You are likely researching the best ecommerce platforms for you. There are many options available today, as I have listed and evaluated in my article about top ecommerce platforms. Shopify is the leader in this space and Squarespace is rapidly rising. Below, I will compare these two platforms.
This is something that we have all heard before:
“Ecommerce success ultimately boils down how you run your business, and the customer support system.”
Do you find this familiar?
It sounds great to most business owners, I will admit.
Let’s now switch sides and look at this from a new perspective. Let’s take a moment to think about this statement.
What do you think is the truth of this statement?
Did you notice the missing piece?
Okay, let me get to the point.
Here’s the deal. There is no ending without a start. Or, a destination without its origin. Without a foundation, it is impossible to achieve business success.
What is the point?
Your foundation framework is more important than the other elements we have mentioned. The foundation of your ecommerce company is fundamentally what determines its success.
Shopify and Squarespace: Why Compare?
Let me explain…
First, don’t get me wrong. Both the business operation method and customer support framework are extremely important. That’s undeniable.
This is important to remember. Both are dependent on the foundation of your business. It is the most important thing that determines the limits and all the flexibility of these two elements.
Shopify and SquareSpace allow you to compare tools, giving you the ability to find the product that offers the highest earning potential. You’re choosing the best service to build your website or store. Only you know which features will bring in more repeat customers and credit card transactions for your brand. This will help you to decide which software or services are best for you.
Let’s find out how it works.
You can increase your lead conversion rate by adding videos to your store’s landing pages. It’s possible to do so by around 86%. This is a statistical fact.
Video uploads are a great strategy to use when running an ecommerce website. It would be almost impossible to do it if your site’s platform did not support it. It is basically a platform that allows you to implement the majority of your strategies.
Now it’s time to support customers…
41% online shoppers will trust your company if they see a live chat option. 69% U.S.-based online shoppers want live chat support.
This is a clear indication of the importance and value of a comprehensive customer support system. Your options are largely dependent on your foundation framework, just as in the case of operation strategy.
Make the right choices in Ecommerce
What am I driving at?
The foundation of your website is the basis for almost all strategies you will consider for your business. The coding and hosting stages are the key to ecommerce success.
It’s never been easier to start an online business. Since the days when every ecommerce entrepreneur needed to know CSS, HTML and PHP, we’ve come a long ways.
Now, we have all-inclusive eCommerce platforms that are becoming more revolutionary in creating and hosting online businesses. It is easy to build a store by simply signing up, installing and then creating.
The best part? You can find options in almost every corner of the internet.
Here’s the kicker:
Each one is unique and offers different features to their users. Although this may be a positive thing, it can make the process of selecting an ecommerce platform more difficult.
Your business’s future functionalities and flexibility will be determined by your final decision. If you make a mistake, your business will not be able to continue smoothly.
With that said, I’m sure you have heard of a few ecommerce platforms. The few that currently enjoy the largest market share are the most notable.
What’s the case? Among other notable brands, Shopify, Squarespace are two examples. These names have been used a lot over the years.
Although they both offer reputable ecommerce platforms they have different provisions. This alone makes it difficult to choose the right one.
What’s more? It’ll be much easier for me. We could jump from the deep end and declare who the winner is right away, but that would be counterproductive. To determine suitability, it is necessary to compare the features of each package and the provisions that make up the individual user packages .
Let’s get started…
Comparison of Squarespace and Shopify: Overview
Shopify is located in the red corner. Right by the blue corner is Squarespace. This is undoubtedly the most important contest between ecommerce platforms to date.
Squarespace technically is older than it looks, as Squarespace was established in New York in 2013. Shopify was founded in Ontario, Canada, three years later.
When we turn our attention to ecommerce, Shopify actually is the elder. It was launched immediately and has been a ecommerce hosting veteran for 12 years.
It is clear that this is how it was able to capture the second largest global market share in 2017.
Squarespace was primarily a website builder for a lot of the time. Until Squarespace Commerce was launched in 2013, it had been around for at least ten years.
Squarespace is a late entrant that’s certain. They came in the ecommerce market with guns blazing.
The story is not complete without a large war chest. They also had over a decade of experience in website building.
It makes perfect sense that Squarespace was capable of turning up the heat on Shopify, and other ecommerce platforms, from the beginning.
It didn’t stop there. As users join the bandwagon, it has seen an exponential increase in its usage.
Then boom! It’s not surprising that Squarespace has become one of the most used platforms on the internet.
Shopify won’t take this lightly. Every new feature that is announced by any service is met with an opposing strategy.
They will never be the exact same, it is obvious. Although some features may be the same and they share the same goal of facilitating ecommerce shops, Shopify is different from Squarespace.
Now, the elephant in your room. Which of the two has superior features?
Squarespace vs Shopify: The Pros and Cons
It’s useful to compare Shopify and Squarespace or any other ecommerce store option, by breaking down the tools into their most important pros and cons. Every website building tool on the market today has its advantages and disadvantages.
