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Shopify vs Etsy: The Ultimate Head-to-Head Battle

Looking to set up an online store? Well, Shopify and Etsy are two of the most famous brand names in the eCommerce industry. Small company owners looking to set up an online store are bound to come across these names. For a newbie, conducting the Shopify vs Etsy comparison can be a rather difficult and, often, confusing task. While both act as eCommerce platforms where you can sell products and services online, they are radically different in what and how they provide their services.

If we were to simplify it, we could say Shopify is an eCommerce platform, whereas Etsy is a marketplace. Thus, their features, pricing plans, and user experience vary to a certain extent. In this article, we are going to cover a detailed Shopify vs Etsy comparison on different levels, including their working, pricing, features, design, etc. So, without further ado, let’s dive into both these platforms in more detail and figure how which one can work best for your business.

What Is Shopify?

Shopify is an eCommerce platform that allows you to create an online shopping website where you can publish your products or services, interact with social networking platforms, and sell. It offers a wide range of features for everyone, from small businesses to professional eCommerce stores.

The platform is highly intuitive and has a low learning curve making it an excellent choice for beginners stepping into the world of eCommerce. Users can utilize this platform to set up an online store for their customers while increasing the Return on Investment (ROI) for their business.

Features of Shopify:

Here are some of the most prominent features of Shopify:

  • Point of Sale (POS): Shopify enables companies to sell products in both online and in-person settings. This eliminates the need for separate sale records for online and in-store purchases and provides a unified dashboard for this purpose.

  • Design Customization: You can fully customize the look and feel of your website by their code-free, drag-and-drop website builder. There is a huge library of templates available as well, which includes both free and premium ones.

  • Unlimited Inventory & Customers: It offers unlimited customer profiles, bandwidth, and product inventory.

  • Payment Options: Shopify offers 100+ payments options to accommodate customers from all over the world paying through multiple payment gateways.

  • Support: Shopify features 24/7 excellent customer support.

What is Etsy?

Think of Etsy as a marketplace or an online mall where independent artists or individuals can sell their products. Etsy is quite recognizable in the artist and hand-made community due to its large collection of homemade items, collectibles, art pieces, home goods, clothing, jewelry, craft supplies, and vintage furniture. Unlike Amazon and Walmart, vendors can develop, gather, curate, and sell everything on Etsy.

So, in a way, vendors on Etsy work similar to self-employed entrepreneurs who manufacture their items and handle customer queries and inventories on their own. Apart from this, Etsy works as an intermediary by providing a platform for smaller independent vendors to attract and get customers.

Features of Etsy:

Here are the most prominent features of Etsy:

  • Customer Service & Communication: Etsy offers excellent community connection and customer service. Customers can easily message sellers through the platform to find out more about the product.

  • Analytics: It offers internal analytics to empower sellers. It helps you keep a solid track of your orders, customers, revenue, products, and potential leads.

  • Search Engine Optimization: Etsy is SEO customizable, meaning you can optimize the titles of your products, along with its description, so that customers can easily find your products when they search the platform.

  • Dedicated App For Sellers: Etsy has built an app especially for sellers which allows you to keep a check on your inventory and shop analytics and check consumer feedback.

Shopify Vs Etsy: Head-To-Head Comparison

Whether you’re trying to sell customized t-shirts, vintage products, or simply exploring the eCommerce space, narrowing down your options for an eCommerce platform is an important decision. If your list of potential eCommerce platforms includes Shopify and Etsy, then this section will help you make the ultimate choice according to your needs. Let’s dive into Shopify vs Etsy comparison in more detail to understand the difference between these two platforms and check which one upsells the other.

Difference # 1: Easy Of Use

Shopify comes with just about everything your business will need to start drawing customers right away. You can create an appealing website using the accessibility of stunning themes, modify your shop with extensions, and have access to helpful articles to help you along the way.

For your online store, Etsy takes a somewhat different strategy than Shopify. Instead of having to start from scratch, you'll utilize Esty to build a storefront on an already existing marketplace. As a result, many entrepreneurs are able to get started with Etsy much more quickly as compared to Shopify. However, your design and branding possibilities are somewhat limited.

Difference # 2: Designing

Users of Shopify will have no trouble creating a website they truly want. There are hundreds of beautiful templates (paid and free) to choose from in their collection. Using these templates, you can start building your dream store right away to meet the goals of your business, even if you have little to no coding knowledge.

Even though Etsy is a marketplace rather than a website builder like Shopify, you can alter the layout of your shop using the Patterns feature, which is essentially equivalent to design templates. Apart from aesthetics, the main difference between Shopify and Etsy, in this case, is the number of design options that each platform provides. For example, Shopify has over 80 different themes. On the other hand, Etsy has just ten.

