Shopify vs Squarespace

How Does Squarespace Compare Against the Ecommerce Giant, Shopify?

shopify vs squarespace reviewYou’re about to find out how Squarespace compares to Shopify in a battle between two excellent ecommerce platforms.

We know it’s hard to pick the right website builder for your online store. But when it comes to Shopify vs Squarespace, the solution is simple: it really boils down to what you’re looking for.

Shopify is for serious sellers. It’s the best platform for large or ambitious online stores requiring powerful ecommerce tools.

It’s our top rated ecommerce website builder, designed specifically for selling online. For that reason alone, it should come as no surprise Shopify is the overall winner today.

However, like anything in life, it’s not for everyone. While it is the overall best ecommerce builder, it may not suit your products, fit your budget, or simply match your style.

In the other corner, you have Squarespace. Known as an ‘all-round’ website builder, it comes with some added ecommerce features if you’re looking to sell online. These sales tools are less advanced than Shopify, but it’s more affordable.

Squarespace is also the king of design. So, if you’re looking to just sell a few products online with some lovely templates to match, then it might be the builder for you.

But how do you choose between Shopify and Squarespace? Well, you’ll be glad to hear we’ve made things easier for you. We thoroughly researched each builder, digging up each platform to see how they perform in key areas of selling online. We also asked people just like you to test them to get another point of view.

And the results are in…

Before we start, though, check out this comparison table below to quickly see how they match up.

4.7 out of 5

Top Choice
Ease Of Use

4 out of 5 stars

Design Flexibility

4 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

4.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

3.5 out of 5 stars

4.2 out of 5

Ease Of Use

3.5 out of 5 stars

Design Flexibility

4.5 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

4 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

3.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4.5 out of 5 stars

Shopify vs Squarespace: Pros and Cons

Shopify Pros and Cons

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

Squarespace Pros and Cons

Squarespace Pros Squarespace Cons
  • No app store
  • Limited payment options

Ease of use

It’s no good having a large inventory system, or well-designed templates, if you can’t figure out how to use them – right?

Shopify is our top rated ecommerce builder. It has the most comprehensive set of features and apps, letting you sell across different platforms. But is it easy to use? The short answer is yes.

Shopify uses drag-and-drop design, which means you simply click, move, and drop media elements anywhere on the page. It also has a clear interface with visual cues, so you never feel lost when designing your online store.

In our user testing, people found Shopify’s simple language, ‘undo’ button, and keyboard shortcuts made it really easy to build an online store.

shopify vs squarespace ease of use
Shopify is really easy to use, helping anyone build an online store without needing any tech experience

Someone even said about Shopify:

It was so good, really easy. It was just very user friendly – it guided you through the important areas, the most important being the inventory. Even just the questions at the beginning, then straight away it was add a product, subtle prompts. Everything was just very clear.

Squarespace, with all its beautiful templates, is a bit more tricky to get to grips with. In fact, our research found it was the hardest ‘non ecommerce-specific’ builder to use.

This is largely because it has more powerful creative tools than most platforms, but you’ll get to grips with it after a few trial and error clicks. Like Shopify, it uses drag-and-drop design.

squarespace editing interface
Squarespace uses drag-and-drop design to help you customize the stunning templates more easily

One user summarized Squarespace like this:

Adding products was actually easier than writing a product description, or just adding general text on the page.

Shopify vs Squarespace – Ease of Use: The Verdict

Overall, Shopify is much easier to use than Squarespace. It offers a nice balance between simple design features and complex business tools. On the other hand, Squarespace’s editor homepage is just a bit too tricky to navigate, especially with no visual cues to help you out.

shopify logo

Are You a Beginner?

Shopify is easier to use than Squarespace, making it perfect for total beginners who want to save time.

Template Design and Customizability

Just like in a real shop, customers need to feel enticed. After all, people are reluctant to spend time (and money) in a messy, unkempt store. The same goes for websites.

So, looking good is important for an online store. But which builder has the better design?

Shopify has a decent choice of themes. You can pick from 10 free templates, or 50+ premium templates costing $140-180. Shopify’s themes cover plenty of industries including electrical gadgets, clothing, sports, and cosmetics.

shopify templates
Most of Shopify’s templates come with industry-specific features to help improve your website

However, some themes don’t have navigation bars that scroll down with you, which is a pain to rectify.

