Shopify VS Squarespace: Which is The Best Hosted Ecommerce Platform?
Shopify VS Squarespace; One of the biggest battles between ecommerce platforms that are currently raging on.
Even though Shopify is the preferred choice for most people, Squarespace is the rising star.
For some time now, Shopify has been a reliable, trusted and the go to ecommerce platform for those who are looking for a hosted ecommerce platform.
Thanks to their creative marketing strategy and a deep understanding of how the millennial mind works, Squarespace, or more precisely, Squarespace Commerce is on the path of being the leader in hosted ecommerce platform.
Squarespace and Shopify, both are hosted ecommerce platforms. Thus they provide out-of-the-box solutions that are easy to deploy. Even those with little technical knowledge are able to maintain the online store.
The biggest drawback of WooCommerce, one of the most popular ecommerce platforms today is that there are a lot of moving parts. It is also self-hosted, unlike Shopify or Squarespace.
The disadvantage of WooCommerce prompts people to switch to a hosted platform. That is when we get Shopify VS Squarespace.
This article is here to help you make this decision by discussing and comparing the different aspects of both the platforms.
Started in 2006, Shopify is a complete ecommerce solution provider. The company is based out of Ontario, Canada. And as of January 2017, Amazon integrated Shopify within them to allow merchants to sell from their store.
Shopify is written in Liquid, a Ruby based template language.
Whereas Shopify is a ‘pure’ ecommerce website builder, Squarespace is a ‘general’ website builder.
However, they offer ecommerce tools to build or transform your site into an online store. This is similar to how WordPress can be transformed into WooCommerce.
The company from New York was founded in 2003, but the Squarespace Commerce section was launched in 2013.
This is the beginning of the saga of Shopify Vs Squarespace.
In terms of revenue, Shopify is one of the largest ecommerce platforms in the world. Their revenue is approximately 151 million dollars.
In 2015, Squarespace crossed the 100 million dollar mark. It is an amazing feat because the initial investment was only $30,000.
However, since Squarespace Commerce is a tool that is used to transform a general website into ecommerce store, the independent revenue of it isn’t published.
One would think that Squarespace Commerce began in 2013; the market share of Shopify would be far ahead. You’d be wrong thinking that.
Currently, there are more than 560k+ live websites that use Shopify. Closely behind, Squarespace Commerce has more than 390k live websites right now and quickly rising.
The battle between the old dog and the new dog rages on. The true Shopify VS Squarespace is played out when features are compared.
After all, it’s the features each ecommerce platform provides that has the heaviest claim to being better.
Both Squarespace and Shopify are easy to get started with. They are both top grade out-of-the-box ecommerce platforms.
Squarespace has step-by-step guiding video series to help beginners build their first store. Similarly, Shopify provides a downloadable free guide with step-by-step instructions.
One thing that set Squarespace apart is that people can build the whole website to see how the final product would look like, before paying a dime.
Although Squarespace supports an unlimited number of products and transactions, it is still mostly targeted toward and caters to small businesses.
Shopify on the other hand usually handles the business of all ranges. Since it is a tried and true ecommerce platform, more merchants flock to Shopify when they scale up their online business.
As of the beginning of 2017, Shopify has integrated with Amazon that allows merchants to sell products of their store on Amazon.
Point Of Sale (POS)
Unlike Squarespace, Shopify has the capability buy products from physical locations using Shopify. POS allows merchants to integrate their physical store with the online store.
This one is a bit tricky.
Shopify has a larger collection of theme, around 100, where Squarespace has only around 25.
However, the themes and templates offered by Squarespace are considered to be better. Also, Squarespace allows individuals to utilize several templates on the same page.
For me, in Shopify VS Squarespace, the latter takes the point.
Shopify and Squarespace offer an unlimited number of products on their highest plan. However at the starter plan, there is a huge difference.
Squarespace on their starter plan only allows you to sell 1 product. This is a sharp contrast to Shopify, which allows unlimited products from the beginning.
This is another aspect that Shopify has a huge edge over its counterpart. Shopify at its disposal has hundreds of tools and apps, both their own as well as third-party apps.
Squarespace only supports a few handful tools. This is a big disadvantage for Squarespace and an important point for their competitor in Shopify VS Squarespace.
SEO is crucial for any online content. If your products aren’t properly optimized, your online store won’t get exposure.
Both Shopify and Squarespace has above average in terms of SEO capability. But Squarespace is somewhat flawed in comparison.
For example, you can’t customize product page title or descriptions.
Shopify has one of the most superior SEO capability among the ecommerce platforms.
The vast array of payment gateways available to Shopify is due to their worldwide reach. Even though most of their clients are from North America, they provide options to accept payments from almost every important source.
Currently, Shopify offers 70 payment gateways to choose from. This includes third-party processors and their own ‘Shopify Payments’ option. The transactions fee is waived for those who choose Shopify Payments.
On the other hand, aside from the popular credit cards, Squarespace offers only one payment gateway; Stripe.
Clearly Shopify is the winner in this section of Shopify VS Squarespace.
For all ecommerce platforms, security is one of the biggest concerns. Protecting payment information and transactions are customers worry about. That is why both Shopify and Squarespace bolster their security all time.
Both of the platforms maintain PCI DDS compliance standard to provide hefty security.
Shopify provides 128-bit SSL certification with all their plans free of cost. Merchants have the option to upgrade if deemed necessary.
Squarespace boasts 2048-bit SSL certification for protecting any kind of sensitive information.
Shopify offers quite a few pricing plan that is designed to serve from very small to big online stores
There are 3 general pricing plans; ‘Basic Shopify’, ‘Shopify’ and ‘Advanced Shopify’. They cost respectively $29, $79 and $299.
They also offer ‘Shopify Plus’ and ‘Shopify Lite’. ‘Shopify Plus’ is their enterprise solution for large businesses. And the ‘Shopify Lite’ is for selling products through Facebook.
There is a transaction fee for every sale for those in ‘Basic Shopify’, ‘Shopify’ and ‘Advanced Shopify’ plans. The fee ranges from 0.5% to 2%. This fee, however, is waived for those in ‘Shopify Plus’.
In Squarespace, since they aren’t pure ecommerce platforms, their pricing is a bit different.
They have a ‘Business’ plan at $25 per month if billed annually. Instead of the dedicated online store, they integrate ecommerce into the website. This has a 3% transaction fee on every sale.
Then there are ‘Basic’ and ‘Advanced’ pricing plans that are dedicated to online stores. The ‘Basic’ costs $34 and ‘Advanced’ plan costs $52 per month if billed annually. None of them incur transaction fees.
You might also be asking, ‘does Shopify work on Squarespace?’ Surprisngly enough, it does.
If you wnt to install Shopify on Squarespace CMS and sell your product, Shopify also provides the option. It will cost you $9 a month only.
Both of these ecommerce platforms are undoubtedly some of the best that ecommerce has to offer. They are both user friendly, effective, easy to manage and secure.
However, in my humble opinion, at least today, Shopify is the clear winner.
Shopify has perfected their craft and is a monster when it comes to providing ecommerce solutions.
But don’t cross Squarespace out yet. In a relatively short time, they have caught up with the big boys with their amazing features and offers.
Shopify may have won the battle, but the war is not yet won. Because even now, Squarespace is still evolving, getting ready to march again.
I, for one, have no doubt that Shopify VS Squarespace will be continued again.
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