Not sure which platform to host your e-commerce business? There are so many options, such as Etsy and eBay, that it can feel overwhelming.
This is a guide for people deciding between Shopify or Amazon. You’ll learn more about key features, pricing, and the benefits of both to make a more informed decision for your business.
Differences Between Selling on Amazon vs. Shopify
The main difference between Amazon and Shopify is that Shopify is an e-commerce platform, whereas Amazon is an online marketplace.
Essentially, selling on Amazon is like getting a stall at a market, whereas Shopify is like building a brick-and-mortar store.
With Amazon, you can access millions of consumers searching for your products on the Amazon platform. In contrast, with Shopify, you have to attract these customers yourself.
There is a price to gain access to Amazon’s online marketplace. For every item you sell, you have to give them a cut of your earnings. But with Shopify, this isn’t a requirement.
Pros and Cons of Selling on Amazon
Billions of people visit Amazon monthly in the US (2.5 billion), so you’ll be exposed to many consumers looking for your products.
You can take advantage of Amazon seller services like Amazon FBA. This is where they store, package, and fulfill your orders for you (fees apply).
You don’t have to worry too much about web design because the site is already built for you. All you need to do is create your listing with images and copy.
Consumers trust the Amazon brand, so they are more likely to buy from Amazon rather than your Shopify site.
You can set up your account and start selling almost immediately.
With an Amazon Seller Account, you get a dashboard with sales data. This can help you make strategic business decisions moving forward.
Many sellers are already on Amazon, so the competition is quite stiff. You may even be competing with Amazon itself.
Since you’re limited by Amazon’s web design, you can only really change the copy and imagery on your listing. This can make establishing a unique brand image complex.
You must pay Amazon fees for every sale, which can impact your profit margins.
Pros and Cons of Selling on Shopify
You’ll have lots of control over your website’s design to create a unique brand identity and user experience.
You can integrate a blog, making content marketing easier and more connected to your products.
You can use a separate app to list your Shopify products on Amazon, which offers the best of both worlds.
You avoid Amazon’s referral fees, which is good news for your profit margin.
You have to pay a monthly fee to use Shopify, and adding third-party apps can add to your costs.
You won’t have the same number of website visitors as Amazon, and it can take years to build a substantial following for your domain. As a result, marketing costs will likely be higher.
Amazon is already a trustworthy brand. You’ll have to work harder with a unique domain to establish trust with your audience.
Key things E-Commerce Sellers Must Consider
Ease of use
Amazon has a user-friendly interface for sellers. Once you’ve set up your Amazon Seller Account, you’ll have access to a dashboard with all the necessary information. From there, you can add and update listings and track how your items are performing.
If you register for Amazon FBA, everything becomes even easier for you, as Amazon will store, package, and ship your orders for you.
Amazon has billions of visitors every month in the US. That’s lots of people who are already on the site and searching for your products. As a result, you might not have to worry as much about marketing. However, this doesn’t mean that getting product views is not competitive. You’ll need to optimize your listings for Amazon’s internal search engine so you’re more visible.
You may also want to consider paying for ads too. Otherwise, you’ll get lost in the sea of competition.
You’re more limited in terms of design. However, you can customize your images and copy to help you stand out.
Services and Tools
Amazon has an FBA service that takes care of storing, packing, and shipping your items. This comes with a fee, but it can take away a lot of the heavy lifting when fulfilling orders. They can also handle customer service and returns for you, too.
Support is available to Amazon sellers, but you’re encouraged to use their ready-made resources (like help forums and community pages) rather than dealing directly with a customer service representative.
Fees and Pricing
There are two options available to Amazon sellers:
- Individual Plan – $0.99/ item sold
- Professional Plan – $39.99/ month
The Individual Plan is excellent for small businesses that don’t sell many items, and the Professional Plan is ideal for larger companies that sell many items every month. In addition to this, you’ll have to pay selling fees to Amazon. This is usually between 8-15 percent of every sale.
If you opt for Amazon’s FBA service, there are additional fees. Read more about these here.
Ease of Use
The Shopify website builder has an easy-to-follow design, so it’s simple to customize what you want on your website. You can change the theme, add and delete pages, and personalize the user’s experience with different menus.
With Shopify, you’ll have to spend more time and money on marketing. You may consider investing in social media, email marketing, SEO, PPC, and other channels. If not, people won’t know about you or your brand.
To help with this, Shopify offers a range of marketing tools to enhance your marketing performance.
Shopify boasts many customization options. You don’t need to be a web developer to build your website.
There are over 60 themes to choose from. These templates come with ready-made designs, so all you need to do is put your stamp on them.
Services and Tools
Shopify has a range of services to support your business, such as:
- Logo maker
- Slogan maker
- QR code generator
- Terms and conditions generator
They also have a store where you can add third-party apps.
Shopify has live chat, email, and phone support whenever you need it. Finding their support team and resolving your issue is quick and easy.
Fees and Pricing
There are a few options available to sellers:
- Shopify Lite – $9/ month basic
- Shopify – $29/ month
- Shopify – $79/ month
- Advanced Shopify – $299/ month
- Shopify Plus – custom
With the Lite plan, you can’t build your site. Instead, you sell on an existing site.
The Advanced option enables you to add more users if required, and Shopify Plus is perfect for enterprise-level businesses.
There is also a 14-day free trial available to sellers who aren’t sure which plan will best suit their needs.
Can I Use Amazon and Shopify at the Same Time?
Yes – you can sell on Amazon and Shopify simultaneously. It’s even recommended. You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket, and selling on both means, you can diversify your streams of income.
There’s even an option on Shopify where you can connect your Amazon Seller Account.
Each platform has clear and different benefits, so there’s no reason why you can’t host on both. You may even find that one works better than the other and prioritize from there.
Final Thoughts: Amazon vs. Shopify
The platform you choose for your e-commerce business depends entirely on your requirements. A range of factors – from ease of use to design flexibility and pricing – must be considered when deciding whether you want to sell on Amazon or Shopify.
Zee Import Solutions
Are you looking to expand your e-commerce business internationally? Perhaps you’ve noticed an uptick of consumers from other countries making orders from your online store or you maybe you’re looking to take your e-commerce business to the next level.
That’s where a service like Zee comes in. We offer import solutions to help you fulfill orders internationally. We can act as your importer of record, advise on customs compliance and help you get any stuck shipments unstuck. As a result, your customers can receive their orders without any hassle.