Etsy vs. Shopify? Need help deciding between selling on Etsy or Shopify? What is the best e-commerce solution for you to sell online? Discover in this article the strengths and weaknesses of each platform to make your choice.
Etsy vs. Shopify: About the Two Platforms
Before comparing Etsy vs. Shopify, it is worth knowing each platform.
Etsy is a marketplace designed for artists and artisans to sell wares. So what to sell on Etsy? You can sell just about anything there. Vintage, unique, handmade products, such as clothing, jewelry, wedding accessories, wall decorations, etc. Etsy is, therefore, a marketplace. So you don’t need a website. All you need is an account from which to list your products.
Selling your products is easy with Etsy. You don’t have to worry about creating a website or an online store. All it’s up to you is having images, product descriptions, and being Etsy compliant. If you’re looking to build your business, get clients, start selling, and get your products out there, Etsy might be the perfect option.
Shopify is a hosted e-commerce platform that makes creating and managing an online store easy. Unlike a marketplace, a Shopify e-commerce site gives you more freedom in your online business. In terms of integration, you have more control. It is flexible and easily customizable.
Etsy vs. Shopify: General
Let’s start the comparison between Shopify and Etsy by looking at the offers and features of each of these platforms.
Shopify: Key Features
The first point to compare Etsy vs. Shopify concerns the main features. Shopify is one of the most efficient e-commerce platforms out there. This platform is for those who own small or large businesses. The platform has features that help you easily create, manage and grow your online store.
First, you can choose from more than 70 professionally designed themes (paid or free) to create and customize your website. So, you can use a domain name that you can buy through Shopify. Or simply, if you already have a domain name, you can easily transfer it to your Shopify store. It is completely customizable. You can structure your website as you wish to make your articles visible. With Shopify, you only pay a monthly fee to use the platform to host your website and store.
Plus, you can securely accept all major credit card payments. With Shopify Payments, you won’t incur additional transaction fees. It is the in-platform payment processor that works with Stripe. However, you can also integrate with one of the hundreds of third-party payment gateways available. On top of that, when your store is up and running, you can take advantage of the multitude of features to manage it. Among other things, you can consult your customers’ contact details and order history in one click. You can integrate dropshipping apps to set up a dropshipping business easily. Besides that, you can process orders in a snap. You can connect to Amazon or other sales channels and access powerful performance analytics.
More management tools
On the other hand, Shopify is also equipped with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools; Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in English. You benefit from powerful Marketing and SEO tools. There are, among others: optimization for search engines, integration with social networks, sales on Facebook, etc. You even have the option of offering your customers discounts and gift cards. A particularly beneficial tool for business owners is the Shopify App Store. With this, you can search and download thousands of apps to integrate with your store to help you optimize your Shopify e-commerce. On the other hand, Shopify POS is a checkout software that lets you unify your in-store and online sales.
Etsy: Key Features
Considering the main features, it will be easy to compare Etsy vs. Shopify. Shopify allows you to create your store and be autonomous. At the same time, Etsy is an international online marketplace that brings sellers together. Initially, the platform was built to serve as a marketplace where one could craft, sell, buy, and even collect unique items. Thus, artists, designers, and sellers could sell handmade items and vintage objects. For this reason, Etsy is not suitable for resellers. It is just a platform for original and one-of-a-kind items.
Etsy is a good choice for second-hand sellers or very small businesses. The same goes for businesses needing more time to invest the money to create, manage, and accept payments through a full-fledged online store. It’s easy to open an Etsy shop and start selling with Etsy’s built-in settings. You can also use Etsy to complement your online store, whether it’s hosted by Shopify or another e-commerce platform.
Also, just like Shopify, you can manage your Etsy listings and orders. You can even communicate with your buyers through an online dashboard or the Etsy app. However, unlike Shopify, which allows third-party payment gateway integration (for an additional transaction fee), Etsy users can only accept payments through Etsy Payments. This integrated payment processor can accept all major forms of payment, including credit and debit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and ACH payments.
