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Shopify is one of the most powerful eCommerce website builders in the industry. On the other hand, Squarespace is the king of design among website builders. This is an interesting matchup that won’t end with the overwhelming victory by one side.
Before giving you details about the two, I can tell you that in most cases it is easy to decide which of the two is a better option for a specific website. Anyone who wants to create a big eCommerce store should pick Shopify. On the other hand, if an online store isn’t the primary focus of a website, Squarespace is a better option. Deciding is Shopify or Squarespace better overall is where it gets hard.
Squarespace vs Shopify for eCommerce seems like a decision that is easy to reach. After all, Shopify is one of the most powerful eCommerce platforms. However, not all eCommerce websites have complex stores or require all the tools Shopify offers. Sometimes, a better design is more important than sophisticated eCommerce features, especially in creative industries.
There are many situations where Squarespace is better for eCommerce, but ultimately you will have to be the judge of which platform is better for your website. I will give you all the important details about both platforms, so after reading this article, it should be easier for you to make that decision.
Squarespace is a better option for websites without stores and bloggers with small online stores. It has better features for design, so it is easier to create a good looking website with Squarespace. Shopify, however, has features that make it the undisputed king of eCommerce.
When deciding which one is better overall, I would choose Shopify. The simple reason is Shopify’s app store that makes it easy to add any feature that isn’t integrated into Shopify’s plans.
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Squarespace vs Shopify for ecommerce comparison
Don’t forget to use the switch that toggles between our two competitors. Without further delay, let’s compare Shopify and Squarespace:
Shopify or Squarespace ease of use
It takes some time to get used to Shopify’s interface. The editing interface and dashboard for managing sales are separate, so you will need to learn where to look for specific features. Some of Shopify’s tools use unusual terminology that doesn't help users who already have experience with other website builders. Don’t worry; once you get familiar with Shopify, you will realize that it is very easy to manage stores with it.
Shopify has excellent backend control and structure that makes management of huge stores with lots of products easier. The sheer number of tools at your disposal can seem overwhelming, so it isn’t the easiest option for small stores, but the bigger your store gets, the more thankful you will be that all those tools exist.
Squarespace editor comes with numerous creative tools. At first, Squarespace’s editor can come off as confusing, but in reality, the smart design makes it very easy to use. Same as with Shopify, you only need to get used to it.
One good example of how Squarespace is different from most website builders out there is the way editing tools work; they are element bound. In the editor, when you click on any element, all tools you can use to edit that specific element will be displayed.
Shopify and Squarespace are similar in ease of use. Neither of them is as simple as some other website builders, but they both excel in making the process of creating more complex websites easier.
Shopify vs Squarespace website builder
It is important to understand that Shopify specializes in eCommerce; as such, Shopify is limited to the creation of online stores. The benefit of such a limitation is that Shopify’s builder, unlike most other website builders, is capable of creating complex eCommerce websites.
Shopify has one of the best website builders for eCommerce. It is a very sophisticated builder with powerful eCommerce tools. Although it can create complex stores, it has a clean interface that is surprisingly easy to use.
Another similarity between Squarespace and Shopify is that both website builders focus on something. Squarespace focuses on the visual appeal of websites, and Shopify focuses on eCommerce functionality.
Squarespace’s website builder is capable of creating websites that look like they have been designed by professionals in the same way that Shopify’s builder can handle complex eCommerce websites.
Shopify and Squarespace templates, themes and customizability
Shopify has 72 themes. All of them are geared toward online stores and come with industry-specific features. There are only eight free themes. Premium themes cost between $140 and $180 each.
There is plenty of customization you can do on your website and templates. You can move around and edit existing sections or add new ones. Options available when customizing a section will vary based on the type of the section.
Besides customizing a section, you can also customize the template. When you make changes to a template, all of them will automatically apply to all pages on your website.
Squarespace has one of the most beautiful themes on the market. They are all masterfully designed and cover a variety of industries, but those working in creative industries will like Squarespace themes the most.
Both Shopify and Squarespace have decent in-built tools for customizing websites. Both also let you edit HTML and CSS of the website, allowing for some in-depth editing if you know how to code.
This is another Shopify vs Squarespace duel that ends in a tie. Shopify has excellent templates for eCommerce, and Squarespace has one of the best template designs in the industry. They both have templates that cover a variety of industries and you can do lots of customization with either company.
