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Etsy vs Shopify – Which Platform Is The Best for Sellers?


All online sellers must choose the right eCommerce platforms to showcase their products. Sure, Amazon seems like the go-to choice, but there are other contenders to consider.

Here’s where you see the choice between Etsy vs Shopify.

Both platforms are great to get new sellers started.

But what works on one marketplace may not work on the other. So, how can you know which is best for your business?

Today we’ll compare the benefits and setbacks of Etsy vs Shopify.

Let’s review their key features and fees, to see which is the better fit for you.

Shopify Overview

This is one of the most used eCommerce platforms in the market. It has more than one million users, and over $82 billion sales.

Shopify is designed for sellers who want to build their own stores from the ground up.

The platform features over 70 custom templates to create unique storefronts. Brands can also create a unique URL to name their store.

Here are some of Shopify’s unique features:

  1. Shopify Payments. The platform hosts a unique payment service to manage credit and debit sales for customers. It comes at no extra fees for sellers.
  2. Shopify Email. This is an email automation tool, capable of sending up to 2,500 messages to users. This marketing service is included for free on all Shopify plans.
  3. Shopify Shipping. A complete carrier service for Shopify brands. The service features label printing, and unique discount rates for DHL Express, UPS and USPS shipments.
  4. Shopify Apps. Shopify boasts many integrations to enhance your store’s reach and capabilities. For example: customer services, marketing, and off-site sales integration.

Shopify Pricing

Shopify offers three payment plans for sellers, with no cost for setup. Here’s a quick overview of each pricing tier:

Account type Monthly Fee Product limit Shipping discount Shopify Payments
Basic Shopify $29 USD Unlimited Up to 88% 2.9% + 0.30 USD
Shopify $79 USD 2.6% + 0.30 USD
Advanced Shopify $299 USD 2.4% + 0.30 USD

Each plan includes the same features, with a few exceptions. For example, Advance Shopify sellers feature the following perks:

  • 3P calculated shipping rates
  • Ecommerce automation
  • Estimate duties and import taxes
  • Custom pricing by market

You can select any of these pricing tiers after a free 14-day trial. As for referral fees, Shopify will only charge you if you use an external payment service.

Etsy Overview

Unlike Shopify, Etsy is a proper marketplace, such as Amazon.

It’s a dedicated site for artisans and creators.

Etsy is a great fit for vintage or handmade product sales. Etsy is also a good fit for small-scale stores that sell to niche audiences.

Some of Etsy’s most interesting features are:

  • Listing management. Etsy sellers have a direct relationship with customers. They can list products, manage sales, print labels and track shipments using the Etsy dashboard.
  • Etsy Payments. An in-house payment service to manage sales. It accepts card payments, Google or Apple Pay, and PayPal.
  • This is Etsy’s very own ecommerce platform. At $15 USD per month, Pattern allows sellers to create their own websites, and start a unique sales operation.

NerdWallet states that Etsy registered over 39.5 million buyers in 2018. Plus, there are around 2.1 million sellers competing in the marketplace.

This makes Etsy a great choice to place unique offers in front of customers. However, competition is quite steep.


This platform features two plans: Standard and Plus.

The first is free for all sellers, while the Plus alternative charges $10 per month.

Both plans also come with the following fees:

  • Listing: $0.20 USD for each product upload
  • Transaction:5% per sale
  • Payment Processing:5% plus $0.50 USD

Etsy Plus offers a few more perks for sellers. For example: store customization and email automation. Etsy Plus accounts also get 15 listing credits and $5 USD credits to use in onsite ads.

Shopify vs Etsy – Comparison

Both platforms follow a different approach to eCommerce success.

So, how do you choose between them?

Let’s take a closer look at the perks and setbacks of both options.



  • Unique store builder. Shopify is a full ecommerce platform. It lets you create a complete store from scratch, with complete independence.
  • Scalable Suite. The service is suitable for small and big brands. You control branding, pricing and customization.
  • No product limits. You can set up Shopify to sell as many products as you like.


  • Learning Curve. Due to its many features, Shopify is a time-consuming platform. It may take a while to know its tools inside out.
  • Lack of exposure. Customer acquisition is up to you. Users can’t find you on Shopify unless you set up a proper marketing campaign to draw them into your store.
  • Add-ons are extra. While Shopify features many apps, each comes at an extra cost for sellers.



  • Quick setup. Etsy is a more traditional marketplace. So, it’s easier to set up an account and start selling.
  • Instant traffic. Sellers can tap into the Etsy customer base from the start. Once you create a listing, it is visible for all Etsy customers online.
  • Free Suite. As we said, Etsy’s standard plan is cost-free.


  • Sales fees. While Etsy offers a free plan for all sellers, the referral fees could have a long-term impact on small stores.
  • Item Restrictions. Etsy is a dedicated space for handmade sellers and artisans. There’s little room to expand your product catalog.
  • Design Limitations. There’s not much room to customize storefronts on Etsy. This means it’s harder to build your branding.

Final Thoughts

Of course, there’s no need to limit yourself to one platform. In fact, you can easily connect both stores with a third-party integration app.

Thus, you’ll be able to promote the same products on both Etsy and Shopify, and manage your sales in the same place.

Each hub helps you drive conversions and visibility. So, you may diversify, or go with only one option. But rest assured, both Shopify and Etsy are great ways to kickstart your online store.

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