Comparisons

Shopify vs Etsy: Which is The Best Option for eCommerce?

This is our ultimate comparison of Shopify vs Etsy for eCommerce Stores, Over 6000 Words & Hours of Research & Testing - All the Pros & Cons
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There are so many opportunities to make money online. E-commerce is one of the most popular strategies for using the internet to make money. The introduction of easy-to-build web stores and online retail platforms means that anyone can start an e-store in as little as a day.

The user-friendly setup and low barriers to entry, make building an e-commerce store an attractive option for many people. With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the globe, people are changing the way they do work. For entrepreneurs, the shift from doing brick-and-mortar retailing to e-commerce is already underway.

With nearly $3.5-trillion in global e-commerce sales in 2019, you can get yourself a slice of this expanding market.

Visit Shopify  Visit Etsy

Contents

How Do You Sell Online with Etsy or Shopify?

There are several ways to start selling products and services online. However, not everyone has the time, money, and development team to build out a WordPress site from scratch. Opening a ready-built platform as your e-commerce solution makes more sense if you’re starting your online venture.

Sites like Shopify and Etsy offer aspiring e-commerce entrepreneurs the opportunity to compete in the world of e-commerce, without spending a fortune on setup. In most cases, it possible to fund and build a retail store using these platforms and source your products, all for less than $200.

Shopify
Shopify Homepage

If you’re starting your e-commerce journey with minimal resources, and plenty of time, then try using Etsy or Shopify as a platform to grow your online business.

Choosing between Etsy or Shopify depends on your goals. Each of the platforms caters to the needs of entrepreneurs differently, offering a unique solution that’s customizable to suit your business objectives.

Etsy Vs. Shopify – What’s the Difference?

So which platform will better suit your needs? Currently, Etsy has nearly 1.8-million users, with over 33-million buyers using the platform to buy products from retailers. In 2019, the Etsy marketplace sold $4.97-billion worth of merch, up from figures of $3.93-billion in 2018, for a year-on-year growth rate of 26.5%. That’s an astounding increase in annual sales volumes.

With over $82-billion in total sales since its launch, Shopify is another vast online shopping site. Currently, Shopify ranks as the third-largest e-commerce marketplace, with more than 427,676 websites using Shopify, and over 5,300 companies using the premium Shopify Plus Plan.

Etsy Homepage
Etsy Homepage

How Do I Choose Between Starting with Etsy or Shopify?

When comparing the two platforms, both have unique features and markets that make them suitable for different e-commerce strategies. It’s common knowledge that Shopify is the better all-round site for e-commerce. However, Etsy is an excellent choice for niche products that you wouldn’t expect to find on other e-commerce sites.

In this review, we’ll pit Etsy against Shopify, and unpack all the specifics in the offerings. We’ll look at eight categories to determine which is the better overall package for e-commerce entrepreneurs. By the time you finish this review, you’ll have a clear understanding of the difference between Etsy and Shopify, and which one is the right choice for your online business.

Shopify vs Etsy: Pros and Cons

Let’s start our examination of the two platforms by looking at the advantages and drawbacks of Etsy and Shopify.

What are the Pros of Shopify?

Useful e-commerce tools – Shopify has the best e-commerce sale tools available. Features like the inventory system allow you to track your stock levels in real-time.

  • Scalable – Shopify grows with you as you scale your business. You can start with a free trial, progress to a basic plan, and then transition to an advanced Plan when your business starts to take off. The number of apps available for stores allows you to customize your user experience while focusing on tech solutions that also improve the customer experience in your e-commerce store.
  • No Selling limitations – There are no restrictions on what you can and can’t sell on the platform.
  • The Shopify App Store – Shopify’s App Store has thousands of useful apps that can help you improve and enhance your store’s e-commerce experience for both you and your customers.

What are the Cons of Shopify?

  • Visibility – Shopify stores do not receive any traffic from a parent host site. For example, Amazon FBA resellers benefit from the search traffic entering the Amazon site. However, Shopify users must complete an SEO strategy if they want to promote their business and receive more traffic through search.
  • Add-ons and apps – While adding apps are one of the best features of owning a Shopify store; they also escalate your monthly costs for your platform. Check that you only use apps that add real value to your customer and user experience.

Visit Shopify

What are the Pros of Etsy?

