Which eCommerce platform should you use? Which one is better: Etsy or Shopify? Despite the fact that they have a number of similarities and differences, Etsy and Shopify are comparable in many ways.

When it comes to selecting which one is ideal for your company, consider your skillset and how much time you want to spend managing the backend. Continue reading to learn more about Etsy or Shopify!


Is it better to sell on Etsy or Shopify? When comparing these two platforms, the most significant consideration is which one makes the most sense for you.

Shopify is a website platform. Etsy is an online marketplace. It’s like comparing apples to oranges, to be honest. Although they’re both internet sales outlets, these platforms represent two very different approaches to market or attract potential consumers.

Which strategy is best for your company? There isn’t a correct or incorrect choice. You must select a platform that best matches your resources and objective. In some situations, you may want to sell on both platforms!

Nonetheless, in this post, we’ll compare Etsy and Shopify to help you choose the best platform for your business.

Comparing Etsy and Shopify Popularity

I compared Shopify vs Etsy by first examining Google Trends to see which platform was more popular among internet users. I assumed the platform that is being looked for more frequently is the most popular.

However, after comparing the two tools side by side, I discovered that a simple comparison like this cannot be made. Over the previous five years, Etsy (red) appears to be considerably more popular than Shopify (blue).

The only way for Etsy to succeed is if it has a large number of sellers and buyers. This may be because both customers and vendors will be looking for Etsy. Like Amazon or eBay, Etsy is an online marketplace where third-party sellers offer goods to consumers.

On the other hand, simply businesses would be seeking for Shopify-based website solutions to acquire from. Your customers are unaware of the software that runs your website, such as Shopify. They would seek your products or company name when conducting a search online.

This is one of the most prevalent issues when comparing online shops and marketplaces. They are two distinct methods of selling. But it highlights an important distinction.

Etsy or Shopify - Etsy-Ecommerce-Tools

If you’re selling on Etsy, you’ll get a lot more exposure than if you were to try to sell on your own website (at least at first). Many entrepreneurs start their businesses on Etsy because it already has a large built-in audience. Sellers must generate their own site traffic when establishing a new eCommerce site on Shopify.

What should you do if you want to sell on Etsy or build your own webstore like Shopify? That’s the key question we need to consider.

We may do a long list of features by feature, but it’s not necessary. There are just a few key distinctions to consider when comparing the two:

  • Types of Products you can sell
  • Pricing and Fees
  • Business Exposure
  • Control over design
  • Simple admin interface

There are several important differences between Shopify and Etsy. These should provide you with a starting point as to which platform may be better for your company or why you might want to sell on both.

Etsy or Shopify: Product Selection

Etsy is a marketplace for handmade, vintage, and craft supplies that’s exclusively for independent entrepreneurs. They’ve also established a wholesale channel. Their marketplace has very strict regulations on what can and can’t be sold.

On the other hand, Shopify is an eCommerce software. You may sell any sort of goods on it if it’s legal!

Etsy isn’t for everyone. If you’re not selling handmade, vintage, or craft items, Etsy is probably not the right platform for you.

If you wish to branch out into new categories of goods, you’ll eventually run out of room on Etsy. Make sure you’re prepared for today and your business’s future.

Etsy or Shopify Pricing Model: Which One Has Fewer Fees

Is it more expensive to sell on a certain platform? It is dependent on your selling volume. The pricing difference is due to the selling fees each platform charges.

It will cost you more to set up Shopify immediately. This is because merchants must pay a subscription fee for their Shopify business. Etsy, on the other hand, might be more expensive in the long run owing to its transaction costs.

Shopify Selling Fees

These are the Shopify plans that are presently accessible, as advertised on their pricing page:

  • Free 14-day trial
  • Basic $29/mo
  • Shopify $79/mo
  • Advanced Shopify $299/mo
  • Shopify Plus Enterprise plan for high-volume merchants

Sellers must also pay higher online credit card fees above these subscription plans.

Deciding on the best plan for you requires sellers to evaluate how many items they can sell and which features are essential. The following are the most important factors that will vary depending on your plan:

  • Credit card rates
  • Number of staff accounts accessible
  • Advanced functionality like gift cards, reports, abandoned cart recovery, report builders, and shipping rate calculators are just a click away.
  • Shipping discounts

What exactly makes Shopify’s highest level appealing? It feels like a lot of work to simply have a website up, especially if it’s your first one and you can’t predict how much money you’ll make. This is a valid concern in choosing the Advanced plan. So, let’s take a look at Etsy’s pricing structure.

Etsy Selling Fees

There is no membership or subscription cost with Etsy. Instead, there are three primary fees paid by merchants:

  • The listing fee is $0.20 per item for 4 months.
  • Transaction fee: 5% of each purchase
  • Payment Processing: 3% + $0.25 on every purchase

There are no transaction fees if you use Shopify Payments (their payment gateway). However, if you utilize another payment gateway, you will be charged 2%, 1%, or 0.5% for each plan respectively. You will also have to pay credit card fees.

Let’s assume you’ve signed up for Shopify’s payment gateway and are on the Shopify plan. This means you’ll pay $79 per month, with no transaction fees and credit card expenses.

If you sell $1,580 worth of products on Etsy for a 5% transaction fee, you’ll pay $79 (as well as $0.20 for each item listed and payment processing costs).

So, if you want to sell more than $1,580 worth of products every month on Etsy, you’ll have to pay more than Shopify charges.

Using Shopify’s payment gateway and its middle-tier plan, this is at least true. However, there are still additional fees associated with Shopify. A Shopify webstore’s total cost of ownership may be greater.

Sellers generally pay for web designers, SEO experts, and other Shopify apps to improve the functionality and aesthetics of your store in order to attract and grow a larger audience.

