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Amazon and Shopify Have Both Defined the E-Commerce World, but Which is Best for Your Business?

Amazon vs Shopify

Amazon vs Shopify is like Marvel vs DC — a never-ending battle that has no obvious winner. Both are giants in the e-commerce world, with millions of customers and billions in sales each year. This can make it hard for sellers to decide which platform is better for them.

So, in this article, we have laid down the basics for you. What is Amazon and Shopify? How are they different and similar? Lastly, how can you start selling on both platforms? We’ll cover all those points in detail, so keep reading!

What is Amazon?

Amazon started out selling books and targeted a niche audience, but soon it blew up and became the world’s biggest online marketplace.

For instance, during the first quarter of the year 2020, the company's sales revenue equaled $75.5 billion. So, you can imagine the kind of growth Amazon has made in its 25 years of existence.

As a result, customers and sellers trust Amazon's services, which makes it a great place to start selling online.

Just list all your items after registering, and customers will find you themselves (Amazon has millions of visits on its website each month). From there, the fulfillment by Amazon service will not just ship your products for you but also store them and package them securely.

What is Shopify?

Unlike Amazon, Shopify is not an online marketplace. Instead, it lets you create your very own e-commerce website. It’s like handing over keys to a brand-new shop that is fully functional and equipped with the latest features for the best customer experience.

Being the third largest online retailer in the U.S., Shopify can host a website for any kind of business. With streamlined features and a multitude of templates, you can customize your website just the way you want.

Adding products, processing orders, viewing analytics, storing information regarding sales —Shopify has got you covered from A to Z when it comes to online shopping carts. It even offers fulfillment and ships for you.

Amazon and Shopify: How Are They Similar?

Before moving on to how the two top dogs are different from one another, here is a quick overview of how they are similar in terms of services:

Online Platform

To stay relevant in today’s digitized business world, companies need to be able to sell online. Amazon and Shopify both provide highly streamlined, easy-to-use, and fully functional e-commerce platforms to all sorts of businesses, whether big or small, in order to connect buyers and sellers.

A Ready-Made Online Shop

Creating your own website, hosting it, and customizing it to your business’s changing needs can be quite a tedious task.

Unless you have got a fairly advanced knowledge of coding, you will have to hire coders and software engineers to build your website, which can be a financial strain.

Amazon and Shopify cover you in that area by offering an already-made, e-commerce platform, so you do not have to meddle with an online store's technical aspects.


As mentioned above, building a website from scratch can be very costly, especially for small business owners. If you compare that with both Amazon and Shopify's low setup costs, you will understand why thousands of businesses opt for these two platforms.

Differences Between Amazon and Shopify

What platform serves your purpose better? Here are the key differences between both to help you decide:

Customer Base

One of the major differences between the two e-commerce giants is the way sellers acquire customers.

Amazon already has a strong, pre-established customer base and has millions of visitors each month. Hence, you will not have to worry about marketing your online store; Amazon already has lots of customers coming in who will eventually scroll by your store.

Meanwhile, with Shopify, you will have to invest in marketing, SEO, and SEM in order to prompt customers to visit your website.


Since Amazon is an online marketplace, there will be many other competing brands who might steal your market share. Unlike Amazon, using Shopify does not bring any competition — it is just you, your brand, and your products.


Selling on Amazon comes with its perks, but those perks do not include design customization. You’ll be using the same (and, to be honest, kind of boring) page as every other brand with Amazon’s logo and standard buttons at the top.

On the other hand, Shopify offers hundreds of beautiful website templates for you to showcase your products. It also offers customized features (but with an added price).


In order to start selling, you will have to pay a monthly fee for both platforms.

With Amazon, small-scale sellers can utilize the individual seller plan, which charges $0.99 for every piece you sell. For large-scale businesses, the professional plan is better, and charges $39.99 per month. In addition, you will have to pay hefty referral fees with both plans.

Shopify does not have any referral fees but charges different transaction fees with its tier-based monthly plans. Starting from $29 per month to $300, transaction fees get lower as you upgrade the plan. Moreover, if you use Shopify Payments, you will not be charged any transaction fee at all.

How to Sell With Amazon

Selling with Amazon is easy and quick. Firstly, you will have to register yourself by visiting sell.amazon.com. Next, select a seller plan (and whether you want FBA or FBM) and enter your personal details.

Once you have got your account, you can list down your products and upload images. If it is a new listing, Amazon will send you a new global trade item number.

Next, you will have to send the items to the Amazon warehouse (they will provide the address) if you chose FBA. After this, you are ready to sell. When a customer makes a purchase, Amazon will pack, ship, and collect the item’s payment for you.

How to Sell With Shopify

It’s slightly more tricky to acquire customers with Shopify, but it is certainly doable. First, go to shopify.com and register after choosing a seller plan. If you do not want to invest just yet, you can choose the free trial option.

Next, you will have to answer a few questions related to your store, choose a domain name (the stuff people type in the address bar to visit your website) and select a theme.

Once all of that has been done, just add products, upload images, learn how to use the website’s features, and voila! You’re all set. You can also choose the Shopify fulfillment method, which generally works the same way as FBA.

From here, it is your responsibility to generate traffic to your website, optimize conversion rates, and market your online store.

In Conclusion

You do not always have to choose one over the other. Since both platforms offer different benefits, you can sell on both for more brand awareness and to create a stronger customer base.

This is especially profitable for medium-scale businesses that can afford both platforms to get the best of both worlds.