If you’re looking to start an ecommerce business, it’s important to compare the best ecommerce platforms to find the right solution to build your online store. In your research, you will undoubtedly come across comparisons between Shopify vs Squarespace.
In this post, we’ll provide an in-depth comparison of Shopify vs Squarespace including pricing, performance, features, integrations, and more. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of which platform is better suited for your business.
Table Of Contents
- Shopify vs Squarespace Overview
- Shopify vs Squarespace Pros and Cons
- Shopify vs Squarespace Features
- Squarespace vs Shopify Pricing
- Squarespace vs Shopify Ease of Use
- Shopify vs Squarespace Designs and Templates
- Shopify vs Squarespace Marketing
- Shopify vs Squarespace Performance
- Squarespace vs Shopify Apps and Integrations
- Squarespace vs Shopify Customer Support
- Alternatives to Shopify and Squarespace
- Shopify vs Squarespace Conclusion
- Shopify vs Squarespace FAQ
Shopify vs Squarespace Overview
Shopify was founded in 2006 and is based out of Ontario, Canada.
Squarespace was founded in 2003 in Baltimore, Maryland, and is now headquartered in New York City.
While the two platforms are similar in age, they have had slightly different origins. Shopify was designed as a dedicated ecommerce platform from the start and has stuck to its roots.
Squarespace, however, was originally designed as a website builder, focused primarily on creating content sites. While this is still Squarespace’s main use, it has since added ecommerce functionality in the form of its Squarespace Commerce platform.
Shopify and Squarespace Market Share
As one might expect, Shopify is much more popular as an ecommerce platform as it currently powers 20% of all ecommerce stores, second only to WooCommerce. This is around 500,000 active Shopify stores.
Some of the world’s most popular brands use Shopify as their ecommerce platform including:
- Fashion Nova
- Kylie Cosmetics
- MVMT Watches
- Red Bull
There are currently around 100,000 ecommerce stores using Squarespace. The platform is also trusted by many popular businesses around the world including:
- Fast Company
While most of these companies are not ecommerce sellers, the quality of design that motivates them to use the platform is present in the ecommerce solution as well.
Shopify vs Squarespace Pros and Cons
Let’s start this comparison of Shopify vs Squarespace with a review of the pros and cons of each platform.
- Tons of apps available to extend the functionality of your store
- Easy multichannel selling through integrations with Facebook and Instagram
- Solid amount of free and premium themes
- Great 24/7 customer support
- User-friendly interface for managing your store
- Allows for multi-currency selling
- Added transaction fees
- The cost of apps can get expensive
- Rigid URL structure
- Less intuitive page editing
- Attractive designer templates
- Easy to use and powerful page building options
- Great analytics platform for a non-dedicated ecommerce solution
- Solid inventory and order management systems
- Only two payment options available (Paypal and Stripe)
- No app store
- Added transaction fees for Business plan
- Limited selling options
- Plans can get expensive
Shopify vs Squarespace Features
As an online merchant, it’s important for your ecommerce platform to come with plenty of built-in features to help you sell your products. This includes being able to add and edit products, manage your catalog and inventory, process orders, and analyze your performance.
Let’s see how Shopify and Squarespace compare for important features.
Both Shopify and Squarespace allow you to set the following shipping rates:
- Flat rates
- Weight-based rates
- Real-time shipping rates
- Free shipping rates
Shopify comes with support for multiple shipping carriers built into the platform including integrations with UPS, USPS, and DHL. They also make it easy to print shipping labels, integrate with third-party logistics (3PL) providers, and set up dropshipping fulfillment as well.
Squarespace also integrates with three US carrier services in the forms of FedEx, UPS, and USPS, to provide real-time carrier shipping.
If you are using a 3PL service to ship your products, Squarespace offers direct integrations for popular fulfillment options such as ShipStation and ShipBob.
Overall, the shipping capabilities are similar however Shopify provides better discounted live rates and also allows you to offer calculated rates from a wider range of providers.
Shopify makes determining taxes easy by automatically applying the correct tax rules in the United States and Canada.
With Squarespace however, this is a more difficult process as taxes are not automatically calculated and you’ll have to configure all the appropriate settings manually.
