Selling online can be a real challenge, especially if you are a newbie. Let's start from the bottom line , a successful store is a store that has traffic!!! traffic derives sales , it's a funnel. The more traffic you will have, the better conversions you will gain. Now let's start from the basic - Etsy vs Shopify , where should you start selling ? It's important to distinguish that Etsy and Shopify are different and complementary sell channels. Etsy is like a mall, there are 2.5 million stores and you will be another seller on that mall. Etsy Advantages :
Etsy will drive traffic to you from multiple channels like Instagram, Facebook, Etsy search
Customers LOVE and trust Etsy , they feel comfortable purchasing on Etsy
Etsy branded as "Craft" store so if your niche related to Art/Craft/Custom design , it's the right place for you
Etsy Disadvantage :
Pricing - Etsy charges per published product.
Ads on Etsy - just like google , if you want your products to appear between the first results page then you may need to bid and payment may reach high investment.
Reviews - not all clients will be thankful, even if you will go out of your way to please them. Unfortunately you can not remove customer review.
Shutting down your store - Etsy can decide at any time to close/suspend your store. This scenario most likely happens if you override Etsy's policy. My advice is that you will read Etsy terms and also read other sellers' similar cases on Facebook groups about the reason that Etsy suspended their Shop.
On the other hand, Shopify is your private store. You can control and choose who will be your customers, how to target them. Yes, master of your own domain!!!
Shopify Advantages :
List as many products as you wish - you can list one product or 1,000 products. The cost stays the same.
Review - you can control your customers' reviews , delete bad reviews and keep the best ones. It's a HUGE advantage. Social proof is your key to gain customer trust and retention.
Grow your customer base - via Shopify store customers can subscribe to your newsletter and follow your Instagram and FB pages. It's a great way to keep your customers and leads engaged to your brand. Unlike Etsy, customers can not subscribe to your private Etsy store newsletter.
Shopify Disadvantage :
Generate traffic - traffic drives sales, it's a fact! the more traffic you gain the higher your conversion will be. Bringing customers to your store usually comes with high investment of social ads and your time. On Etsy you are part of an eco-systems that does it for you. Etsy is really good at reaching to the relevant audience via multiple channels. Whereas, on Shopify you are on your own. Marketing skills are a must!
Additional costs - overall Shopify is a leading e-commerce platform. It's a plug and play e-commerce store. That said, you may need additional apps in order to upgrade your store and automate your daily tasks. My advice, don't be a spender pick only the apps that really make a difference.
Conclusion - If you are a beginner then Etsy is a great place to start with. Knowing your customers demands and preferences. One your store gains trust and reviews than you can start building your Shopify store. You can also add on your Etsy shop link to your Shopify store in order to drive more traffic. Have any questions ? ping me !