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Shopify versus Etsy: Which is better for your creative business?

Shopify versus Etsy: Which is better for your creative business? | Thoughtfully Handmade

I had a big dilemma when I restarted Thoughtfully Handmade.

You see, when I did Summer Company (read more about that here), I used Wix to run my online shop. Let’s just say that I didn’t like Wix...

My best friend told me about Squarespace; and while I agree that their website templates are aesthetically pleasing, it was a bit out of my price range.

Another option was Etsy, and EVERYONE knows about Etsy.

And there lies my dilemma: do I go with Squarespace, which is expensive? Or, do I go with Etsy, which takes a percentage of my earnings?

Neither seemed like a great option.

Then, I was introduced to Shopify, and boy was that a game-changer!

In this blog post, I’ll be giving both the pros and cons of Shopify and Etsy as I take you through how I made my decision at the end.


It’s a platform built for e-commerce. It helps you create a build a website and set up an online shop. Click here to read more.


  • You have control over your own brand since you can build own website
  • It integrates with other platforms where you can sell your products (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.)
  • There are no distractions. Etsy will recommend other shops in the "Similar products" section like Amazon. Unlike Etsy, when people are on your website, it's only your store. There are no other stores/shops to choose from.
  • You need to know how to build a website and a bit of coding. However,  Shopify experts do provide a lot of help in that department.
  • You have to pay a monthly or annual flat fee. If you don’t have a lot of products, might not be worth it in comparison to Etsy's one-time listing fee and then a small percentage from each sale.
  • You are now competing for customers' attention with everyone in e-commerce.
  • That means you need to get on the SEO and CRO game


It’s a marketplace (think Amazon) where there are a lot of vendors all selling at the same place. Click here for more information. 


  • Etsy is known for handmade goods. So, people who want handmade goods will see your shop; which means they are more likely to buy.
  • You don’t have to build a website.
  • Mostly everything is set up for you. You just have to set up your shop by uploading your products.
  • You don’t really need to care about CRO because Etsy does it for you.

  • You still need to care about SEO to get discovered by Google.
  • You pay a listing fee plus commission, which is a lot of money for a vendor like me with a lot of products.
  • You need to know how to get discovered on Etsy and to distinguish yourself from other competition.
  • It might be harder to sell digital products on Etsy... (Tell me if I'm wrong in the comments below!)
  • You are under Etsy's brand. You must follow their rules and regulations. Thus, it's hard to brand yourself as a separate entity.

Ultimate decision

Drumroll, please!

I ultimately went with Shopify. The pros just outweighed the cons this time. Shopify allows me to craft my own brand and it gives me the freedom to do exactly what I want, when I want it.

I love how I can have a specific landing page for my custom orders, and be able to integrate a blog in with my shop. That, unfortunately, is not possible with Etsy.

Plus, could you imagine Etsy’s orange website with my store colour palette? It would totally clash!

Feel free to poke around my site to see all of the possibilities Shopify has to offer! You can also check out some other shops that are run by Shopify.

Now, that’s not to say that, perhaps in the future, I will have both a website and an Etsy shop. But, for now, my Shopify website has been great.

Oh, before I forget! I made an infographic for you to pin to your Pinterest boards, so you don't have to keep coming back to this blog post (although, if you do, that's fine as well!)

Shopify versus Etsy infographic | Thoughtfully Handmade

Would you choose differently? Let me know in the comments below if you agree, disagree or if I missed something super important. And shameless self-promo: feel free to buy a card or bookmark as well to save yourself from those awkward situations!

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