Shopify vs Etsy: Which Is Better for Online Stores?

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If you want to sell a large number of items online and have control over your store’s look, then you are better off creating your own online store through an ecommerce platform like Shopify. Shopify is scalable, flexible, and ranks as the best ecommerce platform on the market, scoring an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 in our testing.

However, if you just wish to sell a small number of handmade goods, then the online marketplace Etsy is better suited to your needs. Although it’s not like a website builder where you can create your own store, Etsy immediately gets you connected with Etsy’s huge customer base. You can simply set up your storefront on their site, joining a community of other like-minded sellers.

shopify vs etsy inforgraphics with two cartoon desktops and a phone on the Shopify side with stylized people looking at them

Whether you’re looking to sell personalized t-shirts, vintage items, or crafts, these are two big players in the ecommerce world. Perhaps you just want to explore the world of selling your items online — Shopify and Etsy are two of the most sought-after platforms to help get your goods off virtual shelves.

We will share our research findings to help you discover which one is right for you.

Best all-round ecommerce platform


out of 5
Top Choice
Ease Of Use

4 out of 5 stars

Design Flexibility

4.4 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

4.4 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

3.9 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

3.6 out of 5 stars

Website Features

4.6 out of 5 stars

Sales Features

4.7 out of 5 stars

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Shopify vs Etsy: Side by Side Comparison

Etsy has 7.5 million users selling to over 96 million buyers. In 2022, shoppers spent $2.6 billion on the platform. Shopify has an even more impressive figure of $5.6 billion sold globally on Shopify in 2022.

There are pros and cons to selling on either Shopify or Etsy. This is why we do our research to provide you with the information to make the best decision for your growing business. Let’s find out what platform will work best for you.

Shopify Etsy
Ease of Use
Winner: It's a Tie!
Shopify makes it super simple to set up a powerful online store, it makes it quick to build your own branded store and scale selling products. Etsy is great for anyone less tech-savvy! Simply set up an account and get selling. You’ll be selling on the Etsy marketplace which cuts out the need to do your own marketing – very simple.
Design Flexibility
Winner: Shopify
Shopify has tons of templates to choose from, and provides helpful customization tools, so you can personalize your store to suit your brand. Etsy limits your customization since it manages your storefront layout for you. Your products are the only way you can stand out from other sellers.
Ecommerce Tools & Features
Winner: Shopify
Shopify comes packed with powerful tools, and a massive app store, so you can create a perfectly tailored site for your business – including marketing tools, emails, and multi-channel selling. Etsy's features are good, but there are few of them. You won’t be able to do much marketing other than optimizing your storefront for Etsy customers.
Domain & URL Structure
Winner: Shopify
Shopify encourages using a custom domain to create a unique website address, and promote a clear brand. There's no room for a unique domain on Etsy's marketplace, meaning your website address is harder to remember for customers.
Pricing & Value For Money
Winner: It's a Tie!
Shopify has four price plans, ranging from $5 to $299 per month. But, you can start with its 3-day free trial if you want to test it out first. Additionally, larger stores can upgrade to Shopify Plus which has custom pricing. Etsy users can start with its free plan, or upgrade to the incredibly cheap Plus plan for $10 per month. But it does come with a larger transaction fee of 6.5% of the total sales price.
Payment Options & Fees
Winner: Shopify
Shopify has no transaction fees when using Shopify Payments, just the expected credit card charges. It also supports hundreds of payment gateways. Etsy has listing fees, transaction fees, and credit card charges.
Help and Support
Winner: Shopify
Shopify has a wide range of support options, including 24/7 phone and live chat, email, and an extensive help center. Etsy has a clear and useful help center, as well as a community forum. You can also email Etsy's support staff, or request a call.
Attracting Customers
Winner: Etsy
Shopify gives you all of the tools you need to create and promote your business, but it doesn't do the work for you. You're responsible for driving traffic to your website through marketing, SEO, social media, and campaigns. Etsy is a popular platform with millions of buyers. This gives your products great exposure, but you will have to work to stand out and get visitors to come to your site.
Are You Ready? Shopify Etsy

Shopify Is Our Top-Rated Builder for Online Stores

Shopify can help you set up and scale your online store with great ecommerce tools and plenty of apps.

What's the Difference Between Shopify and Etsy?

