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Amazon vs Shopify: Which is the best to buy and sell online?

Electronic commerce, also known as eCommerce, consists of the use of web platforms with the intention of promoting and selling a product or service.

Currently, this type of activity is carried out all over the world through different media or applications, such as catalogs, shopping carts, or email marketing.

Its applications are varied and valuable benefits are obtained by both the seller & the consumer.

There are multiple online commerce sites, but two of their top representatives are Amazon and Shopify.

Both companies have made remarkable achievements, however, which one is better and how are they different?

Amazon & Shopify: What are the characteristics of these online retail giants?

Amazon is a business giant.

Since its founding, it has become a benchmark for websites offering international distribution services.

Shopify, on the other hand, is a multinational company based in Ontario, Canada.

Currently, its eCommerce platform hosts more than 1,000,000 online businesses from 175 countries.

Both Amazon and Shopify are excellent options for starting an eCommerce project.

However, what characterizes each company?

Amazon features

Amazon is an online marketplace that has a presence in the vast majority of countries in the world.

Its products range from clothing and footwear, electronic devices, jewelry, and much more.

Among the main features, the following stand out:

  • Reliability of the audience: Users trust the products offered on Amazon the most. This is due to the very high quality of service offered by the platform & excellent customer service.
  • High sales volume: The company’s web platform hosts millions of users. For this reason, potential customers are business opportunities that should not be missed.
  • Ease of catalog uploading: Having a catalog on Amazon’s marketplace is a great advantage to expand your eCommerce. The website interface is intuitive, and you can upload product inventory quickly. The system will provide you with templates with which you can organize your merchandise.

Shopify features

Shopify gives you the possibility to open your own online store, with which you will have access to international customers and get a large volume of sales.

The key features of this platform are:

  • Unlimited catalog and notifications: You can upload any number of products to the Shopify catalog. Every time you receive a sale, or a customer wants to contact you, the management system automatically takes care of notifying you by email.
  • Fast and easy to use interface: Setting up your eCommerce on Shopify takes just a couple of minutes. The website offers numerous customization tools to manage sales and orders. Also, its simplicity allows you to make full use of all the platform’s functionalities.
  • Marketplace tools: Shopify has numerous tools for its users that facilitate sales management. You can use templates to manage your catalogs, or use the SEO applications provided to increase the visibility of your products.

Amazon FBA vs Shopify: How do they differ and which one is better for selling products online?

Although the platforms function similarly, the reality is that they possess different approaches.

Both sites have management tools that simplify transactions.

In the case of Amazon, you can use Fulfillment by Amazon, known by its acronym FBA.

This service allows the platform to take care of warehousing, packaging, shipping & customer service.

On the other hand, Shopify has an app store, in order to enhance your e-commerce shop.

However, which of the two provides a better space to sell products, we’ll tell you below!

Usage & Configuration

In the case of Shopify, the website gives you access to a menu with a quick view of the total sales made, your main products & a detailed transaction schedule.

In case of any doubt, you can find different very well explained help manuals.

Finally, the site design allows you to create the necessary foundations to build an eCommerce website.

Amazon, on the other hand, is characterized by an extremely quick and easy setup process.

You just need to create an account, enter your data and the system will take care of the rest.

After that, all you have to do is upload your products.

You can use the FBA tool to arrange stock shipments to a local or remote Amazon warehouse.

Thus Amazon handles order fulfillment, or opt for the Fulfillment By Merchant (FBM) path, where you ship the products directly to your clients.


Currently, Amazon has two selling plans.

The first one is called the professional selling plan and is priced at 39.99 per month.

On the other hand, there is the individual selling plan

It has a charge of $0.99 per item sold + additional selling fees like fulfillment charges for example.

It is designed for people who sell less than 40 products per month & does not have many of the features that the professional plan has.

Shopify has three selling plans.

  • Basic plan, which costs $29 per month
  • Shopify plan, which costs $79 per month
  • Advanced plan, which costs $299

Some features and tools are enabled when switching from one plan to a more expensive one.

You can also complement your e-commerce with web-based or third-party applications, although the latter generate additional costs.

Seller customer service

In case of any inconvenience, Shopify has multiple communication channels to facilitate customer service.

They provide support via the following channels:

  • 24-hour active phone line
  • 24/7 online chat
  • emails
  • audio-visual tutorials
  • specialized support and inquiries through social networks.

For its part, Amazon has a slightly more closed customer service method.

You can request a phone call, so that a specialized agent of the company can contact you.

You can also request help or file a complaint via email, provide forms and search the community forum.


Amazon’s FBA service has fees ranging from $2.85 to $138.11 with additional charges for items over specified weight thresholds.

These payments are made up of shipping and referral fees, which vary depending on the category of your business.

The rates per unit sold will depend on factors such as volume, size, time of year and type of product.

In addition, monthly subscription costs are also added.

Shopify has sales fees for all of its payment methods.

The fees range from 0.5% to 2%, although this also depends on the contracted plan.

Generally, the credit card fee is 2.9%, although it can decrease to 2.4% for each item sold & is charged in addition to the sales fee.

Payment methods

In terms of payment methods, Shopify has more than 100 methods.

In addition to having its own payment gateway, it also stands out for the ability to make payments through Amazon pay and PayPal.

Amazon, on the other hand, does not use Paypal as a payment method and uses mostly its own gateway.

It’s also possible to pay by credit card or debit card.

Amazon or Shopify, which is the best priced platform for shoppers?

The best prices on the market can be found on Amazon.

Although Shopify outperforms its competitor’s platform in some aspects, it’s worth noting that the Canadian company provides its services mostly for dropshipping.

This method, which consists of selling the goods of a third party.

The merchant has no need to store the products in inventory, or have any contact with them.

The service provides several benefits such as:

  • less capital requirement
  • variety of products
  • the possibility of being managed from anywhere

However, prices are not the most stable for buyers due to reliance on 3rd party providers.

Steps to use Amazon with Shopify and have the best of both worlds

Why choose between one or the other?

It’s possible to use both platforms for better positioning, expansion and exposure of your eCommerce venture.

Shopify has the capability of linking to your Amazon catalog.

Likewise, you will be able to link product details and create listings.

To get the best out of both sites, you must first have an Amazon seller account, then you will have to pay for the professional plan.

Next, you need to add the Amazon seller channel to your Shopify online store.

The steps to achieve this are:

1. Activate the sales channel

Add the Amazon sales channel from your eCommerce control panel in Shopify.

2. Press the sales channel button

A dialog box will open informing you about the implications of adding a sales channel.

3. Click on add sales channel

Follow the on-screen instructions to synchronize your accounts.

Then, grant permissions to the Amazon account from the Shopify control panel.

This will complete the process.

You will be able to start selling your Shopify products on Amazon and vice versa.

Link items, create new offers or new publications.