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Shopify vs Etsy: Which is Better for an Online Store?

July 01, 2024
Written and researched by experts at AvadaLearn more about our methodology

By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce

Both Shopify and Etsy are popular ecommerce platforms for individuals, small businesses, and entrepreneurs who want to sell their products or services online. But which one is actually for you? Shopify or Etsy?

To answer that question, in this article, we’ll have to look at Shopify vs Etsy based on many factors like pricing, apps and integrations, product variety, marketing features, etc.

Key Takeaways
  • Choose Shopify if you need a highly customizable, scalable online store with extensive e-commerce tools and want complete control over your business.
  • Opt for Etsy if you have unique, handmade, or vintage products to sell and prefer a more straightforward setup with an established marketplace and built-in audience.
  • Main comparison factors to consider include: monthly pricing (subscriptions, fees, etc.), features and limitations, community, etc.

Shopify vs Etsy: Quick Comparison

Criteria Shopify Etsy Winner
Pricing $39-$399/month
Transaction fees: (0–2%) + 2.9% + 30¢
$0-$10/month
Listing fee: $0.20 per item
Transaction fees: 6.5% + at least 3% + 25¢
Depends on your sales volume and product pricing
Sales Features A wide range of advanced sales tools Basic sales tools Shopify
Marketing Features A wide range of marketing features, including email marketing, social media integration, and SEO tools Basic SEO tools and a social media sharing tool Shopify
Ease of use User-friendly, but steeper learning curve User-friendly, easy to set up and use Etsy
Themes and Design 120+ customizable in-store themes and thousands of third-party themes Doesn’t offer themes and design. Sellers can only edit the images and banners. Shopify
Domain and URL structure Have your own domain name, making you look more professional and recognizable Domain name under the umbrella of Etsy.com Shopify
Support 24/7 support Slow customer support Shopify
Security Secure, have advanced security protection Secure Shopify
Apps and Integrations 8,000+ apps A more limited selection of apps Shopify
Scalability Can handle large-scale ecommerce business May not be ideal for larger businesses with a large inventory Shopify
Possible suspension No suspension of Possible account suspension Shopify
Product Variety Wide range of products Handmade, vintage, and craft supplies, with recent expansion to digital items Shopify

From the table, we can basically see that:

What makes Shopify better than Etsy are:

  • More customizable and professional-looking storefronts with advanced design and branding options.
  • Greater control over the sales process, including shipping and fulfillment options.
  • A wider range of sales and marketing features, including abandoned cart recovery, discount codes, email marketing integrations, and more.
  • Stronger scalability for larger businesses and more complex product catalogs.

What makes Etsy better than Shopify are:

  • Loyal customer base that actively searches for unique and handmade products.
  • Easy listing process and built-in social features that allow for direct customer engagement and interaction.
  • Particular product types, including vintage and handmade items.

How is Etsy different from Shopify?

Ease of Use

Shopify is known for its user-friendly approach, offering a seamless setup for a feature-rich online store. It’s an excellent choice for creating a branded store and selling products without technical hassles.

On the other hand, Etsy is incredibly straightforward, making it ideal for those who need to be tech-savvy. Creating an Etsy shop is as easy as setting up an account, and you can start selling on the Etsy marketplace with the minimal marketing effort. It’s designed for simplicity.

Design Flexibility

Regarding design, Shopify shines with numerous templates and customization tools. This allows you to tailor your store’s look to match your unique brand identity. You have creative freedom.

Conversely, Etsy follows a more standardized approach. Customization options are limited, and your products are pivotal in setting your shop apart.

Thanks to its extensive app store, E-commerce Tools Shopify boasts a wide array of e-commerce tools and features. You can create a fully customized website with marketing tools and multi-channel selling capabilities.

On the flip side, Etsy offers decent features. Still, they are geared toward optimizing your storefront for Etsy’s existing customer base. The focus is on simplicity and ease of use.

