Shopify vs Amazon: Which platform is best for your business?

When it comes to e-commerce, the battle between Shopify vs Amazon is a question that has perplexed many entrepreneurs. Choosing between these two titans in online commerce is no easy feat, but fear not; we’re here to guide you through this decision-making process.

After lots of research and hands-on experience, we firmly believe that Shopify is the top choice. It’s our pick for building online stores, offering fantastic sales features and all the tools you need.

On the other hand, Amazon can save you time by selling through the world’s largest online marketplace. It even comes with a built-in audience.

Your choice comes down to this: do you want to be hands-on or hands-off in your selling approach? Both options have their strengths. Let’s explore the Shopify vs Amazon battle!

Shopify vs Amazon Quick Comparison Table

CategoryShopifyAmazon
Ease of UseShopify simplifies store setup with an intuitive interface.Setting up an Amazon seller account is straightforward.
Design FlexibilityOffers customizable templates for a unique brand.Amazon controls store design, limiting brand identity.
E-commerce Tools and FeaturesOffers top sales features, apps, and tools.Provides various features but limits customization.
Payment Options & FeesTransparent pricing with no transaction fees via Shopify Payment. Supports over 100 payment options.Supports Amazon Pay but with variable extra fees. Transparency may vary.
Attracting CustomersRequires self-marketing and SEO efforts.Enjoys built-in traffic but competition in search rankings.
Help and SupportOffers 24/7 support via phone, live chat, and a comprehensive help center.Provides support options but may be less accessible.

Shopify vs Amazon Feature Comparison

The main difference is that Shopify is like renting a store, while Amazon is like having a booth at a market.

With Amazon, it’s like having a booth at a busy market where lots of people come by, but they might not specifically be looking for your stuff. You still make sales because of the crowd.

Shopify is more like renting your store. Customers come looking for your store once they know your brand. You have more control over how it looks and what you can do with it. It’s your place, so you can customize it the way you want!

Because of these differences, Amazon is better for small to medium-sized businesses, while Shopify works for everyone from small businesses to bigger brands.

1. Ease of Use

Shopify

    • Simple Setup: Shopify makes starting your online store straightforward, reducing complexity for beginners.
    • Sales Focus: It emphasizes sales features, ensuring you prioritize business aspects before design.
    • Shopify Magic: An AI tool, Shopify Magic, streamlines content creation, saving you time and effort.
shopify vs amazon
shopify.com

Amazon

    • Simplified Setup: Amazon offers a straightforward setup process, making it user-friendly for sellers. You can handle shipping on your own or opt for Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).
    • Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA): FBA takes the hassle of shipping off your plate, allowing Amazon to manage it for you. You retain control by choosing which products are eligible for exclusive Prime free shipping, a factor that influences many online shoppers.
    • Shipping Convenience: Amazon’s tools make shipping hassle-free, making it easier for sellers to reach a broader audience.
shopify vs amazon
amazon.com

2. Design Flexibility

Shopify

    • Theme Variety: Shopify offers over 140 themes for your online store, both free and paid, that you can customize.
    • Customization Options: You can personalize and edit these themes to match your brand, giving you the freedom to create a unique look.
    • Optimized for Online Stores: Shopify’s themes are designed to grab your customers’ attention, making it a top choice for design flexibility.

Amazon

    • Limited Customization: Amazon doesn’t allow much design flexibility. Your store’s layout looks like Amazon’s, not your unique design.
    • Shared Branding: On Amazon’s homepage, products are listed without individual branding, making it hard for your brand to stand out among others.
    • Brand Storefront Option: Amazon does provide an option to create a brand storefront, but there are specific requirements. You need to be an Amazon seller in the Brand Registry, sell directly to Amazon via Vendor Central, or represent one of these.
      Brand Registry is available for businesses with a registered trademark in the same country as the Amazon marketplace they are selling on.

3. E-commerce Tools and Features

Shopify

    • Top Sales Tools: Shopify is a leader with a strong 4.7 out of 5 in sales features, surpassing other platforms like Wix and Square Online.
    • Abundant Tools: Shopify offers a wide range of tools for growing your business, including cart recovery, inventory management, tax calculation, logo creation, multichannel selling, and seamless app integration.
    • User-Friendly: Shopify’s dashboard makes it easy for business owners to manage their online stores efficiently.
    • App Store: You can expand your website’s capabilities through Shopify’s app store, which has over 6,000 apps. However, Shopify relies on third-party apps, and some users might prefer more built-in features.
    • Support for Dropshipping: Shopify partners with dropshipping suppliers like DSers, making it a valuable option for entrepreneurs.
shopify.com

