When people are looking for an eCommerce platform to start a business on, it’s often a question of Shopify vs SquareSpace. The two are excellent programs, both of which can help you sell online. There are differences between them, so in this article, we’ll compare the two platforms and decide which is best in a Shopify vs SquareSpace comparison.
What are SquareSpace And Shopify?
SquareSpace is an intuitive page editor that allows you to design and style beautiful websites. It’s built for any type of website. Therefore, even those who don’t want to have an eCommerce store can use SquareSpace to create their project.
Shopify is an eCommerce website builder. It’s purely built for eCommerce stores and can’t sustain certain types of websites like dating sites, forums, etc.. However, it has a lot of functions that can really help website owners to sell products and build revenue.
A Website On SquareSpace
SquareSpace has a great drag and drop page editor. It’s very easy to use and has a lot of powerful elements to make your website pages look aesthetically pleasing. There are about 70 themes which can help you get started and guide you to a design, and you can always get support from the development team.
If you’ve seen a SquareSpace website with a theme you like, you can use this SquareSpace Theme Detector to discover which the website is using. Customization of the themes is very easy and is probably one of the most powerful online.
Building A Website On Shopify
Shopify is significantly different in how websites are designed. You use a theme which can then be customised with text and images. This What You See Is What You Get style is rather limited and you would need coding knowledge, a web developer or a drag and drop page builder app to significantly change the appearance of your website.
There are lots of themes that you can download and buy from the SquareSpace store. Those who don’t like too much coding might be better using Shopify than they would SquareSpace.
As with SquareSpace, there is a Shopify Theme Detector that you can use to find out what theme another Shopify website is using.
Basic Features Of SquareSpace
SquareSpace is all about the design. There are several features that can be added to your site and this can make it more appealing and help with conversions. And, unlike with Shopify, the designer allows you to create unique product page designs that can be customized to match customer expectations and improve conversions.
You can take payments on SquareSpace, but there are transaction fees (3% at time of writing) and this is in addition to the card processing fees you get from the payment gateway. The payment gateways allowed include Stripe and PayPal which are easy to install.
The software allows you to create a blog, which can help you rank with SEO and there are some nice SEO features included with the basic packages.
One of the big disadvantages of SquareSpace is that you can’t have large catalogs. It’s much better when you have only a few products, or just one.
Basic Features Of Shopify
Shopify is a much better eCommerce package than SquareSpace. You’ll have the ability to add, modify and remove products from your store easily and without fuss. The platform includes all the tools you need to manage online orders and you can integrate your store with other sales channels like Facebook, Amazon and eBay, allowing you to manage orders all in one place.
Shopify also has an app store. This is a great feature that allows you to extend the functionality of your website with ease. For instance, say you want to add better control of your SEO, there are hundreds of apps you can choose from. You can do the same for linking with shipping companies, creating urgency and adding little features to your website to make it unique and special.
These apps can cost a monthly fee, but there are lots of free ones available as well.
Shopify website owners can also benefit from smaller transaction fees. Shopify has its own payment system which if used, doesn’t incur any transaction fee, there’s only the credit card processing fee. For companies who sell hundreds of products a month, this can be a real money saver.
Finally, Shopify is perfect for those entrepreneurs who want to run a dropshipping business. There are apps that can help you find, import, market and even ship dropshipping products. In fact, there’s probably no better dropshipping platform out there.
Pricing: Shopify vs SquareSpace
There is a wide difference in how SquareSpace and Shopify charge their customers. SquareSpace has a personal plan, which is the cheapest on offer between the two. However, it doesn’t allow for any eCommerce activity. Therefore, if you want a basic website without selling any products, this might be the option for you.
The most basic eCommerce package for SquareSpace is comparative month-by-month for price. However, there is a 3% transaction fee, on top of credit card processing fees.
However, the costs can mount up on Shopify if you use premium apps or themes. There are free themes available, but some of the best can cost about $150 to buy. Apps are generally a monthly subscription.
There’s also the Shopify Plus option. This is an advanced Shopify system. There’s no set price for this and instead you’re given a quote by Shopify with prices starting from $2,000 a month.
Can You Combine The Two?
There is a way that you can combine SquareSpace and Shopify. There’s a Shopify Buy Button that can be installed on any SquareSpace store. The app is a tool to generate a buy button that can be added to a SquareSpace site through the use of adding code to your site. For a monthly subscription, you can create and utilize as many ‘buy buttons’ as you want on your store.
This is a great option because you can keep your SquareSpace website, or use their drag and drop builder, and still utilize the powerful order management of Shopify as all orders made via the buy button are kept there.
However, for the two, the price can be relatively high. Therefore, you might be better just choosing one or the other.
Final Word: Shopify Vs SquareSpace
Shopify and SquareSpace are excellent choices when it comes to building an eCommerce website. However, when comparing the two, Shopify is by far the better option for building a store. It can handle huge catalogs and is built not just for selling those products to customers but also for managing their orders. It’s also easy to use, even for those without coding experience.
And the statistics don’t lie. In the past ten years, more stores are now using Shopify than other eCommerce package. With the right apps and themes, there is no reason why you can’t build a successful online store.