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April 01, 2023
Discover the key pros and cons for each e-commerce platform with this Shopify vs. Squarespace comparison. Both offer robust functionality to in-person and online sellers, but differences in features make one or the other best for your business.
Shopify vs. Squarespace, e-commerce platform, online sellers, e-commerce platforms,
Whether you have a brick-and-mortar location in mind or intend to operate solely on the internet, having an online presence matters more than you may realize. Potential customers often visit a store or service provider's website before actually visiting the location, so a big part of achieving the consumer base you desire comes down to promoting your business online.
Fortunately, creating an online presence and getting your business online is a lot more simple with e-commerce platforms like Shopify and Squarespace in your corner, but which one is best for your specific needs? The short answer is that Shopify usually works better for online sellers, while Squarespace generally wins out for businesses providing in-person services.
With that in mind, we've laid out the features, usability aspects, and costs of each to help you compare Shopify vs. Squarespace. Learn more about where these e-commerce platforms excel and falter and how they can help you grow your business and expand your online brand.
When you want to sell both online and in-person, Shopify has you covered. With sales equivalent to 10% of all e-commerce in the U.S., Shopify serves over a million merchants in over 170 countries, handling $444 billion in sales annually as of 2023. If you're considering using Shopify to enhance your online or brick-and-mortar business, here are the advantages and disadvantages of this popular e-commerce platform.
Shopify excels at customer service, whether you're setting up your website or has an established shop, with 24/7 support offered via phone, email, and chat. Likewise, this e-commerce platform provides online sellers unlimited listings, allowing merchants to test pricing and marketing to see what works best in various situations. Another checkmark in the Shopify column is the e-commerce platform's ability to integrate with over 6,000 specialty apps that aid you shop personalization. Likewise, tools within Shopify, including excellent SEO options, offer help with everything from marketing and branding to maintaining your customer lists.
One key area where Shopify falters is its pricing structure. Annual billing may price some smaller online sellers out of using this e-commerce platform, especially when they need Advanced Plan functionality. Also, whether or not your shop makes sales in any given month, you still have to pay the monthly price for the plan you selected. Transaction fees on top of monthly fees also give some online sellers pause about using this platform. And while Shopify has robust analytics, these features don't apply to blogs, which may hinder tracking.
Pricing that's clear plus three levels of service make merchants around the world happy to use Shopify as their choice in e-commerce platforms. Billed annually, Shopify's three price plans enable sellers to select exactly what they need at a budget-friendly price point.
If you're a new online seller and don't know exactly what you need when it comes to an e-commerce platform, consider Ultrafade's Shopify free trial. This e-commerce platform does give newbies a 14-day free trial, but it also charges you after that period ends, whether you've set up your online shop or not. With our offer, however, Shopify provides unlimited time for your business to launch so you're not stuck if you need to wait for your grand opening. Additionally, Ultrafade helps you bootstrap your online ship with our free preparing-to-launch training.
While Squarespace is considered an e-commerce platform, it's more of a website builder with e-commerce capabilities. Designed around those selling in-person services and online member content, Squarespace also lets you sell actual goods in your online store, with options for analytic reporting.
Squarespace may be a better choice for your small business if you focus more on selling services and digital goods. Online appointment booking functionality lets you publish availability calendars on Squarespace, with customers requesting open times seamlessly. Notifications arrive with each booking, and you can even synchronize the calendar with digital calendars on other devices. Options for setting up intake forms to send out to customers when they book provide you with more information before each appointment. This feature also sends out appointment reminders to help you avoid no-shows.
Squarespace also allows seamless sales of digital content — something Shopify only offers via its Digital Downloads app. This feature lets you set up a members-only area on your website, which provides access to premium content such as exclusive content like articles, videos, courses, and even coaching sessions. Designed to work effortlessly with the appointment booking feature, this walled garden approach keeps you on track.
The main place Squarespace falters is in its payment processing capabilities. While this e-commerce platform accepts credit card payments via Stripe and Paypal, it doesn't support Apple Pay or other third-party providers like WePay. Likewise, while Shopify offers shipping discounts, Squarespace only allows for charging standard rates when shipping physical goods. Also, you need to add Square service to your Squarespace account when you want to accept credit cards at a physical location.
Squarespace has four levels of merchant pricing, depending on what you need for your business. Keep in mind that Squarespace pricing doesn't require merchants to pay a percentage of sales or transaction fees — all their rates are all-inclusive for the services you select. These include:
Both Shopify and Squarespace offer merchants a whole host of convenient features for their online stores, but the former works better for those selling physical goods, while the latter works better for those selling in-person services or digital goods. Use this comparison to decide which e-commerce platform is best for your business.