Shopify vs Etsy: Which Is Best for Your Ecommerce Business?

Our independent research projects and impartial reviews are funded in part by affiliate commissions, at no extra cost to our readers. Learn more

Shopify and Etsy are both giants of the online shopping world. Attracting millions of sellers from across the globe, these ecommerce platforms could take your business to the next level. But who’s the right fit for you?

Shopify is the best ecommerce website builder on the market, offering powerful sales tools designed for scaling businesses. Meanwhile, Etsy is a trusted online marketplace which is a haven for homemade goods, vintage items, or craft supplies.

Curious about the best platform for your needs? Read on to discover the key differences between Shopify and Etsy that span pricing, sales tools, security, and more.

Shopify vs Etsy

  1. Shopify Best for scaling your online store
  2. Etsy Best for hobbyists selling handmade goods

Short on time? Take our quick quiz to find your next ecommerce platform instead.

I'm building a store...

Find your builder

Shopify vs Etsy: Quick Comparison

Need a quick comparison? Here’s a brief overview of both platforms and the key differences between them.

Shopify Etsy
Value for Money
Shopify’s three main plans are expensive, with a price range between $29-$299 billed annually. However, you can get your first month for $1 when you sign up. Also, the quality of features you get on these plans are outstanding, most notably the substantial shipping discounts and global selling capabilities. Etsy is technically free to sell with, though there are additional costs that build up over time. This includes a $0.20 listing fee per item, a 6.5% transaction fee, and processing fees.
Set Up
Shopify is one of the easiest website builders to set up with. Once you’ve signed up, you’re taken through a comprehensive setup guide that breaks down the process for you. Expect a linear process when setting up with Etsy. New users are taken through a straightforward, six-step onboarding process that includes naming your store and uploading your first item.
Store Design
Shopify has more professional store designs than Etsy does. This is due to its 12 free and 178 paid themes you can customize to reflect your unique branding. Making it difficult to stand out from the crowd, Etsy’s store designs are generic. They all follow a standard template, so there are few ways to customize your store. However, you can pay for Pattern ($15/mo) to access more creative designs.
Sales Features
When it comes to sales features, Shopify is ecommerce royalty. You’ll find powerful sales tools spanning multichannel selling, product management tools, and more. Etsy doesn’t offer a wide range of sales tools. However, you can access the Etsy Seller app to manage your operations on the go, or use Etsy’s advertising tools to promote your business.
Marketing Tools
Because you’ll be growing your customer base from scratch, Shopify has a great range of marketing tools to help you out. Notable examples include Shopify Email for eye-catching campaigns and its ecommerce SEO tools. With Etsy, you’ll be tapping into its large audience. Because of this, Etsy marketing tools are few and far between. However, you can create and share professional social posts from your Shop Manager.
Help & Support
Choose Shopify for around the clock help and support. You can access 24/7 phone and live chat, or delve into the comprehensive Shopify Help Center. You can access Etsy’s Help Center to find detailed resources on your shop. Unfortunately, there are no accessible contact lines and you’ll have to submit a help request instead.
Shopify keeps customer data safe through SSL certificates, 2-step authentication, secure customer login area, and fraud detection. Etsy isn't clear about its security practices, though its website does have an SSL certificate to ensure all transactions are carried out on a secure server.

Shopify vs Etsy: Key Differences

Before we go into further detail, there’s one key point you need to know about Shopify and Etsy. Shopify is an all-in-one ecommerce platform, while Etsy is an online marketplace.

Since Shopify is a dedicated ecommerce platform, you’ll receive sophisticated features and apps designed to help you set up your store and grow your online presence. From start to finish, you’ll have everything you need to upload products, design your store, set up shipping and payments, and so on.

On the other hand, Etsy is a popular online marketplace with over 500 million visitors each month. This leaves your store with a large customer base to tap into, so you don’t have to worry about making your products visible to buyers through marketing efforts.

Unlike Shopify, which lets you sell anything, Etsy is a specialized platform. It focuses on three types of product: handmade, vintage, or craft goods. If you’re selling something outside of those product types, then we recommend Shopify instead.

