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 re
A Quick Overview Of Squarespace and Shopify (2023)
Here is a quick comparison targeting the major areas between the two platforms.
|Feature-Driven/Value for money||4/5||5/5|
|Informative Website Creation||5/5||4.5/5|
|eCommerce Store Creation||4/5||5/5|
|Ease of Use||4.5/5||4.5/5|
Overall, Shopify is a better option for users covering everything from customization to payment gateways.
Shopify vs Squarespace: Key Differences
Here are the key differences between Shopify and Squarespace.
- Squarespace does not offer eCommerce features in all of its plans, whereas Shopify offers better eCommerce features than Squarespace in all of its plans.
- Squarespace has a huge template library where you can easily find the website template that fits your niche, and you will get access to this template library in every plan of Squarespace. Shopify only offers ten free templates that you can use on your store, and to get access to premium templates, you will need to pay a fee.
- Squarespace’s free trial lasts for 14 days, whereas Shopify’s free trial only lasts for three days.
- You can easily start a dropshipping business with Shopify because it offers specific features for dropshipping, whereas you can not start a dropshipping business with Squarespace.
- Squarespace is a better platform for starting a blog with your eCommerce store than Shopify because it offers better SEO and CMS features than Shopify.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 toward 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.
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.
Free Trial: both platforms offer a free 14-day trial.
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.
|Plans||Monthly Price||Yearly Price|
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.
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.
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.
|Plan||Monthly Price||Yearly Price|
|Basic Shopify Plan||$29 (Cheapest of all plans)||$26.10|
|Advanced Shopify Plan||$299||$269.10|
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.
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.
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.
Shopify vs Squarespace: Pros & Cons
While both Shopify and Squarespace are great eCommerce platforms still, both of them have their pros & cons, which we have mentioned below.
- Shopify has a Shopify markets option that allows you to sell your products in multiple currencies, or you can also use a third-party app for this feature.
- Shopify is a much better option for offline selling because its POS feature is much better than Squarespace’s POS feature.
- Shopify has an automatic tax calculation feature, which is available in many countries.
- The abandoned cart recovery feature is available at a lower cost on Shopify compared to Squarespace.
- From the Shopify App Store, you can download any app to increase the functionalities of your store.
- Shopify recently reduced their free trial from 14 days to 3 days which is disappointing.
- Shopify does not offer a lot of blogging features.
- Squarespace’s drag & drop editor is much better than Shopify’s, allowing you to change every aspect of your website.
- If your online store is more image and description-focused, then it is better to have Squarespace than Shopify.
- Plenty of free templates are available from different niches.
- You get a free domain with any annual plan of Squarespace.
- You can get access to a free Google Workspace plan for a year with Squarespace annual plans.
- Squarespace does not offer a lot of eCommerce features compared to Shopify.
- Squarespace has an automatic tax calculation feature only for US users.
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.
Conclusion: Shopify vs Squarespace (2023)
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 grow your business in the long run successfully. 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.
Both Squarespace and Shopify offer free trials, and you don’t need to enter your card details to get their free trial. The only difference is that Shopify’s free trial lasts only for three days, and Squarespace’s free trial lasts for 14 days.
The eCommerce plan of Squarespace starts from $27/month, and Shopify’s basic plan starts from $29/month, so there is not much difference in the pricing. But Shopify offers a special offer where you can get the basic plan at just $1/month for three months.
Shopify is a dedicated eCommerce platform that offers amazing features for your online store, and you can easily create your online store and start selling on it. Squarespace is also a great website builder that is good for creating an online store, but it is only good for those who want to sell a few items in their store.
If you already have a Squarespace website or domain, you can connect directly to your Shopify store. This way, you can promote your Shopify store on your Squarespace website and sell your products on multiple platforms at once.
Both Shopify and Squarespace are great for SEO. Still, Shopify has the edge over Squarespace because it automatically fills the required SEO fields on your store and helps you get better rankings on the search engine.