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Difference Between Shopify and Etsy

Should you sell on Shopify or Etsy? It’s no doubt that both are extremely good platforms for selling goods or services online. Regardless of the size of your business, whether big or small, they are great tools for your business advancement. When it comes to choosing between the two, it comes down to choosing the right products to sell. But if you’re new to the world of ecommerce, you have a lot to learn. Shopify has almost everything you need to sell online and probably more and Etsy is more focused on handcrafted items. But the question is which one would you choose?

What is Shopify?

 Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms that host an online marketplace for entrepreneurs and anyone who seek an online store to feature and sell their products online. It’s an all-in-one ecommerce platform that’s packaged as a service shopping cart solution that allows startups and established businesses to set up online stores with little to no hassle. Shopify is home to any product that is legal to be sold on the internet. It offers the retailers a myriad of services including marketing, payments, shipping and customer engagement tools to make their online experience really worth it. Founded in 2006, Shopify initially started as an online store for snowboarding equipment as ‘Snowdevil’, but later rereleased as Shopify. It has transformed into a full-fledged online store since then.

What is Etsy?

Etsy is a global online marketplace focused on vintage and handcrafted items and craft supplies, spanning a wide range of categories. Etsy has encouraged many people to start their own craft business and sell online, or supplemented their existing incomes by selling their own crafts. Etsy was founded in 2005 to help promote art and artists to sell their handcrafted items online. Since then, Etsy has evolved into a fully-functional online store for vintage items and craft supplies, including handmade jewelry, clothing, bags, furniture, home décor stuffs, beads, and much more. Crafts and supplies is one of the most selling categories of items on Etsy. More than a marketplace, Etsy is a one of its kind community that channels people’s passion for their craft into their life’s work. The site takes listing fees and earns a small commission on every sale.

Difference between Shopify and Etsy

Product Selection 

– Shopify is a full-fledged, fully customizable ecommerce platform that allows startups and established businesses to set up online stores and sell almost anything they want. From e-books and musical instruments to clothes, shoes, domestic wares, edibles and a host of others, Shopify is home to anything that is legal to be sold online. Etsy, on the other hand, is a creative marketplace that is focused on handmade arts and craft supplies, including handmade jewelry, clothing, bags, furniture, home décor stuffs, beads, and much more.

Pricing Model

 – The cheapest Shopify plan available is the Basic Shopify which costs $29 per month (and 2.9% on top of 30 cents per transaction). The Shopify plan costs $79 per month (and 2.6% + 30 cents per transaction) and the Advanced Shopify plan costs $299 per month (and 2.4% + 30 cents per transaction), which is great for growing businesses with more than two retail stores.

Etsy takes a flat listing fee of $0.20 for each item you list for sale on the site and transaction fee of 5% on every purchase plus the delivery and gift wrapping charges. Etsy charges a 3% payment processing fee for every successful transaction on top of $0.25 on every purchase.

Ease of Use

 – Shopify is a fully-functional ecommerce platform that allows individuals and businesses to build their own online store. It is a fully customizable platform that allows you to organize your store layout, appearance through themes and a ton of other tools in any way you like. It provides people the complete freedom to start their own business with little to no hassle. Etsy is a ready-to-use online marketplace wherein you do not have to worry about setting up your own website and building your own audience from scratch.

Shopify vs. Etsy: Comparison Chart


If you’re an already established brand with a number of products under your portfolio and you have that audience that are willing to go to your online store and buy stuffs, then Shopify is definitely the one you want to stick to. But, if you’re a new player with a fewer products and a lesser audience to begin with, then the initial pricing plans of Shopify can outweigh what you would pay on Etsy instead. Shopify lets you build your own online store with all the necessary tools at your disposal that would help you get your online business up and running hassle free.

Here are some of main questions that you might be looking into regarding these two services: 

Is Shopify better than Etsy?

Shopify is better if you are looking to scale your business to a larger size and also, Shopify is a much larger marketplace that lists almost anything you can think of. On Shopify, you can sell everything that is legal to be sold online. It is relatively cheaper than Etsy, if you are creating a larger number of orders and you have a lot of items on your shop.

Are Shopify and Etsy the same?

 Both are very different business models but with the same purpose – to help grow your business online. Shopify allows you to create and customize your online store any way you like, while Etsy is already a ready-to-use online marketplace where you can list your creative stuffs. So, both are not the same.

Does Shopify own Etsy?

Etsy is a New York-based ecommerce company that specializes in selling unique, creative handcrafted crafts and supplies, and vintage items. While both the platforms can integrate with each other, Shopify does not own Etsy.

Is it better to sell on Etsy or your own website?

First, you have to understand the fact that Etsy and your website are completely different business models in a way that Etsy is an online marketplace filled with hundreds of thousands of other shops, just like Amazon and eBay, and it’s powered by a search engine where you can type in stuff you’re looking for. A website is a standalone platform which you have to build from scratch and unlike Etsy, your site does not have a built-in audience who are already looking for products.

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References :

[0]Strine, Allison and Kate Shoup. Starting an Etsy Business For Dummies. New Jersey, United States: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Print

[1]Adam, Timothy. How to Make Money Using Etsy: A Guide to the Online Marketplace for Crafts and Handmade Products. New Jersey, United States: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Print

[2]Image credit: https://live.staticflickr.com/3224/3127009618_ab25e0b74d_b.jpg

[3]Image credit: https://live.staticflickr.com/4447/37057648494_f1dc8cc720_b.jpg

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