WooCommerce vs Etsy: A Comprehensive Comparison for Online Sellers

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WooCommerce vs Etsy | Picture of two young entrepreneurs staging their products for a photo session - Juan Rojo Design Toronto

WooCommerce vs Etsy

There’s more to the WooCommerce vs Etsy rivalry. As the world of e-commerce continues to grow, more and more businesses are turning to online marketplaces as a platform for selling their products. For instance, two of the most popular options for online sellers are WooCommerce and Etsy. Both have their pros and cons, and choosing the right platform can make all the difference when it comes to your online sales. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of WooCommerce and Etsy, comparing and contrasting the two platforms to help you make an informed decision about which is the best fit for your business.

Introduction to WooCommerce

WooCommerce vs Etsy | Screen shot of the homepage for the WooCommerce plugin - Juan Rojo Design Toronto

WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce plugin for the popular WordPress platform. It was created specifically for small to medium-sized online stores and allows business owners to easily sell their products online. With WooCommerce, you have complete control over your website and online store, making it easy to manage your products, orders, shipping, and more.

Advantages of WooCommerce

WooCommerce vs Etsy | Screen shot of custom product page for a course using WooCommerce - Juan Rojo Design Toronto
Fully customized product page – Designed to resemble the look of other online course sites, such as Udemy
WooCommerce vs Etsy | Screen shot of custom product page for a t-shit with variations for black and white in WooCommerce - Juan Rojo Design Toronto
Custom product page for apparel (t-shit), created in WooCommerce
      1. Complete Control Over Your Online Store

      One of the biggest advantages of using WooCommerce is the complete control you have over your online store. Therefore, with WooCommerce, you own your website and store, and you have the freedom to customize it in any way you see fit. This means you can choose your own theme, add your own plugins, and make any changes to the design and functionality of your store as needed.

      2. Wide Range of Customization Options

      Another advantage of using WooCommerce is the wide range of customization options available. With thousands of plugins and themes to choose from, you can easily create a unique online store that perfectly matches your brand. Whether you want to add additional functionality, such as a custom checkout process or product recommendations, or simply want to change the look of your store, WooCommerce has you covered.

      3. Cost Effective Solution

      WooCommerce is an incredibly cost-effective solution for online sellers. With the basic plugin available for free, you can easily start selling your products online without breaking the bank. There are also many affordable themes and plugins available that can help you take your store to the next level without spending a lot of money.

      4. Flexibility in Payment Options

      WooCommerce gives you the flexibility to choose the payment options that work best for your business. You can easily accept payments through PayPal, credit card, bank transfer, and more. In other words, you have the ability to choose which payment methods you want to offer, giving you more control over the checkout process and helping you provide the best possible experience for your customers.

Disadvantages of WooCommerce

      1. Steep Learning Curve

      One of the biggest disadvantages of using WooCommerce is the steep learning curve. If you’re not familiar with WordPress or have limited technical skills, it can take some time to get up and running with WooCommerce. This can make it difficult for some business owners to fully utilize the platform and take advantage of all its features.

      2. Requires Additional Plugins and Themes

      Another disadvantage of WooCommerce is that it requires additional plugins and themes to fully utilize its features. This means you may need to spend extra time and money to get your store up and running. While there are many affordable options available, you will still need to invest in the right plugins and themes to get the most out of your WooCommerce store. However, if you enroll the help of a web developer, you can have your store look any way you want it to.

      3. Technical Support Can Be Limited

      Finally, technical support can be limited when using WooCommerce. As an open-source platform, there is no official support team available to help you with any issues or problems you may encounter. While there is a large community of users

Advantages of Selling on Etsy

Screen shot of Etsy marketplace - Juan Rojo Design Toronto
Screen shot of Etsy’s Home Page
      1. Established Marketplace

      One of the biggest advantages of using Etsy to sell your products online is that it is an established marketplace with a large customer base. With over 60 million active buyers on the platform, it’s easier to reach a wider audience and potentially increase your sales. Etsy also has a strong reputation as a marketplace for unique and handmade goods, which can be beneficial for small businesses and artisans selling handmade products. In other words, if you are not technically inclined, Etsy might be the best point of entry for you into online sales

      2. Easy to Get Started

      Another advantage of using Etsy is that it’s easy to get started. Setting up a seller account and creating your first listing is simple and straightforward, and you can be up and running in no time. This makes it a great option for businesses that are just starting out and looking to sell their products online.

      3. Built-In Payment Processing

      Etsy provides built-in payment processing, making it easy for you to accept payments from your customers. You won’t have to worry about setting up your own payment system or worrying about security issues. Etsy handles all of this for you, allowing you to focus on selling your products.

      4. Access to Marketing Tools

      Etsy provides its sellers with access to a range of marketing tools, including promoted listings and paid advertising, making it easier for you to get your products in front of more potential customers. Additionally, Etsy also provides detailed analytics and insights, so you can track your sales and see how your store is performing.

Disadvantages of Selling on Etsy

Screen shot of product page for an Etsy store - Juan Rojo Design Toronto
Etsy product page – What you see is what you get, as not many elements can be modified for this layout.
      1. Fees

      One of the biggest disadvantages of using Etsy is the fees involved. Etsy charges a listing fee of $0.20 per item, as well as a 5% transaction fee and a 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee on each sale. While these fees are not prohibitively expensive, they can add up over time and take a significant bite out of your profits.

      2. Competition

      Another disadvantage of using Etsy is the competition. With so many sellers on the platform, it can be difficult to stand out and get noticed by potential customers. To be successful on Etsy, you need to have high-quality products and a strong marketing strategy to make your store stand out. In other words, you might need to spend money on Etsy ads and other social media platforms just to get noticed.

      3. Limited Control Over Your Store

      Finally, when selling on Etsy, you have limited control over your store. While you can customize your store to some extent, you are limited by Etsy’s rules and regulations, and you do not have full control over the design and functionality of your store. This can make it difficult to truly customize your store and make it unique to your brand.


WooCommerce and Etsy are both great options for businesses looking to sell their products online, and the right choice will depend on your specific needs and circumstances. If you’re looking for complete control over your online store and the ability to customize it as you see fit, then WooCommerce may be the better option. On the other hand, if you’re just starting out and want an easy-to-use platform with built-in payment processing and marketing tools, then Etsy may be the better choice for you. Regardless of which platform you choose, it’s important to carefully consider your needs and goals to ensure you make the right decision for your business.

I will be conducting my own experiment, by running the two types of stores concurrently. In other words, we’ll see in real time over the next six (6) months, which one is a better fit in terms of SEO, digital marketing and social media shares. Follow the blog for updates or check out my YouTube channel.