One of the most important aspects of any eCommerce business strategy is selecting the correct eCommerce platform or website builder. With more and more options available in the market, it is difficult to tell which one is the best. Shopify and Squarespace are two of the leading eCommerce platforms in the market today. That's why Shopify vs Squarespace is a topic of debate among many eCommerce owners and developers. Both Shopify and Squarespace appear as comparable solutions on the surface.
It’s because both of these platforms allow users to set up their online store and products without any designing or programming experience. However, deep down, they are both different, offering a diverse set of features, benefits, and limitations. In this article, we will have a comprehensive look at the Shopify vs Squarespace comparison on different matrices, including design, pricing, analytics, etc. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the Squarespace vs Shopify debate and find out which platform is the best option for your business.
What Is Shopify?
Shopify is a cloud-based platform with a monthly subscription plan that provides small businesses with access to an admin panel where you can input and store data, add goods, and manage orders. It enables retailers to develop a multi-channel experience that promotes their brand. It provides you all the necessary tools you need to handle each of those tasks.
Consider Shopify's platform to be a facilitator that helps to simplify the process of selling things online. Shopify is ideally suited for people who have a product or a source for a product and wish to sell it online. This includes gadgets, furniture, and jewelry, as well as digital items like eBooks and audio files.
Features of Shopify:
Here are the most prominent features of Shopify:
Store Administration: Once you've created an eCommerce website, you can use Shopify's extensive range of features to simplify, optimize, and automate the management of your eCommerce store and customer information.
Customer Profiles: It is easier to manage and monitor your customers' information and purchase history by getting them to register an account before making a purchase. This may seem like a strange concept at first; however, it is really beneficial for your business. Creating customer accounts can allow you to see who bought what item. In short, this can help you identify your ideal clients.
Payments: Shopify accepts all popular payment channels, including PayPal, Amazon Pay, Square, and cryptocurrencies, along with over 100+ additional choices. Shopify continues to add payment options, particularly from local suppliers, to assist business owners in boosting their conversion rates.
What Is Squarespace?
Squarespace was developed in 2014 with the aim of offering website design and hosting solutions. It includes a variety of design layouts and a simple-to-use interface that allows users to add information faster and easier. It offers drag and drop features that enable you to develop your website as you design.
Squarespace was originally designed as a tool for creating content-driven websites rather than digital businesses. However, with the demand for eCommerce rising in the market, it implemented eCommerce solutions as well. With the passage of time, Squarespace has fine-tuned and enhanced its eCommerce solutions to cover more ground in the market and to assist people in their online store development.
Features of Squarespace:
Here are some of the most prominent features of Squarespace:
Email Marketing: Squarespace offers an incredible feature that allows you to create and edit your email campaigns. Although this requires an additional cost, it is still less expensive as compared to using third-party suppliers, such as Constant Contact and Mailchimp.
Analytics: While you can always add Google Analytics, Squarespace offers its own analytics, which allows you to get insight regarding your customers. It aggregates information from your customers on different touchpoints, ranging from appointment bookings to eCommerce sales.
Online Stores: It offers an easy-to-use and customizable solution for setting up your eCommerce website. You can organize and categorize different items, create multiple product variations, and embed photographs and media images to provide a complete picture of your product to your buyers.
Shopify vs. Squarespace Difference: Head-To-Head Comparison
The main difference between Shopify and Squarespace is that Shopify is a cloud-based platform developed specifically for eCommerce solutions, while Squarespace is a multipurpose web design and hosting platform that also offers eCommerce store development features. Businesses looking to set up an online store often struggle with finding the right platform to begin with. There are multiple different questions going on in their head with little to no explanations. This makes the entire process frustrating and confusing.
To avoid this, we have compiled a comprehensive head-to-head Shopify vs Squarespace comparison on different essentials elements of an eCommerce website to help you make the right decision. We will cover aspects such as interface, design, customer service, pricing, and more. So, without further ado, let’s begin.
Difference # 1: Interface
Shopify has a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface that allows users to easily add, move, or delete components within a few clicks. The main page also includes a simple interface with visual hints and shortcuts for adding goods, customizing layouts, and adding a domain. As a result, a user never feels lost while developing their online store.
Squarespace offers eCommerce as well; however, it is a little challenging to grasp as compared to its competitor. It offers drag and drop features as well, making it easier for users to add, move, and delete components with content blocks. This makes the experience easier for newcomers with little to no programming knowledge.
Difference # 2: Design
With any eCommerce business, you need to create a strong first impression for your visitors. It’s no doubt people are hesitant to spend money and time in unclean and cluttered spaces. Shopify offers a variety of design templates with multiple themes and styles. You can choose between 10 free designs and 50+ premium templates ranging in price from $140-180.
Squarespace layouts offer contemporary and clean designs to swipe your customers off their feet with the first glimpse. They are also highly responsive and are compatible with almost all devices, meaning the layout looks amazing on any screen size. Unlike Shopify, Squarespace has designs tailored exclusively for the creative profession and themes for practically every other industry, including DIY.