Difference # 3: Integration

Shopify also includes an app store where you can find more features to integrate into your online business. Over 6,000 applications are available in the Shopify App Store to help you operate a more efficient online store. There, you'll discover Shopify-created applications and third-party solutions that you can combine with your Shopify setup.

Etsy is highly adaptable in terms of connecting with third-party applications and services. First, navigate to your Warehouse Supervisor and choose Integrations. There, you'll find many applications for boosting the functioning of your Etsy store. However, as far as the Shopify vs Etsy comparison is concerned in terms of integration, Shopify takes the lead by a solid margin.

Difference # 4: Pricing

Shopify and Etsy offer subscription plans for the services they provide. These depend on the level of complexity that you need for your business.

Pricing plans for Shopify:

  • Shopify Lite: Shopify Lite is available at $9 month (If you don't want to build a website)

  • Shopify Basic: It costs $29 per month (Suitable for newly established eCommerce firms)

  • Shopify: Charges $79/month (for expanding enterprises with both an online and offline presence)

  • Shopify Advanced: It costs $299 per month (Intended for growing enterprises that require specialized monitoring and selling methods)

  • Shopify Plus: Shopify Plus charges $2,000 or more per month (Business solutions for big volume sales)

Pricing Plans for Etsy:

  • Standard: Free

  • Advanced: You need to pay a monthly fee of $10 for advanced store customizations, discounts, and resupply orders (credits for different marketing services are all included).

Difference # 5: Cost And Fees

Shopify programs include a few additional costs, including credit card and transaction fees that apply in the following situations (these figures are just for the United States exclusively and differ by region):

  • Fees for using a credit card online are 2.9 percent plus 30 USD.

  • Fees for credit card transactions in person – 2.7 percent + 0 USD

  • When not utilizing Shopify Payments, transaction fees are charged at a rate of 2.0 percent of each sale.

For Etsy, the following are the costs that you must pay while selling on the platform:

  • Listing charges are $0.20 per product/item listed on the website or Etsy's mobile applications.

  • Shipment costs 5% of the overall shipping cost when you charge a separate shipping fee to the consumer.

  • Fees for payment processing - Etsy charges a fee for every purchase done through Etsy payments. It often changes depending on your region and bank account.

  • Transaction costs are 5% of the total amount charged for your product's purchase, free delivery, gift wrapping, and customization fees.

  • In-person selling costs — $0.20 transaction charge if you do not utilize the Square reader to handle in-person purchase transactions.

Difference # 6: Customer Support

When creating an online shop, customer care should be a top priority. If something goes wrong, you must have assistance on hand. Shopify provides live chat and phone support 24/7, making it easier to find solutions for your issues. In addition, you can contact them through social media or email as well. You can also use Shopify's community forums, video tutorials, and assistance pages to find the answers yourself. Etsy also provides good customer service. You receive a 24/7 online stream with such a genuine adviser, just like Shopify.

Shopify vs. Etsy: Which Platform Should You Choose?

If you want to build an independent online store with your domain name that you can customize and expand in any way you like, Shopify is the way to go. The most important part about Shopify is that it provides your business keys and allows you to do whatever you want while still taking care of the technical aspects of the entire project beneath the hood.

On the other hand, if you're a casual vendor with no definite eCommerce company aspirations, you can test the market on Etsy. Anyone can start a store on Etsy and post their handcrafted goods or whatever else they'd like to sell and get those items in front of people. The key element deciding whether you need to opt for Shopify or Etsy is going to be your business model.

For this purpose, you need to analyze whether you want to go ahead with a dedicated eCommerce store or choose a marketplace. Each of these options has its own pros and cons. To sum up our Shopify vs Etsy debate, I would say, choose Shopify if you want a fully customized dedicated eCommerce store and choose Etsy if you want to get started with a marketplace.

How can we help?

If you are planning to set up your eCommerce store on Shopify or Etsy and are not aware of the latest market trends, standards, SEO, store optimization, automation, etc., you need to hire a highly experienced eCommerce development company like IIInigence. Here at IIInigence, we have a team of tech experts who believe in helping clients reach their true potential by providing the right solutions.

Also, if you are still engaged in the Shopify vs Etsy debate and haven’t been able to select an eCommerce platform, we can help you make the best choice after carefully analyzing your business model. Simply schedule a call with one of our eCommerce consultants and let us help you find the best fit for your business. You can check out our portfolio via our website or simply contact us via email or the contact us page.