Amazon

    • Diverse Product Range: You can sell a wide range of products, including electronics, toys, books, and services, through Amazon’s marketplace.
    • Seller Central App: Use the Seller Central App to manage your sales, create coupons, gather product reviews, and enhance your brand with professionally shot videos.
    • Inclusivity: Amazon is open to individual sellers and businesses, offering various tools, such as Amazon Handmade and global selling. You can also create targeted advertisements.
    • Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA): FBA lets you access Amazon Prime customers and allows Amazon to handle storage, packing, and shipping for your products. It simplifies shipping logistics and even offers customer support.
    • Streamlined Shipping: With FBA, you send your products to Amazon, and they take care of packaging and shipping to customers upon purchase, reducing the shipping hassle.
amazon.com

4. Payment Options and Fees

Shopify

    • Shopify Payments: Shopify has its payment system, Shopify Payments, which doesn’t charge transaction fees and offers benefits like transaction tracking.
    • Diverse Payment Choices: You can also choose from over 100 payment gateways, including Amazon Pay and PayPal. Each gateway has transaction fees ranging from 0.5% to 2%, depending on your selection and Shopify plan.
    • Credit Card Fees: For all payment methods, there are credit card processing fees. The standard rate on Shopify is 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction, which decreases to 2.4% plus 30 cents on higher-tier plans.

Amazon

    • Payment Gateway: Amazon primarily uses Amazon Pay for payments, accepting credit and debit cards but not PayPal.
    • Professional Seller Fees: Professional sellers pay selling fees along with a monthly subscription. Fees vary by product category, including referral fees (typically 8% to 15% of the sale) and shipping fees. Some categories have high referral fees (e.g., 45%).
    • Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) Fees: If you use FBA, there are fulfillment fees (per unit) ranging from $2.41 to $137.32 and monthly inventory storage fees (varying from $0.69 to $2.40 per cubic foot).
    • Product-Dependent Fees: Fees differ based on the type of product you sell, so be sure to understand the specific fee structure for your items.
    • Individual Seller Fees: Individual sellers pay a $0.99 fee for each product they sell, without a monthly subscription.

5. Attracting Customers

Shopify

    • Your Brand, Your Search: Unlike Amazon, Shopify is all about creating your unique brand. Customers need to actively search for your business, making marketing essential to expand your customer base.
    • Marketing Tools: Shopify offers various marketing tools, such as ad campaigns and newsletters, to keep your store in customers’ minds.
    • Essential Strategies: To grow your brand and customer base, use email campaigns, multichannel selling, social media presence, personalized shopping, cart recovery, and SEO.
      While Shopify has built-in email newsletters and social media integration, advanced email campaigns may require third-party apps from the Shopify App Market.

Amazon

    • Massive Visitor Traffic: Amazon receives 2.2 billion monthly visits in the US alone. Customers arrive ready to shop, reducing your need for extensive marketing efforts.
    • Customers Come to You: Amazon’s large customer base means customers find your products. You spend more time managing inventory and fulfilling orders.
    • Amazon SEO: To stand out, you need to follow Amazon’s SEO rules, which are similar to Google’s. Avoid keyword stuffing, optimize product titles and descriptions, use clear and concise product information, and highlight positive reviews. This boosts your chances of winning customers over rivals on Amazon.

Shopify vs Amazon Comparison of Pricing

Shopify

Shopify offers three pricing plans:

    1. The Basic Shopify plan at $29 per month.
    2. The Shopify plan at $79 per month.
    3. The Advanced Shopify plan at $299 per month.

While Shopify may seem pricey, it delivers valuable sales features. Shopify provides a 3-day free trial (followed by 3 months at $1/month) for testing the platform and potentially starting your business without significant upfront costs. 

As you upgrade through these plans, you gain access to more features as your business grows.

shopify vs amazon
www.shopify.com/pricing

Amazon

Amazon provides two selling plans:

    1. The Professional Selling plan costs $39.99 per month, along with variable selling fees based on your product category.
    2. The Individual Selling plan has no monthly fee but charges $0.99 per item sold, with variable extra selling fees based on the category. It’s suitable for those selling under 40 items monthly but offers fewer features, like no custom shipping rates.

Using Amazon’s FBA service introduces additional costs, which vary based on your products and business. Be aware of referral fees, which can be as high as 45% of a sale.

shopify vs amazon
sell.amazon.com/pricing

Conclusion

Shopify and Amazon are great e-commerce platforms. In this article, we’ve compared their differences and explored their features, pricing, and design.

Most importantly, we’ve shown how these factors can benefit you.

In short, we recommend Shopify for starting or growing your online business. It offers control, a strong brand, and clear pricing.

Amazon is good for small sellers who prefer no upfront costs, but its variable fees can add up.

With Shopify, you have a better long-term solution, and you can even link Amazon to your Shopify store – a win-win!

Moreover, you require dependable customer assistance for your business.

Explore Saufter.io, which comes with advanced automation, insightful analytics, and seamless integration with various tools.

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