Shopify or Etsy, which one is a better pick for your eCommerce website?
Read this comprehensive Shopify vs Etsy comparison to make a smart choice.
The increasing trend of selling and buying online has increased the demand for eCommerce platforms as they prove to be of a lot of help when it comes to setting up an eCommerce store or selling products online.
These platforms provide the best features and tools including increased security, speed, and performance for your store which help the users to significantly promote their business by capturing audience attention and driving new sales.
However, amidst such a huge number of eCommerce platforms, all claiming to be the best, it is a difficult task to select the best one for your store. So, how can you make the best decision for your store when choosing from tons of options?
Comparing these platforms against several categories will help you make a decision wisely and quickly. This is why we have compared Shopify and Etsy against e-commerce features, customer support, pricing, template library, integrations, and much more.
So, stick around if you want to make the best decision for your store.
Short of time? Check out the Shopify vs Etsy comparison summary below.
Comparison At a Glance
Shopify is a renowned website builder that lets you build your own dedicated online store. It is a fully hosted solution that provides all the necessary tools and features like a humongous app store, amazing technical support, good customer support, multiple add-ons, and integrations that help you expand your business.
Etsy is a marketplace that lets you develop your products and offer promotions. The ability to manage inventory and orders is more convenient when integrating your online store with Etsy. Moreover, its amazing customer support and easy-to-use website make it a very popular name and a tough competitor for other eCommerce platforms.
1. eCommerce features
Winner: Shopify. Shopify is miles ahead of Etsy in this aspect as it comes with a plethora of high-end eCommerce features and tools to build a distinguished full-featured online store.
2. Ease of Use
Winner: Etsy. Etsy comes with a much simpler and easy interface enabling you to start selling your products in a matter of minutes but features and tools are way too limited also.
3. Template library and customization
Winner: Shopify. Shopify comes with an amazing collection of templates along with a multitude of designing options, as opposed to no templates and limited designing options at Etsy.
Winner: Shopify. Shopify comes with a huge app market with almost every app that you would want to extend the functionality of your store.
6. Customer support
Winner: Shopify. Both offer promising support options but Shopify is much better owing to its multiple support resources and technical help options.
Shopify Vs Etsy: Short Verdict
Shopify is the obvious winner of Shopify vs Etsy comparison as it takes the lead over Etsy in the majority of the categories we evaluated. Shopify encompasses a wide range of essential and advanced features, an amazing template library and customer support, a huge app center, and impressive customer support.
Etsy on the other hand is much easier to use and has cheaper plans but has restricted basic features, no templates, many limitations, and near-to-no creative freedom.
1) Shopify vs Etsy: eCommerce Features
eCommerce features are the core of your online store that will primarily determine the success of your business. Who do you think offers better features – Shopify or Etsy?
Shopify is a huge name in the eCommerce world and much of its popularity comes because of the endless impressive eCommerce features it offers. Other than just letting you set up an amazing online store, Shopify also has a full-featured and highly developed content management system and blogging functionality that lets you host an entire website on your store.
Moreover, Shopify does not bound you when it comes to product listing. You can add multiple images of your products, set up different varieties, and even different costs for them. You can also add and manage videos and 3D assets. Added to this, using the brilliant inventory management feature Shopify offers is a must.
With Shopify, there is no need to worry as it does not limit the selling to physical or digital-only and gives you access to both. Subscriptions, memberships, and videos can also be added. The POS feature enables you to get in touch with your retail stores. When it comes to customization, Shopify takes full numbers as the store is fully customizable and even offers enticing design options.
Shopify’s comprehensive analytics are praise-worthy. The statistics include visitors’ location, customer rate, top pages, conversion rates, traffic, etc to everything that you need to be aware of. Reports talking about sales, retail sales, profit, customers, marketing, inventory are also available.