First, let’s take a look at what Shopify and Etsy offer exactly. How do they differ? What do they excel at? Where do they fall short?

Shopify is an ecommerce platform, designed for people to set up and grow their online stores (check out some successful stores built with Shopify). It has a whole bunch of powerful ecommerce tools and apps to help you do this.

With Shopify, you create your very own ecommerce website. It allows you to upload products, analyze data for marketing, and track customer orders. It’s an easy way to build an online store.

On the other hand, Etsy is a marketplace similar to Amazon, where you can upload your products to the platform and compete with other Etsy users to sell them. You create an account to sell from and have one page where you can add a little store description along with all your products. It promotes itself as “a creative marketplace”, and only sells handmade, vintage, or craft goods.

Author note on Shopify vs Etsy’s differences:

“The major difference between these two is that Etsy has a customer base that you can tap into, but you’ll need to build up good customer ratings to get recommended. While Shopify requires more work up front to build your store and acquire customers, in the long run you can market more to your customers via email campaigns. If you can afford the fees, sometimes people start with Etsy, then integrate their Shopify store to get those customers over to Shopify, before either winding down or dropping Etsy.”

Etsy Pattern

Though Etsy is positioned as a marketplace, it does also have an ecommerce platform — called Etsy Pattern — where you can build a website to sell your products. Interestingly, it has less restrictions on products than the Etsy marketplace, so it could be one to consider if your products don’t fit the usual Etsy niche.

You can try Etsy Pattern for free for 30 days. After that, it costs $15 per month. Because this is separate from the Etsy marketplace, it’s worth noting that you’ll be responsible for generating your own traffic.

Overall, it’s a simple platform — it’s not up to the same standard as Shopify by any means, but it’s a good add-on if you do choose to sell through the Etsy marketplace.

You must already be an Etsy seller to set up Etsy Pattern — in this article, we’ll only be reviewing Etsy as a marketplace, rather than exploring its website builder service.

Further Information

  • Best Website Builders: Check out our list of the best website builders on the market, and find one that suits your business best.
  • Selling Digital Downloads: See how Shopify and Etsy compare when it comes to selling digital downloads.

Ease of Use

The Winner

Both Shopify and Etsy are very easy to use...

It’s too close to call a winner! Shopify requires a little more time and effort to understand, as opposed to the speed of setting up a store with Etsy, but Shopify is very easy to use considering its library of powerful ecommerce tools.

You won’t need to be a tech guru to sell online with Shopify or Etsy. In our latest testing, Shopify got an increase in ease of use score of 13.4% since last year, raising its score to 4 out of 5. This increase is due to it becoming easier to add products and having a great inventory system for those with a lot of products. Users in testing said:

“The products page has a lot of useful settings that you can apply to your inventory.”

Shopify is designed to make building your online store as easy as possible. It even offers some neat AI generative text tools to make product descriptions a breeze.

Gif of someone adding text in an auto-generative feature in Shopify
We really liked Shopify's AI text generator that helped us write content for our test products. GIF source: WBE testing. descriptions.

Ecommerce platforms often struggle with this because of all the powerful tools needed to run an ecommerce business, but Shopify excels at making it a smooth process.

Shopify makes sure to guide its users through set-up with action buttons and a beginner-friendly menu. Plus, once you’ve entered all of your information, Shopify then helps manage your store by syncing your inventory, tracking orders, and more. To put it simply, Shopify gives you everything you need while keeping its interface clean, tidy, and easy to use.

Etsy is less in-depth than Shopify, but just as easy to use. It’s super simple and straightforward, so you can get to grips with the site quickly.

All you need to do is set up an account, answer a few questions, choose your store name, stock your store, take great product photos, and enter your billing details to make sure you get paid! Another important part of standing out on Etsy is writing good product descriptions to make sure potential customers can find what you’re selling.

Just like Shopify, Etsy guides users through each step which makes it easy to fill out each stage:

etsy set up process with progress bar at the top and a search bar for choosing a store name
Etsy guided us through our set up, and made it simple to enter our details. Here you can see how it provides store names using our suggestions. Image source: WBE testing.

You can see how close you are to having your Etsy store set up, and it even helps you with catered suggestions for your store name if your first choice isn’t available.

Once you’re all finished with the setup process, that’s it. You can start selling! This makes it ideal if you’re a beginner and you want to get your store running quickly.

