Shopify Vs Etsy: Which Is Best For Ecommerce?

Niko Moustoukas

Shopify and Etsy are two major contenders when it comes to brands choosing somewhere to sell their products online.

Each platform offers unique advantages tailored to different business needs and as a result, your unique business goals must be considered when deciding between the two. Put simply, Shopify is a comprehensive, standalone ecommerce platform renowned for its robust features that empower businesses with customisation, scalability and a high degree of control over their online presence. In contrast, Etsy is an infamous creative marketplace, catering mainly to those who create handmade goods and providing a platform to showcase unique, artisanal products to a global audience.

In this blog post, we delve into the advantages and disadvantages of these platforms and offer valuable insights to help you make an informed decision for your ecommerce venture!

Shopify at a glance

Shopify is a comprehensive ecommerce platform that provides everything you need to set up and run a successful online store. Built specifically for ecommerce brands and optimised to convert site visitors into customers, Shopify comes equipped with all of the tools you need to make an impact and start selling products, fast. Built-in marketing features such as abandoned cart recovery and blog CMS as well as SEO tools, you really can get your brand up and running to a high-standard relatively quickly.

Additionally, if you decide to employ the services of expert web developers and web designers, you’ll be able to take your Shopify website to new heights. Developers can customise your Shopify website and tailor its functionality and appearance to your unique brand and in turn, drive more sales, increase organic traffic and scale your brand. Not only that, as your brand gets bigger and bigger, you can seamlessly migrate your website to Shopify Plus which offers even more features, support and a new level of scalability. Shopify is the home of many infamous brands including Skims, GymShark, Lucy & Yak, allbirds and Adanola, highlighting its popularity for established ecommerce businesses across the globe.

Etsy at a glance

Unlike Shopify, Etsy is not an ecommerce platform. Instead, it is more of a marketplace that allows thousands of individuals and businesses to sell their products and take advantage of the marketplace’s huge global customer base. Limited to selling handmade, vintage and artisanal goods, Etsy is definitely more suitable for individuals selling their handcrafted products as opposed to a growing business who wants to expand and scale. Etsy is extraordinarily simple marketplace to navigate for sellers so it’s a great starting point if you’re not at all comfortable with technology. Etsy provides you with the ability to list new products within minutes which can be advantageous if your products are one-of-a-kind and handmade, but the downside is that scaling within the platform is not at all easy due to the intense competition you’ll face with so many similar sellers, all under one roof.

Shopify vs Etsy: Side by side analysis

Overall, it’s safe to say that Shopify takes a strong lead in terms of its flexibility, customisability, scalability and ecommerce functionality. If you’re serious about making your online business a success, you should definitely opt for a Shopify website as Etsy simply doesn’t have the functionality to support your business objectives. Shopify truly offers a superior ecommerce experience for site visitors which in turn, drives more sales and increases your profit margins. Therefore, we genuinely believe that most businesses would benefit from a Shopify website.

Can I use Shopify & Etsy together?

Whilst we would recommend Shopify over Etsy in most situations, combining the two sales channels can be a great strategy for many businesses as it takes advantage of the benefits of both platforms and allows you to tap into two markets. Luckily, Shopify integrates with Etsy so you can seamlessly manage your stock level and products from within the Shopify dashboard and sync your inventories to automatically update when you make a change. Additionally, using both Shopify and Etsy also enables you to test out their different functionalities and allows you to make an informed decision for the future, perhaps you’ll instinctively prefer one over the other after trying them out for a while.

In summary, both Shopify and Etsy have their place within the ecommerce industry. Hopefully by now you’ll have a gut feeling of which is right for your business, your goals and where you are right now. If you’re still struggling to make up your mind, get in touch or take our Replatforming Audit!

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Niko Moustoukas


When Niko isn’t coding and helping clients, you’ll find him playing poker with friends and Greek dancing to his favourite tunes 🪩

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