Shopify vs Squarespace 2022: Which One Is Right For Your Business?

Shopify vs Squarespace - Yaguara

Shopify and Squarespace are two of the most renowned platforms for creating and running a website or an online store. Squarespace was created for generalized purposes and is mostly termed as a content-driven platform. But with time, the enhanced features made it a top competitor in platforms developing eCommerce stores. 

Shopify’s emphasis remained intact on creating online stores from the initial days. The platform is equipped with everything one needs to successfully create and run an eCommerce business.  But how do select the right platform when both the platforms fulfill major requirements?  This article will help you dive down into both aspects to make the right choice. 

A Quick Overview

Here is a quick comparison targeting the major areas between the two platforms. 

Comparison CriteriaSquarespaceShopify
Affordability 5/54.5/5
Feature-Driven/Value for money4/55/5
Informative Website Creation5/54.5/5
eCommerce Store Creation4/55/5
Payment Options3.5/55/5
Ease of Use4.5/54.5/5
Customization Options4/55/5

Overall, Shopify is a better option for users covering everything from customization to payment gateways. 

Suitability: Content-Driven Website Or Online Store? 

Are you targeting to create an informative website or sell online products? 

An informative website requires a platform with exceptional content management tools. Squarespace follows a walled garden approach, wherein users receive limited access to network-based content and services. Third-party integration remains difficult, and you don’t receive full access to the website’s code either. The two are considered important when creating a content-driven website. 

But on the flip side, the walled garden approach also speaks about the platform’s credibility requiring minimum maintenance and edits. Users also prefer Squarespace for content-driven websites due to its easy interface, attention-grabbing templates, varied ways of displaying useful content, and the overall professional touch its features provide. 

Shopify’s new theme format and drag-and-drop editor are catching up to prove useful for content-driven sites. But Shopify is majorly known for the scalable eCommerce store solutions it provides. It’s one of the easiest eCommerce builders with an intuitive interface assisting users in creating and operating their online store. 

Verdict: Squarespace becomes the top choice for content-driven websites. 

eCommerce features: Shopify Vs Squarespace 

Analyzing the major eCommerce features will help you choose the right platform for building your eCommerce store. Here are the ones you must consider: 

  • Payment Options

Shopify provides more than 100 options for payment transactions. From basic options like PayPal, AmazonPay, etc., to transactions in cryptocurrencies, this platform got you covered. eCommerce businesses often struggle with the burden of transaction fees ranging between 0.5% to 2% per transaction. The users of Shopify Payments are free from these fees in several mentioned countries. Furthermore, Shopify keeps adding more payment options to improve the conversion rates of the users. 

Squarespace offers limited online payment options. Users can only process payments through PayPal, Square, and Stripe. Remember that payment options are often a dealbreaker. It’s always better to have varied options that suit specific requirements. 

  • Shipping 

Getting your products delivered on time is the most crucial aspect of an eCommerce business. Matching your customers’ delivery expectations and considering your budget standpoints is important. 

The multiple areas of focus include selecting the packaging to create a strategy that aligns with your goals.  Shopify shipping provides the best possible shipping options by working with multiple carriers. It provides shipping services like NHL or UPS while offering multiple built-in integrations. Furthermore, it deals with all common shipping challenges and also gives the option of purchasing shipping labels. 

Some common features users enjoy with Shopify shipping include overnight delivery, tracking info, shipping insurance, package pick-up, international shipping, etc., depending on various factors. With Shopify shipping, all the products are delivered quickly with minimal charges. 

Squarespace is continually working at providing an enhanced shipping experience to eCommerce businesses. Currently, they are working with UPS to calculate carrier shipping rates. There are three different shipping options, including Flat rate shipping, depending on weight, and carrier-calculated. Furthermore, you get an enhanced benefit depending on the country chosen or weight. 

  • POS

Shopify is equipped with one of the most powerful cloud-based Point Of Sale (POS) systems covering on-the-go and brick-and-mortar sales. It’s part of every Shopify plan, from beginner to advanced, with seamless syncing. 

On the other hand, Squarespace partnered with Square to develop a POS. You need to invest an additional $49 in the Squarespace Commerce app and a Square card reader. Furthermore, POS is only covered in the Commerce Basic or Commerce Advanced plan.

Verdict:  Shopify rules over Squarespace when it comes to building and managing an online store. 

Ease Of Use: Suitability For A Complete Beginner

Beginners often search for a platform that’s easiest to use. Between Shopify and Squarespace, Squarespace is easier. 

