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Why You Should Ditch Etsy for Shopify

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Have you been getting a bit annoyed at Etsy's high fees, weird UI changes, and oh-so-demanding customers lately? You're not alone—a lot of people are in the same boat too.

Or, maybe you're cruising along with Etsy just fine, but want to take your business to the next level by increasing brand awareness and control over your store experience.

I love this analogy from Style Factory: "When you sell on Shopify, it’s like renting a space where you set up your own shop — but selling on Etsy is more like selling your goods in a supermarket. Hosting a store on Etsy is like having some shelf space in an aisle. Lots of customers will walk past it, but will they reach out for one of your products — or grab one of your competitors’?"

Here's a guide to why moving from Etsy to Shopify might be a good idea.

1. Shopify has a billion more features than Etsy

Okay, a billion is obviously a bit of an exaggeration, but seriously—the amount of powerful apps that Shopify offers changes the game completely when it comes to customizing the way your store is run + how you market to your audience.

Some features that you're able to integrate into your Shopify store via apps that Etsy does not offer include subscriptions, upsells, custom bundles, and local pickup + delivery.

Etsy's easy-to-use and quite limited is great if you're just dipping your toes in the water of E-commerce, but if you're ready to take your online shop seriously, nothing beats the power and customization of Shopify.

2. Your storefront is so much more customizable

This one's a bit obvious, but Etsy's storefronts are super-duper limited to the exact layout and sections that are outlined in its shop structure.

A lot of features that Etsy offers, such as reviews and product variants, are easily duplicable using both free or paid apps on Shopify, so you don't need to worry about giving up too much when making the switch.

Beyond just apps and functionalities, the ability to have total control over your Shopify store's layout, pages, and look + feel makes it so much easier to tell your brand's story and emotionally connect with your visitors.

3. It's easier to build your email list with Shopify

Email marketing is where the $$$ is at in the online world—its ROI is substantially higher than other marketing channels. So, as an E-commerce store, its important that you're putting effort into it as one of your main ways of driving (qualified) traffic.

A tip for starting to build your email list on Etsy is to offer a 10% (or whatever) discount in your product description or photos in exchange for signing up for your email list. However, this is a very manual process for your user, as they need to visit a separate page to sign up for your list.

Because there's no way for Etsy customers to automatically opt into your email list in checkout, it's much more effective to be (legally) collecting past customers' emails via Shopify.

With Shopify, you have the option of placing a simple check box (which you can choose to have pre-selected) at checkout that automatically opts in your visitor to your email marketing. This is WAY more automated and high-converting than the manual Etsy discount signup strategy.

4. Shopify is extremely scalable

There's a reason huge brands like Kylie Cosmetics and Fashion Nova are on Shopify—it's truly the cream of the crop when it comes to E-commerce.

Let's say your business dreams come true and your brand absolutely explodes—you want to know that your E-commerce platform can handle this amount of traffic + transactions. Shopify Plus is Shopify's enterprise platform that offers a host of features such as custom checkouts, limitless bandwidth, and custom reports.

Because of Shopify Plus' hefty $2,000+ monthly price tag, it's a general rule of thumb that you'll want to go for plus once you're pulling in roughly a million per year in revenue. Does this sound like a super far-off, lofty goal to you? It may be closer than you think with a strong + strategic brand strategy.

5. The numbers don't lie

Here are a few statistics that will change your mind about the potential Shopify holds:

  1. In 2017, Etsy users spent $3 billion on the platform. In the same year, over $87 billion was spent on Shopify (Website Builder Expert).
  2. There are over 6,000 apps currently available on Shopify's app store to help you customize your store (Acquire Convert)
  3. Some of the conversion rates from various traffic sources were the following: email 4.38%; direct 4.35%; search 3.60%, and social 2%. These are decent! (Hosting Tribunal)

Based on the data out there, Shopify is only growing and getting better with time.

The main downside of switching from Etsy to Shopify

This isn't all to say that there are no benefits to selling on Etsy. So what's the biggest drawback when it comes to moving from Etsy to Shopify?

One word: traffic.

With Shopify, you're going to need to be a lot more strategic about the various ways of driving traffic. This is because it's not as plug-and-play of a solution as Etsy is—meaning, you're going to need to have a plan to drive visitors to your site as you won't simply be appearing in Etsy results where people are searching for your exact item.

There are a ton of ways to do this and it can be a lot of fun diving into them and learning what works for your brand. The big ones to focus on are typically email marketing, paid ads, Google search engine optimization, and social media.

The good news is, you don't have to go all in with one or the other—you can integrate Etsy and Shopify and have the best of both worlds. In fact, I recommend trying this first to see what works best for you!

In conclusion, both platforms have their definite pros and cons. But, if you're looking to play in the big leagues of the E-Commerce world, Shopify is going to empower you to scale and come off as more "professional" rather than "homemade".

Looking for help on which steps to take when setting up your Shopify store? Check out our free Shopify Setup Checklist for a helpful walkthrough of the main things you'll need to do to get up and running.

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