Shopify is a platform for businesses to create and manage their own online store, while Etsy is a marketplace for independent sellers to sell their handmade or vintage items.
Etsy also has its own website builder called Etsy Pattern which we will get into more later in the blog.
It's an interesting comparison between Shopify and Etsy: as they're both eCommerce platforms that share some similarities, however, Shopify and Etsy also have some vast differences.
Let us first take a look at Shopify.
Shopify Website Builder
Shopify is a multinational eCommerce business and website builder that was founded in 2004. It was created by three friends, Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake.
We won't go into the history of Shopify and how this eCommerce platform came to be, as we're focussing on the comparison between Shopify and Etsy here. However, if you would like to take a deeper dive into the history of Shopify, how to create an online store with Shopify, and what that would mean and cost for your business, please take a read of our blog 'What is Shopify' here.
That being said, we do need to outline the main points regarding having your own store and selling products on Shopify.
One of the best things about Shopify is its comprehensive suite of tools and resources for managing the various aspects of an online store, including inventory, payments, shipping, and marketing. This enables you to have a highly functioning Shopify store.
Shopify has its own payment service called 'Shopify Payments'. This payment method is beneficial as it charges lower transaction fees than third-party payment gateways.
This enhances the checkout experience for online customers as they will not be re-directed to a different payment sight.
Accepted Payment Gateways
Naturally, Shopify also accepts the usual payment gateways like ApplePay, GooglePay, VISA, Mastercard, Amex etc.
If you would like to learn more about what Shopify Payments is, the benefits thereof and how it can positively impact your business, please read more about it here 'Shopify Payments'.
This is the point of sale that Shopify offers. This service is offered so that people who have their own business are not stuck to only their online store but can expand upon this by being able to sell in person. Whether this be at a retail store or at a pop-up market, Shopify POS is there for all offline sales. This way to can have both an online and offline Shopify store.
All you need to do is buy the Shopify POS merchandise and get cracking.
There are two Shopify POS plans, Shopify POS Lite and Shopify POS Pro. Would you like to know more? Then read all about it here on 'The Shopify POS App – What is it? How does it work?'.
Shopify App Store
The area that really allows you to make your online business a custom heaven. It's a double whammy.
The first area in which you can make things custom is naturally through the design. Shopify offers both free templates and paid for templates. You can re-jig the design to make it your own, add some colors that suit your brand, add your products and then start selling!
Now, to actually operate how you wish, you might need some tweaking to your Shopify store. This tweaking can be in the form of Shopify apps.
Third-party apps are a great way to add the resources and features you require. The Shopify app store makes it easy, too. They have already divided their apps into sections and heading depending on what your online store requires:
- Find products to sell – dropshipping, print on demand, bulk product migration
- Bring in customers – marketing, paid advertising, SEO (search engine optimization), email marketing, text messages, chats
- Sell more stuff – discount codes, reviews, reminders
- Customize your store – custom pages, image optimization, video, translations
- Deliver the goods – inventory, fulfillment, shipping
- Scale the business – manage finances, optimize your operations
If you would like to take a look at the Shopify app store, do so here.
Shopify offers 24/7 support for their customers, making it a great option for those just starting out with eCommerce and with their first Shopify store.
They are known for their incredible 24/7 support. They also have a very useful help section on their website which answers a lot of questions you might have.
With someone who wants to have an online store, Shopify is a good option if you would like to build your own website. This can be a seriously simply setup by choosing Shopify's least expensive option, called their 'Starter' plan. This Shopify plan is only $5 per month.
If you require more robust eCommerce tools, then you might consider bumping that plan up to their 'Basic Shopify' plan at $29 per month or even their 'Shopify' plan at $79 per month.
We won't mention their more expansive plans of 'Advanced Shopify' and 'Shopify Plus' as if you're looking for these two plans, then you're probably too big for Etsy anyway and wouldn't need the comparison. You'd most likely be looking to compare with other big eCommerce fish like BigCommerce, in which case, take a read of our blog 'What is BigCommerce?' to know more about their advanced plans and incredible eCommerce tools.
Should you wish to know more about each Shopify plan and how you can build a successful online store on it, please read our blog 'Shopify Plans and Pricing' to gain a better understanding.
Now that we know a little more about Shopify, we can get into comparing Etsy vs Shopify slowly, slowly.
You can create your own Etsy Shop by simply signing up. All you need to do is visit Etsy.com/sell and select Get started.
Thereafter, is a simple matter of choosing your Etsy shop language, the country and your currency. You then need to enter your Shopify name and that's it.
Etsy was founded in 2005. Etsy was founded by Rob Kalin, Chris Maguire, and Haim Schoppik.
Etsy is a website for businesses to sell handmade or vintage items. It offers a great way for businesses to build a following, as it has a large and engaged community of buyers specifically interested in these types of items. Etsy is great for its large and engaged community of buyers specifically interested in handmade items.
ETSY IS Ideal for small business owners
Etsy is ideal for small business owners who want to sell online. Unlike Shopify, Etsy is the website on which you sell, so you create a store ON the Etsy platform, as opposed to creating a store USING the Shopify platform.
This is a great platform that allows small businesses to have the option of increasing their visibility and sales.
We understand that you might be a small business that wants to sell handmade goods, but creating an online store without having loyal customers can seem futile. If you start selling on Etsy, then you are immediately available to every Etsy shopper. Everyone who types in 'Etsy' and is looking for say 'a custom cushion' which you also make, will see it.
To sell on Etsy is a useful option if you do not have the time or means to create your own online website yet.
In order to have your own Etsy listings and products on their website, you need to ensure they offer Etsy Payments in your country.
