Which platform is superior, Shopify or Squarespace?
The platform on which your website will be built is an important decision. Whichever platform you choose will have a significant impact on a variety of aspects of your project's or business's marketing and operational activities. Furthermore, switching platforms in the future can be extremely time-consuming and expensive.
However, deciding which platform to use is not an easy decision.
Upon first glance, Shopify and Squarespace appear to be very similar products — both allow you to create a website and sell products online without the need for coding knowledge. So, what is the difference between Shopify and Squarespace? And which platform is the most appropriate for your requirements?
In this article, we'll look at nine key areas where Shopify and Squarespace differ:
1. General Overview
2. Pricing and Value
4. Payment Gateways and Transaction Fees
5. Themes and Design
8. Customer Support and Guidance
Let's dive in!
Shopify vs. Squarespace: A Comparison of the two platforms
Before we get into the specifics, let's get a general sense of what Shopify and Squarespace are all about.
Setup and management of online stores are made simple with Shopify, which was created for businesses. Squarespace, on the other hand, was created to be a more general website builder for content-based websites such as portfolios, brochure websites, and service-based business websites.
Because of third-party apps, Shopify's ability to handle large amounts of content has significantly improved over the past few years. Additionally, Squarespace has integrated ecommerce functionality into the platform, allowing users to sell their products online.
In order to take advantage of this, you can create an online store or a content-based website using either platform.
Despite the fact that Shopify and Squarespace have grown in functionality over time, it's fair to say that their primary focus has remained the same.
Shopify's primary focus remains on providing an integrated suite of business tools to assist "anyone, anywhere" in starting a successful business.
Furthermore, Squarespace continues to position itself as a more general set of "simple tools for your big ideas."
You'll see how this theme is developed throughout the rest of this article.
As a result, it's critical to ask yourself an important question from the beginning: Do you want a content-based website, or do you want to be able to sell products or services through your website at some point?
Pricing and Value Comparison of Shopify and Squarespace
When comparing Shopify and Squarespace, the price is an important factor to consider. Consequently, which platform is less expensive while also providing more value? Let's take a look at this.
Shopify offers five different pricing plans from which to choose:
Shopify Lite: $9 per month
Basic Shopify: $29 per month
Shopify: $79 per month
Shopify Advanced: $299 per month
Shopify Plus: $2,000+ per month
This must be mentioned because the free version of Shopify Lite does not include a website. Shopify's basic commerce features, including a point-of-sale (POS) solution and online 'Buy Now' buttons, are instead made available through this extension (more on this later).
Shopify Plus is the platform's enterprise solution, and it is used by companies such as Gymshark, KKW Beauty, Wholefoods, and Fitbit to run their businesses.
Shopify also offers a free 14-day trial so that you can get a feel for the platform before committing to a paid subscription.
Squarespace offers 4 pricing plans:
Personal: $12 per month
Business: $18 per month
Basic Commerce: $26 per month
Advanced Commerce $40 per month
To begin, it's important to note that the Squarespace 'Personal' plan has a number of limitations. As an illustration, you could do the following:
It is not possible to collect email addresses from website visitors using MailChimp.
You will not be able to access promotional popups or the announcement bar features.
As a result, the majority of users will most likely want to upgrade to the 'Business' plan relatively soon. This plan is a little less expensive than the 'Basic Shopify' package.
But when you factor in the fact that Squarespace charges a 3 percent fee for every transaction on the "Business plan," it appears that the "Basic Shopify" plan provides greater overall value — especially considering that Shopify provides significantly more out-of-the box eCommerce features.
Shopify vs. Squarespace: Which is better for ecommerce?
You may find yourself in a position where it makes sense to begin earning money online, even if you are not interested in selling at the moment. As a result, when it comes to ecommerce, it's worth comparing Shopify and Squarespace.
Without a doubt, this section is particularly important for anyone who is planning to start a business or expand an existing business into the online realm.
So, what exactly is the situation?
Unsurprisingly, every single Shopify plan enables you to sell through your website as well as other online sales channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, eBay, and Walmart, amongst other options.
