When it comes to online selling, there is no shortage of options to consider. Both Shopify and Etsy are such popular options used by many people those who sell stuff online. With that being said, if you intend to start an online business (simply to sell some stuff online), should you choose Shopify or Etsy as your platform? If you need a straightforward answer before reading the rest of this writing, we strongly suggest you Shopify! To find out why, just read on.
Shopify and Etsy are two different platforms that operate in contrasting ways. In simplest terms, Etsy is a market place and Shopify is a comprehensive webstore. Although both market places and webstores operate as eCommerce channels, they sport different basics when it comes to selling online.
Shopify is considered to be a highly popular, massive eCommerce website you would come across. As of this writing, Shopify has hundreds of thousands of merchants maintaining individual stores. The popularity of this platform continues to grow and now, Shopify has become a norm among the eCommerce platforms. A large number of eCommerce platforms are available with Shopify in order to help merchants to promote their stores. Apart from the convenience they deliver to the sellers, sophisticated features associated with Shopify delivers convenient experience for buyers as well.
As opposed to Shopify, Etsy operates in the form of a marketplace. Compared to Shopify, this is a significant difference. Etsy mainly encourages artists, crafters and designers to sell their pieces.
As mentioned before, Etsy and Shopify sport two different strategies and therefore, their clienteles are different. However, if you intend to start selling stuff online and get established as an online seller, you should prefer Shopify over Etsy – we are going to discuss the reasons for it now.
Major differences between Shopify and Etsy
Shopify has several key differences when compared to Etsy.
- Shopify lets you use a unique domain name
One of the most notable differences between Shopify and Etsy is that Shopify lets you have a unique domain name. This is a temporary domain name that is given to you at the time of creating an account. However, if you intend to continue with the same domain name or a customized domain (Uniform Resource Locator), you can do so. Apart from that, you can customize the URLs of the internal website pages of your store.
However, when it comes to Etsy, the URL for all the sellers is same. The default URL provided by Etsy stays unchanged. For instance, once signed in with Etsy, you get a URL like etsy.com/shop/XXX. You can only customize “XXX” part of the URL. In this case, Shopify offers you more freedom and flexibility.
- Shopify offers better flexibility when it comes to site design
Another main advantage associated with Shopify compared to Etsy is that the flexibility it offers when it comes to the design of the store. In fact, Shopify lets you enjoy a large number of themes and templates to impress your potential customers. These templates and themes can necessarily be selected to match the stuff you are selling. If you want to go on a low budget, there are free templates to consider. If not, if you want a highly customized high-end appearance to your store, you can consider purchasing paid templates. In addition to that, Shopify lets you use HTML, CSS and other elements to apply more customization to the store you create. So, if you are creative and smart, Shopify is the perfect place to create a beautiful and professional online store that brings revenue.
When it comes to Etsy, it is more of a uniformity in design. You cannot customize the overall appearance of the store you create; you will have to use their built-in template. In other words, all Etsy shops look pretty similar.
- Shopify is affordable in the long run
Some sellers argue that Shopify charges a relatively high upfront fee when setting up the store. In a way, that is true. Depending on the type of the membership, you will have to pay different amounts.
In contrary to that, Etsy doesn’t charge an up-front fee. Instead, however, it charges an amount per transaction. When the number of transactions increase, the price you have to pay in return can build up. Therefore, the bottom line is that Shopify is more affordable compared to Etsy in the long run.
- Shopify is more versatile
As you may already know, Shopify offers an exceptional amount of versatility when it comes to setting up a store. In other words, you can sell pretty much anything on Shopify. No matter whether you are an artist or a computer accessories seller, you can create a Shopify store right away.
When it comes to Etsy, on the other hand, the versatility is pretty much lower. In general, Etsy is a market place that is mainly designed for artists and crafters. Those who visit Etsy expect shopping specific kinds of items. So, if you expect higher versatility, Shopify is the best place for you.
- Shopify keeps an inventory for you
As we mentioned earlier, Shopify is a combination of a large number of tools and features that ensures a highly convenient user experience. One of the most useful features integrated to Shopify is that its built-in inventory manager. Because of this handy feature, you don’t have to worry about keeping a separate inventory and a stock.
In contrary to that, however, Etsy doesn’t offer you such facility. As the seller, you are responsible to keep an inventory somewhere else. So, if you are looking to keep an inventory and stock and have a precise idea about the sales, Shopify is the better solution.
Having considered all those aspects, Shopify can be the best option for an online seller to start generating an additional source of income. However, as a responsible seller, you should take all the necessary actions to promote your store; Shopify gives you the fullest freedom in integrating different types of online marketing strategies to your store.