  • Search traffic – Etsy acts as a marketplace, and if you have a store on the site, then you can benefit from any search traffic that users make when enquiring about products on the site’s search engine. Therefore, you don’t need to put the same work and dedication to building a comprehensive SEO strategy to boost traffic to your store.
  • User-friendly Operation – Setting up an Etsy account is smooth, and you can finish your setup in a matter of an hour or so. Set up your account and profile, add product descriptions and images, and then start taking orders.
  • Low costs – When opening your account with Etsy, you can start selling, with no extra fees, on the standard plan. You must pay any transaction or listing fees, but you won’t have to pay any monthly subscription fee unless you choose to upgrade your account.

What are the Cons of Etsy?

  • Fees – With Etsy, users musty pay a 5% transaction fee on the cost of the sale you make on the platform. There’s also a $0.20 listing fee applicable to each item you list in your online store on the site. When customers buy your product, you get a 3% + $0.25 processing fee on the payment amount.
  • Product restriction – Etsy has a firm rule about what users can sell on the platform. Etsy only allows the sale of handcrafted and vintage goods on its site. Therefore, if you want to sell new products, like a paintball gun, you’ll have to start an online store with Shopify. This drawback alone is enough to send many aspiring e-commerce entrepreneurs to the Shopify platform.
  • Creative controls – There is no artistic freedom ion the design and layout of your Etsy store. Instead, you must go along with the Etsy format. You can place your logo on your page, but don’t rely on Etsy for a brand-building platform.

Visit Etsy

Shopify vs Etsy – What are the Key Differences?

So, you want to pick a platform to start your e-commerce career, but you’re still unclear about whether you need to use Shopify or Etsy.

Where the differences between the two, and why do they matter? In this section, we’ll review the two options in greater detail. We unpack Esty and Shopify using eight categories to determine which platform offers you the best choice for your e-commerce career.

As a starting point, think of Shopify as a fully customizable e-commerce solution. With Shopify, you can utilize powerful apps and software tools to find and upload products, create listings, and track your orders. It’s a get way to build an independent online store from scratch, and it scales with your business as you grow.

Etsy is different; it’s a functional platform where you essentially rent a spot in a digital marketplace. People find your store by searching the marketplace, relying on social proof to determine if you are worthy of receiving their business.

With Shopify, you can sell anything you like. However, with Etsy, you only have the option of selling unique or craft goods with an authentic edge. Etsy doesn’t want you selling consumer products like Versace handbags. They would rather see you selling designer organic hippie tote bags instead.

When we started comparing Etsy against Shopify, we used the following 8-categories to reach our verdict on the best platform for your e-commerce business.


Etsy vs Shopify: Comparison Categories

  • Category 1: Ease of Use
  • Category 2: Design
  • Category 3: Domains and URLs
  • Category 4: E-commerce Features and Tools
  • Category 5: Payment Solutions and Fees
  • Category 6: Attracting Customers
  • Category 7: Merchant Support and Helplines
  • Category 8: Pricing Model

Etsy Vs. Shopify – Ease of Use

You don’t need to be a tech guru to sell online; all you need is the right strategy. With Etsy and Shopify, you have two e-commerce platforms that make it easy for anyone to start selling.

Shopify is a business-in-a-box platform that’s easy to set up and start filling with products to sell. In most cases, you can set up a Shopify store in a few hours and begin receiving orders the next day.

Using e-commerce platforms like WordPress can be confusing and complicated, especially for newbies to e-commerce platforms and website builders. However, with Shopify, you get a complete solution that’s ready to go. All you need to do is customize it to your liking and start selling products.

The shopify dashboard is clean & easy to use.
The shopify dashboard is clean & easy to use.

Dashboards

Looking at the dashboard, Shopify offers you an easy-to-navigate backend solution that guides you through the setup process of adding products to your store and managing customer orders. You get guidance through the setup process, with clear action buttons and a minimalistic by helpful dashboard menu.

After you finish your setup, you can manage your inventory and receive sales, all through your dashboard. Track your orders and manage your client’s all from one convenient platform.

Etsy is even easier to set up than Shopify. This straightforward web-builder platform lets you set up your account in minutes. Choose a store name, enter your details for payment, set up your billing service, and you’re ready to take your first sale.

