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Shopify vs Etsy: Which is Better in 2023?

GemPages Team
9 minutes read
shopify vs esty

Making plans for your business is fun and inspiring till it’s time to open your online store.

You have to make some difficult decisions and answer important questions. One of them is which eCommerce platform to use. Now, you find yourself drawn to the never-ending debate; Shopify vs Etsy, which is better?

If you already use one of these platforms, should you stick with it or try the other? You might also hear from friends or marketing connoisseurs online that it’s time to migrate. But should you?

In this blog post, you’ll be learning the differences between Shopify and Etsy, and what it looks like selling on Shopify vs Etsy. We’ll unpack everything you need to consider to help you decide which platform to jump on, from fees and functionality to versatility and business growth.

Overview of Shopify and Etsy

In order to choose between Shopify vs Etsy, you need to understand what they are both about and what they primarily offer. 


Shopify is basically a platform that allows business owners to start, scale, and manage their businesses online. You can build your own webpage with customized themes and apps that make your business operation smooth.

Think of Shopify as a broker for online real estate. They sell you the space and the tools you need to build your store online. You get to pick a design and add whatever Shopify apps you need to run your business, whether it is product or service-based.

An overview of Shopify online store

Overview of Shopify online store  


You know how the malls have different stores for different brands and businesses? That’s what Etsy is. 

Etsy is an online marketplace where small businesses list their products amongst other sellers for buyers to find. It is relatively easy to set up a seller profile and display your goods. Etsy has its own built-in design, which you can customize.

Etsy allows sellers to sell craft supplies, handmade goods and vintage pieces that are 20 years or older. If your business is artsy, it’s a great platform where you can build from the ground up.

 etsy’s homepage

Etsy’s homepage showing their popular product categories.

Differences between Shopify and Etsy

Shopify and Etsy are both great platforms for any business. There are subtle differences that make it difficult to decide which one to use. The most obvious difference that jumps at you is the pricing.

Apart from considering Shopify fees vs Etsy fees, there are other important factors to consider, such as functionality for your business, payment options (how your customers are able to pay for your products/services), ease of use and customization. 

Take a look at the differences in the table below to compare selling on Shopify vs Etsy:




Shopify has three main pricing plans:

  • Basic plan (also the most popular one): US$25/month.
  • Shopify plan: US$65/month
  • Advanced plan: US$399/month.

Besides, Shopify also has the Starter plan (US$5/month) which allows you to sell products through social and messaging apps.

Shopify offers 3-day free trial and US$1/month for the next three months for all Shopify pricing plans.

  • Subscription fee: Free or US$10/month if you want more advanced features.
  • Listing fee: US$0.20 per item.

Payment Options

Supports over 100 payment gateways

PayPal, credit/debit cards, Etsy Payments, and more

Functionality (Features and tools)

Comprehensive features and tools for building an online store, including SEO optimization, abandoned cart recovery, and multi-channel sales.

Features and tools catered to the handmade, vintage, and craft markets, including shop customization, item variations, and shop policies.

Ease of Use

Beginner-friendly with user-friendly interfaces and extensive help documentation.

Easy to use with a straightforward interface and intuitive navigation, but limited flexibility compared to Shopify.

Sales Freedom

Full control over your store and customer data, but subject to Shopify's terms of service and payment processing policies.

Control over your store and sales data, but subject to Etsy's terms of service and payment processing policies.


Highly customizable with a wide range of themes, apps, and integrations available

Limited customization options, with some customization available through shop policies, banner images, and item variations

Pros and Cons of Shopify

Small and medium-sized businesses have different needs, and Shopify, as an eCommerce store, caters to these needs. However, there are also some sides to using Shopify that may not favour a small business. So here are some pros and cons of using Shopify.

Pros of Shopify

  • User-friendly interface: Shopify's user-friendly interface makes it easy to set up and manage an online store without requiring extensive technical knowledge.
  • Wide range of features and tools: Shopify offers a comprehensive set of features and tools for building and managing an online store, including inventory management, order tracking, abandoned cart recovery, and more.
  • Payment gateways: Shopify supports over 100 payment gateways, making it easy for customers to pay for their purchases in a way that's convenient for them.
  • SEO optimization: Shopify includes built-in SEO optimization features, making it easier for your store to rank higher in search engine results pages.
  • Scalability: Shopify is highly scalable and can support stores of all sizes, from small startups to large enterprises.
  • Integrations and apps: Shopify offers a wide range of integrations and apps that can be used to enhance the allure and functionality of your store, including marketing tools, analytics, and more.
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Cons of Shopify

  • Customization limitations: While Shopify offers a wide range of themes and templates, customizing them can be challenging, and there may be limitations on how much you can modify the design of your store. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that you use a third-party page builder like GemPages to customize your store pages to get the exact look you desire.
Customize your Shopify store pages your way
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  • Technical knowledge: While Shopify's user interface is user-friendly, some technical knowledge (e.g: Shopify Liquid code) may still be required to set up and manage your store, particularly for more advanced features.

Pros and Cons of Etsy

Take a look at some of the attractive sides of using Etsy as well as the drawbacks.

