Last Updated | September 16, 2020
Squarespace and Shopify are two well-known ecommerce platforms. Choosing the right platform for your store depends upon your requirements. One platform may work for one user, and the same platform might not work for another user. This happens because each user has different requirements, which may not be fulfilled by one platform. Hence, it is advisable to go through the list of functions before investing in any platform. Squarespace vs. Shopify- which ecommerce platform is the one for you? Read on to find out.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a well-known all-in-one ecommerce platform, headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. Shopify has been providing its users with the independence to start, run, and grow their businesses since 2004. Since then, the Shopify community has grown tremendously and has won the trust of countless entrepreneurs over time. It serves as a great and safe platform for all business sizes, powering over 1,000,000 businesses worldwide.
What is Squarespace?
Squarespace is an ecommerce platform, based in New York, for website building and hosting, targeting small business owners. It provides its users with all the tools required for website building, such as templates, which you can customize according to your liking. You can change the background, its color, text, etc. The main advantage of Squarespace is that it lets you build and host your website on the servers of Squarespace. Since 2004, numerous users have been used this platform for their websites, which uses the “all-in-one” approach. Initially, Squarespace was introduced as a content-based website, with the ecommerce feature being a recent addition.
Why do we need to compare Shopify vs. Squarespace?
The debate about Shopify vs. Squarespace allows you to make the right decision and choose the platform that works the best for you. Both these platforms are good options for selling products, as they are easy to use and provide numerous websites and sales features. These platforms provide similar features for their users, hence, they can be compared.
Both the platform, Shopify and Squarespace, offer a diverse functionality for your store. If you would like to make your Shopify store more diverse, you can integrate third-party specific design Shopify apps to your web store. Similarly, you can use extensions to get more features on your Squarespace stores.
Since you do not have a physical store, you have to rely on the design of your web store to attract customers. Both platforms offer competitive designs for your store.
The Shopify designs includes a few free templates and some premium templates too. These templates offer designs for numerous industries, such as clothing, sports, etc. This provides a custom and relevant experience for your customers. The only negative point is that some themes do not have navigation bars that scroll down while you are scrolling through the web page. You can even add HTML and CSS on the admin page.
Being a website developing platform, Squarespace has numerous options for you to customize your store according to your needs. The designs offered are modern, classy, and up to date. Moreover, you can make edits and add HTML by using a Code Block, and CSS, by using the CSS Editor.
Squarespace vs. Shopify: In terms of design, Squarespace is the clear winner, since it is a professional website building platform.
Themes help you to change the outlook of your store in a better way. Aesthetics always play an important part to attract more customers. which in turn, increases your sales.
Shopify offers ten free templates and over fifty premium templates for you to choose from. The premium Shopify templates cost around $140-180, covering most of the industries.
The themes offered by Squarespace are mobile responsive, making it a better experience for your customers. It also provides themes specific to every industry, such as food, beverages, toys, etc. The themes also offer clear messages, with easy key action buttons.
Squarespace vs. Shopify: Since Squarespace is a professional platform for website development, it offers better themes than Shopify.
Every user would want to have an ecommerce platform that offers them with great designs n templates, but does not take too much time to set up, and is very easy to use, without any technicalities.
With a simple interface, you will never feel lost while designing your online store. You can make use of the drag and drop design, giving you the freedom to move your media elements freely on your page. Shopify offers its users with simple language, an undo button, and keyboard shortcuts, to help design your store with ease.
Although Squarespace offers a lot more than Shopify in terms of designing and templates, there are a few technicalities involved with it. Since it offers a lot of professional tools, it can be a little tricky to work with it. With trial and error, it is possible to grasp the concept of these tools. This means it would take up more of your time, as compared to Shopify.
Squarespace vs. Shopify: After comparing these two, it is safe to say that Shopify development is the clear winner in terms of time associated with designing your web store.
Features will give you an insight into the ecommerce platform. It will help you to decide if this particular platform is right for you or not. Shopify and Squarespace, both have a few similarities and a few differences. Some of the key features have been discussed down below.
- Ease of use
Shopify offers a typical layout; the menu on the left side and the right side is used to edit content, view data, etc. Setting up pages might take a bot long.
Overall, Squarespace has a more elegant and easier to use interface. This is because it has fewer features available to use than Shopify.
- Templates and Visuals
Shopify offers a range of free and premium themes.
There are more options to choose from as compared to Shopify. Since Squarespace is already a website developing platform, it offers great themes to work with. Furthermore, you can add videos in the background of your page.
- Point of Sale (POS)
Shopify offers POS for syncing your inventory count with the physical location.
To use the POS feature on Squarespace, you must be in the United States. This feature has been introduced very recently, in collaboration with Square. You would need the Square card reader to be able to use this. Also, it only works with an iPhone at the moment, with support from iPad and Android on its way.