Domain & URL

Shopify encourages users to use custom domains, providing a unique website address that promotes your brand. This approach enhances your brand’s professionalism and memorability.

In contrast, Etsy does not offer custom domains, which can result in less memorable website addresses, potentially affecting brand recognition.

Reasons to Consider Etsy

Etsy has some excellent reasons you should consider selling there:

Built-in Audience

Etsy already has many folks who want to buy things like yours. In 2022, 95.08 million people (source: Statista) were looking for cool handmade or vintage stuff on Etsy. That’s like a big, buzzing market where your products can catch the eye of tons of potential buyers. Imagine all those folks checking out what you’re selling!

Ease of Use

Etsy is easy to handle. They made it simple for sellers to set up their shops and run things smoothly. You don’t need to be a computer genius. You can easily list your items, keep track of what you have in stock, and deal with orders without any fuss.

Niche Market Focus

Etsy is all about handmade, vintage, and crafty stuff. So, if you’re good at making unique, handmade things or have excellent vintage items to sell, Etsy is the perfect place for you. It’s like a particular club for creative sellers and buyers who appreciate the crafty side of things. Your products will fit right in!

Reasons to Consider Shopify

Scalability

Shopify is great for businesses that want to make their online stores without many technical stuff. It’s designed to make selling online simple. If you’re new to e-commerce and don’t want to deal with tech headaches, Shopify is a smart pick. Let’s explore the reasons.

  • Different Plans: Shopify has different plans to fit your needs. You can choose the one that matches your business size and budget. As you grow, you can switch to a bigger plan.
  • In-Store Sales: If you have a physical store, Shopify helps you combine it with your online store.
  • Facebook Ads: Selling on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp is a breeze with Shopify.
  • Quick Start: Shopify is fast to set up. You can have your store up and running in no time.
  • No Tech Fuss: Shopify takes care of the technical stuff. It manages the techie parts, so you don’t have to.

Customization

With Shopify, making your online store look and feel just how you want it is a breeze. You have access to a wide selection of themes – nearly 160 – in the Shopify Theme Store. These themes come in free and paid options; the best part is that they’re all designed to work perfectly on mobile devices.

But that’s not all! If you’re looking for even more choices, you’ll find hundreds of additional themes on websites like ThemeForest. What makes these themes truly special is that they are fully customizable. You can roll up your sleeves and edit the code to make your online shop a beautiful and unique representation of your brand.

Control and Ownership

When you choose Shopify, you’re in the driver’s seat of your online store. You have complete control, and you own it outright. Unlike other platforms, you don’t have to follow someone else’s rules or hand over ownership of your business. This means you can decide how your store operates and expands without restrictions. It’s your business, and with Shopify, you call the shots.

Support

Running an online store can sometimes feel like navigating a maze. That’s where Shopify’s support comes in. They’ve got your back with a dedicated support team ready to help you. If you ever have questions or run into issues, you can count on them to assist you. They’re there to ensure your Shopify experience is smooth and successful.

