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Etsy vs. Shopify

Etsy vs. Shopify

Etsy and Shopify are two popular e-commerce platforms that cater to different types of sellers. While Etsy is a marketplace for handmade and vintage items, Shopify is a platform that allows users to create their own branded online store. Both platforms have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right one depends on the specific needs and goals of the seller.

For sellers who specialize in handmade, unique, or vintage items, Etsy can be a great option to showcase their products to a large audience. Etsy has a built-in customer base that is specifically looking for these types of items, which can make it easier for sellers to reach their target market. On the other hand, Shopify allows sellers to have more control over their branding and marketing efforts, which can be important for businesses that want to establish their own identity and build a loyal customer base.

When it comes to fees, both platforms have different pricing structures. Etsy charges a listing fee of $0.20 per item and takes a 5% transaction fee on the sale price, while Shopify charges a monthly subscription fee and a transaction fee that varies depending on the payment gateway used. Understanding these fees and how they impact profitability is an important factor to consider when deciding between the two platforms.

What is Etsy?

Etsy is an online marketplace that specializes in handmade, vintage, and unique items. Founded in 2005, Etsy has grown to become one of the largest online marketplaces for independent sellers. With over 81 million active buyers and 5.4 million active sellers, Etsy offers a wide range of products, including jewelry, clothing, home decor, art, and craft supplies.

One of the unique features of Etsy is its focus on handmade and vintage items. This means that many of the products sold on Etsy are one-of-a-kind or made in small batches. In addition, Etsy allows sellers to create custom orders, which means that buyers can request specific modifications to a product to make it unique to their needs.

Etsy’s platform is designed to be user-friendly for both buyers and sellers. Buyers can easily search for products using keywords, categories, and filters. Sellers can create their own online storefronts, manage their listings, and communicate with buyers through Etsy’s messaging system. Etsy also provides sellers with tools for managing their finances, tracking their sales, and analyzing their shop data.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a popular ecommerce platform that allows businesses to create their own online stores. It was founded in 2006 and has since grown to become one of the most popular ecommerce platforms in the world, with over 1 million businesses using it to sell their products online.

One of the main benefits of using Shopify is that it is incredibly user-friendly. Even those with no coding experience can create a professional-looking online store in a matter of hours. Shopify offers a range of customizable templates and themes, making it easy to create a store that reflects your brand.

Shopify also offers a range of features to help businesses manage their online stores, including inventory management, order tracking, and customer management. It also integrates with a range of third-party apps and tools, making it easy to add new features and functionality to your store as your business grows.

Etsy vs. Shopify: Pros and Cons

Pros of Etsy

Etsy is an established online marketplace that connects buyers with independent sellers offering unique and handmade products. The platform has a loyal following of customers who prefer to shop for one-of-a-kind items that cannot be found anywhere else. Etsy also offers a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for sellers to set up their own online store and start selling their products.

Another advantage of Etsy is that it has a built-in community of sellers who can offer support and advice to new sellers. This community can be especially helpful for those who are just starting out and need guidance on how to optimize their listings and market their products effectively.

Cons of Etsy

One of the downsides of Etsy is that it can be difficult for sellers to stand out in a crowded marketplace. With millions of products listed on the platform, it can be challenging to get noticed by potential customers. Additionally, Etsy charges a variety of fees, including listing fees, transaction fees, and payment processing fees, which can cut into a seller’s profits.

Another disadvantage of Etsy is that it does not offer the same level of customization and branding opportunities as Shopify. Sellers on Etsy are limited to the features and design options provided by the platform, which can make it difficult to create a unique and memorable brand identity.

Pros of Shopify

Shopify is a powerful ecommerce platform that offers a wide range of features and customization options. Sellers on Shopify have complete control over their online store’s design and functionality, and can create a unique and professional-looking website that reflects their brand identity. Shopify also offers a variety of marketing tools and integrations that can help sellers reach new customers and grow their business.

Another advantage of Shopify is that it has lower transaction fees than Etsy. This means that sellers can keep more of their profits and reinvest them back into their business. Additionally, Shopify offers a variety of payment processing options, including its own payment gateway, which can simplify the checkout process and improve the customer experience.

Cons of Shopify

One of the drawbacks of Shopify is that it requires more technical knowledge and experience to set up and manage than Etsy. While Shopify offers a user-friendly interface, it can still be intimidating for those who are new to ecommerce. Additionally, Shopify charges a monthly subscription fee, which can be a barrier to entry for some sellers.

Another disadvantage of Shopify is that it does not have the same built-in community of sellers as Etsy. While there are many resources and forums available for Shopify sellers, it can be more difficult to find support and advice from other sellers on the platform.

Features Comparison

Ease of Use

Both Etsy and Shopify offer user-friendly interfaces. However, Shopify is more customizable and allows merchants to create their own branded space. Etsy, on the other hand, is a marketplace that is associated mainly with handmade goods.


When comparing pricing between Shopify and Etsy, Shopify has lower transaction fees. On Etsy, transaction fees are 6.5% on the sale price or 3-4% when using Etsy Payments. Shopify charges only 0.5-2% on the sale price and it doesn’t charge transaction fees when merchants use Shopify Payments. However, Etsy does not charge a monthly fee while Shopify does.


Shopify offers more customization options than Etsy. Merchants can choose from a variety of templates and themes to create their own unique online store. Etsy, on the other hand, offers limited customization options and merchants must follow the guidelines set by the marketplace.

Marketing and SEO

Shopify offers more marketing and SEO tools than Etsy. Merchants can take advantage of features like email marketing, social media integration, and search engine optimization to grow their business. Etsy offers some marketing tools, but they are limited compared to Shopify.

Payment Processing

Both Etsy and Shopify offer payment processing options. Etsy Payments allows merchants to accept credit cards, Etsy gift cards, and PayPal. Shopify Payments allows merchants to accept credit cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. However, Shopify Payments is only available in certain countries.

Customer Support

Shopify offers 24/7 customer support through phone, email, and live chat. They also have a help center with articles and tutorials. Etsy offers customer support through email and a help center with articles and tutorials. They do not offer phone or live chat support.

Which Platform is Right for You?

Deciding which platform to use, Etsy or Shopify, depends on your business needs and goals. If you are selling handmade or unique items and want to reach a large audience, Etsy may be the right choice for you. Etsy’s marketplace already has a large customer base looking for handmade or vintage items, so you can take advantage of that audience without having to build your own website.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to build a brand and have more control over your website, Shopify may be the better option. With Shopify, you can create a unique website that reflects your brand and sell a wide range of products. You also have more control over your marketing and can build your own customer base, which can be beneficial in the long run.

Another factor to consider is the cost. Etsy charges a listing fee, transaction fee, and payment processing fee, which can add up quickly. Shopify also charges transaction and payment processing fees, but you have more control over pricing and can potentially save money in the long run.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to your business needs and goals. Consider the type of products you sell, your marketing strategy, and your budget to determine which platform is right for you.