Shopify vs Etsy : Which is better


Shopify vs Etsy: Which is better?

Are you thinking about using Etsy over Shopify? This is a question that has been lingering amongst E-commerce entrepreneurs for some time.The question is Shopify vs Etsy: Which is better?

The main difference between Etsy and Shopify is that Etsy is a market place like Amazon whilst Shopify is a web builder.  Etsy are known for handmade and vintage items.

Whether you already have an E-commerce store on one of these platforms or if you are only just beginning on your journey then I hope this blog post can help your predicament.



Etsy is an online market place. Etsy has differentiated themselves from the big names like Amazon and eBay by focusing mainly on the products available on their platform.

Etsy have a very strong product rule guideline and if you break these rules, you will ultimately get kicked of their platform.

On Esty you are only allowed to sell handmade objects that are made by you, vintage items that are over 20 years old and you are allowed to sell materials that are used for arts and crafts.

I thought it was important to mention this first as if your products don’t match these guidelines then I don’t want to waste your time reading the rest of this blog.

homemade or vintage



Shopify is a third-party platform that allows you to build your own E-commerce store or website. There are tons of templates and other tools that make building your website extremely easy.

If you want more information about Shopify and how much it will cost then read this blog.

Shopify however is not an online market place which means that you will have to get people to your website through your own efforts and marketing.

There are no limitations on the types of products you can sell.


Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this question. From the information mentioned above you know that they serve two different purposes.

Depending on your business and products you can make a judgment on what is better for you by adding up the pros and cons of each.

Shopify Pros

  • Build a sound brand: With Shopify you are able to better build a brand for your store that can last for years and years to come. It’s more difficult to build a stand out brand in a market place flooded with store.
  • Customizable: With Shopify if you can dream It, you can literally create it. There are so many themes, designs and templates you can choose from to build your store to your liking.
  • No transaction and hidden fees: Because this is your website you won’t have to pay transaction fees, listing fees and processing fees. Your profit is yours and yours only.
  • Business growth: With Shopify you can truly grow your store to whatever heights you want. There are no limitations on how many products and what products you want to sell.

Shopify Cons

  • Extensive E-commerce knowledge: Designing the website is the easy part. You need to be very clued up on digital marketing and all areas of digital marketing. You need to understand the backend of the internet. It’s a lot to undertake.
  • Generate your own traffic and leads: Getting people onto your website is no easy feat. You will have to create good marketing campaigns and you are competing with some very knowledgeable people in this field. 
  • Time and effort: Running a successful Shopify store will be a full-time job. From marketing to orders and customer service it can really consume you.

Etsy Pros

  • Free traffic: With Etsy if your product is right and you do some competitor research you will have people viewing your products in no time. Millions of people come to Etsy to browse for products so customers are right at your door step.
  • Easy to set-up and run: Opening an Etsy store is very simple and easy. You don’t need to be a tech person or E-commerce pro. I have free step by step Etsy Tips in case you are already sold on Etsy. Once you have set it up, they have a very user-friendly platform and it won’t take you long to figure out.
  • Etsy are great at marketing: Etsy have become genius and consistent in their marketing efforts. They are constantly updating and reminding your customers about your store so you are in good hands.

Etsy Cons

  • Growth or scale up: Don’t get it wrong there are some stores on Etsy that are making millions of dollars a month. If you aren’t willing to do your own marketing then you will always be limited to what Etsy can bring to the table for you.
  • Branding: It is more difficult to create a stand out brand on Etsy because their store fronts are not customizable to the same level as Shopify. It’s hard to stand out compared to competitors.
  • Rules and regulations: Etsy have taken a pretty stern approach in terms of rules and regulations. They also have the power to just remove your store so sometimes it feels as if you are treading on egg shells.

Shopify vs Etsy as an E-commerce beginner?

If you are an E-commerce beginner and your products are inline with Etsy product guidelines then I would suggest you do the following.

Start with an Etsy store. Etsy have made creating an online store incredibly easy. Even if you have little to no background knowledge E-commerce you could have your store up and running in a week or two.

All you have to do is follow the steps on my blog “How to open an Etsy store: step by step tutorial”

With Etsy being a market place, you don’t really need to have expert marketing skills to get some sales and feedback on what you are selling.

This was a tactic I learnt that helped me better understand how my product would do before I invested a lot of time and money on building a website on Shopify. 

Whilst Etsy was working its magic in the background and I was getting good feedback I started building my Shopify website and worked on how I could market my products for maxim growth.

Am I allowed to have an Etsy store and Shopify store?

There is a more definitive answer to this question. In short, yes you can have both stores running at the same time. It is actually beneficial for you to have your store on as many platforms as possible.

“Don’t leave all your eggs in one basket but also don’t forget about the about the eggs in some of these baskets”

It is advised for you to open your store on as many platforms as possible if you are able to handle the work load. An unhappy customer on one platform can bring the rest down as well.


In closing there is no definitive answer to the questions we have tried to answer. You have to evaluate what the best fitting platform is for your brand and products using what you have learnt from this is blog post.

Remember that if you are unsure, you can always just open your store on both platforms.