Shopify vs Etsy: Pros and Cons

Shopify

Pros

  • Ease of Use: Shopify’s user-friendly interface makes it accessible to tech-savvy and non-tech-savvy users. You can be something other than a web expert to set up and manage your online store effectively.
  • Comprehensive Point-of-Sale Options: If you have an online and physical store, Shopify offers complete point-of-sale solutions to manage both seamlessly.
  • Multi-Currency Selling: Unlike many competitors, Shopify supports true multi-currency selling, allowing you to reach a global audience more effectively.
  • Email Marketing Tool: Shopify provides an email marketing tool that allows you to send up to 10,000 emails per month for free, helping you engage with your customers effectively.
  • Automatic Tax Calculation: Shopify simplifies tax calculations with comprehensive tools, saving merchants valuable time and reducing administrative burdens.
  • Extensive App and Integration Ecosystem: You can extend Shopify’s core functionality through a vast selection of apps and integrations, although some may require additional payments for premium features.
  • Free Trial and Annual Payment Discount: You can try out Shopify for free without providing credit card details. Additionally, you can enjoy a generous discount for annual payments.
  • No Transaction Fees (excluding Starter plan): With most Shopify plans, you won’t encounter additional transaction fees when using the built-in payment processing system, Shopify Payments.
  • Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): While it may require a third-party app and incur additional costs, Shopify allows you to create AMP versions of product pages for lightning-fast mobile loading times.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Features: Shopify has robust SEO features, helping your store rank well on search engines. You can also use the popular SEO tool Yoast in conjunction with Shopify.
  • Ideal for Dropshipping and Print on Demand: If you’re interested in dropshipping or print-on-demand businesses, Shopify provides the necessary tools and integrations to streamline these operations.
  • Diverse Payment Gateways: Shopify supports a wide range of external payment gateways, giving you flexibility in offering payment options to your customers.
  • App and Integration Ecosystem: You can extend Shopify’s core functionality through a vast selection of apps and integrations, although some may require additional payments for premium features.

Cons

  • Limited Free Themes: Shopify offers only a small selection of free themes (12) compared to some competing online store builders, potentially limiting design choices for budget-conscious users.
  • Variant Limits: While you can create up to 100 product variants, each can involve only up to 3 product options. Expanding these limits may necessitate the purchase of a third-party app.
  • Country Restrictions for Shopify Payments: Shopify Payments, the platform’s built-in payment processor, is available only in specific countries, limiting its usability for international sellers.
  • Transaction Fees with Third-Party Gateways: If you use a third-party payment gateway, you cannot avoid transaction fees, potentially increasing your operating costs.

Etsy

Pros

  • Ease of Setup and Maintenance: Starting an Etsy shop is a breeze, even for those without advanced technical skills. Etsy offers various tools and resources, such as star seller status, affordable promoted listings, and a mobile app to help sellers manage their shops effectively.
  • Low Risk: Etsy is an ideal platform for testing new products, especially for handmade businesses. Unlike building a separate e-commerce website, which involves domain registration and hosting costs, creating an Etsy shop requires minimal upfront investment.
  • Large Customer Base: Etsy boasts a massive audience of over 90 million active buyers. This extensive reach provides sellers access to a broad market of engaged customers who actively support small businesses and independent creators.
  • Supportive Community: Etsy’s community is known for its welcoming and collaborative nature. Sellers can tap into resources like discussion forums, seller teams, and mentorship programs, fostering connections and knowledge-sharing among members.
  • Seller Tools: Etsy equips sellers with a range of tools, including shop manager, listings manager, star seller status, Etsy ads and promoted listings, sales and coupons, shipping labels, Etsy payments, and a mobile app, to manage their shops efficiently.
  • Established Reputation: With over 18 years in operation, Etsy has earned a reputation as a trusted marketplace for handmade, vintage, and unique items. Buyers often turn to Etsy when seeking one-of-a-kind products.

Cons

  • Intense Competition: Etsy is a bustling marketplace, making it challenging for new sellers to get noticed. Having at least 100 items can help improve visibility.
  • Limited Customization: Sellers may need more customization options to stand out. Etsy’s branding across the site can overshadow individual brand identities.
  • Fee Increases: In April 2022, Etsy implemented fee increases and other policy changes, leading to frustrations among sellers. Transaction fees rose to 6.5%, affecting revenue.
  • Policy Compliance: Etsy enforces strict policies on what can be sold, and sellers must adhere to these guidelines to avoid shop suspension.
  • Complex Algorithm: Etsy’s algorithm for search and visibility can be puzzling, leading to fluctuations in shop traffic.
  • Varied Support: Some sellers report challenges in getting timely support from Etsy. Many rely on the community forum for assistance.
  • Limited Customer Data: Etsy restricts access to customer data, making it challenging for sellers to establish direct relationships with customers outside the platform.