In contrast, if you want to sell through Squarespace, you'll need to upgrade to one of the Business, Basic Commerce, or Advanced Commerce plans. Squarespace also allows you to sell your products on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon.
At first glance, Squarespace's ecommerce features appear to be a little more user-friendly than Shopify's — but this is most likely due to the fact that Shopify offers significantly more ecommerce features than Squarespace.
Shopify, for example, includes a "Buy Now" button feature in its platform.
This enables you to include products anywhere on the internet where a snippet of code can be included, such as in blog posts or social media posts. As a result, if you were to partner with influencers to promote your products, you could provide them with the option of embedding products directly into their posts.
Aside from that, Shopify provides more advanced ecommerce features that Squarespace does not provide.
For example, cross-border ecommerce is a lucrative opportunity for a large number of internet-based companies. Squarespace, on the other hand, does not provide a multi-currency payment option. Shopify, on the other hand, provides a multi-currency tool that allows users in other countries to view prices and complete checkout processes in their native currency. When you have the ability to source products from all over the world, functionality such as cross-border ecommerce becomes increasingly important in today's interconnected economy.
In addition, it's important to note that Shopify's extensive app store offers virtually limitless ecommerce potential (more on this soon).
All things considered, Shopify is the clear winner in the ecommerce war.
Payment Gateways and Transaction Fees in the Comparison of Shopify and Squarespace
In order to sell online, you'll need a payment gateway to help you process transactions.
With Shopify, you can accept payments through more than 100 different payment gateways, including all of the major ones such as Amazon Pay, Stripe, and PayPal. In addition, Shopify Payments, the platform's own payment gateway, is available.
If you use any service other than Shopify Payments, Shopify will charge an additional 2 percent on top of your purchase price. Because of its seamless integration with the platform, Shopify Payments is the way to go unless you have a strong attachment to a different payment gateway altogether.
Squarespace, on the other hand, only integrates with four online payment gateways: Stripe, Paypal, Afterpay, and Apple Pay (with more to come).
Then there's the question of transaction fees.
2.9 percent, plus $0.30 per transaction, is charged by Shopify Payments on the 'Basic Shopify' plan, and the charges decrease as you upgrade to the 'Shopify' and "Shopify Advanced" plans, where the charges are reduced to 2.6 percentage points and 2.4 percentage points, respectively.
Payment gateways vary in terms of transaction fees with Squarespace, though the rates are likely to be similar regardless of which one you choose.
In the end, Shopify is the clear winner because of its streamlined process and ability to integrate with a large number of payment gateways around the world.
Themes and design differences between Shopify and Squarespace
When it comes to creating a website, appearance is important — and it is important a lot. So, let's take a look at how Shopify and Squarespace compare in terms of design.
Shopify provides nine free website themes as well as 72 premium themes that range in price from $100 to $180. There are multiple variables available for each of these themes as well, which means there are more options available than you might expect at first glance.
In the extremely unlikely event that you don't find what you're looking for on Theme Forest, you can always purchase one of the 1,200 Shopify themes from third-party developers that are currently available on the marketplace.
Squarespace, on the other hand, provides 127 templates that are completely free to use.
Stunning, professional responsive designs are available on both Shopify and Squarespace, which means they will adapt automatically to different screen sizes as needed.
The majority of Squarespace's templates, on the other hand, appear to be geared toward users who want to showcase a portfolio or other content on their website. In addition, Shopify appears to be better suited for ecommerce management.
Apps are the difference between Shopify and Squarespace.
There is no website builder or ecommerce platform that can create and manage everything in-house due to the vast ocean of digital tools available online today. As a result, both Shopify and Squarespace offer a comprehensive library of apps and extensions to their customers.
You can use apps and extensions to do the following:
1. Make your website's appearance more appealing.
2. Increase sales by using specialised tools for things like email marketing and social media marketing.
3. Increase customer satisfaction by improving the shipping experience.
4. Add media, social media, and other widgets to your website.
5. Products from which to source
In total, more than 6,000 apps and integrations are available in Shopify's App Store — to put it another way, there's an app for just about anything you can imagine.