With Etsy, you don’t have to create a whole website like you do with Shopify, which takes away from some of the workload. Just upload your products and descriptions, set up a store page, then you’re good to go. You could be an online seller within the hour.

Both Shopify and Etsy are super simple to use. Shopify is slightly more technical than Etsy, but considering its number of powerful ecommerce tools, it really is remarkably beginner-friendly. Etsy is quicker and more simple to set up though.

Design Flexibility

The Winner

Shopify is the best for design flexibility...

Shopify offers greater customization options than Etsy to help you build a stylish and aesthetically pleasing store. While Etsy lets you showcase product lists, Shopify lets you design a store with your brand in mind.
Build Your Store With Shopify

Have you ever been put off an online store because of its horrible web design? You’re not the only one!

With Etsy, the worry about making the right design choices is taken off your plate. However, it does make it harder to stand out from the crowd – you get only one page and it’s more of a product listing page than a website.

Your store page will follow Etsy’s design and layout, all seller pages on Etsy are laid out the same, with your store name, logo, products, and descriptions customizable for your own content.

It’s both an advantage and a disadvantage. You can trust that Etsy uses a clean, clear, and attractive design that shows off your products and provides a great user experience. But, at the same time, Etsy gives you very limited room for customization, so it’s hard to separate your store from the thousands of others.

etsy product page with a poster of st louis on a wall next to a plant with a description and add to cart button
You can add your own images, descriptions, and product details, but the overall layout is uniform across the whole of Etsy’s marketplace. Image source: WBE testing.

Etsy isn’t the right choice if you want to create a really strong brand online.

It’s a great service if you’re selling a few items, or just finding your footing. But, if you want to grow your business, you’ll need to build a unique and solid brand which just isn’t possible on Etsy.

Building a brand is possible on Shopify. When creating your store, Shopify gives you over 137 themes to choose from, 12 of which are completely free. These themes form the building blocks of your website. All themes allow you to customize the colors, fonts, and images to make it truly unique.

Our research scores Shopify 4.4 out of 5 for design, the very best on the market. Shopify’s themes cover a whole range of industries, from furniture to clothing and fashion. So, you’re sure to find something to suit your needs.

Author Tip:

“While it might seem like going for a free theme is the best option, we recommend investing in a Shopify template that has the features you need. As well as guiding the design of your website, your theme also comes with tailored features to benefit your chosen industry. For example, a product zoom feature for clothing stores.”

shopify theme page with a selection of different themes available for different store types
Shopify's themes cover a variety of industries, and it's easy to filter them using the categories provided, from layout style to price. Image source: WBE testing.

Currently, Shopify has 12 free themes and over 150 paid ones, ranging in price from $150 to $390. All themes are mobile-responsive, professional, and modern. Also you can easily switch themes at any time (you just might need to reformat your content to match).

The themes are there to help you, so it’s always a good idea to pick one that matches the purpose of your store, and has a design that you like. But, you can personalize, edit, and rearrange as much as you want.

In the Shopify editor changing the color on a website for clothing
It was super easy for us to customize the color of our site, and add stock images or our own for a personal touch. Image source: WBE testing.

With Shopify, you can create a truly distinctive brand for your online store.

Do You Want to Build a Stylish Online Store?

Shopify offers a high level of customization, winning in our design research. You can start building a sleek online store with Shopify’s themes and flexible customization tools today.

Ecommerce Tools and Features

The Winner

Shopify has the best sales features of any platform...

For sales features, Shopify has the best, in our ecommerce platform research. It’s great for stores with more complex, or larger inventories. Along with its built-in features, Shopify also has everything from store design to marketing, email, and an extensive app store.
Check Out Shopify's Sales Features

Design and domain names are all very well, but if your site has poor ecommerce tools, you’ll run into trouble fairly quickly — the main aim, after all, is to sell your products.

Etsy has basic, but good ecommerce features, which makes managing your shop straightforward. Helpfully, you can use the ‘Sell on Etsy App’ to stay on top of things when you’re on the go.

You can use your Etsy account to easily buy and print discounted postage, too. This will help you save on shipping costs as well as speeding up the process.

Etsy also has some basic marketing and advertising tools to increase your customer base, get found online, and draw in new followers. An especially useful feature considering it can be hard to stand out within the Etsy marketplace. You can share across social platforms such as Instagram and Twitter, create coupons, or use third-party tools such as Google Shopping to widen your audience reach.

etsy ecommerce tools infographic detailing the powerful tools etsy has on offer and reaching a world of shoppers
Etsy has simple but effective ecommerce tools to help you manage your store in an easy and proactive way.

