Shopify vs Amazon are two leading eCommerce platforms in the eCommerce industry. While Amazon has over 2.5 billion visitors per month, Shopify has over 1 million businesses that have sold almost $100 billion on their platform. With statistics like that, many merchants ask questions: “How is Shopify different from Amazon?”, “Is Shopify better than Amazon?”
Both Shopify vs Amazon have built vast reputations, and are reliable in the world of eCommerce. It is indeed really hard to pick between the two of them. In this article, BSS Commerce Shopify will give you all the necessary information to compare Shopify vs Amazon. So let’s get started! You can explore more Shopify comparisons to find your best fit.
- 1 Shopify vs Amazon: Overview
- 2 Pros and cons of Shopify vs Amazon
- 3 Shopify vs Amazon – Comparison
- 4 How is Shopify Different From Amazon: 8 Key Features
- 5 Conclusion
Shopify vs Amazon: Overview
First thing first, you need to make sure you know some basics about each platform.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a powerful cloud-based platform with everything you need to create your own branded online store and sell anything. Currently, it is one of the most popular hosted eCommerce platforms on the market.
With Shopify, you can quickly build and manage a professional online store with your chosen domain URL. Shopify is a web store platform, which means it provides you tools to build your own online store.
How does Shopify work?
Shopify provides its users with the framework and basic platform to allow them to set up an online store. Shopify is designed to simplify and streamline the process of selling online.
They also have a bunch of other features that give you complete control over your online store. On top of this, Shopify has a killer app store to help you customize your store in any way you want.
What is Amazon?
We all know about Amazon. It is an eCommerce beast, literally. On Amazon, you can sell as an individual or a professional. Amazon is a marketplace platform, which means it lets you sell on its marketplace alongside other users.
How does Amazon work?
To start selling on Amazon, all you need to do is create an account. After that, you have to complete a few initial setup pages, and then you are ready to go. Whenever you want to sell your products, just list them on Amazon. It is a straightforward process.
Customers will search for the products they need, and your products will appear alongside other suppliers.
Pros and cons of Shopify vs Amazon
Both Shopify vs Amazon platforms are excellent. But each has some advantages and disadvantages as well. To know exactly which is the right platform for you, you need to know their good and bad. See the difference between Shopify and Amazon in the table below.
Shopify vs Amazon – Comparison
Below is a table comparing the overall difference between Shopify vs Amazon for you to take a quick look.
|Design||Provides 12 free templates and over 150 premium templates||Basic Amazon layout only|
|Customer traffic||Have to drive traffic yourself||Have a significant customer base|
|Code requirements||No coding knowledge required, but you have to work in Liquid template language to customize||No coding knowledge required at all|
|Manage with app||Yes||Yes|
|Customer retention||Customers may come back if they are satisfied||You can’t build a relationship with your customers|
|Feature||Mainly centered around commerce helping||Have all the necessary commerce tools|
|App||Shopify App Store||They don’t have their own app store|
|Domain URL||Let you choose your unique domain||Let you choose your unique username|
|Shipping||Advanced shipping abilities with Shopify Shipping||Trusted FBA network with high standards|
|Customer payment||Shopify Payments and other third-party payment providers||Amazon Pay only, and it doesn’t accept PayPal|
|SEO tool||Shopify SEO tools||Amazon SEO|
|Analytic||Provide a powerful analytical tool with detailed statistics||Amazon Brand Analytics offers powerful insights|
|Free plan||3-day free trial to test with a published store||30-day free trial with a Pro account|
|Pricing||Starting at $25 per month||$14.99 per month|
|Additional fees||Transaction fees; additional fee of 0.5% – 2% if using third-party payment providers||Fulfillment fees; Referral fees ranging from 8% to 45% per item sold|
And now, we will show you the key differences between Shopify vs Amazon in detail.
How is Shopify Different From Amazon: 8 Key Features
Easy to use
Easy to use is one of the most important factors to consider when you choose a platform. Why? Because you wouldn’t want to spend days setting up your store only to realize it is impossible for you to manage, would you?
So how simple is it to run an online store on Shopify vs Amazon platform?
To build an online on Shopify is like being handed the keys to a built-out storefront. There will be a lot of work that needs to be done before you start selling. They do an outstanding job at making their tools accessible to everyone, though.
You don’t need to be a web designer or coder to build your store. All orders can be managed from their automated fulfillment dashboard. It will save a lot of your time and effort. Whether you use desktop or mobile devices, responsiveness is both taken care of.
With Amazon, most of the heavy work is already done for you. The only thing you need to do is create an account, follow the guidelines, and complete the quick set-up process, and then you are set to go. After registering, all you have to do is list your products with their information, sell and ship, and then, the best part of all – get paid!
It is quite straightforward, and Amazon makes it as simple as possible.
Shopify vs Amazon: Easy to use – Amazon wins!
As we all know, first impressions are vital. It is always a challenge for you to impress your customer at their first glance at your store. No matter which platform you choose, you must know that there are already thousands of stores started before you. The store design is the key to helping your store stand out compared to others.