You can do dropshipping on Shopify by using the various apps available in the app store.
You get limited options for dropshipping on Squarespace.
- Selling in different currencies
Shopify lets you sell in multi-currencies.
Currently, this option is not available with Squarespace.
A few of the other features have been discussed down below.
Payment Gateways and Fees
Almost all ecommerce platforms charge a transaction fee for every sale you make. Transaction fees and credit card fees are supposed to be paid besides the price plans you choose to subscribe to. Absurdly high transaction fees and credit card fees defeat the purpose of having a higher profit margin. Shopify and Squarespace both charge transaction fees from their users. However, the credit card fees are charged by the company you choose to process your credit card payments.
Shopify has its built-in payment processor called Shopify Payments, which integrates over a hundred external gateways. However, this can only be used if you are selling from a certain country. If you are not based in any of those countries, you would have to choose a different payment method. Even if Shopify Payments is supported in your country, you are not complied to use it; you can even use any third-party payment gateway to process your credit card payments. If you decide to use the Shopify Payments to process your credit card payments, Shopify will not charge you any transaction fee, but you will be charged a credit card fee, which varies with every country. Usually, in the United States, this ranges between 2.4% and 2.9%, depending upon your Shopify price plan.
If you are using a third-party payment gateway, Shopify will charge you a transaction fee ranging between 0.5% to 2%, depending upon your Shopify price plan. In addition to this, you would also be charged a transaction fee by the gateway you are using.
Transaction fees are only applicable to the Business plan, at a flat rate of 3%. Squarespace provides two options for processing credit cards- Stripe and PayPal. You can use both the payment gateways to process your parents, or just one.
Squarespace vs. Shopify: Shopify offers more flexibility with regards to the payment processing gateways. With Squarespace, Stripe only lets you sell goods from certain countries only. However, it lets you accept payments from anybody in any country, but it only lets you to sell if you are based in a certain country.
Budget and Pricing
Budgeting and pricing are extremely important determinants for choosing the right ecommerce platform for you. A small business owner would not be willing to spend too much to run and maintain his online store. However, a large business owner would be willing to spend on the running and maintenance of his web store. Shopify and Squarespace both offer different price plans to suit the needs of their users.
Shopify offers five different price plans. These are:
—Shopify Lite: for $9 per month
—Basic Shopify: for $29 per month
—Shopify: for $79 per month
—Advanced Shopify: for $299 per month
—Shopify Plus: starts at $2000 per month
If you choose to pay upfront for an annual or a two-year plan, you can avail 10% and 20% discounts on the above-mentioned prices respectively. Shopify offers a free trial for its customers.
There are a few general points you should consider about the Shopify price plans:
—With the Shopify Lite price plan, you do not get a standalone online store, but it allows you to sell on your existing website or a Facebook page, or at a physical location
—Shopify offers the abandoned cart saver functionality option on all Shopify plans
—The Shopify Plus price plan is directed towards enterprise users, with prices varying with their needs. Features offered in this plan include advanced security, API, and fulfillment features.
—Reporting features are available on the Shopify price plan and up
—POS feature is available on all price plans, but for advanced features, an additional monthly fee of $89 per month is required.
Squarespace offers four pricing options for its users. These are:
—Personal: for $16 per month
—Business: for $26 per month
—Basic Commerce: for $30 per month
—Advanced Commerce: $46 per month
Squarespace offers a two-week free trial for its users before they could purchase a plan. Furthermore, discounts are also available if you choose to pay upfront for a year’s service, rather than paying monthly. By subscribing to any one of these price plans, you can get a free custom domain for your website. These price plans breakdown to a monthly fee of:
—Personal: for $12 per month
—Business: for $18 per month
—Basic Commerce: for $26 per month
—Advanced Commerce: for $40 per month
Recently, Squarespace has announced the addition of a new price plan, that is in early access, Squarespace Select.
There are some points to consider about the Squarespace Price Plans in general:
—You cannot sell anything on the Personal price plan, and neither can you customize your site with CSS
—You will pay a transaction fee of 3% on all sales generated on the Business price plan, in addition to the credit card processing fee
—Some essential ecommerce features, such as abandoned cart recovery, real-time carrier shipping, advanced discounts and gift cards, you would need to subscribe to the Advanced Commerce price plan
—You will get dedicated ecommerce reporting on the Basic Commerce and Advanced Commerce plans
—You will get Point of Sale functionality on the Basics Commerce and Advanced Commerce plans
—You get sophisticated options related to pop-up messages and announcement bars on the Business plan and up.
Squarespace vs. Shopify: This depends upon the features one is looking for, and how much are they willing to pay for it. However, the abandoned cart feature is available on all the price plans on Shopify, unlike Squarespace. This is an essential feature for business owners.
