Selling online? If you own an e-commerce business, you know Amazon and Shopify as the biggest online platforms. Both are powerful and move billions, but which one is best for your business?
There are several key differences that make the Shopify vs Amazon debate difficult to resolve. Read on for a comprehensive comparison of Shopify and Amazon.
Shopify Features and Benefits
Shopify is a powerful e-commerce platform with multiple plans for e-commerce businesses of all sizes and scopes. All plans offer you a comprehensive array of tools to help build your online store and promote your product.
Shopify allows you to build your own branded e-commerce website and populate it with unlimited products. The platform gives you unlimited bandwidth and online storage regardless of plan. You can control everything from an intuitive overview dashboard.
Other key features of Shopify include:
- Online sales channels
- Manual orders
- Discount and promo codes
- Fraud protection
- Financial reports
- Staff accounts
- Built-in customer support.
However, the above comes with a monthly fee. Shopify fees start from $29 USD each month and can go up to $299 a month for advanced plans. Moreover, the platform leaves you to fend for yourself when it comes to marketing and promotion. You will have to pay for these yourself.
Amazon Feature and Benefits
Amazon is the largest product search engine, with millions of daily traffic. By putting your products there, you can connect with the largest customer base in the world. Amazon is also unique in its Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) services.
FBA handles all your inventory, storage, packaging, and shipping. This can free up a big portion of your budget, allowing you to invest in growing your business.
However, everything you sell on Amazon will be through their own channels. While you can brand your products on Amazon, advertising is restricted. This makes it hard to create a strong brand while selling your products on Amazon alone.
Additionally, your strongest competitors will also sell their products on Amazon. The platform will list your products with their together, making it hard for your business to stand out.
Shopify vs Amazon: Key Differences
While both platforms have a subscription to be able to access all the features, they do have several key differences.
The main difference between Shopify and Amazon lies in the services offered. While Amazon is an open online marketplace, Shopify is a dedicated e-commerce platform.
Simply put, Amazon will let you sell your products through their massive online store. Shopify allows you to build your own online store to sell your products from.
This means that different business owners will find different value in those two platforms. Amazon works best for massive volume, less differentiated products. Shopify is best for building a strong brand image and targeting tight demographics.
Amazon is generally better for small and mid-sized e-commerce businesses. Shopify is best for larger brands, as well as brands with a very tight focus.
In addition to their main difference in scope, Shopify and Amazon have several other distinct features that will affect your e-commerce business.
Both can help you reach millions and sell your products online, but Shopify can also boost your branding while Amazon makes fulfilment easy with their FBA program. Learn more about how much money you need to start an Amazon FBA business.
Let’s see some other important differences below.
Design Options and Ease of Use
Both Shopify and Amazon offer intuitive design and high user-friendliness. While Amazon offers very little in terms of customization, Shopify allows you full control over the layout and design of your e-commerce store.
Shopify also gives you more than 60 themes to choose from as a base for your online store. You can customize and edit these themes to insert your own branding imagery.
Moreover, Shopify makes it easy to build and adjust your website. The control dashboard gives you a quick overview of your business and allows you to edit every aspect of your site with a few clicks.
On the other hand, Amazon is even easier to set up your online business. With Amazon, you just have to add your product details, write a description, and press “launch product”. The whole process is easy to follow and painless.
The only downside with Amazon here is the inability to edit and customize the product pages themselves.
Finally, it all comes down to making more money than you spend. All online stores have a recurring fee, but also a number of other associated costs.
Other costs include transactional fees, conversion fees, and credit card fees. These can reduce your monthly profit margins, but there are ways to mitigate the costs.
For example, Amazon’s Amazon Pay allows you to accept credit cards with reduced fees. However, Amazon does not support PayPal due to conflicting interests.
FBA fees can vary from a few dollars to more than $120 for a single unit fulfilment. These depend on the size of the unit and other factors.
Shopify allows you to receive payments through Shopify Pay, which includes PayPal and comes with zero fees. This doesn’t cover credit card fees. Shopify Pay also allows you to accept Amazon Pay as well.
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