- Ecommerce is a great way to get amazing shopping features.
- There are many extensions and add-ons available to your favorite tools.
- Incredible customer service via live chat or email
- There are tons of features that make it easy to use and a lot of knowledge.
- A robust community that can answer your questions
- There are many premium and free templates available.
- Integrations with other sales solutions
- Instagram and Facebook offer multi-channel selling
- Transaction fees will not be charged if you pay with Shopify Payments
- Costs can vary depending on which apps and tools you use.
- It may take you longer to learn Shopify than Squarespace
- You will find many attractive templates if you focus on design
- It is very easy to use and provides a lot of information.
- Integrations with offline sales options
- Analytics system that will help you analyze the performance of your store
- Ideal for printing-on-demand sales
- Use these great blogging tools to help you with your content marketing strategy
- Companies on a tight budget can find good pricing options
- There is no app marketplace or app store for extensibility
- Squarespace vs Shopify debate: Payment options are restricted
- There are not as many options for selling as Shopify
Pricing: Squarespace vs Shopify
You may be wondering what you will spend on all the features we have reviewed.
Good news is that both Shopify as squarespace offer packages with different price points to suit different business types. Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as it sounds to crawl through these packages and compare their features.
Squarespace comes with four pricing options. The two categories that fall under “online shops” are the most relevant, while the rest are for “websites”.
You can select from:
- Basic $26 per month, or $30 if paid monthly
- Advanced $40 per month, or $46 if paying monthly.
You have the following options available under “websites”.
- Personal at $12 per Month charged yearly or $16 if preferred monthly billing
- Business starting at $18 per month, or $26 per month if you prefer to pay each month.
You might be wondering why the business package is classified under “website” and not other options like “online store”.
It is very simple. It’s simple. All online businesses are not ecommerce shops. This package is best suited for a selected group of websites.
Let’s now look at the main differences between these price points.
- You can’t sell your personal information online.
- Transaction fees of 3% apply to all sales through the Business plan.
- The Personal plan allows only two contributors, whereas the other pricing plans allow unlimited number of users.
- Only the Advanced plan includes the abandoned cart recovery feature.
- Subscribe to the Business, Basic, or Advanced plans and get a free Google Apps account. This is valid for 12 months.
- All plans for “Online Stores” include dedicated ecommerce reporting.
- You will get a custom domain for free if you choose to pay annual billing instead of monthly.
Squarespace restricts the choices to four. Shopify adds an additional option, thereby making them five. These include:
- Shopify Lite at $9 per month.
- Basic Shopify starting at $29 per Month
- Shopify at $79 per month.
- Advanced Shopify starting at $299 per Month
- Shopify Plus – Additional features for large businesses starting at $2000 per Month
Shopify is also cheaper than Squarespace if you pay upfront for a longer period. Subscribe for 12 months to receive a 10% discount, while 24-months will get you 20%.
These are the main differences between plans to help you make informed decisions.
- Shopify doesn’t provide any features for creating and designing an ecommerce website. This would be possible if you are selling through a Facebook page or point-of-sale site.
- Unlike Squarespace all Shopify Plans, except Shopify Lite, include the abandoned cart saver.
- Shopify and Advanced Shopify plans offer gift cards.
- Advanced reporting is available only on Shopify, Advanced Shopify and Shopify Plus.
This is where you will realize how difficult it can be to make the right decision. You can make your decision easier with the Squarespace and Shopify 14-day free trial.
Squarespace is clearly cheaper than Shopify. The latter has advanced features that allow multi-level selling.
Squarespace vs Shopify: Features
Many website owners find it difficult to choose the right software for their business. There are so many options that it becomes overwhelming for business owners.
The decision is really down to what you are looking for. Shopify is for serious sellers and is often considered the best platform to sell online. squarespace is all about design. Squarespace is the best eCommerce platform for people who want to grab attention with visualelements.
Let’s look closer at the features of both tools.
Creating and designing an Ecommerce store
A website must have an attractive, but simple interface and a clear navigation process. You could have very disappointing bounce rates considering that 88% of online customers will never return to a website after having a negative experience.
That makes sense. However, …. is the problem.
It is not easy to build one. Marketers seem to agree. This is because they see it as one of the most difficult aspects to establishing and marketing an internet business.
Squarespace and Shopify both attempt to simplify this process through templates. However, their customization options may differ.
Squarespace is designed for designers, which makes it so appealing. Although Squarespace’s templates aren’t as comprehensive as those from Shopify they are stunning. They are also more modern and varied than the Shopify templates.
Shopify, for instance, utilizes drag-and-drop. You simply move a layout element to the desired position after creating it.
Editing is easy too. Select any section and click on Edit.
Design and content are not treated as one entity. Both content and design cannot be worked on simultaneously.
