Trying to compare Shopify and Etsy, they are almost the same platforms working in different methods. Etsy is a marketplace while Shopify is a webstore. In real sense, they are two different ways to sell. They achieve the same objective but in different ways. It’s like comparing showers to baths where both get you clean in different ways.
It is also not easy to tell which is better than the other as there is no wrong or right response to that. Your decision depends fully on the business goals you have and which one enables you to achieve the goals easily and better.
At the end, you may not have made a decision on which platform to use. However, the best alternative in such a case is to try both. Both are different and you can make a lot of profits from both at the same time. However, knowing the differences between the two will give you a chance to make the best decision.
Comparing Shopify and Etsy
Initially, when I compared the two platforms, I used the Google trends to determine the one with more web users. My assumption was that the one with more traffic is more popular.
However, I discovered that this is not the best way to compare them. In this method, Etsy (red) appeared to be more popular than Shopify (blue) at the graph.
The reason behind this is that Etsy is a marketplace to shop on and sell on just like Amazon and therefore both consumers and sellers will be searching for it. Only sellers will be searching for Shopify and most of the consumers are oblivious to the fact that your webstore is run by Shopify, so they search by your business name.
Comparison Of Shopify And Etsy Search
This is one of the major problems that most people encounter when comparing marketplaces and webstores. When you are selling on Etsy, be assured of getting more exposure compared to when selling on your webstore. This is the main reason why most people sell on marketplaces such as amazon.
Shopify vs Etsy, or Selling on Marketplace vs Webstore / Website
This is not an easy decision but there are some important factors to keep in mind when making your decision. Below are some of the key considerations: Exposure, Pricing, Ease of Entry and control. Such factors can give you adequate idea on the platform that can work better for you.
Shopify or Etsy’s pricing model?
The pricing depends on how much you are selling. The difference in the pricing is going to be in the fees payable to each platform. Shopify will be more expensive upfront because of the subscription fee you will pay for the Shopify store. In the long run, Etsy can be expensive because of transaction fees.
The plans available in the Shopify pricing page are: Unlimited $179/mo, Professional $79/mo, Basic $29/mo and Starter $14/mo.
When deciding on the best plan for you, you have to decide on the items you want to sell and the functionality which is important for you. The major items that will change depending on your plan include:
At Unlimited plan, you will get access to all the functionalities such as real time carrier shipping and advanced reports. Besides, you will have your file storage upgraded to unlimited.
At Professional plan, you gain functionality for professional reports, gift cards, advanced report builder, real time carrier shipping and abandoned cart recovery. Besides, your file storage will be upgraded to 5GB.
At the basic plan, you only gain unlimited items and no extra functionality.
At the starter plan, you are limited to 25 items and no extra functionality.
You may think that the fee for unlimited plan of $179/mo is a lot to start a website especially a new one where you cannot predict the revenue you will make. However, this is a better option for unlimited plan.
Etsy’s pricing Model
There is no membership or subscription fee but you have to pay two major fees as follows: 3.5% transaction fee on every purchase and $0.20 per item to be listed for 4 months.
Shopify has no transaction fees at unlimited level. Besides, it has no transaction fee if you use its own payment gateway but in case you have professional or basic plan and use a different gateway, you will be charged 1% which is 2% of the Starter plan.
For instance, if you are on professional plan and use Shopify’s gateway, you will pay $79 a month and no transaction fee. On the other jhand, if you sell merchandise on Etsy worth $2,260, you will pay a transaction fee of 3.5% which is $79 and $0.20 for every item listed.
Therefore, if you are planning to sell merchandise worth more than $2260, Shopify is cheaper than Etsy when using its gateway and on professional plan.
Which Of The Two Platforms Will I Get More Exposure?
Building your brand recognition is not an easy task especially when starting from scratch. This is why Etsy has an advantage when it comes to exposure. From charts, Etsy is getting more searches. It has 30 million active buyers and businesses. Therefore, if your store is not popular, Etsy can give you the exposure you need.
Despite the fact that Etsy has more traffic than your webstore would, it is a less targeted traffic. This is because when someone is on your site without using Etsy, he/she is interested in buying the products but when he/she is on your site via Etsy, he/she is just browsing and may not necessarily buy.
How much control do I have over my Etsy listings?
You do not have much control because you are limited to pictures and text. Besides, you are given detail section where you write anything you want potential buyers to know about your products.
On the other hand, you have full control over your listings in Shopify. You can create your website and the product listing to look the way you want them to. It has a user friendly design interface. Moreover, you get access to several templates where you will pick the best templates and customize them to fit your store the way you want.
Which Platform Is Easier To Sell On?
Despite the fact that you lack full control on Etsy, it is easier to start selling on it. It is less demanding because you do not have to start a website or product page. All you need are images of the product and the description. You also need to come up with seller account on Etsy which is a very simple process that takes minutes.
It is also easier to set up on Shopify but a bit harder when compared to Etsy. This does not mean that you will spend a lot of time on it setting up your platform.
Which One Is Better?
It is not easy to tell which is better but they both represent different ways to sell. All you have to do is to figure out which is the best for your needs? If you open up a Shopify webstore, then you have to check on our integration so as to connect it with your marketplaces or accounting system.
In case you want to do more research and reading on this, you can check our posts on Shopify SEO to increase your traffic. You can also check our comparison of Magento Community and Shopify to get more information you need.