Shopify vs Squarespace: Comparing the Best Website Creation Tools

Every decade, some type of tradition is assassinated by a technological advance. Radio has been replaced by video, TV has been replaced by the Internet. With more and more shops going online, brick-and-mortar businesses are the next ones in line to get replaced by the technological progress. In the front lines of change, there are plenty of great online store options. Perhaps the two most popular ones - Shopify vs Squarespace.  In this article, we'll compare the distinct advantages of both, and help you decide which one suits your needs best!

Shopify vs Squarespace

Squarespace & Shopify have different 'killer features'

Squarespace appears to be following in the footsteps of internet megaliths like Facebook and Google, progressively offering more and more services on one platform.  Though their beginnings were as a web publishing platform catering to bloggers, they've recently expanded their operations to include a commerce arm that enables users to take advantage of a variety of services. Store owners get offered a decent amount of features.

Squarespace Features

  • No limits on quantity of items for sale
  • The ability to sell both physical and digital products
  • Customer tracking enabled via a post-check out marketing pixel
  • Xero Integration
  • Easy integration of customer-drawing techniques such coupons and sales codes
  • Automatic taxes and shipping

Though their offerings are sufficient to cover the needs of both fledgling and established companies, the primary design of Squarespace is not as a commerce site, and the business functions are simply an add-on to the principle layout of the page. Some companies might prefer, however, the slightly less corporate feel of Squarespace, and the more human face that it can present to customers. Moreover, the blogging roots of Squarespace give businesses an organic, easy-to-use interface to work with. We ourselves have tested Squarespace - enough to consider Squarespace templates perhaps the most beautiful ones you can find.

READ MORE: 5 Best Squarespace Templates For Your Projects

Squarespace screenshot

Despite the alluring, “Ma and Pa” charm of Squarespace, companies might find the small number of payment processors to be rather limiting. At the present moment, only Stripe and PayPal are available for processing payments through Squarespace.

By contrast, Shopify is an eCommerce behemoth, offering a wide variety of features and opportunities for customization. With a customer base of over 500,000 companies, they have both the experience and loads of customer input to ensure that their platform is optimized for online businesses. Offering users over 100 professionally-designed design layouts that work as well on mobile devices as they do on computers, Shopify is a surefire way to ensure that the impression left on customers is one of professionalism, reliability, and credibility. While Squarespace may leave people feeling like they bought something from a local artist or craftsman, Shopify conveys the image of a serious company well-versed in the industry it serves.

The arsenal of tools provided by Shopify can meet the needs of any company, regardless of its size. Whether your store sells 20 items a year or moves an inventory of 20 million, Shopify's resources will provide the technology needed to help you run your store in a way that's both efficient and customer-friendly. In addition to being able to match the perks offered by Squarespace, Shopify provides customers with a host of unique features.

Shopify Features

  • Inventory Management
  • Ease of marketing across various social media avenues, such as Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.
  • Demographics analytics which allow you to get a better understanding of your customers' needs and behaviors in order to target them more effectively with your marketing.  
  • Multiple login credentials for staff. Most importantly, each set of credentials comes with a custom-tailored level of permissions. This should prevent the staff from accidentally selling ownership of the company, or giving themselves a pay raise during your lunch break. It's all about the details.

One of the greatest convenience Shopify's customers enjoy is the wide range of payment processors they offer.  Customers have a choice of paying with one of over 70 different options, and multiple forms of currencies are accepted, as well.  When considering whether to opt for Shopify vs Squarespace, this is an important factor of the buyer experience to consider.

Choose Shopify if you love apps!

While Squarespace does not leave customers lacking any of the tools necessary to run a successful online store, its more humble offerings have a hard time matching pace with the higher-energy services provided by Shopify. Informed and guided by years' worth of experience in the eCommerce realm, Shopify offers some incredibly unique options for helping your business get off the ground. One of the best things available is its amazing app store, which boasts a trophy case containing over 1400 top-notch apps designed to improve the functionality of your site. The apps can help with more than just simple marketing, and serve almost as robotic assistants helping to track inventory, manage shipping orders, assist with customer service, do dropshipping, and more.  

Yet maybe you think that you need assistance beyond what apps and strings of code can provide? Shopify also offers a marketplace for hiring veterans of the eCommerce world who can help with the building, development, and design of your store.

Simply stated, when starting to build your business in the wilderness of the Internet, Squarespace provides you with a tent. Shopify, however, helps you set it up.

Squarespace is easier on your wallet

In the pricing contest between Shopify vs Squarespace, it would appear that the winner is Squarespace, as it has a much gentler impact on the wallet. Featuring four different service plans that increase in price proportionately to the features they offer, Squarespace's low costs make it an appealing option for someone who wants to experiment with online sales without putting too much at stake.

Squarespace Pricing

  • Personal Plan - $16.00
  • Business Plan - $26.00
  • Basic Store Plan - $30.00
  • Advanced Store Plan - $46.00

All of Squarespace's costs can be reduced by signing up for a year-long membership.

In contrast, Shopify seems to know its worth, and charges commensurate with the wealth of services it offers.  It's the Swiss Army Knife of the eCommerce world, and, like a knife, cuts many of the extra costs that one might incur should one try to purchase the trove of services they offer a la carte. In addition, the support they offer is indispensable, providing 24-hour assistance to ensure that your store never goes down or becomes inaccessible to customers. Shopify pricing structures are featured below:

Shopify Pricing

  • Basic Plan - $29.00
  • Shopify Plan - $79.00
  • Advanced Shopify Plan - $299.00

Though this platform's costs can also be reduced by entering a year-long contract as well, its prices are still high enough that some experts recommend waiting until your company has matured in profitability before signing up with Shopify.

Shopify does more but Squarespace may also be useful

Comparing these two companies is difficult because they offer services that serve different sectors of the business world. In some cases, Squarespace could be all you need! Both services provide easy-to-navigate, comprehensive services and all of the essential tools for launching a successful cyber-store.  However, though both companies provide the seeds and nutrients for your company to grow, Shopify also serves as your gardener and helps prune off some of the thornier parts of starting an online store. If the price is not a determining factor, this blog recommends taking advantage of the holistic services provided by Shopify. However, both services offer a 2 week trial period, so try them both, and then go with the one that made your heart swell!

That brings us to the end of Squarespace vs Shopify, let us know what you think right below, in the comments section!

Paul joined the Hosting.Review team right from the start as a content writer and marketer. He was the person responsible for establishing a trademark for in-depth web hosting evaluation and superb review articles. Before joining Hosting.Review, Paul was working on various projects as a freelancer. Paul spends his free time reading fantasy books and graphic novels.

Leave a Comment

  1. Janet picture Janet
    2018 August 6th

    Thanks for this helpful overview. I’m an SEO specialist and can share a few things…SquareSpace is a PITA (pain in the derriere) because it has flaws that the company is aware of but chooses not to fix, such as creating two URLs for most pages, one with and one without a trailing slash (/). Both URLs appear in the website data…as I said, a PITA! More importantly, SquareSpace does not automatically add schema, which is code that the search engines like to use to understand the details about a product. Shopify adds schema automatically. That’s worth $ you don’t have to spend trying to figure out how to add it yourself (or paying a developer) to add it. Schema code isn’t easy to understand so it’s easy to mess up. For search engine visibility, Shopify beats SquareSpace hands down.

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