Your business’s growth is heavily dependant upon the marketing skills, strategies, and tools you use. This helps you to communicate with your customers effectively, allowing your business to grow, which in turn increases your profits. Both these ecommerce platforms offer various marketing features. These features are:
The blogging feature is lacking in Shopify, but it comes with blog-specific SEO features, which are not that important.
The blogging feature is present in Squarespace. It has all the required blogging features which you need to launch a successful website. A few other features include the built-in analytics, archive functionality, and a search option.
- Social Media Integration
You get a lot of options with apps and social media advertising. From marketing, accounting, and shipping apps. You can even run Facebook and Google Adword campaigns.
It only lets you sell on Instagram, limiting your scalability.
Both Shopify and Squarespace allow you to use third-party email marketing apps for reaching out to more people. There are various email marketing tools and apps available that can be integrated with your web store, to reach your target audience. Both these platforms allow you to send email newsletters to your target audience.
Recently, Shopify introduced an email marketing tool, called Shopify Email. It lets you to manage your website and mailing together in one place. However, this feature is very basic, which allows you to send e-newsletters. The features for scheduling and automation are lacking, making the email marketing tool a very basic one. Since this feature has been recently launched, Shopify has decided to run it entirely free until October 2020, a fear which, you can send emails to 2500 subscribes per month, with an additional fee of $1 for every 1000 subscribers you wish to send emails to.
Squarespace comes with an in-built email marketing tool, called the Squarespace Email Campaigns. There are four different price plans available for you to choose from. These price plans tend to be much cheaper than the email marketing solutions available on the market. Squarespace offers easy to edit e-newsletter templates in these price plans. These plans are:
—Starter: Send up to 3 e-newsletters to a maximum of 500 subscribers every month, for $7 per month
—Core: Send 5 e-newsletters to 5,000 subscribers every month, for $14 per month
—Pro: Send 20 e-newsletters to 50,000 subscribers every month, for $34 per month
—Max: Send unlimited number of e-newsletters to 250,000 subscribers every month, for $68 per month
Squarespace vs. Shopify: In terms of marketing tools, Squarespace offers better features than Shopify.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) helps to make your website accessible by many through search engines. Shopify or Squarespace- Which ecommerce platform is better in terms of SEO?
Shopify provides a good starting for your website’s SEO. It automatically generates a page title and meta title for your web page, according to your products and pages. Furthermore, Shopify search engine optimization uses the standard professional SEO terminology, making things easier for the user. Another point to highlight is that Shopify is good with the URL redirection for your page. It prompts you to create a 301 redirect, which is done automatically for you if you tick a checkbox, that lets the search engines know that your page has been moved to a new URL.
Squarespace does not use the proper professional terminology for the SEO. Although, it has improved a lot from before, but it is still not on the same level as Shopify. However, Squarespace allows you to optimize your website for search engines. If you decide to change your website’s URL, Squarespace would require you to create a 301 redirect manually.
There is one area that has room for improvement in both the platforms. Both platforms add prefixes to your URLs which cannot be removed. In Squarespace, there is a little bit of flexibility for static pages that do not involve prefixes.
Squarespace vs. Shopify: If you compare the both, Shopify seems to have some better features than Squarespace.
Customer Help and Technical Support
The ecommerce platform you use must provide prompt technical support. Both the platforms require you to search for answers to your query on their help support sites, before contacting any support teams. This could be annoying for the users of both platforms. Shopify vs. Squarespace- which one provides better support?
Shopify provides its users with various options for offering help. These include live chat, email, and phone support. This phone support is available in a few countries only. If you use any third-party templates, you would have to deal with the designers of that particular template. If you use the standard templates by Shopify, you would be offered comprehensive support regarding that template.
Squarespace only offers live chat and email support. However, if you customize the templates by adding your HTML or CSS to it, Squarespace reserves the right of not to support you fully.
Squarespace vs. Shopify: Shopify is the clear winner here, because they provide phone support, unlike Squarespace.
Integrations help to add functionality to your store. There are various options available on both platforms to help achieve it.
With over 3,200 integrations, you can add multiple features to your web store, such as selling in multiple currencies, dropshipping, etc.
Squarespace offers just a few extensions, instead of apps.
Squarespace vs. Shopify: Shopify is the winner in terms of integrations.
Since you are setting up an online store, sales features are very important for you. You must read through these specifications, to see if these particular platforms offer you what you want. Investing in a platform and not getting the desired features would be a recipe for disaster. Sales features are way more than just product images, discounts, etc. Aesthetics play an important role in your sales.
The sales features for Shopify are:
- Product Types
To sell digital products on Shopify, you would have to download a third-party app.
- Product Presentation
You can sell products with multiple variants of the same products. However, Shopify does not have any built-in zoom feature. You would need to install third-party apps to avail this feature.