Remember you can only sell handmade goods, vintage products, and craft supplies on Etsy. If you want to sell something that falls outside of these areas, then Etsy probably isn’t the right choice for you.

And, if you’re looking for additional sales tools, and want to upgrade your store to the next level, you can subscribe to Etsy Plus. Which costs an additional $10 a month, that’s on top of the fees you’re paying for the platform. This gives you:

  • Customizable options such as banner templates
  • Deals on your own web address
  • Discounts on marketing materials such as business cards
  • Email alerts to send customers once an item is back in stock
  • Advertising credits

Because Etsy is a marketplace rather than an ecommerce platform, your inventory isn’t included in your store account – you have to keep track of this yourself.

Overall, Etsy sums it up nicely with its “simple, powerful tools”. They’re not the most impressive ecommerce features out there, but for small-scale selling of homemade and craft products, it’s an appropriate range.

Shopify app store
We're impressed with Shopify's app store which offers hundreds of apps to expand and customize your online store. Click to explore Shopify's app store. Image source: WBE testing.

When it comes to ecommerce tools, Shopify definitely beats out the competition. In our research, it’s the best for sales features with a score of 4.7 out of 5. If you want to sell any service, digital, or physical product, you can with Shopify.

You can sell unlimited products on all of Shopify’s plans, and there are no restrictions on what you sell either. You have greater ecommerce freedom with Shopify than Etsy.

Shopify also has an extensive app store, housing over 8,000 apps to add extra functionality to your website. You can add whatever you want, for example, you could add chatbots, automatic dropshipping, and currency converters, among many other tools. This gives you ultimate customization, and a whole load of powerful extras to choose from.

Here’s a list of just some of the features you get across all Shopify plans:

  • Fraud analysis
  • Brand asset management
  • Multichannel selling across different social platforms
  • Discount codes
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Abandoned Cart Recovery
  • Gift cards
  • Shopify POS (Point of Sale) app

Multichannel selling is extremely important for widening your customer base and giving your customers an easy buying experience. Shopify has all the major social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat. You can even sell on marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy through Shopify.

Shopify keeps your site secure with a free SSL. The free SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate means your site is safe for visitors to enter their payment details through, and is an essential feature for any online store.

Abandoned Cart Recovery sends emails to customers who have abandoned their products at checkout, and encourages them to return. This can recover up to 20% of customers!

One of Shopify’s best sales features is its inventory system. Unlike Etsy, Shopify has an extensive inventory, which makes it especially useful for growing stores. You can upload products in bulk, or one at a time, and Shopify provides in-house stock management tools, so it’s easy to track and analyze your sales. You upload the content and Shopify pretty much handles your stock for you — making it quicker to get your products to customers.

It is much more advanced than Etsy for growing businesses. But, you don’t want to pay for tools you won’t use, so choose wisely.

Start Selling Online With Shopify

Shopify has the best ecommerce tools of all builders we’ve tested.

Further Information

  • Shopify Review: Read for a more in-depth look at Shopify’s sales tools and features.

Domain and URL Structure

The Winner

Shopify has better domain options...

Shopify encourages you to set up a custom domain quickly to make sure your online store looks like a professional brand.
Check Out Shopify

Domain names are incredibly important if you’re setting up an online business. Shopify wins the domain round as you have a custom domain with clear structure. Your website address is completely your own, which establishes your brand and looks professional. Etsy doesn’t have the option of a custom domain, making your business harder to identify.

A domain name is the website address people use to find your website. For example, our domain name is You pay to have that address, and that means nobody else online can use it. It’s unique to your website, which makes it a powerful part of your brand.

Domains like these, that you choose and pay for yourself, are called custom domains.

Shopify is a clear winner in this category because it encourages you to use a custom domain. Why? Because a custom domain is essential for creating a trustworthy, professional, and recognizable brand for your business.

Registering a domain name through Shopify with Website Builder Expert domain
Shopify makes it easy to find and register your custom domain name. This helps connect with customers, rank in Google, and establish your brand online. Image source: WBE testing.

Shopify even has an automated setup to make it as easy as possible to get a totally personalized name for your online store.