Shopify vs Etsy: In-Depth Comparison

Now, let’s take a more in-depth look at Shopify vs Etsy in terms of pricing, features, and more.

Pricing

Subscription fees

Shopify offers three main pricing plans:

Note that the subscription fees vary depending on your country. The numbers above are for US-based sellers. Click here to see how much Shopify costs in your country.

Shopify does offer a free trial for you to test out the platform before committing to a plan for 3 days.

Meanwhile, Etsy offers two pricing plans:

  • Etsy Standard: $0
  • Etsy Plus: $10 per month

Even though Etsy is free to start, it charges a flat fee of $0.20 per listing once every four months. If you need a large number of product listings, don’t forget to count the listing fees.

You can try Etsy Plus for free for 30 days.

If you want a branded website on Etsy, you can use Etsy Pattern, which costs you at least $15 monthly.

Though Shopify is a way more expensive upfront fee than Etsy, it does offer more features.

⇒ The verdict: Shopify charges a higher subscription fee than Etsy.

Transaction fees

So, how much do Shopify and Etsy take per sale?

With Shopify, you can avoid Shopify transaction fees if you use Shopify Payments, their in-house payment gateway. But you still have to pay credit card processing fees according to your subscription plan:

  • Basic Plan: 2.9% + 30¢ per online transaction; 2.7% + 0¢ USD in person
  • Shopify Plan: 2.6% + 30¢ per online transaction; 2.5% + 0¢ USD in person
  • Advanced Plan: 2.4% + 30¢ per online transaction; 2.4% + 0¢ USD in person

If you use a Shopify third-party payment gateway (other than Shopify Payments), Shopify will charge you an additional transaction fee (ranging from 0.5% to 2%), depending on the pricing plan you’re on.

Etsy, on the other hand, charges a 6.5% transaction fee on the sale price of your product, in addition to any payment processing fees (at least 3% + 25¢), even if you use Etsy Payments.

⇒ The verdict: Etsy charges higher transaction fees than Shopify.

Additional fees

Both platforms have additional fees that sellers should be aware of.

Shopify has several additional fees that may apply, depending on the user’s specific needs and choices. These fees may include currency conversion fees for sales in foreign currencies, app fees for using additional apps to enhance store functionality, and additional fees for premium themes or custom development work.

Etsy also has pretty many additional fees, including advertising and promotional fees, subscription fees, in-person selling fees, shipping fees, currency conversion, and regulatory operating fees.

⇒ The verdict: Both Shopify and Etsy have hidden fees you should be aware of.

Sales Features

Shopify focuses on providing a comprehensive ecommerce solution with a wide range of ecommerce tools to help merchants sell online, such as:

  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Customer accounts to help improve conversion rates and retain customers
  • Inventory management system to manage and track products
  • Multichannel selling across different social platforms
  • Third-party calculated shipping rates
  • Coupons codes and gift cards

On the other hand, Etsy’s sales features are more focused on the marketplace model, where merchants can list their products and rely on Etsy’s built-in customer base to generate sales. Etsy does offer some sales tools, such as:

  • Promoted listings
  • Sales and coupons

Besides, Etsy Plus also provides additional features like:

  • Advanced shop customization
  • Discounts and perks
  • Restock requests
  • Custom web address discounts
  • Custom shipping boxes

However, they are more limited in comparison to Shopify. Additionally, Etsy’s inventory management system is more basic and doesn’t offer the same level of functionality as Shopify’s.

⇒ The verdict: Shopify has more advanced sales features than Etsy.

Marketing Features

Shopify offers a wide range of marketing features that can help businesses drive traffic to their website and increase sales. This includes ecommerce tools like:

  • Email marketing
  • Social media integration
  • SEO tools
  • Discount codes, gift cards, and targeted promotions for specific customer groups

Shopify also integrates with a range of marketing apps and platforms, making it easy to create and manage your marketing campaigns.

