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

Last updated: February 27, 2023

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
  • Shopify is ideal for businesses that sell a wide variety of products and want more control over their website, branding, and marketing efforts.
  • Etsy is better suited for those who sell unique products and want to tap into a large and established online marketplace.
  • Factors to consider: upfront fees, transaction fees, ease of use, ecommerce features, customer support, etc.

Shopify vs Etsy: Quick Comparison

What is Shopify?

Shopify is an ecommerce platform that enables businesses to create and manage their own online store. It offers a variety of features, such as website design customization, payment processing, and inventory management.

What is Etsy?

Etsy is an online marketplace where individuals can sell unique and handmade items, as well as vintage goods. It offers a platform for small businesses and artists to showcase and sell their products to a global audience.

How is Etsy different from Shopify?

While both Shopify and Etsy are easy-to-use ecommerce platforms to start selling online, they don’t work the same. The very first difference between Shopify vs Etsy you should know is that: Shopify is an ecommerce platform, while Etsy is a marketplace. This difference dictates the approach and design of each platform.

Ecommerce platforms like Shopify essentially provide the necessary infrastructure for an ecommerce business to sell its branded products or services online.

Meanwhile, Etsy is an online marketplace where many different individual sellers can create their own online storefronts to sell their products. Etsy marketplace typically offers a shared audience, with many buyers coming to this ecommerce platform to browse and purchase products from various sellers.

Note: In 2016, Etsy introduced Etsy Pattern, an ecommerce platform designed specifically for individual sellers who want to create their own standalone website (functioning pretty much like Shopify). It allows Etsy users to create their own branded online store outside of the Etsy marketplace while still maintaining a connection to their existing Etsy shop.

Shopify vs Etsy: Pros and Cons

When considering Shopify vs Etsy, we must see what each platform’s pros and cons are.

As said, Shopify is a platform for creating an independent online store. Unlike Shopify, Etsy allows you to open a virtual stall in a marketplace.

Imagine it’s like this:

One is Shopify—you own the house, open a standalone online store there, and only pay monthly or yearly rent for using the land. Customers will only know about you if you advertise your products and your ads reach them. You need to do everything on your own to attract customers. That’s how a Shopify store works.

The other is Etsy. With it, you rent a space to open a kiosk in a market. You are in another’s place, you follow their rules. Next to you are many other stalls that sell the same products, making everything pretty competitive. However, buyers would come to the market to buy, and there are chances they will come across your online store.

Because they operate differently, each model comes with its own pros and cons. To see our review on Shopify vs Etsy: Who’s the winner, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each platform.

Criteria Shopify Etsy Winner
Pricing $39-$399/month
Transaction fees: (0–2%) + 2.9% + 30¢
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 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.

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.


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:
  • For official Shopify accounts:

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:

⇒ 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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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
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