On the other hand, Etsy is very different. Because you’re selling through Etsy’s marketplace, you don’t get your own domain name. Instead, your domain will look something like this:

You can’t have a custom domain because you’re under the umbrella of Etsy. You can only connect your own domain if you’re using the Etsy Pattern website builder. So, Etsy isn’t ideal if you want to create your own brand space, but it shouldn’t matter too much for individual sellers who want to keep things small and simple.

Shopify Offers Custom Domains

Shopify lets you use a custom domain with your website to help you build a trustworthy, recognizable brand.

Further Information

  • What is a Domain Name?: Want to learn more about domain names? Read our beginner’s guide for everything you need to know.


The Winner

It's a Tie...

It depends on your needs. Etsy is cheaper overall, and great if you don’t want to pay any upfront costs. Shopify, on the other hand, is the more expensive option, but you’ll have access to greater features and tools – and it scores well for value for money in our research.

When it comes down to it, pricing is often the thing that draws us to — or puts us off — products. This is especially true if you’re on a tight budget, or looking to make money rather than spend it.

In this case, it’s impossible to determine a winner between the two platforms.

On the one hand, Etsy has very little in the way of plan costs. On its most basic level, the Etsy Standard plan comes with no monthly fees — only the listing fees, transaction costs, and payment processing charges applied to products.

You can upgrade to Etsy Plus to unlock more features for $10 per month, which gives you a wider set of tools to help grow your store, including additional customization options and email alerts.

On the other hand, Shopify has higher upfront costs, but you get what you pay for. Shopify has three price plans, starting you off on a 3-day free trial, then charging $1 per month for the first three months on the Basic plan.

The plan prices range from $29 to $299 per month, and with each upgrade you unlock more features. Shopify also offers a neat Starter plan for $5 per month if you plan to only sell via social media.

But what you’ll be paying for is to have your own website which you will be in charge of, and which will support creating a brand that people will see as its own – rather than Etsy where shoppers will see your store as a part of Etsy. Also with Shopify you’ll be able to sell any products, whereas Etsy is more for niche and vintage products.

In our value for money testing, Shopify scores an average of 3.6 out of 5. In our research, we noted that the plan-to-feature ratio was really great, but the lack of free plan and expensive rates brought the score to 3.6. Let’s take a look at its yearly plans more closely:

Plan Starter Basic Shopify Advanced
Price $5 per month $29 per month $79 per month $299 per month
Features -Available for new merchants and free trial customers
-Sell via social media platforms and messaging apps
-Create product links that you can share
-Simple Spotlight Theme available
-Access to analytics reports
- Ecommerce website & blog
- Unlimited products
- 2 staff accounts
- 24/7 support
- Multichannel selling
- Discount codes
- Free SSL certificate
- Gift cards
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Fraud analysis
- Shopify POS App
- Standard credit card rates
- Everything from Basic plan
- 5 staff accounts
- Standard professional reports
- 88% shipping discount
- Cheaper credit card rates
- Everything from Shopify plan
- 15 staff accounts
- Advanced report builder
- Lower credit card rates
- Duties & import tax calculator at checkout

A new feature that we love is the Shopify Starter plan for social media sellers, at just $5 per month, it’s an affordable option and allows you to share products on socials like Instagram — so customers can make transactions directly from the social platform.

Then the Basic plan costs $29 per month, and gives you everything you need to set up an online store, sharing your products with even more potential customers across the internet. It offers unlimited products, multichannel selling, discount code creation, and abandoned cart recovery, among other features.

If you upgrade to the Shopify plan, you’ll have everything you need to keep growing your business at $79 per month. Enjoy all the features of the Basic plan, plus professional reports, and cheaper credit card rates.

The most expensive Shopify plan is the $299 per month Advanced plan. This has everything from the first two plans, plus an advanced report builder, even lower credit card rates, and up to 15 staff accounts. This is made for larger businesses that are focused on scaling.

These are Shopify’s main price plans — but, there’s also Shopify Plus which has custom pricing and targets the big businesses of the ecommerce world.

Although Shopify’s plans might seem extreme in comparison to Etsy’s low prices, Shopify is great value for money because of the features and long-term scalability that come with them.

As we’ve already discussed when looking at payment options, Etsy’s prices can also creep up with its transaction fees, and Shopify’s monthly cost can increase with the use of third-party apps. So, the two remain fairly balanced when it comes to pricing overall.

