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The Pros and Cons of Amazon vs. Shopify
Originally Published:  
July 7, 2022

The Pros and Cons of Amazon vs. Shopify

The two most popular e-commerce platforms are Shopify and Amazon, and each provides tools and capabilities that can grow your business. However, there’s a problem: how do you decide which to choose between them?

There’s always been a debate about Shopify vs. Amazon and the better platform to do business. Furthermore, Shopify and Amazon offer distinct features: one is an e-commerce platform, while the other is a marketplace. Consequently, their methods of facilitating merchants’ services differ widely.

This article will aim to determine the pros and cons of Amazon and Shopify to identify the better choice for your business. In the subsequent sections, it will seek to answer these questions:

Is Woocommerce or Shopify Better for Small Business?

If you want to have complete control over your online store and are looking for an affordable platform, then WooCommerce is the best choice. It’s far better to use Shopify’s scalable platform if you want something that is completely hassle-free.

How Do I Know Which Service Will Be Best for Me?

It depends on your business and the goals you have. It would help analyze the pros and cons and determine which solution will work best for your business.

You may find Amazon the most suitable if you are a reseller doing wholesale or retail arbitrage. 

You can list your items on existing Amazon listings sold previously. Although you can do this with Shopify, you’ll find it challenging.

Is It Cheaper To Sell With Amazon or Shopify?

Since Shopify and Amazon have pretty different pricing structures, it is hard to compare the best deal. However, the ‘Shopify’ plan is a ‘sweet spot’ option if you consider using Shopify. 

If, however, you are ready to go the Amazon way, the ‘Professional’ plan is the only one business owners or professional retailers should consider. And, if you want to avoid referral fees entirely, Shopify is the best option.

How Does Pricing Differ?

There are two pricing options offered by Amazon: individual and professional.

  • Individual sellers: At 99 cents per purchase. This plan has two features: adding items to the Amazon catalog and using Fulfillment by Amazon (FAB). This plan, according to Amazon, is a good fit for new sellers.
  • Professional sellers: At $39.99 per month. It includes advanced features like API integration, advertising tools for your site, or adding multiple users.

What Fees Should I Take Into Consideration?

Here are some fees you can consider in the Amazon vs. Shopify debate: 

  • On a ‘pay-as-you-go’ plan, individual members do not have to pay a monthly fee; a fee for each item ordered applies. The plan limits the number of products you can sell each month, and you cannot access detailed reports or use any of Amazon’s advertising services.
  • There are recurring costs associated with the ‘Professional’ plan. Amazon Business Premier lets you use all of Amazon’s features; set your shipping fees; offer unlimited products, sell in multiple categories, run ads, and create multiple user accounts.
  • With Shopify Lite, you do not need to create an online store - you can sell products through your website, on social media channels, or at points of sale.
  • Depending on your plan, you can have many users in your account. In the ‘Basic’ version of Shopify, you can create two staff accounts; the ‘Advanced’ version allows fifteen.

Can I Sell On Amazon and Shopify At the Same Time?

Yes, you can! Diversifying your portfolio is not a bad idea. It’s always a bad idea to put all your eggs in a basket. You can be one of the over 1.75 million merchants selling on Shopify and selling at Amazon simultaneously. Shopify’s sales channel offers many benefits to businesses looking to expand to Amazon. For example:

  • From Shopify, you can create Amazon listings in several categories
  • In Shopify, you can make offers for any product on Amazon
  • You can connect your Amazon Seller Central account to the details, variants, and images of your products

Will Using Both Help Me Expand My Reach?

Yes, integrating Amazon and Shopify can help you expand your reach. A successful e-commerce campaign should have an official website and a visible presence on platforms such as Amazon, hosted by a service like Shopify. 

Combining these tactics with the marketing ecosystem can improve your results across more relevant and high-volume searches, resulting in higher conversions.

How Do the Features on Amazon and Shopify Compare?

Here’s how Amazon vs. Shopify features compare:

  • Shopify is better at design than Amazon. Customizing your store is fast and easy, thanks to the theme editor and templates. Because of Amazon’s limited design flexibility, sellers find it challenging to create a distinct brand identity.
  • Shopify’s ecommerce features are much more advanced than those of Amazon. Dropshipping integration makes it an ideal platform for reducing inventory storage costs. The Amazon sales tools are decent but not as powerful as Shopify’s.
  • Both platforms aren’t expensive, making them good choices for those just getting started with ecommerce.

