Ready to create your online store and hesitating between Shopify and Squarespace? You are not alone! Both platforms are popular and offer complete solutions for e-commerce entrepreneurs. Even if you’re looking for free alternatives to Shopify, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of these paid platforms before making your choice.
In this article, we’ll compare Shopify and Squarespace in detail to help you make the best choice for your business, based on your needs and budget. We’ll discuss the pricing, e-commerce features, sales options, design, and support offered by these two e-commerce giants.
Shopify or Squarespace: Overview of the two platforms
Launched in 2006, Shopify is a dedicated e-commerce platform used by more than one million businesses in 175 countries. It offers a turnkey solution to create, manage and grow an online store. Shopify is known for its ease of use, extensive e-commerce functionality and wide range of third-party applications.
The platform allows for integration of different sales models, such as social networks, marketplaces, and physical retail outlets. Shopify also offers tools for marketing, sales analytics and inventory management.
With a user-friendly and intuitive interface, entrepreneurs can quickly create a high-performance e-commerce site without advanced technical skills.
Founded in 2003, Squarespace was initially a website creation platform focused on design and aesthetics. It has been offering integrated e-commerce features since 2013, allowing businesses to sell their products and services online. Squarespace is known for its elegant templates, ease of use and content creation tools.
The platform offers a drag-and-drop website editor, making it easy to customize pages and set up image galleries, videos and text blocks. Squarespace also supports integration of blogs, portfolios, and contact forms.
Although Squarespace’s e-commerce features are less extensive than Shopify’s, they are perfect for small and medium-sized businesses that want to create an aesthetically appealing site with built-in sales options.
Pricing : Squarespace vs Shopify
Shopify offers three main packages tailored to different needs and budgets:
Basic Shopify at $29/month (for yearly billing)
Perfect for entrepreneurs who are starting their online store. This package includes 2 team accounts, social media integration, unlimited product additions, marketing tools and a 2% transaction fee for external payment gateways.
Shopify at $79/month (for yearly billing)
Designed for growing businesses, this package includes 5 team accounts, professional reporting, domestic and international shipping calculated by third-party carriers, and a 1% transaction fee for external payment gateways.
Advanced Shopify at $299/month (for yearly billing)
Ideal for established businesses. This package offers 15 team accounts, advanced reporting, preferred shipping rates and a 0.5% transaction fee for external payment gateways.
Shopify also offers a $5/month “Starter” package for selling on social networks such as Facebook and a “Shopify Plus” package for large businesses, with quoted rates.
All packages include a 3-day free trial, then $1/month for the first 3 months. However, through our collaboration with Shopify, enjoy the e-commerce platform for 90 days for only $1.
Create your Shopify store for only $1 during 90 days
And if you want to know more about Shopify, we have dedicated a full article evaluating the e-commerce platform, feel free to check it out!
Squarespace offers two e-commerce packages suitable for businesses of different sizes:
Basic Commerce at $27/month (annual billing) or $33/month (monthly billing)
This package includes unlimited products, inventory management, marketing tools, social media integration and a 3% transaction fee on sales.
Advanced Commerce at $49/month (annual billing) or $65/month (monthly billing)
Designed for growing businesses, this package includes additional features such as subscriptions, gift cards, shipping discounts and 0% low transaction fees.
Squarespace’s e-commerce packages also include a free domain for one year with annual subscription.
Squarespace offers a 14-day free trial with no commitment.
Shopify vs Squarespace cost comparison chart
|Features||Basic Shopify||Shopify||Advanced Shopify||Squarespace Basic Commerce||Squarespace Advanced Commerce|
|Number of products||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Calculation of shipments||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes (reduced rates)|
|Free Trial||3 days + $1/month for the first 3 months||3 days + $1/month for the first 3 months||3 days + $1/month for the first 3 months||14 days||14 days|
When you compare costs, Squarespace offers more economical rates for small businesses, whereas Shopify can be more beneficial for businesses with specific needs, thanks to its third-party apps and advanced shipping options.
E-commerce features : Squarespace Ecommerce vs Shopify
Shopify and Squarespace offer a range of features to help businesses create and manage their online store. Let’s take a look at the main e-commerce features of each platform.
Shopify allows you to add an unlimited number of products and variants, organize products into collections and manage inventory.
Shopify offers flexible shipping options, with real-time pricing, shipping labels and shipping discounts for certain packages. Businesses can also set up custom shipping zones and rates.
