Selling on Amazon vs. Shopify: Which One Is Best?

More sellers than ever are moving to an online platform to reach new customers and continue their growth. When you’re selling online, there are two main e-commerce options: Amazon and Shopify. 

But which opportunity is right for your business? They offer different options for online sellers, and choosing the platform to sell your products is challenging. Consider the following information to select the best marketplace for your needs. 

In this article, we’ll explore the differences and similarities between Amazon FBA vs. Shopify. Let’s see how the benefits could extend to your business. 

What’s the Main Difference Between Amazon and Shopify

Amazon and Shopify are two of the leading platforms in the industry. Amazon sees an average of 2.5 billion shoppers each month, while Shopify powers more than 1 million businesses

The figures don’t lie. People enjoy selling on these platforms. But why? What’s it like selling on each platform?

You can make money using either Amazon or Shopify. The primary difference between the two options is in how they function. They’re similar, but Amazon and Shopify work in different ways. Amazon is an online marketplace while Shopify is an e-commerce platform. 

As you may expect, both platforms vary in how they work. Amazon has a massive customer base you can reach, but Shopify allows you a space to run your actual business. The primary difference is who each platform caters to and how you use them. 

Let’s look at more of what the companies have to offer.  

Fulfillment and Shipping

It doesn’t need to be said how crucial fulfillment is for your digital business. In that vein, online sellers especially need to maintain excellent customer service. If you’re not staying on track, you could harm your business reputation. 

Amazon’s FBA, or Fulfillment by Amazon, is one of the top features sellers enjoy. The FBA handles storage, packing, and fulfillment from the moment a customer orders until their product is delivered. They even take care of customer service and can fulfill orders through many channels. 

On the other hand, Shopify does not currently have a fulfillment option. The company is now building a network to match its rival. However, Amazon has a well-established and trusted FBA network already in place. The two-day shipping option offered for Amazon Prime members is like a cherry on top for customer satisfaction. Shopify may take a long time to reach the same standards and build a rival delivery network. 

Conversion Rate Optimization

The conversion rate is the best metric to look at when you’re selling online. Amazon offers fantastic conversion rates. Similarly, they show excellent results for conversion rate optimization. With the correct search terms or keywords, you can land right in front of the customers you need. 

The Shopify store tends to have lower conversion rates. If your goal is to convert customers to loyal fans the same way you could on Amazon, Shopify will take much more time and effort. Amazon blows Shopify out of the water on this topic. 

Amazon FBA vs. Shopify: Which Selling Plan Is More Affordable?

You might be wondering which option will cost you more or which one is the more affordable option? However, both have multiple selling plans you can choose from, depending on your needs. 

Amazon has two selling plans: Individual or Professional. Go with an Individual selling plan if you want to sell less than 40 items per month. This plan involves paying a small $0.99 fee for every item you sell. The Professional plan comes with more storage and the FBA. It’s for businesses that plan to sell more and costs $39.99. 

Shopify provides three main plans: Basic Shopify, Shopify plan, and Advanced Shopify. They also have Shopify Plus for merchants with a high sales volume and Shopify Lite for entrepreneurs or small business owners. 

The three plans most sellers use on Shopify include:

  • Basic Shopify: At $29 per month plus a 2% transaction fee on every purchase, the basic plan comes with two staff accounts, 24/7 support, discount codes, the online store, and a blog. You have unlimited product listings and hardware support as well.
  • Shopify plan: At $79 per month plus a 1% transaction fee on all sales, this plan offers five staff accounts and everything else you’d get with a basic plan. You can also avoid transaction fees on sales with a Shopify payment, and you have gift card options. 
  • Advanced Shopify: The $299 per month plan includes 0.5% transaction fees for all non-Shopify payment sales, 15 staff accounts, and all the two lower methods’ benefits. You also receive access to a report builder and a third-party calculator for your shipping rates. 

In this way, Shopify provides more options for online sellers. However, Amazon will do a lot of the work for you for a relatively small fee. The overall cost depends on your business, though. Consider how much flexibility your e-commerce business needs and how much you want to do yourself. Calculate the prices compared to your profit margins to figure out which option works best for your business. 

Amazon vs. Shopify: Which Is Easier to Use?

The easier choice depends on you. Business needs and the features you’re looking for may vary based on how you plan to sell online. 

Of course, compared to Shopify, Amazon FBA is easier to use for most people. The short answer is that Amazon requires less time to set up and maintain as you sell. With Shopify, it can take a longer time to set up your store. Amazon also handles the fulfillment and customer service for you. 

Selling on Amazon is as easy as signing up for an account. Next, you list and sell items that meet the guidelines, and that’s it! Amazon FBA takes care of the rest. 

Then again, Shopify allows you to take advantage of their many options to start your online store. You can use the default option to save time, but if you want to get the most for your money on this platform, you should expect to spend more time using it. 

