Shopify vs. Etsy: Which is Best to Sell Online?

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Shopify and Etsy are two very popular platforms. Over the years, they have acquired a reputation for helping people sell and make a decent living online. Since these two platforms are some of the biggest for online shopping, it is not out of place for the average person looking to take part in online sales to be confused on which platforms to select.

As many people are not sure if they want to sell on Shopify or Etsy, it is important to note that although these two platforms can be used in place of each other, they were not designed for the same reason.

Overview of Shopify and Etsy

Etsy is a marketplace on the internet, while Shopify is a platform for acquiring online stores. The implication of this is if you are looking to carry out sales on Etsy, you do not need to acquire a store. However, the same cannot be said about Shopify, as everyone looking to sell Shopify must get an online store.

Since Shopify and Etsy are quite different, comparing these two platforms can be likened to comparing an SUV to a truck. They both can do the same job. However, they were not built for the same function.
Since Etsy and Shopify were designed to work in different ways, choosing from the two platforms is dependent on what you are looking to achieve. Additionally, the type of business you run strongly determines which platforms are better for you.

Since Etsy and Shopify are very different platforms, you might decide to stay on both of them. However, if you must choose one, the tips below should help you make the best choice for your business at every point in time.

Shopify vs Etsy: What are the Differences?

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It is common knowledge that Shopify and Etsy are both very popular platforms. So, you are going to get lots of sales on any of them. However, which one is more popular? It might not look like popularity means much. However, the more popular platform is expected to place you in front of a bigger market.

Suppose you decide to discover which of these platforms is more popular by using Google rends. In that case, you might erroneously assume Shopify is more popular as Shopify seems to have more searches than Etsy.
While this type of comparison seems to help one arrive at the answer of which of these platforms is more popular very easily, it does not always reveal the truth.

Shopify is a platform that is majorly popular among sellers. Etsy, on the other hand, is famous among buyers and sellers alike. This places it in the class of platforms like eBay and Amazon.
All things being equal, Etsy gives new merchants a great deal of exposure. Merchants of Shopify only begin to enjoy this exposure when they have reached a level of success.

So, if you have plans of building traffic to your site, you might do well on Shopify. However, if you are looking to thrive on the popularity of a platform, you will do better working with Etsy.


Design flexibility is a major factor to consider by anyone looking to begin selling on a platform like Shopify or Etsy. Shopify and Etsy know that merchants are interested in design quality on their platforms and will not stay on their platform for a long time if the design is not top-notch. Due to this, you can be certain that you will get very amazing designs when you use either Shopify or Etsy.

It is one thing to have an amazing design and another to enjoy some flexibility with your designs.

When looking to have a store on Etsy, you do not have to handle any designs. Your store will take on the generic design that stores on Etsy have. As much as these designs are nice, as already mentioned, they are generic, and it might be difficult for your store to stand out. The only thing that will make your store different from other stores on the Etsy platform are the products you put up for sale, your logo, and store name. This entire idea might be great for newbies. However, it is not exactly the best for merchants that want a lot more control. In addition to the absence of a great deal of control, your store will struggle to stand out.

Shopify flexibility

Unlike Etsy, Shopify offers merchants amazing designs, as well as a great level of flexibility. Every merchant looking to build a store on Shopify has the freedom of choosing from up to 60 themes. Since there are several themes to choose from, you can choose a suitable theme for whatever industry you find yourself in. Standing out becomes very easy with this feature.

Of these 60 themes, ten are available for free, while 50 can be gotten for a fee. That’s not all. These themes are modern and very responsive.

Since Shopify offers you flexibility and originality, you need to choose Shopify over Etsy if you want to enjoy a great deal of flexibility.

Which is easier to Use: Shopify or Etsy?

Long gone are the days you had to be tech-savvy before making use of any online platform. We live in a time when online platforms have become so simplified that even a novice can find their way around them. Since online platforms have become easy to use, the question now is which platforms are easier to use. Shopify or Etsy?

Shopify was built to ensure that the average merchant can develop their online store in the easiest way possible. This is one way it stands out from lots of e-commerce platforms.