Etsy, on the other hand, provides several marketing features like:

  • Basic SEO tools (such as keywords, tags, categories, etc.) to optimize your listings for search engines
  • Built-in social media sharing tool to share your products on various social media platforms

However, what you can optimize on your store is limited: only the shop title, shop description, shop icon, cover photo, profile photo, banner, and the like.

Etsy also offers paid advertising options, including promoted listings, which can help you reach more customers.

And to me, as an Etsy seller, without Etsy ads, the organic marketing features are not enough to help you stand out among over 97 million products available on Etsy.

While you can drive traffic to your Etsy store through social media and other channels, the platform lacks the advanced marketing features that Shopify provides. If you don’t use Etsy Pattern, you can’t even access your customer emails, which makes it difficult to build your own buyer base and re-market your old customers and those who interact with your shop.

⇒ The verdict: Shopify has more marketing features than Etsy, while Etsy has larger built-in traffic.

Ease of Use

Shopify has a clean and intuitive interface that makes it easy to set up and manage your online store. It also offers a drag-and-drop website builder that allows you to customize your store’s design to your preferences without any advanced coding experience.

Etsy is also very user-friendly. You can set up your online store quickly and easily, and the platform offers various features to help you manage your shop efficiently.

Both Shopify and Etsy are user-friendly platforms that are easy to set up and use. However, Shopify has a steeper learning curve due to its greater customizability and more complex features.

⇒ The verdict: Etsy is easier to set up and use than Shopify.

Themes and Design

Both Shopify and Etsy offer themes and design options to help you customize your online store’s look and feel. Shopify has over 120 customizable in-store themes plus thousands of third-party themes that are mobile and desktop responsive, with various design options for many industries. That increases the chance of a good theme choice and helps you to build a strong brand presence.

Etsy doesn’t offer themes for your Etsy store. All you can edit are the images and banners on your storefront, and all the rest must follow Etsy’s layout. This is both good and bad, as you can avoid a messy website layout. However, you can’t customize your site to your preference. However, Etsy Pattern does have themes and designs for you, though the number of themes is still way more limited than Shopify.

⇒ The verdict: Shopify has many themes and designs while Etsy doesn’t.

Domain and URL Structure

Shopify allows you to purchase a custom domain name through their platform or connect an existing domain name you already own. This means that your store’s URL can be completely unique and branded to your business. Having a custom domain gives you a professional, recognizable, and trustworthy impression. It also makes it easier for a customer to find you.

Here are what your domain looks like:

  • During the free trial: www.yourstorename.myshopify.com
  • For official Shopify accounts: www.yourstorename.com

Etsy, on the other hand, does not allow you to purchase a custom domain name. Instead, all Etsy stores are given a subdomain that includes the word “Etsy” in the URL. This can make it more difficult to brand your store and time-consuming to find your site address.

  • Etsy’s URLs are structured: etsy.com/shop/shopname.

⇒ The verdict: Shopify offers more flexibility and customization options when it comes to domain and URL structure.

Help and Support

Both Shopify and Etsy have a range of resources and tutorials to help you build and manage your online store through their Help centers. Both also have forums where you can discuss and get support from the seller communities.

Regarding direct support, Shopify provides 24/7 support via various channels like phone, email, live chat, etc. Shopify’s customer support is among the selling points of this platform.

Sellers can contact Etsy’s customer support team via phone, email, or live chat. However, customer support service on Etsy is not rated highly because it has a pretty slow response and slow processing and is hard to reach. From my experience, it was a struggle to find a way to send my suspension appeal to the support team, and it took me almost a week to wait for them to fix the problem.

⇒ The verdict: Shopify has better customer service than Etsy.

Security

Shopify and Etsy both take security seriously and offer several features to ensure that their platforms are secure for both sellers and buyers, such as:

  • SSL encryption encrypts all data transmitted between the seller, buyer, and the platform. This ensures that sensitive data, such as credit card information, cannot be intercepted by hackers.
  • Fraud detection is offered by both Shopify and Etsy to detect and prevent fraudulent transactions, ensuring that both sellers and buyers are protected.
  • Both Shopify and Etsy have secure payment processing systems that accept major credit cards and also offer alternative payment methods such as PayPal.

