Shopify and Amazon are both excellent e-Commerce solution providers. However, in June of 2015, Amazon Webstore closed its doors. When you go to webstore.amazon.com now, it says that: “We’re sorry!
An error occurred when we tried to process your request. Rest assured, we’re already working on the problem and expect to resolve it shortly”.
And with that being said, we’ll be looking at Shopify and Amazon to examine some of the reasons why Shopify is a better e-Commerce solution.
By the way, guys, just so you know, you can still sell on Amazon. When we started to sell on Amazon, we didn’t create a webstore. We started as an FBA seller and we did it quite well.
For an Amazon professional account, you will need to pay $39.99 a month along with other selling fees. With a PRO account, you’d be able to customize your shipping rates for products other than books, music, videos, DVDs, software, as well as video games. You’ll also get to offer promos and gift wrap options, and the eligibility for top placement on product detail pages. An individual account, on the other hand, will have to cost you $0.99 plus other selling fees.
With Amazon, you’ll also have the option to ship your products yourself or via FBA. With FBA meaning, you send your products to one of Amazon’s FBA centers and they will ship it out for you. We use Amazon Fulfillment because it saves us a lot of time. They deal with our customers, they package the products for us, and it has boosted our sales tremendously. Always bear in mind that not everyone uses FBA and there are fees associated with it.
You need to pay referral fees for each product sold ranging from 8 – 15 %. For jewelry products, you need to pay 20%. This is just us giving you a picture. Let’s say you sold an iPod Classic for $300 and you had to give a referral fee of $24 because the fee for consumer electronics is 8%.
To start your own online store business with Shopify, it is going to cost you $29. Shopify also offers a $79 and a $179 plan if you want to take advantage of even more features. You also have to take into account that Shopify has credit card rates. When it comes to pricing, Shopify is a better option because you won’t have to worry about paying referral fees on every product sale. You can event start a free 14-day trial no CC required.
Shopify definitely offers better pricing options than Amazon. The current fee for Shopify is $29, for the basic package. However, their professional plan ($79 per year), offers more features. Lastly, for those who need a plethora of transactions for their business, you can opt for the unlimited Shopify plan that will cost you $179 per year with an additional 2% transaction fee.
Traffic and Customer Exposure
It’s without a doubt that the obvious answer in this segment is Amazon. Amazon is a well-known shopping platform. It has an incredible number of daily shoppers. No other e-commerce site can compare. When we started selling on Amazon (digital stuff), it didn’t even take me a week to get my first sale. Putting your items on Amazon is like you are exposing your products to millions of customers that you will not find anywhere. With Amazon, your traffic and customer exposure is already there for you, with Shopify you need to drive traffic to your site.
This is a no competition again. If you want to make your own brand for long term gains or for future benefits, then Amazon is your way to go. You know, people don’t go to Amazon to search for a specific online store. They go to Amazon to buy stuff. The idea here is you want people to one day to search for your business or your products on Google.
Functionality & Features
Shopify offers an easy setup and user-friendly admin interface, making it one of the most popular e-Commerce solution providers on the market today. It also provides several professionally designed themes for you to use, which are free of charge. This is one area where you were very limited with Amazon.
While the admin and customization options for Shopify are listed in English, you can still create your online store in any language that you wish. Moreover, this Shopify allows you to choose which payment gateway to use. It accepts funds in several different currencies compared to Amazon that restricts you to its chosen list of currencies only.
Another popular function of Shopify is the e-Commerce University. This provides access to thousands of articles, how-tos, and other training resources. As of this writing, more than 100,000 businesses use Shopify, showing a strong growth rate. Also, Shopify’s 24/7 in- house technical support team is second to none.
Other Shopify Features
- Blogging feature – this is great for driving traffic to your Shopify website. It allows you to write blog posts about your products. This is a proven way to boost traffic and get more sales.
- Facebook Store – this allows you to sell your products directly through Facebook pages.
- Sell on Pinterest – you can now add a buy it features to your Pinterest pins.
- Sell on Twitter – you can now sell your products directly on Twitter.
- Shopify Apps – free and premium apps to help your Shopify site and give it a lot of different capabilities.
- Easy to use interface
- Business tools
- Built-in mobile shopping cart
We have to admit, we love Amazon customer support and its whole community. We can’t say enough positive things about them. Just to set things straight, Amazon and Shopify are well-established companies that provide e-commerce solutions. They both offer phone, email, and chat support. Both of them have a plethora of user guides for beginners or new users. There is no true winner here and we would feel safe using either one.
Keeping your customers happy should always be your priority. It is one of the most important things you can do when operating an online store business. Shopify can help you with that. It provides the best tools to your customers in hopes of them choosing to purchase products through your Shopify store.
Unless you are getting free server administration for your online business, you are definitely saving more money with Shopify. You should also consider the time you will have to dedicate to ensure that your server is running, secure, and up-to-date with patches. And oh yeah, the Shopify apps, Shopify’s apps are pretty amazing too. You should be spending most of your time on your store and not building a store unless your store is selling the store that you are building. The costs of Amazon Web Store are your time.
Me, as an experienced project manager/business owner, I have a lot of developers on my network, and I still went with Shopify with a lightly customized theme (about 2-3 hours of work on my side) for my own e-Commerce store so I could focus more on my products and brand, and not all those technical stuff.
Also, Amazon Webstore is already closed, so you can no longer sign-up for it. In fact, they are making all of their users go to Shopify. But don’t get us wrong, you can still sell on Amazon, but it won’t be a store anymore. With Shopify , you’d get an actual professional online business or storefront.
But then again, the wisest choice is to have both Amazon and Shopify… Let us explain
For us, a wise business owner always thinks of maximizing his or her profits. And going with both will surely maximize your profits. With Amazon, it might not be your own online store, but you will get huge traffic and sales immediately. Just so you know, thousands of the big Amazon sellers have their own websites as well.
Not only are they generating sales or income from Amazon, but they are making money from people who come to their website from Google search and other search engines. You can have your own Shopify store and let Amazon FBA handle your Shopify store for you. Cool idea eh? FBA will handle all of your customers, package your products, and ship them off. These are some of the advantages of FBA.
With a solid marketing strategy and promotion in the next coming months or years, your online store business can be big. Now you have a successful professional storefront while still generating income from Amazon. The features that you’re getting from your Shopify website such as the blogging and selling on social media will help you a lot. Get them both, and you will thank yourself in the long run.
By the way, after you test out Shopify, we believe that you are going to want to stay. Don’t just take our word for it. Try it for yourself today and get a free 14 day Shopify trial – no credit card required.