Shopify is a “pure” ecommerce online store builder, and can help you build small to very large ecommerce shops.
Squarespace is a bit different than Shopify. Squarespace is more of a “general” website builder, that offers you some ecommerce tools that are not as advanced or comprehensive as what Shopify offers you.
A lot of people use Squarespace to build information websites, portfolio websites (such as for artists, photographers), business websites (restaurants, non-ecommerce related), blogs, etc. Just anything that doesn’t require any tools to help you sell physical or digital products online.
Having said that, Squarespace does have ecommerce related tools if you want to sell products online.
So how do you choose between Shopify and Squarespace? We’ll get right to that below.
Click on the following links to read the specific sections:
1.WHO SHOPIFY IS GOOD FOR
As mentioned above, Shopify is a pure ecommerce builder. So if you are looking to build a website to sell products (physical or digital products), Shopify can help you build that.
Unlike Squarespace, who is also focused on helping users build non-ecommerce related websites, Shopify is all ecommerce. So if you’re not looking to build an online store, Squarespace is a better match for you.
Shopify is one of the best ecommerce store builders available today. They power over 500,000 businesses and has a large ecosystem to help you become more successful with your business (more about this below).
They have over 100 professional looking, mobile friendly design themes that you can use to make your store look good (which is important so that your visitors feel that you’re a more credible seller).
It doesn’t matter how many products you want to sell, Shopify has the tools to help you build what you need. You can have 10 products, all the way up to thousands of products, Shopify has the technology to help you put your website together.
Here are just some tools that they offer you:
- Insert product images, descriptions / details
- Manage your inventory
- Organize your products into categories (easier for your prospective customers to find what they need)
- Discount code engine
- Creating webpages and blogs
- Track customer and order details
- Sell products easily on different social media channels (Facebook / Pinterest / Twitter)
- Accept payments from 70 different payment processors in different currencies
Set up customer accounts (so your customers can login into their private accounts to manage their personal information such as address, credit card information, so it’s easier for them to buy next time)
- Sort your customers by location, money spent, etc, so you can better understand where your customers are from and their spending behaviors, so you can market better to them
- Manage multiple staff login – so if you have staff helping you, you can grant them different permission levels to help you manage your online shop
There are so many other tools that can help you build a very comprehensive store, so do visit their website to get the full list of features.
Generally speaking, if you want to build a store online, Shopify can do all the technological “heavy lifting” for you, so you can focus on other parts of your business.
2.WHAT ABOUT SQUARESPACE’S ECOMMERCE TOOLS?
As mentioned above, Squarespace is not a pure online store builder. But it definitely has tools to help you build a less advanced, but functional ecommerce store.
So they’re ideal for you if you don’t have a need for a very complex and advanced store.
Squarespace is well known for their beautiful looking and professionally designed themes. So they can make your storefront look quite good.
They also give you the basic ecommerce tools, such as giving you full control over product variations, unlimited product uploads, inventory management, enable you to sell physical or digital products, couponing engine, shipping cost options, sales taxes, and other functional tools to help you build a good ecommerce website.
3.SO WHAT ARE THE BIG DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SHOPIFY AND SQUARESPACE?
As discussed, Squarespace gives you most of the basic tools so you can build a functional online store.
Where Shopify really stands apart compared to Squarespace is their online store ecosystem and how they can support your growing business.
Let me explain a bit more.
Shopify App Store – Add More Functions To Your Ecommerce Store
Shopify has very large and comprehensive App Store, with over 1,400 apps to help you power your store. These apps are additional tools that you can bolt on to your store when / if you need them.
The tools are not just sales & marketing tools, they also include additional tools that help you manage administrative tasks such as inventory management, fulfillment, shipping, customer service, bookkeeping, etc.
So if you need tools to go above and beyond the “basics”, Shopify’s apps can help you get there. Squarespace doesn’t have this in place for you.
Shopify Experts – Help You Setup & Customize Your Store
If you want to have an expert help you set up a store, or hire a designer / developer to really customize your ecommerce store, or build in some advanced tools / apps directly into your store, Shopify has a marketplace where you can find and hire Shopify Experts to help you do this.
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to building an online store is that even though it’s quite straight forward to build a store with Shopify, at some point you may want to take your store to the next level. You might want a custom design, or get an app built so you have some custom tools.
If you’re not using Shopify, the challenge then becomes, where the heck do you find a capable expert to help you do this, without messing up your ecommerce store?
With Shopify, they have a list Shopify Experts, who are also monitored by Shopify to ensure that they are properly qualified.
So to have these experts that you can access down the road is really helpful. If your business really takes off and you want more tools and experts to help you grow even more, Shopify is a really great option over the long term.
4.SHOPIFY VS SQUARESPACE – WHAT ABOUT SUPPORT?
Both Shopify and Squarespace offer you really good support in our experiences.
But Shopify definitely gives you more ways to get in touch with them when you need help. They can be contacted 24/7 through 3 main support channels – phone, email or live chat.
With Squarespace, you can reach them through email or live chat, but the live chat sessions are only available between 3am and 8pm EST, from Monday to Friday. They do answer emails 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
So Shopify’s support is definitely a lot more accessible. One of the main reasons is because Shopify’s payment plans are at higher price points when compared to Squarespace’s payment plans (more on this below).
Not to forget, Shopify also offers you access to a group of qualified experts whom you can hire if you need to customize your store even further.
5.SHOPIFY VS SQUARESPACE – PRICING PLANS
Generally speaking, Shopify has a higher price point than Squarespace.
The main reason behind his because Shopify offers you a lot more advanced and comprehensive ecommerce tools than Squarespace. This in effect, gives you more tools to try to grow your business.
Don’t forget that Shopify also offers you a large library of apps that you can bolt on to your store to extend your store’s functionality (note: some apps are free, some are paid).
They also offer you 24/7 phone support, which can be a huge benefit especially if you need immediate help in the middle of the night!
Shopify’s monthly plans are as follows:
- Basic Shopify plan $29 ($26.10 if signed up to annual plan)
- Shopify Plan $79 ($71.10 if signed up to annual plan)
- Advanced Shopify Plan $299 ($269.10 if signed up to annual plan)
You can also sign up to Shopify Plus: an enterprise-level ecommerce software for big businesses. But to get an accurate price, you’ll have to speak to a Shopify advisor.
Squarespace’s monthly plans are as follows:
- Personal Plan $16 ($12 if signed up to annual plan)
- Business Plan $26 ($18 if signed up to annual plan)
- Basic Store Plan $30 ($26 if signed up to annual plan)
- Advanced Store Plan $46 ($40 if signed up to annual plan)
The differences in monthly plans are quite large, but keep in mind that Shopify offers you a lot more if you want to build a more advanced store, and provides you with more comprehensive support.
Bear in mind that both Shopify and Squarespace offer you a 14 day free trial period, so you can test out their platforms before deciding which one is more suitable for you.
6.CONCLUSION & RECOMMENDATIONS – SHOPIFY VS SQUARESPACE
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