When you’re trying to figure out the best place to host your online retail shop, I know it can be a little overwhelming. If you’ve been weighing your options between Etsy vs. Shopify and considering a move, there’s a lot to consider:
- Where do you begin?
- What are the benefits of making that switch?
- How do you do it without disrupting your business?
- When’s the right time?
Don’t worry, I’ve got the answers to all your questions covered in this blog!
I know the ins and outs of moving from Etsy to Shopify, and I’m here to give you my (honest) opinion on the pros and cons of the two platforms. That way, you’ll feel informed, empowered, and confident enough to make the right choice for your business. Be sure to stick around to the end–I’ll give you some surprising Shopify stats to help you decide based on your own business data.
The Pros and Cons of Selling Products on Etsy vs. Shopify
There’s a reason so many up-and-coming e-commerce businesses get their start by selling products on Etsy. It’s a platform where many shops gain their following and really build their customer base. But there’s also a reason that many business owners eventually move their online shops elsewhere.
Let’s break down the pros and cons of the platform:
The Pros of Selling Your Products on Etsy
1. It’s Easy to Build a Following
In their own words, Etsy is “the global marketplace for unique and creative goods. It’s home to a universe of special, extraordinary items, from unique handcrafted pieces to vintage treasures.” In 2020, that universe of items saw more than 34.9 million active buyers worldwide.
Access to that type of audience is a fantastic perk for new businesses that are just starting to make a name for themselves. Thanks to Etsy’s on-site search function as well as its compatibility with search engines, customers can organically find new businesses when they’re on the hunt for products.
2. Learn About E-commerce at a Low Cost
Starting your shop on Etsy is a great way to market-test and perfect your products and learn the e-commerce-ropes as your business grows. For example, if you’re seeing plenty of traffic to your Etsy store, but few conversions to customers, you know you need to switch something up in your current strategy. It’s better (and less expensive!) to figure this out early on, before investing in professional branding and a Shopify site.
With Etsy, online businesses can also avoid monthly fees. Etsy sellers instead pay $.20/listing, plus $0.25/sale + 6.5% transaction fees. All in all, it’s a pretty low-risk investment when you’re just getting started and testing the waters.
The Cons of Selling Your Products on Etsy
1. Etsy’s Search Algorithm Changes Often
Remember how I mentioned that Etsy’s search function is excellent for helping customers find your products? Well, Etsy’s search algorithm is also constantly changing. This means that as a business owner, you have to stay on top of its changes and be ready to change your techniques as you go if you want your store to be successful.
At the end of the day, you don’t own your shop’s traffic, and you’re at the mercy of Etsy’s algorithm. Remember how Instagram changed its algorithm, and now we never see static posts?
When customers search for products like yours, your listings appear next to your biggest competitors. For example, one of my favorite jewelry businesses is on Etsy. I’m a repeat customer, and Etsy knows this. However, Etsy always greets me with a landing page full of similar jewelry to what I’ve purchased in the past. But, it’s NOT created by the store I love.
See, the same reason you might love Etsy initially (you get new eyes on your product!) might quickly become the bane of your business if you find yourself losing customers to your competitors.
2. Fees Only Stay Low for So Long
And those Etsy listing fees? They add up quickly! Of course, when you’re just getting started and your sales volume is low, the fees are minimal. But as soon as you start generating business and seeing those sales (hopefully!) go up and up, Etsy’s fees will quickly climb past what you would be paying in Shopify.
Let’s do some quick Etsy vs. Shopify math:
- If your average order amount is $40 and you make 10 sales/month, you would pay $42.50 in Etsy fees and $51.60 in Shopify fees on Shopify’s Basic plan.
- As soon as you start making just 21 sales/month, Etsy and Shopify fees are equal!
- By the time you make 100 sales/month, you would save over $170/month by using Shopify vs. Etsy ($253 vs. $425). That’s because Etsy’s transaction fee is set at 6.5% vs. 0-2% with Shopify. The more orders your store receives, the more you’ll save by using Shopify.
So, What’s an E-commerce Business Owner to Do?
Just like any other big decision for your business, deciding on Etsy vs. Shopify is up to you and where you’re at. Every business is different, and there’s no one right answer.
One nice thing about moving from Etsy to Shopify is that you don’t have to completely go cold turkey on Etsy as you transition your shop. You can keep your hands in both platforms for a while as you get your bearings if it makes you feel more comfortable. It might be a bit of a headache when tracking inventory, though, so I wouldn’t recommend doing that for too long.
Looking for more Shopify resources? You can find all of our Shopify blog posts here.
Ready to Make Your Move?
If reading this made you think, “Yes, I’m ready for Shopify,” I’m here to help you with the design and setup services you need to make your new site shine. Fill out my contact form to get in touch with me and learn how we can work together.