So, today we spoke with a few businesses that were coming out with products and just starting their journey into sales. They have great products but they haven’t had a site ready to sell anything yet. The conversation of Etsy vs Shopify came up so I decided to write a quick article about this and which would be best for you. These are two of the best eCommerce solutions out there, so which one is best for you?
Etsy, for the people that may not know, is a web platform for businesses that are looking to sell a product, normally handmade on a site quickly and easily. They have about 200 Million average user visits a month with 385 Million dollars in revenue and 1.75 Million active users. You can quickly and easily list a product for sale online and Etsy will process the order and payment for you. They also have a discounted shipping plan that they offer their users as well. If you are familiar with eBay they follow a similar model while still promoting the idea of a small niche business.
Shopify is an eCommerce web hosting company that offers you the ability to build your own website to sell your products. They currently host over 500 million active business with 1.2 Million users running these stores. Last year they processed over 2.2 Billion(with a B) dollars through their stores. After your store is built, Shopify has payment processing, shipping, and multiple sales channels that you can sell on, but does not have the active organic shoppers like Etsy.
So the question is what is best for you? Well, it really depends on what stage you are at. If you have a product that is low volume and lower price, then Etsy is a good test platform to see if you can actually sell your widget. There is a cost for listing the item, plus a 3.5% fee on the sale and a 3% + $.25 per transaction fee for the credit card. The first issue you may notice is all these fees. While they do not charge you any monthly costs to list your products if you get up to a certain number of items sold then it can start to get expensive. They do give you services like the 30% discount off shipping rates to help with more orders. Also as I mentioned above they have a great organic base of customers that avidly shop their site and purchase from different businesses.
The biggest turn off with Shopify is that it doesn’t have this organic base of customers immediately when you list your products. In fact, because this is a new website built for only your products, the only traffic you get at first is what you send to it yourself. Their site acts as your personal business page and can be the basis for building your brand. Shopify does have a $29 a month hosting plan to start but there are no transaction fees like Etsy and their credit card processing is 2.9% + $.30 per transaction. You still get discounted shipping rate just like Etsy but this is where the similarities end. The downside is you have to design your own website and list all your products which can be a challenge for some people.
So for the longest time, this was the only option you had available. Recently though, Shopify release a new “Starter” plan for people that are looking at the $29 a month and are not sure if that will work. Most businesses in this starter phase are selling directly to their friends or using ad platforms like Facebook to do some very inexpensive advertising. With the new starter plan, they don’t give you a website to host but they do let you connect to the Facebook Channel so you can list your products for sale on your Facebook Business Page. Also, you can add “Buy Now” buttons to an existing, non-eCommerce website like Wix, Squarespace, or WordPress. Last but not least you can sell your widgets on a phone or tablet using their Shopify POS application. All for a monthly fee of $9 a month instead of the $29 they have offered for a while.
This solution not only gives you a great platform to build off of but it puts your products directly at your fingertips in the places you are most likely going to sell them. To your friends in person, on Facebook, or on an existing site that you were looking to replace in the future anyway. You don’t have the transaction fees or listing fees like Etsy and at a $9 entry cost, you only have to sell one or two items to make that up. Shopify continues to grow and listen to its users and this is why we love being a partner with them. If you want to check out their platform and get a free trial let us know. You can also follow the link here to see pricing and other options they offer to you.
Thanks for reading and let us know if you have any questions!