The global pandemic has resulted in some dramatic changes in the way we shop. How buyers and sellers communicate is shifted too. In order to remain relevant, lots of sellers are going online to expand and connect to new customers.
Currently, there are two major giants in the e-commerce industry – Shopify and Amazon. Both of these are unique and provide versatile opportunities for online vendors. Amazon hosts more than 2.5 billion shoppers every month, whereas Shopify fuels 1 million businesses.
With huge figures like these, choosing the right platform to sell at can be challenging. It also raises the question of Shopify vs Amazon.
If you decide to sell online, the starting point is significant. The earliest decision is to pick the right marketplace. This guide will cover the essential differences between the two e-commerce giants. Let’s see how you can take advantage of them.
The Differences Between Shopify and Amazon
It’s common sense that money can be generated from both marketplaces. But you might think you have to pay a monthly subscription fee to sell your products. This is not all!
Both marketplaces appear similar, but their functioning is unique. Before going into the details, please remember that Amazon is an online marketplace, whereas Shopify is an e-commerce platform.
Since millions of buyers shop from Amazon, you’ll be in front of a massive customer base. On Shopify, you will have your own space to run a business. Due to these Shopify vs Amazon differences, both fulfil different vendors’ needs.
Let’s see what both have to offer.
Shipping and Fulfillment
Fulfilment is a crucial component of online selling. If it’s not satisfactory, your business reputation will be at stake. While debating on Shopify vs Amazon, this is important to discuss. A great feature of Amazon is FBA – Fulfillment by Amazon, which manages everything from packing, storage, and customer service to fulfilment. Plus, it fulfils orders on various channels.
Likewise, Shopify is forming its fulfilment network to compete with FBA. But the reliable FBA network and free 2-day shipping to Prime customers make it harder for Shopify. It will take some time for the latter to meet the standards of Amazon FBA.
Conversion Rate Optimization
The conversion rate is the first determinant of selling online. How is this aspect seen in Shopify vs Amazon? This is something Amazon is great at. You will generate profit if you discover the correct search terms to showcase your customers.
Generally, the conversion rates are lower at a Shopify store. If you wish to convert your buyers the same way as Amazon, get ready to make much effort. In Shopify vs Amazon, the latter wins in this case.
Which Marketplace Has Cheaper Selling Plans
The Shopify vs Amazon matter can’t be complete without analysing their selling plans. Amazon offers two selling plans – individual and professional. In the first one, a $0.99 fee must be paid for each sold item. This plan suits vendors with less than 40 products in their inventory.
But the professional selling plan will cost you $39.99. And that’s not the end of it. There are additional storage and selling fees for FBA. As for Shopify, it offers three plans:
- 2% of transaction fee on all sales that don’t utilize Shopify payment. This fee comes along with the credit card fees.
- This basic plan costs $29 monthly and a transaction fee.
- The features include an online store with a blog, two staff accounts, discount codes, 24/7 support, SSL certificate, manual order creation, unlimited product listing, fraud analysis, hardware support, third-party POS, and so much more.
- This plan costs $79 each month and a transaction fee.
- The features include 5 staff accounts, USPS Priority Mail cubic price on eligible shipments, gift card options, register shifts, professional reports, and more. And of course, everything given in the Basic plan is also included.
- 1% of the transaction fee is applicable on all sales not using Shopify payment and credit card fees.
- In this plan, $299 is charged each month, along with the transaction fee.
- 0.5% of the transaction fee is applied to sales not using the Shopify payment and credit card fees.
- The features of Advanced Shopify include 15 staff accounts, third-party calculated shipping rates, a report builder, and much more. Everything added to the Shopify Plan is also offered.
This marketplace has two more plans – Shopify Lite for entrepreneurs and Shopify Plus for high-volume sellers. As you can see, Shopify presents lots of selling plans. It guarantees flexibility to boost your e-commerce business.
But at Amazon, the prices are based on individual merchants. But it’s not an easy task to calculate the entire budget and expenses. It’s up to you to decide the winner in Shopify vs Amazon regarding this matter.
Shopify vs amazon: Which is Simpler?
In simple words, Amazon FBA is a breeze to develop because you won’t have to worry about the selling plan. Make an Amazon account, list, and sell the products by following the platform’s instructions. This is it. FBA manages customer service and order fulfilment.
On the other hand, the procedure can be time-consuming with Shopify before you set up your store, even though it’s possible to choose default settings to cut back the time. But to benefit from the Shopify options, more time is demanded.
