It is the internet age. People are now doing everything online from shopping to dating. Going to the store to shop is now seen as an inconvenience since one can order something on their phone in the comfort of their couch and have it delivered to their door. As an entrepreneur, it is imperative to take advantage of the booming internet-based businesses and build something that can earn you an income. One of the largest internet-based businesses is e-commerce. E-commerce means buying and selling online and has been around for the last two decades. Amazon was one of the pioneers, but over the years, other players have joined in to give entrepreneurs a variety of e-commerce platforms to choose. The most popular platforms today are Amazon and Shopify since they both offer favorable terms to entrepreneurs and are very user-friendly for both the entrepreneur and the customer. Let us take a look at the best platform you can use to sell online by carrying out a side-by-side comparison of these two platforms.
If you want to sell online and create a brand around your business, then you are better suited for Shopify than Amazon. Shopify allows you to create a customizable website where you can add your business logo, business address, and business social media pages. You can build a business empire on Shopify, and your customers will never know the platform you run your business on because Shopify will not be the face of your business. Amazon, on the other hand, is an e-commerce brand itself. When you sell on Amazon, you will be leveraging on the Amazon brand so there is no way that you can build your brand within a brand as big as Amazon. Customers who shop at Amazon are Amazon shoppers, not your brand name’s shoppers.
Ownership and control
You have more ownership and control on Shopify than you do on Amazon. When selling on Amazon, you will be using Amazon’s brand recognition to sell and will have to abide by their rules for you to enjoy that privilege. As an Amazon seller, your customers will only buy from you because they have visited the Amazon website. Woe unto you if Amazon shuts you down and you will be back to square one. Shopify, on the other hand, lets you use your domain name and website when selling online. You can even use some of Shopify apps to collect customer emails so that you can market to them later. Of course, Shopify has rules too, and they can also shut you down, but with your previous customers’ emails, you would not have to go back to square one.
According to statistics, Amazon gets over 197 million unique visitors per month. With this traffic, you can make huge profits selling on Amazon if you utilize it properly. When you are selling on Amazon, the infrastructure you need to sell online is already set up for you. Amazon is a well-known brand so you will not need to create advertisements to direct people to their site. You, however, need to increase your visibility on the site using keywords and sponsored product listings to boost your sales. They can even fulfil your orders for you through their FBA program. When selling on Shopify on the other hand, you will be building everything from the ground up. You will have to learn effective advertising tactics to help push traffic to your store’s website which might take some time and money. You will also need time to build credibility and trust as an online seller so that customers can start trusting you with large orders.
Both Amazon and Shopify have guidelines and rules about setting up your e-commerce business with them. Amazon is, however, a bit more strict with their guidelines than Shopify. When setting up your store with Amazon, you will have to specify the type of goods you intend to sell and the quantity of your inventory. Amazon also has restricted product categories meaning that if your products fall under these categories, then you cannot sell on Amazon. Shopify has its guidelines too, but they are not as restrictive as Amazon’s. Shopify does not require you to specify your product type and quantity when setting up a store with them. They also have their restricted categories although they do not restrict too many items.
Shopify allows you to customize your store with its free themes. You can also create your theme and use it to create a store on Shopify. In addition to the free themes, Shopify also has an app store where you can get several free and paid apps that can help you add more customization features such as trust badges, countdown timers, and popups to your store. You can also customize other things such as the website language, the store’s currency, and the payment gateway that you use to receive payments. Amazon, on the other hand, is very rigid when it comes to store customization. Amazon does not support store customization at all. You cannot change your store’s theme, and you sure can’t install things like countdown timers and popups on your Amazon store page. Amazon also does not allow sellers to customize their store’s language, currency, and payment gateway leaving them to use only those that Amazon decides to use.
If you want to sell online and excel at it, then you will have to get creative with your marketing strategies. We mentioned earlier about the huge monthly traffic that Amazon receives but you still have to stand out among the many Amazon sellers to be a successful e-commerce entrepreneur. The problem, however, is that Amazon is very limited regarding the marketing strategies that you can use there. The only seemingly acceptable marketing strategies on Amazon are social media and sponsored listings that appear on Amazon’s homepage. Shopify, on the other hand, does not restrict the kind of marketing strategies that you apply to your store. With Shopify, all gloves are off when it comes to creative marketing. You can create landing pages, run native ads, and use social media to drive traffic to your Shopify store. Shopify also has a blog section that you can use to create blogs that redirect readers to your product pages.
Both Shopify and Amazon have their perks and misgivings. They are both so different yet they still somehow run under the same principles. When choosing between Amazon and Shopify, you have to identify the things that are important to your business. Do you want brand recognition or just profits? Is the business long-term or just a temporary side gig? To sum it all, selling on Amazon is like going to a superstore where your brand does not matter and competing for the same customers with several other traders with the same products. Selling on Shopify is like having a well-branded corner store selling the same products as other stores but with a different layout and customer service. Which platform would you prefer between the two?