Shopify has the advantage of allowing you to design almost anything using HTML/CSS.
Shopify isn’t afraid to show off its visuals and templates when designing your website. Shopify’s free templates are more appealing than the templates you can get from other companies such as BigCommerce and Volusion.
Shopify offers fewer templates than Squarespace. However, you can still visit a template shop to find more unique options. There are over 60 paid themes available. Many variations are also available to many of these templates.
Shopify is vs Squarespace. Shopify offers a few more templates that Squarespace. However, you will need to pay more for most of them.
Shopify’s paid themes are comparable to Squarespace’s. They include modern design, parallax scrolling, and video backgrounds. Shopify’s theme store is easy to use and access. Filters allow you to sort through various design options.
Squarespace is fond of using a hybrid system. It is well-known for its many pre-created themes.
It also combines design and content, unlike Shopify. Both can be done simultaneously.
To create a seamless design using Squarespace’s themes, you will need to have a collection of high-quality images.
Squarespace offers more options when it comes to template and design. There are more than 20 types of templates to choose from, each with many variations.
Squarespace is a company that knows it deals with creative brands and designers. The templates you receive have a unique wow factor that sets them apart from other solutions. Squarespace templates can be used for websites that use lots of photography.
It might be difficult to find a large number of ecommerce templates in this store builder. The same applies if you are looking for a blog-based solution. There are many visual effects that can help you grab attention. You can also extend Squarespace’s functionality by integrating with Google Images or UnSplash.
Bloggers who want strong images to accompany their posts will find the visual integrations very useful. These integrations are also beneficial for Squarespace designers who work on sites for clients with few photos.
Squarespace supports video backgrounds to make the experience even more engaging. The results can be amazing when you use YouTube video backgrounds as banners on your pages. Simply copy and paste a YouTube URL in your page settings to make it your background. You can also choose filters and playback speeds.
When it comes to similarities, I noticed that both of them use drag-and drop, likely because of its intuitiveness. They all have well-stocked theme marketplaces that can help you source additional design options.
Squarespace is a great choice for people who are looking for high-quality themes and great images. Shopify would be a better choice if you are looking for more artistic functionality.
Also, Shopify as well as Squarespace ensure that your designs are fully responsive. Your templates will adjust to fit the device on which they are being viewed. Squarespace, Shopify offer a variety of options. Shopify is the best for visual content.
Facilitating Ecommerce processes
This is where we often separate ecommerce platform from generic web builders.
An online store must have five elements: an order database, payment process checkout page, product database and a shopping cart.
There are many more options that you can choose from when shopping in an ecommerce store. These are just a few of the things you can expect from an ecommerce site.
Both Shopify as well as Squarespace have a lot to offer in terms of these core features. They seem to have different approaches to facilitating ecommerce.
Squarespace helps you easily sell digital and physical products. You will be able manage shipping costs, sales taxes, coupons engine, inventory, uploads, and editing of products.
Squarespace is the most popular platform for design. It’s also an excellent platform to sell sensational products online. You already have the sales tools you need to engage and attract your audience members.
Squarespace is focused on making your products the main focus of your website. There are many great options to choose from. You can zoom in on your images or transform them into slideshows. You can even create 360-degree visuals.
Squarespace provided only one payment gateway, which was the biggest disappointment for most shop owners.
You would expect it to be PayPal given its global reach. No. They had an alternative idea. They were able to lock out businesses in many countries by using Stripe.
Although it took some time, Squarespace finally came to its senses. PayPal was integrated. Transactions can now be conducted with customers from all countries.
While Squarespace is improving, it still trails Shopify when it comes to payment facilitation. Shopify is a commerce platform that has been around for more than ten years. They are aware that 6% of abandoned carts is due to a lack of payment options.
Shopify has a wider range of payment options than most other platforms. Squarespace supports only two payment options, but Shopify offers more than 100 integrations. This allows transactions to be made from any web-linked location on the planet.
It doesn’t end there, perhaps not surprising. Shopify, a platform that has been exclusively focused on ecommerce since its inception, is not likely to let a new child school it on facilitating businesses.
Although Shopify may require you to work harder to access all the tools you need to sell physical and digital products online through the platform, the extensions you desire are already there. Shopify is similar to Squarespace in that it allows you to showcase your products with style. Shopify does not have a built-in zoom feature, but there is an option to download apps such as Magic Zoom Plus.
Shopify allows you to sell products anywhere and in all currencies. There are many payment options available. It’s obvious who wins this battle compared to Squarespace’s limited PayPal or Stripe selections.
Shopify is the better option if you have multiple payment options or want to connect with customers in different countries. Shopify can also help you get rid of transaction fees if you choose to use the company’s payment method, Shopify payments.
Squarespace focuses on simplicity. Shopify offers more advanced ecommerce capabilities. You can even create your own app store, with tons of free and paid applications that will enhance your capabilities.