Shopify and Etsy are two well-known eCommerce platforms in the market. They might seem similar, but if we deeply analyze them, they are different, having completely different functionalities.
Where Shopify lets you create a standalone storefront, Etsy is a free marketplace that has nothing to do with building and customizing your store. All you have to do is to add products and start selling. Thus, most people would suggest Etsy as it doesn’t have any monthly fee.
But is it worth using Etsy over Shopify? Which of these two is a better option for eCommerce merchants? – we’d evaluate everything in this article.
Let’s dive in.
Shopify Vs. Etsy: At a Glance (Ratings out of 5)
|S. No.||Point of Differences||Shopify||Etsy|
|1.||Value for Money||4.7||4.2|
|2.||eCommerce Features & Tools||4.8||4.0|
|3.||Themes & Designs||4.7||3.9|
|4.||Ease of Use||4.7||4.8|
|5.||Apps & Extensions||4.9||4.2|
Shopify Vs. Etsy: Key Differences
Before we explore and compare all the features of Shopify and Etsy, let’s have a look at the major differences between both platforms.
- Shopify is a fully customizable eCommerce platform designed to help businesses build and manage their own online storefronts, whereas Etsy is a marketplace for creative entrepreneurs and artists to sell their handmade, vintage, and unique goods.
- While Shopify allows merchants to sell any type of product, Etsy is primarily focused on vintage, handmade, and craft items.
- Shopify provides complete control over the shop’s design and functionality, while Etsy’s customization options are limited to the storefront and product pages.
- Shopify has a monthly subscription fee, along with transaction fees for using third-party payment gateways. On the other hand, Etsy charges a per-listing fee and transaction fee for each sale made on the platform.
- Shopify is ideal for businesses of all sizes, while Etsy is best suited for individual sellers and small businesses that offer unique products.
- Shopify allows businesses to build and promote their own brand, while Etsy’s branding is focused on the marketplace and individual sellers. However, sellers can add their own stories and how they started their businesses on the Etsy platform.
- Shopify offers a range of marketing tools, including SEO optimization and social media integrations. At the same time, Etsy provides some basic marketing tools and relies on the sellers to do their own promotions.
- Sellers have to depend on their own or third-party resources to ship their products unless they use SFN (Shopify Fulfillment Network) service, which is only available across the United States and Canada. Etsy provides tools to help sellers manage shipping and fulfillment. They also provide an “Etsy Shipping Labels” service to the platform sellers.
- Shopify provides 24/7 customer support via phone, email, and live chat, while Etsy’s support service is limited and only available during business hours.
- With Shopify, you can grow and scale your business. They offer various plans so businesses can choose their preferred plan according to their business need. Etsy, on the other hand, is suitable for smaller businesses as there are limited scalability options.
Let’s evaluate their functionalities in detail –
Shopify Vs. Etsy: eCommerce Features and Tools
Before anything else, we must check how good their Ecomerce features are and which one would be more efficient for your business.
Shopify’s eCommerce Features & Tools
To put it simply, Shopify is the king of all eCommerce platforms. Starting from building a professional storefront to seamless order fulfillment, Shopify has your back for everything.
Here’s how Shopify would help you with its eCommerce features-
- You can create a standalone, highly-customizable storefront within minutes.
- Multiple sales channels, including social, in-person, and offline selling.
- One-click checkout
- Flexible Shopify POS
- Out-of-the-box SEO features
- Integrated messaging tools
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Inventory management
- Real-time insights
In a word, Shopify is a feature-rich eCommerce platform perfect for every small and growing business.
Etsy’s eCommerce Features & Tools
Being a marketplace, Etsy provides you with decent eCommerce features you need to run a business efficiently. From managing orders to promoting your business, you would find every option on the “Sell on Etsy App.”
And the best part is Etsy lets you connect to a premium community of like-minded people, which helps you grow your business within a shorter period.
Not only that, but Etsy is also SEO optimizable, helping you increase visibility among your target Audience. Moreover, Etsy has out-of-the-box analytics and logistics to boost your selling performance.
Wait! Etsy doesn’t end here. It has a premium version called “Etsy Plus,” where you will get some advanced eCommerce features, including shop customization, Etsy ads, discounts on delivery boxes, business cards, and so on.
