Gumroad vs Shopify – What are the Big Differences and Which is Better?

When it comes to selling digital products online (including online courses), Gumroad and Shopify are two of the most popular platforms out there. 

But which one is better for online course creators in specific? 

This post aims to analyze and compare both platforms to determine which one could be more suited to sell online courses. 

Pricing 4 stars3 stars
Ease of Use3 and a half stars4 stars
Customer Support2 and a half stars3 and a half stars

Now that you have some idea of what to expect from each eCommerce platform, let’s delve deeper to determine which one is more suited to online course creators. 

Gumroad Review – A Cheap and Convenient Way to Sell Digital Products

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Gumroad can be a great option for selling digital products such as online courses because it accommodates individuals that have no experience with web development. 

You can choose from a number of templates to sell your online courses straight away. On the other hand, you can also start from scratch if you’re more experienced with web design and want more control. 

If you choose a pre-built design, Gumroad provides extensive customization options that you can use to ensure that the design matches your personal brand’s aesthetic. 

Furthermore, if you want to have a subscription/membership system to sell your online courses, then Gumroad can definitely be a worthwhile option. 

This is because it has extensive options to set up subscription-based payments and a sophisticated interface to manage members. 

Pros Cons
Accepts both Paypal as well as credit and debit card payments

Sophisticated customization options

Free plan available (though its features may be inadequate for online course creators)

Intuitive to use

Easy ways to create discount codes and coupons
Limited knowledge base

Benefits of Gumroad

Most people think of Gumroad as a simplistic eCommerce platform that is mainly just a landing page builder with a checkout cart. 

While that is what it does mainly, it has many more features that you can take advantage of especially as an online course creator. 

Firstly, its interface is clean and simplistic which makes it very easy to use and this allows you to focus on your online course(s). You don’t have to waste time fumbling around trying to get it to work. 

It even has a free plan that you can utilize to check out if Gumroad is the right eCommerce platform for you or not. 

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Gumroad


When you look at the pricing for Gumroad, it’s not that bad at only $10 per month. 

However, the thing you need to worry about is Gumroad’s transaction fees. 

The transaction for every sale you make through Gumroad is 3.5% of the transaction plus 30 cents per charge. 

So, this will mean that the more successful your online business becomes and the more sales you make, the more you’ll pay in transaction fees to Gumroad.

Ease of Use

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Gumroad is one of the best-designed eCommerce platforms we have had the pleasure of testing. 

Its interface is sleek and neat with zero clutter which makes it very easy for users to navigate around different menus. 

Furthermore, it allows you to focus completely on your digital product (online courses) as you don’t have to spend time learning how to use Gumroad. You can just pick it up and get started. 

Customer Support

This is something you need to be wary of: Gumroad’s customer support is notoriously slow. 

There’s no option for live chat support and the only option for hands-on support is an email which can get pretty slow sometimes. 

Furthermore, their knowledge base is also fairly small.

Hence, if you run into an issue that isn’t all that common, you’ll be at the mercy of the support team which, as we mentioned above, is fairly slow to respond. 

What Do the Customers Think?

Gumroad is highly popular among users due to the fact that it supports both credit and debit card payments along with traditional payment processors such as Paypal. This is something that is surprisingly not found often in most eCommerce platforms. 

Furthermore, people also love that it offers a free plan so you can test it out to create your online store to determine whether or not it’s the platform for you. 

Here are some reviews we came across: 

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Best Affordable eCommerce Platform

The best affordable eCommerce platform is Gumroad as it costs only $10 per month. It accepts both debit/credit card as well as Paypal payments which makes it easier for you to sell your online courses. 

Shopify Review – An Easy Way to Set Up Your Online Store

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Shopify is an extremely easy-to-use eCommerce software that allows you to create a completely branded online store to sell your online courses within minutes. 

You’ll agree with us when we say that a crucial part of eCommerce is the customer’s experience. This is why it’s crucial that they easily find what they want when they come to your website.

If your customers are unable to navigate through your website because it’s poorly designed, they’ll be much less likely to buy your online course(s). 

Shopify allows you to create a polished and easy-to-navigate website that establishes your credibility and increases the chances of website visitors buying your online courses. 

Furthermore, you have the Shopify app store that you can browse to find apps to further increase the functionality of the eCommerce software. 

You can use these apps for things like email marketing and social media marketing campaigns; Both of which can be crucial to gather audiences for your digital products (online courses). 

