Shopify vs Etsy: Which Platform is Best For Selling Online in 2021

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Shopify vs Etsy – how is your online store going to launch into six figures this year?

At least the terrible year of 2020 is behind us.

While the final numbers from last year aren’t in yet, by the end of 2019, over 2.5 million sellers were using Etsy!

Then, on the other hand, Shopify boasts over a billion orders processed so far!

It’s no wonder why so many online stores are heading one of these ways!

Honestly, there are many similarities in this argument as there are in the debate of Shopify vs Amazon. When you have to decide between these two powerful and successful eCommerce platforms – how do you even know where to start?

That’s where we come in!

This article will walk you through the highlights, downfalls, and overall recommendations for how to move forward with either of these two platforms. Then you can genuinely answer the real pending question – What platform is THE best for selling online in 2021!

So why are we waiting? Let’s dive in!

Visual of deciding between Shopify vs Etsy - Which to choose?

Ecommerce in 2021

Let’s face it. The eCommerce industry changed DRASTICALLY in 2020.

Suddenly people worldwide were granted a lot more free time and ALOT more stress.

Can you name a perfect combo for good old fashion retail therapy?

As more and more eCommerce entrepreneurs jumped on the success train, the debate of Shopify vs Etsy has significantly grown. (I mean, of course, Amazon falls right down into that mix, but you can find those reviews in a whole separate article!)

With indoor shopping and storefronts have been asked to close their storefront doors throughout the country, small business owners were thrust into jumpstarting their virtual efforts gradually or at a lightning speed pace.

Many had to create websites and online ordering opportunities just to keep their stores afloat. Or even to start something completely new.

Meanwhile, e-commerce stores flourished, but not without their own efforts as well.

Nowadays, business owners want an easy and simple way to throw up a website and quickly get their merchandise online. When you are an eCommerce entrepreneur, you know that there’s not a moment to lose!

We know what you need- a fast, simple, and relatively painless selling platform. Where you go from there is up to you depending on the size and capabilities of your business.

While obviously, one of these platforms requires a bit more effort than the other (for good reason at that), neither Shopify nor Etsy is impossible to comprehend for even the most basic learner.

For that reason, we will make this complete Shopify vs Etsy review easy to comprehend and even easier to put into motion!

What are Shopify and Etsy?

Shopify and Etsy are two online selling platforms that are popular to use by many new eCommerce entrepreneurs. However, that’s where the similarities end as they are two very different types of software.

Shopify is a unique eCommerce store platform.

Etsy is a massive online marketplace.

Shopify is designed to give you space and tools to create your website for your business and branch off from there while Etsy already has the website created for you, you just need to personalize your space to match your business.

With those differences between Shopify vs Etsy comes their unique pros and cons.

Shopify vs Etsy - Shopify Logo

Shopify Pros vs. Cons


Scalable: One of the best characteristics of Shopify, in our opinion, is the ability to scale up or grow your business. Compared to online marketplaces such as Etsy or Amazon, there is not much room to branch out. Your business will always be under the blanket of that powerhouse marketplace. When you build with Shopify, you are the driver behind the wheel. Every dollar of marketing you put in is directly building your brand that will live on as long as you want it, and not just until you close your Etsy seller account.

Modifications: Following our first point when considering Shopify vs Etsy, another benefit of using Shopify for your online store is that you can customize your selling platform to fit your business’ individual needs.


Exposure: Since you are the captain of your ship, you are also the only one who will fuel your engine. When you build a Shopify site, there isn’t a vast, already built-in marketing team working to promote the larger platform you’re based on; it’s all you. The marketing requirements alone can prove to be very overwhelming for many new business owners.

Required Effort: When you build an online store on Shopify, it isn’t just a simple fill-in-the-box kind of set up. (Although Shopify does feature some impressive themes that will provide a sort of template) With more flexibility, in the battle of Shopify vs Etsy, Shopify does require a more significant amount of build effort as you create a website and maintain the needed features on your own accord.

Shopify vs Etsy - Etsy Logo visual

Etsy Pros vs. Cons


Marketing: Similar to Amazon, the supercharged online marketplace, Etsy is its own business in itself, and so their marketing is pretty much done for you. Your main goal is just to get your business on the site, stay relevant against the competition, maintain a positive response rate, and you will undoubtedly benefit from plenty of their millions of daily Etsy visitors.

Newbie Friendly: In Shopify vs Etsy, the latter wins in user-friendliness. Etsy makes it simple to quickly input store details and upload product information and images to create your online store. Perfect for any non-tech-savvy eCommerce entrepreneur. It even makes it easy to receive positive feedback, which you’ll see more of when we talk about how to get a review on Etsy!


