Many people are confused about which platform to choose to start their e-commerce journey. Whether you’re a small business who wants to make a transition into the online world or a person thinking of starting e-commerce, this question will definitely come to your mind about which platform to choose. There are a bunch of options available, but we’ll evaluate three of the most popular yet comparable platforms: Etsy, eBay, and Shopify for e-commerce, and which one is the best for you.
Initial capital requirement is a decisive factor for platform selection. You need to know about this before making a decision. Firstly, let’s talk about the start-up cost required to create an Etsy store. You don’t need any investment to create a new Etsy store, but there are costs involved in running an Etsy store. You’ve to pay 0.20$ to list a new product in your store, and there is also a 5% transaction fee along with payment processing fees. Next comes eBay, on which sellers have to pay monthly or yearly fees, and their packages range from 7.95$ to 349.5$ every month. There is also a final value fee other than transaction fees which is a certain amount of percentage of the sale you make on eBay.
To create a Shopify store, you need to subscribe to their monthly subscriptions, which range from 29$ to 299$ per month. Other than this, you only have to pay credit card processing fees. There are no transaction fees involved as Shopify has its own payment gateway known as Shopify Payments. You also don’t need to pay any fee for listing new items. It means you can list an unlimited no. of new products to your store without incurring any fee. To conclude, Etsy is the platform with the lowest initial capital requirement, followed by eBay and Shopify.
Marketplace vs Your own store:
Both Etsy and eBay are marketplaces with existing customer bases, and creating a store on these marketplaces will give you access to millions of visitors. On the other hand, Shopify lets you create your own website, and you are the one responsible for bringing the audience to your site. You can do it either through SEO or paid marketing campaigns.
In case of both Etsy and eBay, you’ve to follow the templates and guidelines provided by the platform for your store design. The layout of your listings will be similar to other listings on the platform, and you’ll have little to no room for customization. You can’t deviate from the rules set by the platforms. On the other hand, Shopify gives you full control of your shop customization and provides you access to over 70+ themes that you can edit according to your own needs. It’s easy to create a brand persona on your own website rather than on an Etsy or eBay store.
eBay has almost three times more traffic than Etsy, but you need to understand the psychology of a typical customer on both platforms. A typical customer on eBay is looking for everyday products, while a customer on Etsy is looking for specialized unique products. Most of the customers on Etsy are female comparable to eBay, which has a significant number of male visitors. On the other hand, there is no immediate target audience for your Shopify store. You are responsible for selecting and targeting the audience you want for your business.
You can learn more about the psychology of customers on Etsy in our previous article.
Shipping and dropshipping:
In the case of shipping, Etsy provides its sellers with subsidized postage labels, which help sellers lower their costs. Etsy also offers different tools to ease the process of shipping for its sellers. On the contrary, eBay pressures its sellers to offer free shipping in a competitive environment, making it difficult for sellers to sell low-value items. Dropshipping is banned on Etsy, and you shouldn’t be considering it. eBay allows drop shipping in the way your orders are fulfilled directly by your wholesale suppliers, but sellers are still responsible for safe product delivery. Shopify is the most used platform for dropshipping, and it has a lot of benefits associated with it. You can integrate tools like Oberlo with your Shopify store, which will help you to streamline all your orders.
The basics of SEO remain the same for all platforms; you need to target the right keywords and add a thoughtful description for your product, but the mechanism for it differs for every platform. In the case of eBay and Etsy, you need to follow the guidelines of both platforms and find out the right way to rank your products. Your competitors are different stores on these platforms in your niche, and you aim to rank on the search results of these platforms. On the other hand, the SEO process for your Shopify store is entirely different. You’ve to rank your store for different keywords in google search results. Moreover, you aim to create your own brand identity rather than just being another e-commerce store.
Etsy provides you with a seller handbook to guide your journey, and they keep on adding articles to inform you about the latest updates. If you’ve any specific problems, you can reach out to them via email or their live chat system. It is reported that Etsy takes time in responding to your queries as compared to eBay, which provides you with a lot of options to reach out to them. eBay has its email, phone number, live chat, and social media, which you can use to raise your concerns. Shopify offers 24/7 support and gives you access to forums and video tutorials to make your life easier.
In the end, the platform you’ll choose will depend on the kind of products you’re selling and your personal choice. Each platform has its pros and cons, and it’s up to you how you use these platforms to leverage your business. We’re sure that this article will help you evaluate these three platforms and decide which one best fits the needs of your business.