In the other corner, it should come as no surprise that Squarespace, an industry leader of design, had the best scores of any ecommerce builder in our testing.

Every one of Squarespace’s templates is modern and sleek (why not take a look yourself), conveying a clear message with easily identifiable key action buttons. They’re all mobile responsive, too, so they look great on any sized screen.

Unlike Shopify, Squarespace provides themes for specifically for the creative industry, while also covering almost every other industry including DIY, food and drink, and toys.

squarespace template
Squarespace offers the best designed templates around, helping your products stand out

Can You Make Custom Edits?

If you want to personalize your online store even more, you can use code to make custom edits.

With Shopify, you can edit HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) on the Shopify Admin page. With Squarespace, you can add HTML using a Code Block, and CSS using their CSS Editor.

Shopify vs Squarespace – Template Design and Customizability: The Verdict

Building websites on Squarespace is the closest you’ll get to professional quality, making it the clear winner. It lets your products shine, offering sleek and modern themes covering a range of industries. Shopify has 10 free and over 50 paid templates, but they aren’t as attractive.

logo-squarespace-100x100

Do You Want a Stunning Storefront?

You simply can’t beat Squarespace’s stylish and modern designs. It’s the best option for really making your products stand out!

Sales Features

As you’d expect, sales tools are the most important feature for, well, selling online. And at Website Builder Expert, we know these features cover more than just product prices, images, and discounts.

So we’ve investigated each website builder to find out exactly which builder performs best when it comes to selling your stock.

 

Product Types

While both platforms let you sell physical, digital, and service products, you will need to install an app to sell digital products on Shopify. On Squarespace, all the sales tools you need for selling any type of product is there already, giving it a slight edge.

 

Product Presentation

When it comes to selling products online, presentation matters. The more your customer can see of your product, the better.

Squarespace is the best platform for design. It really focuses on making your products take center stage. You can add a zoom feature, and even turn your photos into videos to take your customers on a 360° visual journey.

If you have multiple variants of the same product (for example, different colours and sizes), Shopify or Squarespace will be fine, as you’ll be able to include these all within one product entry on each platform. On Shopify, there is no built-in zoom function (unlike Squarespace), but you can install an app for this.

Read about the best ecommerce software solutions here.

Looking for some more options? Read our BigCommerce vs Shopify review.

Payment Options

Squarespace scored poorly in our payment options testing. It’s very limited in the gateways it supports; PayPal, Stripe, and Apple Pay are the only option.

Shopify leaves Squarespace in its payment dust. It supports all the major payment gateways like Amazon Pay, Square, and even cryptocurrency, as well as more than 100 other options.

Shopify understands that the more payment types you accept, the more money you’ll make – plain and simple. It also imposes zero transaction fees, but only if you are using its own gateway, Shopify Payments. Otherwise, you’ll pay an additional transaction fee of 2%.

 

Shipping Options

Shipping with Shopify is smooth sailing. Everything you need for delivering your products, like printable shipping labels,  built-in integration with NHL or UPS, and drop shipping, are provided.

Squarespace really can’t compete with Shopify on this one, although it is catching up. Squarespace now works with USP to calculate carrier shipping rates. It also lets you amend shipping costs depending on the country you’re shipping to, or by weight.

 

Inventory Management

Your inventory is the very backbone of your online store. It’s where you manage stock levels, upload new items, and view revenue reports. It may sound dull, but it’s the cogs that keep your store running.

Squarespace outperforms its rivals Wix and Weebly here, and matches Shopify. Quite the feat remembering Squarespace is a website builder with ecommerce functionality added on.

Shopify was designed specifically for selling online, so it should easily win here, right? Well, Squarespace packs a surprising punch. They both offer unlimited products, the ability to add single or bulk items, in-house revenue reports, and direct email alerts for low stock.

Shopify vs Squarespace – Sales Features: The Verdict

Shopify is one of the most comprehensive ecommerce website builders around, so it comfortably wins. Squarespace does well to keep pace due to its impressive inventory management tools, but Shopify is the clear winner here  – it offers far more payment gateways and stronger shipping features.

shopify logo

Do You Need Powerful Sales Tools?

Shopify is more powerful than Squarespace, with a large range of professional sales features to boost your store’s performance.