Your inventory management system is an important part of your ecommerce system as it allows you to manage stock levels, add new items, and track the status of your orders.
Shopify and Squarespace each offer a robust inventory management system to effectively manage your products. Both support unlimited products, the ability to add individual and bulk items, and provide email notifications for low stock levels.
Shopify’s order management system allows you to easily track the status of any order. You can mark orders as fulfilled and a notification email will go to the customer, and to you if you choose.
You are also able to refund or cancel any order straight from your dashboard and customers will be credited within 10 business days.
With Squarespace, you can easily view, fulfill, cancel, and refund orders straight from the dashboard. You can configure your settings to get notifications for each order and can also download the Squarespace Commerce App to enable push notifications on your phone to receive alerts for new orders.
When you mark an order as fulfilled and add the tracking information, a notification email is automatically sent to the customer.
If you need to refund an order, you can do so from your dashboard and the customer will automatically be refunded. Be aware that transaction fees may not be refunded based on the payment processor used for the order.
Dropshipping is an order fulfillment method allowing merchants to sell products without storing inventory themselves.
If you are looking to start a dropshipping business, Shopify is a much better option than Squarespace.
There are dozens of dropshipping apps available for Shopify that allow to easily add products to your store and sync with dropshipping suppliers. Some of the more popular dropshipping apps include Oberlo, Spocket, and Printful.
Squarespace doesn’t provide this diversity of options. Without an app store, there is much less support for a direct integration between dropshipping suppliers and your Squarespace store.
You can connect your Printful account to Squarespace, so if you are looking to start a print-on-demand dropshipping business, that option is available to you.
Point-of-sale (POS) integration allows you to sell products at a physical location while having your inventory and order management systems synced to your ecommerce platform. Both platforms provide POS integration with their ecommerce plans.
While Squarespace did not originally offer POS support, it has since added the ability for users to sell offline as well. This is done through integration with the Square POS system. There are some limitations though, as sellers only have access to a Square reader as opposed to some of the equipment commonly found with POS systems.
Shopify provides its own POS system that is built to seamlessly sync with your online store including a card reader, a barcode scanner, and a cash drawer. They make it easy to link the hardware for your physical store with your inventory management system so you always have accurate stock levels.
To get the most out of Shopify POS you will need to get the POS add-on which costs $89 per month.
Shopify has the edge over Squarespace in terms of payment processing as they provide support for over 100 payment gateways.
Squarespace only allows for two payment options, Paypal and Stripe. Because sellers can only use Stripe in certain countries, Paypal becomes the sole payment option for many Squarespace users.
When planning the cost of your ecommerce platform, it’s important to factor in transaction and credit card fees.
Credit card fees are a percentage fee of your sales charged by whichever payment gateway you use to process credit card payments. These usually range between 2.6% and 2.9% plus $0.30 based on the payment gateway you use
Transaction fees are an additional percentage fee on your sales charged by your ecommerce platform. Both Squarespace and Shopify charge transaction fees for purchases made on the platform.
Squarespace charges an extra 3% when using their Business plan. If you use the Basic or Advanced Commerce plans you will not have to pay extra transaction fees.
Shopify charges extra transaction fees of 2%, 1%, or 0.5% (based on your plan) for purchases using third-party payment gateways.
You can avoid transaction fees on Shopify by using their native payment gateway, Shopify Payments. You will still have to pay the processing fee based on your payment gateway but you will be able to save up to 2% on every purchase.
Be aware though that Shopify Payments is only available to sellers living in the following countries:
- Hong Kong
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- United States
Product Types and Options
Squarespace and Shopify both allow you to sell physical, digital, and service products. For Squarespace support for all product types comes built-in. For Shopify, you’ll need to download an app to be able to sell digital products.
Both platforms let you apply different attributes to products such as size and color to create multiple variations.
With Shopify, you are able to use 3 product options and 100 variations (for example, combinations of size and color) for each product.
Squarespace provides similar options as you are able to have 100 variants of each product.
