Shopify vs. Etsy: Finding the Right Fit For Fast-Growing eCommerce

Gladly Team

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5 minute read

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In the modern ecommerce landscape, your growing business has a lot of options when it comes to which sales platform to use. As you skim through the numerous options at your disposal, two of the most frequent names that pop up will likely be Shopify and Etsy.

Before you make a call, let’s take a look at what makes these platforms so popular, their key differences, and which of the two is better suited for your high-growth brand. By making an informed decision, you’ll better set up your business for long-term success.

Shopify vs. Etsy: Features

Shopify Features

Shopify’s best feature is its customizability for stores, allowing your company to build its own unique, branded marketplace. With more powerful design features, a robust payment processor in Shopify Payments, and built-in store management features, you also get a handy out-of-the-box platform. These sites are set up by the user and are customizable in terms of design and branding, as opposed to Etsy’s cookie-cutter storefronts.

Beyond user functionality, Shopify also allows greater control and flexibility with third-party syncing for better customer support management. Whether you’re using an in-house system or integrating a support service like Gladly’s, incorporating an external product with store management features makes responding to customer needs a snap.

Etsy Features

With all that Shopify has to offer, smaller businesses may see the feature-rich option as unnecessary. On the flipside, Etsy erases a lot of your needs for payment processing and store-building with a simplified platform that makes listing and fulfillment a breeze.

On top of easy use, Etsy is a powerhouse brand in itself that draws in numerous users (81.9 million in 2020), within the DIY and maker economy, adding immediate eyeballs to a growing brand. While this doesn’t eliminate the need for marketing altogether, it creates a baseline of potential sales from the strength of the platform’s word of mouth, letting you focus more on the quality of your products.


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Shopify vs. Etsy: Scalability

Shopify’s Scalability

When it comes to the discussion of growth, Shopify is the clear frontrunner. As your brand grows from a small-time operation to a fully-fledged business, Shopify matures in lockstep with you. Higher tier subscriptions allow powerful selling functionality like detailed reporting, analytics, and access to international payments. If you’re looking for a platform naturally inclined to scale your business, Shopify is the clear choice.

Etsy’s Scalability

Though Etsy does have a lot in its baseline offering, it can’t scale at the same pace as Shopify. There are workarounds that give you more functionality, including integrating your Etsy store with a Shopify account itself. However, developing a brand with growth potential and driving loyalty for long-term customer value are not the platform’s strong suits, as the biggest selling point for Etsy is the “Etsy” brand name itself.

🛑 Footwear brand KURU was noticing a worrying trend—their customer service ticket volume was increasing at the same rate as their sales volume. It was threatening to overwhelm their team. By switching to Gladly, not only did they break the stalemate between sales and CX inquiries, but they’ve boosted productivity via Gladly’s task management and self-service chat tools.

Shopify vs. Etsy: Costs

Shopify Costs

Shopify offers three levels of service with increasing benefits at higher costs.

  • Shopify Basic: $29/month plus ​​2.9% plus $0.30 per credit card charge. Includes basic features like unlimited products, an online store, and 24/7 support.
  • Shopify: $79/month plus ​​2.6% plus $0.30 per credit card charge. Expands on basic offerings with access to sales reporting and better shipping discounts.
  • Shopify Advanced: $299/month plus ​​2.4% plus $0.30 per credit card charge. Includes more functionality with ecommerce automations and international market support.

Etsy Costs

After a free basic package that most users opt to sign up with, Etsy offers a Plus package priced at $10/month that allows for greater customization in listing products. However, while the cost to sign up is low, Etsy charges high transaction fees, which were raised by 1.5% in spring of 2022 and caused some controversy among sellers. Fees can be broken down into the following categories:

  • Listing fee: $0.20 per item. Listings only stay up for four months or until the item sells.
  • Transaction fee: 6.5% per transaction.
  • Payment processing fee: 3% plus $0.30 per payment.

While a smaller upfront commitment may seem more manageable, these additional fees can add up if your business is growing and taking on more customers.

Conclusion: Is Shopify better than Etsy?

When making the final decision between Etsy and Shopify, consider the current size, functionality, and scalability of your company. If you’re an ecommerce brand that’s growing beyond being just a side hustle, Shopify offers more features and scalability than Etsy. Overall, your brand is as strong as your selling platform allows it to be, so make an informed decision when taking your pick.

Did you know that Gladly helps Shopify-powered brands like Rothy’s and Chubbies to provide people-centric customer service? See why rapidly growing brands work with Gladly.

About Gladly

Gladly is a customer service platform for digitally-focused B2C companies who want to maximize the lifetime value of their customers. Unlike the legacy approach to customer service software, which is designed around a ticket or case to enable workflows, Gladly enables radically personal customer service centered around people to sustain customer loyalty and drive more revenue.

The world’s most innovative consumer companies like Godiva, JOANN, and TUMI use Gladly to create lasting customer relationships, not one-off experiences. 

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