Comparison: Shopify Etsy ....Which is better for a handmade business?
Hey crafter! In this article, I'm going to walk you through everything you need to know when it comes to comparing Etsy and Shopify. After all, once you've started selling handmade items, you want to be sure you are using your time in the best way possible. So which platform should you use to get your new handmade brand off the ground?
As you probably know, Etsy is kind of the OG when it comes to starting a handmade business, but it has a lot of setbacks that need to be noted. Shopify on the other hand is responsible for a huge portion of the websites on the internet today. However, it comes with a lot of extra work and responsibilities that need to be noted too.
So when it comes down to it, what is the best option for your specific handmade business? That's what this article is all about.
Listing Fees On Each Platform:
At first glance, when we are comparing Etsy and Shopify, Etsy takes a listing fee per item, it's only 20 cents per item. But it can add up and you will need to relist your items often in order for potential and future customers to be able to find them.
Now with Shopify, they have zero listing fees, but you pay for your website each month. You also are responsible for getting 100% of the traffic to it.
With Etsy, they automatically provide some traffic to your listings. However, in order for you to have a wildly successful shop, it is recommended for you to also implement SEO strategies and social media strategies. Just by listing your stuff on the platform does create some traffic to your site, which is amazing.
Ease of Setup & Customizations:
With Etsy, it's also incredibly easy to set up for beginners. With Shopify, you might need a guide. To create a professional website, you may want someone experienced to hold your hand and walk you through how to set everything up and make your website look professional and beautiful, so that you're presenting your stuff in the best possible light online.
Now with Etsy, they own the platform. When it comes down to it, Etsy is always looking out for Etsy. Whereas, Shopify is your own website. Shopify, isn't going to be promoting you or anything like that. However, you are responsible for 100% of the traffic that you earn and you get to keep.
Etsy also has very limited customizations. When it comes to making your brand stand out online, you're really limited to the logo and the banner above your site. Whereas with Shopify, you have a fully customizable, fully functional website that is 100% head-to-toe, how you design it.
With Etsy, they also recommend other shops at the bottom of each listing. If you go to Etsy and look at any listing, you'll see along the bottom that Etsy recommends similar items and can lead people away from your shop to somebody else's. Now, this will also help you get some traffic because they'll likely have your stuff there too. However, if you've earned the traffic to your listings, and you've put in all of that work, Etsy will be leading future customers away from your listings to somebody else's.
Now with Shopify again, you keep 100% of the traffic that you have earned.
Etsy also doesn't have a blog feature. To all of my students in my private membership community, you know just how valuable having a blog can be to your handmade business! It's a huge way for you to relate to your customers, give insights, share testimonials in a new way, be able to give behind-the-scenes insights. It's an incredible asset to your handmade brand. So, it's unfortunate that Etsy has zero blog features. Whereas, Shopify has one already hosted within your shop, ready to go.
A few years ago, Etsy also started welcoming factories to the platform. A lot of people don't know this. But as of September of 2015, you are absolutely allowed to work with factories and they are represented on their own on Etsy as well. For example, I was looking at a tea set a while ago on Etsy. The exact same tea set was listed on Amazon for far less and was on Etsy from the factory for 30% more. As a handmade business owner, you are now directly competing with factories on Etsy, which is unfortunate.
In comparison on Shopify, you have your own corner of the internet where you control the items and the products your customers are seeing. You control exactly how your brand is represented online.
Especially over the last several months, Etsy started automatically running ads for more traffic. This is really, really such an incredible gesture and so kind and great. Whereas with Shopify again, you're responsible for all of your own traffic.
Between the two, what do you choose? What is the best for your particular handmade brand?
For me personally, and what I recommend to everyone that I coach is to choose both.
It is really not that difficult to have your own beautiful, fully functional website, that is the hub and the heart of your handmade business. Then, to also still be able to use all of the incredible features and assets that Etsy has to offer. Because they both have so much good to bring to the table. When it comes to running a handmade business, it really is an incredible idea to be selling your items at a variety of places.
If you are wanting to sell wholesale and have your handmade items in stores, you really don't want them in only one store. You want them in several stores. That way more customers see your stuff, and you're able to create a living for yourself. The same concept applies here where Etsy and Shopify both have so many really, really, really good things to offer, I personally recommend investing more of your time into Shopify and getting the traffic there, than Etsy.
However, it's totally up to you. I really hope that this video gave you some good insight a better overall look at the entire situation.
If you are just getting started with your handmade business or have sold less than 500 items, I recommend you reserve a spot in one of my upcoming free workshops!
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