If you would like to have an Etsy Shop, first just take a look at whether this is supported in your country. Read more about this on the Etsy Help page here on 'Countries eligible for Etsy Payments'.
Etsy offers different plans depending on the features a business wants. There are three main plans: Basic, Standard, and Plus.
The Basic plan is free and includes the ability to list up to five items, while the Standard and Plus plans include more features like unlimited listings, lower fees, and access to certain marketing tools.
Etsy offers lower fees for listing and selling items compared to Shopify, this can be helpful for businesses with a limited budget. However, this comes at the cost of not having your own website, but rather your own shop on the Etsy platform itself.
Etsy users can choose which plan suits them best and sign up for that one. Download the Etsy app and peruse other vendors first if you want, to see how your needs might compare to others and use the FAQ section to find out which plan suits your needs best.
Etsy Payment Gateways
Etsy accepts the usual Payment Gateways.
These include ApplePay, GooglePay, PayPal, Klarna, Debit and Credit Cards etc.
For Austria and Germany, they also accept Sofort.
Furthermore, they have their own Etsy Gift cards and Etsy Credits which can be used to make payments.
If you would like to know more, please read on their help section 'What Payment Methods Can I Use to Check Out on Etsy?'
With Square Reader, you can make in person sales that you have the choice to sync to your Etsy shop.
Square Reader is a card reader that allows businesses to accept payments from credit and debit cards. It is available for free from the Square app store.
Square Reader plugs into the headphone jack of a mobile device and can be used to accept payments at trade shows, farmers markets, and other events.
Online sales are important, but as are offline sales. Square Reader enables offline selling too.
Naturally, if you sell online, you will have to pay certain transaction fees and payment processing fees. This is what you pay for the reputation and platform that Etsy offers you.
Etsy charges a $0.20 fee for each item listed on the site. There is also a 3.5% fee charged on the total sale amount for each item sold.
We won't get into the nitty-gritty of it, but it's not an additional task you need to think of as Etsy will automatically deduct all fees owed from your payment account.
If you would like to know more about Etsy fees, take a look here.
Etsy Pattern is the next step if you want to create your own website and are no longer happy with only having an Etsy Shop.
Pattern is a software application offered by Etsy that allows businesses to create and manage their own online store. It offers a comprehensive suite of tools and resources for managing the various aspects of an online store, including inventory, payments, shipping, and marketing. Additionally, Pattern offers 24/7 support for its customers.
Etsy Pattern has a 30-day free trial. Thereafter, it costs $15 a month, which is for the hosting alone and does not include your own domain or custom domain.
The Etsy Pattern has its own dashboard, similar to Shopify, where you can set up your pages, add your products, incorporate marketing tools and add a blog feature etc.
If you sign up for only Etsy Pattern, then your products will not be listed on the Etsy Marketplace, as they would be if you simply had an Etsy shop. You will therefore be responsible for driving traffic to your website.
To sign up to use Pattern, visit https://www.etsy.com/pattern-signup?ref=si_new and provide the required information.
You will need to create an account and provide some basic information about your business. You will also need to provide a bank account number in order to receive payments from Etsy.
Shopify VS Etsy VS Etsy Pattern – let's think together
Right, so first things first, one is a platform you use to create a website with (Shopify), the other is a platform you create a shop on and then sell through that website (Etsy) and then the third is a very entry-level website builder (Etsy Pattern).
Being an Etsy seller comes with its own set of difficulties, especially in the design area. Etsy is limited in its options for customizing the look and feel of a shop compared to Shopify's flexibility with themes and design.
Whereas on Etsy Pattern you will be able to sell through your very own store and website.
However, it is clear that Shopify is simply more advanced in its offering and features, which is the ultimate difference.
Shopify offers a monthly subscription fee, while Etsy does not, but Etsy Patterns does.
Finally, Shopify offers more flexibility with themes and design, while Etsy offers more customization options for the look and feel of a shop.
Etsy Pattern also does not offer that much in terms of customization, as their aim is to get an online store on its feet without too much fuss. Shopify is more geared toward supporting its merchants to create their ultimate website dream.
On Etsy, you cannot integrate third-party apps to better your Etsy shop. Whereas on Shopify you have access to 3000+ apps that you can use to improve your online business.
Etsy struggles with marketing integration, and Shopify thrives. Furthermore, Etsy does not really provide any reporting or business analytics, which Shopify does in leaps and bounds.
Overall, it really depends on the type of products and brand a business has, as well as their budget and technical abilities. Both Shopify and Etsy can be successful options for selling online.
How are Shopify and Etsy similar? Both platforms offer a great way for businesses to create and manage their own online store. They both offer comprehensive suites of tools and resources, as well as 24/7 support for their customers. Additionally, both platforms have large and engaged communities of buyers specifically interested in handmade and vintage items.
Conclusion – Etsy vs Shopify
Shopify and Etsy have both been round for over a decade. Etsy Pattern was only launched in 2017, so they're the new kid to the block.
Their comparison between the three here is fair, but it is clear to see that their entry level target market is rather different.
With Shopify, users want to custom make their own website, they want to sell through their own website's channel and largely source their own clients,
Whereas, Etsy users rather want to join an existing movement in the form of the Etsy sales channels and sell their handmade products there.
And Etsy Patterns is probably for a business that has already achieved success on Etsy and wants to try its hand at having its own website, but without the design and price commitment of Shopify.
It's not so easy to find your voice in the eCommerce world, however, through research and rigorous comparison, you can find the eCommerce solution for you. If you need help creating your own online store, get in touch with us! We'd be happy to help you create your online shop.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit us on our website here.
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Natalie MillerMarketing Manager
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