Shopify vs. Etsy: The Ultimate Cost Showdown

Written By
January 11, 2024

When it comes to selling your products online, choosing the right platform is crucial. Shopify and Etsy are two popular options for Canadian entrepreneurs, each with its own benefits and costs. In this article, we'll compare the costs associated with using Shopify and Etsy to help you determine which platform is more affordable for your Canadian business.

Platform Fees:

Shopify: Shopify operates on a subscription-based model, offering various pricing plans to suit different business needs. The costs range from $29 to $299 per month, depending on the features and capabilities required. While this may seem like an additional expense, Shopify provides a comprehensive set of tools and features to help you build and manage your online store efficiently.

Etsy: On the other hand, Etsy charges a listing fee of $0.20 per item listed on their platform. This fee covers the duration of the listing, which is typically four months. In addition to the listing fee, Etsy also charges a transaction fee of 5% on each sale, along with payment processing fees.

Perspective: From a cost perspective, Shopify's subscription-based model allows you to have more control over your expenses, especially if you have a larger inventory or plan to scale your business. However, the monthly fees need to be considered in relation to the value and features provided by Shopify.

Additional Costs

Shopify: While the monthly subscription fee covers many features, it's important to consider additional costs that may arise. These can include app fees for additional functionality, themes, customizations, and third-party integrations. While some apps are free, others may come with a one-time or recurring fee.

Etsy: While Etsy's listing and transaction fees cover most expenses, there may still be additional costs to consider. These can include optional advertising fees to promote your products and enhance visibility on the platform.

Perspective: Both platforms offer additional features and services that can incur costs beyond the basic fees. It's essential to assess your specific business needs and determine whether the additional features and functionalities provided by Shopify or Etsy justify the associated costs.

Customization and Branding

Shopify: With Shopify, you have more control over the customization and branding of your online store. You can create a unique website design, customize the layout, choose from a wide range of themes, and build a cohesive brand identity. While some customizations may require technical expertise or the help of a developer, Shopify provides a robust platform that empowers you to create a professional and personalized online store.

Etsy: In contrast, Etsy offers a standardized platform where the focus is primarily on individual products rather than store branding. While you can customize elements such as shop banners and policies, the overall design and layout of your Etsy shop will adhere to the platform's template.

Perspective: Shopify allows you to create a more personalized and branded online store, enabling you to differentiate your business and build a stronger brand identity. However, it's important to consider the time and resources required to implement these customizations and whether they align with your specific business goals.

Marketing and Promotion

Shopify: As a standalone platform, Shopify provides various marketing and promotion tools to help you drive traffic and increase sales. These include built-in SEO features, social media integrations, email marketing capabilities, and the ability to run targeted advertising campaigns. While some of these features may require additional costs, they offer opportunities for Canadian businesses to reach a wider audience and drive more conversions.

Etsy: Etsy has a built-in marketplace with a large and established customer base. This can provide an advantage in terms of exposure and visibility without the need for extensive marketing efforts. However, Etsy's marketplace is highly competitive, and standing out among other sellers may require additional investment in promoted listings or advertising on the platform.

Perspective: Consider your marketing strategy and budget when comparing Shopify and Etsy. Shopify offers more control over your marketing efforts, allowing you to tailor campaigns and strategies to your specific Canadian audience. Etsy, on the other hand, provides a ready-made marketplace but may require additional investment in promotional features to stand out from the competition.

Fulfillment and Shipping

Shopify: With Shopify, you have the flexibility to choose your preferred shipping providers and set up your own shipping rates. This allows you to have more control over fulfillment and potentially negotiate better shipping rates for your Canadian customers. However, keep in mind that shipping costs are not included in Shopify's basic fees and need to be factored into your overall expenses.

Etsy: Etsy offers integrated shipping features that simplify the fulfillment process. You can easily calculate shipping costs based on weight, dimensions, and destination. Etsy also offers partnerships with shipping carriers, such as USPS, Canada Post, and others, to provide discounted rates to sellers. These features can save you time and effort in managing shipping logistics.

Perspective: Consider the nature of your products, shipping requirements, and volume of sales when comparing fulfillment and shipping costs. While Shopify gives you more flexibility, it may require additional effort and negotiation to optimize shipping costs. Etsy's integrated shipping features can be convenient, especially for smaller Canadian businesses, but be mindful of the associated fees and rates.


When comparing the costs of Shopify and Etsy, it's essential to consider various factors specific to your Canadian business. While Shopify's subscription-based model may require a monthly fee, it provides more flexibility and control over your online store. Etsy, on the other hand, charges listing and transaction fees but offers a platform where individual products take center stage.

Ultimately, the choice between Shopify and Etsy depends on your business goals, branding requirements, budget, and long-term growth plans. Consider the features, customizability, and costs associated with each platform to make an informed decision that aligns with your Canadian business objectives.