Amazon vs. Shopify: Which is Better for Your E-commerce Business

Amazon and Shopify are two of the most popular e-commerce platforms available today. Both offer great features, but do you know which one is best for you? In this post, you’ll learn the pros and cons of each platform and how to tell which one is right for your business.

Amazon vs. Shopify: Which is Better for Your E-commerce Business


Amazon is a multinational corporation focused on e-commerce, digital streaming, and cloud computing. It is the world’s largest digital marketplace, and it is known for disrupting well-established industries through large-scale operations and technological ingenuity. The company generates a significant portion of its sales from independent retailers who sell their merchandise.

Shopify is a digital platform that permits anyone to create an e-commerce store and sell their products. Interested parties may sell their products at a physical location with Shopify Point Of Sale software. Though it lacks Amazon’s scope, it has been remarkably successful and can integrate with popular platforms like Facebook.

Amazon: Pros

Sales potential

The number of people who shop on amazon maybe its most apparent benefit, but it’s still worth mentioning. When you put products on Amazon, you gain access to a massive pool of already buying customers. The platform has over 2 million vendors across the world, and they often sell over 2 billion items a year. Over 40% of all merchandise sold is from third-party contractors selling through amazon’s ecosystem. So, as a seller, you would gain instant access to millions of customers.

Repeat sales

Standalone e-commerce websites like WooCommerce and Shopify must invest large sums of money in marketing to let customers know they exist. Amazon, on the other hand, has an organic customer base that no standalone e-commerce site can match. Amazon sellers also get repeat purchases, mainly when they offer commendable customer service.

Packing and shipping

Amazon is a convenient option for sellers who prefer not to pack and ship their products. With fulfillment by Amazon, a service that will save both time and money, amazon handles all packing, storage, and deliveries. Amazon FBA also handles overseas exportation, customer service, and returns.

Free referrals.

Amazon runs an algorithm that shows customers a selection of recommended products while they browse the website. Your product could draw the interest of a buyer even when they aren’t looking for you. Furthermore, Amazon has an extensive network of affiliates that may point internet traffic to your products by placing amazon advertisements on their sites.

Additional benefits

By selling with amazon, you can offer customers recognizable, reliable shopping experiences, and access to amazon’s world-class fulfillment facilities and logistical experience.


Amazon: cons

Limited control

To sell on Amazon, you must do things amazon’s way. This includes compliance with their A-Z guarantee, guidelines on communication with buyers, the products you can and can’t sell, and many other conditions. You will have to forfeit a significant amount of independence to sell on amazon.


Amazon isn’t free. Charges start at a minimum of $1 but can be as high as 25% of the product’s price. Furthermore, if you choose amazon’s in-house fulfillment service (FBA), where amazon stores and delivers your merchandise, you’ll pay listing and fulfillment fees.


You’ll be directly competing with the company’s own products. Since amazon enjoys economies of scale, they can sell their merchandise quite cheaply, which may affect your sales.

Limited marketing opportunities

Amazon does not allow you to capture customer information such as emails, so you can’t remarket to them. Consequently, although you may get some repeat sales if you offer exceptional customer service, the customers are loyal to Amazon and not your brand.

Shopify: pros

Shopify offers a quick and convenient way to launch an online store without the trouble of servers and development fees required for self-hosted platforms like magneto. The store management interface is clutter-free and easy to use. It’s also intuitive – all the features are logically positioned. You can also find detailed documentation and videos on how to set up your store and perform complex management tasks.


There are over 100 themes to pick from in the Shopify store, and all of them are responsive. If you have programming knowledge, you can customize individual themes by changing their code. Building a unique, beautiful online shop that matches your brand’s identity is entirely possible.


The Shopify app store is a repository of functionality you can integrate into your shop. You can add loyalty programs, review sections, consumer wish lists, gather detailed analytics, and print packing slips and labels. It’s likely there is an extension for anything you would like to do.

Marketing tools and Search Engine Optimization

Having an attractive e-commerce shop is fine, but if you don’t get any visits, you’ll be closing quickly. One of Shopify’s main benefits is it offers remarkable search engine optimization facilities that will rank your website higher than most competition.

You’re also granted access to advanced analytics so you can tell where your customers live. This will allow you to market your product more efficiently. Shopify store offers several marketing tools like email marketing social media integration. Furthermore, Shopify will enable you to create discount codes free of charge. With a level up, you can also offer gift vouchers.

If you feel overwhelmed by digital marketing and how long it may take to get results, Shopify has a free virtual assistant that recommends and executes marketing operations based on your products, target market, and sales performance.

Abandoned cart recovery

Research suggests that over 66% of your potential customers will place an item in their shopping basket but leave before completing the purchase. Shopify offers a recovery service that autonomously identifies and emails contacts customers to remind them to conclude their purchases.


Shopify: cons

Proprietary coding language

Though it offers a large variety of themes, Shopify runs on a proprietary variant of PHP called liquid, and the same language is used to develop its themes. To customize a specific theme, you’ll need to hire a professional developer or learn the language yourself.

Email hosting

Although all of Shopify’s plans include web hosting, none will cater to your emails. This means you can’t own an email address tied to the name on your shop. You may set up email forwarding. Whenever customer sends a message to, for instance, it will go to your private Yahoo or Gmail account.  To use this service, you’ll have to set up a third-party email hosting.


Like Amazon, Shopify can be costly. It offers several features free of charge, but you’ll have to make purchases for a fully functional website and pay transaction fees.


Amazon: amazon has two plans; a professional plan, which will cost about $40 a month without selling fees (these differ for each product category), and the individual selling plan. Although the individual plan doesn’t require monthly payment, you will be charged $0.99 for each item sold.

Note: you only qualify for Amazon’s individual plan if you sell less than 40 items a month.

Shopify: Plans start at $29 and can go as high as $299. The total cost will increase if you include subscriptions for premium applications.

Differences between the two platforms

Both Amazon and Shopify are notable names that offer exciting opportunities for e-commerce sellers. The main difference between them is that while Shopify is a dedicated e-commerce platform that gives you the tools to build a unique digital store, Amazon is an online market place that permits you to sell on its platform with other vendors.

Consequently, selling on amazon is similar to owning a stall in a famous market. Large crowds gather to explore and buy items, but the majority are not specifically looking for your business. In contrast, selling Shopify is like leasing a building for your company. You have personalized space, and customers come to your store after they learn about your brand. There are more opportunities to build a unique image

How to choose between them

Business type: the size of your business determines how much you can invest in setup and advertising. Individuals will likely prefer a simple, inexpensive, yet user-friendly setup, while small to medium-sized enterprises will probably have the capability and capacity to invest more. For individuals, amazon is a good choice. Their site offers facilities specifically designed for sole traders. Small and medium-sized enterprises may prefer Shopify.

Product type: if you intend to sell a physical product, then you must consider brand recognition. With Amazon, you’ll be competing with other items on the platform. You will attract customers interested in basic product comparisons who aren’t really looking for your brand. In contrast, Shopify offers the ability to establish a distinctive brand image that resonates with your target market.

Choosing an e-commerce platform is a significant business decision. As you consider which is better, remember you are best positioned to decide what will serve your personal preferences and the needs of your business.  That said, regardless of your choice, either one of the platforms discussed in this article will benefit your business in the long run.

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