squarespace vs shopify

Establishing a web store is a popular option these days, especially for those wanting to engage in digital sales. Modern eCommerce market is packed with a great variety of solutions that will suit even the most demanding e-merchants. In this review, we will compare Squarespace vs. Shopify in terms of user-friendliness, accessibility, price, features, and help you decide which one fits your business better.

Squarespace vs Shopify. Brief Outline

Squarespace was founded back in 2004. Initially, it was a portfolio and blogging platform for content-based websites. But having spent quite some time in the eCommerce industry, it gradually shifted towards a SaaS-based CMS-type platform. Today, Squarespace is home to 1,862,496 live websites. It offers users easily-navigable tools, beautiful templates, and extensive features to build a commercially viable store. Moreover, to get started online no coding skills are required.

Shopify was launched in 2006 and has grown into one of the leading eCommerce platforms ever since. At the moment, it powers 1,228,023 online retailers. This out-of-the-box solution has all the necessary tools to build a beautifully-looking online store. Shopify combines both user-friendliness and comprehensive functionality and is manageable even for the e-newbies. However, if you're willing to turn your store into a unique masterpiece, no need to worry - you'll easily get access to the CSS and HTML files.

Google Trends provides the following figures regarding both cart's usage:

Shopify's popularity has outgrown Squarespace in the last 5 years. Nonetheless, your final choice should be based on the specific business needs and requirements.

Squarespace vs Shopify. What’s in Common?

Squarespace vs Shopify. Hosted solutions

Both Squarespace and Shopify are hosted platforms. It means that you don't have to worry about the hosting account and domain name. They are already included in the pricing plans. If you click the Sign up button, your store will be ready just within a few minutes. Hosted platforms are simple to manage and provide you with all the updates and technical support. Additionally, these carts supply users with a free SSL Certificate. It helps to keep all the data that moves between a web server and browser secure.

squarespace vs shopify

Squarespace vs Shopify. Progressive eCommerce functionality

Squarespace is all about simplicity and design. Dealing with taxes, shipment inventory, product upload, and editing is incredibly easy. This website builder has in-built instruments for captivating customers' attention. Squarespace makes it possible to zoom images, turn them into slide-shows, and create 360-degree visuals.

Unlike Squarespace, Shopify has been in an eCommerce business for much longer. It provides users with more advanced and flexible features: abandoned cart recovery, shipping calculation, discount codes, payment processing, simplified checkout, etc. All the necessary tools can be downloaded from an Official App Store.

squarespace vs shopify

Squarespace vs Shopify. Design and Templates

No matter which platform you choose - Squarespace or Shopify, they both offer lots of attractive and highly-responsive themes. Squarespace template store has over 60+ designs to choose from (e.g., the topics covered - portfolios, restaurants, real estate, professional services, etc.). They are all modern, sleek, and mobile-responsive. The company mainly aims at creative people and photographers.

Shopify, on the other hand, has 8 free and 64 paid templates. They are also up-to-date and will suit different types of businesses (e.g., health, beauty, clothing, toys, etc.). Moreover, there are hundreds of 3rd party themes on other marketplaces. Themeforest is the most popular one. It has 1000+ different designs and templates for selection.

It is possible to personalize your store through the custom edits. Squarespace enables adding HTML with a Code Block, and CSS - using CSS Editor. Shopify HTML and CSS codes can be edited on the Shopify Admin page.

https://themes.shopify.com/themes

While Shopify templates are stylish, elegant, and more customizable, many users express a thought that aesthetically (which is quite subjective though) Squarespace templates are more appealing.

