It’s rather tough to choose the best ecommerce store builder when there is a long list of options.
You will definitely want to work with a robust system to deliver reliable services for years. Shopify and Squarespace are quite popular names in the industry. If you are to choose between these two options, you should clearly understand and visualize all the pros and cons of both platforms.
That’s why we’ve gathered info about the key characteristics of Shopify and Squarespace in one article to let you review and compare them feature to feature and make the right choice.
How much do they cost?
Competition based on pricing is always good, as it brings cheap and beautiful ecommerce website builders to us, customers.
If you choose Shopify, you will have to pick one of three plans. Depending on the forecast size of your online store, you can take:
- Basic Shopify that includes all the essentials for starting a business ($29 per month);
- The Shopify plan that offers a more feature-rich toolkit for growing companies ($79 per month);
- Advanced Shopify with the strongest functionality for the businesses aimed at a fast market expansion ($299 per month).
From this perspective, Shopify looks better for startups, small and medium-sized merchants, as well as local stores and marketplaces.
To learn more details, study the Shopify pricing page.
Squarespace provides four different pricing plans starting from $12 per month.
- The Personal plan offers a beautiful yet very simple store functionality. It can go only for a one-person retail company.
- The Business plan is a good value for money and the most popular option with merchants. It includes almost all the essential features, though analytics, advanced promos, and similar nice-to-haves are off.
- Two Commerce plans extend the functionality considerably, yet the price rises to $26 and $40 per month.
Get more info from the Squarespace pricing list.
To sum it up, Shopify plans are more expensive; however, they comprise more ecommerce features required to build solid online stores. In fact, Shopify plans look more flexible and reliable if compared to Squarespace pricing options.
How many features do they have?
Shopify delivers an extensive set of features for creating an online store. With its help, you will be able not only to manage your sales and products but also to process payments quickly, orchestrate product promotions, improve marketing strategies, and so on.
Though the available default toolkit depends on the pricing plan, every Shopify user gets access to the following key features:
- Product management. The inbuilt functionality lets you add and sell an unlimited number of products. A ready-to-use product catalog allows managing item categories and creating custom ones if needed.
- Offline sales. Using Shopify, you can generate revenue both online and offline. There is a mobile POS system for physical stores.
- Fraud alerts. Shopify analyzes and notifies you about suspicious activity in your store.
- Promos. The discount code functionality is included in all Shopify plans.
- Abandoned cart recovery. You can encourage customers to return to the items left in cart with automatic emails.
- Reports. Financial reports will let you keep track of all crucial sales stats.
- Add-ons. Shopify has an app marketplace, Shopify App Store, with over 3,000 extensions for all types of ecommerce needs.
Squarespace provides a range of features to build a solid blog or portfolio but not an online store—though it has some ecommerce capabilities. Squarespace does not have an app store, that’s why its customization capabilities look limited.
Among the core features delivered by Squarespace, we can highlight the following:
- Ecommerce functionality includes all the essentials, such as the product catalog and inventory, order, and shipping management tools.
- Promos. All pricing plans cover promo codes and pop-ups, banners, discounts, and vouchers.
- Analytics comes with an in-built app. So there is no need to install external tools to track the store performance stats.
- Payment options actually look limited if compared to Shopify. Squarespace uses only Stripe to process payments and offers integrations with just three payment gateways (compared to 70 in Shopify).
Whose design is catchier and more functional?
Shopify provides awesome free and paid templates that let you build professionally looking online shops. The number of free themes is rather limited; however, they are user-friendly and beautiful. The set of paid templates includes over 60 professional themes that look trendy and can meet the needs of different stores. If you are tech-savvy, you will be able to implement a unique Shopify store style.
Squarespace design also looks perfect. There are more than 90 theme options, though most of them mainly refer to blogs and portfolios. Squarespace offers CSS and HTML editing opportunities, but they are available only starting from the Business plan and require coding skills. You can choose from 29 customizable cover page layouts.
How good is the customer support?
A desire to get a clear response as quickly as possible is natural for any customer.
Both Shopify and Squarespace offer live chat and email support, but only Shopify provides 24/7 assistance via phone. Even though Shopify is typically more expensive, it’s the case when you get what you pay for. The platform also offers a broader and more helpful community. You can also review interactive tutorials and guides that highlight all key steps of creating a website from scratch.
Squarespace offers a ticketing system to resolve issues via email. Tutorials include insightful articles, video guides, and blog posts that can be pretty useful.
How easy are they to use?
Usability is the most obvious difference between building a store on Shopify or Squarespace.
Shopify is much more powerful and easy to use. It includes basic features and design capabilities for entrants and allows customization by ecommerce professionals for those who want to build robust solutions.
Squarespace is much simpler. Still, if you are satisfied with the basic functionality, you can do everything yourself, without turning to developers.
As practice shows, Squarespace is rather a versatile site builder than an ecommerce platform. So, if you run a Squarespace-built website and have a couple of items to sell online, then Squarespace will certainly handle it. Shopify is a more suitable option for those who plan to create a feature-laden online shop and need more powerful and reliable functionality.
After all, if you still can’t choose the best option between Shopify and Squarespace, explore other options. The following comparison articles will help:
- Top 5 Best Ecommerce Platforms In 2019
- Shopify vs Magento
- Shopify vs BigCommerce
- Shopify vs BigCartel
- Shopify vs WooCommerce