Etsy has a great sellers dashboard
Etsy has a great sellers dashboard

Setup Process

The setup process with Etsy is ridiculously simple. By the time you finish all the requirements, you’ll start to wonder if that’s really all you need to do to start an e-commerce store with this site. Etsy guides you through the setup with helpful prompts, and it even goes so far as using the AI and machine learning programs to suggest names for your store.

With each step you take in the setup process, Etsy shows you your progress in a percentage bar. After you finish the setup, you’re ready to start selling.

Ease-of-use – Draw

Both Etsy and Shopify offer extremely user-friendly interfaces and setup processes. It’s tough to choose a winner between the two, and we think it’s fair to settle on a draw in this category.

Visit Shopify  Visit Etsy

Etsy Vs. Shopify – Design

There’s nothing worse than losing conversions due to terrible website design. Research shows that nearly 40% of all consumers state they often leave a website due to poor design.

With Etsy, that’s not an issue. All store pages on the platform follow Etsy’s design guidance and layout, ensuring that everyone is on the “same page” when it comes to the design of their e-commerce stores.

All store pages on the Etsy platform feature the same layout and design, with the store name, logo, product images, and SEO descriptions. This simplicity of the design gives you one less component to have to worry about when setting up your Etsy store.

Etsy spent years perfecting what they think is the ideal layout and set up to maximize conversion. Therefore, don’t try to fix it if it’s not broken. Focus your attention on finding the best merch to sell in your Etsy store instead of worrying about the design.

Design Layout

As mentioned, Etsy has full control over your store and its visual layout. You have the option of adding product images and unique descriptions, but there’s no option to change templates or store themes. Etsy does its best to ensure there is a consistent and even feel to every store on the website.

Etsy doesn’t give you much room to stand out from the crowd, but the good news is that this applies to everyone on the platform. So, you don’t need to worry about anyone else getting an unfair competitive advantage in the design department.

Example of an Etsy storefront
Example of an Etsy storefront

However, it does make it challenging to start building a brand on the Etsy platform. If you’re thinking about building a brand, then you’ll need to look at Shopify for your preferred e-commerce platform.

Themes

Shopify offers you more than 60 themes to choose from when setting up your store. Using the themes allows you to customize the look and feel of your e-commerce store, allowing you to attempt to build a brand.

You get access to 50 free themes, and 10-paid versions available in the Shopify Store. The paid themes cost anywhere between $140 to $180 each.

Shopify has a range of well-designed themes
Shopify has a range of well-designed themes

All the themes are suitable for use on mobile devices and provide your e-commerce store with a modern, professional look. You can also switch between themes at any time, allowing you to test the difference between each theme until you find one that exemplifies your brand.

You can personalize, rearrange, and edit your themes as much as you like. Shopify allows you creative control over your store, empowering you to create a unique look and feel for your e-commerce brand.

Best design – Winner: Shopify

Etsy is a great option for those individuals who don’t understand how to design a theme or create a template. The platform comes ready to go; all you need to do is load products, descriptions, and start selling.

However, the level of customization on Shopify makes it the clear winner in this category. The 60 design themes and customizable options make it the best choice for those e-commerce entrepreneurs that want to focus on brand building as much as selling products online.

Visit Shopify

Etsy Vs. Shopify – Domain and URLs

A domain name is an essential part of setting up your e-commerce business. There’s a lot in your name and the way you present your company online. Shopify allows you to implement the use of custom domains and provide your store with a URL that matches your branding.

However, with custom domain features, you must pay for the privilege of using the domain. Therefore, you need to pay for the domain, and the price can vary depending on the availability and popularity of the domain name you request.

Domain Names

Shopify encourages the use of domains, and they make it easy to find and register a domain for your e-commerce store. Using a domain helps you connect with customers, promote your brand, and rank in Google. The automated set up on Shopify includes an option for adding a custom domain to your store.

Shopify comes with a domain name generator if you are stuck for ideas.
Shopify comes with a domain name generator if you are stuck for ideas.

Etsy is a very different platform. Etsy acts as a virtual marketplace, so you are working on their domain, and “renting” a spot in their marketplace. Think of Etsy as a giant mall, and your store is one of the tenants.

As a result of you using the Etsy site, you can’t use a custom URL for your store. However, there are some advantages to that model when it comes to finding traffic for your store.

