Shopify Vs. Etsy: Which Framework Is Best For 2024?
In the e-commerce marketplace, which Shopify estimates to reach $5.9 trillion in 2023, choosing the right platform can mean the difference between watching your business thrive or seeing it stumble. Whether you’re an established business owner looking for expansion or a newcomer plotting your first steps into the world of online sales, selecting the right framework isn’t a decision to be taken lightly.
In the ever-changing landscape of 2023, two titans continue to dominate the conversation – Shopify and Etsy. Each platform offers its unique blend of features, scalability, and customization, and understanding these nuances is crucial to aligning with your business needs and aspirations.
In this comprehensive breakdown, we’ll delve into the heart of what makes these platforms tick, examining everything from their customizability and budget considerations to scalability, marketing, sales, e-commerce tools, and customer support. But we won’t stop there. We’ll explore the less obvious, but equally important factors that could sway your decision between Shopify and Etsy.
Sounds impressive? That’s right, your journey into e-commerce success begins here.
Why You Should Read This Article
We at SumatSoft decided to write our comparison of these two platforms because we have 10 years of experience in eCommerce web app development services and we would like to shore our ideas. We also wrote a similar article several years back where we pushed Spree Commerce and Shopify.
In our blog, we share our knowledge, expertise, and personal opinions on several tech-related topics. We hope this information will help you to look into the topic you are interested in or to see it from a different perspective.
What Is Shopify?
Shopify is a popular e-commerce platform used by small businesses that allow anyone to sell their products in an online store. On top of this, Shopify also has other offerings such as point-of-sale (POS), which could be used in physical stores. Other add-ons are also available including Shopify Shipping, which creates shipping labels, and Shopify Payments, which is needed to accept credit cards. These additional services incur additional fees for businesses.
It’s worth noting that this is subscription-based software (also called Software-as-a-Service). Hence, there are different categories catering to all kinds of businesses. There’s Shopify Lite for online store builders, Basic Shopify for brick-and-mortar stores, and Shopify Plus for large businesses. Years back, we included Shopify in the list of top SaaS examples. We update this list regularly and Shopify still deserves its place there.
What Is Etsy?
Etsy is an online marketplace that allows independent creators, collectors, and artists to sell custom-made or vintage items such as clothing, toys, art, and a lot more. It’s more of a middle-man in the business process, providing creators a platform to sell their products to their market. Because it’s an online marketplace, sellers not only produce their own goods but also manage their own inventory as well.
Is Shopify Better Than Etsy?
Shopify or Etsy? Perhaps you’re grappling with this question, weighing the pros and cons of each platform. While it might be tempting to search for a definitive winner in this e-commerce face-off, the reality is that both platforms shine in their own unique ways. Their value isn’t based on a generic ‘better-than’ scale but on how well they align with your specific business needs, objectives, and the nature of the products or services you offer. So instead of asking ‘which is better,’ let’s delve deeper and explore how Shopify and Etsy can serve different business scenarios, examining key aspects that could influence your choice. Buckle up as we embark on this comparative journey to unravel the best fit for your entrepreneurial aspirations.
While it might be tempting to search for a definitive winner in this e-commerce face-off, the reality is that both platforms shine in their own unique ways. Their value isn’t based on a generic ‘better-than’ scale but on how well they align with your specific business needs, objectives, and the nature of the products or services you offer.
Shopify vs. Etsy
Shopify vs. Etsy: Customizability
The dynamism of an online store plays a critical role in attracting and retaining customers. Here, Shopify outshines Etsy, offering limitless possibilities for design and layout customization. With a rich repository of templates, Shopify is an ideal choice for those keen to curate unique branding experiences. Not just that, Shopify enables the creation of personalized web domains, enhancing brand recall among your customers.
On the contrary, Etsy adopts a more standardized approach, handling the storefront for sellers. You simply create an account, list your products, and voila! Etsy even allows you to redirect your existing domain to your Etsy shop, though this entails collaborating with their third-party partners.
Those seeking advanced customization may consider specialized software development companies like SumatoSoft. Offering tailored e-commerce application development services, it lets businesses shape their platform just as they envisioned.
Shopify vs. Etsy: Budget
When it comes to cost, both platforms have different structures.
Shopify works with a tiered subscription model. The Basic Shopify plan is available at €32 per month. This includes necessary features such as creating a store, shipping products, and processing payments. If you need advanced features like professional reports, you can opt for the Shopify plan at €92 per month. For businesses demanding custom reporting and lowest transaction fees, the Advanced Shopify plan is available at €384 per month. Keep in mind, Shopify offers a 3-day free trial and the first 3 months on any plan are available for just €1 per month.
On the other hand, Etsy offers two main plans. Etsy Standard is available to all sellers at no additional monthly cost, providing basic tools for running an online shop. For sellers looking to grow their business, Etsy Plus is available for $10 per month and comes with a bundle of extra features such as a budget of credits for listings and Etsy Ads, advanced shop customization options, and more.
