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Shopify vs. Amazon
The best choice depends on how much control you want over the selling process.
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?
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.
Shopify 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.
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Amazon provides support via phone, email and chat 24/7
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
Are there any products I can't sell on Amazon?
Amazon sellers may not sell alcohol, illegal drugs, gambling paraphernalia, tobacco or weaponry, including explosives, ammunition and firearms.
Can I offer gift wrapping for my Amazon products?
Yes, Amazon gift-wrapping is available on most products, except for products that are too large, fragile or awkwardly shaped to be wrapped. Merchants that use Fulfillment by Amazon can offer gift-wrapping for free to their customers, but the service is charged on a per-item basis for merchants who ship independently.
What is the Amazon Buy Box?
The Amazon Buy Box is a button that allows customers to purchase a product from the product listing. If more than one seller has listed the same product, the Buy Box only appears on one listing. To qualify for Amazon’s Buy Box, sellers must have a Professional account and history of high performance on Amazon.
Will I be asked to sign a contract when I sign up for Shopify?
No, paid Shopify plans are billed month-to-month and you can cancel without penalty at any time.
Does Shopify offer web hosting?
Yes, Shopify’s plans come with web hosting with the exception of Shopify Lite, which is a self-hosted service.
Can I try Shopify for free?
Yes, merchants can try Shopify for free for 14 days.
Is Shopify PCI-compliant?
Yes, Shopify is Level 1 PCI DSS compliant. This means it meets the guidelines set by the PCI Security Standards Council in building and maintaining a secure network for both merchants and cardholders.
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