November 16, 2021

Shopify or Squarespace - Which Is Right for Your Business?

Maksim

Shopify Expert, UX/UI Designer, Logo Design

11

min read

This review will interest those:

  • who want to get the difference between the two popular Shopify and Squarespace builders;
  • who want to choose the most profitable builder for their businesses;
  • who are aware of the innovative eCommerce technologies.

Several differences between Shopify and Squarespace

  • Shopify Review;
  • Squarespace Review;
  • Shopify and Squarespace: key features.

eCommerce market is expanding every day as well as the technical implementation of software solutions. This review will introduce you to the two most popular platforms.

Shopify Review

Shopify is a platform for creating websites, focused on maintaining multi-channel trading through online stores, mobile apps and social networks. A large number of integration(MailChimp, Google Analytics, Wix, Twitter, Facebook, QuickBooks, Zapier, WordPress) significantly expand the functionality of the builder and makes it possible to deeply configure the management, which allows you to create customized solutions for various online stores.

Shopify is focused on online stores, but there is an opportunity to create selling landings, longreads, which make the builder functional not only for business. It will also be of interest to large companies, freelancers as well as to the representatives of small and medium-sized businesses in the sphere of retail trade and services. You can test the capacity of the builder using the Shopify test period. This test period lasts for 14 days. After the expiration of the trial period, Shopify managers will offer you to switch to a paid tariff plan.

Squarespace Review

Squarespace is an eCommerce builder focused on creating blogs and portfolios. It is also a commercial site for the sales of goods and services, including digital ones. Is Squarespace good for eCommerce? The constructor does not require special knowledge in the building of sites and is intuitively clear for understanding.

On the basis of Squarespace, you can build online stores, landings and visiting websites that will interest freelancers, individual entrepreneurs, representatives of SME in trade and services. There is no Russian version. For more detailed information about the functionality of the system, a trial period of two weeks is provided.

Shopify and Squarespace: key features

Comparing pricing between Shopify and Squarespace

Despite the higher monthly cost of the Shopify builder (from $ 30 to $ 300), you get more functional capacity than Squarespace can demonstrate. The month of using the Squarespace builder will cost you from $ 12 up to $ 40.

eCommerce business requires builder’s non-standard solutions. Often there is a need to use pop-up subscriptions, non-standard blocks for a competitive presentation of the product. In this case, the advanced features of the template, such as premium blocks, customizable code, pop-ups can be helpful.

It should be borne in mind that in Squarespace a number of functions are available only for a business package, which costs from $ 18 per month ($ 6 more than a personal package). Such functions are:

  • promotional Pop-Ups (advertising pop-ups);
  • premium blocks and integrations (premium blocks and integration);
  • complete customization through CSS and JavaScript (customization via CSS and JavaScript).

If we compare the Squarespace to the Shopify builder as to these functions, we can notice the following:

  • pop-ups in Shopify can be connected via a third-party free application;
  • premium blocks can be accessed in the main themes of Shopify;
  • the customizable code in Shopify is present by default.

Although, in Shopify builder the subscription price does not affect the selected template. The choice of a builder depends less on the price than on what functions you need to make your decisions.

Challenges of Shopify

Like any system out there, Shopify has its challenges and issues. Forewarned is forearmed, so you should learn these differences before deciding which e-commerce platform to choose: Shopify or Squarespace.

The most common challenges of Shopify are:

  • ERP Integration
  • Multi-Channel Integration
  • Managing Marketplaces

Let’s review each of them in more detail.

ERP Integration

With Shopify ERP integration, you can integrate your sales channels and automate processes to fulfill orders and create flawless customer experiences on various touchpoints. Recently, Shopify has announced its global ERP program. It enables selecting Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) partners to build direct integrations into the Shopify App Store. It provides the following features:

  • Seamless connections between workflows, so merchants will get accurate, up-to-date data on their inventory, products, orders, and customer information.
  • Full data control, so merchants can ensure proprietary data will seamlessly and securely flow directly between their Shopify admin and their ERP
  • The ability to save time and money because there is no more need for customized implementations.

