Shopify vs Etsy: How to build a successful business using both!
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Shopify and Etsy, both platforms have opened a realm of opportunities for millions of aspiring sellers to set-up their businesses online. Since both these platforms were launched around the same time, many sellers started to compare both, and hence the ‘Etsy vs Shopify’ debate came into existence. But if you think rationally, the entire Shopify vs Etsy debate makes no sense because both the platforms are fundamentally different and are designed to fulfill the different eCommerce needs. In this blog, we will discuss both, Etsy and Shopify in detail, and by the end, you will be able to decide your business’ next big move!
Etsy and Shopify: What’s different?
Pretty much everything! Since both platforms ultimately allow businesses to create and manage eCommerce stores, they appear to be very similar and many times sellers unknowingly choose the one that is less suitable for their business needs. To avoid making that blunder, it becomes highly important to know the major difference between Shopify and Etsy.
Shopify vs Etsy: An Overview
- Functionality: One is a marketplace and the other lets you create a standalone store.
- Reach: Etsy has a built-in audience while Shopify powered stores built their own traffic.
- Shop Control: Etsy gives you limited shop control whereas Shopify offers almost complete control to the store owners.
- The extent of store customization: On Etsy, it is restricted, while Shopify stores are highly customizable.
- Charges: Etsy charges listing fees initially, but sellers need to pay several other fees as they sell on Etsy. Shopify remains a subscription-based platform.
Let’s discuss them one by one for a deeper understanding
Shopify vs Etsy: Functioning
The major difference between the two lies in their nature and functioning. While Etsy is a marketplace that allows different sellers to set-up their shops and sell under one single platform. Shopify is a framework that allows you to create your own eCommerce store as a brand shop.
Marketplaces are similar to any physical market, where hundreds and thousands of sellers come together to showcase their products. Etsy has about 3.5 million active sellers, and Shopify has powered more than 800k standalone stores worldwide. Most marketplaces are usually specific about the products selling through them. Whereas frameworks (Shopify) can be used to create a store irrespective of the product types. Etsy allows sellers to sell products belonging to the handmade, vintage, and creative item categories. Whereas, there are no such restrictions when a seller plans to sell through a Shopify powered eCommerce store.
Being a marketplace and a framework respectively, Etsy and Shopify are fundamentally different. Both have their sets of perks depending upon what your current business goals are.
Shopify vs Etsy: Reach and Popularity
Spoiler alert! Etsy wins.
Both platforms are equally popular over the internet. But here we are talking about the extent of exposure that they can provide your products and ultimately to your business. Both Etsy and Shopify let you engage with millions of buyers online but the path and process to build an audience and attract traffic to your page differs. It’s comparatively easier for Etsy sellers considering the goal of Etsy, like any other marketplace, is to match sellers and buyers and catalyze more and more transactions.
In its third quarterly report of 2020, Etsy reported having about 70 million active users purchasing goods from the platform. In complete contrast, building traffic on a standalone website is comparatively difficult and requires much vigorous work to reach a large audience. Remember, it’s difficult, not impossible. With the right digital marketing tools and practices, you can expand the reach of your online store in a very short period of time.
Shopify vs Etsy: Shop Control and Domain
Stores on marketplaces are like rented shops in a mall. The website decides the terms and conditions of your shop. What you sell, how you showcase your products, and how you will receive payments. All that is controlled by the marketplace and has very little to do with the actual seller. That’s ideal for sellers who wish to avoid the technicalities of selling online, but can be an issue for sellers who want control over how their stores appear and run. Also, Etsy has some distinctive seller policies, make sure you read about them before opening your shop on Etsy.
Websites on the other hand give you much-extended (almost complete) control over your shop’s policies and functioning. This becomes a major reason for sellers who have the vision of building a brand to create their own web store, which gives them full control and ownership of their stores.
One more thing, your Etsy store doesn’t have a domain of its own. You get a URL like so- https://www.etsy.com/in-en/shop/YourShopName. While an online store has a domain name of its own, for example, www.StoreName.com.
Shopify vs Etsy: Customization
Etsy offers you all the resources and tools you would need to showcase your listing, engage with your audience, and fulfill orders online. Even though Etsy offers the best services, you will not be able to change it as per your business or creative needs. On the other hand, every store at Shopify is created by the seller from scratch, you choose how your store will look and run. And it’s never final, you can keep evolving your store with the newest themes and trends. In short, with an online store, your vision is much easily realized.
