Jack: You don’t understand. I am thinking of starting an online store. And for that, I will need a website – strong and attractive. I was thinking of starting with a free tool that will create a web based tools eCommerce website for me. Slowly and gradually, I will get a grip over it, and things will be easier for me to manage. Plus, I have heard that handling a website isn’t a cup of tea.
Kevin: What is the problem? Where are you stuck? I guess you are sorted with the idea and going really well. There is nothing wrong with going for the trial thing.
Jack: I was going through a couple of platforms for creating an eCommerce website and shortlisted the two: Shopify and Squarespace. And now I am confused about which one to go for.
Kevin: Well, for that, you will have to look at each platform in detail. This way, you will be able to know everything from basic to advance features they provide, and accordingly, select one of them. A piece of good news for you I recently accumulated the information on both of them in a comparative manner. I hope it will help you. But REMEMBER, choose the option according to your requirements for an eCommerce website.
Will start off with the basic information,
Shopify is a very popular eCommerce platform builder on which you can build the perfect storefront for the business. And this platform was created with the sole purpose of making an online store quickly and easily.
Squarespace is a website builder that helps us to easily build the website with its rich set of features, plugins, and templates. The drag and drop features of Squarespace make the development process fast and easy. It was primarily designed to create a content-based website. Later in 2013, Squarespace also added the feature of creating an eCommerce website to its set. Hence it has limited functionality for eCommerce websites.
But let’s not judge a book by its cover!
As Kevin said above, this is an article focused on Shopify vs Squarespace so that you can select the right platform for your online store. But, before that, you should know your business requirements and needs.
Here the comparison between both of them has been done pointwise, from its usage to its payment options available, everything to get a clear picture.
Both Shopify and Squarespace have drag and drop tools. No-one is less in a matter of easy-to-use. Where Shopify provides a wide range of features with faster results, Squarespace has the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). But still, Shopify is much easier to use than Squarespace. You will have to give yourself some time to understand the working procedure of Squarespace and obviously patience!
2. Template Design and Customization Flexibility
Both of them have 10 free templates to use from. There are 60 paid themes in Shopify, and Squarespace lets you add its other themes to the design (but be careful, they may not be totally useful for an eCommerce website). As Shopify was designed for an eCommerce website building, its theme has a more appealing effect than Squarespace. Both the platforms have amazing customization flexibility, allowing you to customize manually through HTML and CSS.
3. Product Presentation
Didn’t want to disappoint you, but let’s face it – product presentation of Squarespace is way too simple, and weirdly buggy. Shopify has the zoom-in effect, and to add more, it has launched the app ‘Augmented Reality’ (AR) that will add life to the on-screen product presentation – defining its motive to give you the best of an eCommerce website. So clearly, Shopify trump’s Squarespace in this aspect.
4. SEO and Page Speed
Your storefront isn’t going to complete the process of website building. SEO plays an important role here. Imagine you have an attractive and focus-centric website, but it takes more than 3seconds to load! (As per Google, your website should load in less than 3seconds.) It will affect both people-review and SEO. You wouldn’t like customers to go away even before they see the storefront. Shopify has amazing page speed, but Squarespace takes time in loading. (especially on a mobile screen, which may affect your SEO).
Shopify has a smarter way of 301-redirecting than Squarespace. If we talk about a blog section, Squarespace has the best way of dealing with it. Both have some flaws but will work for you. (Go for Shopify if your sole purpose is selling a product, but if you want to have an information delivering section, then Squarespace is the better option.)
5. Payment Gateways
The important part is the payment gateways. Having an eStore without a proper and wide range of payment gateways is useless. Here again, Shopify trumps the Squarespace in this section as well. Shopify accepts payment through PayPal, Apple Pay, and even credit cards (with zero transaction fee if done through Shopify payments), not just this, it also supports hundreds of other ways to transact. Squarespace has limited options for payment thing, like Stripe, Apple Pay, and PayPal. It also has its payment gateway, ‘Square.’ Both of them allow POS.
6. Inventory Management
Without proper inventory management processes, you won’t be able to run your store properly, whether it’s online or offline. It may give you a shock, but here Squarespace is reaching to heights with Shopify. Squarespace also has amazing inventory management with its tools. It also sends you a low stock email. Both of them allows, to add single or in-bilk products, in-house revenue reports, and unlimited product. Here Squarespace gave a surprise shock.
7. Marketing Features
After your storefront is ready, inventory is managed, and everything is going well, you still would be lacking if you haven’t put your hand on marketing. Marketing is the key point to convert visitors into customers or lookers into visitors and then customers (that too loyal one!). Shopify and Squarespace both are on the same page here with some positive and negative points.
Shopify offers you unlimited social media platforms for marketing, whereas Squarespace is limited to Instagram. Squarespace offers Email Campaigns where you can send up to 50,000 emails per month during the free trial, and after that, it will cost you $8/pm, whereas, for Shopify, you will have to add some applications to manage the email marketing strategy.
Both are safe from the viewpoint of security, protected with SSL with the option to enable 2FA (two-factor authentication) to protect your accounts. Both are the closed system controlled by their developers, makes them super secure platforms. If we talk about fraud, then there is near-to-no-chance of that to happen, as Shopify Payments has an in-built fraud protection system. Though Squarespace doesn’t have its own payment gateway stripe is the better option to rely on (with years of experience of safe CC transactions).
9. Customer Support
Here again, both Shopify and Squarespace provide unmatched hands-on experience in terms of customer support via email and live chat. Shopify has 24/7 live chat and phone support where you can get your queries solved. Squarespace has an excellent forum section where you can find almost all the answers. Even after that, if you have a doubt, you can opt for a live chat option.
Talking about the costs, Shopify and Squarespace have an equal plan for the basic version, but the advanced plan for Shopify is much expensive than Squarespace. The plan of Shopify starts from 29$/ month for the basic package and rises up to 299$/month for the advanced version. Squarespace is much cheaper than Shopify as its basic version starts from 26$/ month, and the advanced version is 40$/ month, which provides a complete set of e-commerce features. Other than this, plus point is both of them provide a 14-day free trial. So first try and then decide which one to go for!
Just for information, below are the compared plans of both the platforms.
Personal Plan: $12/month
Business Plan: $18/month
Lite Plan – $9 per month + a Buy button
Basic Plan – $29 per month + 2.9% and 30¢ per transaction
Shopify Plan – $79 per month + 2.6% and 30¢ per transaction
Advanced Plan – $299 per month + 2.4% and 30¢ per transaction
Shopify Plus Plan – pricing plans start around $2000 per month + 2.15% per transaction
It was a hella tough Competition, and both played well:-
As per the comparison on Shopify vs Squarespace, it is clear that Shopify is the best option for a large or medium scale business and Squarespace for the Small scale business. Shopify is an eCommerce centric platform, so it is bound to give an outstanding experience, but Squarespace doesn’t let you down either. It almost reaches the level of the Shopify with its excellent features. The best way to select the better one is by taking a trial of both. So what are you waiting for? Get going. To know more visit Technographx.