Best domain and URL Structure – Winner: Shopify

Having an e-commerce store with a custom domain and URL is a must-have in the world of e-commerce. Having a custom URL gives your webstore a professional look and feel, with a clear brand identity and structure.

Visit Shopify

Etsy Vs. Shopify – Features and E-Commerce Tools

You can have the best store design ever, but if there is no traffic going to it, then what does it matter? We like the full suite of e-commerce tools that come with your Etsy store. The management tools make it easy to check your inventory, and the “Sell on Etsy App” is a great productivity app for selling on Etsy on the go.

Your Etsy account also has plenty of helpful features to assist yours with selling on the platform and shipping to your customers. Print discounted postage to help your business save on your shipping expenses.

The marketing tools available on Etsy are another excellent example of Etsy supporting its sellers every way they can. Using the tools properly will help your grow your customer base and help new prospects find your store online.

Shopify lets you sell everywhere
Shopify lets you sell everywhere

We like the social media integrations that let you share your product offerings across your social channels on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Shopify comes with plenty of exciting and accessible apps to help you improve your store’s performance as well.

However, it lacks the same depth as Etsy when it comes to built-in features. We think that the tools available with Etsy allow newbies the best chance of starting a successful e-commerce campaign.

Some of the other outstanding marketing and advertising tools you get with your Etsy store include customizable banner templates, discounts on physical marketing materials like flyers and business cards, as well as advertising credits and email alerts for your customer list.

The only issue with Etsy is that you have restrictions in place on what you can and can’t sell on the platform. Etsy only allows you to sell vintage or retro goods that are once-offs. They don’t want to see you offering a great deal to users on the latest flat-screen TV.

App Store

The Shopify App Store is a wonder to behold., there are so many free apps available to help you enhance and improve the performance of your Shopify store. Some of the apps come with a one-off or subscription fee, depending on the utility they offer your web store.

A few prime examples of the hundreds of apps available in the Shopify app store include the following.

  • Multichannel selling across all your social media platforms
  • Issuing customers discount coupons and codes
  • Free security SSL certificate
  • Free abandoned cart recovery app
  • Gift card issuing
  • Third-party calculator for shipping rates
  • Fraud and Identity theft protection
  • Shopify Point of Sale (POS) App

Best Features and E-Commerce Tools – Winner: Shopify

Shopify has so much on offer for free in the App store that anyone has the chance to create a fantastic e-commerce store. It’s a much more advanced offering than Etsy, and you don’t have to pay for most of the apps that you’ll find useful in improving your online business.

Visit Shopify

Etsy Vs. Shopify – Payment Solutions and Fees

Fees are something that most new e-commerce entrepreneurs don’t give much thought to when starting an e-commerce store. As a result, they wonder where their money is going and why their margins are so thin.

Shopify and Etsy both charge transaction fees for every sale you process through the platform. However, the two platforms vary in the fees they charge, depending on the subscription package you have. The fees aren’t outrageous by any means, but they still add to your overall operating costs, and you need to factor them into the purchase price of your goods for sale in your store.

While Etsy doesn’t charge monthly fees, it does charge listing fees at

This fee is the cost to publish your listing, which is active for four months or until the item sells.

Selling Fees

Etsy likes to charge you for everything you do on the platform. You get a charge of $0.20 per product for listing, and the payment processing charge as well. When you make a sale, Etsy takes a 5% transaction commission, as well as a 3% + $0.25 charge for processing the payment.

The credit card company is responsible for charging you the payment processing fees, or the payment gateway sending you the money for the transaction. This structure is a reasonably standard fee table, and you can expect the same at most other platforms.

However, once you start to earn good money with Etsy, the 5% you pay in fees will begin to burn a hole in your pocket.

Shopify can save you some money if you decide to use its in-house payment gateway. If you do process your payments using this gateway, then you don’t have to pay any fees, saving you the 3% you would be paying at Etsy.

Shopify Payments, the in-house payment gateway for the platform charges a credit or debit card processing fee of 2.2% + $0.20, which is much more favorable than Etsy.

Shopify has the best checkout product
Shopify has the best checkout product

Payment Processor Options

Shopify supports ever payment gateway you can think of, from PayPal to Amazon and Apple Pay. However, if you want to save the transaction costs, you’ll have to go with the Shopify Payments option.