Not to forget the SEO settings that Shopify offers enabling you to rank well in search engines. These include setting up custom URLs, 301 redirects, title descriptions, sitemap.xml and much more. It lets you offer discounts and gift cards which attract customers. Additionally, sell on Facebook, use intriguing email templates and make use of a handful of more marketing features.
Let’s also talk about the efforts Shopify has made to enable cross-border selling. It has made it possible to reach the global market by the facility of translation of stores in 50 languages as well as the conversion of prices into 133 currencies.
Adding more, the mobile app which lets you manage your store easily is the talk of the town as it offers numerous features including inventory, reaching out to customers, tracking trends, an attractive storefront, and more.
In addition to that, you get abandoned checkout recovery, dropshipping features, free SSL certificate, built-in mobile commerce shopping cart, automated tax handling, ability to set shipping rates, offer free shipping, and over 100 payment gateways.
Now it’s time to jump to Etsy’s features.
Etsy gears you up with basic but powerful eCommerce tools to help you market your products and increase your sales. Keep in mind that Etsy is a marketplace unlike Shopify so the features they offer are quite different.
For starters, Etsy comes up with a mobile app to manage the store and track your business on the go which can come often come in handy. It enables you to create listings, draw in new followers, organize your inventory, access orders, receive notifications, and much more.
In addition to that, you can share your Esty enlisted products on various social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter to increase your target market. But this is not the only way to increase your exposure as Etsy automatically converts your store’s currency and language into users’ preferred ones – opening the global market for you.
When it comes to selling products, it must be noted that at Etsy mostly vintage, homemade, and arts and crafts products are preferred. Therefore, the market is designed in such a way as well, so if you want to sell on any other product type then it would not be possible.
On the other hand, Shopify caters for all industry types providing dedicated features as well. Moreover, you can sell both digital and physical products while uploading multiple images of the products is also a commendable feature.
One of the major advantages of the marketplaces like Etsy is that you already have a potential customer base at your disposal at Etsy marketplace which just needs to be directed to your store. For that, you can make use of its limited but good marketing and advertising tools. One is Etsy Ads and the other is Etsy Offsite ads.
The former allows you to publicize your products throughout the marketplace whereas the latter lets you promote the goods on search engines like Google.
Besides that, it allows you to create and manage coupons while you can print discounted postage labels, or use third-party tools like Google shopping to draw in more traffic. Not to mention the detailed insights such as traffic sources revenue, conversion rates, etc to help draft a more strategic approach to promoting your business.
The star of the show is a website-building tool powered by Etsy known as Pattern. This enables you to create a custom website like Shopify does, to sell your showcase your products and promote your business there as well.
Pattern Website encompasses a wide range of features some of which are mentioned below.
- The products listed at Etsy shop are automatically synced to Pattern.
- Manage both Etsy shop and Pattern Website with Shop Manager.
- SEO tools
- Free SSL certificate
- Blogging engine
- Enables you to sell products that lie outside the restricted Etsy Shop guidelines
- Google analytics
- Inventory management
- Template library containing around 10 templates
- Marketing tools and guides
In conclusion, Shopify got everything one needs to grow their business and is much more advanced than Etsy. Etsy provides limited features having a small target industry and user type.
2. Shopify vs Etsy: Ease of Use
With eCommerce platforms like Shopify and Etsy, you don’t need to be a tech expert to start your eCommerce business.
Shopify’s setup process is more complex and time-consuming than that of Etsy. But still, it can be considered easier as after answering a few questions you are led to the dashboard and you now can start selling your stuff.
With an eCommerce platform that offers such a wide range of powerful tools and features, it is expected to be difficult to understand and use, but Shopify does a great job here by making everything as simple as possible.
The dashboard is also intuitive and comes with a small learning curve. It provides with everything while still keeping it clean and user-friendly. Everything is perfectly organized making it easier to navigate and understand. Here, you will be creating a standalone store with an eCommerce website, so obviously it involves more steps.
In addition to that, Shopify syncs in your inventory and enables you to track your orders, etc. It even guides you throughout the store development process and automates multiple time-consuming tasks as well. Moreover, it comes with an easy to use drag-and-drop editor to customize your store making it unique.
