Shopify Vs Amazon: Where Should You Sell?
There has been a longstanding debate on Shopify Vs. Amazon and which e-commerce giant will be best-suited to your selling needs.
This battle can easily be regarded as the biggest in the world of e-commerce. In addition to that, it cannot be denied that both Shopify and Amazon are big names in present times as they provide massive opportunities for selling as well as buying online.
According to some data collected recently, Shopify is responsible for powering more than 600,000 businesses across the globe. These businesses are known to have sold more than $82 billion worth of items through Shopify.
Moreover, Amazon boasts of more than 150 million monthly visitors in America alone. When you stumble across statistics like these, it is no wonder that the choice can be pretty challenging.
According to eCommerce statistics, 50% of the online shoppers in US preferred Amazon over other portals.
This is precisely why we have written this in-depth and comprehensive post that offers complete information on both the platforms. This will help you make an informed choice by considering some significant factors such as the features, pricing, ease of use, and customer support of both these platforms.
At first sight, Shopify can easily be considered as the best e-commerce platform today. All the major brands and first-time stores opt for Shopify to scale their business. It has also been rated nicely on a number of aspects such as its value for money, design, flexibility, and website features. Therefore, it would not be wrong to say that this platform is the best e-commerce platform all-around.
Having said that, there are still a number of things to consider, and Shopify may not be the perfect choice for all kinds of individuals and businesses out there.
At the end of the day, it is really an individual choice that needs to be made after considering what is best suited to your business. In any case, let us check out both these platforms in detail below!
Amazon – An Overview
Amazon can be defined very simply as an online marketplace.
Amazon allows you to sell your products through its marketplace, where other online sellers do the same. Hence, if you sell through Amazon, it is a bit like having a stall in a popular fair. You will see countless people coming in to browse and buy your products.
Most of these customers will not particularly be searching for your brand.
Still, you will end up making a lot of sales due to the simple fact that people will be walking left and right of your stall and seeing everything you have to offer. In addition to that, another great feature of Amazon is that it caters to both businesses and individual sellers. Small-sized businesses, as well as medium-sized businesses, can easily avail of the opportunities and services offered by this platform to sell their products.
When Should You Use This Service?
Therefore, to sum up, we can say that Amazon will be ideal for you if:
- You don’t mind the competition
- You are just starting up and need a regular customer base
- You are looking for a hassle-free platform that enables you to start almost immediately
If you are a startup, the first thing that you will have to consider is the sheer volume of choices out there.
Besides Amazon and Shopify, there are many other online platforms that you can go for. In the same vein, all these platforms have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, your circumstances and situation as a business will dictate the choice that you must make in the end.
Talking of Amazon, this platform offers tons of benefits for online sellers. Let us check out some of the most important ones!
- Massive Scope For Sales
The best thing about choosing Amazon as an online platform for selling is that its audience is massive. Therefore, even if customers do not know you or the name of your brand, you can rest assured that they will buy from you if they come across your product listing on the platform. This means that you will have several opportunities to sell and will already have a considerable pool of established and loyal customers of the platform.
In fact, over 2 million sellers avail of the benefits of this website across the world. Moreover, if the statistics are to be believed, in 2014, the sellers sold over 2 billion products on the platform. These are some pretty satisfying results and a great incentive to sell your products on Amazon.
- Solid Customer Support
The back-end support and infrastructure of Amazon are phenomenal, and it offers individuals and businesses a range of benefits such as credit card processing, sales tax collection, and inventory tracking, all of which can prove to be supremely overwhelming if you decide on selling your products in multiple jurisdictions.
In addition to that, if you have any problems or issues with the platform, including technical glitches and others, all you have to do is get in touch with the platform’s customer support team. They are one of the best support departments you will ever come across, and you are sure to be assigned a personalized expert to help resolve your query.
- Continue Earning Without Marketing
Another great advantage of Amazon is that you don’t necessarily have to advertise or market your brand in order to get customers. In this regard, Amazon is much better than other standalone e-commerce websites such as Woocommerce and Shopify.
Therefore, you can save yourself a huge amount of money in advertising and marketing because there is no need for you to inform people of your brand. Amazon will do that for you because it already possesses a built-in and robust customer base that standalone websites can never match. This means that you get to enjoy repeated orders and regular customers, day in and day out.
- Unsolicited Referrals
The algorithm of Amazon allows customers to access a list of all the recommended products on the website. This means that your product could appeal to a customer even if they are not specifically looking for it. In addition to that, Amazon is one of the best platforms with a massive affiliate network. This further helps in attracting attention to your products by featuring varied Amazon ads on your website or blog.
- No Requirement Of Packing Or Shipping Your Orders
Another great advantage of having Amazon as a selling platform is that it makes it effortless for sellers to ship and pack their products. The platform offers FBA or Fulfillment By Amazon, which saves both time and money. This is because Amazon manages all the storage, packaging as well as the shipping of your products. This includes the free shipping provision for Prime members.
- Countless Perks
Finally, Amazon also offers a plethora of other benefits and perks to sellers who avail of the services of this platform. Some such perks include offering the sellers a trusted and familiar shopping experience in addition to acclaimed customer service. Moreover, the platform also offers trusted shipping options as well as world-class fulfilment resources to its sellers. It is also noteworthy that the platform lists all kinds of products in over 40 categories using analytics tools and free reporting. Therefore, using Amazon to sell your products can potentially stand you in good stead.
Where It Falls Short
Having said that, Amazon also has some disadvantages that must be mentioned. Let us check some of them out!