Shopify vs Etsy: How do you pay?
Both the platforms have completely different ways of charging the sellers for their services. With Etsy, it’s a continuous process, since you pay different kinds of fees while selling on the platforms. Major fees that each seller is required to pay on Etsy, including the listing fee, transaction fee, shipping fee, payment processing fee, advertising fee, and others. They seem to be minimal while starting but they keep growing with your business. Sellers decide their product prices considering all the expenditure per order.
The story is a bit different with Shopify as it’s a subscription-based platform, you can choose from the different subscription plans according to your needs. The basic version works well for beginners who dream to expand their businesses through an online store.
Who should sell on Etsy?
Like said before, Etsy is a marketplace where sellers list their handmade, crafting, and vintage items. So that makes it the major filter for who should sell on Etsy. If your product category is not one of these items, you should just drop the idea of selling on Etsy and find another marketplace suiting your product.
Secondly, Etsy will display your products to millions of people itself, saving you from all the marketing headaches. But you will still have to invest time in Etsy SEO to make sure your products are well exposed and fetchable on the marketplace. Because of these reasons, Etsy is ideal for sellers who are just starting their online business and are interested in selling unique, handcrafted, and vintage products. Etsy’s impressive user-friendliness also makes it a perfect platform for beginners or somebody who wants to experiment with selling online.
Listen to our podcast for a better understanding on the Etsy marketplace!
Who should sell on Shopify?
Shopify offers a large number of tools and services to the sellers, allowing them to expand their business easily. This is why businesses of various sizes are powered by the platform. Be it a small scale business or a large scale company selling online. Since there are no restrictions on the type of product that is allowed to be sold, sellers can experiment with different forms of inventories on their websites.
Additionally, several surveys have reported that consumers find standalone websites more trustworthy and professional. Because of this perception, sellers who wish to establish brand recognition, and see their businesses scale, become the ideal sellers to build an online store using Shopify.
How Shopify can help expand your Etsy business?
Since Shopify is an all-in-one type of platform it will take care of all your eCommerce needs and business requirements. If you are an existing Etsy seller who wants to scale their business by selling through an online store, Shopify can help you in many ways:
- You become the master of your website.
- Greater customization options let you realize your vision easily.
- Shopify is highly scalable giving you a greater opportunity to reach more buyers and enhance the customer experience.
- Your own website will allow you to build brand recognition and trust in your buyers.
- You can change your store’s theme and the appearance of your listings according to the recent trends, making your store look more relevant to the audience.
- You can plan your sales and offers across your store to attract seasonal shoppers.
How can Etsy help expand your Shopify business?
There are many sellers who have an eCommerce website and are struggling to bring traffic to their store. Hence, they are unable to generate many sales. Sounds relatable? Here’s a piece of good news, you can sell on Etsy too. Let’s see how Etsy can help your business grow bigger!
- World-wide exposure to relevant audiences.
- Higher chances of our products to rank in search engine results.
- Find what’s trending in your category with easier competitor analysis.
- Get more sales on major sales events across the year.
- Easy set-up and user-friendliness to make your selling experience hassle-free.
If you run a handmade business, then think no more! Etsy has a huge audience base of actively buying customers searching for exactly what you are selling.
How to manage Etsy and Shopify stores together?
Clearly, selling on one of these platforms is a hard decision. Both are necessary for your business’s ultimate growth. This is why, in order to actually expand your business and build your brand, selling on both platforms is something you will need eventually.
We understand how much pain it will cause you while managing two stores at the same time. Working on each listing individually on both the platforms, answering customer queries, or fulfilling orders through two different storefronts, nothing is going to be easy (or even possible) until you make sure that your stores are completely integrated with each other.
Yes, that’s possible! That too, without any technical knowledge.
So what happens when you successfully integrate the Shopify and Etsy stores? All your listings, hundreds of thousands, can be easily transferred to your new store. You will be saved from listing each product individually. Allowing you to focus on other, more crucial aspects of your business. Not just that, you will also manage and run both the stores from one single dashboard. All this will accelerate the process of scaling your online business and reaching new heights!
The Etsy Shopify Integration App is packed with some amazing features to turn your selling experience into a piece of cake!
We are waiting to address all your queries on how you can start selling on Shopify or Etsy, and integrate your stores. Reach out to us today!