Selling On WooCommerce Vs Etsy

If you are selling product online the most common question that is asked is WooCommerce Vs Etsy. Should I sell on Etsy or should I build my own website and sell my products on places like Shopify, WooCommerce for Wordpress or WIX?

I have been an eCommerce expert for a long time and here is my honest take on whether you should sell on WooCommerce or Etsy 

What is WooCommerce?

Woocommerce is a free eCommerce plug-in that you use with WordPress. You will need a creator or entrepreneur WordPress subscription to be able to use WooCommerce. Woocommerce markets themselves as a "free tool" however while the plug-in is free to add to Wordpress there are fees if you want to customise or change the plugin. 

Your Level Of Expertise & Budget

One of the main deciding factors of selling with WooCommerce vs Etsy is you going to come down to your level of expertise and your budget.

Selling on Woocommerce

Woocommerce is a plug-in for WordPress and it allows you to sell your own products, both physical or digital, through the Wordpress platform.

As it is built through Wordpress this means you will need to know how to develop a WordPress website and set up product pages on your website before being able to sell products online. If you do not know how to develop a WordPress website then you are going to have to hire a website designer which will come with a pretty high price tag. 

Websites normally need higher maintenance meaning you need to buy domain names (www.yourbusiness,com) and link your website with Google Search Console, Google Analytics or Google Ads if you are serious about being found online and want to work on your SEO. 

Websites also come with high monthly fees and below is an example of what you would be looking to pay either monthly or yearly when taking out an Entrepreneur eCommerce plan with Wordpress with WooCommerce. 

Monthly this will cost you €70 or if want to pay annually it will cost €540 excluding taxes. 

You will then have to link your website with a payment provider like Stripe or Paypal to start accepting payments for the products you sell. Both of these platforms come with their own payment processing fees. 

Stripe fees

Paypal Fees

Selling on Etsy

When you are selling on Etsy you do not have to set up any external website to sell your products or buy a domain name. It is very easy and very straightforward to upload products to Etsy using their internal product listing system. Etsy also promotes your products on Google meaning you do not need to set up a Google Ads account. This means you will not have to hire a coder or a website designer to help you set up your Etsy store and means overall Etsy is less maintenance.

If you are thinking about selling on Etsy vs WooCommerce then here are some of the fees you can expect to pay below. 

Etsy fees are as follows:

One time payment of €15 to open your store. 

No monthly or annual subscription fees.

0.18c for every product listed on your Etsy store.

6.5 % Transaction fee, 4% + €0.30 payment processing fee.

Etsy fees


A Note On Woocommerce VS Etsy Fees

One of the most common complaints that I hear about selling on Etsy is "Etsy fees" and how expensive they are. However after researching other e-commerce platforms and looking at the monthly subscriptions fees on places like Shopify and WooCommerce plus the payment fees that stripe and PayPal charge then Etsy fees aren't as bad as people make out. 

Etsy does not have any monthly subscriptions like other eCommerce platforms make. So if you make zero sales in a month you will not have to pay anything. However if you are selling on WooCommerce and make 0 sales you will still to pay a monthly subscription fee of €70 to them.

So really making the decision between WooCommerce vs Etsy comes down to personal preferences. 

Customisation and Control on WooCommerce Vs Etsy

Customisation is a big difference when deciding between WooCommerce Vs Etsy. WooCommerce allows more customisation whereas with Etsy you are limited to what the platform allows. 

Customising on WooCommerce

When you are selling on WooCommerce you were going to have more control over how your online store looks. It is going to be fully customisable meaning that you can add your own brand colours and imagery to your shops homepage which you will not be able to do on Etsy. 

On WooCommerce you will be able to create a dedicated landing pages such as homepages, collection pages, about pages, contact pages and more. This means that your website will be packed full of unique and custom information about your shop.

Customising on Etsy

When it comes to customise in your store on Etsy you were going to be pretty limited to what you can do.

You will be able to add your own logo as your profile picture. You can add a custom banner to the top of your store so if somebody comes shopping on your store they will see a graphic on what you do on sell. Finally you will be able to customise how your product listings look so you'll be able to create unique product listing imagery within a editing software like Canva or in Photoshop. 

In the about section of your store you will be able to add some behind the scenes photos of your store and of yourself. 

However that will be it.

Reach and Gaining Customers on WooCommerce Vs Etsy

Attracting customers to your store is a factor you should consider when deciding between WooCommerce vs Etsy. With WooCommerce you will have to do a lot of external marketing to get customers where Etsy has over 1 million shoppers shopping on Etsy every single day. 