So, between Shopify vs Amazon, which provides you the better designing tool?
Shopify offers you loads of well-designed templates. Currently, it has an impressively wide array of 12 free and over 150 premium templates for you to choose from. So there is no doubt that you will be able to make an attractive-looking store.
One downside is that their premium templates will cost you a minimum of $150 each, and the free templates look kind of basic. The design features in Shopify are suitable for people with no coding background. You can easily make some changes to colors, images, etc.
But if you want to make more backend changes, you will likely need to work with a developer because their templates are written in Liquid templating code, which is quite hard to access if you’re not a programmer.
Amazon is more limited in design. All the pages on Amazon are laid out in a similar way. And there are only three templates for your product detail page. You can upload your own images, but your store page is designed to be recognized as Amazon’s, not yours.
Of course, there are some elements you can customize with Amazon, but overall it is not as flexible as Shopify. One more thing, your products will appear alongside your competitors’. It is convenient for customers but hard for you to direct them to your store.
Shopify vs Amazon: Design flexibility – Shopify wins!
Features and Apps
Features and apps are something people may not pay enough attention to. But you need to know what you can expect when you choose a platform to work with. What features and apps do they offer you to help your business?
Shopify has the broadest range of sales tools on the market nowadays. And each plan offers a variety of features. Don’t worry if you can afford a high plan right away, because they have some basic features on all plans, like unlimited products, gift cards, fraud analysis or discount codes, etc.
The higher plan brings you more amazing features. For example, the basic Shopify plan offers every tool you need to run your store. But the Shopify plan or higher offers better insight with built-in professional reports. To see a full list of features on each plan, please check out the Shopify website.
Currently, Shopify offers a selection of over 3800 apps to boost sales performance on their app store. There are several apps for literally everything you can think of to help your store. From changing product labels to customizing product variants or adding photos to the menu, there is at least an app for it on the Shopify app store.
On Amazon, you can sell anything, from physical goods to services. And Amazon has a lot of tools to support your online selling. Amazon also allows you to manage your products in the most convenient way.
Some other unique features are global selling, targeted adverts, and fulfillment by Amazon, etc. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a program that Amazon will handle storage, packaging, and shipping for you completely.
But the best thing with Amazon is, that with millions of visitors monthly, it’s like you are buying an established customer base. The thing is, Amazon doesn’t have its own app store to help its sellers. The main reason is that the selling process on Amazon is so simple you wouldn’t need an additional app.
But it doesn’t mean you can’t get any help. There are some third-party providers who are making apps for your Amazon store. Amazon is one of the biggest eCommerce platforms anyway, and people still invest in it.
Shopify vs Amazon: Feature and App – It is a tie!
Analytics uses data and math to help answer business questions. It’s the key to improve your business. Therefore, analytic tools are an essential feature of any eCommerce platform.
Shopify provides you with an overview dashboard with business insights through analytics. In this dashboard, you can view stats like sales, top products, landing pages or referrers, returning customer rates, and more.
More than that, Shopify users can create their own custom reports easily. Not to mention the Advanced Shopify and Shopify Plus plans also offer pre-defined reports. You can also connect to Google Analytics for more significant reporting.
Amazon also provides its own analytic tool – Amazon Brand Analytics. It offers powerful insights into customer buying habits that can help you plan strategic decisions. Those reports include:
- Amazon Search Terms
- Item Comparison
- Alternate Purchase
- Market Basket
- Repeat Purchase
But sadly, this fantastic feature is only available to participating sellers who own a brand.
Shopify vs. Amazon: Analytic – Shopify wins!
As you must have heard a thousand times, it’s always cheaper to make your current customers come back than to find new customers.
So what is customer retention? Customer retention is the collection of activities to increase the number of old customers’ repeat purchases and increase each existing customer’s profitability. This is an important base to grow your business.
On Shopify, customers are driven by trusting the shop or brand to buy the products. That means people tend to come back to the store they trust to find the products they need. And maybe they can find something they would like but didn’t even know existed. This is because the store and brand have built a relationship with their customer. They understand their buyers and look to provide them with the products they are looking for.
The drawback of Amazon you can not build a relationship between your store and your customers. Amazon is a marketplace with millions of visitors. They have insane optimized conversion rates, and your store will benefit from this.
But on the other hand, the competition on Amazon is crazy.
And customers don’t care who you are. They are driven by finding the product they need with the best price. The customers are buying things on Amazon, not necessarily from any particular store. They might buy from you once, but next time they won’t come back to you. Instead, they will once again search for the product on the search bar and choose the best deal.
Shopify vs Amazon: Customer retention – Shopify wins!
Help and Support
No matter if you are a beginner or an expert in online business, things can always go wrong at some point. And that is when you need someone to be there to help get you back on track.
This is why a great support system is a need.
So let’s take a look at the help and support centers of Shopify vs Amazon.
Shopify has 24/7 email, phone, and live chat support on all of their plans. And their customer service has become more and more professional over the years. In fact, their customer reviews are full of positive comments about the quality of support. The supporting email system is also offered in a variety of other languages, not just English.