Marketing Features

Marketing is promoting your online store, getting more customers, and building your brand. You can already see the importance of having a good marketing

 

Social Media Integration

Shopify wins here with its choice of apps and social media advertising. You can easily add a huge range of marketing, accounting, and shipping apps to make your business more streamlined. And you can sell across 10 social media platforms.

By contrast, Squarespace doesn’t have an app market (so if it’s not built-in, you can’t use it), and you can only sell on Instagram. This means you may outgrow Squarespace if you’re looking to scale big, given the lack of options.

 

Email Campaigns

Squarespace has introduced a new add-on feature called Email Campaigns, and it pretty much does what it says on the tin. Email Campaigns offers a free trial, during this period you can send up to 50,000 campaigns per month. It’ll cost you $8 /month after that.

Shopify lets you create email campaigns directly from your admin page, but there are some useful apps to give you more flexibility. Some of the best include Privy, and Omnisend Email Marketing.

 

Blogging

Squarespace may be the leader of design, but its blogs are by no means just a pretty face.  It scored top marks in our blog testing, offering all the blogging features you need for a successful website, including built-in analytics, archive functionality, and a search feature.

Shopify lacks all the blogging features mentioned above. However, unlike Squarespace it does come with blog-specific SEO features, but these aren’t all that important for your website in truth.

9 Best Blogging Platforms – Give your blog the best possible start

How to Start a Blog – Back to basics blogging

SEO

Helping your site rank higher on Google brings more clicks to your online store, and usually more dollars to your pocket.

Squarespace is an SEO average Joe. It lets you edit meta titles and descriptions (the text you see on Google searches), and provides other basic SEO functions, but it doesn’t offer any SEO best practice advice when you’re uploading new items to your store.

Shopify should help your online store rank higher than Squarespace would. Why? It simply offers more features like an SEO app and best practice prompts when uploading new stock.

Shopify vs Squarespace – Marketing Features: The Verdict

Shopify has more marketing tools to help grow your online store than Squarespace does. It comes with more built-in email marketing tools, and gives you access to many marketing apps. Shopify has superior SEO features to Squarespace too, making it the overall winner here.

shopify logo

Need Help Spreading the Word?

Shopify wins the round for marketing features because of its app store and strong SEO tools.
3 Best Website Builders for SEO – See who can help your site rank higher

Squarespace vs WordPress SEO – A battle for search engine rankings

App Stores

Apps can help improve your website’s performance. They everything from marketing and shipping to finance and analytics, giving your site that extra boost. For example, you can find apps to allow product reviews, pre orders, and abandoned cart recovery emails.

We’ll cut to the chase. Squarespace doesn’t have an app store, so there’s not much to say here really. Shopify wins!

Shopify has one of the most comprehensive app markets around, providing a third party integration for almost anything under the ecommerce sun. Better yet, it’s super easy to integrate each app.

Shopify vs Squarespace – App Stores: The Verdict

Shopify wins the app round. Squarespace doesn’t have an app store, so it should go without saying that Shopify is the better option if you’re looking for apps. Not only that, the Shopify marketplace is comprehensive and really easy to navigate.

shopify logo

Grow Your Store With Apps

Apps are a great way of growing and customizing your store. Shopify has a huge range of apps to choose from – take a look!

Monitoring Performance with Analytics

By monitoring your online store’s performance you can see who’s visiting your site, what aspect of your store is performing well, and the areas you could improve. Analytics will help your online store flourish.

Shopify is well equipped when it comes to analytics. You can track customer behaviour so you know exactly who is visiting your store, and you receive stock level report emails. For a more robust analytics tools, we recommend integrating your site with Google Analytics.

Squarespace also uses its own analytics software. You can track revenue, total orders, conversion, and the behaviour of your customers. It loses points by not providing stock monitoring alerts, though.

Like Shoipfy, you can integrate your store with Google Analytics to get even more detailed stats.

Shopify vs Squarespace – Analytics: The Verdict

Our analysis shows Shopify has won this round. Shopify provides all the insight you need for managing and growing a successful online store like stock monitoring and revenue reports, and you can install Google Analytics for deeper insights into your customers, and the performance of your store.

shopify logo

Need a Data Driven Platform?