Abandoned Cart Recovery
Abandoned cart recovery helps you win back lost sales from visitors who leave your store without completing their purchase. You can use it to send automatic follow-up emails to those visitors to convince them to come back and complete their purchase.
Both Shopify and Squarespace provide support for abandoned cart functionality.
For Shopify, it is available with all plans and the automated follow-up will send one message to visitors.
For Squarespace, abandoned cart recovery is only available with the Advanced Commerce plan. Like Shopify, it will send an automated follow-up message 24 hours after a user abandons their cart.
Reporting and Analytics
Monitoring your ecommerce store’s performance will help you see who is visiting your site and what actions they are taking.
Shopify makes it easy to track your performance with comprehensive insights including:
- Sales reports
- Financial reports
- Customer reports
- Behavior reports
- Acquisition tracking
Squarespace also provides a detailed analytics platform so you can track important metrics like:
- Traffic volume
- Sales by product
- Form conversions
- Purchase funnel
- Traffic Sources
Both platforms also integrate with Google Analytics so you view even more details regarding your store’s performance.
Squarespace vs Shopify Pricing
Pricing plays a big role in choosing the right ecommerce platform as you want to ensure you are getting good value for your money.
Let’s review the prices for Shopify and Squarespace and see how they compare.
- Shopify Lite - $9 per month
- Basic Shopify - $29 per month
- Shopify - $79 per month
- Advanced Shopify - $299 per month
- Shopify Plus - Custom Pricing (Usually starts at $2,000 per month)
Shopify Plus is a large-scale plan catered to enterprise sellers. Prices are determined on an individual basis and you’ll have to contact Shopify directly to get started.
The Shopify Lite plan doesn’t allow you to build a standalone e-commerce store, instead it enables you to sell on social media, add buy buttons to your existing website, and to sell at physical locations.
Shopify offers a 14-day free trial so you can try the platform yourself before you commit.
You can see the complete details of each Shopify plan below.
Squarespace has four types of plans available:
- Personal: $16 per month
- Business: $26 per month
- Basic Commerce: $30 per month
- Advanced Commerce: $46 per month
Be aware that the “Personal” plan does not allow you to sell products and can only be used to create a content site.
All Squarespace business and commerce plans come with unlimited bandwidth and storage, and allow you to sell unlimited products.
Squarespace provides users a 14-day free trial. You can save money off of the prices listed above by purchasing your plan on an annual basis.
Squarespace recently introduced a new plan aimed towards enterprise users named “Squarespace Select” The plan provides a dedicated account manager, priority support along with design and SEO consultations. Pricing is customized for each user and you’ll have to contact Squarespace to get started.
You can see the full details of each Squarespace plan below.
Squarespace vs Shopify Ease of Use
It’s important for your ecommerce platform to be easy to use. This will allow you to build your store quickly as well as make any changes without much difficulty.
Managing Your Online Store
Shopify and Squarespace both use similar interfaces for managing your online stores.
There is a left-hand menu enabling you to navigate to different sections of the platform while the right-hand side of the screen is used to display and edit content, add products, and view data.
With the side menu, both platforms make it easy to check important information such as your inventory, analytics, and store settings.
Building Your Online Store
While the two platforms share similar dashboards, their page editors are quite different.
With Shopify, you edit content in the back-end. The editor is split between a left menu to select and edit blocks of content while the right-hand side shows a preview of the page. To be able to see any changes you’ll first have to save the changes and then reload the page.
The editing interface and dashboard are separate and you cannot work on content and design at the same time. If you want to edit product details you’ll have to do so away from the editor
Building pages with Shopify isn’t the most difficult endeavor but it is definitely more challenging when compared to other ecommerce platforms.
Squarespace provides a cleaner layout for building pages. It has a visual drag-and-drop editor that allows you to drag content blocks and drop them into columns and rows.
There is a wide range of content blocks you can add to pages including buttons, images, email sign-up forms, and much more. There are also plenty of pre-designed sections you can use to make designing your pages easier.
Shopify vs Squarespace Designs and Templates
Squarespace’s main focus is on creating beautiful websites and they offer some of the most attractive designs of any ecommerce platform or website builder.