Getting customers on WooCommerce

When you use a e-commerce platform like  Woocommerce or Shopify then you will have to get your own traffic to your website. 

This means that she will have to do external marketing on places like TikTok Instagram, via email campaigns or through paid marketing campaigns on places like Google ads. 

Just because you build a website does not mean that you will automatically get traffic to your shop. 

It takes a lot of dedication and a lot of time to build up a brand presence online by interacting with potential customers in place like Instagram and trying to get them into a email campaign so you can nurture them and turn them into paying customers.

You will also have to have a strong understanding of SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimisation and it is the process of adding the same words or phrases that customers would use on Google search to find the types of products that you are selling. 

If you do not do any of these things on your WooCommerce or e-commerce platform then it is likely that she will not make any sales because people will not know about your website.

If you are a brand who is looking for help with SEO or would like to find out more about it than my sister site Website By Rose will be able to help you.

Getting customers on Etsy

Etsy gets over 1 million searches a day on their platform which means that they are bringing traffic to you. 

This means if your Etsy store is set up for SEO then this will allow your products to get in front of all of those customers who are actively searching for the types of products that you were selling. 

While I recommend also marketing on places like Pinterest, when selling on Etsy it is not necessary to do any external marketing to make sales on Etsy as long as your SEO is good. Etsy SEO will be the main driving force behind you getting customers on your Etsy store. 

This means that your main focus for your store can be uploading new products every single day instead of externally marketing and places like Instagram or TikTok or trying to nurture people through an email campaign. 

While these things are great and can also bring you more sales on Etsy it is not necessary to do these things to get visitors and to make sales on your story like it is on WooCommerce.

Overall Etsy can be far less maintenance then selling on an e-commerce platform like WooCommerce. 

Ownership on WooCommerce Vs Etsy

When it comes to deciding between WooCommerce Vs Etsy a big factor many sellers need to decide is on ownership. When you sell on a platform like WooCommerce you will fully own your store however when you sell on Etsy you will be selling on Etsy's marketplace meaning they have control over your store. 

WooCommerce and ownership

When you sell on WooCommerce you are in full ownership of your store. As long as you keep your domain up-to-date then nobody is going to come and close down your store because full ownership belongs to you.

This means you never have to worry about being reported or having Etsy randomly give you a sanction on your store which would prevent you from selling. 

However I should note that just because you own your online store does not mean you can sell trademarked products. Trademarked products like a Disney or Marvel are prohibited to sell as your own stock unless you get permissions from these two companies. If you were caught selling trademarked products on your store without the permission is that sorry then you can expect to face a legal battle with the companies. 

Etsy and ownership

When you are selling on Etsy you are a seller on their platform. For the most part this pretty straightforward and you don't have to worry about anything as long as you were following the rules and guidelines as laid out in the Etsy seller handbook. 

However I have come across plenty of new stores that have been closed down and this is normally due to them not following guidelines or selling copyrighted material. Another reason Etsy can close down stories is because the IP address you are using does not match the bank details that you inputted when setting up your Etsy store. Etsy take their customers safety very seriously and if they feel that anything is out of line or that you may be trying to scam any of their customers then they will shut down your store. 

While Etsy is a great market place to sell on as it brings you a lot of traffic and active customers it is also very important to follow their rules because if you don't then you do risk the chance of your store been closed down. 

Conclusion WooCommerce vs Etsy

In conclusion there are pros and cons to selling on WooCommerce vs Etsy. If you are an expert any cameras and you had set up online stores before and you know how to market them then starting on an e-commerce platform like newcomers would be a good idea as you would have more control over your store.

However, if you are a brand-new seller and you are brand new to selling online then I recommend starting with Etsy and building your way up to WooCommerce. This is because Etsy comes with its own traffic source and has millions of shoppers on their marketplace every single day. This will allow you to get used to selling online and build up momentum. 

As you start to grow on Etsy then my recommendation is to build a WooCommerce website on the side. What you can start to do then is leave a little notes within the PDF file of your digital files or send a message to the customer after their purchase saying "Hey thank you for your purchase if you would like to buy something else from my store then check out my brand new shop and here's a 10% discount". Overtime this will help you grow your brand awareness while you continue to make sales on Etsy. 

This would mean that the move from Etsy to another e-commerce platform like WooCommerce wouldn't be such a shock to your bank account because you would be continuing to make sales on one platform while slowly building sales on another. 

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