While Etsy might seem more cost-effective initially, especially for beginners or those with fewer products, as a business scales, the value offered by Shopify’s more advanced plans might outweigh the higher cost. Keep in mind that, besides subscription fees, other costs, such as transaction and listing fees, might apply. The choice between Etsy and Shopify should be made based on business needs, growth plans, and budget.
Shopify vs. Etsy: Scalability
Shopify is designed for scalability, offering a variety of plans that can be easily upgraded to match your business growth. It also provides an extensive app marketplace and multi-channel selling options, including a Point of Sale (POS) system for brick-and-mortar stores. This makes it a versatile choice for businesses that anticipate rapid growth and diversification.
On the other hand, Etsy offers fewer scalability options. With just two main plans and no native POS system, it’s more constrained. While Etsy does provide a built-in audience, the platform’s rules and structure can limit how much you can adapt and grow your business.
When it comes to scalability, Shopify stands out as the more flexible option, offering various plans and features that can adapt to a growing business. Etsy, while simpler to start with, offers fewer avenues for expansion and adaptation, making it less ideal for businesses with ambitious growth plans.
Shopify vs. Etsy: Marketing
The responsibility of luring your target audience to your online store rests squarely on your shoulders when using Shopify. This involves search engine optimization, social media engagement, and numerous other strategies to build your brand. For those just taking their first steps into the business world, Etsy, with its existing user base and focus on handcrafted goods, can provide initial exposure. As previously mentioned, Etsy is a marketplace with a focus on providing a platform for sellers of handcrafted goods. With its website having millions of visitors, you don’t have to worry as much about attracting buyers.
The downside of using Etsy is the visible competition when using the platform. When you search for a product – for instance, stickers – you’ll see all the competitor sticker products in the marketplace. This can make it difficult to stand out, especially in industries with stiff competition. This isn’t exactly the case with Shopify. With this popular e-commerce platform, you can use multiple marketing strategies that allow your business to stay on top of the game.
Another disadvantage of using Etsy and other marketplace-based platforms is that your products are priced based on the current state of the market. This implies that you have to adjust your product costs based on the competition. If all of them sell a product at a certain range, you will have to price your products according to the market rates accordingly. As a result, competitors lower their prices frequently to stay competitive in a cutthroat market. The freedom Shopify gives you to market your brand allows you to command higher prices for your products, especially when you build your brand to become a reputable one. This also goes for merchants selling high-quality products. Hence, you can set the price you believe your product deserves. That’s not to discount the services that Etsy provides. Nonetheless, it’s an excellent gateway for those to get started with their business.
In the realm of marketing, Shopify offers greater freedom and flexibility, allowing businesses to employ a variety of strategies to build and control their brand, but it also places the onus of attracting customers entirely on the seller. Etsy, on the other hand, provides an existing audience and initial exposure, especially for niche products, but limits pricing freedom and makes standing out in a crowded marketplace more challenging.
You can even take your marketing efforts a little bit further. By choosing a custom software development company like SumatoSoft, you can even create your online marketplace that showcases art and antiques, which is quite similar to Etsy. And even better, you can display your products in live videos so your buyers have a better perspective of the products they’re eyeing. On top of that, custom software development companies even provide all e-commerce functions in your marketplace.
Shopify vs. Etsy: Number of Sales
Let’s talk numbers. If we’re talking about attracting more people into the market, your best bet is the framework that makes more sales for merchants. This platform is preferable for most businesses, especially those that have just started. In 2022, merchants solutions revenue increased 30% to $1.3 billion compared to the prior year. In comparison, Etsy merchants’ sales pale in comparison to this gargantuan number. Generating 10 million U.S. dollars in sales, it’s still quite impressive for an e-commerce platform, but it seems that there is already a clear winner on this front.
When it comes to sales volume, Shopify clearly outperforms Etsy.
Shopify vs. Etsy: eCommerce Tools
When comparing Shopify vs. Etsy, research the tools that you’ll need to build your website. Thanks to its app store filled with helpful e-commerce tools, Shopify is a more appropriate option for your business if you’re looking for more features to add to your e-commerce website.
Shopify offers a comprehensive suite of e-commerce tools through its app store, allowing businesses to customize their online stores extensively. From advanced analytics and SEO tools to inventory management and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, Shopify’s app marketplace is a treasure trove for those who want to fine-tune every aspect of their e-commerce website experience.
Etsy, on the other hand, provides a more streamlined set of tools aimed at simplicity and ease of use. While it may not offer the extensive range of add-ons that Shopify does, Etsy covers the basics well, offering essential features like listing management, order processing, and basic analytics. This makes it a suitable choice for small business owners or those who are new to e-commerce and prefer a less complex platform.
Shopify excels in offering a wide array of e-commerce tools through its app store, making it ideal for those who seek extensive customization and feature-rich experiences. Etsy, while simpler, provides essential tools that are more than adequate for small businesses or those new to online selling, making it less overwhelming for the less tech-savvy.