Ultimately, the winner for value really depends on your budget. Etsy wins for individual sellers, or those testing products on the market, and Shopify wins for businesses that have the budget to start scaling and want to create a brand.

Further Information

Payment Options and Fees

The Winner

Shopify has the best payment options...

It’s a close call, but we’d say Shopify offers more cost-effective rates than Etsy, considering the tools you get for selling online. Also Etsy charges a listing fee per product, and a 6.5% transaction fee (plus processing charges), which can add up very quickly!
Check Out Shopify's Fees

On some platforms, transaction fees can be the monster hiding under the bed waiting to jump out and give you a shock at the last moment. Neither Shopify or Etsy charge scary prices like that, but it’s still always a good idea to get an idea of payment options and transaction fees before you sign up to a platform.

While Etsy doesn’t charge monthly fees, it does charge listing fees at $0.20 per product, 6.5% transaction fees, and processing fees of $0.25 and 3% – all of which can quickly add up.

Etsy payment options on a cream background in black text
Etsy charges listing fees and transaction fees as well as the usual payment processing charge.

That’s a lot of numbers, so what does it mean?

Payment processing fees are applied by the payment provider (such as the credit card company), or the payment gateway sending the transaction. This is really common and comes as standard, although Etsy’s rates are slightly higher than average which does set it at a disadvantage against Shopify.

Etsy’s fees certainly aren’t the cheapest out there. But, they shouldn’t damage your pockets too much if you’re selling on a small scale. Only once you start pulling in the big bucks will you feel the burn of that 6.5% transaction fee. For example, if you sell handcrafted ceramic bowls for $40 each, and you sell 1000 of them, you wouldn’t receive the entire $40,000 — rather you would receive closer to $36,200.

If you’re bringing in dollars already, Shopify might work out as better value for money, depending on the size of your business. While it does cost money with Shopify to buy themes, and it will cost more for the plans, the transaction fees are a decent 2% at most compared to Etsy’s upwards of 6.5%.

Shopify has different payment options to choose from. It has its own in-house payment gateway called Shopify Payments, which doesn’t charge any transaction fees. On Shopify Payments, you only have to pay the card processing fee which starts at 2.4% + 30¢ with the Advanced Shopify plan.

shopify payment options gateway with email sign-up for 14-day free trial and icons of other payment gateways
Shopify supports hundreds of payment gateways such as PayPal and Amazon Payments, or you can use Shopify Payments to get rid of transaction fees. Image source: WBE testing.

If you don’t want to use Shopify Payments, there are plenty of other payment options, including the expected PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and more.

If you’re using one of these payment options instead of the Shopify Payments gateway, the highest transaction fee is 2%, and the lowest is 0.5%. So comparing that with a transaction fee of over 6% with Etsy, Shopify has much cheaper rates.

Save on Transaction Fees With Shopify

Shopify grants 0% transaction fees if you use Shopify Payments.

Help and Support

The Winner

Shopify's support is available 24/7...

Shopify’s help and support is brilliant. No matter your problem, they’ll have a solution for you, whether that’s in the form of a video guide, or a chat with Shopify’s team.
Get Help With Shopify

What happens if all of your product images disappear at 2am? Do you panic? No need. You can simply contact your very own support team.

Your business never stops, and Shopify knows it. That’s why Shopify has 24/7 support, so you’re covered all day, all night, and all week. Here’s a list of all the different support options you can choose from:

  • 24/7 phone
  • Social media
  • 24/7 live chat
  • Forum
  • Email
  • Video tutorials
  • Advanced specialist support (on Plus plans)

With that in mind, our research scores Shopify favorably, with a score of 3.9 out of 5 for help and support — the second best support for ecommerce platforms.

Whether you’re a total phone-phobe, or you love to browse a community forum, Shopify has something to suit everyone. The Shopify Help Center is clear and easy to use, while providing an extensive range of help articles and guides.

We found the Shopify Help Center easy to navigate with tons of helpful articles and guides. You can browse or search for what you’re looking for. Image source: WBE testing.

One of the best parts of Shopify’s support is when you ask for help in the editor — Shopify takes you straight to the relevant help page in the help center. This saves you time and leaves you headache-free.

