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Shopify vs. Squarespace: Which Is Better for Your Online Store in 2022

Shopify vs. Squarespace is a huge decision when it comes to choosing the right platform for eCommerce. Here's a full rundown.
Shopify vs. Squarespace: Which Is Better for Your Online Store in 2022
Alexandra Ortolani

By Alexandra Ortolani

 

January 1, 2022

Key Points:

  • Shopify is more expensive than Squarespace, plus you’ll also have to pay for extra transaction fees, credit card processing fees, and any other fees associated with integrating apps with your site
  • Both Shopify vs. Squarespace offer apps and plug-ins to help scale your business, but Shopify offers more choice and selection
  • Squarespace is your best bet for newbies to eCommerce and smaller businesses and Shopify is an excellent choice for larger eCommerce businesses

If you’re looking to start an eCommerce business, choosing the right platform is a must. An ideal eCommerce website builder gives you the key features you need without breaking the bank.

Both Shopify and Squarespace can help you build an eCommerce store. Shopify is one of the most popular and sophisticated eCommerce platforms available but has a price tag to match. By contrast, Squarespace is more affordable but maybe a little light on features if you’re looking to blaze a trail in online sales.

This blog compares Shopify vs. Squarespace with an eye for key differences. That way you can be sure which eCommerce platform is best for your online business.

Table of Contents

The Differences: Shopify vs. Squarespace

Both Shopify and Squarespace are popular website builders for eCommerce. Both platforms have a combined total of nearly 5 million users.

Packing Boxes Shopify vs. Squarespace

Here are the key differences between Shopify vs. Squarespace:

  • Ease of use: Squarespace is easier to use with its drag and drop page editor. This means that elements snap into columns and rows for a more templated layout. Shopify also houses a drag and drop page editor, but offers more sophisticated SEO features and marketing tools, which makes it harder to navigate
  • Features: Both Shopify vs. Squarespace offer apps and plug-ins to help scale your business, but Shopify offers more choice and selection. Shopify offers over 6,000 apps to convert more traffic into sales, while also helping streamline your shipping and fulfillment. Squarespace only offers 1,000 apps, with only a few apps to help boost the shipping and fulfillment process
  • Templates: Shopify offers 9 free modern templates and 64 premium templates that are designed to look stylish and appealing. On the other hand, Squarespace’s sophisticated templates are free with the purchase of your monthly subscription fee
  • Customization: Shopify allows you to customize your site template with custom code. Plus, you can edit the HTML and CSS. Squarespace also allows you to customize the design, however, you need to download a third-party software like Git to edit the raw HTML
  • More ways to sell: Though Shopify and Squarespace allow you to sell on Instagram and Facebook, Shopify offers more platforms to sell on like Amazon, Walmart, Pinterest, and Snapchat.
  • Pricing: Shopify is more expensive than Squarespace, plus you’ll also have to pay for extra transaction fees, credit card processing fees, and any other fees associated with integrating apps with your site. However, both platforms offer a free 14-day trial.
  • Multiple currency support: Shopify supports multiple currencies, which allows for cross-border eCommerce. Unfortunately, Squarespace doesn’t have this feature

Shopify

Ultimately, Shopify is a website builder made especially for eCommerce and has the features to prove it. You can bolster your website with 6,000+ apps and plugins, allowing you to customize your website in any way you like. In effect, you can rig up your site to look and shop like ASOS, Amazon, or any other major eCommerce brand. You also get access to a suite of marketing features to help you reach potential customers. You can expect to pay more per month for Shopify for all this functionality, plus pay fees on each transaction.

Squarespace

Squarespace, by contrast, is a website builder that’s beautiful and easy to use – but for its lack of functionality. This is a great platform for getting started in eCommerce, but you’ll find certain features absent as you try to optimize your cart, shipping, and augment the customer experience. The marketing toolkit also leaves much to be desired for a brand with serious aspirations. But if you’re in eCommerce for a side hustle or just need a basic website, Squarespace definitely has you covered.

The Costs: Shopify vs. Squarespace

Shopify is more expensive than Squarespace but compensates with a bevy of robust features.

As we can see, Basic Shopify is the cheapest plan and costs $29 per month. Plans top out at $299 per month for more advanced eCommerce businesses. On top of higher subscription prices, you’ll also pay extra transaction fees, credit card processing fees, and any other fees associated with integrating apps with your site.

Squarespace plans are considerably cheaper than Shopify, as seen below.

Monthly plans for Squarespace start at $12 per month and top off at $40 per month. Some features include:

  • 24/7 support
  • Customizable templates
  • Mobile-optimized websites
  • Abandoned cart recovery plug-in

The most expensive Shopify plan is $260 more expensive than the top Shopify plan. Shopify’s pricing and sophistication are what sets it apart from Squarespace. Overall, Squarespace is better for smaller and starter businesses, while Shopify accommodates businesses in the market for the most robust features and is willing to pay for them.

The Pros & Cons of Shopify

More than one million businesses in over 175 different countries use Shopify because of the powerful tools the platform offers.

Here’s why people choose Shopify to power their eCommerce business.

