Shopify vs Squarespace: Which is The Right One for You?

Choosing an e-commerce platform is no walk in the park. With new options popping up all the time, it can be overwhelming to sift through and compare their features.

Two of the top contenders in the game are Shopify vs Squarespace. Squarespace Ecommerce boasts nearly 3 million live sites, while Shopify takes the cake with over 4 million sites on its platform. Both platforms cater to businesses of all sizes, but which one is the right fit for your company?

This guide will break down the similarities and differences between Shopify and Squarespace, helping you make an informed decision for your business.

Shopify Overview

Shopify is a super popular ecommerce platform worldwide, with millions of ecommerce stores. They offer a complete ecommerce solution, providing websites, payment processing, and even POS systems and hardware.

One cool feature they have is Shopify Payments, which is their own payment provider powered by Stripe. With this, ecommerce stores can accept various payment methods both online and in person. It’s like a PayPal alternative for Shopify users, allowing customers to save their credit card info and addresses for quick checkout on any Shopify store.

Another awesome thing about Shopify is that they have tons of app integrations available, so you can customize your online store to your heart’s content.

Squarespace Overview

Squarespace allows users to create and manage content-based websites. It has evolved to include e-commerce tools, which means you can also use Squarespace to build an online store. The Squarespace editor is designed to be user-friendly, making it easy for beginners to use. It offers various e-commerce features, including analytics, giving website owners more control over their online stores.

Shopify, on the other hand, has integrated content-building features into its platform over time. This has caused some confusion between the two platforms. To make a decision between Squarespace and Shopify, you need to consider your website goals. If you want to create a traditional website, Squarespace is a good option. If you want to set up an online store, both platforms can meet your needs.

Ultimately, the choice depends on whether you want to provide information or sell products online. Both Squarespace and Shopify have their strengths and can be suitable for different purposes.

Pros and Cons

Shopify Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Best overall e-commerce platform
  • Multi-channel selling across Facebook and Instagram

Cons:

  • Enforces transaction fees for alternative payment methods
  • Monthly costs add up with apps

Squarespace Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Loads of designer templates on offer
  • Great analytics system for a non-e-commerce specific builder

Cons:

  • Limited payment options
  • Editor doesn’t autosave changes

Pricing: Shopify vs Squarespace

When you’re getting started with your Shopify or Squarespace store, it’s important to consider pricing as a practical factor. Knowing how much you need to invest in setting up your online business is crucial!

Luckily, both Shopify and Squarespace offer free trials for users. Shopify gives you a three-day free trial and a trial period of $1 per month for three months. On the other hand, Squarespace offers a generous 14-day free trial. Additionally, both platforms give you the option to pay monthly or annually, which could potentially save you some money on your monthly subscription fees.

The amount of e-commerce features you have access to on each site depends on the pricing plan you choose. The higher the pricing plan, the more advanced and comprehensive tools and features you’ll be able to utilize. So, it’s worth considering your budget and business needs when deciding which plan is right for you.

Remember, taking advantage of the free trials and exploring the different pricing options will help you make an informed decision and set up your online business with confidence.

Shopify Pricing

You have the option to choose from five different Shopify plans when creating your e-commerce website. Let me give you an overview of each plan:

1. Starter

The Starter plan is the most affordable option on Shopify. It allows you to quickly create a simple store without any setup required. You can sell your products online through social media and messaging apps. With the Starter plan, you can start selling digital products right away by simply adding an image, product description, and price. It’s incredibly easy to get started! The price for the Starter plan is $5 per month, and you can even try it out for free with a trial version of $1 per month for three months.

2. Basic

The Basic plan is available for $25 per month (or $19 per month with an annual subscription). With the Basic plan, you get access to all of Shopify’s robust e-commerce features. You can list unlimited products, set up two staff accounts, and receive 24/7 support. Additionally, you can promote and market your products through various sales channels, including online marketplaces and social media. The Basic plan also includes advanced features like discount codes, abandoned cart recovery, and customer segmentation. You’ll even receive a free SSL certificate for added security.

3. Shopify

The Shopify plan is priced at $65 per month (or $49 per month with an annual subscription). It offers the same features as the Basic plan but with some additional enhancements. With the Shopify plan, you can have up to five staff accounts and access standard reporting on your online Shopify stores. You’ll also have access to e-commerce automation tools to streamline your business operations.