Other than that, with thousands of online shop owners using the Shopify platform, it has the most active user communities.
You can quickly find a Facebook group or a forum to ask for help with your Shopify store.
Amazon doesn’t have the best support system.
When you get started, they have a beginner’s guide that distills all the information you need. They have phone support, but you can not call them directly. Instead, you have to request a call and await Amazon to get in contact with you.
But the chat and phone options only support professional plan. With the individual seller plan, they have forms you can submit for support. Easy to see, their support system isn’t the most streamlined or easy to use.
Amazon also provides a big seller forum where you can ask for help and learn from one another.
Shopify vs Amazon: Help and Support – Shopify wins!
Shipping is an essential process in your online business. After your customers choose to buy an item, shipping is the last process they need to go through. And a scary statistic shows that 51% of people said they had abandoned a sale at checkout because of poor delivery options. Let’s see what shipping option is provided to your customer in Shopify and Amazon.
Shopify now provides its own shipping software to support its store owners. This is called Shopify Shipping, and it is free to use and build in every account. Shopify Shipping offers you tools to calculate real-time shipping rates, buy and print shipping labels, and monitor shipments.
But keep in mind that it is only eligible for orders delivered from two countries: the United States and Canada. Its international shipping tools can provide shipment tracking data to your buyers. This shipping suite brings discounted rates up to 90% on different shipping services, thanks to the partnership with UPS, USPS, DHL Express, and Canada Post.
It also allows you to add real-time shipping calculations to your order processing page and checkout, which helps you to charge exact amounts for shipping, decreasing the risk of underestimating your shipping costs.
Amazon has the trusted FBA network and offers two-day free shipping to most of its Prime customers. The standards set by Amazon FBA are excellent, and it will take a long while for other platforms to reach the same standards.
Shopify vs Amazon: Shipping – Amazon wins!
Pricing and Fees
Everyone knows that you need money to make money. Obviously, the price is the first thing that comes to your mind when you are doing business. Pricing is everyone’s favorite topic.
It is even more critical when you’re first starting out. Because it sure will take a little while to get your audience and customer base up and running, and you don’t want to be paying a fortune out of pocket for the platform only. So let’s dive in and find out Shopify vs Amazon, which offers better value for money.
Shopify currently offers you three main plans:
- Basic Shopify: $25/month
- Shopify: $65/month
- Advanced Shopify: $399/month
There is a 3-day free trial option for you to test it out before upgrading to any plan. Other than that, they also have a Shopify Plus plan, which is essentially an upgraded version of Shopify and designed for large enterprise businesses.
Shopify Plus plans start at $2000 per month and are based on your pricing customized plan.
So, based on your Shopify Plus store’s sales volume, here is what you can expect to pay:
- $0 to $800,000 – you will pay $2,000
- $1,000,000 – you will pay $2,500
- $5,000,000 – you will pay $12,500
- $12,000,000 – you will pay $30,000
- $16,000,000 and more – you will pay $40,000
With all of their fantastic features and support, clearly, the price is understandable. But the downside is that Shopify will charge you an additional fee if you want to use any payment gateway other than Shopify Payments – their own payment solution. The additional fee costs 0.5% – 2% per payment, depending on your chosen plan.
On Amazon, there are two plans to choose from.
- For “Individual Sellers”, you don’t have to pay a monthly subscription fee. Instead, you would pay a $0.99 fee for each product you sell.
- For ‘Professional Sellers’, you will have to pay a monthly fee of $39.99, plus selling fees.
The additional fees include referral fees, fulfillment fees, and some other fees. The referral fees can range from 8% to 45%, depending on the product category. The fulfillment fees are the cost to ship your products, and it depends on whether you use Fulfilment by Amazon or fulfill your own orders.
Shopify vs Amazon: Pricing and Additional fees – It is a tie!
Now that you have all the information you need about Shopify vs Amazon, which platform should you use? To make it easier for you, we will once again point out the most significant difference between Shopify vs Amazon sums up:
Shopify makes building your online store quick and simple, while the range of branding options helps you create something unique. It is ideal for someone who wants to build their own brand in the eCommerce business world. Creating a store with Shopify helps you achieve a professional look and is great for growing a genuine brand, but you have to drive targeted traffic yourself.
Amazon offers an already established marketplace with big traffic. It fits beginners who want to start immediately and scale their business. It is easier for you to make sales on Amazon, but it is harder to build a standout store that can grow into a long-term brand.
However, it’s good news that you can integrate Amazon into Shopify. It means you can build your own eCommerce store while promoting your products on the largest marketplace at the same time. This way, you will get the combination of these two top-notch platforms.
All you need to do is set up an Amazon Professional Seller account and then add Amazon Sales Channel to your Shopify store. Check the details of Shopify Amazon Integration now.
Discover other comparison posts of Shopify with other eCommerce platforms:
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- Shopify vs Shopify Plus
- Shopify vs Squarespace
- Shopify vs BigCommerce
- Shopify vs Weebly