Pros of Etsy

  • Unique marketplace: Etsy is a unique marketplace that focuses on handmade, vintage, and one-of-a-kind items. This can make it easier for sellers to find a niche audience that is interested in their products.
  • Low startup costs: Etsy has a low barrier to entry, with no monthly subscription fees and a low listing fee of US$0.20 per item. This makes it a great platform for small businesses or individuals looking to sell unique products online.
  • Built-in audience: Etsy has a large and loyal customer base, which can make it easier for new sellers to get noticed and make sales.
  • User-friendly interface: Etsy's interface is user-friendly, with a straightforward dashboard and easy-to-use tools for listing and managing products.
  • Supportive community: Etsy has a supportive community of sellers who share tips, advice, and resources. This can be especially helpful for new sellers who are just starting out.

Cons of Etsy

  • Limited customization: Etsy's platform is designed to be simple and easy to use, but this also means that there are limited customization options for sellers. This can make it challenging to create a unique brand identity and stand out from other sellers.
  • Limited control over customer data: Because Etsy is a marketplace platform, sellers have limited control over customer data and may not be able to build a direct relationship with their customers.
  • Competition: Because Etsy has a large and active seller community, competition can be high, making it challenging for new sellers to get noticed and make sale.

Learn more: Shopify vs Amazon: Which Is Better For You In 2022?

Examples of Shopify and Etsy Stores for Similar Businesses

Shopify lets businesses build a standalone store online while Etsy lists products alongside other products from other businesses. To provide a little visual perspective, take a look at these examples. We’ve listed three business categories and provided one Shopify and one Etsy page for each.

1. Clothing Stores

    Take a look at the images below of a clothing store from Shopify and the clothing category on Etsy.

    Shopify Example: Negative Underwear

    an example of a shopify store in the clothing category.

    Etsy Example: Etsy’s clothing and fashion page

    Items on Etsy’s clothing and shoes category page.

    On this Etsy clothing and shoes category page, you can see a plethora of items listed. If you sell items such as these, they could be listed among these ones.

    2. Home and Decor Stores

    Compare the home and decor stores on Shopify with their own separate websites to the home and decor items on Etsy’s category page.

    Shopify Example: DENY Designs

    examples of shopify stores in the home and decore category

    Etsy example: Etsy’s home and decor page

    Items on Etsy’s home and decor page

    Differrent home and decore items from various businesses ae lsited together on each page

    3. Crafts and Supplies

    Another category you can find on both Shopify and Etsy is the crafts and supplies. Check out the stores on shopify vs etsy.

    Shopify example: Lindsay Letters

    shopify store example in the crafts and supplies category

    Etsy example: Etsy’s crafts and supplies page

    Etsy’s crafts and supplies page

    Various items from different vendors listed on Etsy’s crafts and supplies page.

    Things to Consider When Choosing Between Shopify and Etsy

    Pricing vs Your Budget

    If you’re just starting your business online, you need to compare shopify fees vs etsy fees against your budget. Even if you have an already established business online, it is imperative that you carefully map out how much you’re willing to spend on marketing, transaction fees, listing fees, etcetera.

    Shopify pricing is better suited for business owners that want to scale their businesses. Although when comparing shopify vs etsy fees, it’s clear that shopify favors you more while etsy favors your customers more. 

    But who says you can’t have both when your business is mature enough?

    Types of Products You Sell

    Selling on Shopify vs Etsy is dependent on the type of product you offer. If you offer digital services or any service at all, Shopify would be better. But if you offer products, listing on Etsy can scale your business with minimum effort.

    Consider listing Etsy-type products to get eyes on your business and using Shopify to build a unique brand that houses all your products in one place.

    Size of Your Business

    As a business owner, you can decide on which platform to begin with based on the size of your business. Small businesses do well on Etsy especially when the you’re just beginning to make sales.

    However, when your products are quickly selling out and your income is increasing considerably, Shopify is a good platform to separate yourself from the crowd.

    Shopify vs Etsy: Which is Better?

    Both Shopify and Etsy offer unique benefits and opportunities for online sellers. Shopify provides a customizable platform with a wide range of features and the ability to scale, making it ideal for businesses looking to establish a standalone eCommerce presence. On the other hand, Etsy offers a highly specialized marketplace that caters to a niche audience, with a focus on handmade and vintage goods.

    Ultimately, the choice between Shopify and Etsy comes down to the individual needs and goals of each seller. It's important to carefully consider factors such as target audience, product offerings, pricing, and scalability before making a decision. By weighing these factors and conducting thorough research, online sellers can determine which platform will best suit their unique needs and help them achieve their business objectives.

    FAQs about Shopify vs Etsy

    Should I use both Etsy and Shopify?
    You may use both Shopify and Etsy if your budget accommodates it. It is also good if your business offers services or products that cannot be listed on Etsy. Shopify will allow you brand your business while Etsy will act as a starting point to build a customer base.
    Will I sell more on Etsy or Shopify?
    Selling on Shopify vs Etsy is more about the promotional measures you take. If you are proactive about SEO and paid ads on Shopify, you’ll make sales. Etsy already has a system of marketing for products listed on its site. However, it may not be as targeted as the one you det up yourself.
    Is Etsy Cheaper than Shopify?
    Shopify fees include the fees for each plan (basic, standard or advanced), and whatever you’ll be spending on your marketing campaigns. Etsy fees includes transaction fees, card charges and listing fees depending on the plan. Etsy appears to be cheaper than Shopify.

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