No need to say there’s hardly any platform that can beat Shopify’s premium eCommerce features. Whereas on Etsy, you have to manage the inventory system on your own, Shopify has a dedicated inventory management system to streamline the selling process.
Apart from that, Etsy lacks some premium features (even in its plus plan) like abandoned card recovery and point of sale that gives a slight edge to Shopify. In a word, Etsy focuses on a simple selling process, whereas Shopify has mainly been designed to take your store to the next level.
Shopify Vs. Etsy: Themes & Designs
Be it a store or a marketplace, if any platform gives you full control over customizing your storefront/account, it’s a turn-on for both the business owners and buyers.
Shopify Themes & Designs
Shopify has a total of 114 themes (both free and paid) to create an attractive-looking store that will stand out among the crowd. These themes are fully customizable, giving you full control over designing your store the way you want.
Starting from Arts & crafts to hardware and automotive, every type of theme is available in its theme store. Additionally, Shopify adds some unique and premium features to its themes, including back-to-top buttons, before/after image sliders, a mega menu, a quick view, etc.
Shopify lets you edit the themes via text editor and image editor that helps you create a store within a few hours. Moreover, Shopify is built with a designer-focused programming language called Liquid that you can learn yourself or hire a Shopify designer to make the process easier.
Etsy Themes & Designs
You already know that Etsy is a marketplace. Thus there are no such themes that you can use to customize your store. You have to maintain Etsy’s own design format to build an account on this platform.
But this doesn’t mean that Etsy’s design is poor. It has a standard-looking interface that would automatically fit your account. Moreover, you can always add unique product images and logos to stand out from your competitors. But, if you are on Etsy’s plus plan, you will get access to advanced home customization with multiple premium banners.
As you can clearly see, Shopify has premium themes and design templates, where Etsy lags behind badly. Even Etsy doesn’t have any option to customize the store. That’s why Shopify would be the winner here.
Shopify Vs. Etsy: Ease of Use
Though both Shopify and Etsy are extremely easy to navigate but there are some aspects that you need to check before opting for any of them.
Shopify Ease of Use
Though people claim that Shopify is super smooth and easy to navigate, we don’t solely agree with this statement. No doubt, Shopify has a streamlined interface and customization process that can help anyone build a standalone storefront, but if you are looking forward to creating a professional storefront and scaling your business to the next level, you need to have enough understanding of HTML, CSS to get the process done.
Otherwise, setting up a storefront and making it up and running is super easy on Shopify.
Etsy Ease of Use
Etsy doesn’t delve deeper like Shopify. Thus, it has a very basic interface for both sellers and buyers. On Etsy, there is no headache of creating and customizing a store; rather, all you have to do is to list the products on your account and start selling.
Thus we find selling on Etsy is nothing but a piece of cake.
We believe power comes with complications. The same is applied to Shopify too. If you want to build a great store and grow your business, you have to deal with some technical processes.
But as far as ease of use is concerned, we find Etsy is way more straightforward than Shopify.
Shopify Vs. Etsy: Apps & Extensions
Sellers don’t always get happy with the built-in features that come with the platforms. Thus they need some third-party apps and integrations to make selling easier. Here we will check which of these two has integrated more convenient apps in its app store.
Shopify’s Apps & Extensions
Shopify has integrated over 8000+ applications in its app marketplace. No matter which app you are looking for, Shopify will bring everything to your plate.
Even Shopify has integrated some leading applications like Klaviyo, Tiktok, Pinterest, eBay, Mailchimp, and many more. Not only that, but you can also add Etsy to your Shopify store, which is quite impressive.
Etsy’s Apps & Integrations
On the contrary, Etsy only has a total of 25 integrations, including ReferralCandy, TaxJar, Vela, and so on. Also, Its app marketplace lacks some leading integrations for marketing your business.
We don’t need to explain why Shopify smoothly wins here. You can clearly see Shopify has more convenient options in its marketplace, whereas Etsy only has a few apps in its box. Thus, Shopify should be your first choice if you are in search of some top-notch applications to add to your store.
Shopify Vs. Etsy: Pricing, Payment gateways & Extra Fees
Here comes the most awaited part of the whole article. How much do they cost? Are they expensive? Are they value for money? – we’ll answer here.
