Running an eCommerce business involves multiple factors, one of which is deciding on the best eCommerce platform to build your website on. The two most popular options are WordPress and Etsy, but how do you decide which one is the best fit for your needs? Well, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
We’re going to break down the pros and cons of WordPress vs. Etsy so you can find an eCommerce solution tailored to your products, technical skills, and business goals. Whether you’re selling handcrafted goods, digital downloads, or high-volume products, by the end of this article you’ll know which platform is the ideal launchpad for your new venture. Let’s dive in!
Pros and Cons of Using WordPress for eCommerce
The open-source WordPress platform has a lot going for it as an eCommerce solution. Before you select this option, let us weigh its pros and cons.
In the end, WordPress is a great option if you’re on a tight budget yet want creative control, and are willing to put in the work. But for a hands-off, fully-featured experience, you may prefer a dedicated eCommerce platform like Shopify. It comes down to your needs, skills, and resources. Check out our article on Shopify Vs. Etsy for a comparison between Shopify and Etsy.
Pros and Cons of Using Etsy for eCommerce
Etsy is a well-known online store for handmade, antique, and craft products. It’s free to open an Etsy shop, making it easy for crafters and artists to start selling their products. Before you select this option, let us weigh its pros and cons.
Overall, Etsy is a great platform for crafters and artists, especially when you’re first starting out. But as your business grows, you may find more control and profitability with your own eCommerce website.
WordPress vs. Etsy: Ease of Use
When it comes to ease of use, WordPress and Etsy are quite different. WordPress is an open-source content management system, while Etsy is an eCommerce platform specifically for handmade or vintage items.
WordPress powers over 43.1% of the web, so it’s a very popular and flexible option. However, there is a learning curve associated with this flexibility. You’ll need to choose a theme, install plugins, and figure out how to customize everything to your needs. If you’re not tech-savvy, the setup and options can feel overwhelming.
Once you get the hang of it though, WordPress offers a lot of control and the ability to grow with your business. You can start simple and add advanced features over time. WordPress is also highly customizable, so you can achieve almost any design and layout you want. You’ll have total control over your branding and content.
In contrast, Etsy is extremely easy to set up and start selling right away. There is no technical or design expertise required. Etsy provides a simple template and form to list your products. They handle the customer transactions, shipping, and payment processing for you.
However, Etsy’s simplicity comes with less control and customization. You have to follow their rules and layouts. Etsy also charges higher fees since they handle most of the work for you.
Overall, it comes down to how much control and work you want to take on. WordPress will require more effort to set up but gives you more flexibility, options to expand, and lower fees. Etsy is simple to start with but limits how much you can customize your shop and brand in the long run. Pick the choice that fits your technical skills, time constraints, and business goals.
WordPress vs. Etsy: Pricing
When it comes to choosing an eCommerce platform, pricing plays a key role in the decision-making process.
WordPress itself is open-source and free, but you’ll need to pay for web hosting and may want to invest in premium themes, plugins, and other services (WordPress does offer premium plans; however, the plans include services such as hosting, premium themes, etc., so the cost is covered). Additionally, you can choose a payment gateway, at a reasonable fee, like PayPal or Stripe to cut down costs even more. According to a survey, the average cost of running a small eCommerce store on WordPress can be anywhere between $500 – $3000.
Keep in mind that the aforementioned cost can reduce or increase depending on your store specifications; nonetheless, it is well worth the money as WordPress is robust and easy to use.
Etsy offers both free and premium plans. The free plan offers chat support, basic statistics, and 5 product listings. If you choose the $10/month Etsy Plus plan, the product listing increases to 15, and extra search ranking advantages are included. Once you cross the 15 listings limit, Etsy charges $0.20 per listing.
Etsy requires sellers to process all purchases through Etsy Payments. Each sale on Etsy is subject to a 6.5% transaction fee, which includes shipping costs. Etsy additionally levies a payment processing fee of 3% + $0.25.
In the end, you need to compare the features and pricing to your business requirements. Both are viable options, so choose what suits your needs and budget.
WordPress vs. Etsy: Social Media and Marketing
When it comes to marketing and promoting your online store, WordPress and Etsy take very different approaches.
On WordPress, you have free reign over how you promote your store. You’ll need to drive all traffic through social media marketing, content creation, search engine optimization (SEO), and other strategies. This requires significant time and effort but allows you to build your own brand and customer base. You keep 100% of the profits from sales since you’re handling it all yourself.
With WordPress, you can create social media profiles for your store and post frequently to build an audience and drive traffic.
In contrast, Etsy’s built-in audience of over 81.9 million active buyers means you’ll likely get views and sales with little effort. However, their mandatory fees, including a 6.5% transaction fee and additional advertising fees, reduce your profits. Etsy promotes listings and stores on its site to increase visibility, but you have limited control over how your brand is portrayed. Their policies also prohibit offsite ads and marketing. Etsy does offer something called Offsite Ads where they post your product ads across the web and charge 15% of the sale amount.
On Etsy, you are not permitted to steer visitors away from the site or set up additional social media profiles for your business. You can link to your Etsy shop from personal social accounts but are limited to Etsy’s built-in social features.