Squarespace currently has 24 extensions available, though this number is expected to grow in the future.
This is, without a doubt, a significant victory for Shopify.
In practise, this means that if you sign up for Squarespace and later discover that it does not offer a feature you desire, you are stuck with the service. In contrast, with Shopify, it's very likely that an app will be developed to fill the gap.
The bottom line is that Shopify's app store allows users to customise their websites to virtually any extent they desire without the need for coding knowledge.
Shopify vs. Squarespace: Which is better for dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a popular method of starting a business online because it eliminates the need to purchase inventory up front, store products, or ship orders directly to customers. Instead, a third-party dropshipping supplier will take care of all of those details on your behalf!
Take a look at the image below to see how dropshipping works in practise:
Because of Shopify's massive app store, the platform has a plethora of dropshipping apps — including print-on-demand services that allow you to sell products that have your own designs printed on them — at your disposal.
As well as this, Shopify enables entrepreneurs to jumpstart their dream businesses by providing them with a streamlined Shopify dropshipping app and a dedicated dropshipping resource centre.
Squarespace, on the other hand, offers only one dropshipping app and two print-on-demand applications.
Once again, Shopify's extensive app store gives it the edge in the dropshipping category.
Customer Service and Guidance in Shopify vs. Squarespace Comparison
You'll need to become familiar with the features and functions of Shopify and Squarespace if you want to get the most out of them. You may also encounter difficulties that necessitate the assistance of others. As a result, it's important to consider what resources and customer support are available to you to assist you.
In order to assist users in getting started with the platform and growing a profitable online business, Shopify provides an enormous amount of support resources.
For example, there is a comprehensive help centre, a lively forum, and 24-hour customer service available. In addition, you can get help in 21 different languages via email, phone, or live chat.
To top it off, Shopify offers a slew of blog resources, free online courses and the Shopify Masters podcast, all of which are jam-packed with actionable insights and tips to help you grow your business.
Squarespace provides customer service via email and live chat. In addition, there is a help centre, forum, blog, and a series of educational webinars, just like with Shopify.
Briefly stated, both Shopify and Squarespace provide a substantial amount of support and resources. Shopify, on the other hand, has an advantage in this area because it provides free phone support with every plan.
Shopify vs. Squarespace: Which is better for POS?
You should compare the point of sale (POS) solutions offered by Shopify and Squarespace, particularly if you intend to sell in person — or believe you might want to in the future.
POS systems allow you to accept payments through hardware that is integrated with your online store, allowing you to consolidate your online and offline inventory management, sales data, and customer data into a single system.
According to Shopify, it has its own point of sale (called Shopify POS) as well as a comprehensive range of POS hardware that can be purchased in bundles or individually, depending on your requirements. POS systems like this one are tightly integrated with Shopify, and they are available on all plans — even the cheapest ones like Shopify Lite.
Although it is only available to users in the United States, Squarespace has partnered with POS solution Square to provide users with the ability to accept payments in person. Aside from that, Squarespace only allows you to integrate a card reader and does not provide any additional hardware options.
Shopify is the clear winner in this contest, thanks to a POS system that is more powerful, streamlined, and flexible. Furthermore, it provides a significantly greater range of hardware options.
What are your final thoughts on which platform is better, Shopify or Squarespace?
Shopify and Squarespace are both excellent website builders that offer a wide range of attractive themes and useful features.
So, which one should you choose to work with?
Here's our recommendation: If you only want to create a content-based website that is inexpensive and simple, consider using Squarespace's 'Personal' plan. For those who require access to more features than Squarespace's personal plan, or who wish to begin selling online or in person, Shopify is the best option......
Shopify offers a greater number of features out of the box than Squarespace, particularly in the ecommerce department.. Examples include more payment gateway options, phone support, and a superior point of sale system provided by Shopify, for example.
Furthermore, Shopify's expansive app store dwarfs Squarespace's collection of extensions and integrations, allowing for significant expansion and customization potential.
Sign up for Shopify's free 14-day trial to get a feel for the platform for yourself.