However, most merchants decide to go with other payments, as it seems more credible in the eyes of their customers. The reality is that customer believes in trust badges, and a PayPal or Amazon Pay logo always carries more weight with consumers than the Shopify Pay logo.

Payment options and fees: Winner – Shopify

Shopify is the better platform for fees and payment processing options. With Shopify, you get access to all the major payment gateways, as well as a Shopify Gateway that reduces tour transaction costs.

Visit Shopify

Etsy Vs. Shopify – Attracting Customers

Setting up your store and preparing it for a rush of shoppers is only one half of the equation for a successful e-commerce store. After uploading all your product images, spend some time writing compelling and unique product descriptions.

Descriptions and keywords are a vital part of SEO strategies to help the search bots find your product listings. When it comes to promoting your store, both Etsy and Shopify have distinct advantages and disadvantages.

Search Traffic

Etsy’s model is fantastic for newcomers to e-commerce that are looking for a user-friendly marketing and promotional system for their e-commerce store. Etsy acts as the individual URL for all the stores on its platform. Therefore, you get to benefit from the power of Etsy’s ranking with the search engines when promoting your products.

As a result, you don’t need to spend as much money marketing your store, and it takes less time for your store to start gaining traction in the marketplace.

Custom commerce solutions from Shopify
Custom commerce solutions from Shopify

Promotion Tools

However, Shopify offers you a range of apps that make marketing your store a breeze. You can increase the visibility of your e-commerce store with a few of the apps and start driving traffic to your product offerings.

Shopify’s tools are a little more challenging to master than Etsy’s offering. Therefore, we recommend you start with Etsy if you have no previous experience with online marketing.

Attracting customers – Winner: Shopify

Etsy is an excellent solution for newbies to selling online. Setting up your product listings and relying on the platform to bring you the traffic seems like the easy way out of the situation.

However, if you want to be proactive and start sourcing your business yourself, then Shopify offers you a range of apps that can increase your conversion.

Visit Shopify

Etsy Vs. Shopify – Merchant Support and Helplines

Both Etsy and Shopify have customer service channels for supporting their merchants. However, the support from Shopify is exceptional, while Etsy is somewhat lacking. The 24/7 merchant support and helpline from Shopify is fantastic, and they are always available in the live chat to assist you if you have any emergencies arise, even at 2 am.

Shopify offers the following support systems to its merchants.

  • 24/7 telephone support
  • Social media support groups
  • 24/7 customer live chat
  • Forums for information
  • Support emails
  • Video tutorial series
  • Plus Shopify Plans get advanced support

Shopify goes out of its way to provide multiple channels of communication for its support teams. Shopify wants you to succeed, and the support response times are quick, especially on the live chat.

The Shopify Help Center
The Shopify Help Center

Etsy also offers customers a help center resource, but its nothing like the scale of the Shopify deal. Etsy provides email and phone support for merchants, but other than that, your only option is to search the archives and hope you find the solution to your problem.

Merchant support and helplines – Winner: Shopify

The Shopify help center and support teams are exceptional, and you’ll never encounter an issue with the platform that they can’t fix. For the best turnaround on support requests, we recommend you use the live chat facility.

Visit Shopify

Etsy Vs. Shopify – Pricing Models

Pricing is a vital part of your consideration for the best e-commerce platform. Both Etsy and Shopify offer excellent value for money for their paid plans, and great value in the free subscription plans as well.

Signing up with Etsy has little to no upfront costs associated with the process. You can sign up for an account and start building your e-commerce store right away, without paying a cent.

Once you get the hang of how Etsy works, you might want to upgrade your subscription to the Plus Plan, for an additional $10 charge per month. With the Plus Plan from Etsy, you get access to more marketing tools to help you grow your e-commerce store. Tools, customizable options, and email alerts are all available for a minimal monthly fee.

Shopify has five different price tiers for its subscription plans. The first offering is the free plan.

Shopify Pricing Plans
Shopify Pricing Plans

When we consider what this platform offers for free, it’s a wonder how more people aren’t using Shopify for their e-commerce platform of choice.