Pros

  • Multi-platform selling: It doesn’t matter if you’re selling on Facebook, Instagram, or eBay. Shopify allows you to sell across multiple channels and manage all orders in one centralized hub
  • Supports 100+ payment processors: Choose from multiple built-in payment services that your customers prefer. Amazon Pay, PayPal Express Checkout, Affirm, and BitPay is some of the few payment processors that are offered
  • Advanced SEO: Shopify offers built-in SEO functionality. This makes it easier to edit meta descriptions, alt tags, and more
  • Functionality Shopify has over 6,000 different third-party extensions to help scale your business globally. Apps like Shopify Email, Wave, and Active Campaign can be a great tool to help market and manage your campaigns
  • 24/7 support: You can enjoy 24/7 support if you’re ever having trouble with your online site
  • Free 14-day trial: You can try  Shopify free for 14 days before committing to a monthly subscription plan
  • Shipping integrations: Shopify offers multiple shipping integrations like Easyship to help scale your business globally

Shopify may be favorable for many, but it has its downsides, including:

Cons

  • Higher subscription costs: Shopify is more expensive than Squarespace. The Basic Shopify plan costs $29 per month, the Shopify plan costs $79 per month, and the Advanced Shopify plan costs $299 a month.
  • Pay fees for every add-on: You must pay to use many of the most popular third-party apps on Shopify, including Judge.me for product reviews. Prices can be as low as $5 or as expensive as $99 per month for additional third-party apps
  • High transaction fees: You pay anywhere from 0.5% to 2.0% for transaction fees if you process payments via third-party apps like Stripe, Square, or Paypal. Only Shopify Payments doesn’t incur a charge.

The Pros & Cons of Squarespace

With over 2.5 million websites made with Squarespace, customers trust the website platform to power their eCommerce business. Here’s why people choose Squarespace to build their site.

Pros

  • Simplicity: You can get up and running with Squarespace in short order. If you just need to list a handful of products and maintain a basic storefront, Squarespace is an easy alternative to Shopify.
  • Cheaper: This platform is more affordable than Shopify. Personal plans start at $12 per month while the most advanced commerce plans are $40 per month, a fraction of the cost of Shopify.
  • Built-in analytics: Squarespace plans offer built-in analytic features and SEO optimization tools to help scale your business globally
  • 24/7 Support: Enjoy email support, live chat, plus a full help center too with Squarespace
  • Integrates with shipping software: Integrate in seconds with top shipping platforms like Easyship for fast, easy, and discount-rate shipping.

Cons

  • Limited apps/integrations: Squarespace offers less than 1/20th of the integration of Shopify. You get basics like an email from MailChimp, but you may jones for more sophisticated tools like Google Analytics.
  • Limited functionality: Squarespace offers only basic features with respect to SEO, marketing, and customer experience optimization. If you have high hopes for your storefront, you may be disappointed with your options on Squarespace.
  • No phone support: While Squarespace offers 24/7 support, the platform doesn’t have a direct customer support phone number.

Shipping with Shopify vs. Squarespace

Shipping is an integral part of any eCommerce experience. This means you want your platform to help make shipping easy, and offer shipping integrations that save time and money.

Shipping with Shopify

Shopify offers its users three ways to ship Shopify Shipping, dropshipping, or self-fulfillment shipping.

Shopify Shipping

Ship orders to customers for less when you opt for Shopify shipping. You can start shipping as soon as you get your first order. Get discounted rates, fulfill orders faster, and manage everything in one place with Shopify.

  • Available for orders shipped from fulfillment locations based in the United States, Canada, and Australia, and offers a dedicated network of fulfillment centers to ensure timely deliveries, lower shipping costs, and an overall positive shipping experience
  • Shopify sellers can use Shopify shipping for free
  • Available couriers include USPS, UPS, and DHL in the United States, along with Canada Post in Canada, and Sendle in Australia
  • Benefits include overnight delivery, shipping insurance, package pick-ups, international shipping, and more

Dropshipping

Shopify dropshipping may be a great option for your online business. Rather than keeping items in stock yourself, your customer’s order is transferred to your supplier, who then delivers the item to the customer

  • Takes the stress away from sending your products yourself to customers globally
  • Shopify offers a range of dropshipping apps like Oberlo
  • An economical option for online merchants

Self Shipping

Want to ship solo? Shopify gives users the choice to pick couriers that fit you and your customers’ expectations and budget.

  • Compare and contrast shipping rates (i.e. try our free shipping rates calculator)
  • Integrate with Easyship to seamlessly ship your items and streamline your fulfillment process, plus you’ll save up to 70% off on shipping
  • More control over the shipping and fulfillment process unlike other shipping options

Shipping with Squarespace

Squarespace enables you to ship in several ways, including self-fulfillment, dropshipping, and via third-party logistics partner (3PL).

Self Fulfillment

Choose to pack orders from the comfort of your home or your place of business when you opt for Squarespace’s self-fulfillment shipping service.

  • Easy to add personal touches to your package (i.e. thank you note)
  • Ship with available couriers like UPS
  • Help keep logistic costs lower

Dropshipping

Once the customer places an order, the item is delivered from the manufacturer to the consumer’s address when you opt for dropshipping with Squarespace.

  • An economical option for eCommerce merchants
  • Offers the least control over the fulfillment of an order
  • Longer transit times

Third-Party Logistics Providers (3PLs)

Squarespace allows users to opt for 3PL to outsource their distribution, warehousing, and fulfillment services.

  • 3PL providers control your entire fulfillment process such as managing your inventory
  • 3PLs can help reduce shipping costs, split inventory, access new markets, and more
  • Offers a hands-off approach to the fulfillment process

Takeaway: For smaller businesses, consider opting for self-service shipping. That way it’ll keep logistic costs lower and makes it easier to add those special touches you know your customers love.

Shopify vs. Squarespace with Easyship

Squarespace is your best bet for newbies to eCommerce and smaller businesses. On the contrary, Shopify is an excellent choice for larger eCommerce businesses.

This is because Shopify comes with built-in features and tools for larger businesses scaling globally. Squarespace has some advanced tools and features, but primarily has basic functions for your eCommerce.

Easyship saves you up to 70% shipping rates, especially for international shipping. We integrate with both Shopify and Squarespace so merchants can easily get their online business up and running.

Want to give Easyship a try? Easyship offers up to 50 shipments free per month. Unlock your global growth when you sign up free today.


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