Shopify vs Squarespace | Picking The Best eCommerce Platform

September 15, 2019

Picking an eCommerce platform is critically important. In our experience, the platform you choose can literally make or break your eCommerce business. We know countless of people who have paid developers well over $250,000/year to make changes that many eCommerce platforms innately have built-in as features!

 

The best thing you can do is your research and understand the costs and benefits to each platform. While we're obviously biased (can you tell we love Shopify 😊), we've worked with many different platforms in the past and keep up to date on the industry so we have a good understanding of each one of these platforms.

 

Keep in mind, these platforms are literally upgrading every day. One feature missing on Squarespace yesterday might be there today and another Wix might be discontinued next week.

 

We've compared other eCommerce platforms to Shopify here:

 

Shopify vs Squarespace

We went through the remaining parts of the platform and below is our 1-10 rating of Shopify vs Squarespace.

Criteria (1-10) Shopify Squarespace
Theme editor 8 8
Theme choice 8 6
Product presentation and features 7 9
Payment options 9 5
Blog options 8 8
Shipping Cost Settings and Carrier integration 10 5
International capabilities 8 6
Analytics 8 5
SEO capabilities 5 5
Pagespeed 6 6
Help support 8 7
Apps 9 4
Discounts 7 6
Storage 7 9
Pricing 6 8
Free Trials 14-day 14-day

 

We've been a big fan of Squarespace over the years. They're great designers doing great things and we're excited to see what they roll out next.

 

squarespace vs shopify onboarding process

 

squarespace vs shopify onboarding process

 

squarespace vs shopify onboarding process

 

squarespace vs shopify onboarding process

 

Below is our criteria information broken down.

 

Theme editor

For Squarespace, the theme editor can get slightly confusing based on how the blocks are setup. The advantage is that you can edit on-page while Shopify you cannot.

 

Theme choice

Squarespace is well known for its design and theme options. While Shopify does have a lot of officially supported themes, Squarespace is a well-regarded theme creator and has beautiful templates.

 

Product presentation and features

One major beat on Shopify is the ease of editing a product page layout on Squarespace. You can do some product page changes with Shopify but most of the time is requires some level of code or changing a layout rather than using the visual editor.

For Squarespace: You have to manually do Collection creation so if you have a lot of products in your catalog this is not the platform for you.

 

Payment options

Both platforms offer good payment processing capabilities. While Shopify has more options, if you only need a basic payment processing capability, there isn't much of a difference here.

 

Blog options

Shopify allows you to manage multiple blogs at once on the same site while Wix has an easier implementation of different blog layouts.

 

Shipping Cost Settings and Carrier integration

Shopify has more options and better integrations with carriers. However, if you plan on doing your own shipping or using one of the more common carriers this is likely not going to be an issue.

 

International capabilities

Shopify has a language feature that allows you to change keywords to certain different words based on the language. Squarespace doesn't have such international capabilities.

While you can accept international orders from both platforms, the language feature is only on Shopify.

 

Analytics

On the reporting front, Shopify wins on the number of dashboards and the level of detail on those reports. However, it could be argued that with tools like Google Analytics and such these capabilities aren't as important as they seem.

On the tracking front, they both have similar tracking capabilities.

 

SEO capabilities

While SEO has a lot to do with activities off the platforms, on-site SEO is important and performances varies widely across eCommerce platforms.

Shopify allows you to add customized sitemaps, customized canonicals, and AMP pages while you can't that on Wix.

This article breaksdown SEO capabilities across eCommerce platforms and doesn't recommend Squarespace while they do recommend Shopify.

 

Pagespeed

While pagespeed might fall under SEO, the core pagespeed you get at first when you whip up a site is an important factor. 

 

Help support 

Both Squarespace and Shopify have strong customer service support. We've found both customer services to be about equal and while Shopify might have had stronger documentation, Squarespace seems to quickly be gaining speed.

 

Apps

Squarespace doesn't have an app store like Shopify does. Squarespace has official integrations (as does Shopify) but nothing to compete with an app store marketplace.

 

Discounts

Both Squarespace and Shopify discounts has some limitations. For example, you can't do multi-variant discounts based on products ordered from one collection and how that affects a different collection. Both platforms have fixed some of this with automatic discounts recently but it's still not 100%.

 

Storage

Squarespace and Shopify have similar, if not the same storage offerings. They both offer unlimited storage for files except for videos. Shopify will allow you to upload 20 MB video.

 

Pricing

Both platforms are fairly priced. The comparable plans are similar in cost with Squarespace a few dollars a month more expensive. Generally speaking, if you use a lot of apps as well these monthly prices don't usually hold up anyway.

 

Free Trials

Both platforms have a standard 14-day free trial. This should be enough time play with the platforms and get a feel for them. It might not be enough time to get your website built and fully functional but at least will get you to a point where you are familiar with the platforms.

If we were to build a non-eCommerce website and needed to get it up quickly and elegantly, Squarespace would be our first choice. If Squarespace is able to keep up its design capabilities and introduce just a few more core features it'd be a good competitor to Shopify.


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