Shopify Plans

  • Basic Shopify $29
  • Shopify $79
  • Advanced Shopify $299

The Basic Shopify plan will cost you $29 per month. With this plan, you get all the tools and features you need to get your e-commerce store up and running in no time. You get most of the same benefits of the advanced package, including those mentioned above.

The best part about working with Shopify is that the plan you choose caters to the growth stage of your e-commerce business. You can start with a free plan and then upgrade as you scale your business.

The Advanced Shopify plan goes for a monthly subscription of $299.00 per month. But all the entrepreneurs that graduate to this stage of developing a Shopify store are all more than happy to pay the monthly subscription.

Although Etsy offers you plenty of value, even when we consider the $10, it still has nowhere near the scalability and utility of the offering from Shopify.

The transaction and processing fees with Etsy can start to add up, but it’s a great way to start an e-commerce business and build capital. For your second venture, start a Shopify store and note the differences in your user experience of the two platforms.

Pricing plans – Winner: Shopify

Etsy does offer you the cheaper premium option, but its nothing like the value you get with Shopify for a few dollars more. Shopify wins the pricing war due to its ability to scale with your business as you grow. However, if you’re an individual seller working with a budget, then Etsy makes for a great start into your e-commerce career.

Visit Shopify


The Shopify Difference for Newbie E-Commerce Entrepreneurs

Before we wrap up this review, we want to bring some interesting news to your attention. Shopify understands the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the world.

As a result of millions of people being out of work, it created a solution that anyone interested might find useful when starting a new career in e-commerce.

  • Shopify makes physical gift cards now available on all its plans
  • Shopify commits to provide $200-million in small business funding for American businesses
  • Shopify extends its free trial period to 90-days. Now every American can start an E-commerce store for no upfront cost.
  • Shopify launches live webinars and support for new sellers on the platform
  • Shopify introduces virtual meet-ups with other sellers and community members to share encouragement, advice, and help for its members

Shopify’s response to the impact of COVID-19 on the American economy and the global business climate is encouraging, and we hope to see more businesses follow suit.


Etsy Vs. Shopify – The Final Verdict

While they are both platforms suitable for e-commerce, Etsy and Shopify are entirely different solutions. By now, you should have a good idea of the differences between both, and which one suits your e-commerce strategy.

Shopify is a turn-key e-commerce solution suitable for newcomers to selling online. You get everything you need on the platform to help you build a store, add products, and process sales.

There is no limitation on what types of products you can sell, and the powerful software tools and apps make it a great platform for scaling your business.

Etsy is simpler to set up and cheaper to operate. However, you never take ownership of a site, and you’re part of a marketplace. As a result, you have limitations on the types of products you can sell. Etsy only works with unique, handcrafted, or niche products.

Let’s go through each of our criteria and tally up the winner of our Esty Vs. Shopify challenge.

Ease-of-Use

  • Verdict: Draw
  • Both platforms have easy setup and straightforward navigation. It’s hard to choose a clear winner in this category, so we go with a tie.

Platform Design

  • Winner: Shopify
  • With more templates and plenty of customizable options, Shopify has more freedom for creative types that want to build a good-looking storefront and more website functionality.
  • Etsy limits the types of customizations you can make to your store, and there’s no way of creating a unique design or template. Shopify wins this category hands down.

Domains and URLs

  • Winner: Shopify
  • With Shopify, you can use custom domains and URLs for your webpages. This strategy allows you to create an online brand, using a unique web address through a custom URL.
  • You might have to pay for the hosting and domain, but the costs are worth the investment if you have the budget available.

E-Commerce Features and Tools

  • Winner: Shopify
  • Shopify is the clear winner when it comes to offering a suite of useful tools for managing and promoting your Shopify store. The apps can cost a development fee, so make sure you’re getting value from those paid apps you have on your site.
  • Esty doesn’t have much in the way of customizable features. However, that might make it appealing to many people that are new to selling online and want a taste of success using a simple strategy.

Payment Solutions and Fees

  • Winner: Shopify
  • Etsy charges for everything you do on the site. While Shopify also adopts the same strategy of milking you wherever they can, they charge you less for transaction fees than Etsy.
  • If you use the Shopify gateway, you can avoid payment gateway fees. However, if you would rather work with a private payment gateway, that’s ok, but you’ll need to pay a separate transaction fee for the privilege.
  • Etsy hits you with a listing fee, transaction fee, and a credit card charge on all transactions.