Now Let’s take a look at how Etsy performs in this category.
Etsy is one of the easiest eCommerce platforms and indeed this is one of its major selling points as well. Getting started with the store is also made easier with Etsy as you just have to enter your shop name, few shop details, and then add product images, and Voila! You are good to go.
<Etsy setting account>
Etsy saves you from all the fuss of creating an online store by making everything thing clear, intuitive, and guiding you through the steps of setting up your store. One of the reasons for it being easier to use than Shopify is the fact that here you don’t create a whole store like in Shopify; you just upload products with the description and start selling.
You will also find the dashboard user-friendly and simple where it’s intuitive to add products, create listings, generate reports, view analytics, manage orders, and so on.
Furthermore, there is not much to do on the marketing side as well, as Etsy brings the customers to you because it’s a marketplace. You are just required to rank well. Besides that, you can also set up a Pattern site that is automatically integrated with your Etsy shop. It’s praiseworthy that you can manage both of these through the same shop manager.
To sum up, Etsy is much easier and quicker to set up than Shopify whereas its competitor is a little technical. However, considering the powerful tools that Shopify provides, it’s amazingly beginner-friendly.
3. Shopify vs Etsy: Template Library And Customization
Having an attractive design plays a vital role in driving customers to your website. Let’s take a look at who offers better templates and designing options between Shopify and Etsy.
Shopify comes with a template library with over 70 enchanting themes that serve as the building block of your website. These compelling themes cover a variety of industries which even come with extra industry-specific features like product zoom features for clothing shops.
Out of these 70, only 10 are free while others are priced at a different cost depending on the style and features it encompasses. All of these are mobile responsive enabling you to reach your audience on any platform and professionally designed while you are also allowed to switch between themes whenever you wish. The preview option is also available to view the details on both desktop and mobile versions.
Once you have selected a theme, you can easily personalise and edit it through endless customization options to your heart’s content. Each template comes with its own editing settings along with straightforward editing options to customize as much as you want, without coding.
Shopify has a drag-and-drop editor that lets you drag various elements including forms, images, and sections – and drop them on the canvas wherever you deem fit. Besides this, click on any element – such as headings, text, header and footer, pages, checkout, shopping cart – on the template and then do real-time editing through numerous styling options.
Amongst a plethora of designing options, some prominent ones are editing of the logo, sections, banners, slideshows, typography and the ability to add animations and videos too. With that being said, it has become pellucid that Etsy users can just dream of having such customizability and flexibility. It also grants you access to HTML and CSS giving you granular control over customization.
Themes make customization and designing much easier but still if you want to have someone design the store for you, hiring a Shopify professional designer at a certain cost is also an impressive option.
Let’s see what Etsy brings to the table.
Etsy does not offer templates to choose from, instead, it comes with a standard theme that can be edited through customization options. But these options are quite limited granting you little creative freedom.
On one end, it relieves you from the worry of designing your store as Etsy takes care of that, on the other hand, all the shops in the marketplace would be similar so there is little to stand out from of the crowd. Moreover, if you want to promote your brand, then it’s not the right place.
Through these shops, your brand won’t be highlighted much but it’s a good option if you want to start with a few products. You are allowed to add and modify font, colours, banner, store description, display picture, and shop icon.
So basically what makes your store distinguished from others in the marketplace are your products. If you upgrade to Etsy Plus, you can get a handful of additional designing tools but again that’s nothing compared to what Shopify offers.
Besides that, Pattern by Etsy does come with around 10 templates that can be customized through multiple options like adding images, galleries, content pages, changing shopping cart style and much more.
The verdict here is clear – Shopify is the winner as its customization here is miles ahead of Etsy. Here you can design the store with tons of customization options and creative freedom making use of eye-catching templates and promoting your brands.
