If you are interested in starting an eCommerce business, you should understand the Shopify vs. Amazon debate. Shopify and Amazon are two of the most popular and powerful platforms businesses use to sell online. However, one or the other might be better suited to the needs of your business.
If you have any retail experience, you know that there is fierce competition for customer attention for both physical and online stores. Therefore, if you want to sell online, you need to choose the right features and tools that will help your online store succeed. In this context, the Shopify vs. Amazon debate takes center stage.
This post will explore the differences between Shopify and Amazon, cover the pros and cons of each option, and explain which choice might be best suited for your business based on the features each option offers.
The Differences Between Shopify and Amazon
Shopify and Amazon both allow businesses to sell their products online. However, Shopify is an eCommerce platform, and Amazon is an online marketplace. If you’re not familiar with these terms, you probably wonder what the difference is.
eCommerce platforms, like Shopify, allow businesses to create their own online store. An online marketplace, like Amazon, allows businesses to sell their products alongside other sellers. Shopify provides all of the eCommerce tools a business needs to create its own website. Amazon allows businesses to sell products on their website.
The key difference between Shopify and Amazon is ownership. When you build a Shopify store, it is solely yours. Selling on Amazon is like having a booth in a farmers’ market. Each one of these choices comes with pros and cons. It is important to weigh the pros and cons between Shopify and Amazon, so you make the right decision for your business.
The Pros and Cons of Shopify
Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms globally. The major benefit of using the Shopify eCommerce platform is its ease of use. People with little to no technical development experience can build an online store using Shopify’s powerful eCommerce tools.
However, if you want to build a more technically advanced online store, Shopify is completely customizable.
Shopify also provides businesses with detailed data analytics and reporting capabilities. Track the performance of your store in real-time, analyze how your business performs, and make optimizations to improve sales figures.
Shopify supports a large number of payment gateways. There are over 100 payment gateway options available, including Stripe, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, and Shopify Payments, to name a few of the more popular options. Plus, sellers that use Shopify Payments don’t pay any transaction fees.
One significant additional benefit of Shopify is the number of eCommerce tools available on the platform. There are apps and tools to solve any issue you could think of, from cart abandonment to SEO. Plus, you can always develop your own custom Shopify apps with or without the aid of a Shopify Plus Partner to expand your online store’s capabilities and meet the specific needs of your business.
Get More With Shopify Plus
What is Shopify Plus? Shopify Plus is an eCommerce platform built for high-volume enterprises. Shopify Plus takes all of the world-class features present on the regular Shopify platform and offers additional features and benefits.
For one, Shopify Plus members get unlimited store bandwidth with dedicated, blazing-fast servers that boast 99.9 percent uptime. Shopify Plus stores also receive Level 1 web security which is the highest security level available. There is also 24/7 dedicated priority support for Shopify Plus via phone, chat, or email, whatever works best for you.
If all of these additional benefits were not enough, there is a rich community of Shopify Plus Partners that are certified development experts by Shopify. Shopify Plus Partners can help your business build a stunning custom storefront, create unique features for your online store, and more. Without Shopify Plus, you won’t be able to access this community of Shopify development experts.
Shopify Plus members also get unlimited staff accounts, additional data analytic tools, and educational resources.
The one potential con of using Shopify is that you need to focus on marketing and branding. Yes, with Shopify, you can create a stunning online store, but to make sales, you need to be able to market your business. So if you have a Shopify store, you need to devote time and energy to marketing, SEO, and brand awareness.
The Pros and Cons of Amazon
Amazon is the largest online marketplace in the world. The most significant benefit of selling products on the Amazon marketplace is the sheer number of customers visiting the platform. As a result, you won’t have to worry about SEO, branding, or marketing your products as a business. Instead, interested buyers will naturally find your products in the Amazon marketplace.
While this is a significant benefit, it also comes with a con. You don’t have to devote time to branding and marketing your business when you sell on Amazon, but you also don’t build brand recognition. Creating brand awareness and building customer loyalty is difficult on Amazon.
The other critical benefit of Amazon is its FBA program. Amazon FBA is an optional program, but the businesses that opt-in won’t have to worry about fulfillment, shipping, or packaging products. Furthermore, Amazon handles all customer service issues with FBA products. As a result, the Amazon FBA program handles nearly all of the complexities of selling products online.
Like Shopify Plus Partners, Amazon has AWS partners. AWS partners specialize in all the web services offered by Amazon. They can assist your business in several different ways.
Beyond the lack of brand recognition, there are a few other cons associated with Amazon. First, there is a ton of competition. Amazon is the largest online marketplace. As a result, there are a ton of sellers all competing for the same customers. With little ability to make your brand stand out on Amazon, it can be difficult to compete when the field is so crowded.
Plus, there are fewer payment options on Amazon. You can accept credit and debit cards, but options like PayPal and other popular payment methods are unavailable on Amazon.
Shopify Vs. Amazon: Which Is Right for Your Business?
As we have gone through the pros and cons of Shopify and Amazon, you have likely been trying to decide which option is better suited to your business needs. For small businesses that want to build brand recognition and operate their own storefront, Shopify is likely the best option. However, businesses that want to access a large customer base at the expense of branding will likely want to choose Amazon.
There is good news. You don’t have to choose between Shopify and Amazon if you want to use both. Many businesses integrate Amazon and their Shopify store. This approach truly gives sellers the best of both worlds. Sync your Shopify store with an Amazon store, and you’ll be able to create Amazon listings on Shopify as you update and upload products. Integration allows your business to reach a large audience and also work on building brand recognition.
Shopify and Amazon offer two different approaches to eCommerce. Savvy sellers know that they can maximize their reach by using both Shopify and Amazon. If your business is ready to create an online store, but you’re unsure which approach to take, reach out to an app development partner.
A dedicated partner will be able to handle all project management tasks. Plus, they will be able to guide you through the development process with their expertise and experience. We hope this post helped your business understand the Shopify vs. Amazon debate in clearer terms.