Shopify vs. Amazon: Which is Better for Your Ecommerce Business?

Shopify vs Amazon: Which Should You Use to Build an Online Store?

If you plan to sell products online, you’ll need to choose the right platform for your online store. Amazon and Shopify are both great platforms to launch an ecommerce business, but there are big differences between the two you’ll need to sort through.

Shopify vs Amazon

Fiverr just completed an analysis of the two platforms. Small Business Trends spoke with Whit Walker, category manager at Fiverr, and Sam Katzen, the company’s Director of Public Relations, to find out the pros and cons of each.

Big Players

First off, Katzen made it clear the big players in this space aren’t shutting out small businesses looking to sell their goods and services online.

“Overwhelmingly the Fiverr community ends up in one of two places — either selling services on the Amazon marketplace or building their own experience through a platform like Shopify,” he said adding the 354 billion dollar industry is being “democratized” so the services and opportunities have never been more accessible.

Time and Cash

Small businesses don’t always have the time and cash to have a presence in both places.  That’s where Whit Walker picks up the thread to talk about the strengths of each.

“It all breaks down to what’s important to your business, “he says.

Small Business Deals

For example, a business highlighting brand and focused on market perception might favor Shopify. Walker says this platform allows for more control over design and fulfillment — two of the factors critical for reputation.

Creative Marketing Ideas

Say your business has some creative marketing ideas in the can — landing pages, social media campaigns, etc. — and you’re looking to use them to drive traffic. This is the better choice. In short, Shopify is the way to go if you’re looking to handle fulfillment and to be hands on.

Keep in mind, you’ve got to create your Shopify site and work at it . This means you’ll need to jump in on other services like social media marketing , copywriting and website development.


“You have more ownership of the look and feel of the ecommerce experience with Shopify,” Walker says.

There are a few other features of interest.

  • Small business can customize the HTML and CSS of their store so you can make the website look just the way you want it.
  • Shopify comes with a blogging platform and SEO capabilities.
  • Shopify has a large network it works with including Facebook and Houzz.

Amazon should be the choice for small businesses that want to focus on sourcing products, getting traffic and monetizing ahead of advertising. You can cut a bigger swath here.  Amazon has the largest number of buyers on the planet according to Katzen. But there’s a few things you’ll give up.

Side by Side

For instance, your small business will be competing side by side with similar products and you’ll need to build up your business using their platform — not yours.

Taking advantage of Amazon’s massive traffic is one way to get going quickly, but you might have to deal with limited brand recognition and compete in a cramped space where there are lots of similar products.

Walker sums up the differences between the choices with a fitting metaphor.

“Amazon is a like going into a big box store where your brand is less important,” he says. “Shopify is like having a cool corner boutique.”

Still Amazon is a good fit for easy to understand products that are good-to-go and user friendly like clothing, furniture and books.

Which platform are you likely to use?

Image: Small Business Trends

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Rob Starr Rob Starr is a staff writer for Small Business Trends. Rob is a freelance journalist and content strategist/manager with three decades of experience in both print and online writing. He currently works in New York City as a copywriter and all across North America for a variety of editing and writing enterprises.

2 Reactions
  1. I think Shopify is better in terms of control. This is because you own your own site and you have complete control over it.

  2. thepowerofmybeing

    Can’t you use both?