Best Platform for DTC Brands?


Inspired by a post on The Robin Report, Head on Head with Shopify and Amazon, our experts weigh in on which channel holds the most opportunity for brands. See what they had to say below.

Josh Baltzell, Senior Director, Technology:

Shopify is a tool I recommend very often, and while I don't think it's yet poised to fully challenge Amazon, I also don't think it has to." 

The author loves Shopify, and I do, too. Amazon and Shopify are two of my favorite tools for commerce. But like any tool, they should be used carefully, and for their intended purpose.

Amazon’s most important asset to our clients is an incredibly loyal (and gigantic) user base. But that asset only goes so far. The key fact to remember is that the customer information from is Amazon’s, not yours. Meaning the ability to learn about your customers and sell again to them in other ways is virtually non-existent.

A well-designed omnichannel commerce marketing and sales strategy puts a higher value on customers you can actually market to after the initial sale, and a lower value on those you can’t. Most retail and marketplace sales give you a delivery address at best. When you have full access to customer data via your own DTC site, you’re able to do much more to expand the lifetime value of a customer and build loyalty."

Aaron Yelton, Associate Director, Marketplace:

"Should I sell on a DTC website built on Shopify?" - Absolutely
"Should I sell on marketplaces like Amazon,, and eBay?" - Absolutely

I don’t agree with the “Shopify vs. Amazon” argument – while a brand or product line will usually start on one or the other based on various factors, the ultimate goal of any ecommerce brand is a strong presence across all digital platforms. 

Shopify (or any ecomm website platform for that matter) hasn’t reached its peak. In fact, there’s a lot of room to grow. And it’s not just about driving traffic to your website with Google ads anymore. Brands now have social commerce channels available (Meta, X, Snapshat, YouTube, TikTok, Pinterest), with only more to come. Each channel appeals to a unique audience at different places in the shopper journey.

Marketplaces are heading in a similar direction. With the explosive growth of Amazon, (which has now surpassed eBay as the second largest marketplace), Etsy, and Wayfair, plus Target+, Kroger, Lowes, Home Depot, and Facebook Marketplaces – brands have even more options to get in front of an established customer base that’s relevant to their business. 

Don’t ask yourself “either/or” (it’s both), or “here/there” (it’s everywhere) – instead focus on understanding the opportunities and challenges of each platform, then strategize and prioritize accordingly for your goals.

Shawn Murdock, President:

"With over half of product searches beginning on Amazon, brands can’t afford not to invest in the platform."

On the other hand, Shopify gives brand-focused sellers the freedom to build shopping experiences that resonate with their customers.


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