While both platforms offer a high level of security, Shopify has some additional security features worth noting. Shopify offers two-factor authentication, which requires sellers to enter a code sent to their phone or email before logging in. This extra layer of security helps prevent unauthorized access to seller accounts.

Shopify also offers PCI compliance, which is a set of standards for handling credit card information. By being PCI compliant, Shopify ensures that all credit card data is handled securely and in compliance with industry standards. While Etsy does not offer PCI compliance, it does use a secure payment gateway to process credit card transactions.

⇒ The verdict: Both Shopify and Etsy are secure, but Shopify is slightly more secure.

Third-party Apps

Shopify provides users with access to over 8,000 apps on the Shopify App Store, allowing them to add new features and functionalities to their ecommerce business. These apps range from marketing tools to shipping solutions. This wide range of apps available in the Shopify app store makes it easy for Shopify store owners to customize their online stores to fit their specific needs.

Meanwhile, the Etsy store has a more limited selection of integrations available. While Etsy offers third-party apps and integrations for online stores, the number of apps and integrations is dwarfed by what’s available on Shopify App Store. However, Etsy does make up for this by offering some built-in features, such as social media integration, a direct checkout option, and integrated shipping labels.

⇒ The verdict: Shopify integrates with way more third-party apps than Etsy.

Scalability

When it comes to scalability, Shopify is the clear winner.

Shopify is designed to handle a large-scale ecommerce business and can accommodate businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large enterprises. With Shopify, store owners have access to unlimited product listings, unlimited bandwidth, and the ability to handle high levels of traffic.

Etsy, on the other hand, may not be the ideal choice for larger businesses with a large product inventory. This is because Etsy has certain restrictions on the maximum quantity per product, as well as limitations on customization options for the storefront. However, Etsy doesn’t limit the number of product listings, and it’s still possible to build a successful and scalable business on Etsy.

⇒ The verdict: Shopify is more scalable than Etsy.

Product variety

The product types also count when we compare Shopify vs Etsy because Etsy is famous for vintage, unique, handmade goods and craft supplies. It was only recently that Etsy expanded its product range to include digital items, such as printables and downloads. It has strict guidelines for what can be sold on this ecommerce platform and requires all products to meet specific criteria.

Unlike Etsy, Shopify caters to a wide range of products, from physical goods to digital products, services, and subscriptions. This ecommerce platform is suitable for businesses that sell a variety of products, including clothing, electronics, home goods, beauty products, and more.

The rdivect: Shopify allows you to sell a broader range of products than Etsy, while Etsy is top-of-mind when it comes to certain types of products.

Can I sell digital products on both Shopify and Etsy?

Yes, you can sell digital products on both Shopify and Etsy. Shopify offers a number of features specifically for selling digital products, such as automatic delivery and the ability to limit downloads. Etsy also allows sellers to sell digital products, such as digital prints, invitation letters, and patterns.

Possible suspension

While Shopify doesn’t suspend your account, Etsy could suspend your account anytime you violate their terms of use (or even when you don’t). Many Etsy sellers complained that their accounts were unreasonably suspended as soon as they were created, and I myself was in the same situation too.

⇒ The verdict: Etsy could suspend your account while Shopify doesn’t.

What you can sell on Etsy and Shopify?

