Should you open a Shopify website or an Etsy shop?

Here’s my two cents.

I have both an Etsy shop and a Shopify website. When I first started selling my wreaths about 4.5 years ago I opened an Etsy shop. My sister has a successful Etsy shop currently selling wedding invitations, guest books, etc. (btw if you want to check her shop out you can find it at www.etsy.com/shop/starboardpress) and I just figured that was the way to go. I had zero direction back then so I’m glad I stumbled upon the right choice! But, as you may know, being a seller on Etsy means that I am still at the mercy of Etsy’s rules and regulations. Not that I would ever defy any of them but crazy and unforeseen things can happen. We should never put all our eggs in one basket, right?!

So a few years ago I decided to also open a Shopify store. I figured it would expand my reach and allow me to include some items that weren’t “handmade” as well as pages where I could display content about my Etsy Shop Review services. I also like how it connects to Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook to show my items to potential buyers.
However, with your own website you have to drive your own traffic. While Etsy is a marketplace with 37 million shoppers built in, your own website has 0 shoppers built in at the start. Think of it like a shopping mall vs. a local general store. When you visit a shopping mall you are there to shop around and likely purchase something. You go there with the intention of making a purchase. You know where the mall is because you’ve driven by it, or everyone talks about it, or you’ve seen the ads on tv. But a local general store may be down a small dirt road, outside of town, and known only to the “locals”.
Etsy is the mall – customers are already there to look for something to buy. But your website is the general store. No one knows it’s there unless you point them in the right direction. Or spend a lot of money on advertisement.

In 2018 I received:

Sales from Shopify website: 91
Sales from Etsy: 1350

So which would you choose??

For one, the fees are usually higher on Shopify. There is a monthly fee on Shopify whether you sell an item or not plus fees when you sell an item, whereas on Etsy you pay a $0.20 listing fee but you don’t pay anything else until you make a sale (unless you decide to do advertising). So that is also something to take into consideration. Is a Shopify website a bad idea then? Nope, not at all. It is a great place to expand you services and products and can serve as a backup if anything were to happen with your Etsy shop. But in my opinion Etsy is still the best place to start. If you aren’t tech savvy to build a website then use Etsy – the framework and the site and the customers are already provided for you. All you have to do is fill in the blanks. Down the road you may decide to switch over completely to a website or have both, like I do. But Etsy is the best place for beginners.

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