With the growth of e-commerce and the number of Amazon sellers, it is no wonder the marketplace has changed so much. And it’s probably the primary reason why many sellers choose Shopify instead.
Some say Shopify provides higher profit margins because it charges lower fees than Amazon. But there may be a reason why many stay on with Amazon.
This post will tell you all about the two platforms—how they differ, their pros and cons, and recommendations on which may be the best marketplace for you.
The Difference between Amazon and Shopify
The most significant difference perhaps between the two is that Amazon is an online marketplace, whereas Shopify is an e-commerce platform.
While both platforms allow you to sell any product, they do so differently. On Amazon, you don’t get your own store per se. Instead, you post products individually alongside fellow sellers. Shopify, meanwhile, lets you build your own online store where consumers can find all your offerings.
Think of it this way: Selling on Amazon is like supplying the store with your products, while doing so on Shopify is more comparable to putting up your own store in a shopping mall. Your choice would thus depend on how you want to be seen as a seller.
As with any business decision, you need to consider several factors before deciding which platform is right for you. So we’ve broken down these considerations to make choosing more manageable for you.
Pros and Cons of Selling on Each Platform
While you both get to sell all kinds of products on both platforms, each has unique benefits and drawbacks. And you must understand these before making your decision. Let’s dive in.
In addition to selling books, music, movies, household items, electronics, toys, and other products, Amazon.com acts as a middleman between businesses and its legions of customers.
- Ease of getting started: Opening an account and becoming an Amazon seller is not difficult at all. Plus there are a few business models you can start selling with. Depending on your ambitions, you can whether launch your own brand or do
reselling on Amazon with dropshipping or arbitrage.
- High traffic: Amazon’s most significant selling point is most likely its vast customer base. And because you sell alongside all other vendors, you can tap into your competitors’ customer bases, along with your loyal customers.
- Global reach: Amazon currently has the biggest audience compared to other marketplaces globally. It currently serves 13 countries, each with its own dedicated site.
- High competition: Millions of products are currently being sold on Amazon, making the competition really tough. Selling the exact item as tons of other sellers means you’ll be vying for the Amazon Buy Box.
- High fees: Because Amazon typically houses all of its sellers’ inventories and takes care of processing and shipping, even customer service provision, your business can rack up costs. Even if sellers can choose among various shipping options (i.e., providers), the fees can still be significant.
Shopify is a subscription-based platform that makes it simple for any seller to start an online store. But just like Amazon, using it has pros and cons too.
- Low fees: Shopify charges fees that are significantly lower than Amazon’s. That gives sellers more significant profit margins. Its membership fee is also lower, making it a winner in this case.
- Completely customizable storefront: Shopify is one of a few e-commerce platforms that lets sellers customize their storefronts. You can use different colors, add images and videos, and even create your own logo on your page.
- Additional apps can be costly: All sellers need a way to promote their stores, right? Doing that on Shopify may require subscribing to specific apps. The more apps you use, of course, the more money you need to shell out.
- High upfront costs: Unlike Amazon, where you can start selling at practically no cost, you will need to pay for a subscription on Shopify first. And that comes with additional charges, too, depending on how you want to set up your storefront.
Which Market Is Right for Your Business?
Choosing which platform is right for you depends on your business requirements. If you just want to start selling products to earn extra money, then, by all means, start selling on Amazon. But if you’re looking to grow your business and establish your own brand, Shopify may be the better option.
Given all the information we divulged here, it’s still hard to say which is better—Amazon or Shopify. So if you’re serious about your business, why not try them both? Each has its ups and downs, so you’ll have to see which works better for you.
While Amazon remains the biggest online shopping platform to date, Shopify isn’t far behind. If you’re looking to start selling at once, picking Amazon may be the way to go. But if you have a longer-term goal in mind—establishing your brand—Shopify may be better for you. Whatever choice you make, consider your budget, needs, and objectives.
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