Multi-Channel Integration

Here are the main challenges you can face when dealing with multi-channel integration in Shopify vs Squarespace

  • When scaling the platforms and increasing the number of websites where you sell your products, you’ll probably run into is inventory tracking and forecasting issues. For this purpose, Shopify provides a tracking inventory’ feature that lets you hide out-of-stock items automatically.
  • Each channel requires a different pricing strategy. In this case, Shopify lets you adjust the prices for each channel you're selling on.

Another challenge in our Squarespace commerce vs Shopify review is managing marketplaces.

Managing Marketplaces

Managing the marketplace is a real challenge as you have to deal with different types of platforms, customers, and sellers. When you run a marketplace on Shopify, you need to remember the following:

  • You need different apps and plugins to activate the necessary features for your marketplace, which can make it work slower than expected
  • As you need a lot of add-ons and plugins, they can conflict with each other and lead to the performance errors
  • You’ll need to pay approximately $20-$500 per extension, which can be expensive if you need a lot of them
  • Shopify doesn’t provide support for Shopify apps, and if any issues arise, you need to contact the app developers.

Challenges of Squarespace

Shopify or Squarespace? Now it’s time to learn the main challenges of Squarespace.

  • Web Design Experience
  • Bad SEO
  • Your Site Isn’t Transferrable

Let’s dig deeper into them.

Web Design Experience

Shopify has limited customization options when it comes to web design experience. It allows you to change certain parts of its functionalities, and you have less control over template customization. Editing pages can also be difficult because everything needs to be dragged and dropped into place, but most of the time, all of the other blocks will shift during editing.

Bad SEO

SEO optimization is crucial for your website, especially for Shopify vs Squarespace in the e-commerce industry. You need your product categories and products themselves to be visible and easily searched for. That’s why the e-commerce platform you choose should be SEO-optimized.

Unfortunately,  the websites built using Shopify versus Squarespace and the likes of this platform are not ranking well, so it may be very difficult to optimize them for search engines.  One of the problems is that Squarespace uses the “Site Meta Description” for any page or post where you don't specify a different meta description. In such a way, Site Meta Description is almost always applied to multiple pages of your site. Also, Squarespace does not offer a clear place for image alt text.

Your Site Isn’t Transferrable

There are several Squarespace plugins/integrations you can use to add membership functionality to your website but to keep them secure; you’ll have to keep your content on another site. Squarespace doesn't make for a very good membership and site that is easy to transfer right out of the box.

Now let’s learn more about the difference between Squarespace and Shopify.

Squarespace or Shopify? Observations of the expert

Registration

Registration on squarespace.com takes place in three simple steps:

  • Click the button "Create a site"  in the upper right corner of the site.
  • Then we get to the template selection page for your online shop. For convenience, there is a search by name, and all templates are grouped by category. Click on the selected template and wait for a few seconds.
  • The account registration page pops up next, there you enter Your First and Last Name, E-mail and password. So, your store has just been created, and it is ready to function. To configure the template, go to the "Design" menu.
create an online store with squarespace

For Shopify registration go to shopify.com:

  • Click on the button Get Started and fill in the fields with the appropriate information: e-mail, password and the name of your online store.
create a Shopify online store
  • Next, we go to the page where you are asked to indicate how you sell the goods, as well as your current income.
  • On the next pop-up window, you need to fill out your contact information.
Shopify admin panel

If you want the design of your online Shopify store look more beautiful and individual, then don’t hesitate to go to the admin panel.

Onboarding-process

First, let us consider what onboarding is. Onboarding is a process of advertising the basic value of your product to the new users. The goal of onboarding is to turn the new customers into loyal users. Well-built onboarding allows you to form a strong relationship with the audience.

launch a Squarespace online store

Squarespace onboarding

Right after the welcome window, highlights such key functions as:

  • selecting a site category (Who is this site for?);
  • the content of the site (What is this site about?);
  • site objectives (What are your goals for this site?);
  • site name (Please fill a title for your website).