Shopify’s analytics tools are impressive, letting you track stock levels, traffic, and more. Check out its full range of features!

Customer Support

Both website builders offer good customer support in our experience. But Shopify goes the extra mile with 24/7 support via phone, email, and live chat.

Furthermore, with Shopify, you get a dedicated support agent with their Plus Level price plans. Better yet, as your business grows, you can hire a Shopify Expert to help you code or design, adding a professional touch.

In contrast, Squarespace’s customer support options are quite limited. However, most issues can be resolved by visiting their brilliant forum, which we think is one of the best and most trustworthy around. There’s also live chat support from Monday to Friday 4am – 8pm (EST) if you cannot find a solution in the knowledge forum.

shopify help center
Shopify has excellent support in place to help you out, whether it’s guides, phone, forums, or videos

Shopify vs Squarespace – Customer Support: The Verdict

Both Shopify and Squarespace offer a good level of customer support to help fix your issues. But Shopify wins, offering 24/7 phone, email, and live chat help, which Squarespace does not. For all your website builder aches and pains, Shopify has the best remedies.

Interested in more? Check out our top rated ecommerce platforms.

Or find out how much it should cost to run a website.

Value for Money

Generally speaking, Shopify costs more than Squarespace. Why? It really comes down to what they offer. Shopify has more advanced – and comprehensive – ecommerce features, and gives you access to loads of apps. In other words, it provides you with more tools to help grow your business.

So how much does each builder actually cost? We’ll go through each one, covering their monthly costs and value for money.

Shopify’s monthly plans are as follows:

  • Basic Shopify ($29)
  • Shopify ($79)
  • Advanced Shopify ($299)
Shopify Plans Pricing
Compare Shopify’s different plans to see which one is right for your store

Need to save some extra cash? You can do it cheaper: if you sign up to an annual plan, the monthly prices come to $26.10, $71.10, and $269.10, respectively.

shopify logo

Did Shopify's Plans Catch Your Eye?

Shopify’s prices start at $29 per month – make sure you compare plans, features, and more to see if it’s got the perfect plan for you.

Now let’s take a look at Squarespace’s monthly price plans:

  • Personal ($16)
  • Business ($26)
  • Basic Store ($30)
  • Advanced Store ($46)
Squarespace-Pricing
Squarespace has four pricing plans ranging from $12 to $40 per month (billed annually)

Again, like Shopify, if you sign up to a yearly plan, the monthly costs come down. The prices would come to $12, $18, $26, and $40, respectively.

As you can see, Squarespace is the more affordable option. But it doesn’t provide as many ecommerce tools, third party apps, or customer support options as Shopify does, preventing you from taking your online store to the next level.

logo-squarespace-100x100

Are Squarespace's Plans Ticking Your Boxes?

Squarespace is more affordable than Shopify, with its cheapest ecommerce plan costing just $18 per month.

Features vs Price

Looking further into the features of Shopify and Squarespace, we’ve put together a little table. This shows you what features you receive on both their Basic ecommerce plans, and their Advanced Plans.

Features
Basic Plan
Advanced Plan
24/7 Support
Abandoned Cart Recovery
Multi-Channel Integration
Professional Reports
24/7 Support
Abandoned Cart Recovery
Multi-Channel Integration
Professional Reports

To give a quick insight into what these features are:

  • Abandoned Cart Recovery is when the platform automatically generates an email to a customer who leaves your site with items in their basket, before checking out. This gives them a friendly nudge to come back to your site and complete their purchase. Studies show abandoned cart emails can help recover up to 15% of otherwise lost sales.

 

  • Multi-Channel Integration is the ability to sell your products across social media networks and online marketplaces. Currently, Squarespace only gives you access to Instagram, whereas with Shopify, you can sell across Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, eBay and more.

 

  • Professional Reports are put together for you by the platform itself using your sales and marketing statistics. These can help highlight where you’re over and under-performing.

 

Taking this into account – and the fact there’s only a $3/month difference between Squarespace’s Basic ecommerce plan ($26), and Shopify’s ($29) – Shopify is the stronger choice. You’re getting a broader range and better quality features for only a slight increase in price.

Still can’t decide between Squarespace or Shopify? Both builders offer a 14-day free trial period, so you can test each one for yourself without paying a dollar.