Third party applications
The Shopify app store offers thousands of apps to extend your store’s functionality, including marketing, inventory management, customer support and SEO tools.
Shopify offers built-in marketing tools, such as creating ad campaigns, discount codes, gift cards and SEO optimization.
The platform provides detailed sales reports, traffic analytics and product performance information.
Squarespace also allows you to add an unlimited number of products and variants, organize products into categories and manage inventory.
Squarespace offers similar shipping options to Shopify, including real-time pricing, shipping labels, and the ability to set up custom shipping zones and rates.
Squarespace offers a limited number of extensions to expand your store’s functionality, including inventory management, customer support and marketing tools.
Squarespace offers similar marketing tools to Shopify, such as creating ad campaigns, discount codes, gift cards, and SEO optimization.
Squarespace also provides sales reports and traffic analytics, although less detailed than Shopify’s.
Selling on Squarespace vs Shopify : Integrations and payment options
Payment options and sales integrations are crucial to the success of an online store. Let’s compare Shopify vs Squarespace offerings in terms of integrations and payment gateways.
Shopify offers a multitude of sales integrations, allowing merchants to sell on various platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, and eBay. Integrations with third-party apps also help automate and manage sales and inventory.
Payment gateways :
Shopify supports over 100 payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe, and Shopify Payments (available in select countries). Shopify Payments eliminates transaction fees for premium plans and offers discounted rates for basic plans.
Shopify allows merchants to accept payments in multiple currencies, making it easier to sell internationally.
Unlike Shopify, Squarespace doesn’t offer as many social media or marketplace sales integrations. The platform primarily focuses on selling via your website and physical retail outlets. However, Squarespace does support integration with Instagram to make shopping via that platform easier.
Payment gateways :
Squarespace offers fewer payment gateway options compared to Shopify, being limited to Stripe and PayPal. While these two gateways are widely accepted, this could be a drawback for merchants who want to offer other payment options to their customers.
Squarespace also allows you to accept payments in multiple currencies.
Design and customization: difference between Shopify and Squarespace
- Shopify offers over 70 themes, including a selection of free and premium themes. Themes are designed to be responsive, adapting to all types of devices.
- The platform offers a visual editor to customize themes, allowing you to change colors, fonts, and layouts without needing coding skills.
- For more experienced users, Shopify allows access and edit HTML, CSS and Liquid for advanced customization.
- Squarespace is known for its elegant and modern designs. The platform offers a collection of over 60 responsive and professional themes.
- Squarespace’s visual editor, called the “Layout Engine”, allows for customization of themes using content blocks and pre-designed sections. Colors, fonts, and layouts can be changed without coding skills.
- Squarespace also offers access to CSS code for advanced customization, but access to HTML code is limited, offering less flexibility than Shopify for experienced users.
Support and resources: Difference between Shopify and Squarespace
Customer support is an important aspect when choosing an e-commerce platform. Both platforms, Shopify vs Squarespace, offer various resources to help merchants solve problems and grow their online businesses.
Shopify stands out for its customer support 24/7 via live chat, phone and email, offering fast and responsive support. In addition, users can consult the guides, tutorials, and forums of Shopify’s knowledge base. The Shopify Plus packages offer a dedicated account manager for personalized assistance.
Squarespace, on the other hand, offers customer support via email and live chat, with limited hours of availability for live chat. However, the platform makes up for this by providing a comprehensive knowledge base, including guides, video tutorials and webinars to help users create and manage their store.
Feature comparison chart: Shopify vs. Squarespace
The choice between Shopify vs Squarespace depends on your needs and your priorities in e-commerce. Shopify is a robust and comprehensive e-commerce solution, offering great flexibility and advanced integrations. It is particularly suited for businesses that are looking for a specialized e-commerce platform and want to extend their functionality with third-party applications.
Squarespace, on the other hand, shines with its elegant design and intuitive visual editor. It’s best suited for businesses that value the aesthetics of their website and don’t need as many advanced integrations as Shopify.
The choice will depend on your user profile and your business objectives. Take the time to read our comparison and don’t hesitate to read the customer reviews. You will then be able to choose between Shopify vs Squarespace.
Shopify or Squarespace: which is cheaper?
Squarespace generally costs less than Shopify, especially for smaller merchants, thanks to its more affordable pricing plans and no transaction fees on its own payment gateways.
Is Shopify better than Squarespace?
Shopify is often considered better than Squarespace in terms of e-commerce features, integrations, and payment gateways available.