Marketing and SEO tools
One of Etsy’s biggest advantages is the ability it gives you to tap into its huge existing customer base. In 2018, Etsy reached nearly 39.5 million buyers. It cuts down a bit on the work you will have to do to attract customers. You can do this by using Etsy’s built-in marketing tools or integrating third-party apps specializing in Etsy’s marketing strategies to increase sales. You can also consult the Etsy Seller Handbook. It is a comprehensive guide that can answer virtually any question about selling against this platform.
Etsy vs. Shopify: Pricing
Pricing for both platforms depends on the size of your uploaded inventory. Etsy or Shopify charge for their services in different ways.
Shopify operates on a monthly subscription model. It means that you will pay a fixed monthly amount to stay active. You will also have transaction fees to pay for each sale. You won’t have to pay a fee every time you want to add a new item, renew an item, or every time someone buys something. It means you can sell an unlimited amount of products without having to spend extra money.
Shopify mainly offers three monthly plans:
- Basic Shopify: Costs $29 per month, plus 2.9% + $0.30 for online credit card sales. It charges 2.7% for in-person sales or 2% if you use another payment gateway other than Shopify Payments.
- Shopify: Costs $79 per month, plus 2.6% + $0.30 for online credit card sales, 2.5% for in-person sales, or 1% for other payment gateways.
- Advanced Shopify: Costs $299 per month, plus 2.4% + $0.30 for online credit card sales, 2.4% for in-person sales, or 0.5% for other payment gateways.
Every Shopify subscription plan offers shipping discounts from USPS, UPS, or DHL Express. It should be noted that this is so when you go through Shopify Shipping. The percentage off varies depending on your Shopify plan and the order you’re shipping. Also, remember that additional add-ons downloaded through the Shopify App Store incur additional charges. Besides, Shopify gives you a 14-day free trial after you launch your store before you can sign up for a particular plan.
Etsy only offers one paid subscription; it’s Etsy Plus. When you sign up, you get the Etsy Standard plan, which is free to use. It is a default plan for all sellers, available at no additional monthly cost. However, the company also offers the Etsy Plus plan, which costs $10 per month. Apart from its additional features, signing up for this offer is completely optional. A Premium offer has been launched this year, and pricing information has yet to be available. As you can imagine, for the price of a paid plan, you will have access to tools that will allow you to relaunch the growth of your business.
Whichever Etsy plan you choose, you’ll also have to pay three fees:
- Listing Fee: Listing products on Etsy will cost you $0.20 per item. It considers the cost of posting your ad, which remains valid for four months or until the item sells.
- Transaction fees: Etsy also charges 5% per transaction.
- Payment Processing Fee: The amount for payment processing on each item sold is 3% + $0.25.
You may find that Etsy’s listing fees are less expensive. However, their additional fees exceed those of Shopify. Depending on the volume of your products and sales, you might spend more on your Etsy site than you will for the monthly subscription fee of a Shopify store.
Etsy vs. Shopify: Which platform should you choose to sell?
If you already have a brand that is created, if you already have customers, then Shopify is to be favored. As an established brand, you have an audience ready to visit your site. However, you can opt for Etsy to get started if you need an online presence. Etsy is geared towards selling one-of-a-kind, handcrafted creations. The same goes for craft supplies, e-books, etc. It is also suitable for you if you don’t want to spend too much initially and are looking for a platform with low fees. In addition, as a beginner, you benefit from the free training courses.
So you can learn everything you need to know about running your Etsy shop. If you don’t know how to open your shop, browse the “How to open my Etsy shop” selection to start your business now. On the other hand, if you are looking for a more personalized web store builder, consider Shopify. It offers hosting included and guarantees the security of your site. In addition, in terms of SEO, Shopify aligns with best practices for natural referencing. In its App Store, you will find add-ons to expand the functionality of your store.
After all, know that you can integrate Etsy as a marketing channel from your Shopify store. Diversify your online presence with Etsy, even if you already run an online store on Shopify. You will find several software allowing you to integrate the two channels in one place. So you can connect to Etsy, reach a new audience, and take full advantage of this famous marketplace.
What to remember?
Here we are at the end of the Etsy vs. Shopify comparison. To summarize, start with Etsy if you have a few products and need to make a few sales. However, consider Shopify if you want to start with a store you own and control. It should be noted that you can obtain your Shopify store in French. However, keep in mind that it all depends on your priorities.