Though Shopify and Squarespace aren’t directly comparable in the context of eCommerce, we’re going to compare these two platforms in this article, since we’re often asked which of them is the best solution.
In order to find out which site builder will work best for your business, first you need to define your current needs and whether you plan to grow your biz in the future, because despite the shared goal – to help you bring your business online – Shopify and Squarespace have different user markets, approaches and purposes.
First things first, Shopify is a leading player in the industry, and Squarespace is a rising star, as its Commerce was released only about three years ago, and is currently only available in its full version in the U.S., the U.K., Canada and 7 other countries.
Squarespace was originally offered as a portfolio/blogging web publishing platform, and eCommerce capabilities have been added only recently. Therefore, the eCommerce functionality currently offered by the builder is pretty limited.
For instance, as a Squarespace user, you can only use Stripe as your payment processor (at least at the moment of writing this post).
Nevertheless, Squarespace offers enough features to help you set up a simple online store:
- Unlimited products (on the all proposed plans).
- Digital and physical goods.
- Post-checkout code injection that lets you track customer activity using a marketing pixel.
- Flexible products variants.
- Xero integration.
- Coupons, taxes, shipping.
The only problem is that eCommerce isn’t Squarespace’s first concern – the online store comes as an add-on, not the primary functionality.
Shopify is completely different – it’s exclusively built around eCommerce. Being a feature-heavy commerce platform that offers deep customization and flexibility, Shopify is better suited to established commerce businesses who have been running for a year or so and get enough income to justify costs.
Shopify is much expensive than Squarespace with Advenced Pricing plan, and almost equals in Basic one version (comparing to Squarespace eCommerce plans).
Whether you want to build a large international online store, set up a point-of-sale terminal with your iPad in your physical store, or get an embeddable Shopify button widget for your WordPress (or any other) site – Shopify has you covered.
But startup clients who don’t have many goods in stock and get infrequent orders will certainly benefit more from Squarespace in the first year, as it’s less expensive.
But then if the business will grow up, they could feel lack of eCommerce features proposed by Squarespace.
Conclusion: As an eCommerce solution, Shopify is a clear winner of this comparison. Yes, it’s more expensive, but those expenses are reasonable.
Generally, Squarespace is more a versatile site builder than an eCommerce platform, so if you have a Squarespace-built website and have a few T-shirts to sell online, then Squarespace Commerce will certainly handle it. But if you plan to create a feature-laden shop, you’ll need something more powerful, like Shopify.