Etsy also has a help center. It’s laid out simply, and also has a search function, so you can get straight to the answer if you know what you’re looking for.

etsy help center with search bar and purple illustration and popular articles section underneath
Etsy’s Help Center has a range of articles as well as a search function to help you find exactly what you need. Image source: WBE testing.

Additionally, Etsy has a forum where you can read and join community discussions, ask questions, and follow Etsy announcements. But, you can’t email Etsy’s support staff, or schedule a phone call, if you need further help. In comparison to Shopify, Etsy’s help and support services just don’t compete.

With Shopify you’re covered even if things go wrong at 4am. Etsy does have a good help center and community forum, but it can’t compete with Shopify’s personal and in-depth support.

Further Information

Attracting Customers

Etsy logo
The Winner

Etsy makes it easy for customers to find you...

The popularity of Etsy’s marketplace, and the ease at which customers can find your products, gives Etsy the edge in this round. However, you do need to put in some work yourself to make your products stand out!
Explore Etsy Now

Once you’ve spent time uploading stunning product photos and writing detailed descriptions, your store deserves attention. You don’t want your website to be hidden in a dusty corner of the internet.

Etsy will definitely shine a bright spotlight on your store. It’s an extremely popular marketplace, with over 95 million active buyers. People don’t need to be looking for you specifically. They simply search Etsy, find your products, and make a purchase.

google SERP of "buy handmade items" with etsy appearing top
Etsy is an established and popular brand. It ranks first in Google for terms such as “handmade items”, which will encourage high volumes of traffic to the site.

The drawback of Etsy is that there’s no way to guarantee those visitors will end up on your online store, buying your products. There are over 97 million products on Etsy — so standing out from the crowd is important!

In contrast, Shopify gives you the tools to promote yourself. Visitors will need to search for your specific store using your store name in Google to get to your site. You’ll have some good SEO tools on the platform, but it’s up to you to learn about how to optimize your website for search engines.

You will also need to promote yourself across social media and build up your brand to attract more customers.

It can seem overwhelming, so, if you’re thinking you don’t know where to start with any of that, don’t worry. Though Shopify doesn’t handle it for you, Shopify does give you everything you need, from SEO apps and guides, to email campaigns, and multichannel selling across Facebook and Instagram.

Although it’s more work overall, you’re in total control of connecting with your customers and creating kick-ass marketing campaigns. You don’t have to sit around and wait for visitors to stumble across you.

Shopify gives you more control, and a more unique presence online, but requires its own marketing and SEO wrangling. Etsy makes it easier to attract customers with its pre-made customer base, there’s no need to attract them as people routinely search Etsy for products to buy.

Further Information

Using Etsy with Shopify

If you’re still torn between the two after reading this, we have great news. You can have the best of both worlds.

By using the Shopify App Store, you can integrate the Etsy marketplace with your Shopify store. Real-time synchronization makes sure you avoid confusion, or overselling, by syncing your Etsy and Shopify stores whenever you make any changes.

There’s a free trial for a week, but after that, you’ll need to choose between the three paid plans:

  • Starter: $25 per month
  • Basic: $39 per month
  • Standard: $59 per month

Each plan includes custom features, product management, and limited product uploads — the Starter plan allows you to publish up to 100 products on Etsy, whereas the Standard plan allows up to 1000 products.

Overall, the integration is a great option if you have a Shopify store, but also want to diversify your online presence. By integrating with Etsy you can reach a new audience, and make the most of this popular marketplace.

Further Information

Shopify vs Etsy: Conclusion

Shopify and Etsy may seem similar at first, but they’re very different selling platforms. This article has looked at the key differences between them, what they excel at, and where they let users down.

Shopify is designed as an all-in-one, in-house solution, and aims to provide everything your business needs to succeed long-term. It has powerful sales tools, scalable plans, and no limits on what you can sell. On the other hand, Etsy is meant for specific products – vintage and handmade goods and crafting supplies – and is a marketplace, meaning it comes with basic features. Still, it’s simple and cheaper than Shopify, making it better for small-scale sellers with niche products.

