Etsy vs Amazon —  A Comparative study on the two market place for first time sellers

It is 4am in the morning. You have gotten the sample for your first production run. Everything is going smoothly, and you are about to launch your first online store to start selling your product. What marketplace or online store software should you use? There are so many of them out there — Shopify, Amazon, Etsy, etc. I will share my experience and discuss the difference between Etsy and Amazon.

List a Product

To start, you have to list a product into the store before you can start selling. Since Amazon might be a more mature / older platform, they have massive amount of fields to describe almost any products. Some of which can be very redundant as well. Etsy seems to be way more simple and you can list a product with just title, description, price and photo.

  1. Things on Amazon listing process that really stuck out like a sore thumb:
  2. You have to have UPC number for your product in order to be listed
  3. Update takes about 30–45 minutes to propagate
  4. Your listing will show that you are “one of the vendor” who sells the product while you might be the “only” one selling the product

Checkout and Payment

One might argue that Amazon has a better checkout experience because it has stored almost everyone’s credit card information on there. While Etsy definitely does not have that setup for their shoppers, I don’t think this is necessarily a deal breaker for Etsy. Pre-storing credit card information is great for frequent and repeat purchase. If you are buying a lot of things over and over from the same source, it really makes sense if the store can store your information for you. Etsy tends to attract new vendors with unique products that warrant a single purchase, the ability to store credit card number is not exactly needed. Also, most products are unique and tend to be on the expensive side in Etsy, not having the credit number stored should be the last road block for your customer’s buying decision.

Built in Advertising

Both Amazon and Etsy have built-in advertising support to help you sell more product. Etsy advertising product is CPM based so you have to bid on a per impression basis. On the other hand, Amazon offer a CPC based advertising product where you only pay for clicks to your product. Both products have their own pros and cons, and it’s very hard to tell whether one is better than the other without experimentation. Based on my experience at Wizardry Foundry, I have way better luck with Amazon CPC. That could have been because my product is in a special niche and it’s not really that competitive.

If you have to ask me to pick my favorite eCommerce platform, I am going to have to pick Amazon. While Etsy is a solid platform for selling craft goods, Amazon has way bigger reach and the CPC is pretty effective. I saw way more sales coming from Amazon than from Etsy. I highly recommend you try all the channel until you have found the right one for your product! You never know which one will be more optimized for your vertical.

Also published on Medium.

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