The best answer for you depends on the items you’re selling and what you’re looking for in an e-commerce platform. If you hope to sell online without taking a ton of time to set up, Amazon FBA is an excellent choice. If you need more advanced options or want to improve your already existing online store or customer experience, Shopify might be your go-to.

The Pros of Selling on Shopify

Like any platform, Shopify comes with pros and cons. Let’s explore a few advantages of using the platform. 

Visually Appealing Store

Shopify provides tons of templates to help you create a unique online store. The platform is visually appealing, and it offers exceptional User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) for the best user experience. 

Easy to Set Up and Use

Shopify could make your life easier if you don’t want to rely on another platform to host and develop your storefront. You can set up and use the store with no issues, even if you’re a beginner. The admin interface is intuitive and user-friendly. 

Reliability

Reliability and security are everything in e-commerce. Shopify is the better choice for dealing with financial or confidential information and keeping it safe. The host takes care of maintenance, upgrades, and everything you need to keep things running smoothly.

Functionalities and Integrations

The additional functionalities and integrations Shopify offers allow you to customize your store easily. You could make it appear exactly how you want or set up your store to work with other apps. Tools like these could bring tons of value to your store. 

Mobile-Responsive

More people than ever use their mobile phones for e-commerce purposes. According to recent statistics, more than half of all internet traffic is from shopping on a mobile device. Mobile responsiveness is crucial. Shopify has mobile solutions to help boost responsiveness, and the app is available on Android or iOS. 

Customer Support

The customer support from Shopify ensures your business runs flawlessly. Because it’s offered 24/7, you can get in touch with an expert to help you when you need it. You can get a hold of them using live chat, email, and phone. 

The Downsides to Shopify

As with any platform, there are some less appealing aspects to selling on Shopify. 

Pricing

Because Shopify offers many pricing options, you need to consider a few elements before selecting a plan. The monthly fee, transaction fee, and credit card fee vary for each of the three main options. The platform will also charge you for any additional features you incorporate. If you have an intricate online store, Shopify could cost you a fortune. 

Language

If you’re not tech-savvy, some of the language during setup may cause trouble for you. Putting your online store together on the platform requires a bit of technical skill. These issues extend to the categorization and customization rules, so there’s a learning curve involved. 

Beginners or people who are not technically proficient may have an easier time using Amazon, as you get a default storefront with their platform. 

Initial Setup

While it’s relatively easy to set up and use a Shopify store, the initial stage is time-consuming. As a retail platform, Shopify has templates you can use to set up the store. However, using predefined templates still takes time and effort. It’s best if you become familiar with using the platform before you start the setup process. 

The Pros of Selling on Amazon

Selling through Amazon also comes with pros and cons. Let’s take a closer look at some of the advantages.

Customers

Perhaps the best upside to selling on Amazon is the pre-existing customer base. Any new business needs to find a way to market and build a customer foundation from scratch. Amazon has millions of customers and a massive conversion rate already in place.

Customers know, trust, and love Amazon. Purchasing from a company with such high brand authority makes your business also seem more reliable. 

Simple Setup

Compared to Shopify, setting up your Amazon account is a breeze. Any seller can use Amazon to get started, whether you have technical skills or not. The few steps include giving Amazon your account details and checking through their guidelines. That’s about it. 

Fulfillment by Amazon

FBA is the company’s top advantage. They have over 100 million Prime customers in the U.S. alone, so you can make tons of sales. Plus, you don’t need to worry about shipping or packaging yourself. 

Community

Amazon offers a seller community where you can communicate with other online businesses. This can let you use the platform to learn how to grow your business or network. 

SEO

Amazon is fantastic for SEO. Amazon’s SEO strategy allows you to rank and sell more of your products with less effort and less competition. List your product, and the well-optimized platform uses relevant search terms to place your business in front of viewers. The higher your SEO rank, the more sales you can generate. 

The Downsides to Amazon

Despite its success, Amazon has few disadvantages, so here are the main drawbacks.

Customer List Access

The platform maintains privacy with every customer’s contact information. While many people love privacy, it is difficult for sellers to optimize a sales funnel or learn about a buyer’s other shopping habits. 

Substantial Competition

Because Amazon is a massive, well-established platform, it’s also highly competitive. When it comes to pricing, you will compete against many large brands and sellers with more experience than you, including Amazon itself. The other brands have cost advantages due to their supply chain, so you might not be able to offer prices as cheap as they could. 

Branding

Amazon offers features like stores and enhanced brand content (EBC) to boost your branding elements. However, most of the templates are not customizable. Branding is where Shopify has a clear advantage. You can develop and customize nearly anything to suit your brand. The platform even has a business name generator, logo creator, and custom URL option, unlike Amazon. 

The Verdict

When looking at Amazon FBA vs. Shopify, you need to think about your business. Both platforms provide advantages and disadvantages. Amazon could be better for most new sellers, but Shopify allows you the most control. 

Amazon and Shopify are both excellent options. Think about incorporating both platforms into your business to benefit from both. Explore more ideas to use both on Seller Ideas!