Shopify and Squarespace are two of the most popular e-commerce platforms on the market right now. Both are well-known in the online business world because they make it easy for small business owners to set up an online store or website without having to know how to code. But how do you know if Shopify and Squarespace are the right online store platforms for your business?
First of all, you should know that Shopify and Squarespace were made for different reasons. Shopify was made to help online stores get more customers and make more sales, while Squarespace was made to support the content-based websites of bloggers and influencers. This has caused them to have many different ideas about how to run their businesses.
Before you choose one of them as the platform for your online store, you should do a thorough analysis of what each one offers. Once you’ve done this side-by-side comparison, you’ll have a better idea of which features and price points of these platforms best meet the digital needs of your business.
Know the basics about Shopify vs. Squarespace
Before we compare Shopify and Squarespace, let’s take a look at what they are and how they work in general.
Shopify is a cloud-based commerce platform that makes it easy for business owners to set up and run their own online stores. Shopify is best known for its full-service, scalable e-commerce store solutions, but retail businesses can also process payments themselves with the Shopify POS system and its range of physical POS hardware.
Shopify is without a doubt the leader in the network builder space. The Ottawa-based platform’s hosting site handles $100 billion in total sales. Shopify is currently used by 600,000 businesses around the world, including big companies like Kylie Cosmetics, Red Bull, and Nestle.
Squarespace is another top e-commerce brand with a number of famous entrepreneurs as customers. For example, actors John Malkovich, Keanu Reeves, and Idris Elba all use Squarespace to power or support their websites.
Squarespace is a hosted Content Management System (CMS) that lets you make and manage websites, blogs, portfolios, and online stores. It has a drag-and-drop interface that lets businesses of all kinds make professional websites. Even though Squarespace’s e-commerce store isn’t as complete as Shopify’s, it’s still a good choice for e-commerce businesses that need to start from scratch and build a simple online store.
Shopify vs. Squarespace: Online store builder or e-commerce platform?
Now that you know the basics about the two giants, let’s find out more about how they are different.
Shopify has these features
Shopify’s most important and unique features are:
Shopify has a good number of themes to choose from. There are 9 free templates and 64 more advanced templates that cost between $140 and $180. Shopify themes are used in many different industries, such as electronics, clothing, sports, and beauty products.
All of Shopify’s themes are beautiful, interesting, and work well on mobile devices. Shopify also makes sure that any theme you choose will work well because they are all made by UI-UX (user interface and user experience) experts. You can choose a template for your storefront and then change it to a better one.
Since October 2022, the developers showed us a number of changes to the theme that were made because of what merchants said. You might notice some changes, like new colors, easier-to-understand pictures, and a sharper look. By upgrading to the Shopify theme editor, the platform is making another attempt to speed up the time it takes for themes to load.
Simple to Use
Because Shopify is hosted, it has a very easy-to-use dashboard. It also has a drag-and-drop interface, so you can easily add, remove, or move parts on your own. Shopify also has a clean interface with visual cues and shortcuts for adding products, customizing themes, and adding domains on the home page. So, when you are making your online store, you will never feel lost or confused.
Since the beginning, Shopify has had a good reputation for being easy to set up and run on a daily basis. With Shopify, you can start selling in minutes, even if you don’t know much about building online stores. If you don’t know how to set up the Shopify Store, you can start your business right away by watching this tutorial video.
Through Shopify Payments, you can safely accept all major credit and debit cards. You can also choose to connect your website to more than 100 third-party payment gateways. Shopify’s in-store shopping cart has many features that help you customize and simplify the checkout process for your customers. These features include tax calculations, shipping charges that can be changed, and emails to customers about shopping carts that were abandoned.
Shopify Shipping works with the best shipping companies so that you can offer your customers the lowest shipping rates possible. This in-house service also lets business owners do things like fill orders in bulk, print labels from a phone or computer, and figure out how much shipping will cost.
Marketing & SEO
Shopify’s tools for search engine optimization (SEO) are also very good, so you can be sure that Google, Bing, and other search engines that people have recently used to find content will send people to your site. When you add items to your inventory, they even give you tips on how to do things the best way possible. There are also many apps that can help you improve your SEO and get your products in front of people who want to buy them.
With Shopify, you can use the SEO features that come with it to make your e-commerce site work better. First, Shopify automatically makes titles and descriptions for all products and pages based on what’s on your site. It also makes specification tags and your site map.
Shopify also uses the right names when talking about score SEO elements (specifically, page titles, meta-descriptions, and images instead of text). It’s important to note that Shopify will save you a lot of time because it creates 301 redirects for you automatically when you change your site’s URL.
