Life has always been about the rush hours until we got introduced to the complete slowdown that we did not know could happen. These sit-back-at-home days have given us plenty of time to think and work on our passions and hobbies and for most, they turned out to be the small business idea they never knew they had. So the products are your own and now you need buyers, social media is fine when you have a small target audience but what happens when the business grows? Several platforms appear in the list of what-to-choose-from and this article might help you decide the big question. Let us dive deep.
Before deciding on which one to choose why not dwell on the bigger question that is why not more than one? Multi-channel helps with the sale of your products on more than one platform ensuring faster growth. Getting your products out in multi e-commerce sites gives your product a bigger exposure as compared to when you promote on a single site. An e-commerce platform is an online selling platform equivalent to your ‘retail store’ in the digital era. This is your online market where you control the look and face of your brand, take orders, and share stories on your blog. Site owners can create their customer lists for email marketing, which is not always available when selling on a marketplace. When it comes to the world of e-commerce platforms, they are categorized into two types: hosted or self-hosted.
This model is a software subscription service model in which you pay companies to manage the technical side of the e-commerce store for your products. These are cloud-based solution stores, where the website company manages the server configuration, mainly encryption and website security. The store owner can access the store from a web browser to strategize, launch and manage their online store. Two well-known hosted e-commerce sites are Shopify and BigCommerce.
As the name suggests, this method requires the entrepreneur and its team (if any) to manage the hosting serve and website codes. This also permits further customization, but then at least someone in the team needs to be aware of the technical lingo. Magento and WooCommerce are few such examples of self-hosted e-commerce.
Apart from these, we also have the ‘Marketplaces’. Marketplaces are websites that hold third-party vendor’s products. For example, a site that sells plants and seeds will consist of a number of vendors selling these products but it is the site that manages the traffic and sale process that takes place in these sites. The best marketplaces for online sellers are Amazon.com, Etsy, eBay, Rakuten, and Jet.
The internet however is going gaga over the big debate of what platform is best for you as a seller and hence this brings us to the debate of Shopify vs. Amazon. One of the most important calls you will make when it comes to selling your products on a web portal, choosing the e-commerce platform that works best for you. In making this decision, you might be looking at Amazon FBA vs Shopify and wondering which one you should use as they are two of the biggest players when it comes to e-commerce.
Shopify vs. Amazon
The chief difference between Amazon and Shopify seems evident, and honestly, it is! Amazon is ready to serve platform, while Shopify focuses on building your store from scratch and involves you designing and strategizing it. In other words, Amazon easily lures shoppers into a magnificent online marketplace that gives them access to millions of products and a simple way to compare. However, as a seller Amazon gives you an already built shop with the closets already set in place, you just need to place your products right on those shelves. While Shopify gives you the opportunity to place the closets and shelves wherever you feel they should be placed and comes with an easy-to-use tool to design your dream shop. This is the key difference, so it might seem obvious. So, if Amazon gives you a ready-to-serve platform then it is the obvious choice, isn’t it?
Well, not really, because to reach Amazon’s customer base, of course, you have to give something back. Every sale you make on Amazon, a percentage of it must go to Amazon. They have certain rules as you can see. On the other hand, Shopify lets you keep most of the revenue you make but requires you to promote your store yourself once it is built and ready since there is no pre-generated traffic.
Let us look into each closely to find out more.
It comes as no surprise that in terms of giving aspiring entrepreneurs an e-commerce platform to launch their online store, Shopify leads the way. With its straightforwardness, ease of use, and multiple design formats, it is a great place to start for anyone, including new people looking to kick-start an online business with even next to little experience. Shopify is all about constructing your extraordinary online store. And this means that there is no direct completion within because the whole store will be yours. And surely, it sounds interesting to be able to design and plan your online store until and unless you realize that you will not only be the owner but also the marketing manager and pretty much all of what it takes to run a store. Let us look at the below pros and cons to understand Shopify better.
Amazon, a leading marketplace and a perfect platform to promote your products, and is fairly easy to use, although listing the products on the sites and adding images can sometimes be time-consuming due to many back-end tasks to complete. Like Shopify, this is the perfect place for newbies, particularly those with no technical background as you do not have to have any technical skills in order to sell your products here. However, to find out more, let us look at the pros and cons.
Can Amazon and Shopify be used at the same time?
The answer is ‘Yes’. In fact, it’s highly suggested. There is simply no reason good enough to justify why you shouldn’t promote and sell your products on multi-channels. To keep things simple, you can integrate Amazon with Shopify. Simply link your Amazon merchant account to instantaneously connect with Amazon customers. This way you get the best of both worlds.
To really answer the question, which platform to use in Amazon or Shopify battle, the best advice will be to ask yourself a few questions like if you prefer to build your own page or want a readymade platform; want a technical team and customer service or want to pay a minimum fee to take this load out of your shoulder; ready to pay a site commission for your products or take it all home with a little harder work. To answer these questions, you need a few preliminary viewpoints such as if you have much time in your hand; willingness to hand over the control stick; willingness, and efforts. Well once you figure out the answer to these, you are good to decide which to go for or else divide your eggs into two baskets, it is anyways never a good idea to put all your eggs in a single basket.