Etsy vs Shopify

If you're on the way to kickstart your online business, a tricky question may be haunting your mind: which eCommerce solution is best to sell online? If you are in two minds between Etsy vs Shopify, this article will help you make the right choice.

Etsy vs Shopify. What's the Difference?

When it comes to Etsy vs Shopify - each of them might be a great solution and successfully fulfill your potential if you figure out the core difference between them.

What is Etsy?

Etsy is a marketplace initially designed for artists, designers and crafters to sell their exclusive hand-made, vintage goods and items like clothing, accessories, jewelry, craft supplies; tools, weddings, etc. With this marketplace, you don't have your own domain but just an account from where you list your products for sale. No doubts, it`s super easy and prevents you from all tough work like setting up a website or an online store. All you need are product images and descriptions. Everything is done for you but in its turn, you should play the game by Etsy rules too.

We won't be mistaken saying that Etsy is a perfect choice to start a business, acquire clients, start selling and make people get acquainted with your products. If you have an insignificant number of products and wish to get a few sales to test the waters, Etsy store is your ideal place to start.


Now, let's turn to some stats. According to Etsy usage stats, currently there are 66,478 live Etsy websites. In July 2020 there were stunning 352M visitors to Etsy marketplace.

What about Shopify?

Shopify is a hosted standalone eCommerce platform that allows setting up and running an online store on your own domain. In comparison to marketplaces, eCommerce platforms give you more power of control over your online business in terms of customization, flexibility, integration.

With a standalone eCommerce solution, you're the boss of your store and can tweak and twist it as much as you want with nearly no limit boundaries or tight restrictions. For example, it's completely up to you to define site structure or apply design.

However, with opportunity comes responsibility. When compared with marketplaces, having your own e-store means that you're in charge of shop maintenance, new client engagement (it's clearly easier to do on the marketplace), webstore conversion funnel building, etc. There is nothing wrong with that, you just need to keep it in mind.

What does stats say? According to Shopify stats, there are 3,352,771 live websites powered by Shopify.

Builtwith says that this eCommerce engine takes the second usage position over the entire internet after WooCommerce.


Shopify and Etsy both offer e-commerce platforms for shop owners to sell products and services. The key distinction is that Shopify enables users to create their own branded online store, while Etsy is a marketplace. Although Etsy is primarily known for handmade goods, many sellers also offer vintage clothing, crafting supplies, and other unique items. On Shopify, users can sell a wide variety of products, including handmade goods, apparel, jewelry, and more.

  Shopify Etsy
Subscription Fees $29, $79 or $299 per month (paid annually) Free or $10 per month
Other Fees
Transaction fees
Listing fees, transaction fee per sale, conversion fees, ad fees and payment processing fee per transaction
Customer Support
24/7 by live chat, phone and email
Advertises chat, phone and email, but only has email support for most concerns
Shop Customization Yes, drag and drop None
Standard Policies and Procedures Templates Yes Yes

Etsy vs Shopify: Features comparison

Below we've determined a few points that are vital to bear in mind when making the Etsy vs Shopify decision. They are as follows:

  • Which solution will give my creativity free rein?
  • Where can I expect more exposure from?
  • Which solution has more reasonable pricing?

One more thing to consider - the mentioned differences won't be pros or cons. Everything depends on your target, resources and what's more - priorities.

Etsy vs Shopify: Design options

Shopify allows setting up your own design for the online store. This eCommerce provider can be proud of its powerful theme store. It offers lots of free and premium templates that can be picked up and installed in a flash.

Etsy vs Shopify: Design options

If you have a desire to unleash your creativity and apply a unique and recognizable design to your store, no problem, do it. Shopify’s templates generate HTML/CSS allowing you to get any design of your dream.

With Etsy, you have a standardized Etsy shop design. You`re able to pick up colors and sort products, you can develop your own branding with the logo, layout, etc., but the customization is within Etsy’s parameters.

So, if you don`t expect independence of customization and feel that Etsy`s offered features are more than enough for your business size, you're on the right way.

Etsy vs Shopify: Fees and pricing models

Which solution won't hit you in the pocket? There is no static answer between Shopify vs Etsy fees, everything depends on the number of products you sell online. Both Etsy or Shopify will charge you differently.

With Shopify, you`ll have to pay a subscription for Shopify store + monthly fees ranging from 0.5 to 2.0 % except you're using Shopify Payments. Your Etsy account along with storefront is costless but you'll encounter various transaction fees.

To be more specific, Shopify has three pricing plans with a free 14-day trial period. They are: Basic (29$), Shopify Plan (79$) and Advanced Shopify (299$). The further you go, the more enhanced capabilities and fewer transition fees you get.

Have a look at pricing plans descriptions and offered features to understand which one suits you best.


Etsy, alterantively, has other fees & payment policy - it works with 2 versions of PayPal: integrated PayPal and standalone PayPal.


Taking into account Etsy listing fees, you'll pay $0.20 fee per listed product and 3 - 4 % fee per each sale depending on the location of your bank account.

location of your bank account

Overall, if you just on the start of doing online business - Etsy is a worthy route to choose. However, if your sales boost, the transaction fees can burn a hole in your pocket. If you have bigger profit margins, Shopify may appear to be a more affordable solution.

