Shopify vs. Etsy – An 100% Unbiased Comparison For 2022

Shopify vs Etsy

If you’re an entrepreneur eager to start your eCommerce business, here is a comparison of Shopify vs Etsy. 

Isn’t it true that wanting to get started in your eCommerce journey could feel like a daunting task? You’re unsure what course of action to take or what choices to make.

Running an eCommerce business is not without mounting challenges. And finding the right eCommerce platform can spell the difference between success and failure. Among the many things that you need to decide on, choosing the right eCommerce platform can really get you stuck.

The good news is I can get you unstuck. We have spent nearly 20 hours putting together the right information about using Shopify and Etsy. It will answer all the bugging questions you may have about these two eCommerce platforms.  After reading this article, you will now have the confidence to select the best platform to jumpstart your business.

So let’s get into it!

1. Shopify vs. Etsy At A Glance

When it comes to eCommerce platforms, Shopify and Etsy are the two most popular choices. Stack up against each other. Let’s see which is better.


Shopify

4.8

Etsy (G)

4.5
Best Overall. Powerful platform for eCommerce businesses that are already established. Starts at $29/month.Best for Starters. Low barrier of entry for sellers while providing good exposure to a wide range of buyers. Starts at $10/month.
Try ShopifyTry Etsy

2. Who Is Shopify Best For?

Shopify is best for online entrepreneurs with plans to grow their business from basic retailing to dropshipping. Shopify has wonderful tools that let merchants design their web store based on the brand they are building.

Shopify also allows merchants to include as many categories of products on their site as the brand offering requires. Merchants may also set up a blog to make contents that feature their products and use such content to optimize their web store further.

3. Who Is Etsy Best For?

Etsy is good for online entrepreneurs who want to focus on a niche product targeting a very specific market.

Etsy is best for micro-operations with limited production capacity. With limited resources, it is hard to gain market recognition. But Etsy can help roll out a small business with ease and expose products quickly to a very large market base.

4. A Close Look At The Features Shopify and Etsy

I’ve line-up 8 important eCommerce features that online entrepreneurs look for when choosing an eCommerce web store or marketplace. Let’s see what platform is better than the other with each feature.

FeaturesShopifyEtsy (G)
SEO Benefits
Mobile Responsiveness
Store Personalization
Catalog and Product Listing
Analytics
IT Support
Customer Review System
Payment Options
Get StartedTry ShopifyTry Etsy

5. Key Features Of Shopify

Do you think Shopify is the right choice to build your eCommerce business? Let these five features help you decide if it is.

#1 Full Website Design Customization, Including Blog Set-up

Shopify Website Design Customization

When you want to create an eCommerce business with a strong brand, you would need to customize your website in a way that appeals to your target buyers. This website customization feature will surely enhance the end-user experience from storefront design that resonates with the buyer intent from site navigation to product and sales pages.

To get found online is quite hard. Investing in storefront designs or advertising campaigns may not be enough to win loyal patrons to your business. Leveraging the blog feature of your web store gives you the ability to position your business as a reliable and trustworthy brand through content that provides informed choice.

#2 Fully Hosted With Unlimited Bandwidth and Product Inventory

Shopify Hosting Features

How does this feature benefit you?

This excellent feature of Shopify allows entrepreneurs without web design skills to set up stores in a flash. Tech support is always available to help you get started in building your website.

This means no added cost for web design services or hosting. The same is true that you pay no extra fees for software updates, traffic volumes, product inventory, and securing your customer data.

Another plus is the free unlimited number of forwarding email addresses when you buy your domain name using Shopify. If your domain name is “mystore.com”, you can now create different email addresses using your domain name and forward them to an email account you already use.

#3 Supports The Best Payment Gateway Options

Shopify Payment Options

Online shoppers often abandon their carts the moment they find out that their preferred payment option is not supported by the website. You lose the possibility of repeat business with this customer, and everyone else that customer may refer to your business. And that’s a lot of lost sales.

Shopify addresses this issue by supporting over 70 payment gateway solutions so online shoppers from anywhere around the globe can now shop conveniently and securely in your store. 

#4 Sell Your Products on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest

Shopify Social Media Integrations

Shopify knows that you are putting in the effort to build more brand awareness through costly search advertising and optimization. So they went ahead and made those efforts a little less difficult by allowing you to integrate your social media accounts into your Shopify account.

With this feature, you will gain access to additional social indicators that determine your brand awareness, such as likes, shares, and typical community engagement. The best part is that your potential sales dramatically increase because your products are put before a wide number of prospective buyers. Think 1.82 billion daily active users on Facebook alone as of 2020.

