amazon fba vs shopify

How to choose between Amazon FBA VS Shopify

The bell rings and the match begins!

Amazon FBA vs Shopify: which is best and what’s the winner for your business?

Although these were somewhat of a dramatic first sentences, choosing between the two platforms is a huge decision for eCommerce owners.

Knowing how to choose between Amazon FBA VS Shopify comes with a truckful of questions that sometimes come with a not so simple answer.

To tackle this, we have created ashortlist with some of the key differences between the two of them so you can have a clearer idea of what’s the best fit for your business – both in numbers and features.

How to choose between Amazon FBA VS Shopify

Before we dive into the specifics of each platform, let’s talk numbers.

Amazon is a brand-ready platform.

Everyone knows or has heard of Amazon. Many have made purchases on Amazon already.

This is already a clear advantage.

But you shouldn’t leave Shopify aside just know!

With over 1 million businesses using it, it can’t be that bad – and, in fact, it isn’t!

But let’s dive into it.

Ready made platform

How to choose between Amazon FBA VS Shopify when you’re looking for a (close to) ready made platform?

Shopify is a platform that will allow you to fully customize your eCommerce business – the looks, the products, the payment methods and whatnot.

This means you’ll be entirely in charge of customizing everything: your checkout experience, the refunds policy, the customer service, and everything else.

On the other hand, Amazon is a close to ready made platform for you.

Your store is built-in to Amazon.

There’s less customization, the customer support is built-in as well, and buyers are already actively searching within the platform.

So what’s the verdict on Amazon FBA vs Shopify for a ready made platform?

If you want to focus on the products and don’t have time or a team to personalize Shopify and get it working ASAP, Amazon FBA is probably the best choice for you.

If, however, you want to completely own the eCommerce – including clients’ data – and control every aspect of it, Shopify is your best fit.


What about costs?

To get into the subject you need to know that both platforms have fixed and variable costs.

Fixed costs on both platforms:

Monthly fee: starting at 29$Monthly fee: starting at 39.99$

Shopify is a clear fixed costs winner with savings at 10$ a month.

But when you look into the variable costs, the pit between the two platforms grows even more.

Variable costs on both platforms:

Transaction fees: 2% + credit card fees (if applicable)Storage fees: starting at 0.75$/unitPrice increases between October and December
Fulfillment fees: starting at 2.16$/unit
Referral fees: starting at 8$

Amazon has a sales margin calculator here. So you can see for yourself how much you can actually profit from a sale with all the variable costs they have.

However, we think it’s pretty clear on who’s the winner here if we’re only looking at platform costs: Shopify!

Lower variable and fixed costs can mean more money in your pocket.


How to choose between Amazon FBA VS Shopify when it comes to marketing?

Marketing is a really big piece in any eCommerce business!

There’s no scaling without marketing.

There’s no growing to 8 figures a year without marketing.

So, if you’re tied to your decision so far, this may be the breakthrough you’ve been looking for.

In Marketing, some key aspects matter:

  • Volume of qualified traffic;
  • Costs of advertising;
  • Customer support

Let’s focus mostly on these 3 and have a look at each of them.

Volume of qualified traffic

As we’ve mentioned before, people are already actively searching for products on Amazon.

When you’re actively looking for something, you’re closer to buying it.

So marketing efforts on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Google can be reduced.

Amazon will market your products for you.

You need good positioning and good SEO (as you always will, regardless of which platform you’ll use), but selling under the Amazon name would be like telling someone you learned how to kick a ball with Cristiano Ronaldo.

With Shopify, your marketing is entirely your responsibility.

If you don’t market, you don’t show up to people and you don’t sell.

Easy as this.

But not all is bad! 

Because being in charge of your own marketing efforts means you’re the one who chooses your traffic.

So you can choose to pay for traffic that brings in your ideal clients.

Costs of advertising

Following the previous points, advertising includes many things:

Amazon will take care of the abandoned carts follow-up for you, for example, whereas Shopify won’t.

You’re the one who needs to set up an abandoned cart automation with your email marketing platform with API keys and whatnot.

In terms of paid ads and traffic, you can do it in both Amazon FBA and Shopify – and it’s actually recommended.

However, you will always benefit from Amazon’s paid traffic, which is a plus.

Customer support

Customer support can make or break your brand.

We’ve mentioned in another post that this is a great and effective way to increase your customer’s value and to increase your profit from each customer.

You want to have your customers praise your brand because that means lower advertising costs and higher client margins as they keep buying again and again.

Amazon has built-in customer support which is great and also a premium feature of ready made platforms.

Shopify doesn’t include this big bonus and you need to set it up yourself.

Final thoughts – which platform takes the prize?

At the end of the day, it’s about two things: how much you’re willing to pay and how much you want your eCommerce business to be completely owned by you.

An Amazon FBA will become pricier and your profit margins will take a hit.

With Shopify, you have higher margins, but twice the work to get your eCommerce business online and booming a whole lot more.

Now, here’s the thing: you don’t have to choose.

You can use both Amazon FBA and Shopify.

There’s no law or rule prohibiting it.

Using both will bring you the best of both worlds! 

So in the matter of how to choose between Amazon FBA VS Shopify – don’t choose.

Go with both.


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