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How to Select Your Online Marketplace

In the bustling world of online marketplaces, small businesses, and independent sellers are nearly overloaded with choices. Each platform offers unique advantages and drawbacks, depending on your needs and preferences. Let's dig into the pros and cons of four prominent platforms for selling online

Etsy, Eventeny, Shopify, and Squarespace

Let's see who brings the most value to artists, vendors, and exhibitors looking to make a mark both online and at events.

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Etsy: A crafty corner in the digital marketplace  

Etsy has earned its reputation as a crafters' home, boasting a large and diverse marketplace with handmade and unique items. Setting up shop on Etsy is a straightforward process, thanks to user-friendly tools and a built-in audience that attracts millions of buyers. The platform's emphasis on handmade and vintage products creates a niche community, fostering a sense of community among sellers.

Despite its popularity, Etsy comes with its set of challenges. A notable drawback is the 6.5% transaction fee, which can significantly impact the profitability of small businesses. Additionally, the payment processing fees of 3% plus $0.25 per transaction further contribute to the overall cost. 

The competitive landscape within Etsy can pose a hurdle for sellers. Standing out amid a sea of similar products requires strategic marketing and branding efforts. Furthermore, while Etsy allows some degree of shop customization, sellers face limitations in controlling their brand image.

The $0.20 fee per listing might seem nominal, but for those with a large inventory, it adds up. This can quickly affect your budget as an independent artist or vendor.

Etsy's positive aspects, however, cannot be overlooked. The platform's mission to "Keep commerce human" resonates with its community-driven approach. The strong sense of community, seller-friendly tools, and customization options contribute to a generally positive user experience. 

For those willing to navigate the challenges, Etsy remains a viable option for connecting with a broad audience. It lets you tap into the demand for unique, handcrafted products. Balancing the benefits of a built-in audience and community spirit against the potential costs is crucial if you’re considering Etsy as your online marketplace.

Eventeny: Bridging online and in-person sales

Eventeny distinguishes itself in the competitive landscape by adopting an event-centric approach. This makes it an ideal platform for vendors and artists seeking a seamless connection between online and in-person sales. 

Boasting a reasonable 5% transaction fee and no setup fees, Eventeny provides a cost-effective solution for small businesses. The absence of listing fees and the ability to showcase unlimited products make it an attractive proposition for artists. And if you have a diverse inventory you can foster a sense of inclusivity within the platform.

What sets Eventeny apart is its strategic partnership with over 10,000 events hosted on the platform. This collaboration easily connects vendors and their marketplaces to the events they work with. This provides a unique opportunity for exposure and sales. 

The platform's commitment to simplifying the selling experience is evident in its user-friendly interface. This makes it easy for artists and vendors to navigate and set up types of products effortlessly in their shop. Furthermore, Eventeny's innovative feature of providing an easy template for uploading inventory from other platforms like Etsy or Shopify streamlines the reach of sellers.

Eventeny's mission is to "Take the stress out of events for everyone". This aligns with its goal of empowering sellers to thrive both online and at events. For artists who wish to showcase their creations in the digital realm and onsite, Eventeny stands out as a valuable ally. 

The platform's commitment to low costs, seamless event integration, and user-friendly features positions it as an excellent choice. Eventeny is ideal for those looking to extend their reach beyond traditional online marketplaces. As the digital and physical worlds increasingly converge, Eventeny emerges as a bridge, connecting artists and vendors with a broader audience across various selling environments.


Curious about a head-to-head look at Etsy and Eventeny?

See it here. 

Shopify: Empowering e-commerce with customization and scale 

Shopify stands out as a powerhouse in online retail. It offers a highly customizable platform that empowers businesses with full control over branding and design. Its array of features, including multiple sales channels, a robust app store, and powerful SEO tools. These make it a go-to choice for entrepreneurs looking to create a unique online presence. 

Shopify's scalability is another key advantage, allowing business owners to grow seamlessly as their needs evolve. The platform's mission to "Make commerce better for everyone" reflects its commitment to providing a dynamic and evolving space for selling products online.

However, the customization and scalability offered by Shopify come at a cost. While the platform offers a free setup, its monthly plans range from $29 to $299, depending on the features and capabilities needed. Additionally, 2.9% to 2.4% to payment processors based on the plan, and online credit card rates can add up, impacting profit margins for small businesses. 

The pricing structure may pose a hurdle for budget-conscious sellers, and the steeper learning curve could be intimidating for online businesses. Despite these drawbacks, Shopify's does deliver. Extensive third-party apps and integrations provide users with a broad array of tools to enhance their online stores.

Shopify's mission to improve commerce is evident in its continuous efforts to introduce new features and functionalities. Shopify remains a compelling for businesses looking to establish a robust online presence with advanced customization options.

While the cost considerations may deter some, the investment in Shopify often pays off for those seeking a comprehensive and feature-rich e-commerce solution. The platform's commitment to providing a dynamic space for businesses to thrive aligns with the ever-evolving nature of the digital marketplace.

Squarespace: Elegant simplicity in the world of online presence

Initially, people knew Squarespace for its user-friendly website builder. Now it has nicely integrated e-commerce capabilities. This has made it an attractive option for artists seeking a balance between simplicity and elegance. The platform offers a range of pricing plans starting at $12 per month, making it accessible for small businesses with varying budgets.

Squarespace's intuitive website builder allows users to create a professional online presence effortlessly, a feature highly valued by artists wanting to showcase their work in a visually appealing manner.

Squarespace's pricing structure, however, can be a bit complex, with different plans incorporating various transaction fees. Some plans, however, waive some transaction fees, providing a cost-effective solution for businesses aiming to minimize additional costs. 

Squarespace is simple and easy to use, making it a great option for e-commerce even though it lacks some advanced features. It can be ideal for artists in need of a clean and user-friendly online store. The platform's commitment to providing tools to create beautiful, professional websites reflects its dedication to fostering aesthetically pleasing and functional online presences.

Worth noting is that Squarespace's traffic may be lower compared to dedicated marketplaces, which could impact sales and awareness. Basically, you will have to do your own marketing when using Squarespace. Nevertheless, for artists prioritizing a visually stunning and easy-to-manage online store over complex e-commerce features, Squarespace offers a compelling solution. 

The platform's mission aligns with its goal of providing accessible tools for individuals and businesses. They craft a distinctive online identity, making it an appealing choice for those who prioritize brand control in their digital storefronts.

Conclusion: Eventeny shines if you sell more than online 

Etsy: Higher transaction fees and more competition, but if you can stand out it may be worth it.

Eventeny: If you sell your work at onsite events, this will be a tough platform to top.

Shopify: If you're focused on online sales first, and have the time, this platform can be very useful.

Squarespace: As a website builder first, this can be a good option if you don’t have a complicated inventory.

Here’s another way to put it.

If you don’t want a website and just want to sell online: Look into Etsy.

If you sell onsite at events, fairs, or festivals: Eventeny is right for you.

If you want your own website and have a complicated inventory: Check out Shopify.

If you want a website but have simple or limited products: Squarespace will probably fit the bill.

Every business is different, large or small. Also, don’t sleep on selling in multiple places. You’ll add visibility, and Eventeny makes it easy to work with Etsy or Shopify. So good luck and happy selling!