Shopify vs Squarespace – Pricing: The Verdict

In terms of pricing, it really comes down to value for money. Shopify offers monthly plans from $29 to $299, but provides far more sales tools and features than Squarespace. Squarespace is a lot cheaper, costing $12 to $40 per month, but supports fewer ecommerce tools.

Squarespace Offer Code
Use Offer Code "WBE" on Checkout for 10% Discount
Save 10% on Any Squarespace Plan!

We have an exclusive Squarespace offer code to save you 10% on your first purchase or upgrade. Simply enter the code: WBE at checkout to start saving!

For a more detailed look at both Shopify and Squarespace’s plans, see our dedicated reviews below:

Shopify Pricing Review

Squarespace Pricing Review

What about alternatives to Shopify and Squarespace?

If neither Shopify or Squarespace take your fancy, don’t worry. There are other options out there. Below we’ll run through a few of the best alternatives on the market and tell you what’s so great about them.

BigCommerce 

4.2 out of 5

Ease Of Use

3.5 out of 5 stars

Design Flexibility

3.5 out of 5 stars

Sales Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

Website Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

3.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Similar to Shopify, BigCommerce is designed specifically for online stores. Its plans are around the same price as Shopify’s and are perfect for people who want to sell products in bulk.

BigCommerce’s main selling point is that a lot of its features are built-in, meaning you don’t have any extra costs for thinks like app addons or security certificates. The downside is the dashboard isn’t quite as user-friendly as Shopify’s, and some of the terms used can be a little technical for beginners.

Wix 

Best All-Around Website Builder

4.3 out of 5

Top Choice
Ease Of Use

4 out of 5 stars

Design Flexibility

4 out of 5 stars

Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4.5 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

4.5 out of 5 stars

Website Features

4 out of 5 stars

Sales Features

3 out of 5 stars

Wix came top of our research as the best all-around website builder. Its ecommerce offerings aren’t too shabby either, but Wix is really for people with only a few products to sell.

Wix is one of the easiest ways to create a website thanks to its drag-and-drop editor or choice of ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence). It can be difficult to scale with Wix though, because its ecommerce features aren’t on the same level as that of Shopify or BigCommerce.

Weebly 

4.1 out of 5

Ease Of Use

4 out of 5 stars

Design Flexibility

4 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

4 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

3 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4.5 out of 5 stars

Website Features

4 out of 5 stars

Sales Features

3 out of 5 stars

Weebly are owned by payment processors, Square, and are only going in one direction when it comes to ecommerce: up! A slick website builder first and foremost, Weebly offers great value for money and is a sound option for anyone looking to branch out and sell online.

Weebly’s ecommerce features sit somewhere in between basic and advanced and can sometimes feel stuck in the middle (not the best website builder, not the best ecommerce platform). Nevertheless, Weebly gives you a reliable and simple way of building an online store.

Want to compare these ecommerce website builders side-by-side?

Ecommerce Website Builder Comparison Chart

Top 7 Ecommerce Platforms On The Market Today

Shopify vs Squarespace: Overall Winner

Choosing which ecommerce website builder to use really depends on what type of store you are trying to build.

Shopify is a lot more comprehensive when it comes to business tools and selling features (remember: it’s our top rated ecommerce builder). Essentially, its primary aim is to help your business flourish.

But if you don’t need such an advanced platform, and you’re only looking to sell a few items, Squarespace is very capable. The templates are beautiful and make your products really stand out.

Why choose Shopify instead of Squarespace?

  • More suited to bigger online stores
  • Comprehensive sales tools
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Easier to build
  • Multi-channel selling
shopify logo

Is Shopify Your Perfect Match?

Shopify is a powerful ecommerce builder that’s especially good if you have big dreams for your store.

Why choose Squarespace instead of Shopify?

  • Suited to smaller stores selling a few products
  • Best designed templates
  • Brilliant blogging features
  • Ideal for creative industries
  • Lower entry price plan
logo-squarespace-100x100

Is Squarespace Your Perfect Match?

Squarespace is a high quality builder with stunning designs and some amazing features. It’s ideal for creatives and smaller stores.
Like to know more about ecommerce builders?

Read our Magento vs Shopify article here.

Or our Wix vs BigCommerce article.