This social media integration feature will definitely optimize your resources. It’s like having multiple stores with little money spent. 

#5 Update Your Store or Inventory Through Your Phone

Shopify eCommerce

If you’re a solopreneur that is always on the move or multitasking to no end, then having the ability to run your online store through your phone would be a game-changer.

Shopify offers a holistic eCommerce solution by covering the bases from store set-up to updating store inventory. The Shopify app, which is available for iPhone and Android phones, is very easy to navigate. This makes managing your store – updating your inventory, talking directly to customers, fulfilling orders, and checking revenue stats – such a breeze. 

6. Key Features Of Etsy

You’re an online seller who wants to keep it simple. You want to grow your business slow but steady without feeling overwhelmed. With so many marketplace platforms to choose from, which would be the best for you?

These five key features that are important to vendors will let you know that Etsy has got it.

#1 Huge Marketbase

Etsy User Count

Even if you come in as just a small player on Etsy, your products get to be in front of a huge market base. During the second quarter of 2020, Etsy reported a whooping 60.27 million buyers. Just a small slice of that market is enough to sustain your small eCommerce business. 

Interesting enough, at least 40% of Etsy buyers are repeat customers. This is a good number to bank on for ongoing business. Likewise, as the platform continues to expand in terms of product categories as well as user experience, Etsy will continue to attract more buyers from different demographics across the globe. 

#2 Highly Manageable Product Listing

Etsy Product Listing

Just like the store onboarding process, listing products on Etsy is also easy with its quick navigation tools.

How many products can you list? You can initially list 20, but you can expand your list to as many as 100 so long as your products fall under the categories that Etsy allows you to sell on the platform. That’s quite a large number gap right there.

You see, Etsy also encourages you to list as many products because it helps to optimize your store, apart from the higher chances of your store being found on the platform’s search.

Twenty listings is a good place to start as you begin to learn how the system works and to know your target customers better. The fee is very minimal at $0.02 per list, which is good for four months.  Thereafter, you can renew your listing by reducing or adding more to it.

#3 Efficient and Reliable Order Processing and Tracking

Etsy Efficient Order Processing

Among the many problems facing online sellers is not knowing whether a transaction is legit or not. This causes tremendous stress to the busy vendor that is trying to make a decent living online.

Etsy’s order processing system is an added feature that helps you to determine the legitimacy of each transaction by reviewing it. This protection feature works for both the buyer and seller.

Likewise, with the order tracking system, you and your customers can easily track sold items that are already in transit.

#4 Flexible Payment Options

Etsy Flexible Payment Options

Etsy knows that the payment method can sometimes make or break a sale.

That is why when it comes to payment options, Etsy made it easy by supporting various forms of payment methods. These include debit cards, credit cards, PayPal, Etsy Credit, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and other installment payment methods and currencies in countries where their operation is present.

#5 Analytics and Reporting

Etsy Analytics & Reporting

The best way to grow your business is to get to the heart of your customers – the products they want, their purchase behaviors, and buying influence. Knowing what makes your customers tick or how they view your business can give you an edge over your competitors.

Etsy will provide you with the basic stats for your online store, such as how your shop was found and from where it came from. Likewise, your Etsy account allows you to integrate Google Analytics for free, so you can have more data to analyze.

7. Shopify vs. Etsy – Pros And Cons

Shopify, no doubt, is extremely popular for entrepreneurs who want to hop on the eCommerce bandwagon. It’s relatively easy to set up a store and manage, as well as integrate with third-party tools if you’re really serious about growing your business. 

Shopify:

ProsCons
The best option for building a long-term online business where expansions could lead to building a big brand. Whatever your growth plans are, Shopify supports the best order fulfillment services to make your business transactions seamless.Upfront investment could be expensive. However, there are varying subscription plans that can fit different budgets.
Supports over 70 payment gateways to make sure purchases are paid however your customer prefers.If you use the built-in payment system called Shopify Payments, you will not be charged a fee at all.Transaction fees are charged to you with varying rates depending on your type of account subscription.For credit cards, the rate is from 2.4% to 2.9%, while the use of payment gateways the rates range from 0.5% to 2%.
Impressive web store themes that add distinction to your brand as well as product value perception for added market appeal.If you opt to use the premium themes, it would cost you anywhere from $100 to $180.
Integrate your social media pages to your store for more sources of traffic and revenue.Your social community may not like to be flooded with product offers all the time and may actually choose to “hide” them.
You can integrate email marketing tools to directly promote your business to target subscribers. You can choose between AWeber or GetResponse whichever fits your marketing plans.This can add cost to your business, especially when your email marketing campaign is not well-planned.