There are over 100 complimentary templates available, all of which are made by Squarespace and the company provides support for users. Of these templates, eight are designed specifically for ecommerce.
This number may seem small, but Squarespace provides great customization capability so you’ll be able to edit the base templates to make your store look how you want. All templates are responsive meaning your web pages will automatically adapt to fit the users’ screen on any device.
Shopify has a much larger selection of ecommerce themes with over 100 templates available dedicated solely to selling online. Of these templates, 11 are free and the rest are premium. Premium themes tend to run between $140 and $180.
All Shopify themes are responsive and will perform well on mobile devices. They are also highly customizable, allowing you to mold the base template to your liking.
The theme store is neatly organized and makes it easy to search for templates based on your particular needs.
Shopify vs Squarespace Marketing
Designing a beautiful store is just the beginning. If you want a steady amount of sales you will need to market your products.
Both Shopify and Squarespace come with built-in features to help you get your products in front of your target audience.
Let’s take a look at the primary marketing features provided by each.
Both Shopify and Squarespace allow users to create email campaigns to send messages to their subscribers.
For Squarespace, there is an add-on called Email Campaigns that allows you to send up to 50,000 campaigns per month. You can start with a free trial and then it is $8 per month.
Shopify allows you to create email campaigns straight from your admin page as part of your plan.
While both platforms provide native email support, to get the most of your email marketing it is better to use a dedicated email marketing service.
Each platform integrates with third-party email providers and allows you to place sign up forms on your site and then push subscribers to your list within your email marketing solution.
When you sign up for a Squarespace Commerce plan, you’ll get Mailchimp integration for your site out of the box.
Both platforms provide the ability to improve your website’s SEO but could improve in this area.
Squarespace offers some basic options for improving your SEO including editing meta titles and descriptions.
Shopify provides more options for improving the SEO of your ecommerce website. Along with being able to handle the basics such as adding metadata and alt tags, you also receive advice on SEO best practices when you add products to your store.
Shopify also has the added advantage of its app store which features plenty of apps to further improve the SEO of your online store.
Be aware that both platforms have a rigid URL structure and only allow limited customization for your permalinks. Both platforms add prefixes to URLs that you cannot remove. This can impact SEO as Google prefers clean and concise URLs.
For example, Shopify adds /page, /collection, and /product to general pages, category pages, and product pages respectively.
Also, Squarespace doesn’t automatically create 301 redirects when you change a page URL. To ensure that you don’t have any broken links you’ll have to manually create a 301 redirect pointing users to the correct page.
Blogs allow you to provide valuable content to help strengthen your connection with your target audience.
Squarespace’s blogging module is a little stronger than Shopify’s. It provides all the essential features needed to build a great blog including archive functionality and a search feature.
Shopify’s blog is more limited as it does not support RSS feeds and you are unable to create true categories for your posts.
Shopify vs Squarespace Performance
You can design the best-looking website and run the greatest marketing campaigns but if your site doesn’t perform well it won’t make much difference. This means your ecommerce platform should provide constant server uptime, fast load times, and state of the art security.
Fast loading pages are essential to your ecommerce business as customers will leave without buying if your website is too slow.
Both Shopify and Squarespace provide a great user experience with fast loading websites featuring responsive, mobile-friendly designs that perform well on all devices.
Shopify and Squarespace are each very secure as both are PCI-DSS compliant — a security standard for companies and organizations that handle payment information from consumers.
Both platforms also come with a free SSL certificate that you can use for your website to establish an encrypted link between web servers and browsers to ensure all data remains secure.
Squarespace vs Shopify Apps and Integrations
Apps and integrations provide useful features and allow you to further expand the functionality of your ecommerce store.
There isn’t much comparison to be had in this area as Squarespace doesn’t provide an app store.
Shopify on the other hand offers the best app store of any ecommerce platform. There are over 2,000 apps available to help you improve marketing, boost conversions, optimize SEO, and so much more. Some of the apps are free while others are premium apps and will require a monthly fee.
Both platforms provide plenty of integrations with other third-party solutions. This includes social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest as well as email marketing services like Mailchimp.
You can also connect useful Google properties such as Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Ads, and G Suite.
