Shopify Vs. Etsy

April 24, 2014

Shopify and Etsy have both built large merchant e-commerce brands over the past decade, but have pursued different strategies. Shopify built SaaS software for hosting your own e-commerce operation, and over the years has focused on growing up market with bigger brands. Etsy built a marketplace where the long-tail of creators could sell and buy goods from each other. Both companies publicize some of their data, and it is interesting to analyze and compare a variety of KPIs over the past few years.


  • In 2013, for the first time ever, sales across all Shopify stores exceeded Etsy ($1.68B vs. $1.34B)
  • Shopify has managed to maintain 100%+ year-on-year GMV growth through the platform
  • Etsy annual GMV growth has slowed to ~50% in 2013

Average Price per Item

  • The average item costs ~$20 on Etsy, where as the average order on Shopify is ~$75
  • Even assuming 2 items per order, the average item on Shopify is ~$38, almost 2x that on Etsy

Shopify KPIs

  • Shopify has likely managed to maintain strong GMV growth by growing up market with stores
  • Sales across Shopify stores has grown faster than the total number of Shopify stores
  • Average sales per store therefore increased 2.32x over the last 5 years to ~$20k per store in 2013 vs. ~$8k in 2009
  • Order growth has exceeded customer growth, resulting in more orders per customer
  • Estimating Shopify’s key revenue drivers to be a $75 MRR per store and 1% of GMV profit from their merchant processing, we ballpark $90MM in 2013 revenue. Now this is likely overstated because not all 81k stores in 2013 would have paid 12 months of software fees. Taking the MRR from 2012 and adding 2013 GMV revenue we get a lower bound estimate of $55MM

Etsy KPIs

  • Etsy’s ability to optimize conversion for sellers (because they design the entire platform) has improved purchase conversion over time
  • Sales per thousand views has grown 2.88x since 2008, up from $22.74 in 2008 to $65.57 in 2013
  • Etsy surpassed the prior year’s December peak sales in Jul ‘09, Sep ‘10, Aug ‘11, Aug ‘12, and Nov ‘13
  • Estimating Etsy’s key revenue drivers to be a $0.20 fee on items sold and 1% of GMV profit from their merchant processing, we ballpark $20MM in 2013 revenue
  • Year-on-year monthly GMV growth has declined from ~120% in January ‘09 (Jan ‘09 GMV was 220% of Jan ‘08) to less than 50%


  • You can download all the data I compiled here
  • The Etsy data is compiled from their monthly weather reports. December 2013 sales for Etsy are estimates since the company hasn’t published a report since November, 2013 (quiet period?).
  • The Shopify data is compiled from their 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010. 2009 data was backed out of the 2010 infographic.
Shopify Vs. Etsy was published on (revised: ) Miles Grimshaw

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