  Shopify Etsy
Ease of Use Shopify makes it super simple to set up a powerful online store. Etsy doesn’t involve any technical tasks – simply set up an account and get selling.
Design Flexibility Shopify gives you a range of templates and offers tons of customization. Etsy limits your customization and manages your layout so you can’t create a unique design.
Domain & URL Structure You can have a custom domain to create a unique website address and promote a clear brand. Your domain is Etsy’s rather than your own, meaning your website address is harder to remember for customers.
Ecommerce Tools & Features Shopify comes packed with powerful tools and a massive app store to add functions to your site. Etsy has good but few and simple features to make running your business as easy as possible.
Payment Options & Fees No transaction fees (just usual credit card charges) with Shopify Payments. Lower transaction fees than Etsy. Supports hundreds of payment gateways. Etsy has listing fees, transaction fees, and credit card charges.
Attracting Customers Shopify gives you all the tools to create and promote your business, but you are responsible for driving traffic to your website through marketing, SEO, social media, and campaigns. Etsy is an extremely popular platform with millions of buyers. This gives your products great exposure and means you don’t have to work hard to get visitors to come to your site.
Help & Support Shopify has a wide range of support options, from 24/7 phone and live chat to email and an extensive help center. Etsy has a clear and useful help center, as well as a community forum. You can email or request a call with Etsy’s support staff.
Pricing Shopify has three price plans ranging from $29 to $299 per month. There’s a 14-day free trial. Etsy currently has two plans – the free plan and the $10 per month Plus plan.

Etsy vs Shopify: Exposure

Is it easy to get high-level exposure? Obviously not! It`s a tough road that requires a tremendous amount of time and effort.

When comparing Etsy vs Shopify, with the marketplace it`s much easier to get traffic than with eCommerce platform. And yes, partially it`s true.

Undoubtedly, Etsy being a global marketplace ensures you a sufficient exposure. Your goods may appear in recommendations, top-rated positions can be found in the list of categories, etc. However, at the same time, all your items will be listed somewhere among hundreds of thousand products of other merchants. How to stand out from this crowd? Actually, there are nearly 2 things that may distinguish your brand from others - thumbnails and slightly tweaked headings.

Let`s assume that the user has already clicked on your product. Great! But is there a guarantee that your already “potential” customer won't succumb to the temptation of other “unique” neighbor items?

As a result, such a powerful exposure can strip you of your uniqueness and drive up even more competition.

When it comes to a standalone store, Shopify, it's much harder to get your first visitors. But nothing is impossible! With the help of well-organized marketing strategies and consistent SEO effort, it`ll be much easier to turn a simple visitor into a potential customer. To appear in the top positions in SERP is more effortless than to compete with hundreds of goods.

The shoppers are all yours since there are no other third-party “temptations” on your site. With own web store, if a person is already on your site, there are far bigger chances that he/she will remember your brand after the purchase and come back to your website (not a marketplace) again.

Should I sell on Etsy vs Shopify?

If you are selling products that can develop a new brand in eCommerce industry, Shopify may be a chance to reinforce your business. However, if you have a small number of products without much intention to transfer it into the large enterprise business, Etsy might be a perfect go-to destination.

Go for Etsy, if you highly appreciate the following advantages:

  1. Craft supplies: You can sell craft supplies and help the crafters to buy the necessary materials to create their products;
  2. eBooks: Etsy allows you to sell eBooks and earn a lot of money at the same time. You can sell patterns, tutorials, and etc;
  3. Low fees: For listing a new product you need to pay only 20 cents and your products will be listed for up to 4 months. Once the product is sold, you pay a fee of 3,5%;
  4. Training courses: If you are a beginner and inexperienced in the Etsy environment, you can use the training courses and learn everything you need to know about how to run Etsy shop.

Unlike Etsy, Shopify is a more personalized website builder with its the benefits listed below:

  1. Hosting: the third-party company for your servers;
  2. Security: PCI DSS Compliance;
  3. SEO: Shopify scores 98 out of 100 in SEO;
  4. App Store: thousands of add-ons to expand your store features;
  5. Site speed: no downtimes and fast loads;
  6. User-fliendly;
  7. 24/7 reliable customer support;
  8. A wide range of free themes.

How to Integrate Etsy with Shopify?

In case you're currently running an e-store on Shopify, but wish to diversify your online presence with Etsy as well - there are many software allowing to integrate both channels in one place. By connecting with Etsy you can reach a new audience and get a full advantage of this popular marketplace. Some of the most populat apps that you can use are: Etsy Marketplace Integration, ExportFeed, etc.

How To Migrate Etsy to Shopify?

If you seel your products through Etsy marketplace, but wish to expand your eCommerce horizons with Shopify, Cart2Cart can more than help you to perform the switch on your own. This automated shopping cart migration service has all the functionality required to securely transfer all your data from from Etsy to Shopify within a few hours. It won't influence your current performance on Etsy website, and will keep your items online and available during the whole migration process.

Etsy vs Shopify - FAQs

Can I sell the same item on Etsy and Shopify?

Yes, Shopify and Etsy can be integrated, so you can easily switch between the two platforms or keep both! Synchronization of inventory - which helps you manage both platforms more easily with the integration of these platforms.

Is it better to use Etsy or Shopify?

The overall winner is Shopify! By using its in-house payment gateway, you get lower rates and no transaction fees. Although Shopify has higher upfront costs, Etsy's higher fees can set you back in the long run if your sales increase.

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Shopify offers a customizable e-commerce platform that allows you to create a branded online store, making it a great choice for businesses looking for flexibility and control. Etsy, on the other hand, provides a ready-made marketplace with an existing customer base, making it ideal for sellers of handmade and unique items who want to get started quickly. Your decision will depend on your business goals, products, and preferred level of control over your online presence.

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