Shopify Pricing, Payment Options & Fees
Shopify mainly offers five types of pricing plans to the users –
- Shopify Starter: $5/month
- Basic: $29/month
- Shopify: $79/month
- Advanced: $299/month
- Shopify Plus: Custom Price ( starts from $2k)
(Disclaimer: If you are a brand new Shopify user, you will get access to its starter and Basic plans at only $1 once your free trial is over. But the offer is for only three months. You can grab this deal to test Shopify’s features.)
However, Shopify offers two types of payment providers to the user – Shopify Payments and Third-party Payment providers. If you use Shopify payments, it won’t charge any transaction fees. But if you use any third-party providers like GPay or PayPal, you have to pay extra for each transaction –
- Basic: 2% fee
- Shopify: 1% fee
- Advanced: 0.5% fee
Not only that, if you use credit cards for transactions, again, you have to pay some extra amount to Shopify. For example –
- Basic: $2.9% +0.3 online
- Shopify: $2.6% + 0.3 online
- Advanced: $2.6% + 0.3 online
( Pro Tip: These fees can directly hit your profit margin. Thus we recommend you go for Shopify payments or upgrade your plans to avoid the huge fees.)
Etsy Pricing, Payment Options & Fees
Etsy’s standard plan doesn’t cost you anything for selling online. But if you want more control over the look of your store, you have to upgrade to its Plus plan, which costs you $10/month.
Like Shopify, Etsy also has its own payment gateways with other third-party payment providers like Google Pay, PayPal, Klarna Financing (for US sellers), and many more.
However, though Etsy’s standard plan doesn’t cost you anything, you have to pay extra to keep your business up and running. For example:
- Product Listing Fee: 0.20/item
- Transaction Fee: 6.5/transaction
- Shipping Fee: 6.5%/shipping
- Website Cost: $15/month
Considering all the above aspects, we find buying Shopify is worth it than opting for Etsy. Though it charges a monthly fee but great features also come with the packages. Whereas Etsy costs nothing, but it deducts a major amount for transaction fees.
Shopify Vs. Etsy: Security
In an era where fraud and scammers are on the rise, one question always arises – Is it safe to use?
Thus in this section, we’ll evaluate which of these two platforms offers a more convenient security system to the users.
Every Shopify store comes with built-in SSL security. No matter what plan you have opted for, Shopify has integrated the same security system for everyone. Even Shopify has been certified with level 1 PCI Dss standard that gives you full security to your store and transaction methods.
Moreover, Shopify has a dedicated Fraud Analysis feature that’s convenient for detecting fraudulent orders and customers.
Etsy is indeed a secure platform used by millions of sellers. It provides you with seller security like Financial and banking information security, end-to-end encryption, and so on. But, many a time, customers try to scam sellers. Thus it’s upon you to be very careful while selling on Etsy.
Though any complaints haven’t been charged against Etsy, we find its security system is not up-to-the-mark like Shopify. In contrast, Shopify is a fully secure and safest eCommerce platform available in the market.
Shopify vs Etsy: Customer Support
An active custom support system solves every nitty-gritty issue. That’s why we must check who is leading in this case.
Shopify’s Customer Support system
Here’s how you can contact Shopify’s team –
- Email Support
- Live Chat
- Phone Chat
- Community Forum
- Blogs & Articles
Etsy’s Customer Support System
Etsy offers the same support as Shopify. But its customer support team isn’t active 24/7, and the blog section is all customer-based. Thus it won’t help much to the sellers.
Considering all of the above concerns, We would say Shopify’s support system is much better than Etsy’s.
Shopify Vs Etsy: What Should You Choose In 2023?
The conclusion is pretty clear. Though Shopify is a bit more expensive than Etsy, buying it is always worth it.
- Shopify has top-notch eCommerce features to take your business to the next level.
- Shopify is more personalized and customizable than Etsy.
- It has scalable plans and effective selling tools.
- It offers a dedicated account manager ( in premium themes) who will handhold you in your selling journey.
Etsy is undoubtedly a decent platform if you want to try your hands out on online selling, but it’s not scalable and has very limited functionalities.
Thus, Shopify is far better than Etsy.