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For home-based sellers, choosing the right platform to sell your product is one of the more important decisions to make. You may be reading about Shopify vs Etsy, two major platforms people sell on. Both are very different, and which one is right for you? Before diving into the comparisons, let’s introduce each platform.
Shopify is an ecommerce website builder that provides sellers with their own website to host their online shop. Shopify streamlines the process of creating an online storefront and shopping experience, and the platform helps sellers create a single-brand store to market their business.
Etsy is a marketplace, providing a platform for all artisans to showcase their products alongside each other. Etsy is a well-known name in ecommerce, especially for creative and crafty products. The marketplace hosts millions of vendors of all sizes on their platform, and is often an entry-level ecommerce option. In other words, Shopify is like having a storefront, while Etsy compares more to selling at artisan fairs.
So which platform is the right option for you? Let’s consider some pros and cons.
Because Shopify essentially gives sellers the chance to create their own website, how their shop is branded and marketed is far more customizable than Etsy. Shopify is also easily scalable for all business sizes, and there are no rules regarding what you can sell. Etsy sellers have to adhere to the structure provided by the marketplace, and are unable to customize their individual shop or exercise control over a customer’s shopping experience. Etsy also has guidelines on what items can and can’t be sold on their platform.
One of the biggest benefits associated with being an Etsy seller is access to its massive established customer base. Etsy is a recognizable marketplace, and often one of the first spots consumers go to to find handmade products – the platform has over 81 million customers. They can find you without previously knowing about you. However, there is no guarantee your shop will stand out, and the level of competition is much higher. With Shopify, customers need to search directly for your business, or find you via marketing on other platforms (email, social media, etc.). As such, it can be a bit more challenging to direct traffic to your shop.
Set Up and Transaction Fees
Etsy doesn’t charge sellers a monthly fee. However, it does charge a $0.20 listing fee per product, and 5% of each item sold, plus a processing fee. This may be a deterrent for some. Shopify, however, does require more upfront costs, in the form of three different membership tiers ranging from $29 a month to $299 a month. There are no transaction fees. The customizability of Shopify’s platform can make this a great option for midsize-larger businesses. Shopify does offer a 14-day free trial, so you can test the service before committing.
Etsy is a great option for new sellers with a small inventory, and those selling handcrafted products. The platform connects you to a customer base that is interested in purchasing the types of things you are selling, and there are minimal upfront costs. Shopify is ideal for a business that is growing, and perhaps has a large inventory, and can make the investment in a monthly fee. Additionally, it is more compatible with sellers who may not be creating products that fall under Etsy’s niche.
Of course, there is always the option to use multiple platforms to expand business. Both Shopify and Etsy make it easy to integrate your products across platforms. Plus, services such as Listing Mirror can help manage your products, sales, and stock across platforms, to help streamline the process. Multichannel listing ensures you are giving yourself the most opportunity to expand your business.
When you are ready to start selling on both Etsy and Shopify, sign up for a Listing Mirror account today. Let us help you Sell More, Work Less.
Erin is the Co-Founder of Listing Mirror.
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