Shopify vs Zazzle

Below, we will see how Shopify vs Zazzle compare against each other. Shopify is now the most popular e-commerce platform, for good reasons. It is an all-in-one solution that is complete with every feature that you would ever need. However, it doesn’t provide any free subscription option. Zazzle is an alternative that will allow you to start with zero money.

After reading this article, you will understand better about:

  • How each e-commerce platform here works
  • The distinctive features and capabilities of each platform
  • The advantages of Shopify vs Zazzle
  • The disadvantages of Shopify compared to Zazzle
  • Which platform that is more suitable for your purpose

About Shopify

Shopify is a “software as a service” or SaaS, that serves to allow you to create an online store. On this platform, you can find various templates that can be freely customized to suit your particular preferences and requirements. You can use it to sell physical as well as digital goods. See also: TeePublic vs Teespring

Although the main idea of Shopify is a platform where people with little to no technical skills can create an online store, without the need of hiring a web developer or designer, it still allows more extensive customization. Users who have some programming background will love the fact that Shopify does allow them to edit the HTML and CSS files of the templates.

In addition, Shopify is a hosted all-in-one solution, so there is no need to buy your own web hosting. Everything comes right out of the box. Then again, indeed you can integrate Shopify into your own website if you already have one.

With such flexibility and versatility, Shopify easily becomes most people’s primary choice for an e-commerce platform. Unfortunately, this is a subscription-based service without any free tier. You will need to pay a monthly fee. For sure, it is totally worth the money, and you will be able to access Shopify from any web browser as long as you have an internet access. But, people who are just starting out, the lack of a free tier might be a problem.

Features of Shopify

When choosing between Shopify vs Zazzle, pricing is one of the main factors that people need to consider. Shopify does not have a free tier. The five subscription options on Shopify are:

  • Shopify Plus (negotiable based on the implemented features)
  • Advanced Shopify ($299/month)
  • Shopify ($79/month)
  • Basic Shopify ($29/month)
  • Shopify Lite ($9/month)

The good news is, you can already start selling an unlimited number of goods with the cheapest plan, Shopify Lite. However, note that this plan does not actually give you a full stand-alone online store (you need a higher subscription for that). Shopify Lite simply gives you:

  • the Shopify Buy Button which you can put on an existing website or blog,
  • the ability to sell through your Facebook account, and
  • the ability to use Shopify in a physical store for selling goods and managing inventory.

If you don’t want to spend too much money, Shopify Lite is already an excellent choice. The Shopify Buy Button will enable you to integrate Shopify with another platform, such as WordPress or Joomla. Visitors who come to your website will be able to make a purchase simply by clicking the button. The functionality is also equipped with useful features, such as the ability to track shipping orders and fulfillment status.

Shopify: The Good

Very easy to use. Even a total potato can use Shopify without a problem. You can set up an account, personalize your online store, and configure the goods to sell with a few clicks. It is also accompanied with complete beginner guides and clear documentation.

Highly flexible and customizable. Shopify has an answer for every need. Already have a website? Integrate with the Shopify Buy Button. Need a full-fledged online store? Use the awesome mobile-friendly templates, or tweak them if you know your way around HTML and CSS.

Great scalability. Shopify is hosted in its own efficient, well-designed environment. It is very powerful yet still very user-friendly. It can easily serve the needs of small businesses as well as large companies.

Excellent support and community. There are various free and paid add-ons that can bring additional functions to your online store. If you encounter any issue, you may seek assistance from Shopify’s 24-hour customer service or the user and developer community.

Shopify: The Bad

Transaction fee. Shopify has its own payment processor which is called Shopify Payments. If you use Shopify Payments for handling your transactions, you won’t get charged. Unfortunately, Shopify Payments is only available in select countries. If you use another payment processor, like PayPal or Stripe, there will be a transaction fee charged on every purchase.

Requires time and effort. If you want to use Shopify, this means you want to build your own online store and/or brand. Despite the superior ease of use compared to starting from scratch, you will still need to think about how to build an audience, marketing, and shipping. Shopify is not recommended if, say, you are a designer looking to sell your designs in a marketplace that already has plenty of organic traffic.

About Zazzle

Zazzle is an online retailer that provides a free platform where designers can buy or sell ready-made products. It calls itself “the Make Engine” because it enables pretty much anyone to make pretty much anything.

It should be noted that Shopify vs Zazzle are different with their approach. With Shopify, you get an e-commerce platform to build your own online store. With Zazzle, you become one of the sellers in a marketplace.

Zazzle is ideal for designers, illustrators, and artists who want to make money without having to deal with complicated production, inventory, and shipping. You simply need to create a design and place it on an item, such as a t-shirt, pillow cover, or postcard. Then, you can sell the product on the marketplace and earn a commission from every purchase.

You won’t need to keep an inventory because Zazzle provides a print-on-demand service. They will also handle the shipping. Zazzle has deployed state-of-the-art software and hardware to ensure a smooth automated process from the purchase to the moment the product arrives at the buyer.

Features of Zazzle

Zazzle gives you the opportunity to upload your projects and fit them onto a wide range of items for sale. The entire process is free, so you don’t need to spend any money when you are just starting out. Instead, Zazzle will earn money by taking a base price from every purchase.

You, the designer, will earn a commission from every purchase as well. You can even set how much that you will earn by setting a percentage. However, keep in mind that increasing the percentage will also increase the displayed price for the customer. You want your final price to stay competitive against other sellers in the same category.

Zazzle offers another way to make profit, which is affiliate marketing. The entire process is completely free, too. After signing up, you will get a unique affiliate link. Then, you can use this link to promote any product that is sold in the website, including your own. This is a great way to boost your profit over the standard commission.

Zazzle: The Good

Between Shopify vs Zazzle, obviously the very first advantage of Zazzle is that it is free. You don’t even need to spend money every month to keep your account. This is really great if you have a limited budget, or if you simply want to minimize your spending.

Zazzle is also very simple and straightforward. Just create an account, upload your designs, customize your products, and wait for sales. Of course, it is even better if you can promote your products on social media. You can’t care less about item stock, printing, and shipping, as all those are handled by the platform.

In general, the item quality in Zazzle is good. There hasn’t been an issue about bad or defective products. Zazzle also has good security features, as it hasn’t experienced any data breach so far.

Zazzle: The Bad

Limited profit. You will only earn a percentage of the final price as your commission, although you can earn some bonus from affiliate marketing. This is fair because Zazzle is the one who procures the base item and deals with the production and shipping. But, if you prefer to set your own prices, building your own online store is probably better.

Limited customizability. You can’t customize your seller page. If you really want to create your own page, you can build a separate website, styled according to your taste, and put your affiliate link there.

Shopify vs Zazzle

- Hosted all-in-one e-commerce solution - Online marketplace
- You handle the marketing, production, and shipping- The platform handles the production and shipping
- You will need to build an audience to your online store- There is some organic traffic on the website
- Highly flexible and customizable- Limited customizability
- You earn the full profit, except there's a transaction fee- You only earn a percentage-based commission


These two platforms are for different needs and purposes. In general, Shopify is still more recommended because it is very powerful, flexible, and scalable. It is great for building an online store with your own audience and brand in the long run. However, if you only want to sell products without having to worry about production, shipping, or monthly fee, Zazzle is a good alternative.

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