Digital Marketing, Management
So, it’s finally time to start selling your products online, but you’re not sure how to do it? You’re not alone. With so many options available, it’s hard to choose which platform is right for you.
Maybe you’ve been evaluating different platforms. Maybe you’ve finally narrowed it down to just two. Either way, chances are you’ve stumbled across Shopify and Amazon FBA. When evaluating these two options, you need to consider what you want most out of the selling process and how you want to position your brand.
To make things easier, we’ve outlined below what the key differences are between Shopify and Amazon FBA, and answered some of the most common questions we receive from merchants.
First things first, the major difference between Shopify and Amazon FBA is the marketplace. Shopify gives merchants the freedom to create their own unique, branded store. Whereas, Amazon FBA is about selling through Amazon itself, so retailers don’t have a store of their own. Amazon comes with a ready-made marketplace, where merchants have to post their products directly onto the platform, which will then appear amongst competitors selling the same products.
And, although merchants have access to Amazon’s enormous customer base, as you might expect, there is something you must give in return. You will have to pay a percentage of every sale you make to Amazon. On the other hand, when you choose to sell on Shopify there isn’t a ready-made audience, which means you can keep more of your sales profit.
Shopify is the leading ecommerce platform on the market and it’s easy to see why. Its simple, user-friendly, self-hosted design features make it an excellent place to start for entrepreneurs looking to launch a business online with very little technical knowledge. At its core, Shopify gives merchants everything they need to build a premium store on their own.
Like Shopify, Amazon is a hugely popular platform and where many entrepreneurs find themselves when they’re just starting out. Amazon gives merchants the ability to sell their products immediately. However, listings and product descriptions can be time-consuming because of the regulations, fees, and back-end logistics merchants need to familiarise themselves with.
Shopify comes with fantastic in-built features, with over 60 themes to choose from, you can have your online store looking the way you want it in no time. And by utilising Shopify’s deep app ecosystem, you’ll end up with a super customised store.
Not only that, but Shopify offers a great range of learning resources, jam-packed full of industry insights and solutions, taking care of any technical hurdles you might run into.
With Amazon, you can sell almost anything you like and add different product imagery, but the overall design remains in Amazon’s control.
On the plus side, it comes with some notable features such as FBA and protects customers with easy refunds, so you don’t have to worry too much about building trust or loyalty with your customers.
With Shopify, you have tonnes of payment methods to choose from. This is a helpful feature for online retailers looking to scale their business globally. Because customers are more likely to buy from you when their chosen payment method is available. Also, Shopify’s payment gateway, Shopify Payments, eliminates transaction fees which mean more profit for your business. In contrast, Amazon does not allow sellers to accept certain payment options, like PayPal, which might affect your bottom line.
Unsurprisingly, both Amazon and Shopify operate globally, which means both are optimised for speed and security. In particular, Shopify gives you SSL certificates, ensures seamless browsing and offers 24/7 customer support should any issues arise.
Amazon also offers merchants a secure environment to sell with a whole host of services, such as cloud solutions, backup services and risk management. But although from a customer’s perspective Amazon can seem very reliable, they still have to be vigilant when it comes to scams and fraudulent accounts.
Shopify not only appeals to small independent businesses but also to giant organisations like Nestle and Kylie Cosmetics. This is because Shopify is an easy way for brands to scale without limits, with endless customisation possibilities and innovative functionality options.
Amazon, too, is appealing to large and small sellers. Small businesses who can’t afford to sell on large platforms are drawn to Amazon’s reputation, its international market and ready-made customer base.
It might seem like Amazon is a no-brainer when you consider its global reach and intuitive catalogue system, which makes searching for products a breeze. After all, customers are there to find a specific product, which means your chances of connecting with a new customer are very high.
However, ironically, this is also Amazon’s greatest downfall. Because it only highlights products and not specific dealers or brands, it has specific restrictions on what and how you can sell your products. If you don’t abide by these strict rules, which include a lot of competition-orientated policies, you risk suspension from the platform.
For any business to make it big on Amazon, you’re going to have to overcome negative reviews, a lot of price fluctuations, and the constant battle of losing your customers to your competitors.
Choosing which platform to go with will depend on your business objectives and what you’re looking to get out of your ecommerce platform. You’ll want to look at the above comparisons and determine which works best for you. Overall, Shopify is one of the best platforms for entrepreneurs looking to start their own business and looking to create a store that embodies their branding. If you want to have your own online store (what brand doesn’t these days), more control and complete flexibility, then Shopify is the solution for you.
You don’t have to choose between Shopify and Amazon. You can choose to use both.
With Shopify, you can easily integrate Amazon. Simply connect your Amazon account to reach Amazon customers instantly. This allows you to attract even more customers from both sides of the spectrum.
On a basic plan, Shopify costs $29 + VAT a month. This is cheaper than Amazon’s Individual Seller Plan, which is $40 per month. However, this Amazon plan is only appropriate if you’re looking to sell a few products, as you only get to sell under 40 items at a $0.99 fee for each.
When comparing the costs of the two platforms, ultimately, Shopify gives you more bang for your buck. Not only do you get a high-quality ecommerce store, but you also get unlimited products and many other outstanding features to help you scale.
There’s no denying that Amazon has its benefits, including a global pre-made audience, although this can come with hidden, and often significant, costs. On the other hand, there’s Shopify – an intuitive, fully-hosted platform that’s quick and easy to use. It provides you with all the key components you’d need to scale, without being confined by rules and regulations.
Ultimately, the choice is yours. But it’s not a decision that should be taken lightly. We suggest you consider how much time you have available, how much control over your business you desire, and how quickly you want to grow.
Here at Velstar, we champion Shopify as the ecommerce solution for entrepreneurs. It offers unrivalled security, support and flexibility, allowing you to focus on what’s important: growing your business. Shopify has been built with merchants in mind. We believe it’s a truly unique platform that understands the value of your time and money.
So, if you’re interested in hearing more about Shopify or want help to integrate Amazon onto your Shopify store, get in touch with our team of experts.