What you can sell on Etsy

Etsy is an excellent platform to sell all sorts of special and unique items. Whether you’re a creator, collector, or someone with a creative idea, Etsy offers a place for you. Let’s explore the various categories of items you can sell on Etsy in more detail:

  • Handmade Creations: Etsy is a perfect fit if you’re a crafty person who loves to create things by hand. You can sell items that you’ve designed and made yourself. It could be anything from hand-knitted scarves to beautiful handmade jewelry.
  • Vintage Treasures: Do you have vintage items that are at least 20 years old? Etsy is the place to share these treasures with the world. People love discovering unique vintage finds, from retro clothing to antique collectibles.
  • Craft Supplies: If you have tools, materials, or ingredients that people use to make things, you can sell them on Etsy. Crafters are always looking for quality supplies, whether handmade, commercial, or vintage.
  • Printable Goodies: Digital products have become a hit on Etsy. You can create printables like templates, planners, or even printable artwork. Customers purchase these digital items and then download and print them at home.
  • Digital Art: If you’re a digital artist, you can sell your creations on Etsy. This includes digital illustrations, graphics, or labels that buyers can download instantly.
  • Stickers: Stickers are simple yet fun to create and sell on Etsy. You design them once, and then you can work with a service to print and ship them for you.
  • Jewelry Creations: Handmade jewelry is a big hit on Etsy. Shoppers look for unique and personalized pieces to wear, from earrings and necklaces to bracelets and rings.
  • Party Decor and Supplies: Etsy is ideal for crafting decorations or party supplies. People frequently visit Etsy to find one-of-a-kind items for special occasions like weddings, birthdays, and baby showers.
  • Personalized Cards: Etsy is the go-to place for personalized holiday and announcement cards. Buyers appreciate the personal touch and unique designs.
  • Print-on-Demand Products: You can partner with businesses that print your designs on various items, such as coffee mugs, t-shirts, and more. It’s a convenient way to offer a range of products without the hassle of manufacturing and shipping.
  • Handmade Clothing: Skilled in sewing, knitting, or crocheting, you can create and sell your clothing designs. Many buyers love the idea of wearing handmade clothes.
  • Clothing Accessories: Accessories like scarves, hats, and gloves are popular in the clothing category. These items can add a stylish touch to any outfit.
  • Bath and Beauty Products: Handmade bath bombs, soaps, lotions, and organic cosmetics are gaining traction on Etsy. Shoppers appreciate the natural and eco-friendly options.
  • Eco-Friendly Products: Etsy is a hub for products that promote sustainability and reduce waste. This includes reusable items like face rounds, eco-friendly toiletries, and chemical-free cleaning supplies.
  • Vintage Goods: Vintage enthusiasts come to Etsy to find unique and nostalgic items from the past. This can range from vintage clothing and accessories to mid-century furniture and decor.

What you can sell on Shopify

Shopify provides a versatile platform for selling various products and services. Here’s a breakdown of what’s possible:

  • Service Appointments: You can easily sell appointments for haircuts, massages, or consultations. Customers can book and pay for appointments online.
  • Memberships: Offer exclusive memberships or subscription services with benefits like discounts or special content. Customers can subscribe for regular access.
  • Consultations: Sell your expertise through consultations, allowing customers to schedule and pay for your advisory sessions.
  • Digital Products: You can sell digital goods like e-books, music, or downloadable art. Customers purchase and instantly download these items.
  • Experiences: If you organize unique experiences like guided tours or adventure outings, you can sell tickets or reservations through your Shopify store.
  • Classes and Workshops: Offer educational classes or workshops for sale. Customers can register and pay for these learning opportunities online.
  • Rentals: Manage rental bookings and payments for items or spaces you have available for rent.
  • Quotes, Estimates, and Assessments: Provide quotes, estimates, or assessments for your services, and customers can request and pay for these evaluations.
  • Donations: Accept donations for charitable causes or fundraising campaigns through your Shopify store.
  • Event Tickets: Sell tickets for events like concerts, conferences, or shows, complete with e-tickets or QR codes for attendees.
  • Digital Gift Cards: Offer digital gift cards that customers can purchase and use as a store credit or give as gifts.
  • Live Streams: Sell access to live streaming content, such as online classes or entertainment, directly through your Shopify store.

Shopify vs Etsy: FAQs

Is Shopify or Etsy better to sell?

