I work with a lot of small creative businesses who started their selling journey on Etsy. One of the most common questions I’m asked is whether they should switch to Shopify.⁠ So, is Shopify or Etsy the better option?!

What are the benefits of Etsy?

The truth is, they are two very different platforms. Etsy is a marketplace. It’s largely where people go to buy handcrafted goods. As a business, it has brand recognition as a place to purchase these goods so it’s likely that people in search of creative/artisan products such as yours may pop to Etsy to find an offering like yours. This is a huge perk in itself (particularly years ago when less sellers were on Etsy!).

However, the challenge is that it also means that there may be similar products to yours that the customer could be distracted by or see first. It’s quick to set up, you can easily upload products and it’s possible that if you use it correctly, you may benefit from their search traffic.⁠

Shopify as a longer term solution for small creative businesses

Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that it’s hard to bypass shopify. Shopify alone will not bring you traffic but if you are actively publicising your business through offline marketing and social media (and giving etsy the subsuent traffic), then why not consider sending this traffic to your own website? Instead of getting to grips with Etsy’s version of SEO, you could use Shopify’s SEO features to drive traffic to your site. It might not be as simple as Etsy to set up (I could help you though!) but once it’s up and running it’s simple to handle. ⁠

Can you use both Etsy and Shopify?

Therefore I would say there’s no harm in using both platforms together. Etsy could be where you gain ‘passive’ sales through their marketplace. Shopify could be where you choose to take your business to the next level and scale what you do. It’s where you would send your traffic from your marketing strategy – your email marketing, your social media, your billboard (think big guys!), your lead magnets. ⁠

If your business is more than a side-hustle for you, weigh up how much value Etsy is adding to your business. If it’s adding genuine value then keep it but consider getting yourself your own website, possibly in the form of Shopify depending on your needs!

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