Best for Pricing: Both

At first glance, Shopify’s pricing is most expensive. Its three main plans – Basic, Shopify, and Advanced – range from $29-$299 per month billed annually, though you can try before you buy with Shopify’s first month for $1 offer. If you’re on a budget, then this steep price increase could put you off from upgrading from the cheapest plan too soon.

With that said, Shopify’s high pricing is worthwhile for its exceptional sales features. Even on the Basic Plan, you’ll receive large Shopify shipping discounts, 10 inventory locations, and global selling across three markets. If you’re at the helm of a medium-large company with a lot of inventory to sell, then these features are great value for money.

Screenshot of Shopify's pricing page and three main plans.
Shopify’s pricing might look costly, but you do get great features with each plan. You can integrate POS, or contact its 24/7 chat support if you get stuck. Source: Website Builder Expert

It’s also important to consider fees. Shopify charges a small credit card fee that lets you accept credit card payments, while there are also third-party transaction fees if you use a third-party payment gateway. Transaction fees are 2% on the Basic Plan, 1% on the Shopify Plan, and 0.6% on the advanced plan.

With Etsy, there’s a one-off $15 fee when you first set up your shop. After that, you can start uploading your items or tweaking your store settings. Though this costs considerably less than Shopify’s plans, you will have fewer features at your disposal, so keep that in mind.

To upgrade your Etsy store, there are additional fees you could pay:

  1. Etsy Plus – For an additional $10 per month, you can access an additional budget for listings, personalized Etsy ads, and advanced customization options.
  2. Etsy PatternFree for your first 30 days, but $15 per month afterwards, Pattern lets you create a more personalized page for your business. If you want creative control over your Etsy page, then you may want to consider it.
Screenshot of Pattern by Etsy, the company's ecommerce website builder.
Etsy Pattern is useful if you want your Etsy site to have a distinctive look. At only $15/mo, it also won’t put you out of pocket. Source: Website Builder Expert

What About Additional Fees?

When using Etsy, you will come across additional fees. Let us break it down for you:

  • A 6.5% transaction fee on each order
  • Payment fees on each order (depending on the third-party payment processors used).
  • $0.20 per listing

If you have a high volume inventory, then these combined costs will build up over time. For that reason, we recommend Shopify instead. There’s no listing fees, while you can remove transaction fees by signing up for Shopify Payments, the platform’s all-in-one payment solution.

However, you still can’t avoid those pesky processing fees, which vary based on the third-party payment processors used.

The Winner

Shopify and Etsy draw when it comes to pricing

There’s no clear winner here, since it depends on what you’re looking for as a seller. If you have a large store, then Shopify’s plans are great value for money thanks to its high-quality features. In contrast, Etsy’s cheaper pricing will suffice if you’re only selling a few items at a time.

Best for Setting Up: Both

Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran of online store building, Etsy and Shopify are both stress free platforms to set up with. When setting up with Etsy, we were taken through a linear process that was easy to follow. We liked how it broke down the setup process into six easy steps.

Screenshot of a variants section during Etsy's setup process.
Etsy’s setup process included uploading our first item. This process was also straightforward and let us classify the item via categories, tags, or through specific variants like color. Source: Website Builder Expert

Setting up with Shopify is also straightforward. Once you’ve answered key questions about your website, you’ll be redirected to a personalized setup guide. If you’re new to ecommerce builders, this handy guide tells you what you need to do when creating your online store, so you won’t be left in the dark.

There’s also ways you can streamline the setup process. For instance, Shopify Magic, its AI website builder tool, is a useful way to generate content for your store. You can generate text such as product descriptions, headings, and email subject lines, or use the image editor tool to enhance your site’s imagery.

Screenshot of Shopify's Magic AI tool generating a product description.
For my test site, I gave Shopify’s text generator a spin. It generated an engaging product description in a sophisticated tone of voice. We recommend this feature if you’re not confident in creating ecommerce copy. Source: Website Builder Expert

One more thing to note is that you can integrate your Etsy store with Shopify during setup. When Shopify asks you if you’re selling through another platform, you can choose Etsy and import your items from your store.

The Winner

Etsy and Shopify’s straightforward setup process makes it a draw

Both platforms are easy to set up with. Each step is clearly signposted, so you’ll know exactly what you need to do from start till finish.