Shopify vs. Etsy: Customer Support
Shopify offers robust customer support with 24/7 availability through live chat, ensuring that help is always at hand. This round-the-clock support can be particularly beneficial for businesses that operate across different time zones or have urgent issues that need immediate resolution.
Etsy also provides customer support via email, phone, and live chat, but the experience can be less immediate. Many issues are often addressed through email, which could result in waiting several business days for a response. This may not be ideal for sellers who require quick solutions to pressing problems.
Shopify stands out for its 24/7 live chat support, offering immediate assistance for businesses that may require urgent help or operate in different time zones. Etsy, while offering multiple channels for support, often relies on email correspondence, which could result in longer wait times for issue resolution.
Shopify vs. Etsy: Audience Targeting
Successfully selling a product or service online largely depends on reaching the right audience. Etsy and Shopify, although different in many aspects, offer diverse ways to help you reach and engage your target customers.
Etsy, as a marketplace, offers a built-in audience already searching for unique, handcrafted, and vintage products. This platform attracts a demographic that appreciates the personal touch, creativity, and uniqueness. In essence, it can be said that Etsy does a significant part of the audience targeting for you, exposing your products to its millions of unique visitors every month. However, it’s worth mentioning that with a wide range of sellers on the platform, competition for buyer attention can be fierce.
On the other hand, Shopify offers you a standalone e-commerce platform where you create and control your online store. This means you’re responsible for attracting your audience and driving traffic to your website. Shopify facilitates this process by integrating with a wide array of marketing and SEO tools that allow you to reach your target demographic effectively. You can leverage social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, and search engine optimization to attract and engage your audience. Moreover, Shopify’s analytics and reporting features provide insights into your audience’s behavior, enabling you to refine your marketing strategies for better results.
In a nutshell, while Etsy can provide an immediate audience, Shopify provides you with the tools to build and understand your audience better. The choice largely depends on your marketing strategy and the type of customers you intend to reach.
Shopify vs. Etsy: Transaction and Listing Fees
The handling of transaction and listing fees is a critical aspect to consider when deciding between Etsy and Shopify, as these costs can significantly impact your profit margins.
For Etsy, each listing in your shop will cost you $0.20 USD. This fee applies regardless of whether the item sells or not, and it’s charged as soon as you publish an item. Furthermore, Etsy levies a 6.5% transaction fee on the total cost of each sale, but this fee is only applied to items that sell in your Etsy shop.
Contrastingly, Shopify operates differently. The platform does not charge any listing fees. Instead, it levies a transaction fee, but only if you opt to use a payment provider other than Shopify Payments. The transaction fees vary depending on your Shopify plan – 2% for Basic Shopify, 1% for the standard Shopify plan, and 0.5% for the Advanced Shopify plan. If you choose to use Shopify Payments, these transaction fees are waived, and you’re only charged a credit card rate.
Given these differences in fee structures, it’s important to understand how these costs could affect your business operations and profitability. This understanding is especially crucial when considering your product pricing, the volume of orders, and shipping fees. Thus, it’s recommended to calculate how these fees will affect your bottom line on each platform before making a decision.
When it comes to transaction and listing fees, Etsy charges a $0.20 USD listing fee per item and a 6.5% transaction fee on sold items, while Shopify has no listing fees but does have variable transaction fees unless you use Shopify Payments. The choice between the two platforms should be based on how these fee structures align with your business model, sales volume, and overall profitability goals.
eCommerce Website Development with SumatoSoft
For over a decade, we at SumatoSoft have built a reputable presence in the eCommerce web development market. With a commendable track record of satisfying 98% of their Clients across 200+ projects, we have established themselves as a trusted partner in digital transformation. We offer a comprehensive range of services for businesses seeking to enhance their online presence. Our expertise includes:
- creating conversion-focused UI/UX designs;
- developing eCommerce mobile applications;
- comprehensive SEO;
- multistore eCommerce;
- eCommerce dropshipping;
- progressive web apps;
- B2C and B2B eCommerce websites.
Why Clients Appreciate Us
We support you after launch and provide post-release support that ensures your businesses will have all the technical conditions to win top positions in your niche.
Our Clients choose us because:
- 200 successful projects in 27 countries.
- 60 specialists on board, 10 years on the market of eCommerce software development services.
- No communication barrier since all specialists speak English well.
- We are excellent both in eCommerce development and marketing services.
- We design top-notch eCommerce websites and know how to increase the conversion rate from 0.1% to 1.6%, increase traffic growth by 15% every month, boost referral traffic by 340%, and increase organic traffic by 186%.
We are ready to kickstart your project in days. Contact us!
Choosing a framework between Shopify vs. Etsy will not be easy. Fortunately, both frameworks provide benefits to your business. Alternatively, choosing a custom software development company, like SumaSoft, will also do wonders for your e-commerce application. Be sure to check out the portfolio and get in touch with us so you can turn your vision for your business into a reality.
If you have any questions, email us [email protected]