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Are you looking to start a creative business, but aren’t sure where to sell your products from? You’re not alone. Many entrepreneurs have gotten stuck on whether to use Etsy or Shopify as their e-commerce platform. With this Etsy vs Shopify guide, we will help you decide which platform is right for your business.

Let’s take a look at both platforms, so you can determine what works best for you. We’ll compare the pros and cons of each platform, cover some of the most commonly asked questions.

No matter what kind of creative business you’re starting, this guide will provide all the information necessary for making an educated decision about which e-commerce platform is best for you. So let’s get started!

Etsy VS Shopify for Creative Businesses

Etsy vs Shopify for New Creative Businesses

Starting an online business is overwhelming There are so many new things to learn, research, and plan. One of the most common questions we’ve been asked in our business coaching program at Makers University is what selling platform should I use, Etsy or Shopify?  

Ultimately when deciding between Etsy and Shopify for your creative business needs you should consider factors such as cost, user experience (UX), customer service availability, scalability options, customization capabilities and more. Doing research on both platforms before making a decision can help you decide which one better suits your requirements.

Etsy vs Shopify Side by Side Comparison

There are is a ton of information out there, but it gets a little confusing when there are new terms being thrown around. So let’s skip the lingo and take a look at the basics.

Great choice for small businesses that specialize in handmade items or vintage goods.Great for all types of products.
Easy-to-use marketplace to sell their unique products.Steeper learning curve to design your store, but more customization options.
Built in audience that already know, like, and trust the platform.You have to build your own audience.
Payment processing through Stripe or PayPal.Helpful tools such as analytics, and payment processing.
No custom domains (aka website address)Domain registration for a custom website address.
Listing, transaction, and credit card processing fees.Credit card processing fees.
No monthly feeMonthly fee $39-$399
Calculates, collects, and remits US sales tax for their sellers.Shop owner is responsible for calculating, collecting, and remitting sales tax.

Which Costs More to Operate Etsy or Shopify?

The answer isn’t simple because Etsy and Shopify have different models.

Etsy charges a listing fee for all items listed on the site. This fee is per item, and costs $0.20 USD. It also has a transaction fee of 5% of the item’s total sale price, along with a payment processing fee depending on the buyer’s location.

Shopify charges a subscription fee for use of its platform. Plans range from $39-$399 USD per month depending on features needed and number of products being sold. There is also a payment processing fee associated with each sale made through Shopify. There’s also other costs involved if you want more site customizations and features.

Fees are important factors when deciding which platform to use for your creative business, but we need to look at the whole picture. Think about the type of products you’re planning on selling and how much you’re willing to spend up front to get your business started. How quickly can you find your ideal customers.

Understanding how each platform works and what features they offer can help narrow down your choices when it comes time to decide which one is best suited for your business needs.

Which Platform is Easiest to Grow, Etsy or Shopify?

So we’ve covered the fees and charges of both Etsy and Shopify, let’s move on to discuss the target audience for each platform. Which one can I grow my sales quicker?

When it comes to Etsy, their primary target sellers are creative entrepreneurs. This includes crafters, artisans, and vintage sellers who are looking for a global marketplace. You immediately have access to 81.9 million active customers. You will have to work on making your products easier to find in their search engine, since there are 4.36 million active sellers on Etsy.

Shopify, on the other hand, is designed for businesses of all sizes carrying all types of products. You will have to put in the work to build your customer base. If you’ve already built an active community through social media or e-mail marketing you’re off to a great start.

In both cases you will have to learn about search engine optimization or SEO. This is the strategy that helps build your visibility in search engines like Google. Remember, Etsy does have it’s own internal search engine for their customers, so SEO still matters.

Overall both platforms offer unique advantages depending on the seller’s needs. Etsy and Shopify provide plenty of options so you can make an informed decision when setting up or expanding your online business.

Payment Options on Etsy and Shopify

Accepting payments is kind of big one considering you’re running a business. When it comes to payment options, both Etsy and Shopify offer secure payment options that create a simple and seamless checkout experience.

On Etsy, you can accept credit card payments through Stripe or PayPal. Both of these payment methods are easy to set up and integrated directly into your account. You also have the option to add other payment methods, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Etsy gift cards. (You know there are people who have Etsy gift cards from Christmas!)

On Shopify, you can use its very own payment gateway for credit card transactions, called Shopify Payments. This is a great option because it’s free to set up and comes with features like automatic deposits and fraud analysis. You can also choose from a range of third-party gateways including PayPal, Square,, and more.

Etsy vs Shopify - Which e-commerce option is right for your creative business

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