In the end, you need to weigh the pros and cons of each platform for your needs. If you want maximum control and profit potential, WordPress is likely the better option. If ease of use and less time spent on promotion are bigger priorities, consider opening a shop on Etsy.
WordPress vs. Etsy: Sales and Revenue Potential
When it comes to selling your goods and services online, the eCommerce platform you choose can have a significant impact on your sales and revenue potential.
If maximizing sales and profits is your top priority, WordPress may have a slight edge over Etsy. As an open-source content management system, WordPress gives you full control and ownership over your online store. You may decide on your own rates and retain every penny of the revenue. With your own domain name and hosting, WordPress also appears more professional to customers.
On the other hand, Etsy charges a 6.5% transaction fee on all sales in your shop over and above the subscription plan. They also take an additional 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee in the USA (This changes depending on the country). They also charge a $0.20 product listing fee. While these fees may seem relatively low, they do cut into your profits. Etsy’s large built-in audience can work in your favor, but your products are also competing with millions of other listings.
Both platforms have the potential for high sales and revenue. WordPress may scale a bit higher since you have more control and pay lower fees. However, Etsy could be very lucrative, especially when you’re first starting out.
In the end, think about your priorities, resources, and level of experience in eCommerce. Consider giving both a try to see which resonates more with your customers and suits your needs.
WordPress vs. Etsy: Customization Options
When it comes to customizing your online store, WordPress and Etsy offer some similar options, but WordPress is the clear winner.
Design and Layout
With WordPress, you have full control over your site’s design and layout. You can choose from thousands of free and paid templates, and customize colors, fonts, images, and more. Etsy on the other hand provides basic customization of your shop’s banner, profile photo, and product photos, but you’re limited to their standard templates.
On WordPress, you design your own product pages to showcase items the way you want. Add custom product photos from any angle, write engaging product descriptions, and feature reviews from real customers. With Etsy, you’re limited to Etsy’s standard product page layout. You can add up to ten photos for each item, but you have little control over the overall design and content.
WordPress lets you start your own blog to share company news, stories, tips, or whatever content you like. A blog is a great way to establish yourself as an authority, engage your audience, and drive more traffic to your site. Etsy on the other hand does not have an in-built blogging feature; you will have to connect to Pattern by Etsy to expand your stores’ functionality. If blogging is important to your business, WordPress is the way to go.
Apps and Plugins
The WordPress plugin directory is a treasure trove of 59, 678 free tools to extend your site’s functionality. There are plugins for everything from contact forms and social sharing to product reviews and newsletter signups. Etsy’s app and integration options are limited since they control your shop setup.
Overall, while Etsy is easy to get started with, WordPress offers significantly more customization options and control over your online store’s design and features. If building a fully customized eCommerce experience is a priority, WordPress is likely your best choice. But for casual sellers just looking to list a few handmade goods, Etsy’s simplicity may appeal more.
Types of Products Best Suited for Each Platform
When it comes to eCommerce platforms, WordPress and Etsy each have their strengths. The types of products you want to sell can help determine which option is the best fit for your online store.
Handcrafted or Vintage Goods
If you make handmade jewelry, artisanal soaps, refurbished furniture, or other unique, one-of-a-kind items, Etsy is ideal. This popular marketplace is designed specifically for crafters and vintage curators. Buyers head to Etsy when they’re looking for authentic, original pieces. With an audience of buyers actively searching for handcrafted goods, Etsy makes it easy to turn your passion into a profitable business.
Digital or Printable Products
For ebooks, online courses, printables, graphics, templates, or other downloadable files, a WordPress site with an eCommerce plugin like WooCommerce is a great choice. WordPress gives you full control over your store’s appearance and functionality. You can also integrate an email list, blog, and community forum. With WordPress, your product listings won’t get lost among millions of other items as they might on a giant marketplace.
A Curated Collection
If you source high-quality products from multiple artists or brands to offer a thoughtfully curated collection, either platform could work well. With WordPress, you have the flexibility to fully customize your store to reflect your brand. However, Etsy provides an existing base of buyers, especially if the makers you feature also sell on Etsy. You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of your specific business model and goals.
In the end, think about what kind of experience you want to create for your customers and what types of products you’re passionate about selling. Choosing a platform that aligns with your vision will make it that much easier to build a successful online store.
So there you have it. Now that you’ve seen what WordPress and Etsy have to offer for eCommerce, you’ve got a big decision to make. WordPress gives you complete control and customization but requires more technical skills. Etsy handles all the headaches but limits your options and charges higher fees.
The choice ultimately comes down to how much control you want over your online store. If you’re looking to build a highly customized shop to represent your brand, WordPress is probably your best bet. But if you just want an easy way to start selling your handmade goods or vintage finds, Etsy’s the way to go.
At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong either way. Both platforms have helped countless entrepreneurs launch and grow successful businesses. So take some time to think about what’s most important for your needs.
We hope this post has helped you choose the right eCommerce platform for your business needs!
This content was originally published here.