Squarespace vs Shopify. SEO Capabilities

If we compare Squarespace vs Shopify SEO score, according to eCommerce platforms research, Shopify stands second in the list after Magento. It was created with SEO in mind and helps you get the highest search ranking. Shopify creates a page title and meta description automatically based on the content of your page. Users can get advantage of all the in-built tools and SEO apps available at the App Store. Squarespace SEO capabilities, on the contrary, are a bit limited. It is possible to add meta titles and edit descriptions. And that's practically it. All the other aspects (e.g., alt text) are not included.

squarespace vs shopify

Squarespace vs Shopify. Ease of Use

Building an online store with Squarespace and Shopify is equally easy and fast. They have clear and modern dashboards with understandable menus. Both solutions use a drag-and-drop function for adding products. You just click the needed element, move it, and drop to the page. And voila - it's ready! In case you feel a little lost - the visual prompts will guide you through the way.

squarespace vs shopify

Squarespace vs Shopify. Blogging Functionality

Squarespace, along with Shopify, has integrated blogging functionality. It's a handy tool for eCommerce stores these days. Experienced marketers and business owners are aware of the benefits a qualitative blog can give them in terms of SEO and customer engagement.

Although, Squarespace provides its clients with the wider scope for action, since it was a blogging platform from the very beginning. It lets you easily insert the content into any sidebar or page with the help of summary blocks. Other blogging features include in-built analytics, archiving, and a search option.

Shopify, on the contrary, does not have such an extensive functionality. Its aim is eCommerce. However, the pre-designed blog module can assist you in gaining an audience and generating traffic. You can easily write and publish posts, add images, media files, categories, tags, etc.

Squarespace vs Shopify. What Are The Key Differences?

Squarespace vs Shopify. Support

In case you're having trouble with the store management, you may always refer to the customer support. Both solutions have well-developed help channels. Shopify offers 24/7 customer support through email, phone and live chat. The response time is really fast. Besides that, there's an extensive support section available at the official website (including forums, reference literature, video tutorials, and FAQs).

In contrast, Squarespace support misses some points when compared to Shopify. You can reach them only via email, live chat, or through forums. There is no phone support offered to customers. The company has a broad collection of video guides and other helpful materials.

squarespace vs shopify

Squarespace vs Shopify. Pricing

All in all, Shopify is pricier than Squarespace. This is because it provides more advanced and comprehensive eCommerce tools to help you run a business. Shopify has three pricing plans:

squarespace vs shopify

Shopify also has a lower-priced Shopify Lite plan for $9 per month, and the enterprise-level Shopify Plus plan with extra features, starting $2000 per month.

Additionally, the company offers a 90-day free trial.

Squarespace has a 14-day free trial and four pricing options:

  • 2 plans for websites (Personal and Business)
  • 2 plans for online stores (Basic and Advanced)
squarespace vs shopify

All plans have eCommerce integration. However, the Basic and Advanced plans offer more advanced features. Also, keep in mind that you won't be able to sell products through the Personal plan. It has lots of restrictions and limited capabilities.

Squarespace vs Shopify. App Marketplaces

Shopify has a massive App Store with more than 2000 both free and paid apps. They are divided into different categories, e.g., design, marketing, sales, finances, reporting, etc. Apart from this, Shopify offers many SEO and marketing apps to facilitate store management. These tools do not require any tech skills and are available for everybody.

squarespace vs shopify

Squarespace, on the other hand, doesn’t have it’s own app store, but there's a number of a third-party plugins for Squarespace popping here and there. The problem is that not all Squarespace users want to risk the safety of their websites and use the unofficial Squarespace apps.

Squarespace vs Shopify. Payment Gateways

Shopify allows you to accept payments from almost anywhere and in most currencies. It supports more than 100 payment gateways, including the most popular ones - PayPal, Amazon Pay, Stripe, and even cryptocurrency. Additionally, it is possible to use Shopify's gateway - Shopify Payments with no transaction fees.

sqaurespace-vs-shopify-payment-gateaway

Unfortunately, Squarespace is very limited in the number of payment options. It integrates with Stripe - it's primary payment gateway. Besides, you can also choose between PayPal or Apple Pay.

What are Advantages of Squarespace over Shopify?