The answer relies on what you’re searching for. If you wish to sell online without spending time setting up, FBA is an ideal choice. But to discover advanced options to boost your customer service and selling experience, Shopify is a better option.
The Pros and Cons Of Shopify
To finalize the Shopify vs Amazon debate, let’s discuss the pros and cons of each platform. Below are some perks of choosing Shopify:
An Aesthetically Pleasing Online Store
Shopify brings visually attractive templates through which you can last a solid impression. It’s possible to make a UI-rich store via a great UX.
Simple to Set Up and Utilize
Instead of depending on different platforms for hosting and making your store, pick Shopify to simplify your life. It’s so easy to set up your own Shopify store. The admin interface is user-friendly and intuitive.
Reliability and security are very important for any e-commerce platform. Shopify is great for dealing with confidential and financial information. This hosted solution takes care of upgrades to maintenance.
Extra Integrations and Functionalities
Shopify allows you to customize your online store with ease. The platform can be integrated with other apps as well. This further boosts the value of your store.
This is the key to the success of your store. Shopify guarantees mobile-responsive solutions for iOS and Android apps.
The customer support of Shopify is genuinely remarkable. It features 24/7 customer support from experts. You can communicate with them via phone, live chat, and email. This makes sure that your business runs smoothly and perfectly.
Below are some disadvantages of choosing Shopify:
Merchants have to decide some elements when it comes to pricing. For instance, a credit card, transaction, and monthly fee are included. Shopify also charges buyers for the extra features that you want for your store. These expenses can hurt your budget if you’re not mindful.
If you’re a beginner, the jargon on this platform can confuse you. Some technical know-how is critical to implementing the process. This applies to the platform, customization rules, and categorization. In short, selling your items on Shopify demands some serious learning.
Initial Set-up Procedure
The initial setup of this marketplace is time-consuming. Even though predefined templates are available to make it easy for merchants to develop their stores, a lot of effort and time is needed to get going. You have to be familiar with the retail platform in the setup procedure.
Pros And Cons of Amazon
As with any other marketplace, pros and cons are attached. As a seller, you will enjoy the following benefits:
Pre-existing Customer Base
Shifting your business online or initiating a business means that your marketing funnel has to be constructed from scratch. With impeccable conversion rates and millions of customers, the SEO strategy makes it simple to rank and sell your items.
Any merchant can get started on Amazon. Just punch in your account details and follow the guidelines. This means that setup on Amazon demands less effort.
When it comes to shopping online, customers tend to be hesitant to buy from unknown stores. But on Amazon, vendors take advantage of the reliability and brand authority.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
Boasting more than 100 million Prime customers in America alone, Amazon FBA makes it easier for merchants to gain more sales. Customers tend to buy from a listing which is Fulfilled by Amazon.
Although Amazon does not present an e-commerce university like Shopify, it does give a seller community where merchants talk and learn from each other.
No words can do justice to the incredible worth of Amazon SEO. Product listings have to be optimized perfectly with appropriate search terms. The higher you rank, the more sales and profit you will reap.
Moreover, since the listing pages are hosted on Amazon that displays high domain authority, your listings will likely be seen on Google too.
But unfortunately, Amazon is not all rainbows. Here are some disappointing downsides:
Access to a Customer List
Amazon does not let you see the customer’s contact information. This is why it isn’t easy to optimize your sales funnel and know your buyer’s shopping behaviour.
Amazon is extremely competitive about pricing. Always remember that you will be competing against renowned merchants and influential brands. These brands display cost benefits and supply chains.
The marketplace strives to refine branding elements with features like Amazon stores and EBC (enhanced brand content). But the options and templates are not customizable.
Shopify guarantees a clear advantage when it comes to brand development and customization. It offers everything from logo creator and business name generator to custom URLs to develop your brand.
Shopify vs Amazon: The Final Verdict
Should you trust Amazon or Shopify? It’s not wise to put all your eggs in one basket. You don’t want to miss out on the mutually exclusive perks of each retail platform. So, adding both Shopify and Amazon to your business is way better. Build your e-commerce empire and attract customers simultaneously in a few clicks.
For the majority of merchants, Amazon is preferable, especially for beginners. But for a seasoned seller, it is better to pick Shopify. However, bringing traffic is a critical part of selling online. Gaining visibility is a daunting task. Although most sellers don’t realize it, with millions of customers, Amazon is easier.
But to choose one, understand the time and effort you can give, how much control you desire, and how you want your business to grow. The decision gets easy when you understand what you desire for your business in the selling process.