- Payment Options
Shopify offers almost a hundred payment gateways, supporting all the major payment gateways.
- Inventory Management
Add unlimited products, single items or items in bulk, get revenue reports, and also emails notifications if the stocks in the inventory are low.
- Shipping Options
Shopify provides a built-in integration with NHL or UPS. You can easily print shipping labels for your products too.
- Selling Products Offline
Shopify offers its users with their own POS system. You would need to download the Shopify app, and buy a basic tap and chip reader, which usually retails around $49. However, for every transaction made, you would have to pay a transaction fee, that ranges between 2.4%-2.7%, varying with the price plan you have opted for.
The sales features for Squarespace are:
- Product Types
Squarespace lets you sell physical, digital, and service products on their platform.
- Product Presentation
Since Squarespace is a platform that offers you the best design features, you get to make your products more aesthetically pleasing. You can avail of the zoom feature offered by Squarespace, which lets you convert your pictures into videos, giving your customers a 360 degrees journey. You can even sell multiple variants of your products easily.
- Payment Options
Limited payment gateways are available; PayPal, Stripe, and Apple Pay.
- Inventory Management
Although Squarespace is originally a website builder, the added feature of ecommerce does not make it any less good than its rivals. You can add unlimited products, as single items or bulk items, in-house revenue reports, and direct emails if the stock runs low.
- Shipping Options
Squarespace works with USP to calculate the shipping charges. You can also make changes to the shipping costs, depending on the country you want to ship your products to. You can even amend your shipping costs according to the weight of the products.
- Selling Products Offline
You need to download the Squarespace Commerce app and get a Square card reader, that costs about $49. Square is the new partner for payment processing for Squarespace. The transaction fee with Square is between 2.6%-3.5%, in addition to a processing fee of $0.10-$0.15.
Squarespace vs. Shopify: Due to the better shipping features and more payment gateways, Shopify is the winner.
Inventory management is an essential requirement for every business owner. A mismanaged inventory would be the root cause of having dissatisfied customers. Items that are out of stock in the inventory, and are not updated on the web store, would cause the customers to be disappointed. This could lead them to leave bad reviews about your store, overshadowing the positive reviews of your store. Shopify and Squarespace, both provide options for managing your inventory well.
Since Shopify was already an ecommerce store, it already has a good inventory management option. If you want, you can even integrate other apps specifically designed for inventory management, with your store. You will get in-house revenue reports, email alerts for low stock of products, management of unlimited products, and lastly, adding single and bulk items.
Although Squarespace was initially a website developing platform, it has a competitive inventory management feature. It lets you add products in bulk and also single items, in-house revenue reports, and emails for low stocks.
Squarespace vs. Shopify: Since both the platforms offer similar features, its a tie between the two.
Squarespace is known to offer themes that are mobile responsive, which means that your web store will always be looking the best on any sized screen.
By integrating different apps with your web store, you can improve its performance. You can use apps for shipping, product reviews, marketing, etc. to add more diversity to your web store.
Shopify offers its customers a comprehensive app store, with apps for almost any integration you require. It comes with the added benefit of easy integration.
Squarespace does nit have an app store.
Squarespace vs. Shopify: Since Squarespace does not have an app store, Shopify is the winner.
If you are a serious seller, then Shopify is the right platform for you. You get all the best features that could help boost up your business. This does not mean that Squarespace is not good enough. It just means that if you have a few products to sell, and would like to use some really good templates, you might want to consider Squarespace. At the end of the day, choosing the right platform depends upon your requirements and budget.
Can you use Shopify on Squarespace?
Yes, you can use Shopify on Squarespace. For this to be possible, you would have to export your files from Shopify to Squarespace, for a successful integration. You can add the Shopify Buy Button on your Squarespace website for a monthly fee.
What big companies use Shopify than Squarespace?
Shopify is used by quite a lot of big companies. A few of them include Heinz, Crabtree & Evelyn, BBC, Red Bull, KKW Beauty, Good American, Kylie Cosmetics, Victoria Beckham, Hummingbird Bakery.
Why is Shopify so popular as compared to Squarespace?
Shopify is more popular than Squarespace because Shopify is considered to be an exclusive ecommerce platform. On the other hand, Squarespace is a great platform for website development, with the added feature of ecommerce.
Does Shopify protect buyers when we compare it with Squarespace?
Since both platforms are tightly controlled by their developers, they are pretty secure. They both offer SSL with all their price plans. However, Shopify has a built-in system in its payment gateway, Shopify Payments. Since Squarespace does not have its payment gateway, it relies on Stripe for processing and protecting the payments.
Does Shopify handle customer service better than Squarespace?
Shopify has a better customer service approach than Squarespace, due to the only added advantage of having 24/7 support via phone calls.