  • Better choice for content-based websites. If you aim at displaying the content (e.g., images or a personal blog), Squarespace will be a more subtle and flexible solution than Shopify.
  • Beautiful templates. The quality of Squarespace templates is higher, and they are clear and elegant. A lot of Squarespace templates are created for those who want to blog or share their music portfolios, art, or photography. The visual effects include parallax scrolling, text that gracefully fades in and out, etc.
  • Free Typekit fonts and discounted Getty images. Squarespace's partnership with Typekit gives Squarespace customers more than 65 free Typekit fonts. Print types are important factors that influence the customer's brand perception. Getty Images is another of Squarespace's partners. It is one of the world's leading creators and distributors of high-quality images and videos. Thanks to this partnership, Squarespace website owners get an exclusive rate for using Getty images from Getty, at the affordable cost of $10 per photo.
  • Extensive styling options. Style Editor tool will assist you in store customization. It is easy to use even for a non-technical person. With the help of Style Editor, you can adjust colors, background images, typography, the opacity of images, the width of the sidebar, any spacing and padding, and page-specific styles.

What are Advantages of Shopify over Squarespace?

  • Point of sale (POS) application. This software works both for IOS and Android systems and allows you to integrate online stores with physically located shops. POS features comprise a card reader, barcode scanner, cash drawer, and receipt printer. It gives you a possibility to sell anywhere, keeping your stock count synced automatically.
  • Automated EU VAT calculation. Value Added Tax (VAT) applies to all goods and services that are bought and sold for use or consumption in the European Union. Owing to the Automatic calculation of EU VAT, Shopify store owners can save lots of time and sell products straight to the EU countries. Squarespace Value Added Taxes, contrarily, have to be entered manually as individual "tax rates."
  • Gift cards and discount codes. Gift cards and discount codes will not only enhance the store's performance but also attract more customers. They usually send gifts to family or friends. Therefore, if the gift card option is available, they will do it more often. Unfortunately, Squarespace doesn't support redeemable gift cards, gift certificates or vouchers.
  • Shopify integrations. Shopify integrates with the world's eCommerce giant - Amazon. Hence, Shopify users can add Amazon as their Sales Channel, create Amazon listings and link them to the stores, fulfill orders directly from a single Shopify Admin Panel. Shopify also cooperates with Facebook. Store's customers can easily browse your products using the new Shop section on Facebook. Moreover, Shopify has partnered with Pinterest. All the products pinned from Shopify online store automatically become Buyable Pins on Pinterest.
  • Shopify "Buy button." This button is the simplest way to add eCommerce functionality (including product pages and secure checkout) to your blog or website. It's fully responsive and looks nice both on desktops and mobile screens. It is possible to customize it to match your brand appearance. With the "Buy button" you can sell products on WordPress, Tumblr, Joomla, Drupal, Wix, and Weebly, etc.
  • Advanced reporting features. If you need a platform with professional reporting functionality, Shopify is a much better option than Squarespace. Shopify analytics offers more extensive data and detailed statistics, including sales, finances, customers, acquisition, and behavior reports. Besides, Shopify allows you to create your custom reports.

Squarespace vs Shopify. Which one to choose?

So, if you aim to create an advanced web store with professional analytics - Shopify is the excellent choice for you. If you are planning to showcase the content of your websites, like a beautiful portfolio or blog, and sell a couple of products - Squarespace is your perfect match.

Deciding which platform to choose depends on what type of website you want to run. The key difference between Squarespace and Shopify is that Shopify is more comprehensive and functional when it comes to eCommerce because it is entirely eCommerce-oriented.

Overall, both Squarespace and Shopify allow you to establish a stunning website quickly. Whatever your choice, you'll get powerful eCommerce features and beautiful responsive templates.

In case you are already using Squarespace, and want to expand your store’s functionality, migrate from Squarespace to Shopify. Watch our video guide to get the idea how an automated migration works:

Don't miss the chance to enhance the overall look and functionality of your store. Perform the free Demo Migration and decide which platform is your go-to destination.