Best for Store Design: Shopify

Etsy’s store designs all follow a standard template. Since you can’t change them much, it’s not the best platform to establish your unique branding with.

For instance, every product page has the same features in the same order. You have your logo and store name, a photo carousel, your product title, and so on. Since all stores follow this layout, standing out from the competition is tricky. The most you can do is make sure you have appealing product photos and product titles with the right keywords.

Screenshop of an Etsy product page.
Although Etsy’s minimalist design is appealing to the eye, we’d prefer if there were more ways to customize your product pages – it felt very limiting. Source: Website Builder Expert

With Shopify, you have much more creative control. The platform offers 12 free templates and 178 paid templates in total, giving you more ways to customize your store.

When using Shopify’s editor, we were able to tweak our store design by adding new sections, or by changing the website’s key fonts, colors, and imagery. Though other competitors on the market like Squarespace have better design options, Shopify still gave us far more ways to tweak our store than Etsy did.

Screenshot of an image banner added to a product page from the editor.
Shopify let us rearrange our product pages, or add new blocks like this banner image. It’s great if you want more control over how each page looks. Source: Website Builder Expert
The Winner

Shopify’s customizable templates beat Etsy’s generic page designs

Giving you more ways to edit your website, Shopify wins due to its numerous template options and customization tools.

Best for Sales Features: Shopify

According to our research, Shopify is the best ecommerce platform on the market, and this is due in part to its top sales features that you won’t find anywhere else. Here’s a fraction of what Shopify offers:

  • Unlimited products – You can sell as much as you want, while you can sell a wider range of products as long as it is in line with Shopify’s T&Cs.
  • Multichannel selling – Shopify lets you share and sell across multiple platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok.
  • Payment methods – There’s over 100 payment providers to integrate with your store. Popular options include Amazon Pay, Stripe, PayPal, and Shopify Payments.
  • Shipping options – You can use Shopify Shipping to connect your account with carriers like USPS, UPS, DHL Express, and FedEx, or download the Planet app to let buyers choose carbon-neutral shipping.
Screenshot of Shopify's sales analytics from the dashboard.
We found that most of Shopify’s key sales features were accessible from our dashboard. The analytics tab lets us examine key insights about our store, like our conversion rate or the average total value of all orders. Source: Website Builder Expert

Etsy’s sales features are overshadowed by Shopify’s. However, it’s not to say that Etsy doesn’t offer anything of value. The platform has a small selection of tools that can assist you with your ecommerce operations:

  • Etsy Seller App – This app helps you manage your store from your phone. You can track orders and shipments, be notified of repeat buyers, access order details, and upload photos or videos to your listing.
  • Search Analytics – Located on your dashboard, you can see how people find your Etsy shop through detailed insights.
Screenshot of Etsy's webpage advertising the Etsy Seller App and download.
You can easily download the Etsy app via QR code. Once you’ve installed it to your phone, it’s a great companion to have when you’re on the go. Source: Website Builder Expert

However, Etsy’s sales features still don’t compare to Shopify’s. If you have a large business and plenty of stock to push, then you’ll want to make the most of Shopify’s powerful tools, ranging from product management to shipping.

Do Etsy or Shopify Offer Point of Sale?

Keen to sell in person too? To do so, you’ll need to use Point of Sale (POS), a device that lets you process sales in physical retail locations. Thankfully, you can integrate POS with both Shopify and Etsy.

The main difference is that Shopify has its own built-in POS, while Etsy must be integrated with Square to access POS. Square’s and Shopify’s POS score highly in our research, with both options letting you personalize your POS or purchase POS accessories to integrate with your store.

The Winner

Shopify’s sales features are second to none

From advanced product management tools to varied shipping options, Shopify’s sales features are designed to support your store’s growth.

Best for Marketing Tools: Shopify

Shopify has the most marketing tools. However, there’s a specific reason for this.

Since Etsy is an online marketplace with millions of visitors, your account doesn’t come with that many marketing tools. Your items will already be visible to Etsy’s users, so there’s less need to spend lots of time on your marketing efforts.