Price Tag: Of course, user-friendliness and marketing do still come at a cost. With those added features, Etsy does boast a higher price tag. See below for more details on pricing.

Product Restrictions: There also is the issue of product restrictions. Compared to Shopify, where you can sell just about anything when you own your website domain when you sell on Etsy, they restrict sellers to only selling handmade goods, craft supplies, and vintage items. 

So if your store is doesn’t fit into any of those categories, you should probably just skim through this Shopify vs Etsy blog post for only everything about Shopify!

Shopify vs Etsy - display of Etsy tools

Shopify vs Etsy Highlights


Shop App – A personal shopping app designed to increase the mobile-friendliness of the platform and your store! Customers can browse through their favorite Shopify stores, see products, and track their orders, all in one app. When it’s estimated that by 2024, approximately 187.5 million U.S. users will have made at least one purchase from their cellular device, this feature is crucial to your store’s success!

(If you’re interested in trying out an app for your own business, this is the crucial eCommerce tool we recommend!)


Easy Shipping– Etsy makes it possible to print discounted postage, saving you invaluable money when you are shipping out your products. You can also create shipping profiles with bulk editing features to further increase the user-friendliness of the software, especially for multiple buyers.k

Shopify vs Etsy Category Winner: Shopify – m-commerce is on the rise. We should be too!

Visual of a man yelling at a phone

Ease of Use

Let’s start with the fact that BOTH of these platforms are extremely user friendly.

Shopify has many templates and user-friendly features that help beginners start a website with little effort on their part. The platform also features a designated support center with articles, forums, and a 24/7 phone line and live chat tool to help customers.

Meanwhile, of Shopify vs Etsy, Etsy matches and even beats out that user-friendliness. They make it easy to set up your account, customize it, incorporate your products and finalize payment details through detailed guides the whole way.

Could it get any easier to start being the captain of your successful ship?

Shopify vs Etsy Category Winner: Etsy – We’ll take simple, fill-in-the-blank website designer any day!

Building an online store on Shopify

Feedback Systems

Of course, the main goal (and maybe a big reason you are debating Shopify vs Etsy) of running a successful business website is creating a positive customer experience.

When you manage an online store on Shopify, your feedback is expressed through traffic and site analytics numbers. Statistics can also track y our site experience through sales conversions and other numerical measurements.

Meanwhile, on Etsy, your feedback is expressed through store reviews. For this, we wanted to quickly brief you on how to leave a review on Etsy so as you are fully aware of your customer’s process.

Suppose you’re not getting a lot of positive feedback from customers. In that case, it can also help publicize a section on your account of making a social media post about how to leave a review on Etsy to assist your customers better. Buyers can leave reviews on your Etsy store up to 100 days after delivery.

How to Leave a Review on Etsy

You can find the section to leave a review under your Etsy profile in “Purchases and reviews.”

Etsy won’t prompt customers to leave a review, so it’s essential that you leave them with a lasting impression so that they want to do a quick Google search of “How to leave a review on Etsy.”

From that first click, Etsy will take the buyers to the reviews area and give space to leave feedback for the seller.

Hit ‘Send,’ and your feedback is recorded.

That’s it; it’s THAT simple!

Visual of Shopify vs Etsy Feedback System and how to leave a review on Etsy


Shopify vs Etsy Category Winner: Etsy Shopify – we like concrete numbers, so this choice was easy!


A visual of Shopify costs and plants


Shopify’s plans all feature a base price plus any transaction fees (which are 0.5% to 2% depending on your payment method.

Basic Shopify ($29/month + transaction fees)

Shopify ($79/month + transaction fees)

Advanced Shopify ($299/month)

Shopify vs Etsy - display of Etsy tools


Meanwhile, Etsy is a bit more flexible, with transaction costs and fees based on your store’s listings.

The standard rate is a 5% transaction fee and then a 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee. Listings will run around $.20 per listing.

Shopify vs Etsy Category Winner: Shopify – While it isn’t as straightforward, we appreciate that it charges based on listings and sales versus a flat rate for an online store that is just getting started.

Shopify vs Etsy – Which is better for my online store?

Visual of deciding between Shopify vs Etsy

In the battle of Shopify vs Etsy, we believe Shopify wins out by a long shot. While Etsy is a popular and impressive online selling platform, unfortunately, it doesn’t have quite the business branding or scalability capabilities as Shopify.

Building an online business takes a lot of blood, sweat, and (at times) ALOT of tears.

But you don’t have to go at it alone!

The BeyondSixFigures Ecommerce University, led by eCommerce marketing expert, Justin Woll, gives you the tools and the knowledge so that you can start your business from the ground up confidently and prepped for success!

Book your FREE consultation with Justin himself to determine if you are the right fit for his class, and get started on your eCommerce journey today!

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