Squarespace vs Shopify Customer Support
Quality customer support is important to ensure that your store is running smoothly at all times. Shopify has a slight edge over Squarespace as it provides 24/7 customer support via live chat, email, and phone.
Squarespace also offers support via live chat and email, but they don’t provide phone support.
You’ll want to consider which types of support are a better option for you when evaluating platforms. Being able to talk to someone on the phone can be incredibly helpful when needing to resolve an immediate issue with your site.
Both platforms require users to search for a solution to their problem through a knowledge base of common issues before receiving direct contact information.
Alternatives to Shopify and Squarespace
If neither Squarespace or Shopify are to your liking, there are plenty of alternative ecommerce solutions available. Here are some of the most popular options:
Wix is another website builder that has recently added the ability to sell products through an ecommerce platform.
When compared to Shopify and Squarespace it provides a greater ease of use when building web pages and is also less expensive.
It does come with less ecommerce features than Shopify and Squarespace.
If you’re looking for a simple ecommerce store and the ability to customize pages with ease, it could be a solid option for you. We have prepared a detailed comparison between Shopify and Wix so you can examine the differences further.
You’ll need a premium plan to sell products with Wix. You can get started with a 14-day free trial.
BigCommerce is a hosted ecommerce platform similar to Shopify. It offers the most extensive set of built-in features provided by any ecommerce solution and provides some of the best SEO capabilities as well.
BigCommerce offers an extensive app store with hundreds of apps available to improve your store even more.
One drawback of BigCommerce is selling limits with each plan. If you want to scale your business you’ll need to plan accordingly.
Pricing is similar to Shopify’s with the base plan starting at $29 per month. Like Shopify and Squarespace, BigCommerce offers a 14-day free trial to let you see if it is right for you.
WooCommerce is an open-source ecommerce platform built on the WordPress CMS. There are many benefits to using this open-source platform, notably that it is free and it allows for unlimited customization. You will have to pay for web hosting, however, as it is not a hosted solution like Shopify or Squarespace.
The platform does require a bit of technical know-how to be able to unleash its full potential. Because it is a self-hosted solution, you won’t have the dedicated customer support offered from Shopify or Squarespace.
Shopify vs Squarespace Conclusion
Shopify offers a more robust set of ecommerce features. It also has the added bonus of a massive app store for increasing the functionality of your online store even more.
If you’re looking for content or attractive designs to be the main focus of your site, then Squarespace is the better option for you. It provides a greater level of customization when it comes to design, and its page builder is easier for most people to use.
Overall, both platforms are strong options for building and managing your ecommerce store.
Here is a list of the reasons why you may want to choose one platform over the other.
Why Choose Shopify Over Squarespace
- Shopify offers a massive app store that sellers can use to extend the functionality of their stores even more.
- Shopify provides more comprehensive point-of-sale options than Squarespace.
- Shopify supports multi-currency selling while Squarespace does not.
- The platform offers slightly better SEO features.
Why Choose Squarespace Over Shopify
- Squarespace is easier to use when designing web pages.
- You get access to higher-quality free templates.
- Blogging features are better in Squarespace than Shopify.
Shopify vs Squarespace FAQ
Is Shopify better than Squarespace?
Shopify has the edge when it comes to ecommerce functionality. It offers a more robust set of ecommerce features making it easier to manage your catalog and sell your products online. It also provides the best app store of any ecommerce platform to improve the functionality even more whereas Squarespace does not have an app store at all.
However, Squarespace is a better option for building web pages as it offers more attractive designs and a more intuitive editing interface.
Can you use Shopify with Squarespace?
Yes, you can make the best of both platforms by using Shopify and Squarespace together. This is done by adding the Shopify Buy Button to your Squarespace site which will enable customers to buy products directly from your Squarespace site while you handle the orders within Shopify. To use Shopify with Squarespace you will need a Shopify Lite plan.
Is Squarespace good for ecommerce?
Squarespace is a viable option for building and managing your ecommerce store. It offers some of the most attractive designs of any website building solution and features a powerful and easy to use page building setup. It also offers strong ecommerce features including inventory and order management along with detailed analytics and reporting.