What Are the Advantages of Amazon?

  • Huge customer base: Amazon has about 200 million unique visits to its marketplace every month. You can pitch your products on Amazon and have access to an enormous number of prospective customers looking for products on this website.
  • The simplicity of operations: Amazon offers its Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) service, where it keeps the seller’s merchandise in its inventory. In this way, sellers do not have to fulfill orders (store, pick up, pack and dispatch), further simplifying their operations.
  • Complete Web functionality: A comprehensive Seller Portal provides features for managing product catalogs, pricing, shipping rules, inventories, and analyzing business operations, among other features.

What Are the Disadvantages of Amazon?

  • There is stiff competition: You are not the only one offering the same products. Amazon also gives you very little room for customization. Because of that, it’s more challenging to stand out from the crowd.
  • Limitations on payment methods: Credit/debit cards and a balance in your Amazon Pay account are the only options available through Amazon Pay. 

What Are the Advantages of Shopify?

  • Ease of Use: Building a site is as simple as choosing a template and dragging and dropping elements into it. You can also easily add third-party apps that’ll provide you with metrics, thus saving you time. 
  • A variety of eCommerce tools: Your business can benefit from many tools and apps with Shopify. Furthermore, most merchants use these tools
  • Various payment options: Shopify offers over 100 payment options with no transaction fees. 

What Are the Disadvantages of Shopify?

  • Building reputation is a challenge: Shopify allows you to create your online store for your brand. As a result, if you do not market your store, you will not get traffic to your site.
  • Limited customization: Shopify is not as customizable as open-source platforms as a hosted eCommerce platform. 

How Does Amazon Shipping Compare to Shopify Shipping?

In the Amazon vs. Shopify debate, shipping is a crucial focal point. There are two shipping options for Amazon. You can either:

  • Ship them personally, or
  • Fulfill the orders using Amazon’s FBA service.

Some businesses find that Amazon FBA is an excellent option since it offers merchants product storage and gives shoppers access to super-fast ‘Prime’ delivery (a method that many customers find highly desirable). There is, however, an additional charge associated with it.

You can set your shipping rates, weights, rules, price, tonnages, and more with Shopify if you wish to ship your goods. If you don’t want to handle the fulfillment yourself, you can link your Shopify store to a third-party fulfillment service such as FBA. You can also consider drop shipping as an option.

Do Both Amazon and Shopify Offer Dropshipping?

A dropshipping business model with Amazon or Shopify is indisputably effective and provides high success potential. Shopify lets you build a custom independent eCommerce store and build your unique brand. 

At the same time, Amazon offers a quick way to start, leveraging its excellent reputation and already large audience.

How Do Shopify and Amazon Differ Regarding SEO?

Amazon excels here. The odds stack in your favor because it receives millions of visitors a month. Customers come to Amazon looking for deals and are ready to spend — there’s no need to worry about search engine optimization (SEO) or running email campaigns.

Shopify does not have the same traffic as Amazon. People have to search for you to find you since you create your very own brand. Marketing is essential if you want to reach a more significant customer pool. 

You need not worry about anything since Shopify and Pixel are there to help you through every step.

What Are Customer Payment Options Offered By Shopify and Amazon?

Shopify offers over 100 payment gateways, including PayPal and Apple Pay, if you don’t opt to use their system. There are, however, varying transaction and credit card fees with these alternative payment methods. Shopify also offers alternative payment methods like cryptocurrency and cash on delivery.

Amazon’s primary payment gateway is Amazon Pay, which accepts credit and debit cards, but doesn’t accept PayPal. The best option for offering multiple payment methods to your customers is Shopify. Using Shopify Payments saves your transaction fees as well - it also supports the most popular currencies.

The Bottom Line

The two most popular platforms for e-commerce marketing are Shopify and Amazon. It would help to evaluate your business goals and flexibility and control you desire to decide whether Shopify is the better choice for you over Amazon.  

If marketing motivates you, then Shopify is your best bet. Business owners who want total control over marketing their products will find it the ideal choice as it requires no coding experience and reasonable fees.

In contrast, Amazon might be your best choice if you want immediate access to a wide range of customers. It is crucial to consider the time you have available to promote your business, the level of control you want, and how fast and ready you are to scale.

Sources:

US retail websites by visitors | Statista

Most Installed Shopify Apps | Storeleads 

Shopify Revenue and Merchant Statistics in 2022 | Backlinko 

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