The answer to this question depends on various criteria, like your product types and your business goals.

Shopify is better for selling if you’re looking for greater flexibility and control over your store, a wider range of product options, and the ability to scale and grow your business. It offers more advanced features, customization options, and integrations, as well as better support and security. However, if you specialize in handmade or unique products and want to tap into a specific niche market, then Etsy may be the better choice.

Can I use both Shopify and Etsy for my business?

Yes, you can use both Shopify and Etsy for your business. In fact, many sellers choose to use both platforms to reach a wider audience and diversify their sales channels. You can use Shopify to create your own website and sell your products there while also using Etsy to reach a large number of buyers on the platform.

Can I integrate my Shopify store with Etsy?

Yes, it’s possible to integrate your Shopify store with Etsy using an app or integration tool like CedCommerce or SyncSpider. This allows you to list and manage your products on both platforms from a single dashboard and automatically synchronize your inventory, orders, and shipping information.

Who makes more money: Etsy or Shopify Users?

It’s difficult to compare the earnings of Etsy and Shopify users because it depends on a variety of factors, such as the type of products sold, pricing strategy, marketing efforts, and business model.

However, in general, Shopify users have the potential to earn more because they have more control over their pricing, branding, and marketing and can sell a wider range of products. Etsy users, on the other hand, may have a more niche audience and may face more competition, but they have the advantage of selling unique and handmade items that can command higher prices.

Do I need a website if I sell on Etsy or Shopify?

No, you do not necessarily need a website if you sell on Etsy or Shopify. Both platforms provide you with a storefront to sell your products.

How do I avoid fees on Etsy?

As an Etsy seller, you can’t completely avoid fees, but you can minimize them. Here are some tips:

  • Optimize your listings: Etsy charges a listing fee for each item you list on your shop. To minimize this fee, make sure your listings are optimized to increase their visibility and chances of selling.
  • Use free listings: Etsy offers free listings for sellers newly signing up for Etsy through a referral link and sellers who get others converted into Etsy sellers through a referral link. Take advantage of these to save on fees.
  • Bundle items: Instead of selling individual items, offer bundles or sets of products. This can help you sell more items in one transaction, which can reduce the number of listing fees you pay.
  • Keep an eye on your expenses: Track your expenses related to your Etsy shop, such as shipping costs and supplies, and deduct them from your taxable income.
  • Optimize your store using organic SEO rather than paid promotion.

By following these tips, you can minimize your fees on Etsy and maximize your profits.

Who should use Shopify? And who should use Etsy?

Shopify and Etsy have their pros and cons. It’s worth noting that there is some overlap between Shopify vs Etsy, and ultimately, the choice of which platform to use will depend on the individual needs and goals of each business or seller.

Shopify would be a better choice for you if you are:

  • Businesses with a wide range of products to sell
  • Those looking to create more typical branded ecommerce websites
  • Those who want greater control over the design and functionality of their online store
  • Those who want to sell digital products or services

Etsy would be a better choice for you if you are:

  • Artisans, crafters, and makers looking to sell unique, vintage, handmade goods and craft supplies
  • Sellers who specialize in niche or one-of-a-kind products
  • Those who want to tap into Etsy’s loyal customer base
  • Those who are looking for a more easy-to-use platform with built-in marketing features

Shopify vs Etsy: Conclusion

In our comparison of Shopify vs Etsy, Shopify seems to be a clear winner with its superiority in features and services, from help and support to product variety. Indeed, Shopify is an all-in-one ecommerce solution that can help you manage your business from a single platform, making it easy to scale and grow.

But fairly speaking, Shopify and Etsy choose a different approach to ecommerce: one provides the infrastructure for online stores to grow, while the other is an online marketplace that attracts sellers and buyers to exchange values and money. Etsy is still an excellent option for creative entrepreneurs and artisans looking to showcase and sell unique products.

Ultimately, the choice between Shopify vs Etsy will depend on your specific needs and priorities for your online store.

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Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.