This is a guest post by Cindy Reeves on Etsy vs Shopify.
Let’s take a look at how to choose a platform to sell your products online. In this post I’ll be comparing two of my favourite options Etsy and Shopify. Each is different and unique. Five key areas of comparison can help you narrow down your choices.
E: Etsy is cost effective. There are no monthly costs for using the service. Fees are minimal and include one fee for each active product.
S: Shopify’s plans start at $14 and go up to $179 per month. The $14 plan includes up to 25 products whereas the more expensive plans have unlimited products. Before you buy, try it for 14 days at no cost.
Both platforms charge for credit card processing.
E: Etsy offers instant download. There is a limit on file size, so if you are selling large digital files find a workaround.
Etsy integrates automatically with USPS, offering discounted rates and on site tracking.
S: Shopify can offer instant download, however you will need to integrate an app that stores your digital files. Send Owl and Sky Pilot are two of my favorites.
Shopify has drop ship apps.
Shopify also has an ipad pos system (point of sale system) that will keep track of your inventory and sync everything from your brick and mortar store with your online shop.
E: A bonus of using Etsy is the traffic. Customers are already searching and coming to this site. You can even choose to promote your products in search results for a fee. This option is quite nice. You can choose to promote certain items and put in a custom bid or allow it to automate a bid for you.
S: Your shopify store will not automatically have traffic and visitors. However, it does have several apps to help you generate traffic, including a blog for organic traffic.
E: Etsy stores offer product reviews. It’s already built in however you don’t have the ability to choose which ratings to show/not show. If you get a customer that gives you a low rating you are able to reply and leave feedback.
S: Shopify platforms offer app integration. The yotpo app will share reviews socially and it lets you have the option to publish or not publish a review.
Ease of use:
E: Etsy is straightforward with a simple interface. There are no apps to install, which is both good if you want to set up shop quickly. There are some apps that integrate with your Etsy store to help with promotion and sales such as Around.io and Etsyonsale.com.
S: Shopify offers a great 24/7 support team if you need assistance.
Both platforms have card readers, apps, gift cards and the ability to social media sharing capabilities.
The bottom line:
Shopify offers additional features via apps, which require more time but give you more control over the shopping experience including the layout and graphics. This is a full, stand alone, ecommerce shop. You choose how it looks and what content you want to post.
Etsy is easy to use, simple and basic. It will be difficult to stand out against the shops. However, there is an automatic traffic stream and a quick set up.
Also, Etsy and Shopify offer very different benefits. It’s common for store owners to have a stand-alone ecommerce store as well as an Etsy shop. Having two stores will generate more income and help spread brand awareness. Since Etsy is so simple to set up, you can always launch an Etsy store and then launch a Shopify store when you feel ready.