The Shopify interface is user-friendly and comes with the average merchant’s tools to build a good eCommerce business.

When trying to set up an eCommerce business on Shopify, you do not need to seek the help of anyone as it has a clear menu and action buttons. That’s not all. You do not need to run your store on Shopify manually. As soon as you have your store set up, Shopify takes charge of tracking items, managing the store, and lots more.

Etsy’s Simplicity

Shopify is easy to use. However, it is not the only platform that is easy to use. Another platform that you definitely will not be struggling with when using is Etsy. This platform is not just easy to use. Unlike Shopify, it is very straightforward and is free from any form of complexities.

When looking to do business on Etsy, all you need to do is create an account. Once you create an account, pick a name for your store and get it stocked with goods.

There are tips to ensure that you do not struggle with every step of creating an account on Etsy.
As soon as you are done setting up your store on Etsy, you can begin selling immediately.

This might not seem impressive if you have been selling online for a long time. However, if you are a newbie, this is going to make the entire process extremely easy.

On Etsy, unlike on Shopify, you do not have to build your website before you begin making sales.

Payment Options: Shopify vs Esty

Before making up your mind to sell on either Shopify or Etsy, you must know the various payment alternatives.

On Shopify, there are several payment alternatives. Of these payment alternatives, one of the most prominent is Shopify Payment. From its name, it is obvious that this is a payment alternative for the Shopify platform. Beyond just being available for people carrying out transactions on the Shopify platform, you do not need to pay a transaction fee when using Shopify payments.

If you are not interested in using Shopify payments, you can use several other payment methods. These payment methods are more than 100. Popular among them are stripe, apple pay, Google pay, and PayPal.

Etsy, on the other hand, is not a platform that is synonymous with several payment methods. So, you definitely will be disadvantaged if you are interested in working with several payment methods.


Shopify and Etsy are some of the best online platforms on the planet. So, you can be certain you will always get the right support when you need one. Nonetheless, the question is, which of these sites offers you better support?

There are several ways to get across to Shopify’s customer support when you need some help. These methods are through email, forums, live chat, social media, and phone calls. The implication is that it is up to you to select the method of support you are most comfortable with.

Like Shopify, Etsy also cares deeply about its customers and is interested in ensuring absolute success on its platform.

However, in the same way, as Etsy does not give customers the flexibility of getting personalized platforms, its customer support is also not as pronounced as that of Shopify. Going by this, situations that Shopify might be handled very easily might be complicated for Etsy.

Level of exposure

Every merchant is interested in enjoying brand recognition. While this is an amazing place to be in as a brand, enjoying brand recognition is not something that comes very easily. While it is difficult for a brand to build recognition, it gets even more difficult for bands to get started from the very bottom.

If a brand must achieve the right level of recognition, then exposure is important. In as much as Etsy and Shopify and very established brands, if you are looking to work with a platform that will give your brand the needed level of exposure, you might need to choose Etsy over Shopify.

On Etsy are more than 33 million businesses and active buyers. This makes it a great place for new bands that require exposure.

Unlike Etsy, on Shopify, if your online store is not properly branded, you might not get the right level of recognition regardless of how long you have been selling on Shopify.

Ease Of Doing Business

When looking to sell on an online platform, ease of use should never be mistaken for ease of doing business.

Getting started as a business person is a lot easier on Etsy as compared to Shopify. The reason for this is when looking to sell on Etsy, there will be no need to set up a website. Additionally, you will not have to set up a product page. All you need to get started in business is a description and image of the products you intend to sell.

On Shopify, if you do not have a website set up, you are as good as not ready to do business. The implication of this is beyond just being easier for startups; you will spend less before you begin selling on Etsy compared to Shopify which demands you to build a website.

Conclusion: Shopify or Etsy

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Shopify and Etsy are two very amazing platforms. They have their strengths and weaknesses and have come to stay.

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When choosing between Shopify and Etsy, the best one can do for you is tell you about the strengths and weaknesses of the two sites. After getting the much-needed information about these sites, choosing the platform for your online store depends on your needs.

READ MORE: Shopify Vs. Squarespace: Which is Best to Sell Online?

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