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Which Is Better for Small Online Businesses: Shopify or Etsy?

    People’s lives have been limited by the pandemic and quarantine, and it’s safer and more convenient for them to buy everyday things online. You might think about opening an online store. So, it’s a pretty good chance for online businesses to make money now.

    If you want to run an online small business, you should first know where to sell your products. Online, yes, but with Shopify, do you want your own domain name and website, or do you just want to sell in a marketplace like Etsy? Here, you can see that Shopify is an e-commerce platform where you can start your own business with your own store. Etsy, on the other hand, is a marketplace where you’ll be competing with a lot of other sellers.

    Now you might get confused about the two and think, “OMG, I don’t know which one to choose, I barely know the two.” Both Shopify and Etsy are good options that are worth your time and money.

    Shopify vs. Etsy: What You Need to Know

    Before we compare Shopify and Etsy, let’s get a general idea of what they are and how they work.


    Shopify started in Canada in 2006 and has become one of the most popular e-commerce platforms. Shopify is a fully hosted solution that lets you set up and run your own online store.

    It gives you all the tools you need to run your store and build your brand. It also lets you connect analytical reporting tools and dropshipping apps to help you keep track of how well your business is doing and help you fulfill orders. You own your website, but to get people to visit it, you need a good marketing plan.


    Etsy is an American online store that sells things that are handmade or old, as well as craft supplies. Unlike Shopify, it is an online market where sellers and buyers can meet each other. Since it opened in 2005, Etsy has been a very popular place to buy and sell goods. You’ll need to sign up for an account, just like on Amazon and eBay, so you can make boxes to show off your products. It already has a customer base, and you have to follow Etsy’s rules and use its platform.

    Etsy is the leader in the craft market by a long shot. Items that are made by hand are unique, so you can be sure that there will be a market for what you make. One thing needs to be clear: Etsy is made for artists, crafters, and people who sell vintage items. So if you’re not one of those people, you probably shouldn’t use Etsy. Then you should look at some Etsy alternatives that are worth checking out.

    Shopify vs. Etsy: Online Store Platform or Market?

    Now that you know the basics of each platform, let’s talk about what makes them different.

    Shopify has these features

    Shopify is one of the most powerful e-commerce platforms for small businesses. It has a lot of features that help you build, manage, and market digital storefronts from the ground up.

    Using the domain name, you can choose from more than 70 templates that have been made by professionals.

    When your store is up and running, you can use Shopify’s many store management features, such as saving customers’ personal and billing information, integrating with dropshipping apps like dropship-empire, completing orders with a single click, connecting to AliExpress or other platforms, using powerful performance analysis tools, and more.

    Shopify also comes with powerful CRM and marketing tools, such as built-in SEO, integration with all of your social media profiles, blogging, and the ability to offer discounts and gift cards to your customers.

    What Etsy Has to Offer

    Shopify lets you make your own stand-alone store, but Etsy is its own platform that brings together sellers. At first, the platform was set up as a place where artists, makers, and sellers could sell their handmade and vintage goods.

    But Etsy is a great choice for very small businesses or businesses that aren’t ready to put in the work to set up, manage, and accept payments through a mature online store because it’s so easy to open an Etsy store and start selling with Etsy’s built-in metrics.

    Through an online dashboard, you can keep track of your Etsy lists and orders, talk to buyers, and buy and print postage. The only way for Etsy users to accept payments is through Etsy Payments. This internal payment processor takes credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay, as well as any other major payment method.

    One of the best things about Etsy for business owners is that you can take advantage of the platform’s large customer base. In 2018, there were almost 39.45 million buyers, so you’ll have to do less work to bring in customers.

    The pros and cons of Shopify vs. Etsy

    Now that you know the main features of Shopify and Etsy and how they differ, let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons.



    • Great for large stores: Shopify’s powerful back-end editor and impressive inventory system make it a great choice for managing and growing large stores.
    • Sales on multiple platforms: It sells on Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, and eBay, among other places.
    • Great design: You can choose from many free and paid templates, or make your own from scratch if you can’t find the right one.
    • There are over 3,000 apps: Shopify has a huge collection of apps and extensions from third parties that can help you take your store to the next level.
    • Many ways to pay: Shopify supports more than 100 ways to pay and has its own payment gateway, Shopify Payments.


    • More expensive than it looks: Transaction fees and the need for extra apps can add to the monthly costs of running your store.



    • Communities that work together: From the beginning, Etsy wanted to focus on the sellers’ community. Sellers are happy to give each other advice and share their experiences so that everyone can find their way to success.
    • Easy to use: all you have to do is create an account, upload your products, pictures, and information about them, and you can start selling.

    Etsy has more than 81.9 million buyers as of 2024, which makes it a great place for entrepreneurs to sell their goods.


    • There are rules about what can and can’t be sold on Etsy. Obviously, they tend to like niche items and handmade, vintage, and one-of-a-kind items. So, if you want to sell outside of this range, you might not be able to.
    • You can’t control what happens in your store. Often, the platform, not the seller, has the last word on what goes on in the store. If a rule has been broken, the platform can shut down stores right away and without warning if they want to.

    How to Use dropship-empire to Make Your Shopify Store Better

    If you want to sell things online and are good at making or handcrafting things, Etsy is a good place for you. But with Etsy, you need inventory and stock in case you get more orders or there’s a “emergency.”

    You can see now that if you want to start your own business from scratch, dropshipping with a store on Shopify could help you reduce risks and avoid losses. You can still fill an order even if you don’t have any inventory, stock, or even touch the goods.

    We’ve already talked about how one of Shopify’s benefits is that it has more than 3,000 apps that users can use to run their store and handle orders. One of the best dropshipping apps for sellers is called dropship-empire. With its Supplier finder, Bulk Order, and many other useful features, it will be a lot easier for a new online seller like you to fulfill orders.

    When we compare Shopify to Etsy, it goes without saying that Shopify is the better choice for people who want to start from scratch.

    Also, dropship-empire is the way to go if you want to grow your Shopify dropshipping business. It’s the best-rated app on Shopify and the official AliExpress dropshipping tool. Thousands of businesses have used it, and its automation features will help you stay ahead of the competition.

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