Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn how we make money.

Shopify vs. Amazon

The best choice depends on how much control you want over the selling process.

Posted

Fact checked

Both Shopify and Amazon can help you start selling online. And while both offer integrated payments and in-house shipping, Shopify remains the best choice for merchants who want to build their own online store. Amazon is better suited to sellers who don’t mind paying a premium to leverage Amazon’s customer base.

How do Shopify and Amazon compare?

ShopifyAmazon
Shopify logo

Learn more

Go to site
Amazon logo

Learn more

Which should I choose?Choose Shopify if you want to build your own online store and control the selling process from start to finish.Choose Amazon if you want to access an expansive user base and don’t want an online store separate from the Amazon Marketplace.
OverviewShopify is a hosted e-commerce platform that offers an online store-building service alongside payment processing and point-of-sale systems. Merchants can customize their online store with thousands of third-party plugin integrations and access 24/7 customer support. The platform works best for merchants who want full control over the selling process.Amazon is an international e-commerce marketplace with platforms in over 180 countries and millions of customers worldwide. For a fee, merchants can list, sell and ship their products through Amazon. The platform works best for merchants who don’t want to build their own online store and don’t mind paying a premium for access to Amazon’s millions of monthly customers.
Fees
  • Monthly fees
    • From $9 to $2,000
  • Credit card rates
    • From 2.15% to 2.9% + $0.30 for online purchases
    • From 2.4% to 2.7% for in-person purchases
    • 3.15% + $0.30 for international and AMEX orders
  • Transaction fees
    • None for Shopify Payments
    • From 0.15% to 2% for third-party processors
  • Per-item fees
    • $0.99 for Individual sellers
    • $0 for Professional sellers
  • Monthly fees
    • $0 for Individual sellers
    • $39.99 for Professional sellers
  • Referral fees
    • Typically from 8% to 15% of the total sales price of the product, excluding taxes.
Pros
  • Beginner-friendly. Shopify’s platform is frequently praised by merchants for its intuitive, easy-to-navigate design.
  • 24/7 support. Merchants can reach Shopify support by phone, email or live chat anytime.
  • Online store plugins. Shopify integrates with over 3,200 apps and plugins, available in the Shopify App Store.
  • Discounted shipping. Rate discounts of up to 90% are available for USPS, UPS, DHL and Canada Post.
  • Amazon’s customer base. Merchants gain exposure to millions of monthly Amazon shoppers.
  • Easy setup. Amazon merchants don’t need to build or maintain their own website — they just need to create an Amazon seller account.
  • Fulfillment by Amazon. This service allows merchants to fulfill orders without having to store or ship products themselves.
Cons
  • No free tier. Monthly subscription rates for Shopify’s platform start at $9 monthly.
  • Limited staff accounts. Even Shopify’s Advanced service tier limits staff accounts to 15 users.
  • Limited themes. Shopify only offers 12 website themes to choose from.
  • High fees. Not only does Amazon charge monthly and per-item fees, it also takes an additional 8% to 15% cut — a hefty fee it charges for access to its customer base.
  • Competition. It’s relatively easy to set up shop on Amazon and it’s one of the most popular marketplaces in the world. This means seller competition can be fierce.
  • Limited customer interaction. Amazon owns its customers, which means merchants have little opportunity to form a relationship with their clientele.
Tools
  • Business name generator. Generate hundreds of potential business names in seconds.
  • Marketing help. Design an online marketing campaign through Google Smart Shopping, Facebook Ads or Kit.
  • Free stock photos. Explore high-resolution photo collections to find ideal images for your online store.
  • Shopify Shipping. Fulfill orders and track them in real-time with discounted carrier rates, shipping insurance and bulk order fulfillment.
  • Customizable storefronts. Tap into Javascript SDKs, Unity SDKs and Storefront API to weave e-commerce options into games, mobile apps and other custom channels.
  • Gift options. Offer your customers the option of adding gift-wrapping or messaging to their purchase.
  • Business reports. Monitor sales, traffic, conversion rates and performance.
  • Promotions. Create a product promotion to increase sales and drive revenue.
  • Bulk listings. List your products in batches to cut down on administrative costs.
  • Amazon shipping. Leave the shipping and fulfillment process in Amazon’s hands for a fee.
BBB letter rating A+A+
Trustpilot rating

★★★★★

1.4/5

★★★★★

2.3/5

Reputation and customer reviews
  • Reviews. Largely negative
  • Customer praise. Helpful tech support and intuitive platform.
  • Customer complaints. Account closures for high-risk businesses.
  • Reviews. Largely negative
  • Customer praise. Automated selling process.
  • Customer complaints. High fees and account suspensions.
Support
  • Phone. Merchants in North America can call 855-816-3857 to speak with a Shopify rep.
  • Email. Fill out a secure online form on Shopify’s website for a response within one business day.
  • Live chat. From Shopify’s website, open up a live chat window to connect with a Shopify rep.
  • Twitter. Tweet at Shopify for a direct response from the support team.
Amazon provides support via phone, email and chat 24/7

Bottom line

Both Shopify and Amazon can help you set up shop online. Shopify allows you to control each step of the selling process, but you’ll need to build your own online store from the ground up. Amazon offers access to its massive customer base but limits your ability to customize your listings and interact with your buyers.

Before you pick a platform, explore your options with multiple merchant services providers.

Frequently asked questions

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and finder.com Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site