4. Advanced

For larger e-commerce businesses, the Advanced Shopify plan is the best option. It is available for $399 per month (or $299 per month with an annual subscription). With the Advanced plan, you can set up 15 staff accounts and take advantage of third-party calculated shipping rates and international commerce features. This plan is designed to meet the needs of major e-commerce businesses.

5. Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus is the perfect choice for businesses that handle a large number of orders. It offers a comprehensive solution that allows your business to grow rapidly. With the Shopify Plus plan, you can get started for just $2,000 per month.

No matter which Shopify plan you opt for, you’ll be able to easily set up an online store with a convenient one-click checkout feature. Additionally, you’ll have access to various sales channels, round-the-clock support, and the Shopify POS system.

Squarespace Pricing

1. Personal

The Personal plan is the perfect starting point for creating your own website on Squarespace. With this plan, you’ll have access to a wide range of mobile-optimized themes that you can customize to fit your unique vision. Whether you’re a blogger, artist, or small business owner, you’ll find the templates you need to bring your website to life.

For just $23 per month (or $16 per month with an annual subscription), you can have the freedom to design and build your website exactly the way you want it. No coding or technical skills are required!

2. Business

If you’re an online business owner looking to take your store to the next level, the Squarespace Business plan is the perfect choice. For $33 per month (or $23 annually), you’ll have access to all the tools and features you need to run a successful online store.

Not only will you have access to a wide range of templates for your Squarespace site, but you’ll also be able to integrate major payment gateways for seamless order processing. Plus, with advanced business tools like Shopify analytics and a fully integrated e-commerce solution, you’ll have everything you need to grow your store and reach a wider audience.

3. Commerce Basic

For those looking to grow their business even further, the Commerce Basic plan is the way to go. At just $36 per month (or $27 per month annually), you’ll have access to a suite of tools designed to help your business thrive.

With mobile-optimized websites, advanced website analytics, full e-commerce integration, and powerful merchandising solutions, you’ll have everything you need to take your business to the next level. Plus, with the transaction fees waived, you’ll be able to keep more of your hard-earned profits.

4. Commerce Advanced

For the ultimate e-commerce experience, the Commerce Advanced plan is the top choice. At $65 per month (or $49 annually), you’ll have access to all the features and functionalities of the Commerce Basic plan, plus some exciting extras.

With Advanced Shipping and discounting offers, you’ll be able to optimize your sales performance and provide your customers with an exceptional shopping experience. Whether you’re a seasoned online retailer or just starting out, the Commerce Advanced plan has everything you need to succeed.

Transaction Fees: Shopify vs Squarespace

When comparing Shopify and Squarespace, it’s important to take into account the fees associated with each platform. This is especially crucial for online store owners who want to maximize their earnings from each sale.

For Shopify, there is a transaction fee of 2.9% plus 30 cents for every transaction made on your Shopify store. However, if you are a Shopify Basic subscriber and choose to use payment gateways other than Shopify Payments, an additional 2% fee will apply. On the other hand, if you opt for the higher pricing plans, you can reduce the transaction fee to as low as 0.5%.

In contrast, Squarespace does not have its own payment processing gateway like Shopify Payments. Instead, Squarespace site customers have the option to use Stripe and Paypal for their transactions. With Paypal, there is a charge of 3.49% plus 49 cents for each transaction. Stripe, on the other hand, charges 2.9% plus 30 cents for every transaction. Additionally, Squarespace customers with the Business plan will incur an extra 3% charge.

Considering these factors, it’s important to carefully evaluate the fees associated with each platform to determine which one best suits your needs and helps you maximize your earnings.

Payment Processing: Shopify vs Squarespace

Access to major payment gateways is crucial for an e-commerce business because it simplifies the payment process for customers during checkout. By providing multiple payment gateways and solutions, you increase the likelihood of making a sale.

Shopify, being available in almost all countries worldwide, offers over 100 payment gateways. This means that your Shopify store can accept payments from various payment processing solutions and in multiple currencies. Some of the payment solutions available with Shopify include Google Pay, Apple Pay, and major credit cards.

