Are you confused about which one to do? Redbubble or create a store on Shopify?
In this article, you will learn which one is right for you!
What is Redbubble?
Redbubble is one of the largest print on demand (POD) online marketplaces. Founded back in 2006, the ecommerce platform is focused on artwork that is mostly submitted by independent artists. The online marketplace includes products such as t-shirts, leggings, covers, stickers, scarves, and many more.
Redbubble is free to use and is a risk-free way for artists and designers to earn an income stream.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an ecommerce platform that was established in 2006 as well. The leading platform allows sellers and businesses, to create their online stores, and sell and promote their goods and services without the need to have any technical knowledge or expertise.
It’s a complete e-commerce solution where you can have content management, inventory management, shipping, and order management.
Quick Comparison Table For Redbubble & Shopify
|Purpose||Ecommerce Platform||Print on Demand|
|Customization and Design||Myriad of Templates, themes, fonts||Limited to own designs|
|Third party app||Integrate with thousands of apps||Only social media and design tools|
|Customer support||24/7 live chat, phone, email, text||24/7 chat, text, email|
|Price||3 plans and a free trial||Price based on flat rates and transaction fee|
|Branding||Easy to build brand||Difficult to create brand|
|Products||All niches||POD niche|
|Control||Complete control||Minimal control|
Redbubble And Shopify – In Depth Comparison
Redbubble and Shopify are both e-commerce platforms that work in their distinctive ways. Let’s compare each feature side by side to get a better understanding of how both platforms compare:
On the face of it, Redbubble and Shopify are both ecommerce platforms but they do have very different uses.
The purpose of Shopify is to provide you with a simplistic platform comprising all the necessary tools required to start an online business. It gives you one streamlined dashboard so that you can build your own store and create an online presence.
Whereas Redbubble serves as a platform for artists to showcase their work and earn money by offering interested customers an opportunity to purchase unique and personalized items.
The artist does not have to worry about the management of orders and shipping as it is taken off by the platform itself.
Shopify is a highly customizable platform that provides you with options, themes, and templates to choose from where you can craft the look and feel of your store.
Not only can you customize the design of your site, but you can also personalize product pages and checkout pages according to what serves you best.
Customizing your site with Redbubble is not possible since the platform handles all the site technicalities. The most customization that you get with Redbubble is with your designs and artwork.
Third Party Apps Integration
Shopify’s own app store has over 6,000 different apps that you can integrate with. The applications range from landing page builders to social media apps like Twitter and TikTok, drop shipping tools, product personalizers, and many more.
Third party app integration with Redbubble is quite limited. You cannot integrate Redbubble with Shopify or any other similar platforms, to begin with. You may find a few applications that are allowed by Redbubble which lets you automate publishing on social media.
From GymShark to Plant Circle, and Mollyjoger, all these stores have been successful in creating their brands on Shopify.
You can truly personalize and brand your store with Shopify. This includes the way your store looks, the check out page, the button colors, and much more!
Redbubble takes complete control of how your product is displayed and reaches the customer. They don’t even allow you to come in contact with a customer so there is almost no chance to create any brand awareness.
However, you can stand out as a Redbubble seller by offering unique designs that only you offer but, that’s about it.
Shopify, although not free, is one of the more affordable options to create your own online store. Shopify has 3 main pricing plans currently, which range from $39 to $399 billed monthly.
Keep in mind that Shopify does have a high payment processing fee and transaction fee which makes it an overall expensive platform compared to RedBuble.
Redbubble is free to join and does not charge you any monthly fee either. The pricing structure of Redbubble is based on a flat rate which they cut off from each of your transactions. The artist’s margin is what the artist earns, while the platform keeps the rest of the amount. The transaction fee for Redbubble is 5%.
Payment processing in Shopify is convenient, secure, and simple. All thanks to the many options you can choose from including Shopify payments.
Here everything is done under Shopify’s protection and monitoring. Additionally, you can also get other payment processors like Paypal Express, Amazon Pay, Sagepay, and Word Pay.
Redbubble accepts all major payment types including bank credit and debit card payments. You can also pay via Apple Pay, Google Pay, Paypal, and Stripe. Nevertheless, unlike Shopify, there are no third party payment gateways that you may use with Redbubble.
Shopify lets you use various marketing tools to ensure that you have a better reach and a broader audience base to convert. This includes having the ability to create blogs.
Marketing with Redbubble is made easy with all the integrated SEO tools and options but you can’t create blogs with Redbubble.
Shopify provides excellent customer support in the form of live chat, phone, email, and text. What’s great about their customer service is they are available to respond every hour of the day and the responses are most relevant and quick.
You can reach out to them via forums as well. You can also take advantage of all the video tutorials and free learning materials available on the website.
Redbubble’s customer support is responsive and you can reach out to them 24/7 via calls and live chats as well. They also provide post-order services and guide you with their extensive knowledge materials.
One of the key perks of Shopify is its scalability and ability to accommodate businesses whether they are tiny, small, medium, or big. The plans offered by Shopify include businesses of all sizes. Plus, because it has a cloud based hosted structure, your site would not crash in case there are huge increases in traffic and sales.