4. Shopify vs Etsy: Pricing
It is essential to keep a check on how much cash flows out of your pocket when looking for an eCommerce store. Let us find out who amongst Shopify and Etsy is more cost-effective.
It is not an exaggeration to write that Shopify is one of the most pocket-friendly eCommerce platforms out there. It lets you begin with a 2-week free trial so that you can go through its features and decide whether to continue with it or not.
After the free trial ends, you can choose any of the three pricing plans Shopify offers(starting at $29) that best fit your target. Shopify lite and Shopify plus are two more pricing plans that Shopify offers.
Shopify lite enables you to access a wide range of eCommerce tools and features like Shopify interface, Shopify’s system to manage sales and to sell in person, and much more. It lets you add a buy button to your website as well.
Shopify Plus, on the other hand, is suitable for businesses on a massive scale that produces larger volumes of sales. To assist large-scale businesses it offers extensive features like high security, quality of fulfillment, dedicated account manager, API integrations, etc.
Following are details of Shopify pricing plans:
|Shopify Plans||Regular Price||Discounted Price|
|Shopify Lite||$9||Check Price|
|Shopify Basic||$29||Check Price|
|Shopify Advanced||$299||Check Price|
|Shopify Plus||Varies||Check Price|
Shopify payments don’t charge transaction fees which is a plus. It only charges a card processing fee starting at 2.9% + $0.30 on the Basic Shopify plan. This fee gets lower if you upgrade to the Shopify or Advanced Shopify plan. All of these transaction fees are significantly cheaper than Etsy’s. Other payment options Shopify offers include Stripe, PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and many more.
Moreover, for external payment gateways, an additional fee ranging from 0.5% to 2% is charged. Additionally, it charges payment processing and conversion fees.
Registering for an annual plan could save a lot of money in the long term for your business. You can save 10% by signing up for an annual subscription, and 20% by selecting a two-year contract.
Let’s look at what Etsy’s pricing plans have in store.
At the first glance, you might create an opinion that Etsy is really cheap. That’s, undoubtedly, true as its plans are affordable with pocket-friendly monthly charges. However, there is more to it. The prime method that Etsy implements are through charging fees.
Etsy offers a Standard plan comprising of basic features like sales and coupon creation to start up with and it does not demand monthly payment. However, a fair share must be given to listing and transaction fees. The listing charges are according to per product listed.
On every item you sell, you will be charged a 5% transaction fee and an additional 3% plus $0.25 for payment processing. A 5% shipping cost also applies. Along with that, Etsy offers offsite ads to promote your products and you only have to pay when you make a sale from those ads. This costs around 15% on attributed orders.
The more advanced version of Etsy-Etsy plus is also available where you can get an extensive set of tools to express your brand including customization features, new layouts, banner options, custom web addresses, and a lot more. It costs $10 per month.
Moreover, Etsy also charges in-person selling fees and currency conversion fees if applicable. For more details, check Etsy’s Fees and Payments Policy. Apparently, it does not charge higher monthly fees but this additional fee may sum up to a much bigger chunk of money.
It also comes up with an eCommerce website builder known as Pattern to build your own separate store powered by Etsy. It has only one pricing plan cost at $15 a month while you also get a 30-day free trial as well.
In terms of pricing too, Shopify wins over Etsy as it overs lower fees and can have 0 transaction fees if in-house payment methods are used while expensive fees of Etsy may be a setback if your sales increase. Not to mention the features offered by Shopify hence a better value for money
5. Shopify vs Etsy: Integrations
Integrations are meant to increase the functionality of your store by many folds. Let’s take a look at who provides better and more integrations between Shopify and Etsy.
Shopify’s huge app store contains as many as 3000 apps and integration covering a wide range of topics including store design, merchandising, marketing, store management, etc. These categories are subdivided into further categories and sections.
For each category, you get a handful of apps to choose from. For designing your store you can use Privy, Fontify, Ultimate sales boost, etc. For print on demand, you have apps like Printify and Printful. Apps like Pirate ship, Order printer, iPacky fulfil the requirements of shipping and delivery.