Shopify vs Squarespace Shopify Squarespace Winner
Ease of Use Visual cues and simple language on the editing interface so it’s very easy to use Slightly tricky to use at first because it’s hard to locate certain items, but easy after a few trial and error clicks Shopify
Design 11 free and 50+ paid themes with industry-specific features to help streamline your website’s performance The leader of design, it has the best designed themes on the market, helping your online store really standout Squarespace
Features Offers the most comprehensive sales and inventory management tools on the market, and very strong marketing features Has real quality in its features, particularly for blogging, and has recently introduced Email Campaigns add-on Shopify
SEO Solid SEO offerings including best practice prompts when uploading new items to your inventory Holds its own in this category, but nothing special. No prompts when uploading new stock, and no SEO app Shopify
Help and Support 24/7 live chat, email, and phone support to help fix your issues around the clock Limited customer support but offers a really useful knowledge centre Shopify
Value for Money Three core price plans starting from $29.99 per month, offering excellent value for money with its ecommerce tools Four price plans starting from $16 per month, but has no app store and less powerful ecommerce features than Shopify Shopify

 

Our overall thoughts? We have a clear winner. If you’re looking to build and grow an online store, Shopify is the best all-round choice.

shopify logo

Are You Ready to Try Shopify?

Shopify outperformed Squarespace in our ecommerce testing – but is it right for you? Find out with its 14-day free trial.

Shopify vs Squarespace: FAQs

Should I use Shopify or Squarespace?

Shopify is a ‘pure’ ecommerce website builder, offering the most comprehensive sales tools and features around – it’s suitable for almost any online business. Squarespace, however, is best if you’re looking to sell just a few items while using the most stunning templates available.

How much does Shopify cost?

Shopify offers a 14-day free trial, with no credit card information required, but you’ll have to choose a premium plan afterwards. These plans are Basic Shopify ($29 p/m), Shopify ($79 p/m), and Advanced Shopify ($299 p/m), all offering more sales features depending on the price plan you choose.

What payment methods can I use with Squarespace?

After setting up your online store with Squarespace, you can connect it with Stripe. This lets you accept these payment gateways: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover (US Merchants only), Diner’s Club, JCB, and Apple Pay. It’s worth noting t’s not as many as you can integrate with Shopify.

Is Squarespace or Shopify more scalable?

This is an easy one – Shopify. Because of its advanced sales tools and marketing capabilities, Shopify makes growing your site easy. Squarespace works for certain websites (creative industries etc.) but if you want to jump from selling 100 products a week to 1,000, to 10,000, you’ll want Shopify.

Which is easier to use, Shopify or Squarespace?

Shopify is easier to use than Squarespace because it provides plenty of visual cues when editing your store. It also uses really simple language throughout the whole process, while Squarespace requires a bit more creative thought owing to its powerful design tools.

Should I use Squarespace for my blog?

Yes. With Squarespace you’re guaranteed a beautiful blog to really impress your customers. It also provides all the blog-specific tools for managing your blog posts, such as archiving and built-in search features. Shopify does quite poorly in comparison when it comes to blogs.

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About Dan Barraclough

Dan Barraclough

I used to think website design was just for professionals. Because maybe like you, I have no coding or design experience. But, with the help of our expert researchers (and after testing every website builder myself), I can confidently guide you through on how to get the most out of each one.