Etsy is a relatively safe option when you are not ready yet to dive deep into the eCommerce waters. It’s perfect for those who want to create a side hustle without the pressure of running a big business.

Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of starting an eCommerce business at Etsy.

Etsy:

ProsCons
Your business can leverage the wide audience Etsy has. In a press release by the company, they claim to have at least 35 million active buyers in 2018 alone.You are also in competition with 2.5 million active sellers on the platform. Your product is also placed side by side with your competitors.
The target audience is niche-specific, so you know exactly that every marketplace visitor is there to search for something vintage, handcrafted, and unique.The platform is very strict on what you can and cannot sell.
Easy store set-up, done with just a few steps.The basic store set lacks the appeal that draws in customers. Although premium store design features are available, you need to upgrade your plan to gain access to it.  
Upfront investment is just the listing fee of $0.20 that is good for four months.The transaction fees that add up deplete the profit from your sale. There is a transaction fee of 5% and a varying payment processing fee starting at 3%.

8. Where Do I Get The Most For My Money?

Knowing the direction of your eCommerce business from the get-go will help you manage your resources, especially your upfront investment.

Shopify Pricing Plans

Shopify Pricing Plans

There are three plans available for those who would like to choose Shopify as their main web store: Shopify Basic, Advanced Shopify, and Shopify Plus

  • Shopify Basic ($29/month): This is the most economical plan to get started because Shopify allows you to sell unlimited products. A huge plus in this plan is the Abandoned Cart Recovery which helps to remind your customers who abandoned their cart that their transaction remains uncompleted.
  • Shopify ($79/month): This plan has added features, including professional reports that provide you insights that you can use to plan your next eCommerce campaign. The credit card rate is also lower by 0.3%.
  • Advanced Shopify ($299/month): This may be a very expensive plan, but you will benefit from the lowest credit card payment rate. This plan also allows you to customize your stat reports through its advanced report builder.

Etsy Pricing Plans

Etsy Pricing Plans

Etsy has very simple plans and pricing structures: Etsy Standard and Etsy Plus. The fees in the above illustration apply to both plans.

  • Etsy Standard: This is the default plan for all Etsy sellers. It has no monthly subscription fee. This plan allows the listing of as many products as you can offer your customers but is subject to a listing fee and good only for four months.
  • Etsy Plus ($10/month): This plan gives you more advanced features that are sure to help boost your Etsy business. Some of the benefits include 15 free product listings per month, advanced design customization features for your storefront, and restock requests to notify your customers when a product they request is already available.

9. Conclusion – Which Is Better: Shopify Or Etsy?

In order to make the decision on which platform to use for your eCommerce business, you must first need to determine the direction you want your business to take. 

As experts in the field, we propose starting a small shop with Etsy until you are ready to scale.

Or, when tracking the volume of your sales has already averaged $2,000 per month, that would be a good time to migrate to Shopify to lessen your transaction costs.

And if later on, you happen to consider building an independent web store that allows you full control, here is good information to study your options.

To sum up, if you’re thinking of a side hustle to sell self-crafted goods or some unique items, choose Etsy.  On the other hand, if you’re ready to grow a big eCommerce brand, then Shopify would be your choice.

10. Shopify vs. Etsy – FAQ

Here are four more answers to the most frequently asked questions about these two popular eCommerce platforms. 

What sells more on Etsy?

Etsy is a marketplace that is known for selling handcrafted products and unique finds. Other top-selling product categories include craft essentials, jewelry, and vintage items. 

Do you have to report Etsy income?

Your Etsy income is part of your gross income and, therefore, must also be declared. Etsy complies with reporting your gross income to the IRS using Form 1099. You may request this form through Etsy as a documented reference for paying your tax.

Is it cheaper to sell on Etsy or Shopify?

Shopify can be more expensive upfront because of the monthly subscription fees, while Etsy can be more expensive in the long run because of the percentage fees on transactions and payment processing.

Do I need a business license for Etsy?

Etsy is simply a marketplace platform and therefore does not require you to submit a business license to sell on it. However, if you are legally operating your business, you may be required by your local municipality where you operate your business to file for permits and licenses.

In This Article

Burkhard Berger

Burkhard Berger

Follow me on my journey from $0 to $100,000 per month. I'm sharing everything I've learned in my income reports here on Novum™ so you can pick up on my mistakes and wins.

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