You can also use apps like Obelo and Spocket for dropshipping. Apps for email marketing, advertising, SEO, merchandising, shipping solutions are also available.
Moreover, Shopify lets you integrate with famous platforms like eBay, Amazon, Walmart, WordPress and even Zapier which greatly increase the functionality of your website or store by many folds.
Let’s jump on to Etsy to find out about its integrations and add-ons.
Etsy is not far behind when it comes to integrations. It offers numerous add-ons to assist the users in growing their businesses. The best thing about Etsy is that you don’t need to integrate social media accounts like Facebook. You just have to log in and connect your account and you are good to go.
Etsy offers numerous apps for different purposes. For marketing and promotion, it gives you access to Pinterest, Mad Mini, Mailchimp, AWeber and Crowdfire. Etsy also bears in mind the necessity of print-on-demand apps and for that purpose offers Printify and Printul.
Moreover, it also comes up with Listing Optimization which comprises software like MockupEditor, eRank, Marmalade. For Order fulfillment apps like ShipRush, Shippo, ShippingEasy, and ShipStation serve the purpose. Adding more, Accounting software like Quickbooks, Taxify, TaxJar, Avalara etc are also available and inventory management apps including Square, Outlet can be used.
In short, Shopify prevails over Etsy here too as it comes with a humongous app store with thousands of apps and integrations providing you with any app you think of, as opposed to a limited number of integrations at Etsy.
6. Shopify vs Etsy: Customer Support
Whether you are a newbie or an expert, you might need extra assistance once in a while. Continue reading the comparison below to find out who between Shopify and Etsy offers better customer support.
Shopify provides an array of resources to assist you when needed. The most helpful is the neatly organised Help centre which contains dozens of extensive articles which are divided into multiple categories for easy navigation.
Moreover, it offers a variety of self-help resources including video tutorials, FAQS, webinars, blogs, podcasts, guides and even a business encyclopedia. These are imperative in not only finding answers to the questions arising in your mind but also to understanding important information.
The active community forum is one thing to talk about. It is highly interactive and very helpful as it lets you ask product experts or even your fellow users to help you out. Adding more, the technical support options including 24/7 email, live chat and a call-back service leave no stone unturned in reaching out to users and helping them in any way possible.
Lastly, the use of different languages to answer queries has enabled a large number of people from around the globe to ask their questions directly from the professional Shopify technical support team.
Wondering what Shopify’s competitor Etsy offers in this regard? Read below.
Etsy provides a wide range of options to assist you to run your store without any inconvenience. The humungous Help centre displays the information very clean and clear as it consists of in-depth articles for both buyers and sellers. These articles are more than just pictures and probably are the best answers to all your queries.
Moreover, Etsy’s active Community Forum is of great help. You can ask any type of questions or even exchange ideas. The Seller handbook for newbie retailers proves to be an integral resource in helping them expand their business. Additionally, a seller newsletter is also available for further assistance.
If you wish to get in touch with real live agents then it is made possible via mail, live chat or even phone call. However, bear in mind that the phone call is available only during working hours whereas the email and LiveChat can be accessed 24/7.
In brief, Shopify takes the lead as although Etsy does offer decent support options but Shopify offers a greater variety of support resources and in-depth 24/7 support.
Shopify and Etsy may have some similarities but both are very different eCommerce platforms. Shopify is a dedicated all-in-one solution that provides you with all the robust features and tools that can help you grow your business.
The customization options, creative freedom along the app center and template library are unmatchable. While its scalable plans, intuitive editor, amazing customer support add up to make a perfect platform for both beginners and experts of all business types.
Etsy on the other hand comes with product restrictions, limited creative freedom, no template library, and basic features. But it’s pretty easy to use and its cheaper plans make it a significant choice for small-scale artists and other merchants of its allowed niche. In conclusion, Shopify wins the Shopify vs Etsy eCommerce comparison.