However, it does come with a downside. You’ll also have to compete with other Etsy sellers in your niche. This means optimizing your store so Etsy’s algorithm lets you rank as high as possible in search results.   

Of course, you’ll still want to share your products online. Etsy lets you create and share social posts, a feature you can access from your Shop Manager. You can choose from six different types of social posts and share your finished product on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Screenshot of a blog post from the Seller Handbook explaining Etsy's social media tool.
According to the Seller Handbook, you can also create posts from the Etsy Seller app and find post inspiration through Etsy’s useful suggestions. Source: Website Builder Expert

On the other hand, you’ll need to build your customer base from scratch on Shopify, especially if you’re opening your first online store. Thankfully, the platform comes with a myriad of marketing tools you can use:

  • Shopify Email – This built-in tool lets you create professional email marketing campaigns, with your first 10,000 emails being free.
  • Strong ecommerce SEO – The platform is brilliant for search engine optimization. You can improve your visibility on search engines by creating SEO-friendly product descriptions, adding alternative text, and changing your meta titles and descriptions.
  • App store – With over 8,000 apps to choose from, you can download additional marketing apps to help you grow your online presence.
  • Shopify Forms – Offers an easy way to generate new leads while growing your subscriber base.
Screenshot of Shopify's marketing analytics page from the dashboard.
To see how my marketing efforts were doing, I used the marketing analytics tab from my dashboard. It shows you how many sales are attributed to your marketing, so you can make improvements if it’s not converting well! Source: Website Builder Expert
The Winner

Shopify’s marketing tools empower you to grow your business online

It’s easier to reach new customers with Shopify’s marketing tools. You can set up professional email campaigns, ace your store’s SEO, or download a wealth of marketing apps from the App Store.

Best for Help & Support: Shopify

So what do you do if your product images magically disappear one day? If you want to feel supported no matter what happens, we recommend Shopify. It has the most comprehensive help and support options.

When we had a question related to domains, there were plenty of ways we could find an answer. For one, we could contact staff via email or phone, or consult Shopify’s Virtual Help Center assistant. With the assistant, we noticed speedy response times – under 10 seconds to be exact!

Screenshot of Shopify's live chat box accessible from the Help Center.
I asked the live chat how I could migrate a domain onto my Shopify store. It gave me a speedy response including everything I’d need to do to solve my problem. Source: Website Builder Expert

We could also access Shopify’s detailed Help Center. The page was neatly organized into different topics, so we could track down where information on domains was. There’s also video tutorials, webinars, and Shopify Community forums to access for further help.

In comparison, Etsy’s help and support tools are lackluster. Though it has its own Help Center that is kept up-to-date, its contact lines are lacking. When we needed tailored help, we couldn’t find accessible contact lines and, instead, had to submit a help request from the Help Center.

Screenshot of Etsy referring us to its email address after filing a help request.
After filling in our help request, we were told to email Etsy instead. However, we would have preferred being able to access this email in the first place. Source: Website Builder Expert
The Winner

Shopify’s comprehensive help and support will assist you every step of the way

Whether you need to talk to someone on the phone or are keen to learn new skills from a video tutorial, Shopify’s help and support will allow you to do so.

Best for Security: Shopify

Website security is no joke, especially when 30,000 websites are attacked everyday. To keep your customers protected, you need to choose a platform you can trust.

Shopify is a strong choice. Since it’s a dedicated ecommerce platform supporting stores across 170+ countries, it understands the importance of keeping merchants and buyers safe. These are the key security measures Shopify takes:

  • SSL certificates to ensure your store runs on a secure server
  • Secure customer login areas
  • 2-step authentication that makes it harder for hackers to access customer accounts
  • PCI compliance to show users that Shopify conducts transactions in a secure environment
Screenshot of Shopify's authentication section from the user dashboard.
From the security tab, we found so many ways to protect our account. You can easily add 2-step authentication through an app like Google Authenticator. Source: Website Builder Expert

Shopify also offers advanced fraud protection. You can use Shopify Payments for its in-depth fraud analysis tools, or download Shopify Flow to set up automations that spot suspicious activity for you.