Attracting Customers

  • Winner: Etsy
  • For newbies, the real challenge of earning money with an e-commerce website is attracting traffic to their store.
  • When you sign up with Shopify, they do give you an excellent suite of e-commerce tools to help you market and promote your store. However, it takes time for SEO strategies to gain traction, and until you start building traffic to your site, you are on your own.
  • With Etsy, newbies get the benefit of receiving traffic that visits the Etsy site. Visitors use the site’s search engine to look for listings, and then select their preferred vendor based on the search results and the data on the listing and the vendor.
  • As a result of this site-bound traffic setup, you get to benefit from traffic, and there’s no need to set up an SEO strategy for your sales page.
  • Newbies can start selling right away while working on a Shopify store on the side with the income they receive from their Etsy profits.

Merchant Support and Helplines

  • Winner: Shopify
  • With live chat, email support, and a 24/7 helpdesk for merchants, Shopify is the clear winner in the support category of this review.
  • Etsy does have all the support you needed to ensure you resolve any queries, but its nothing like the level of professionalism on offer with Shopify.

Pricing Models

  • Winner: Draw
  • Shopify has three different pricing plans, available in tiers starting at $29 to $299.00. The Shopify Plan is also a custom solution, and rates may vary. It’s great value for money, and new users can take advantage of a 14-day free trial to see if they enjoy using the platform.
  • Etsy offers you two plans. They have a free plan and another subscription plan for $10 per month. There was talk of a premium plan arriving in 2019, but it seems that that never worked out.

Visit Shopify  Visit Etsy

Etsy Vs. Shopify FAQ

Here are a few frequently asked questions about the differences between Etsy and Shopify. The answers might provide you with some insight or takeaways into choosing the best platform for your needs.

If I’m new to e-commerce, which platform should I choose – Etsy or Shopify?

That depends on your level of competency with technology. Both Etsy and Shopify are easy to set up. They have a user-friendly setup for anyone with a layman’s understanding of how to work a computer and an internet browser. There are plenty of useful online resources to help you understand the platforms in no time at all.

However, if you’re looking for the most straightforward solution available, then we recommend you go with Etsy.

If I have no budget, where can I start with e-commerce?

Etsy is your best bet. The free starter plan can get you up and move, and when you make a sale, you can invest that money into upgrading your account. After you start earning money with your Etsy store, open other stores on Shopify platforms, and begin to grow your e-commerce empire.

What does it take to make a success out of my e-commerce store?

Hard work! Seriously, if you’re expecting to start an e-commerce store and wait for the money to come to you, then you’re wasting your time. There will always be a certain level of work required to experience success in any venture.

However, as a newbie, using Etsy is about as close as you can get to being the lazy solution for selling online.

Which platform will make me more money – Etsy or Shopify?

Both platforms can make e-commerce entrepreneurs a significant amount of profit. However, we see that the most successful and highest-grossing e-stores are all Shopify platforms. Still, with Etsy, you can produce good earnings if you tap the right niche and source popular products that sell.

Etsy Vs. Shopify – Which Model Suits Newbies with Small Budgets?

If you’re starting in the e-commerce world, and you have a minimal budget, Etsy is possibly one of the best platforms for getting a good start. You’ll learn plenty while building your store, and you can use the profits to start investing in other online platforms like a Shopify store.

Everyone starts somewhere, and you’ll probably make mistakes. However, if you persist, you’ll eventually figure it out, and success will begin to show up.

Etsy Vs. Shopify – Which Is the Better Choice for Scaling My Business?

Shopify is the best platform for scaling your business as your orders start to grow. It takes more time to build sustainable traffic to a Shopify store, but once it starts arriving, you can expect exponential growth if your marketing strategy is solid.

Shopify has plenty of add-ons and apps that integrate with other more extensive software add-ons you can use to grow the functionality and capacity of your Shopify store.

Oliver Dale is Editor-in-Chief of Circlo and founder of Kooc Media Ltd, A UK-Based Online Publishing company. A Technology Entrepreneur with over 15 years of professional experience in Investing and UK Business.His writing has been quoted by Nasdaq, Dow Jones, Investopedia, The New Yorker, Forbes, Techcrunch & More. oliver@circlo.io

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