Pros Cons
Extensive customization options

Tons of SEO options

Tons of apps and plugins to choose from

Responsive customer support

Easy to use
Relatively expensive pricing

Benefits of Shopify

The first and maybe the most important benefit of Shopify is how easy and intuitive it is to use. 

It seems that a team of the best designers and engineers were brought on to ensure that this online hosted store builder would be useful to anyone as soon as they pick it up. 

Even if you aren’t very tech-savvy, you can easily use the drag-and-drop boxes to create and customize your storefront. 

Another great aspect about Shopify is its support team. The customer support for Shopify is extremely responsive and helpful. Hence, if you do run into any issues, they’ll be able to solve them for you fairly quickly. 

Shopify also boasts a number of aesthetically pleasing themes that you can use as a starting point. From there, you can customize it according to your liking to fit your brand’s aesthetic. 

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Shopify


 personal needs basic plan shopify vs e commerce in built themes shopify vs e commerce sell shopify gumroad

In terms of pricing, Shopify is definitely more expensive compared to most of its competitors. 

However, if we strictly discuss Gumroad vs Shopify, Shopify will cost you less in the long run if you choose to use Shopify payments because they don’t charge any transaction fees, unlike Gumroad. 

Hence, if you start selling digital products like crazy in the future, you won’t pay a fortune in transaction fees if you use Shopify. 

Ease of Use

As mentioned earlier, Shopify was designed with ease of use at the forefront and it’s abundantly clear when you start to use it.

All menus are self-explanatory and easy to navigate. 

You can build your website with the drag-and-drop editor which makes it super easy even for people who aren’t tech-savvy. 

It’s an online platform that you won’t have to spend time getting used to. You can just pick it up and create your online shop instantly. 

Customer Support

As mentioned earlier, the customer support for Shopify is extremely helpful. 

Hence, if you run into any issues, you can count on them to provide helpful assistance that can get your problem resolved within minutes and at most, hours. 

What Do the Customers Think?

As expected, most users love Shopify and how you can easily create a beautiful online store with its interface. 

That being said, the only common qualm that most people have is the fact that it can seem expensive before you start to gain revenue through your online business. 

Here are some of the reviews we found: 

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shopify gumroad e commerce business sell shopify gumroad extra feature shopify gumroad same thing shopify gumroad only way

Best User-Friendly eCommerce Platform

The best user-friendly eCommerce platform is Shopify thanks to its drag-and-drop website building interface and easy-to-navigate menus. Both veterans and novices can gain value from it and you can download apps from the Shopify App Store to further increase functionality too. 

Once you’ve perfected your online course, you will need a platform in order to sell it to the public. 

You can make your own website from scratch or you can utilize a web development and e-commerce platform to create your own online store. 

The most popular e-commerce platforms include Sendowl and Sellfy.

Gumroad vs Shopify – Buyers’ Guide

gumroad vs shopify


When it comes to pricing, you have to be careful not to opt for something that’s overly expensive. 

This is because as an online course creator that is creating their first course, you will most likely already need to pay for subscriptions to a number of tools. 

The last thing you want is another expensive subscription to a website builder

Most website builders that provide an eCommerce solution do not have free plans (or if they do, their features are not adequate enough), hence, you’ll most likely have to go for a paid plan. 

We recommend that you don’t go for any eCommerce solution that costs more than $30 per month. 

Ease of Use

User-friendliness is obviously important for every tool you utilize but it’s especially important when you work on an online course. 

This is because you want all of your focus and resources to be dedicated to completing and polishing your online course. 

You don’t want to fumble around with any external software or tool to try to get it to work. 

Hence, you need to look for and opt for a platform that you can pick up and instantly start to utilize.

Customer Support

It’s of paramount importance that the customer support of whatever platform you choose to be responsive as well as helpful.

This is because if you run into any issues, it could cost you customers and potential sales. Hence, you would want that issue to be resolved as quickly as possible. 

The slower your chosen platform’s support team is, the more revenue you will lose. 

Take a look at our website to learn all there is to start an online course business.

Gumroad vs Shopify – Final Verdict

This brings us to the conclusion of our post for Gumroad vs Shopify. 

In the end, we have to give the crown to Shopify. It’s much easier to use and gives you a wider variety of options when it comes to customization and customer management. 

It may be slightly more expensive but that doesn’t matter when you factor in Gumroad’s transaction fees. 

Which platform do you think is better? Let us know in the comments below.