Compare Squarespace eCommerce or Shopify features
As a platform specialized in eCommerce, Shopify shines in this category. You just need to check Shopify’s support for payment gateways to realize how good it is. You can check their website to see all available payment gateways; I won’t list them here because there are over 100 of them.
Their eCommerce features don’t stop there; Shopify’s inventory management is amazing. Shopify supports up to 100 variants of a product, and this can be upgraded by a third-party app. You can upload multiple products or variants simultaneously and find any of your products easily by using a search bar.
Abandoned cart recovery, revenue reports, management tools, automated tax calculator and an option to set flexible shipping rates are all integrated.
Shopify’s eCommerce features are powerful enough to support even the biggest online stores and simple enough that a beginner with a freshly opened small eCommerce will be able to easily handle them. When comparing Squarespace ecommerce vs Shopify, Shopify comes out on top.
Squarespace performs decently for a platform that isn’t focused on eCommerce. Options to sell services, physical, or digital products are integrated (you need a third-party app to sell digital products with Shopify).
Since it is focused on visuals, it is an excellent platform for the presentation of your products.
You can create gift cards and accept donations. You will also get access to abandoned cart recovery, point of sale, and limited availability labels.
Squarespace is a good choice for small stores that will be secondary to your blog, but for running a serious eCommerce business, it can’t compete with Shopify.
You just have to compare payment gateways they support to realize this. Shopify supports over 100 gateways, while Squarespace supports only PayPal, Stripe and Apple Pay.
Shopify and Squarespace SEO
Basic SEO features like meta titles, redirects, URL slugs, etc. are built-in. Shopify also comes with the Shopify Email tool that lets you create and manage email campaigns.
For more sophisticated SEO and marketing features, you will have to use a third-party app. You shouldn’t have problems finding an adequate app, because Shopify’s app market is huge. There are around 900 apps in the marketing category alone.
Shopify lacks social bookmarking and blog-specific search features. Most online store owners want to have a blog to help them boost store sales. You can still create a blog with Shopify, but it isn’t the best platform for bloggers.
On the other hand, you can increase the number of sales through social media accounts and other marketplaces. Shopify’s multi-channel integration will let you connect your store with Instagram, Facebook, eBay and plenty of other social media platforms and marketplaces.
Squarespace also has basic SEO features integrated and you can get a feature for managing email campaigns for an additional fee. The problem is that Squarespace has no app market. You will have to rely on features integrated into the editor and templates.
The one thing Squarespace is better for is blogging. Unlike Shopify, Squarespace allows you to easily add a search bar feature and archive to your blog. It also comes with built-in analytics that let you track the success of your posts.
Both companies come with similar built-in SEO and email marketing features. Squarespace has better blogging tools, but Shopify still wins this Shopify vs Squarespace battle. The reason is Shopify’s app market that lets you add tons of SEO features to your website.
Squarespace vs Shopify features
Shopify doesn’t have many other features that I didn’t already mention. It is an eCommerce website builder, and it focuses heavily on eCommerce features.
The important thing to mention is that Shopify relies on the app marketplace for any additional features. The marketplace is huge, so it is unlikely that you won’t find what you are looking for there.
Squarespace has some interesting industry-specific features. To explore all Squarespace features. we would have to talk about each of their templates because many of them come with some integrated tools.
Owners of restaurants, pubs or any other business that uses menus will enjoy Squarespace’s feature for formatting menus. This process is tiring with most other website builders. Squarespace, on the other hand, made it easy by developing a simple markup language. You just create a menu with that markup language, and the menu will be automatically formatted. After the menu is generated, you can customize borders, fonts, and colors.
Audio Block is a great feature for creative industries. It is easy to use and comes with a beautiful audio player that will look great in any template.
There are many other industry-specific cool Shopify features. Listing and describing them here would make this review way too long, so I will settle for the two that are my personal favorites.
Squarespace vs Shopify domain costs
Shopify is an eCommerce platform and a domain registrar, so you can get all the necessary services for your online store in one place. Here is how much you will have to pay to register some of the most popular domain extensions with Shopify:
- .com: $14/year
- .net: $16/year
- .org: $17/year
- .info: $20/year
- .biz: $21/year
- .tech: $27/year
You can also register your domain with Squarespace. On average, it will cost you a bit more than with Shopify, but there are some domains you can find for cheaper:
- .com: $20/year
- .net: $20/year
- .org: $20/year
- .info: $20/year
- .biz: $20/year
- .tech: $40/year
Squarespace and Shopify customer support
In addition to a large forum community, Shopify has phone, chat and email support that are all available 24/7.