Difference # 3: Customer Service
Both platforms offer excellent customer services to their users. With Shopify Plus, you get an experienced support representative to guide you throughout. For growing companies, Shopify offers a professional to assist you with coding and design, giving the website a more professional look and feel. Shopify has taken a step further by providing phone assistance 24/7 as well.
Unfortunately, Squarespace offers limited customer service channels. The majority of user concerns, however, can be fixed by visiting their excellent forum, which experts believe is among the finest and most reliable in the industry. When you can't find a solution in the knowledge forum, you can get help from their live chat support from Monday to Friday, 4 am to 8 pm (EST).
Difference # 4: Pricing
Both Shopify and Squarespace offer multiple subscription plan options for their users, depending on their needs and requirements.
Pricing plans for Shopify:
Shopify Lite: It is available at $9/month (If you don't want to build a website)
Shopify Basic: It costs $29 per month (For newly established e-commerce firms)
Shopify: Charges $79/month (for expanding enterprises with both an online and offline presence)
Shopify Advanced: Shopify Advance costs $299 per month (Intended for growing enterprises that require specialized monitoring and selling methods)
Shopify Plus: Shopify Plus costs $2,000 or more per month (Business solutions for big volume sales)
Squarespace Pricing Plan:
Personal: Prices start at $12/month, including accessibility to the Squarespace site builder, designs, unlimited storage, and other features.
Business: Starts around $18/month; this plan includes everything in the previous level, complete contributors, premium integrations and blocks, etc. This plan charges a 3% transaction fee.
Basic Commerce: It starts at $26/month and offers all features of the business plan with a reduction to 0% transaction costs for your eCommerce website, a point-of-sale, customer accounts, and much more.
Advanced Commerce: Squarespace’s advanced commerce plan starts around $40/month with a 0% transaction cost for online shops, abandoned cart recovery, and commerce APIs.
Difference # 5: Analytics
Monitoring the analytics of your online business allows you to observe who is visiting your site, what aspects of your store are functioning well, and which you can improve. Analytics will assist your eCommerce website in growing and improving your business. When it comes to statistics, Shopify is well-equipped. You can watch consumer activity and see who is visiting your business, and you can receive accurate inventory reports through email.
On the other hand, Squarespace employs its very own advanced analytics (called Squarespace Analytics). It allows you to keep records of your income, total orders, conversion, and consumer behavior. However, it does not offer stock tracking notifications. Whether you are using Shopify or Squarespace, we suggest linking your site with Google Analytics for more extensive analytics capabilities.
Difference # 6: Application
Applications can help to enhance the overall performance of your website. They handle it all from marketing and delivery to finance and analytics, providing a boost to your website. With over 2000 applications available online, Shopify offers one of the most extensive eCommerce app shops. It's similar to a software menu, in which you can pick and choose from multiple free and premium applications starting at $15 per month.
In December 2019, Squarespace debuted its extensions marketplace. There are currently 24 extensions that third-party companies entirely contribute to Squarespace. Unfortunately, a few extensions are only accessible in a handful of regions, so you should read the extension's guidelines before linking it to your website.
Shopify vs. Squarespace: Which Platform Should You Choose?
We’ve already covered all the main differences between Shopify and Squarespace. Now, the question is: which platform should you choose between Shopify and Squarespace. For businesses looking to build a portfolio website, design and content management are their top priorities. In this case, Squarespace is a great choice. With an outstanding design theme and robust content management system (CMS), it offers a complete solution. In addition to this, it provides excellent photo editing and display features. Its eCommerce functionalities are relevantly new and lacking in some areas.
On the other hand, when it comes to eCommerce, Shopify’s background as an online marketplace builder outperforms Squarespace. Shopify offers far more extensive eCommerce features allowing businesses to effectively sell products. If offers crucial features for an efficient eCommerce experience, which Squarespace does not currently provide.
We hope this article settles the Shopify vs Squarespace debate for good. Whether your choice for an eCommerce platform is Shopify or Squarespace, the process of setting up an online store can be rather tricky and confusing. Where should you start? What are your business goals? Which platform is the best for my business? Answering these questions can help you set a direction and clear obvious confusion regarding your eCommerce business. Most importantly, even with drag and drop features and theme options, the skills of a layman are limited when it comes to eCommerce store development.
The user experience is everything in today’s time. So, if you want to develop a stunning eCommerce store that attacks customers like a magnet, you need help from a professional UI/UX designer as well as a highly experienced eCommerce developer. That's where we come in. Here at IIInigence, we stand proud as one of the best eCommerce Store Development Companies in the USA, offering exceptional services for years. We have collaborated with many businesses for eCommerce solutions and helped them achieve their true potential. If you are interested in working with us, you can check out our portfolio by visiting our website, reach us out via our contact page, and set up a free consultation session.