But is Shopify too complex for beginners? 

Not really.

Firstly, Squarespace has a visual drag-and-drop page editor deemed suitable for beginners. Secondly, you get access to all information and features without technical knowledge.

 Drag-and-drop page
 Drag-and-drop page

Next, when it comes to Shopify, the editor is built keeping in mind the ever-changing requirements of an online store. It’s not a static website, and you need to keep modifying it based on varied factors. The section-based editor in Shopify allows making these changes, thereby assisting online stores in making their tasks easy. 

Blog Post
Blog Post

But tailoring a Shopify template entirely would require technical know-how. The best part about Shopify is that it has all the tools you need to get started, whether you are starting a business from scratch or growing an already successful brand. But many users started with Shopify and learned along the way. If you are a curious individual willing to learn, then Shopify won’t trouble you. 

Verdict: both platforms are suitable for beginners. 

Customization: Which One Provides Better Options? 

Templates play a crucial role during website creation as it eliminates the burden of coding required to develop a website from scratch. You can easily select a pre-developed website design by a professional and edit the same based on your requirements. 

But will you be happy with limited editing options or prefer everything in control? 

Shopify Offers Highly Customizable Templates

Shopify offers over 90 professionally developed templates that the users can edit or tailor based on their suited needs. Shopify provides people with abundant options for customizing and tailoring the website or online store based on specific requirements. Niche-specific websites or stores often need ample customization to stand out amongst the competition and capture the target market. Furthermore, it provides a responsive website design suitable for every device. 

Customizable Templates
Customizable Templates

Apart from the available themes, Shopify also provides the option of purchasing themes from third-party developers. They have hundreds of options to choose from. Although you get the option of full customization, you need to have coding knowledge to perform most tasks. 

Shopify themes
Shopify themes

Bottom Line: Great at customizing existing templates but require coding knowledge. 

Note: Shopify is majorly inclined towards eCommerce stores, and the templates are highly selling-focused. They are created in a manner to ensure you increase sales of your products. The focus of these templates remains intact on selling more. 

Squarespace Niche-Specific Templates With Minimal Customization

Squarespace is widely known for offering templates that suit various industries. With over 110 beautifully-designed templates. All the themes are free to use and customizable to some extent. But their garden-walled approach restricts users from making serious edits to the templates. Therefore, no coding knowledge is required to make this platform easiest for creating websites. 

As Squarespace was initially a blog-hosting service, the themes are mostly inclined towards blogging or the artistic arena. 

Verdict: if you are heavy on customization and have coding knowledge, you should go with Shopify. You can also hire an expert to assist you with the same in the case of the absence of coding knowledge. On the flip side, if you want a neat, clear design created by a professional in your specific industry, then go for Squarespace. Shopify>Squarespace. 

Pricing Structure

Both Shopify and Squarespace provide a free 14-day trial to help users understand the overall work. Now, let’s move further with the pricing structure and major features offered. 

Cheaper: Squarespace

Feature-dominated: Shopify 

Free Trial: both platforms offer a free 14-day trial

Squarespace 

Squarespace plans begin at an affordable rate of $19 (monthly), and the highest plan is $65 (monthly). Users enjoy an even smaller price when they go with yearly subscriptions. Here is a detailed analysis of Squarespace plans to help you select the right plan and if you think Squarespace is right for you then save a few bucks on your purchase with our Squarespace promo code here.

Squarespace Pricing
PlansMonthly PriceYearly Price
Personal $19$16
Business$33$23
Basic Commerce$36$27
Advanced Commerce$65$49

Suitability

Here is the suitability of every plan to help you make the right choice. 

  • Personal: Freelancers or small businesses requiring a landing page. 
  • Business: Best for medium-sized businesses and those wanting to run an online store.
  • Basic Commerce: Best for eCommerce retailers that do not want any advanced integrations.
  • Advanced Commerce: Best for popular eCommerce stores that manage orders in large quantities. 

Features

Let’s take a quick look at every plan’s crucial features. 

  • Personal: Easy-to-use, a mobile-optimized website with basic analytics and an SSL certificate. 
  • Business: All features of personal plan + option to buy a professional G-suite, advanced metrics tracking, selling unlimited products, and complete customization. 
  • Basic Commerce: Top features include saving customer info, advanced analytics, a mobile-optimized store, and seamless checkout. 
  • Advanced Commerce: All features are included in the basic plan + subscription services, gift cards, and discounts, among other features.

