Squarespace vs Shopify: Which should you choose?

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Introduction

Once you’ve decided to build an online store for your business (congrats!), you’ll be hit with a ton of options. It can be a tad overwhelming; trying to sift through the features and figure out which one will work best for you. I’ve put together this guide covering two of the top players (Shopify and Squarespace) to help you narrow down your choice and get to work.

Both companies market themselves as all-in-one website builders - meaning if you’ve got the time and basic tech skills, you can build out a site using one of their pre-made templates. Shopify has pretty much dominated the eCommerce game for years and it’s normally the go-to company but in the past few years, Squarespace has moved into the eCommerce space. Given that Squarespace is known for it’s aesthetically pleasing designs, it’s given Shopify some competition!

The choice ultimately comes down to what you need and where you see your business going.

What do you need them for?

Before you even start thinking about creating a site, you need to ask yourself what the aim of your site will be.

If your business is product-based (like an online clothing company, coffee distributor etc) and you’re looking to expand your company in the future, Shopify is worth consideration. They’ve built their company with a focus on eCommerce, offer more in-depth analytics and more features as standard.

If your business is service-based (like life coaches, yoga studio, blog, or information-focused), Squarespace might be a good fit for you. It’s also worth noting that Squarespace could be good fit for a mix of the above - eg. local businesses looking to sell a few products online.

Before you go signing up for subscriptions left right and centre, there are a few different categories we should look at:

  • Prices

  • Features

  • Template Designs

SQUARESPACE vs SHOPIFY PRICE


For both Shopify and Squarespace, there are a few subscription plans to choose from depending on your needs. To keep things simple, I’ll be comparing Shopify’s Basic package with Squarespace’s Basic Online Store package.

 

SQUARESPACE

Basic Online Store Package:

  • £24 month-to-month (option to be billed in GBP).

  • £20 per month when billed annually.

  • Free Domain with annual payment.

  • No In-House Payment Method.

  • Third Party Payment Method = Stripe/Paypal fees (no additional fees).

SHOPIFY

Basic Shopify Package:

  • $29 month-to-month (only billed in USD).

  • 10% discount when billed annually.

  • Need to Purchase Domain.

  • ‘Shopify Payments’ Credit Card fee = 2.2% + 20p.

  • Third Party Payment Methods = 2% per transaction (+ Stripe/Paypal fee).

 

You can save 20% off your annual Squarespace subscription by working with me (score!).

Transaction fees are more complicated than template choice. Shopify offer their own payment method (Shopify Payments) which comes with a fee of 2.2% + 20p per transaction (on the Basic plan). If the Shopify Payments don’t butter your toast, you can choose to use a third party payment method, like Stripe or Paypal, which comes with a fee of 2% plus the third party fee.

The Squarespace Basic Online Store plan has no processing fees but you’ll need to pay the Stripe or Paypal transaction fees.

SQUARESPACE vs SHOPIFY FEATURES


Since we’re comparing both basic packages, I’ll list the main features below. Bare in mind that the features change depending on which subscription you choose.

 

SQUARESPACE

  • Choose from 20+ Free Template Families.

  • Design-based Templates.

  • Unlimited Bandwidth & Storage.

  • Sell Unlimited Products.

  • Unlimited Site Contributors.

  • Free Domain (eg www.yourshop.com) with Annual Plan.

  • Free SSL Security Certificate.

  • No Abandoned Cart Recovery.

  • Create Discount Codes.

  • No Point of Sale option.

SHOPIFY

  • Choose from 10 Free Templates.

  • eCommerce-based Templates.

  • Unlimited Bandwidth & Storage.

  • Sell Unlimited Products.

  • Limit of 2 Site Contributors.

  • No Free Domain (only yourshop.shopify.com).

  • Free SSL Security Certificate.

  • Abandoned Cart Recovery.

  • Create Discount Codes.

  • Physical Point of Sale option.

 

The main differences between Squarespace and Shopify features are the templates, abandoned checkout and a domain name.

Squarespace are known for their amazingly clean, modern templates. Each one is designed with the ‘web design best practices’ in mind and beautifully built. There are over 20 free Template Families and each family has multiple sub-template designs. Shopify’s templates are designed with eCommerce in mind and you can choose from one of their 10 free designs or purchase one from their template store (from between $140 and $180).

Conclusion

Both Website Builders are powerful and great at what they do and ease to use (even if you’re a techphobe!). Each come with their own features and strengths but ultimately, it comes down to what you want to get out of your website.

Since we’re comparing both basic packages, I’ll list the main features below. Bare in mind that the features change depending on which subscription you choose.

Shopify is still the eCommerce Queen

Squarespace is still the Design Queen.

If you’re looking for a good mix between beautiful templates, ease of use and basic eCommerce features, Squarespace is your best option.

If you’re looking for a powerful eCommerce solution, with point of sale options and multiple integrations, Shopify will be better.

If you’re looking at getting started with Squarespace, I can help!

Lets work together to get the most out of your online business.

Have a good day!

Steve

P.S - If you liked this, I’d really appreciate if you share it (on FB, IG, PT or any other Social Media Acronym you can think of). Thanks!

 
 
 

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