By contrast, information on Etsy’s key security measures is trickier to find. However, since it’s a major website with daily traffic, all stores do come with an SSL certificate by default. 

The Winner

For maximum security, Shopify is our top recommendation

If you’re making multiple sales a day, you need an ecommerce platform that will keep you and your buyers safe. Shopify achieves this by applying key security measures like fraud detection and 2-step verification.

Buying Guide: How To Choose Your Ecommerce Platform

Need help with your decision? To help you choose between Shopify and Etsy, these are the standout features of each platform:

Choose Shopify If…

  • You’re a medium-large business with scaling inventory. Shopify’s inventory tools will help you manage and grow your stock.
  • You want built-in marketing features to help you grow online. You can access email marketing and multi-channel integration.
  • You desire more creative control over your website’s design through customizable templates.
  • You want a large number of different payment options to choose from.

Choose Etsy If…

  • You specialize in handmade, vintage, or craft goods, which is Etsy’s main focus.
  • You’re a smaller store with moderate inventory.
  • You want immediate access to a large number of potential customers – without needing to spend time on marketing.

How We Tested Shopify and Etsy

Our in-house ecommerce website builder research is the backbone of our articles. In fact, we’ve conducted over 200 hours of testing to ensure that you make the right decision.

We analyzed each platform via seven key criteria: sales features, website features, help and support, design functionality, user experience, and customer score, and value for money.

These criteria are based on what users are looking for in an ecommerce platform. This means we have your unique needs in mind! For instance, since merchants value sales features, we’ve checked to see if Shopify or Etsy offer popular tools like multichannel selling or numerous payment methods.

Shopify vs Etsy: Summary

After a barrage of comparisons, we can finally announce the best ecommerce platform overall: Shopify. Best fit for growing businesses, it’s currently the best online store builder on the market with exceptional sales and marketing tools to boot.

Despite Shopify’s win, Etsy is still a good fit for a specific kind of seller. If you’re a smaller, creative business offering handmade, vintage, or craft products and want your goods shown to millions of active users, Etsy is also a worthy choice.

To learn more about each platform, check out our Shopify review or our detailed guide to selling on Etsy.


If you want a custom domain for your business, Shopify is a no brainer. In fact, the platform encourages you to buy a unique domain (i.e. “”) and you can buy one as you set up your website.

Etsy does let you transfer a domain from a third-party website, but this is only available on Pattern. If you want an idea on where to purchase a domain from, read our article on the best domain name registrars.

However, if you stick with Etsy’s standard plan, you’ll receive a domain that follows this layout: “”.

If you can’t decide between these platforms, you could always use both! You can integrate your Shopify store with your Etsy store by using an app. Shopify recommends the CedCommerce Etsy Integration, which lets you sync your inventories with ease.
We recommend Shopify for large or growing businesses. This is because of Shopify’s advanced ecommerce tools, which leave you plenty of legroom for scaling your store.

Also, thanks to Shopify Winter Editions ‘24, there’s more product options to choose from. You can now have up to 2,000 variants of a product, or create bundles of up to 30 products.

Written by:
Holly Choules is a Writer at Website Builder Expert with a background in researching and crafting engaging content for digital platforms. In previous roles, she has demonstrated her wordsmith skills by writing for public facing brands in a range of industries. After gaining hands-on experience using leading website builders, like Wix and WordPress, she is now keen to share her findings through informative, easy-to-follow articles that help small business owners get online and grow their presence. Since joining the team in 2024 and transitioning into the tech sphere, Holly is passionate about applying her three years of content writing experience and upholding Website Builder Expert’s position as an authoritative source on website builders, ecommerce, and digital marketing.
Researched by:
I love to understand human behavior and the cognitive biases that drive us to do what we do. For over nine years I have worked as a mixed method researcher – research using a mix of numerical data and personal experiences – across a range of sectors, from insurance and policy development to finally arriving at Website Builder Expert five years ago. Fascinated by consumer decision-making, I meticulously built our leading ranking methodology to explore where providers like Wix sit within a competitive industry and what value they truly bring to our audience.
As a member of the Market Research Society, I’m an advocate for high ethical, commercial, and methodological best practices. All of this combines to give you the most ethical recommendations based on real data.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *