.
- You are sure to build up a strong customer base in the long run.
Why Choose Amazon?
- You don’t have a strong customer base.
- You want to make profits as soon as possible.
- You aren’t too keen on branding and site aesthetics.
Can I Use Shopify and Amazon Together?
Of course, you can. It’s better if you use both platforms, especially if you’re struggling to choose between them. Using both means, you can maximize your reach with Amazon’s massive customer base while also working on your branding and identity with Shopify.
They are very well matched because they offer different ways of running an eCommerce shop. Shopify lets you build your online shop and create a distinct brand.
Meanwhile, Amazon gives you easy access to a regular income stream in the fastest way possible thanks to its large existing market. You can also integrate Amazon with Shopify using the latter’s marketplace and open integration feature.
Simply connect the two platforms by setting up an Amazon seller account and then add the Amazon Sales Channel to your store.
Just take note that you must pay for your own professional Amazon account and expect to pay your Shopify monthly subscription.
This means that you might be out of sync with your budget for a while.
Amazon and Shopify are hard to compare because they are completely different business models. But despite this, they also have lots of differences, that in one way or another, help you make good money online by selling physical products.
Shopify helps you personalize your own store while maintaining a distinct brand. The catch, though, is that you must factor in warehousing because you won’t have access to a storage facility, just like in the case of Amazon.
Shopify also gives you access to all eCommerce tools you need for your shop to succeed.
Amazon, on the other hand, is all about giving you access to a platform where you can create product listings and tap onto its already existing customer base to buy your products.
Both platforms have their own benefits and cons. At the end of the day, it all boils down to these things:
- Personal preferences
- Type of business you’re running
- Long-term goals
Just assess its features, pros, and cons, and you’ll surely arrive at the best decision that’ll make your business survive, and in the process, thrive.
What do you think about the article? Do you agree with it? Or do you have your own ideas as to which between Shopify and Amazon is better? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!
Shopify vs Amazon FAQs
Which platform is cheaper, Amazon or Shopify?
Shopify is cheaper because its lowest-tier plan called Basic Shopify is only $29 per month. Compare that with Amazon’s cheapest plan, where you pay $1 per product sold.
Can I make money using Amazon?
Of course, you can. You can list your products on Amazon and do your best to market your products until someone buys and orders your product.
What are some other Shopify alternatives?
Wix and BigCommerce are two of the most popular alternatives to Shopify. Some also prefer using WooCommerce and Magento.