With eCommerce predicted to account for nearly 22% of global retail sales by 2023, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of eCommerce platform options for selling as a small business owner. To help narrow your search, it’s important to consider what you’re looking for in a platform. Do you want a service that will help you build your own website? Are you prepared to handle every aspect of your eCommerce selling yourself, or do you want more structure? And which platform works best with print on demand retailers? Here’s everything you need to know to make an informed decision.
Etsy is an eCommerce website that allows business owners to sell their handmade or vintage items, including print on demand products. Etsy offers a free and $10 per month plan, the latter of which allows you to send notifications when products are back in stock, get your own URL at a discount, and get more listing credits, which bumps your products to the top of customers’ results. With both plans, you pay listing and transaction fees, along with offsite advertising fees, all of which Etsy charges for every sale. Etsy also offers discounted shipping and postage for their customers along with a customer reviews feature.
Print on demand business owners can sell on Etsy, but per Etsy policy, you must disclose in your store listings that you are working with a production company, and you must use your own designs. All sellers must meet seller service level standards to sell on Etsy. With Etsy, you can publish two variations per product per listing, 13 tags with each product, and 10 photos per listing. Gooten’s integration with Etsy meets their requirements while helping you build your business. Click here to learn more.
WooCommerce is a free open-source eCommerce plugin for WordPress. You pay WooCommerce payment fees and for all paid app extensions. WooCommerce processes payments through WooCommerce payments, which allows most payment methods. To help you build your store, WooCoommerce has a marketplace with free and paid extensions. Users of their shipping management tool can save up to 90% on shipping.
The sky is the limit for your print on demand store with WooCommerce, provided you have the skills and resources to implement. Gooten offers an integration with WooCommerce to help make your order and fulfillment process seamless. Click here to learn more.
Shopify is an all-in-one commerce platform with a monthly subscription fee starting at $29. Shopify has tools from marketing all the way to delivery. With Shopify, you can set up a custom storefront on your own website. Depending on your plan, you can use Shopify to optimize your website for SEO, sell on Facebook, and integrate with social media, get product reviews, send emails to your customers, and more. Shopify payments allow for no-fee transactions, but there are 100+ other payment options (though Shopify does charge transaction fees for non-Shopify Payments purchases). Shopify lets you manage your inventory and shipping with their dashboards, automatically created shipping labels, and discounted shipping rates.
Shopify allows for all fulfillment methods, including print on demand. With Shopify, you can sell unlimited products and variations of those products with specific SKUs, so you can test as many variations of your print on demand products as you want. You can also post as many images, videos, and 3D videos of your products, and Shopify allows for 250 tags per product, which helps get your products seen by customers. Click here to learn about integrating Shopify and Gooten to better manage your print on demand business.
Similar to Shopify, BigCommerce is all-in-one commerce platform, offering tools from marketing your store through product delivery. Monthly subscriptions start at $29.99 for a BigCommerce essentials plan. BigCommerce lets you set up a store on your own website, optimize your page for SEO, sell on social media, connect to social media, collect product reviews, send emails to customers, and more. Unlike Shopify, BigCommerce offers 65 pre-integrated online payment solutions with no extra charges. Instead, BigCommerce has earnings limits. If you sell more than $50,000 worth of products with BigCommerce, the platform automatically moves you into the Plus plan ($79.95 per month). BigCommerce also lets you manage your inventory and shipping with discounted shipping rates.
How to Compare Each Platform
Below are some considerations for selecting an eCommerce selling platform and how each provider stacks up.
How Much You Want to Customize
How much you are willing to build and manage yourself will help determine which platform to use.
- If you want to upload your products and sell, try Etsy.
- If you want an all-in-one platform with resources that make it easy to build your business, try Shopify or BigCommerce.
- If you are willing and able to take more of a DIY approach, try WooCommerce.
Knowing your budget will help you narrow down your search, as will understanding that each listed price may come with other associated costs that can add up.
- Shopify and BigCommerce have the highest upfront cost but less additional fees in the long run.
- Etsy is free but shipping and listing prices can add up.
- WooCommerce is free to start but you may need to set aside additional budget for people to build out your eCommerce business.
Your Own Website
Whether you want to sell your products on your own website matters in your decision making process.
- If you care less about having your own website to sell your products, try Etsy.
- If a website of your own is a must, try WooCommerce, Shopify, or BigCommerce.
Integrations You Need
As a print on demand seller, you need to be able to sync your fulfillment provider with your selling platform. You may also want to integrate email providers, social media, Google Ads, and more. While all the listed platforms integrate with a variety of fulfillment providers, some are more hands-on than others.
- If you want more of a set it and forget it approach, try Shopify or BigCommerce.
- If you’re ok with doing a little bit of tinkering, such as narrowing down photos, try Etsy.
- If you’re tech-savvy and can manage APIs and other integrations, try WooCommerce.
Gooten Is Here to Help with All Things eCommerce Selling