50 comments

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  • Avatar
    John
    Good article, but after using both platforms I absolutely disagree that Shopify is easier to use. I am not a skilled designer by any stretch, but I find Squarespace much more user-friendly, from designing the individual pages to things as simple as having those pages automatically connect to the navigation bar. Shopify's platform is way more clunky, with fewer options to create a fluid user experience. Shopify excels in ecommerce, but in terms of the actual website itself, it feels like I'm using technology from 10 years ago.
  • Avatar
    Vibodha
    good content.
  • Avatar
    NRC
    Hi - thanks for the excellent comparison. How good is Shopify at driving customers to a physical store? 90% of the products I sell are expensive and need to be demonstrated face-to-face with customers and cannot be fulfilled online/distance selling. I still need to have product pages online, manage inventory, plug-in CRM apps etc, but the call to action would be 'book a demo', rather than a 'buy now' button. Would Shopify still be a good platform for me? Thanks!
    1 reply
    • Charlie Carmichael
      Charlie Carmichael
      Hi there, Thanks for your comment. There's no sure-fire way to drive customers from your website to your physical store but two things that can really help is improving your SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and the design of your website. SEO is important for your site to rank highly on search engines which in turn will raise the profile of your store. More eyes on your website = more chance of customers in store. The design is crucial too as it can make your products look more enticing. If people are attracted to what you're selling, they're more likely to visit the physical store. Shopify is great on both accounts here so you should have no problem using their platform to create an amazing site that ranks highly on the likes of Google. Hope that helps and good luck! Charlie
  • Avatar
    AJH
    I regret creating my online store with SquareSpace. I'm based in California and the sales tax rules are so complex and there's no way to have them automatically calculated in SquareSpace. You have to enter them manually, which is time consuming and easily done incorrectly. They offer Stripe as a payment option, but the version they offer doesn't allow for integration with companies like TaxJar who can automatically calculate the sales tax for each purchase. I would strongly discourage anyone in California from creating an online store using SquareSpace...go with Shopify. Don't make the same mistake I did.
    1 reply
    • Fred Isaac
      Fred Isaac
      Hi AJH, That's very useful insight. I've posted a link to a discussion on SquareSpace that might help if you're still after insights. Here it is: https://answers.squarespace.com/questions/68621/how-to-handle-local-sales-tax-rates.html Thanks again, Fred
  • Avatar
    Irene
    This was so helpful! Thank you!
    1 reply
    • Tom Watts
      Tom Watts
      Hi Irene, Great to hear the comparison proved useful for you! Best of luck with your website building, - Tom
  • Avatar
    Helen
    Hello, I have heard from a Shopify shop owner that credit card payments are often rejected--much more so than other credit card processing services--causing all kinds of customer embarrassment and delays. Do you know if Square has a better track record in this regard? Any feedback on this aspect of ecommerce. I really can't have customer's cards rejected or needing extra verification, etc. Thank you.
    1 reply
    • Tom Watts
      Tom Watts
      Hi Helen, Thanks for your comment - although it's a very difficult one to answer I'm afraid! Cards can get rejected from both platforms, but just as equally you might not experience any issues at all. Without having access to each platforms secure payment processing data I can't really say which is better in this regard. What I can say though is that Shopify powers more than 500,000 stores including Budweiser + Tesla, so they must be doing something right! I don't know the exact store figure for Squarespace but I'm confident it won't be as high as Shopify. One other thing to bear in mind is your long term ecommerce goals. Shopify is the better choice if you want to grow a successful online store and business that can scale alongside you, whereas Squarespace is better suited to smaller, more boutique-like stores. I hope that's helped a bit and given you some food for thought, - Tom
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    Susanna
    Thank you this was so helpful!
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    Benjamin
    Thank you so much, each timend i find myself in a fix I come to this site (that's almost everyday). My question however is that, can I therefore open a website with Squarespace and use shopify as my store because from what I understand you can use shopify on your already existent site. I appreciate your work
    1 reply
    • Tom Watts
      Tom Watts
      Hi Benjamin, It is possible to integrate your Shopify products to Squarespace, but it is a little tricky and also needs to be repeated each time you update your Shopify store (yes you need both a Squarespace website and Shopify Store to make this integration work). There's a Squarespace guide to doing this here. Otherwise, if you are set on Squarespace for your website building platform, have you considered Squarespace's own ecommerce features? This might be a solution that prevents you from needing two websites! Hopefully it gives you some food for thought, - Tom
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    Shawn
    Hey Jeremy, Thank you for your comprehensive comparison, I found it extremely helpful. As an online merchant, I think you could add the transaction fees to your post. An average order of 100 $50 transactions per month at 2.9 + 30c (Shopify) or 2% plus Paypal/Stripe fees (Squarespace) adds up considerably.
    1 reply
    • Tom Watts
      Tom Watts
      Hi Shawn, Thanks for reading and glad you found the discussion helpful. You're right to point out that transactions fees can add up over time and with larger orders. It's definitely something interesting to consider for our ecommerce reviews and discussions. Thanks for reading, - Tom
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    Mimi
    Very helpful! Thank you so much for this!
    1 reply
    • Tom Watts
      Tom Watts
      Thanks, Mimi. Feel free to share this post if you found it useful! You never know who else might find it helpful. Thanks, - Tom