Etsy, on the other hand, has already handled these concerns. You have everything you need to start an online store. It’s part of the marketplace’s ease of use and sales.

Will my business get more exposure with Etsy or Shopify?

Do people know your companies like Nike or Apple? If you’re comparing Etsy and Shopify, I’d bet your brand doesn’t have the same name recognition (yet!).

It’s typically a long, difficult road to establish brand recognition, especially if you’re starting from scratch. This is why Etsy has such an advantage in terms of exposure.

Look at the graph above to see for yourself. Etsy gets a lot of requests. In fact, Etsy has 89.4 million active buyers and businesses and sales totaling more than $8.4 billion(Q3 2021 data).

So, if your company is just getting started, Etsy may provide a lot of exposure.

Etsy, on the other hand, has a lot more traffic than your webstore would receive. The traffic is far less targeted, however, since Etsy has much more visitors than your store would. When someone lands on your site, they are there to purchase something.

If they come across your product on Etsy, they may be browsing or getting creative inspiration. They aren’t as interested in you as they are in comparing many sellers at once. There are benefits and disadvantages to the amount of exposure each network allows.

How much control do you have over your Etsy listings?

You can’t use videos or any other type of media on Etsy. You’re limited to photos and text when it comes to your Etsy listings.

An example of an Etsy listing for a painted paper bag is shown here.

etsy product listing example - etsy or shopify

You may also include a Item Details section to describe the product in any way you like. While you are restricted, this template is simple to use. You’ll simply load your items as needed and won’t have to worry about anything else.

You’ll have complete control over your Shopify listings with their tools. You may design your website and product pages to resemble anything you like. Shopify is recognized for its user-friendly user interface. They also provide a large number of templates to help you express your individuality in your store the best way possible.

When it comes to managing your listings, Shopify is the clear winner if you have the time and knowledge to create the website you desire.

Is it easier to sell on Etsy or Shopify?

You can’t change your Etsy listings while you don’t have control over them, so it’s easy to start selling there. You won’t have to worry about establishing a website or creating a product page. All you need are photos of your items and some text describing them.

Yes, you must establish an Etsy seller account as well. This is a very easy procedure that may be finished in minutes. You don’t pay anything until you begin listing and selling your items on Etsy.

Shopify is also a breeze to set up in terms of webstore software. While it’s more difficult and costly to get started than Etsy, it isn’t something you’ll spend much time on. Someone can have a basic Shopify site up and running in a few days.

Etsy or Shopify: Ideal Sellers

Do you have a better idea about which platform you want to sell on? If you don’t, here’s a brief overview of the Ideal seller for each platform.

Ideal Etsy Seller: You’re a maker or vendor of handcrafted, vintage, and craft items. You’ve never run a company before but want to give selling your stuff a go for the first time. You’re operating solo without much infrastructure. If this describes you, Etsy may be the right platform for you.

Ideal Shopify Seller: Your company has been selling its items for a while, and your brand is beginning to get recognition, especially locally. Now that you want to grow your product line and client base, you need more control over the appearance and feel of your business. Shopify could be the next stage in the development of your firm’s webstore.

Selling on Both Shopify and Etsy

As we’ve said, Shopify and Etsy are two distinct platforms for selling goods. One is a marketplace, while the other is a webstore program. It’s not necessary to choose between the two all of the time; you can sell on both platforms at the same time!

Many sellers, like Amazon, sell on both a marketplace and their own website. A marketplace is an excellent method to reach a large audience that you can’t otherwise access through your brand.

However, marketplaces are frequently overfilled and extremely price sensitive. You also lose control of your company’s overall appearance and feel.

It’s not unusual for sellers to begin on Etsy and then expand their brand and establish a webstore. You may direct traffic from your marketplace listings to your website, where consumers will have an even greater taste of what you have to offer.

A webstore is an excellent method to increase sales if you’re a seller who can’t list all of your goods on their website due to its limitations.

Etsy Pattern: Etsys Own Webstore Platform

Etsy now understands that this is a typical route for their vendors. As a result, they provide Etsy Pattern, which gives Etsy merchants their own website for their Etsy store for $15 per month.

It has limited capabilities and functions independently of your Etsy Shop. It is not searchable on Etsy.com. However, it is linked to your Etsy Shop.

Etsy Pattern is simple to use for a reason, and it doesn’t compare to an industry-leading eCommerce platform like Shopify (which we haven’t mentioned yet). Etsy Pattern might be useful if you want to mess around with your own online store, and it’s another small step toward moving on to something like Shopify.

Etsy or Shopify: FAQ

Which is cheaper, Etsy or Shopify?

When it comes to upfront expenditures, Etsy is less expensive. If you’re on a strict budget or just want to sell a few things, Etsy will almost certainly be less expensive than Shopify. However, if you’re making a lot of money through sales, Etsy’s 5% transaction costs could get costly over time, making Shopify the cheaper option.

Why should I sell on Etsy?

Etsy is a hot destination for both buyers and sellers! With over 89 million users, it’s one you don’t want to miss out on. Only sell via Etsy if you sell handmade items, antique goods, or craft supplies. We only suggest it for small-time vendors who are just starting out.

Which is better for scaling my business, Etsy or Shopify?

Shopify is a superior platform for expanding an online business. It has many functions and a comprehensive app store where you may develop your site and attract more traffic. Shopify works for small businesses up to huge companies like Penguin.

Choosing Between Etsy or Shopify

We can’t make the decision for you, but we can provide you with helpful information to assist you in making a more educated selection about Etsy or Shopify. It’s all about what works best for your company in selling!

However, remember that if you create a Shopify webstore, look into our Shopify and Etsy integration to link it with your ERP/accounting or fulfillment systems and other marketplaces.


CEO and co founder of AdNabu. Exploring the intersection of data and marketing