Shopify onboarding

Allows you to specify the correct direction of the setting, starting with:

  • customization of your store’s interface;
  • adding a product to your store;
  • registration of a user's website address.

Our expert did not indicate the differences in onboarding of these two builders, they are both simple and intuitive in use.

Choosing the templates

To choose between Shopify and Squarespace you should know that in Shopify there are 10 free templates.

You can immediately change the fonts and colors, favicon (the icon of the website or web page that is displayed by the browser in the tab before the page name, and as the image next to the bookmark, tabs and other elements of the interface).

Squarespace has a large selection of templates for the free trial. When creating a site, you can add pages and page components. To add a product, you need to create a product page. It is convenient to change the color, font and font size. You can create a logo using https://www.squarespace.com/logo (an icon of a simple image and company name), but you'll have to give $ 10 payment for it.

NOTA BENE: The themes of Shopify are eCommerce oriented, so in free themes, you will find ready-made working structures of product blocks, promo sections, which cannot be provided by Squarespace.

Advanced design

In Shopify there are advanced design settings by the template. The ability to additionally add sections, such as a collection list, a selected collection, a gallery, an image with text, an overlay image, a list of logos, a slide show, a selected product, a newsletter, a map, rich text blocks, reviews, text columns with images, user-generated content.

advanced design settings in Shopify

Squarespace also has advanced design settings by the template. In addition, it is possible to add a video banner. Moreover, it has an ability to add text, image, video, buttons, and audio. The builder offers various solutions for the Image Layout (poster, map, overlay, collage, stack), Galleries (slideshow, carousel, grid, stack), Filters and lists (search, link to content, tag cloud, archive), Graphs (histogram, pie chart, linear chart). In the Premium (paid) mode, there are also code, menu, OpenTable, Amazon.

Adding goods

Squarespace eCommerce vs Shopify have practically no differences. You can add items with the help of a ready-made template.

The ability to add the following information to Shopify

  • Title;
  • Description;
  • Images;
  • Price (price comparison);
  • Reference;
  • Information for the shipment of goods;
  • Product Variants;
  • Preview in search systems (SEO function);
  • Product type and store;
  • Collection;
  • Tags.

Adding the product to Squarespace

You can add the following:

  • Title;
  • Image;
  • Price (comparison);
  • Description;
  • Category;
  • Tags;
  • Characteristics (weight, number, size), can be added with other features;
  • Creating a form (the form of the product, which the buyers will be asked to fill out when adding this product to the cart);
  • Social networks.

Choosing between Shopify and Squarespace

Take a look at this table to compare Shopify and Squarespace

Conclusion

To summarize the review about Squarespace eCommerce vs. Shopify,  we should note that the Squarespace service is cheaper and easier to use; the settings allow you to integrate this service into all available platforms. Shopify is a platform that provides a store service that hosts 1 to 20,000 products, with an emphasis on server optimization, data protection, and optimization of the eCommerce process, unlike Squarespace, which is a platform for 1-10 products, with an emphasis on blogging.

Shopify or Squarespace for a small business? A distinctive feature of Shopify is that this builder allows you to implement many special solutions and functions that will allow you to fully and flexibly maintain your business. If none of the presented constructors has pleased you, we recommend that you read the review about other existing eCommerce solutions. For example, Shopify vs. Magento: Which eCommerce Platform is the Best Choice?

The MakeBeCool company offers you a group of experts who manage both Shopify and Squarespace eCommerce projects of any complexity. MakeBeCool - Shopify development company provides quality services, the result of which can exceed even your best expectations.

Share this blog post

Share with us your idea

Our Shopify Consultant will help you determine the ways of increasing professional growth

Related articles

Let’s discuss

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.