Amazon vs Shopify

As business owners and brand champions, it can be difficult to find 'helpful' information that really cements your decision-making process when it comes to the case of dedicated website vs marketplace. Both allow your products to be seen, both have numerous advantages and some unique challenges.


In this blog we want to explain the differences between Amazon (marketplace) and Shopify (your own website). All information is correct at the time of writing, if there are major changes we will update the information for you!


What is marketplace selling?


This is where a business uses a platform, such as Amazon, to sell their products. It means that when a consumer types a product description into a search engine, or directly into the platform, a selection of items are displayed from various sellers. It's then up to the customer to filter these down and find the ones they desire the most.


Some advantages of selling on Amazon are:

  • 95% of searches on Google pull through image boxes
  • 10k+ Keywords are ranked in first position on Google
  • Amazon Prime members averagely spend £1000 per year per person
  • Alexa users default to Amazon when searching for products

Stores have a dedicated page on Amazon with a short bio and a section for their customer reviews, but it is very much restricted in options for branding and personalisation. Businesses are using the Amazon 'template', with this limitation is can be hard for your brand to stand out from the crowd.






Why should I consider selling from my own website?


When thinking about establishing your brand's website, you may be hesitant due to the amount of start-up costs or things you need to take into consideration. Unlike using a marketplace template and insights, you will need to create you own structure and seek advice from experts on that hosting platform. However, and it's an 'important' however: selling from your own website will give you more freedom and unique brand-identity.


If you already have a following on social media, and you're looking to test the market, there's no reason not to try Amazon first. It can give you essential insight into your customer base and areas for improvement. Marketplace income can also be a solid bottom line... but... what happens next? What happens when you want to express yourself and inspire existing customers with new collections, or maybe create personalised incentives?


Having your own eCommerce website allows you the flexibility and freedom to display your products in your own way on your own terms. This is because industry leaders (such as Shopify) have the ability to add applications to their platform that have been developed with individual sellers at heart, not the over-arching broad marketplace goals.


What benefits does a Shopify website have?

At Pear Digital we are Shopify experts and enthusiasts! This is not because they are 'paying' us to be their ambassadors, it's because we have worked with the platform for our clients across many projects, and it really is the best base for an online store.


  • More than 80% of Shopify traffic comes from people using mobile devices
  • Most of the merchants selling on Shopify are over 25, but under 40 years old
  • Globally, Shopify has contributed over $307 billion in economic activity
  • There are thousands of apps to customise your website
  • Currently Shopify's eCommerce global market share is around 11%


Because Shopify is an established and recognised platform, you are more likely to find assistance when you need it, compared to other models. The fact that merchants are younger, and traffic is coming from modern media sources (not PC/Laptop web browsers) shows that the platform is current, keeping up with new technology.


The use of apps to easily add value to your website is something that we personally love. Gone are the days when you build a digital store and update your collections or page banners every couple of months... now you can run ad campaigns, create trade-login options, send automated emails, get customer feedback and so much more – with no complicated coding hassle.

Are the marketplace and website mutually exclusive options?


Absolutely not! Many businesses run their Amazon store alongside a Shopify website, and even sell via Instagram or Facebook. It depends on your brand, and your scale. If you're starting out with limited funds, you may wish to use a marketplace as a start-up. That way you can monitor advertising on social media, and sales on the marketplace. If you decide to scale up, you can add your Shopify website into the mix with a launch party and cool customer incentives!


Conversely, if you have a website that has been ticking-over for a few years and you'd like to inject some extra income, you can always start an Amazon store in tandem. Both options have their pros and cons, if you'd like to discuss what's best for your business, give us a call today and one of our friendly team will be happy to assist.