The first thing to remember is that there are absolutely no free rides with Amazon. This means that the FBA fee or the professional account costs that you have to pay will be unavoidable from time to time.
- Lack Of Control
Signing up with Amazon naturally means that you will have to agree to do all the things the Amazon way. This includes following their guarantees, communicating with your buyers, following the list of products that you are permitted and disallowed from selling, etc. This means that you will have to give up some semblance of control and independence if you wish to use this platform to sell.
As already discussed above in detail, selling through Amazon will naturally mean working alongside your competitors. This is due to the simple reason that Amazon is a hot commodity across the world. It houses tons of sellers worldwide. Therefore, you will have to get used to stiff competition at all times unless you decide to sell unique or rare products.
- Inventory Management
Inventory management applies to all those sellers who demonstrate their goods in multiple areas. This means that if you are selling your products on Amazon and other websites too, your inventory will have to be synced up meticulously in order to avoid all kinds of listing and order errors.
Shopify – An Overview
Shopify, on the other hand, is a specialized platform of e-commerce and not merely an online marketplace like Amazon. Shopify works by equipping you with all the tools you will ever need to create your own personalised online store.
Hence, as opposed to using Amazon for selling, you will not be working alongside any competition but in your own space and domain. Therefore, we can compare selling with Shopify to renting a specific building for the initiation of your business.
The building will be completely yours in addition to space as well as the customers who come to buy your products. These customers will specifically come to buy products from your brand and not any other online store. This gives you much more freedom and flexibility to build a unique reputation and persona in the eyes of your target audience.
That said, it can be a bit more challenging than Amazon to get a regular stream of customers on a daily basis. Regardless of whether you are a small-sized, medium-sized, or large-sized brand, you can use Shopify without another thought.
When Should You Use This Service?
You should use Shopify if:
- You are not keen on competition
- You want to stand out as a brand and build your own image as well as an online presence
- You don’t mind the extra work of building your own specialized online store
- You are okay with being persistent in getting a regular customer base
Some key benefits of Shopify are as under:
- A Visually Attractive Online Store
Shopify has an assortment of professional templates. These templates facilitate and ensure the creation of visually appealing and unique online stores. The platform comes with a minimalistic theme that can be worked upon by developers and designers in order to create a UI-rich store with an exceptional UX.
- Easy To Use And Set Up
This no-fuss platform is extremely easy to use and set up. If you are looking for a complete solution without having to rely on other platforms for hosting and development needs, Shopify is your best bet. It offers both hosting and the software needed to launch the website. In addition to that, the admin interface of the platform is user-friendly and intuitive.
- Reliability And Security
Shopify also offers a great deal of reliability and security. It cannot be disputed that security is a paramount feature for online businesses because of the kind of confidential data and financial and personal information they deal with on a daily basis. Therefore, Shopify is the ultimate hosted solution that takes care of everything, from maintenance to upgrades effortlessly.
- App Integrations
Shopify also offers fantastic customization abilities. This means that you can easily use this platform to integrate with other apps. Sellers can also easily add additional functionalities and features to their stores in order to enhance their value even more.
- Mobile Responsiveness
You can also count on Shopify to provide you with excellent mobile responsiveness. After all, it is the key to success when it comes to operating the e-commerce stores on smartphones. In addition to that, the themes of Shopify are extremely mobile responsive, for both Android and iOS apps.
Besides all these perks of using Shopify to sell your products, you can also rely on the platform’s remarkable customer support service. They offer 24×7 customer support by experts through live chat, phone, and email. This ensures that you can operate and run your business flawlessly and resolve your issues in a timely manner.
Where It Falls Short
As a web application, Shopify is pretty good. However, it is not all peaches and cream. It comes with some major drawbacks such as the following:
When you avail of the services of Shopify as a selling platform, you must consider its four main pricing elements. The first is the monthly price that you have to pay for some of its features. The initial Lite plan of Shopify starts at $9 per month. The second pricing element is the platform transaction fee, which is an additional price you have to pay to the platform. The third is the credit card fee, which is pretty standard but still there.
Finally, the platform will also cost you an add-on fee for extra plugins or features that you add to your online store. Therefore, pricing can easily be regarded as a definite con of Shopify because, at the end of every month, it can end up costing you a bomb.
If you are just starting up and are not as technically forward, Shopify’s jargon can be a little daunting for you. There is a definite learning curve associated with selling on Shopify. This is because you not only need to understand their unique language but also their categorization and initial customization rules.
- Initial Set-Up
Finally, the initial set up process of your online store on Shopify can be a bit time-consuming. Although Shopify has made it quite easy for brands to set up their stores online, it is still more than just adding water to the pan. You need to have certain technical know-how in order to carry out the process. That said, if you are expecting to start earning 15 minutes into setting up Shopify, you will be setting yourself up for a disappointment. This platform demands more work than that.
So, Should You Use Amazon Or Shopify?
After having considered all these essential elements, now the question arises, “Is Amazon a better platform for selling your products or does Shopify qualify as the best?”
The answer is that, at the end of the day, it all depends on your business model and your requirements. In addition to that, you also need to consider some other factors, such as your business goals and marketing plans. This is because every business has a different set of expectations and requirements. Therefore, according to your needs, you can make an informed decision.
Although Shopify can certainly be a bigger commitment, it makes up by offering more versatility and freedom than Amazon.
However, if you want to go with the more sure shot option, Amazon is the way to go.
If you are still confused about your choice, you can try selling on both the platforms initially to judge your success rate and then choose one.