Shopify

The Shopify Starter Plan ($5/month) is suitable for users only looking to start selling on their social platforms. It provides the tools required to sell without a website. Next, there are four more Shopify plans assisting users in creating and running a fully-fledged online store. Users enjoy 10% savings on every plan when they select an annual plan. 

Shopify-Pricing
PlanMonthly PriceYearly Price
Basic Shopify Plan$29 (Cheapest of all plans) $26.10
Shopify Plan$79$71.10
Advanced Shopify Plan$299$269.10
Enterprise Plan $2000$1800

Suitability

Here is the suitability of every plan to help you make the right choice. 

  • Basic Shopify Plan: Suitable for new eCommerce businesses with limited functionalities.
  • Shopify Plan: Small or medium-sized eCommerce businesses looking forward to expansion with a consistent increase in online sales. 
  • Advanced Shopify Plan: Highly suitable for well-established businesses with high volume sales. (Large or quickly-growing online stores). 
  • Enterprise Plan: Provides the highest level of flexibility required by Large eCommerce websites. 

Features

Let’s take a quick look at every plan’s crucial features. 

  • Basic Shopify Plan: Access to basic features and restrictions using Shopify Shipping, Shopify Payments, and Shopify POS.
  • Shopify Plan: Users enjoy a higher shipping discount (Shopify Shipping), access to Shopify’s POS Lite, and a reduced transaction fee.
  • Advanced Shopify Plan: Enjoys Shopify’s full feature arsenal with the lowest possible shipping rates and transaction fees. 
  • Enterprise Plan: Can handle high traffic levels, provides enhanced customization, and merchant success managers assist for growth. 

Transaction Fee

Now, let’s move to the transaction fee associated with every plan. 

  • Basic Shopify Plan: 2.9% + $0.30 per online transaction and 2.7% per in-person transaction. 
  • Shopify Plan: 2.6% + $0.30 per online card transaction, 2.5% per in-person payment.
  • Advanced Shopify Plan: 2.4% + $0.30 per online card transaction, 2.4% per in-person transaction. 
  • Enterprise Plan: 2.15% + $0.30 for each transaction on domestic Visa and MC, including an additional 1% on AMEX and international cards.

Note: the transaction fee varies (higher) when payments are conducted through a third-party payment provider. 

Shopify Over Squarespace: Value Over Price

Here are some important Shopify benefits that make the platform worth every penny you invest. 

  • Enhanced Level Of Customization 

Shopify assists users in running their online store according to their specific requirements. With over 6,000 Shopify apps, you can customize and run your store the way you want. Also, direct excess to the theme’s code provides users a better chance at creating a store according to their audiences’ tastes. 

  • Allows Integration With All Major Platforms

Squarespace allows selling on the two most popular channels- Facebook and Instagram. But Shopify will provide integrations with all major platforms, including Amazon, Google, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc. Therefore, stores with a solid expansion plan in mind must go with Shopify. 

  • Shopify Payments Improve Conversions 

Shopify payments are your quick solution to conducting online transactions. Users enjoy minimal transaction fee, and accessibility for all major reasons make it highly suitable. On the flip side, your payment options are limited to PayPal and Square in the case of Squarespace. 

Squarespace Over Shopify: Suitable For Small Store Owners

Here is why you should give preference to Squarespace instead of Shopify. 

  • Minimal Requirement Of Technical Knowledge

Shopify users often brag about the immense customization options available. But customizing themes requires editing the CSS code. You will unable to make the most of its features without basic coding knowledge. Squarespace doesn’t require any technical knowledge to make the most of its features. It’s highly suitable for people belonging to a non-tech background. 

  • Drag-and-drop Editor Assures Ease Of Use

The drag-and-drop editor is only available with Squarespace. Beginners don’t have to deal with any complex processes as editing becomes easier. 

  • Highly Feasible For Small Store Owners 

Small store owners looking for maximum benefit with limited investment must prioritize Squarespace. 

Ecwid and BigCommerce are also two reliable eCommerce Platforms that are perfect altrenative to Shopify and Squarespace. Yaguara recommends you to check detailed Ecwid Review and BigCommerce review here.

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Conclusion: Shopify Or Squarespace? 

Both Shopify and Squarespace are great for running online businesses. But if you are an online store scaling at a great pace, then Shopify is the way to go. The feature-enriched platform will provide you with all the tools required to successfully grow your business in the long run. New or small businesses can opt for Squarespace as it’s beginner-friendly and comparatively cheaper.

Lastly, get started with the 14-day free trials of both platforms to experiment before you make the final choice.  

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