Both Etsy and Shopify have been helping people successfully sell their wares online for years now, but as a seller, how do you know which is best for you?
Perhaps you’ve been loyal to one for a while, but you’ve heard a lot of fantastic things about the other, and now you’re wondering whether it might be time to switch things up a bit.
Well, to help with your decision-making process, I’ve compared these two powerhouses of e-commerce in all the areas that matter. Let’s get to it!
Money talks, so why not start with what matters, the figures? Statistically, more money has been exchanged through Shopify than Etsy.
In 2019, Etsy’s overall sales volume reached 4.97 billion dollars — a steady increase from their 2017 annual rate of 3 billion dollars. Shopify, on the other hand, hosted the sales of 61 billion dollars worth of merchandise in 2019.
As you can see, Shopify is by far the more lucrative of the two platforms, especially when we consider the number of merchants using each of these e-commerce services. At the end of 2019, Etsy had just over 2.5 million sellers, but Shopify had slightly more than 100,000.
Having said that, where Etsy is showing clear signs of growth, Shopify’s GMV has actually fallen from their 2017 annual total of over 82 billion dollars.
How Do Etsy and Shopify Differ?
The main difference between Etsy and Shopify is that Etsy focuses more on individual sellers and small enterprises distributing handmade, vintage, or craft goods, whereas Shopify is more business-oriented, designed to facilitate store growth.
As it’s not a website builder (although you can do that via Etsy Pattern), Etsy couldn’t be easier to use.
To make an account, all you need to do is type in a few bits of key information such as your email and a few details about your store, and voilà; you’re in!
Just upload some photos, item descriptions, and prices, and you’re doing business.
Shopify is a little deeper as you have to craft your own website, but that’s not to say it’s not incredibly user-friendly.
Shopify provides all the necessary instructions and tools you need to build an awesome e-commerce store — no tech degree required.
This aspect of seller involvement in the design process does make Shopify more competitive, though. On Etsy, everyone has the same theme.
Etsy advertises that it offers “simple, powerful tools” to aid merchants in selling their products, and they’re right on the money.
It’s not the most comprehensive package, but it gets the job done.
Shopify offers a much more expansive repertoire of sales features such as:
- Multichannel selling across social media
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Fraud analysis
- 3rd party shipping rates
Here’s the bit that really matters. Etsy has a $0.20 listing fee for each item in your store.
This payment covers the publishing of your product for 4 months. When you make a sale, Etsy charges you 5% of the overall sum plus $0.25 as a processing fee.
Shopify has card payment fees that stretch from 2.4 to 2.9%, but their transaction fees sit between 0.5 and 2% depending on the level of Shopify account you hold.
As you’re a seller, you’ll have no problem with the fact that Shopify offers fraud protection to merchants, but no buyer protection.
This gives you the freedom to set up your own store rules; however, a buyer can open a chargeback dispute.
The dispute will be resolved by Shopify within 60 days, and if you’re ruled against, you will be charged $15.
If this happens frequently, you will be completely frozen out of your account and online wallet indefinitely.
Etsy offers seller protection and purchase guarantees, offering merchants and buyers peace of mind in the marketplace.
As long as your distribution process conforms with the requirements set out by the seller protection guidelines, Etsy will cover the chargeback fees themselves.
Which Platform is Best For You?
Ultimately, Etsy is best for very small-scale enterprises and individuals looking to cut their teeth in e-commerce. It’s easy to use, flexible, and fair.
That said, no matter how small your business is, if it’s become quite lucrative, Shopify’s minimal transaction fees will maximize your profit margins.
What’s more, Shopify offers seamless scalability, their advanced brand development and sales tools helping to improve upon what you’ve already accomplished.
Can I Sell on Etsy and Shopify?
Here’s the thing, folks. There’s absolutely nothing stopping you from selling on both Etsy and Shopify.
In fact, using both ensures your products are getting the maximum amount of exposure and reach different demographics, and it stands to reason that the more people who visit your store, the more sales you’ll make.
Shopify supports this mode of business on its website.
Shopify is so supportive of multi-platform e-commerce stores, they provide a real-time synchronization tool that allows you to actually integrate your Etsy store with your Shopify presence.
The integration tool does cost $60 per month after a 7-day free trial, but considering the benefits it provides, it’s well worth the money.
It essentially allows you to run two stores as one, with sales, inventory, and all other trading statistics monitored in real-time to ensure you always know where your business stands.
Creating and integrating both an Etsy and Shopify account will help you reach a much wider set of customers.
Moreover, the presence of two stores will only make each of them that much more popular, each platform filling in what the other is missing.
For instance, Shopify offers you the branding tools that Etsy doesn’t. Although this brand is built outside of Etsy, it will still generate traffic to your pitch in the Etsy marketplace.
Do bear in mind; however, that eventually, if you become so successful that you can expand your business, your organization might not fall within the seller guidelines set out by Etsy.
At that point, it might be best to consider moving your whole operation over to Shopify to continue growing your brand and your business.