Making the Switch from Etsy to Shopify

I’ve wanted to write this post for a while but felt it might be controversial. Let me start by saying that Etsy is an excellent platform for people to discover small businesses. When I started in 2012, I offered my website design services on Etsy as a way for others to discover my work, and it’s how I began to grow my portfolio. So I understand the value of getting started on Etsy.

Etsy has always charged a listing fee and has taken a commission for each sale (this is always a part of operating a business online) – but in recent years their commissions are getting much higher. Along with additional fees for ads, processing fees, etc. Their marketplace has also gotten saturated with sellers, making it hard for some shops to really stand out. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore five reasons why migrating from Etsy to Shopify is a good move for online shop owners. Whether you’re just starting your shop or looking to take your online shop to the next level, understanding the pros and cons of these platforms is essential. 

1. Control over your brand and products

When you use Etsy, you’re subject to its policies, rules, and regulations. You are also bound to their product pages and limited to how your shop’s main page looks.

When Carlyn (owner of Frances and Louise Candle Co) was first thinking of moving her Etsy shop to Shopify, she mentioned that her tipping point was the “You may also like” section that appears on your product page. This section features products from other shops, which is never what you want when someone is viewing your product.

By moving to Shopify, Carlyn had complete control over her shop, brand, and what her customers saw when browsing her products.

Shopify also allows for more customization options than Etsy, including using custom domains, incorporating your branding elements (such as colors, graphics, and fonts), and giving your customers more options.

This can help you create a unique brand identity and stand out from competitors. Take a look at some of our recent Shopify designs.

2. Lower fees

While Etsy charges a listing fee and takes a percentage of each sale (currently 6.5%), Shopify charges a flat monthly fee and transaction fees that can be lower than Etsy’s.

With Shopify you can have as many products in your shop and won’t have to pay extra fees because of this. This is an advantage for shops with a larger product lineup as you aren’t charged for listing a product within your shop.

3. SEO optimization

Shopify has built-in SEO optimization tools that can help your store rank higher in search results. This includes the ability to modify meta tags, URLs, header tags, image alt text, and more. These features allow you to use your target keywords and provide relevant content to help with your website’s organic traffic.

Etsy doesn’t offer the same level of SEO optimization, making it harder to attract new customers. You can tag and categorize your products, which helps fine-tune search results within the marketplace. But you are limited to what can be modified.

4. Scalability

I love a platform that is set up with growth in mind and Shopify is a perfect example of this. You can start using Shopify with a small catalog of products and quickly scale into a shop that offers a wide variety of goodies.

Shopify grows with your business – offering more features and options to help you manage and scale your store. You can access a wider range of payment gateways, shipping options, and third-party Shopify apps with this e-commerce platform.

Due to Etsy’s limitations, you can start to experience growing pains as your shop grows.

5. Data Ownership

With Shopify, you have complete control over your customer and store data. Something as simple as collecting email addresses for your email list is more difficult on Etsy than on Shopify.

On Shopify you can easily integrate platforms such as Mailerlite or MailChimp to your shop to collect email addresses from subscribers and customers. You can quickly grow your email list and set up email automations such as an “abandoned cart” email and other notifications.

While Etsy provides you with customer information for transactional purposes and other analytics – you are still limited with the information provided. With Shopify, you can access more analytics tools to help you make better-informed decisions and improve your store’s performance.

When is it the right time to migrate from Etsy to Shopify

The answer to this question varies depending on your business goals and your overall budget. While Etsy starts with a lower investment (just paying for your product listings and additional fees), Shopify has more of an investment upfront.

I believe that the high investment in Shopify (both time and money) is 100% worth it for any online shop. Having complete control over your website is a significant plus as it creates a stronger brand and a more effective marketing strategy.

I usually view Etsy as a great starting point, but I feel that moving to Shopify is the ideal move once your online shop is growing. Many shop owners run both their Etsy and Shopify side-by-side for a while to help get their Etsy shoppers used to the new website, which is somewhat of a transitional period.

Ready to get started on Shopify? Learn more about our custom Shopify website packages.

Want to learn more about Shopify?

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Hello! I'm Melissa!

Website Designer & Developer
Melissa has a decade of experience in web design and development for small businesses, creative companies and boutiques. During any design project, she focuses on creating a collaborative experience so that her clients feel heard throughout the entire creative process. She specializes in WordPress, Shopify and Squarespace and focuses on creating an online presence and website her clients will love.