Dropshipping is the best way to go if you want to start an online store but are worried about keeping track of inventory and making sure orders are filled. Dropshipping lets you ship products to customers all over the world without having to deal with the stress and worry that comes with it.
Instead of keeping certain items in stock, you just take the order and send it to your supplier. Your supplier will then deliver the goods to your customers. This means that your online store is more of a “go-between” in the sales process. It also means you don’t have to keep a big stock of things by yourself.
The best thing about this business model is that it doesn’t require a lot of money to start. Shopify is a much better choice than Squarespace if you want to do dropshipping.
Shopify has its own app store with more than 3,000 apps, where you can find many dropshipping apps that will help you collect inventory and sell it to your customers. One of the most popular dropshipping sites is dropship-empire . With its Supplier Finder, Bulk Orders, Variant Mapping, and other useful features, it will be much easier for a beginner like you to start an online business and fulfill orders.
Squarespace Has These Features
Squarespace’s most important and unique features are:
In fact, Squarespace is mostly a service for hosting blogs. Many Squarespace themes are made for people who want to blog or show off their art, photography, or music portfolios. Because of this, Squarespace may not be as well-suited for e-commerce as Shopify.
But if you pay a monthly subscription fee to Squarespace, you can preview and change the themes for free so that they work for your sales goals.
Simple to Use
Squarespace also has a shopping cart, but it’s not as easy to use as those of its rivals. Squarespace has a section where you can drag and drop content blocks, which makes it easy for new users. But the editor’s home page is hard to get around and doesn’t have any visual clues.
Squarespace’s system takes a little more time to learn for people who are just starting to build an e-commerce site.
Shipping is easy with Squarespace, but the company can’t really compete with Shopify when it comes to e-commerce fulfillment. The number of partnerships Squarespace has with fulfillment companies like UPS is, of course, growing. But Shopify is more advanced because its online business model has been used for a long time.
On the plus side, Squarespace does let you change shipping rates based on things like weight or the country you’re shipping to.
Squarespace is also a great way to keep track of your inventory. It is better and more intuitive than competitors like Weebly and Wix in helping you manage your inventory. When you think about how Squarespace is really just a website builder with built-in e-commerce, this may come as a surprise.
Marketing & SEO
Squarespace gives its users a set of online marketing tools that make it easier for business owners to find out more about their customers and how they act. Squarespace’s content creation field is already set up for SEO, and your site will sync with your social media platforms so that everything is always up to date.
Squarespace also has great tools for email marketing, such as the ability to import site content into draft emails. Its email marketing tools also let you change layouts, content, colors, and fonts. Its analytics tools let you track how people interact with your emails, so you can change your strategy to get the best results. Note that if you choose one of Squarespace’s five email campaign plans, you’ll have to pay an extra $5 to $48 per month.
In December 2019, Squarespace opened its marketplace for add-ons. At the moment, 24 extensions are entirely made by third parties. But some of them are only available in a few countries, so you need to look at the extension’s details page before adding it to your site.
Even though there aren’t many to choose from, each extension is made to help you manage, improve, and grow your site. You can filter by category and choose from four departments: shipping and fulfillment, Finance, inventory and products, and sales and marketing.
Shopify vs Squarespace: Pros & Cons
- Built-in features that are unique. Shopify has a lot of powerful features built in. Most of your technical problems are solved by these features, and you get most of the features that an online store would normally need.
- Service for hosting. When you build your store with Shopify, you can also get a hosted service on a powerful server. This also gets rid of the trouble of having to manage the server and figure out how to keep it running.
- Easy for people to use. Shopify has a user interface that is easy to use and has great design features.
- There are over 3,000 apps in the App Store. Shopify also has a great App Store with a lot of add-ons that you can use to make your site more useful. Many of these are free, while others need you to pay a one-time fee or a monthly fee.
- Shopify doesn’t cost nothing. The fee must be paid every month.
- If you focus on design, you will get a lot of templates that are nice to look at.
- The analytics system lets you keep track of how well your store is doing.
- Blogging is a great tool for your content marketing plan.
- The app store or marketplace only has a small number of add-ons.
- Squarespace only gives you a few ways to pay.
- Not as many ways to sell as with Shopify.
In short, both Squarespace and Shopify are great tools for building e-commerce sites. In terms of features, it’s clear that Shopify is better than Squarespace, but Squarespace is better for blogging and showing off great pictures and graphics. So, the question is, “Which is better, Shopify or Squarespace?” It all depends on what you want and what you need.
Shopify is a great platform for serious sellers, and it’s easy to see why. Your bigger business might do well with Shopify. In general, e-commerce platforms care less about how pretty the site looks and more about how it makes money. They don’t seem to care much about how they look, which is great if your website doesn’t need a design that stands out.