Not sure whether to go with Shopify or Squarespace?
I promise you’ll have a MUCH better idea after watching this video.
Welcome to WebsiteToolTester, where we review store builders all day long so you don’t
have to. It helps to understand that both companies
come from very different backgrounds. Shopify is 100% ecommerce focused and this is reflected
in their pricing tiers. Squarespace is mainly a tool to build a website
or blog with the extra option to sell online. That’s also the reason why Squarespace starts
at $12/month. The cheapest Shopify plan is $26/month if you opt for a yearly subscription.
Looking at this table you can better understand what plans are actually comparable. For example,
there is no Squarespace equivalent to Shopify’s Advanced plan. You should take the time to decide what features
are important to you to find your personal ecommerce superhero. For that reason this
round is a draw. Shopify offers 10 free templates and more
than 60 paid ones. The paid ones cost between $140 and $180. They look modern and are fully
customizable. Squarespace shows only 10 templates in the
ecommerce department. All of them are free and can be customized via HTML and CSS – similar
to Shopify. This round goes to Shopify as you have a much
larger selection available and they have a stronger focus on ecommerce.
The important thing you need to know about Shopify is that they charge additional transaction
fees if you don’t use Shopify Payments, which is their own payment gateway. The only
issue: it’s not available in all countries yet!
In most English-speaking countries, you don’t need to worry though. In addition to that there’s Stripe, Paypal
and so many more gateways. There are also manual payment methods like bank deposit or
cash on delivery. Squarespace has only Stripe and Paypal, nothing more. Another advantage of Shopify is that you can
activate mobile apps for your Point of Sale if you are not just an online company. Shopify has more to offer and wins this round.
The Canadian ecommerce giant has a strange habit of adding bits to your URL. You can
see here that blog posts always have three additional words in the URL. In this case:
/blogs/news/title/ For product pages, they always add /products/. Squarespace used to have limitations in this
area too but they’ve just recently fixed it! You now have complete freedom to choose
your URLs. Yay! But there is one more factor that’s important
for SEO: page speed. To do a quick test, I grabbed four random websites from their showcase
galleries. While Shopify is not perfect, their mobile results look significantly better than
Squarespace’s. The reason could of course be that Squarespace attracts more of an artistic
crowd who like to add photo galleries and animations. Overall, there is no clear winner I find.
Both Shopify and Squarespace let you define shipping zones around the world and add prices
based on weight or the order value. Both also offer label printing, although with Squarespace
you have to go through the third party software Shipstation, whereas Shopify has its own label
printing solution. You can also use carrier calculated shipping
rates but here’s where they are very different: Shopify requires you to pick their $266/month
plan while Squarespace has this feature included in their $40/month plan. That’s why, in my book, Squarespace wins
this round. This battle is far closer than I expected!
What happens when your online business takes off? Can you scale your store to infinity
and beyond? Shopify is generally a great choice as it’s
prepared to accommodate international commerce and also holds a host of marketing features
in their app store like a loyalty program software. Squarespace doesn’t have an app store unfortunately.
That’s why it’s significantly harder to add these types of really advanced features. If you are in for the long run, Shopify looks
like a very reliable partner for you and wins this round.
What about support? Who has the more dedicated customer service team?
We actually ran a test a short while ago and found that both Squarespace and Shopify offer
top of the class support. Shopify made it to position #2 while Squarespace got to #4. Generally, at Shopify you’ll probably find
a more ecommerce-focused support team that also offers phone support. With Squarespace
there’s only email and live chat support. Shopify also takes this point home and wins
this battle! Congrats! At first I actually thought Squarespace was
going to have a hard time winning any of the rounds. But after digging deeper I realized
that Squarespace is serious about ecommerce. For smaller operations it might be just the
perfect tool! Especially if you need a strong blogging functionality.
But if your plan is to build the next ecommerce empire with all the bells and whistles, better
rely on Shopify. I hope now you have a good idea of which one
is right for you! Check the links below our video for free trials of both tools.
And if you’d like to check out an even more detailed comparison, please head over to our
blog! Thanks for watching!