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Shopify vs. Etsy

If you sell handcrafted or vintage wares online, there is a good chance you got your start on Etsy. For a long time Etsy was synonymous with handcrafting online. Now, though, more and more Etsy sellers are starting to branch out and look into other alternatives. One of those alternatives is Shopify. If you are thinking of switching from Etsy to Shopify however, you will want to know how the two measure up.

Pros of Etsy:

  • Etsy has a well-established community of shoppers. The site gets a ton of traffic, and at least some of that will find its way into your shop.
  • Creating coupon codes could not be easier.
  • It costs next to nothing to list your items.

Cons of Etsy:

  • Etsy is flooded with other well-established merchants, many of whom have the money to re-list over and over again and spam the feed. Getting noticed in that crowd can be really hard.
  • Etsy charges a 3.5% commission on all selling items.
  • There is next to no customization for your shop.
  • You are at the mercy of Etsy - If they shut down, so do you!

Pros of Shopify:

  • Unlike Etsy, you can customize your shop fully with a beautiful theme of your choice. If you happen to be a good coder, you can personalize even further. If you need help with coding, a Shopify expert like us can get you set up.
  • Shopify is known for its excellent 24/7 customer service. If you have an issue with your store, you obviously want to get it resolved right away. Knowing someone is standing by waiting to help you is a big deal.
  • There is an awesome App store you can use to upgrade your store.
  • Etsy offers only two payment options; Shopify takes a whole range of options.
  • If you have a brick-and-mortar shop, you can integrate your online store using Shopify PoS and sync all your inventory.

Cons of Shopify:

  • Some of the Shopify apps you may come to rely on cost money.
  • There are transaction fees (lower than Etsy’s) for using external merchants like Paypal or Moneris, and also monthly costs starting at $29. Not every business owner can afford this. However Shopify recently released their own merchant Shopify Payments which integrates seamlessly and waves additional transaction fees when used.

As you can see, both Etsy and Shopify have their advantages and disadvantages, but overall, Shopify is the system which will provide you with the most by far in terms of flexibility and customization. With superior customer service and far more versatility in terms of payments, it is clearly the superior site that will allow you to further build your own brand without being held at the mercy of Etsy and the rules that apply now or may happen down the road. A real business should have their own domain name and own online business address. Its like comparing an actual store location to a kiosk within a mall of multiple stores.

Really, the main drawback is money. If you are on a really tight budget, you may have to begin on Etsy. But if you are doing well enough with your business that you can justify the monthly fee to open a Shopify store, doing so makes a lot of sense. You will be finally be able to personalize your store to your heart’s content and take your business to the next level. And remember, if you need any help getting started, you can get in touch with a Shopify expert who will make the transition easy and seamless!

Lastly, Shopify and Etsy work hand in hand. There is nothing stopping you from selling on both to get the best of both worlds. Start with both and the extra customers from Etsy will eventually build your brand and long term customer base to your Shopify store. I am a strong supporter in taking every avenue you can to build your business! Etsy's marketplace is a great way to get your products found as with Shopify you need to spend more time and money on marketing but long term, you will have your own business so why not do both?!

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