You Should Use Shopify If…

  • You have or expect to run a large business
  • You need powerful sales features – Shopify has the best sales tools on the market
  • You want to understand your customers with built-in analytics tools
  • You’d like to customize your store to shape your brand

You Should Use Etsy If…

  • You have a few crafted or vintage items to sell
  • You don’t mind having the customization taken care for you and only want a simple storefront
  • You prefer to gain customers from the selling platform
  • You don’t want monthly payments and don’t mind larger transaction fees

Overall, Shopify is the better selling platform. But, Shopify and Etsy are very different, which makes it hard to recommend one over the other. It’s very dependent on what your business needs. If you’re selling a few homemade items a month, Etsy is the best choice for you.

Why not set up an Etsy account and give it a go, or try Shopify’s 3-day free trial and see what you think? After all, you should always try before you buy.

Take Advantage of Our Most Recommended Ecommerce Builder

Shopify is our best overall ecommerce builder, scoring a 4.8 out of 5 thanks to its impressive features and scalability.

Shopify vs Etsy: FAQs

Etsy is cheaper when you look at upfront cost. If you’re on a tight budget, or you only want to sell a few items, Etsy will definitely be cheaper than Shopify. But, if you’re earning a lot of money in sales, Etsy’s 6.5% transaction fees could become expensive, making Shopify cheaper in the long run.

You can learn more about Shopify’s plans and fees in our Shopify Pricing Review.

Or, if you’re looking to budget, check out our article on the Best Free Ecommerce Platforms to compare free trials and plans.

Etsy is a popular place for both buyers and sellers! It has over 95 million buyers, which is a large market you don’t want to miss out on. But, you can only sell through Etsy if you’re selling homemade goods, vintage products, or craft supplies. We recommend it for very small-scale sellers.

If you’re looking for something a bit more advanced, take a look at our Online Store Builder Comparison Chart, or explore our in-depth guide about How to Sell on Etsy.

Shopify is better for scaling an ecommerce business. It has tons of features and an impressive app store to expand your site, and attract more visitors. Shopify caters for small businesses all the way up to large brands such as Penguin. You can read our research and testing led Shopify Review for more information.
To put it simply, Etsy is a marketplace for sellers and buyers to come together. It’s not a dedicated ecommerce platform like Shopify. Etsy has fewer features, product restrictions, and limited scalability. Shopify, on the other hand, is better suited for growing businesses looking to establish a brand online.
Whether one or the other is better is determined by what products you wish to sell.

If you want a store with a lot of items and a noticeable brand, then Shopify is better as you can list more items and design your site however you want to.

Etsy is better for those who only have a few, homemade items to sell and therefore don’t want to have to build an entire store. Both have their pros and cons when it comes to selling, it’s ultimately about what’s better for you.

Shopify has two types of fees attached to its selling: transaction fees and credit card fees. Credit card fees are a normal part of online selling and Shopify charges differently based on its plans:

Transaction fees are also charged if using a third-party payment gateway, and it is 2% for Basic, 1% for Shopify, and 0.5% for Advanced Shopify. However, if you sign up for Shopify Payments, these transaction fees are waived.

This question is as complex as “what came first, the chicken or the egg?” Both Etsy and Shopify are different platforms where you can sell products, neither of them will be easy to make money with, what would be the fun of that? Nothing in life worth attaining was gained easily.

It really depends on what you’re selling, the price of your products, how you market your store, and how much money you’re putting into your store.

It seemingly would be easier to set up a store on Etsy because you just need to create a page for your products, upload photos, add pricing, and billing information. Whereas with Shopify you’re creating your whole store from scratch, from the website to the domain name, and adding all the content you need. Etsy also has its own shoppers (95 million of them), whereas you’ll need to understand SEO well to gain traction on your Shopify store.

But you’ll still need to put the work in to stand out from all the other Etsy stores, and sell vintage and hand-crafted products that buyers want. Whereas with Shopify you can sell anything you want, customize your pricing as you please, and create Google ads easily.

So, we recommend that you’ll be able to make money with either platform and should instead focus on what you can offer customers and which platform suits your products and budget best.

Found our Shopify vs Etsy review helpful?

Did this guide help you decide whether to use Shopify or Etsy, then help to get you started building your online store? If so (or if not!) leave a comment below.

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Written by:
I’m the Content Manager here at Website Builder Expert, which means I read and edit nearly all the content we publish, and work with our wonderful writers and researchers to bring you the best possible advice for achieving your online goals. Over the past five years I’ve built demo websites using all the website builders we review, so I have the experience and expertise to help you out. You’ve got the experts on your side – I’m here to help you reach your online goals, and enjoy the process too!
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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.
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