On the other hand, Squarespace only offers two payment gateways: Stripe and Paypal. While it is possible to pay using major credit cards through both Paypal and Stripe, including Afterpay, it’s important to note that Squarespace sites currently do not accept Google Pay.

Overall, when it comes to offering better payment processing solutions for online businesses, Shopify takes the lead. It allows you to cater to a wide range of payment options for your customers, giving you an edge in the competitive e-commerce market.

Plugins and Integrations: Shopify vs Squarespace

Integrating your ecommerce platform with other tools you use daily, like your analytics platform and digital experience insights tool, can provide you with valuable insights, open up new opportunities, and enhance your efficiency.

When it comes to Shopify, their App Store boasts an impressive collection of over 8,000 apps, and this number continues to grow. If the sheer volume seems overwhelming, don’t fret! Shopify’s algorithm recommends apps that are popular among businesses similar to yours. With a wide range of categories available, including dropshipping, search engine optimization (SEO), and store design, you’re bound to find exactly what you’re looking for.

On the other hand, Squarespace offers 31 extensions, which are similar to apps or plugins. They cover the essentials, offering options for shipping and fulfillment, finance, inventory and products, as well as sales and marketing. Additionally, Squarespace provides “connected services” that establish pre-built connections with your social media and business accounts, such as Stripe, Apple Pay, and UPS.

While many apps and extensions on both platforms offer free plans, it’s important to note that you may need to pay extra to access the specific features you desire. Keep in mind that with multiple add-ons, these costs can accumulate quickly.

In addition to apps and extensions, both Shopify and Squarespace allow you to leverage APIs and HTML, making it even simpler to incorporate custom integrations into your ecommerce platform.

Security: Shopify vs Squarespace

Ensuring a secure ecommerce experience is essential for building trust with your customers. When it comes to security, both Shopify and Squarespace have got you covered. They offer robust security measures and a variety of payment options to give your customers peace of mind.

All stores powered by Shopify and all payment processor integrations used by Squarespace are compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This means that they maintain a secure network, protect cardholder data, maintain a vulnerability management program, implement strong access control measures, regularly monitor and test networks, and maintain an information security policy.

Shopify goes one step further by offering fraud protection for US-based sellers through Shopify Protect as part of its Shop Pay checkout. However, if you choose to use other checkout providers on Squarespace, such as Stripe or Paypal, they may also offer fraud protection. Rest assured that both platforms prioritize security to ensure a positive ecommerce experience for you and your customers.

SEO Optimization: Shopify vs Squarespace

Squarespace has a user-friendly interface that is perfect for creating content, including beautiful blog posts using the style editor. It also has built-in features like analytics, archive functionality, and a search feature. However, if you’re looking for blog-specific SEO features, Shopify is the way to go.

While Squarespace requires code injection to not index certain pages, Shopify has apps on their app store that can handle this. Squarespace automatically implements some schema markup types, but you can use code injection for more structured data. Shopify requires an app for schema markup.

Both platforms make it easy to include blog posts on your website without installing a separate platform like WordPress. However, if you do choose to use WordPress, it means installing it on a subdomain and keeping up with a separate login and design environment – so for most, it’s not worth it.

Conclusion: Which One Should You Choose:

Squarespace is a more affordable option compared to Shopify, but the value that Shopify provides is significantly higher. Both platforms offer unlimited bandwidth and an SSL certificate on all their plans. If you are looking for a content-driven website without any intention of selling products, Squarespace offers a cheaper solution with their $16/month personal plan.

However, it does have some limitations in terms of functionality. For example, you cannot add CSS or JavaScript to your site, include promotional popups or announcement bars, connect Mailchimp to the standard Squarespace data capture forms, or have design customizations beyond what is possible with the standard Squarespace controls. This means you won’t be able to have a GDPR-compliant cookies banner on your site.

On the other hand, Shopify’s $26 plan removes these restrictions and adds commerce features, making it seem like a worthwhile investment compared to the Basic Shopify plan. However, it’s important to consider that Shopify does charge a 3% transaction fee. Despite the slightly higher monthly cost, Shopify’s plan offers more value for your money in the long run.

Searching for the perfect e-commerce platform for your business? Don’t miss our comprehensive VS articles. Click the following logo to start exploring the differences among these platforms.

Ivy Smith

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