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Shopify vs. Shopee and Lazada: Where to Set Up Shop?

Shopify vs. Shopee and Lazada

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In the bustling world of e-commerce, the dilemma of choosing the right platform for selling products is more prevalent than ever. With the rise of marketplace giants like Shopee, Amazon, and Lazada, alongside powerful e-commerce solutions like Shopify, sellers are often caught in a conundrum.

This comprehensive guide delves into a comparison between selling on Shopify and marketplaces, focusing on key metrics such as setup and maintenance effort, costs, customer reach, branding control, scalability, logistics, customer lifetime value, community, and legitimacy.

Navigate through the complexities of e-commerce platforms and make an informed decision that aligns with your business goals.

shopify vs marketplace

Setup and Maintenance Effort

Shopify stands out as an all-in-one solution, enabling sellers to manage their online business effortlessly with features like inventory management, SEO, and support for various payment gateways.

It’s designed for those who wish to create a unique online presence and manage multiple marketplaces seamlessly.

Marketplaces like Shopee and Lazada, on the other hand, provide a ready-to-use platform but may limit the customization and control over the storefront.

Costs Consideration

Marketplaces often have variable commission structures based on product categories and seller status, with Shopee charging 3-5% for Mall sellers and Lazada offering commission-free selling for local sellers but charging LazMall sellers 1-4%​.

Shopify, in contrast, involves monthly subscription fees and additional costs for using external payment gateways but offers greater control over margins.

Customer Reach and Marketing

Marketplaces boast enormous traffic, providing instant visibility to a vast audience, but face high competition. Shopify allows for more creative marketing strategies across multiple channels, enabling sellers to drive organic traffic to their websites.

The platform empowers sellers to target their ideal customers more precisely through platforms like Google, Facebook, and Instagram.

Control and Branding

Shopify shines when it comes to branding, offering extensive customization options that allow sellers to convey their brand’s story effectively.

Marketplaces, while facilitating sales, may not provide the same level of branding flexibility, often resulting in a generic shopping experience associated more with the marketplace than the individual seller.

shopify vs marketplace 2


Both Shopify and marketplaces offer scalability options, but Shopify’s extensive app ecosystem and integration capabilities make it easier for sellers to scale their operations and expand into new markets or product lines.

Logistics and Delivery

Shopify and Lazada both provide solutions for managing logistics, with Lazada integrating with several logistic partners and Shopify allowing for more customizable shipping rates and options based on the seller’s preferences.

Customer Lifetime Value and Community

Shopify’s platform is conducive to building a loyal customer base by offering a personalized shopping experience, fostering a community around the brand, and directly engaging with customers. Marketplaces may provide a broader reach, but building a community and customer loyalty can be more challenging due to the marketplace-centric shopping experience.


While marketplaces are established platforms that come with built-in trust, selling on Shopify allows brands to build their own credibility through customer reviews, trust seals, and personalized customer service, enhancing the overall perception of legitimacy.


Choosing between Shopify and marketplace giants like Shopee, Lazada, and Amazon ultimately depends on your business model, product niche, and long-term goals. While marketplaces offer unparalleled reach and ease of entry, Shopify provides a customizable platform that helps establish a distinct brand identity, fostering deeper customer relationships and potentially higher lifetime value.

Weighing the pros and cons of each platform, consider where your brand can best thrive and make a strategic choice that will propel your e-commerce business forward.


Soodo is an eCommerce Venture Builder for Purpose-driven Brands | We build & scale profitable DTC businesses.

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