Redbubble doesn’t seem to have a sealing and can definitely handle large traffic however, there is a limit of uploading only 30 designs per day.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Redbubble
Now, let us get on to understand why you would want to use Redbubble and why you wouldn’t.
Benefits of using Redbubble
RedBubble has strong SEO so you can get free Google traffic much easier. As long as you target ones with lower competition.
One of the biggest benefits of using Redbubble as an online marketplace is the incredible range of available products. There are about 75 different types of products that can have your designs printed on them.
So, your customers might be in for a t-shirt, but they would be tempted to get another of those designs on a sticker or a mug. If you want to drive sales, one way to get it is to upload your art or design on as many products as you can.
Easy To Use
Redbubble is an incredibly easy to use platform. It makes uploading a task of a few minutes. The most you need to input are a few of the descriptions and tags of your designs. You can also add a title and allow or disallow whether your design can or cannot be printed on a particular product.
Big customer base
When you wish to sell art, the one thing you would have to look for in a marketplace is whether they can provide you with enough visitors. Redbubble has over 19 million visitors which only means that you get a bigger exposure.
The bigger the customer base, the higher the chances that one person or the other is going to like your design and make a purchase.
Drawbacks of Using Redbubble
There’s no easy way to put it. Redbubble does strip its clients of a lot of freedom and control and leaves little room for you, as an artist, to build a relationship, let alone get in contact with your clients.
So, when a client shows an interest in your artwork, you never get the client’s contact information, nor do they get yours. This is because the customer is treated as Redbubble’s, rather than yours.
One of the worst sides to this is that Redbubble holds the control to be able to divert your customers to a potential competition of yours, that is, another artist. This would also mean that you don’t get to brand your product in your name at any cost.
It’s all Redbubble who gets the credit and the brand boost. For an artist looking to build a sustainable art career and a brand name, this is definitely a nono!
A saturated market
The marketplace has millions of customers but also thousands of artists. Many try to sell the same type of designs while others try to sell similar products. With so much competition, it may become difficult to get seen.
Unless you have the right keywords and tags, you always run the risk of getting lost in the competition. Remember that you would also have to compete with many top artists.
The hard truth of earning passive income is that you don’t earn a lot overnight. One sale or a few barely gives you anything. You would need to make a lot of sales to earn an income that you may deem significant.
Redbubble does take a lot of transaction cuts, to begin with. Not only that, selling artwork is a tough job, and takes time to build any substantial income. Chances are that a lot of your artwork would not sell for months to come on any prints at all.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Shopify
There are both benefits and drawbacks to using Shopify. Let’s understand what you can expect from the platform:
Benefits of Shopify:
Wide range and categories
Unlike Redbubble, Shopify is not specialized or focused on the selling of artworks or designs on prints. At Shopify, you can pick what niche to go into and what products to offer.
You can, of course, sell and market your print on demand products and others alike. You can dropship, white label products, wholesale products, or offer digital as well as physical goods and services.
Customizable themes and templates
With all the possibilities of customization, you can choose from a variety of templates as well as themes. Plus, the drag-and-drop editor makes it all the simpler to create the look you want.
Brand Presence and Marketing
Shopify will not steal your thunder whenever a customer wants to make a purchase. You can connect with your customers and create your brand presence.
There is a lot of competition too, but because you can customize your store and market and promote the products of your free will, you can be heard, seen, and reached by more customers. (This does require more marketing though.)
Security and Protection
Shopify takes it upon itself to guarantee that you are not scammed in any way when you are on the platform, as a seller and a buyer.
With their screening process, protected payments, and continual monitoring of dubious activities, you can rest assured that questionable transactions are not what people are looking for in this platform.
They also provide SSL encryption and PCI compliance to protect customers’ interests.
Cons of Shopify:
Not the most affordable
Shopify pricing plans are increasing by the day. The more features and themes you want to access, and the more you grow your business, the more you will have to pay.
Shopify does have considerably higher transaction fees and payment processing fees as an e-commerce platform.
Which is better for you: Shopify or Redbubble?
Redbubble and Shopify are both effective, safe, and profitable platforms.
But, it all comes down to what is better for you. And that primarily depends on what business you are in and what purpose you want the platform to serve your business.
For instance, for any print on demand business, Redbubble may be a better option to choose from only based on its specialization.
The chances of finding the POD niche related buyers on Redbubble might be higher as well. Redbubble may also be a more affordable option compared to Shopify as the entry to the platform is free.
However, if you are an artist who wants to be seen, and intend to build a brand of your own, Shopify should be your calling. Shopify, hands down, has better customization, designs, and personalization features and tools to work with.
You also have complete control over your business operations, customer interactions, and scalability. Shopify lets you own and control your business, while Redbubble controls it for you.
On Redbubble, you might get a much wider, niche specific audience for your POD business. You would not have to worry about any of the technicalities after you have uploaded your artwork to go into print products.
With that, you would also be restricted to how much you can control. Redbubble does everything for you and takes credit for it as well. With Shopify, you can create a store which you can fully customize, brand, and build a personal relationship with your customers.
Although more expensive, Shopify provides you with many more tools to scale your business.