With the boom in e-commerce, and the decline in “bricks and mortar” shopping spaces, we’re pitting two powerhouses. The “online marketplace” vs “your own online store”, AKA “Amazon vs Shopify”.

Talks surrounding e-commerce giants Shopify and Amazon are one easily overlooked due to the apparent differences in the two platforms. On one hand, we can see Shopify as that brand that gives you a platform upon which you get to build your brand, customer base, identity and product. On the other hand is Amazon, who are offering you an established online marketplace where you can get a selling place which bears an existing identity and great chance of patronage. 

So with a rise in e-commerce, and the decline in “bricks and mortar” shopping spaces, we’ve chosen to investigate “Amazon vs Shopify” or as you see it, the “online marketplace” vs “your own online store”.

Everything you need to know to make an informed decision that will help your business to grow through increased sales, marketing and reputation has been put into this piece. We have put together some facts and stats that give a true representation of Amazon vs Shopify and which will help you see which platform really is best for you. 

Discovery and SEO

SEO is one key avenue to get your business discovered online today.

Amazon is a dominating force. It currently dominates page one of Google with 10,000 keywords ranking in first position. And 95% of searches which pull through “image boxes” have at least one image taken from Amazon too. Statistics like these are phenomenal,  they are dreams every brand looks to be living, but, Amazon has its own ranking system. This means to say it can be more difficult for your products. Ranking on page one of Google is not enough, you have to also rank on page one of Amazon.

Amazon has an SEO algorithm it operates by, A9, an algorithm which takes into account the usual ranking factors such as keywords. This system doesn’t just look at keywords alone, it also favors products which have high conversion rates, are relevant, and have good customer reviews. This means that if your product is not selling it can’t rank. For the product to make good numbers, it has to be discovered, this however is put to shame.

Shopify? It offers merchants their own ecommerce shop. This gives them the opportunity to rank for keywords on their own website. Like Amazon, Google ranks websites using an algorithm that takes a number of contributing factors into account. This is to say new businesses might find it hard to rank for competitive keywords. However, when it comes to the Google algorithm there are numerous experts in Shopify who are there to help. Aspects such as content marketing, link building, and on-page optimization helps in pushing your website in the right direction. On Amazon, merchants will have little to no control over aspects like this.

Struggling to rank on Google? Get in touch with one of our SEO experts at Eastside Co.

A Small Fish in a Large Pond

Amazon’s massive reputation as an e-commerce powerhouse is one obvious reason merchants pick them as their main selling point. It is no news that Amazon is one of the largest online entities within the e-commerce industry. In 2021 Amazon held 40% of the e-commerce share in the USA and took approximately $367 billion in that year alone. These incredible statistics tells so much why any business owner would rather pitch their tent with Amazon, to grow their brands and sell products. 

Amazon boasts a total of 9.5 million individual sellers currently, with over 213 million unique US visitors monthly. Going by this volume of products vs shoppers, getting your brand to be discovered would only be more difficult. With the great array of contents available on Amazon, most Sellers are usually nowhere to be found when their products are put with similar items. In addition to this, Amazon are big on selling more and more of their own products, and these most of the time comes with “same day delivery” and the “buy now pay later” clause which is a major stimulant to make purchase in times like these.

In addition to being found, a good number of Amazon shoppers price check on the same website. They comparatively almost always favor the cheaper product. Although this applies with most online shoppers across multiple websites, Amazon makes this easier for customers to do by having all products, information, and customer reviews in one place. This convenience given customers is often somewhat turbulent for sellers.

Shopify gives merchants their own platform to sell their products. Although you’re not exempt from being a small fish in a large pond, in the case where a customer finds your website, your products need not compete with often cheaper alternatives or businesses that offer shorter lead times, and quicker deliveries. Once a customer lands on your website, whether they stay or not is now dependent on your branding, content, imagery and other elements unique to your business. This is something which is harder to establish when using marketplaces such as Amazon.

How to Establish Branding and Reputation

Establishing a unique brand on Amazon is an Herculean task to sellers on it’s platform. This is something that many businesses rely on to create a name, reputation and ultimately grow their business. Due to this fact, 80% of merchants on Amazon marketplace use other platforms such as their own website to sell products and in turn establish their business and branding. Shopify is strongly amongst one of the many e-commerce platforms these merchants use to create their own unique store.

Who can sell on Amazon? In short, anyone. Amazon is a great place to “start” as it is easy and simple to begin selling. However, if you want to more than sell, but establish a brand that has an identity, Shopify is what you need. Shopify is simple and easy to get set up on. Both the regular, and plus versions come with easily editable templates which helps reflect your own personal brand and values.

As already mentioned, when sellers use Amazon marketplaces they run the risk of falling under the Amazon “umbrella”, with little to no space to position any marketing collateral, logos or design, your business though getting sales and visibility, is less likely to become recognisable as its own entity.

Do you need help marketing your brand? Contact our team of experts.

Amazon vs Shopify or Amazon and Shopify?

Amazon and Shopify are two completely different types of e-commerce platforms and in turn are not competitive in the traditional sense. So why not use both? As stated above, 80% of Amazon sellers are utilizing Shopify as a tool to make their brand stand-in the e-commerce marketplace, and this has proven beneficial for merchants who are trying to occupy more space on Google, as well as getting more opportunities for customers to see your products What is the cost implication of this? 

Shopify has their price plans follow the monthly pattern. Depending on the plan and platform this could start from $24 USD per month and then increase from there. However, Amazon places commission on products sold. When a sale is made through Amazon, they take up to 15% on each transaction. When added together this can become costly, especially when this is being used as a secondary selling platform.

So what is the take away from this?

Both Amazon, and Shopify are unarguably names with giant strides in the e-commerce industry. Both offer exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs and established businesses alike. Amazon boasts an array of businesses from startups to renowned industry giants. In the same vein, Shopify offers a platform which serves both new startups and established businesses.

By virtue of Amazon being a hub for over 213 million shoppers, it is easy for startups and thriving businesses to find them as an avenue to start their e-commerce journey. Going by the overwhelming stats Amazon boasts, this and more are easy to believe, but, just as it is easy to expect patronage and business exposure, it is also very easy to be swept under the rug.

Shopify, unlike Amazon, is not yet an established marketplace. Instead it is an established e-commerce platform which allows merchants to create their own ecommerce experience. Shopify is an easy-to-use platform which grows merchants from their humble beginnings to established giants such as Kylie Cosmetics, Gym Shark and more.

Shopify has over 3 million businesses that use their platform. This pits it to take $82 billion through transactions each year. Shopify gives merchants the much needed freedom to create their own name, branding, identity and values and this promotes their growth. Having its own website allows a business to increase its reputation and uniqueness. Something essential in today’s society.