There isn’t much to say about Shopify’s customer support besides that Shopify’s customers report positive experiences with support.
Similar to Shopify, Squarespace also has customer support with mostly positive reviews.
Squarespace doesn’t have phone support. They offer only email, live chat and social media support via Twitter. Squarespace has good customer support, but Shopify wins this because Shopify has 24/7 phone support.
Shopify vs Squarespace speed, uptime and reliability
With such two big names there isn’t much space for Shopify vs Squarespace competition in this category. You can expect almost constant uptime and excellent speed. Both companies are reliable, and you will be satisfied with the performance of your online store no matter which one you choose.
As I already said, both companies are performing great when it comes to speed and uptime. Squarespace takes customer satisfaction seriously. They know that no matter what features they offer, their customers’ websites have to be fast and have a minimal amount of downtime for customers to be satisfied.
Shopify vs Squarespace pricing
Shopify has three plans with a big price difference between each of them. The biggest benefit you get from upgrading is the reduction in transaction fees. Here is the full list of features for each plan:
Basic Shopify: $29/month
- Free SSL certificate
- 2 staff accounts
- 2.9% + $0.30 online credit card rate
- 2.7% in-person credit card rate
- 2% additional fee if you are not using Shopify Payments
- Up to 64% shipping discount
- Multi-channel integration
- Manual order creation
- Discount codes
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Gift cards
- Print shipping labels
- Shopify POS
- All from the Basic Shopify Plan
- 5 staff accounts
- 1-5 store locations
- 2.6% + $0.30 online credit card rate
- 2.5% in-person credit card rate
- 1% additional fee if you are not using Shopify Payments
- Up to 72% shipping discount
- USPS Priority Mail Cubic pricing
- Professional reports
Advanced Shopify: $299/month
- All from the Shopify plan
- 15 staff accounts
- Up to 8 store locations
- 2.4% + $0.30 online credit card rate
- 2.4% in-person credit card rate
- 0.5% additional if you are not using Shopify Payments
- Up to 74% shipping discount
- USPS Priority Mail Cubic Pricing
- Advanced report builder
- Third-party calculated shipping rates
Shopify’s plans are more expensive than Squarespace’s plans, but they are packed with powerful eCommerce features. It is easiest to compare the Basic Shopify with Squarespace’s Basic Commerce plan because they have similar pricing.
Basic Shopify is the better choice for eCommerce because you get some important features that don’t come in the Squarespace's Basic Commerce plan. The most notable among those features is abandoned cart recovery.
My verdict is that you get more value for your money with Shopify, but only if you are heavily focused on eCommerce. For a blog with a supporting store, Squarespace is a better choice.
Squarespace has four plans, but their plans are more similar to each other than Shopify’s plans are. Check out the overview of Squarespace plans and their pricing:
- Up to two contributors
- Mobile-optimized websites
- Free custom domain for 1-year
- Free SSL certificate
- All from the Personal plan
- Unlimited contributors
- Advanced website analytics
- Promotional pop-ups and banners
- Access to eCommerce
- 3% transaction fee
- Accept donations
- Gift cards
Basic Commerce: $26/month
- All from the Business plan
- No commerce transaction fees
- Point of sale
- Customer accounts
- Checkout on your domain
- eCommerce analytics
- Merchandising tools
- Sell products on Instagram
Advanced Commerce: $40/month
- All from the Basic Commerce plan
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Sell subscriptions
- Advanced shipping
- Advanced discounts
- Commerce APIs
- Limited Availability labels
You can create a website for cheaper with Squarespace if you need only the basic eCommerce functionality. For anything more sophisticated, you will be better off with Shopify.
In conclusion, Shopify vs Squarespace pricing is another tie. Both companies have fair pricing for the services they offer.
Shopify vs Squarespace conclusion
The winner is Shopify!
Squarespace is an excellent website builder with a strong emphasis on the visual appeal of websites. Shopify, on the other hand, is specialized in eCommerce. The choice between the two should be based on the type of website you are creating. Overall, Shopify wins because it has a huge app market that lets users add any tools that aren’t already integrated.
Shopify versus Squarespace final score
Shopify vs Squarespace FAQs