Shopify VS Etsy: Scaling Your E-commerce Business.

If you've ever glanced in the direction of e-commerce, you've probably heard of Shopify and Etsy. Each one caters to creators and entrepreneurs differently. In this article, we're going to specifically be talking about major differences of each platform.

Brand Awareness

When you're selling on Etsy, you're contributing to their atmosphere rather than the long-term success of your brand and business. Selling on Etsy is the same as selling on Amazon, with the difference being the fees, and you're only able to sell hand-crafted & vintage items.

You don't own your store with Etsy. If they decide to take your page down, there's virtually nothing you can do about this, and it happens way more than one would think! When you're selling on Shopify, it's yours. You own the domain and all of the content on the site as well.

Let's say you think something is neat, and ask another human where they got the item; they're much more likely to say "Etsy" than they are

"_blank brand that sells their products on Etsy."

When you're selling on Shopify, and someone asks another human where they got a product, they're going to respond with your store name!! That's a big difference, mainly because if they hop on Etsy to look for the item, they're immediately immersed in all of your competition's products as well.

Do you see what we mean?

It's also important to note that when you sell on Shopify, you can hire a creative studio to get the site the exact way you want it to express your brand's personality and exemplify the uniqueness your business brings to the market.

Etsy provides almost no artistic freedom when it comes to the layout and design of your store. That takes us back to our earlier statement; you're promoting Etsy, not your brand!

If you're just getting started and want to test a product out in the market, then sure, Etsy could be a justified route. Etsy basically does all the work for you to bring you customers, but it's NOT free. That leads us to our next topic; the fees.

Fees & Breakdown

We've helped several clients take their store from Etsy over to Shopify, and when we ask them why they started with Etsy, they usually say "because it's free"…

Let's take a second to break down the fees from Etsy and compare them to Shopify fees!

  1. 6.5% Transaction fee
  2. $0.20 listing fee (for every product you post)
  3. 12% Off-Site ad fees - MANDATORY if making 10k or more!
  4. *This is a "sneaky" fee. Here's how it works. This fee is mandatory if your site brings in a minimum of 10k a month.

That's the equivalent of selling a twenty-dollar product five hundred times. Once you're producing at that rate, Etsy will start advertising your product around the web for you.

Neat, right? Here's the catcher:

User clicks ad > user doesn't buy > user finds you on Insta three months down the road > user buys > Etsy still takes 12% of that transaction!!

Etsy has also stated that 10% of your business will come from off-site ads. So keep that in mind for the breakdown!

Let's break down this "free" platform for someone making 10k in sales, which every client we've helped has been doing.

  • $10,000.00 month at 6.5% transaction fee is $650/mo
  • If your average product price is $20 and you’re selling exactly 500/mo that’s $100 in listing fees each month.
  • $120/mo from off-site ad fees (10,000 x 0.1 = 1000 x .12 = 120)

That's a total monthly fee of $870.00 🥴

Again, we're not hating on Etsy; we want to make things more clear for you!

You can have a Shopify store for $29/mo and your standard payment processing fee. That would leave you an (with some wiggle room) $841 for our next subject, marketing!


Let's start with the strategy that can easily make up 30% of your revenue, E-Mail marketing.

There are minimal options for this when you're selling on Etsy. You basically get empty cart e-mails that go out but have no data attached to them.

With Shopify, you can automate your entire E-Mail strategy. So you can easily up-sell, cross-sell, target a specific demographic, send off empty cart e-mails, and have all the data necessary to tweak your strategy to provide customers what they want.

When you have a Shopify store, you can utilize brand ambassadors and affiliates to pay a percentage of each sale.

That's non-existent with Etsy because there's no data to track where sales are coming from.

Running ads on Etsy is virtually irrelevant because, again, they own the data, and you have no way to tweak or market to a specific demographic. Sure, you can run an ad, but there's no reason to do that without data.


We do not hate Etsy. We have close friends and creative cohorts that do great on their platform.

What we're trying to get at is; if you want to build a brand and scale your business weigh all your options.

We don't win unless you do.

Please reach out with any questions or concerns about this.

We love to chat about all things creative 🖤

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