So you want to start an online shop? You're not alone—over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in the number of small businesses selling their products and services online. But where should you sell your wares? Two of the most popular platforms for small businesses are Etsy and Shopify. Both have their pros and cons, so it's important to evaluate which one is best for your business before setting up shop.

"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."

Etsy: The Pros

Etsy is a marketplace that is specifically geared towards handmade goods, vintage items, and craft supplies. Because of this focus, it has become a go-to destination for people looking for unique items. If you make your own products or sell vintage finds, Etsy is likely to be a good fit for you. Setting up an Etsy shop is also relatively simple and straightforward—you can be up and running in just a few hours. 


Etsy: The Cons

The main downside of Etsy is that it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. With over 2 million active sellers, there is a lot of competition on the platform. This means that you'll need to work hard to make your shop stand out from the rest. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to do this, such as by offering coupon codes or free shipping, or by investing in some paid advertising. 

"Don't tell people your plans. Show them your results."

Shopify: The Pros

Shopify is a platform that gives you everything you need to create an online store—including a website builder, hosting, shopping cart software, payment processing, and more. This means that it's much easier to get started with Shopify than it is with other ecommerce platforms. You can create a professional-looking website without having any prior web development experience. 

Another advantage of Shopify is that it offers more flexibility when it comes to customization and design than Etsy does. With Shopify, you can really make your store look unique—which can be helpful in setting your business apart from the competition. And if you do have some web development experience (or are willing to hire someone who does), you can further customize your store beyond what's possible with Etsy. 

Shopify: The Cons

The main downside of Shopify is that it costs more money than Etsy does—both in terms of monthly fees and transaction fees. Additionally, because Shopify gives you everything you need to build an online store from scratch, it can be overwhelming if you're just starting out. There's definitely a learning curve involved in using the platform effectively. 

December 02, 2022 — Olivia Crabtree