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Difference Between Amazon and Shopify

Among the biggest battles to ever be fought in the economic front is the battle of e-commerce giants. With such technological developments that allow one to even shop for their favorite smartphone or TV from the comfort of their home, every business entity would want to win the war.

Such economic battle has already been drawn between Amazon and Shopify. However, the bigger challenge for most people is whether they should stick with either of them or try and shop with both.

If you have also been stuck wondering which store to stick to, getting the various traits characterizing each might help. You could start by comparing them and weigh the options based on the point discussed below. The various points discussed below seek to draw the sharp distinctions between Amazon and Shopify and could come in handy for anyone who gets stuck at choosing a store of choice or one who mistakes one for the other.


What is Amazon?

Amazon is a multinational technology company registered as Amazon.com, Inc. With a presence in multiple countries across the globe, Amazon focuses on e-commerce, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing.

Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Amazon.com, Inc. is listed as among the “Big Four Technology Giants” alongside Facebook, Apple, and Google. These are the companies also considered as the Four Horsemen or giants of technology.

Amazon has been hailed for its hyper-competitive application processes, disruptive innovations, market capitalization, and brand equity. It is also regarded as the most valuable publicly listed company while Apple and Alphabet (Google’s parent company) take positions behind it. It is also among the companies leading the pack as the largest e-commerce marketplace with high-ranking cloud computing platforms.


What is Shopify?

Shopify is a publicly listed company with headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It is among the worlds well-known e-commerce giants with retail point-of-sale systems and online stores.

Shopify customers enjoy a myriad of services. The store offers online retail services as well as marketing, payments, customer engagement tools, and shipping. These services are also geared towards assisting online retailers and small merchants to run their online stores on Shopify.

As of August 2017, Shopify had more than 600,000 online merchants. However, this was disputed by an activist short-seller who claimed that Shopify had only 50,000 verified merchants.


Possible Similarities Between Amazon and Shopify

Despite the two stores feuding competition between them, they have several similarities:

  1. They are both led by their founders who also share long-term visions.
  2. They both have an obsession for great customer experience. This has seen each store improve their customers’ search, navigation, and ordering experience. The outlets have also made it easier for order fulfillment, customer’s accounts management, as well as placing extras as surprises for their loyal shoppers.


Differences Between Amazon and Shopify

The following are the major differences between the two e-commerce businesses:

  1. Date of Founding

Amazon was founded on July 5, 1994, as an online bookstore and under the name Cadabra, Inc. Shopify, on the other hand, was founded in 2004 as Snowdevil but later launched as Shopify in 2006.

  1. Amazon’s Vs. Shopify’s Founder

Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos who is the current president, chairman, and CEO while Shopify was founded by the current CEO Tobias Lutke together with Daniel Weinand and Scott Lake.

  1. Headquarters

Amazon’s headquarters are in Seattle, Washington, U.S. while Shopify’s main seat is in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

  1. Products and Services

The products and services from Amazon include web, digital, devices, technology, logistics, retail, and publishing services. Shopify, on the other hand, offers e-commerce platforms for online retailers, Shopify Payments, shipping, marketing, customer engagement tools, and retail point-of-sale systems.

  1. Subsidiaries

Amazon has a number of subsidiaries like Amazon Publishing, Amazon Air, Amazon Lab126, Amazon Robotics, Amazon Game Studios, Amazon Logistics, Amazon Books, Amazon Studios, Whole Foods Market, IMDb, Amazon Web Services, Twitch.tv, Audible Inc., and Goodreads.

Shopify, in its bid to penetrate deeper into the market, has also acquired several subsidiaries along the way. The subsidiaries include Shopify App Store, Shopify Mobile App, Select Start Studios Inc (“S3”), Jet Cooper, Boltmade, Frenzy, and Tiny Hearts.

  1. Amazon’s Revenue Vs. Shopify’s Revenue

At the end of the 2017 fiscal year, Amazon recorded revenue of $177.866 billion while Shopify recorded a total of $673.3 million the same year.

  1. Amazon’s Market Vs. Shopify’s Market

A major difference between the two businesses is that Shopify does not sell products to consumers while Amazon shoppers can buy goods directly from the store. Shopify, instead, offers e-commerce tools suite that enables entrepreneurs and merchants to run e-commerce businesses on Shopify. Shopify makes money from the merchant’s subscriber fees and transaction fees.

  1. Employees

As of October 2018, Amazon had a total of 613,300 employees while Shopify had 3,000 employees as of August 2018.

Amazon Vs. Shopify: Comparison Table


Summary of Amazon verses Shopify

While Amazon is already listed among the top four technology companies and the world’s top 20 largest companies by revenue, it has had its share of competition. Such stores like Shopify have had a run for their money and can never be ruled out despite the discrepancies between their revenues and Amazon’s. All in all, the world is in a better place with the different e-commerce retailers available.


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References :

[0]"Shopify And Amazon: Similarities And Differences". Export Feed, 2019, https://www.exportfeed.com/shopify-and-amazon-differences-similarities-way-grow-business/. Accessed 22 Jan 2019.

[1]Trends, Small et al. "Shopify Vs. Amazon: Which Is Better For Your Ecommerce Business? - Small Business Trends". Small Business Trends, 2019, https://smallbiztrends.com/2018/03/shopify-vs-amazon.html.

[2]Withers, Brian. "3 Ways Shopify Is Like Amazon And 1 Key Difference -- The Motley Fool". The Motley Fool, 2019, https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/02/03/3-ways-shopify-is-like-amazon-and-1-key-difference.aspx.

[3]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Amazon_logo_plain.svg

[4]Image credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0e/Shopify_logo_2018.svg/640px-Shopify_logo_2018.svg.png

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