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With over two billion people regularly shopping online, it makes more sense than ever to start an eCommerce store. But it’s not enough to just set up an online store and expect your ideal customers to find it. As a business owner, you’ll need to include top-notch design, an easy-to-navigate menu, SEO optimized, and a pleasing aesthetic. Many platforms offer e-commerce options, most of which are integrated with your website for one-stop service.
Squarespace is a general website builder with ecommerce functionality, while Shopify is a comprehensive platform to help customers sell online. While both are solid options, they both have their own advantages and disadvantages. We take a close look at these popular platforms to help you choose the one that’s right for you.
Squarespace vs Shopify: at a glance
Squarespace is a beginner-friendly website builder designed for users who want everything in one place. Subscriptions offer a range of pricing plans and include templates, site management, and plugins. Squarespace offers ecommerce integrations at three different levels
Shopify was created specifically as an online store solution and subsequently added a website builder component. Each of his plans offers ways to grow an ecommerce site with unlimited products and multiple sales channels. Users can choose from a variety of templates and themes to personalize an online store site.
Shopify and Squarespace each provide the ability to start, maintain, and grow an online store within a website. Both platforms allow users to create exactly what they want, thanks to a plethora of designs and options available. Neither requires coding knowledge or programming expertise.
Making the right choice for your business will be a personal decision, based on what features you need and how you want to connect with your customers.
How the platforms stack up
Products and sales
Shopify and Squarespace allow users to build an online store that offers physical and digital products, as well as services. Platforms differ in the way they organize and display items, as well as the ease of transitioning to physical point of sale (POS) in person.
Squarespace has a sleek system in place to sell products, manage online orders, and process transactions. The shop pages are beautifully designed, can be customized to match brands, and there is an express checkout feature available.
It also offers a 360 degree zoom function, allowing a close view of the product.
Squarespace offers an in-person selling option, using a Square card reader to accept cash or card payments that integrate with the online store. These POS transactions are only allowed in the United States.
Shopify places less emphasis on the aesthetics of the online store, preferring to pay more attention to the functionality of the site. Store pages have attractive template and design options, but the focus is on improving growth and scalability. While a built-in zoom feature is not included, there are options for this feature to be added with a third-party app.
Shopify has been offering in-person selling options from the start, and sellers can purchase a point-of-sale kit that includes a barcode reader, card reader, cash drawer, and receipt printer. In addition, POS transactions are permitted outside of the United States.
SEO (search engine optimization) uses high quality keywords and content to help your online store reach a larger audience, potentially with buyers from all over the world crawling your site.
Fully SEO optimized is essential for business success, but can be a tough business without the help of support tools. Shopify and Squarespace both offer users built-in SEO support, although they do so in two different ways.
Shopify is configured to meet the goals of Google’s Core Web Vitals requirements. These include three metrics: page load time, responsiveness, and visual stability. Additionally, Shopify takes content from a page and generates suggested titles and meta descriptions based on what they see, saving the user time. There are also best practice prompts and built-in marketing tools to improve SEO.
Squarespace users can set up custom meta titles, descriptions, and URLs to match their page content, but must do so manually without any suggestions. Google Analytics is available with all plans and the platform allows for easy social media integration. Users cannot install third-party SEO apps, such as Yoast, and instead must rely on the built-in SEO support options provided.
Are you considering a business blog?
Starting a blog can help you boost your business, drive more traffic to your website, and potentially be another source of income. While adding an article to your website adds another item to the to-do list, a blog created in conjunction with an e-commerce site can be extremely effective for marketing.
If it’s something you decide to pursue, Squarespace makes the process easier. The platform has blogging features and capabilities that include analytics, post scheduling, and the ability to archive posts.
Shopify also offers blogging functionality with its service. Creating, posting, and managing your blog works very similar to Squarespace. This could be useful if you want to complement your online store with written content that tells your audience more about the products you are selling. You can also give tips and tricks to get the most out of your products.
For most ecommerce categories, including point of sale, customer support, and SEO tools, Shopify is ahead. This is mainly due to the fact that it was originally designed to power online stores and has been around long enough to have perfected many elements. On the other hand, Squarespace is more focused on building general websites for all of your different pages, with additional ecommerce features for sale. The best choice for you will ultimately depend on what you want from your online presence.