Shopify Vs. Squarespace: A 13-point comparison of the two website building giants

Shopify and Squarespace are both website builders and their similarities do not end here. Interestingly, both were started in 2004, ensuing a Shopify vs. Squarespace debate. While Shopify was established to build the best online stores, Squarespace was conceived to be the best content-based website builder. With time, both Shopify and Squarespace have come to be used by millions. 

Since both Shopify and Squarespace are website builders with their own pros and cons (more on those later), whether one should prefer using Shopify over Squarespace or vice versa has been an ongoing debate. This article has therefore been written to provide you with enough information on both to help you select one over the other for your business.

Shopify Vs. Squarespace: A Snippet of Key Differences

Shopify
➔     Understanding the platform takes time, but its editor is easy to use

➔     Has 70+ templates, solely for e-commerce purpose

➔     It has an app store comprising of 1500+ apps

➔     Has extensive support for marketing and advertising. There are a number of apps for your online store’s marketing

➔     Shopify is not a blogging expert

➔     It has vast arrangements for dropshipping

➔     Has more than 100 payment gateways

➔     Has multiple touchpoints for customer support such as:

❖     Help Center

❖     Phone call

❖     Email

❖     Live Chat

❖     Forum

❖     Social Media

➔     beginner-friendly and easy to use editor. Can drag and drop the elements in a structured manner

➔     Only 10 templates are for e-commerce

➔     It does not have any app store

➔     Its “Email Campaign” feature would let you send up to 250,000 emails per month

➔     Squarespace is a blogging expert and has multiple blogging features

➔     It does not support dropshipping

➔     It supports multiple payment options but it is not as extensive as Shopify’s payment options

➔     Squarespace is also good in customer support and has the  following touchpoints:

❖     Help Center

❖     Live Chat

❖     Forum

❖     Webinar

❖     Email

Shopify Vs. Squarespace: Other Key Features & Differences

1.   Ease of Use

Shopify
➔     Easy to use drag and drop editor. However, it takes a few hours to fully understand it

➔     Setting up pages and products are a bit slower comparatively

➔     Beginner-friendly, easy to use drag and drop editor

➔     Sometimes it becomes slow and buggy

Shopify

When it comes to ease of use, Shopify is not difficult. It is designed in a way that you drag and drop elements anywhere on the page. However, understanding the platform takes a few hours. Setting up the pages and products may be a bit slower as compared to Squarespace, however Shopify provides help in the form of visual cues. Moreover, once you get the hang of its editor, it becomes easier to use.

Squarespace

Squarespace offers a very straightforward editor. It also lets you drag and drop the elements on the site. Its intuitive editor is based on WYSIWYG i.e. (What you see is what you get). However, sometimes it becomes sluggish and buggy.

Verdict

Both are quite close when it comes to ease of use. However, Squarespace seems more beginner-friendly as compared to Shopify.

2.   Templates

Shopify
➔     There are 70 online store themes, 10 of them are free while others would cost around $140 to $180 ➔     It has only 10 online stores themes, however, these could be customized through code editing

Shopify

Shopify has around 70 themes in its collection. But only 10 are free. If you do not choose from those 10 themes, then you would have to select from one of the paid themes. How much would it cost you? Well,  around $140 to $180.

Shopify’s templates cover a number of categories such as health and beauty, toys and games, electronics, furniture, home & garden and much more.

Moreover, if you want to change anything in a template, you can do it by editing codes.

shopify theme

Squarespace

Squarespace offers a total of 70 odd templates.  However, when it comes to e-commerce, you can choose from only 10.  These templates are mobile responsive and suitable for any screen size.

Just like Shopify, Squarespace would let you customize the online store through code editing.

Verdict

Shopify wins here for offering more online store templates. However, do remember that despite being aesthetically pleasing, 60+ of them are very expensive.

3.   App Store

Shopify
➔     Shopify has an app store which includes 1500+ paid and free apps ➔     Squarespace does not have any app store

Shopify

Shopify has an established app store to meet every need of online store builders. It is comprised of 1500+ apps including the third party integration for anything that comes under the e-commerce umbrella. Some of these apps are free while others are paid.

Squarespace

Squarespace does not have an app store; however, it has enough built-in features that some users may not need an app integration.

Verdict

Shopify clearly wins here as it has a comprehensive app store.

4.   Marketing

Shopify
➔     Has a lot of apps to support marketing and advertising

➔     Could sell across 10 social media platforms

➔     Has built-in marketing features

➔     “Email Campaign” feature would let you send up to 250,000 emails per month

Shopify

Shopify has a lot of options for marketing and social media advertising. You can integrate a lot of marketing and advertising apps from the app store. You can sell your products across 10 social media platforms using these apps. It also offers integration to run Facebook and Google Adwords campaigns. Moreover, creating email campaigns is a built-in feature in Shopify.

Squarespace

As mentioned earlier, Squarespace does not have an app store; it does not have extensive marketing built-in tools. When it comes to selling through social media, a user would be relying heavily on Instagram.

However, Squarespace has recently launched a new feature named “Email Campaigns” which allows integration to Mailchimp as well. Using this feature would enable a user to send 250,000 emails per month.

            Verdict

Shopify gets a point here. Marketing is clearly easy through its platform. On the other hand, Squarespace has limited features for marketing purposes.

5.   Blog

Shopify
➔     Has blog specific SEO features

➔     However, it is not a blogging expert

➔     Blogging is its forte

➔     Has multiple blogging features such as analytics, search feature and archive functionality

Shopify

Shopify is not a blogging expert, mainly due to its focus on e-commerce. However, it has a blog-specific SEO feature.

Squarespace

Squarespace is considered ideal for blogging. You can not miss it if your sole purpose is blogging. It has following built-in features:

  • Analytics
  • Archive functionality
  • Search Feature

6.   SEO

Shopify
➔     Has a number of apps to support SEO

➔     Also, provides the best SEO practices

➔     You can add meta titles and meta description

➔     However, does not provide the best SEO practices

Shopify

Shopify’s app store gives it an edge over its competitor. There are a number of SEO related apps. Moreover, it would let you know about the best SEO practices whenever there is a product upload.

Squarespace

Squarespace SEO is not that bad. It would let you edit meta titles and meta description.

The bottom line is while Squarespace offers basic SEO features, it does not offer SEO best practices with every product upload.

Verdict

Due to more SEO related apps, Shopify has an edge over Squarespace.

7.   Analytics

Shopify
➔     Shopify is equipped with analytical tools to track the customer behaviours, average order value and stock level ➔     Squarespace can also track customer behaviour, conversions and revenue

Shopify

Shopify offers an assortment of tools to track the records. You would be able to track which customer is visiting your store, how many of them are returning to your website, what is the average order value, etc. Moreover, you could also receive an email about the stock level report. Also, you can integrate your site with Google Analytics.

shopify dashboard

Squarespace

When it comes to analytics, Squarespace has its own software. With the help of Squarespace analytics, you can track conversions, revenue, and your customer’s behaviour. You can also get cart abandonment data. However, unlike Shopify, it does not send you stock level emails.

Verdict

Shopify gets an edge as it sends stock level alerts to its users.

8.   Multilingual Support

Shopify
➔     There are a number of apps and its paid plan which supports multilingual sites ➔     Not multilingual friendly as its SEO gets affected with multiple languages

Shopify

Shopify does not have built-in multilingual support in all its plans. There are apps which can support multilingualism, however, these do not come free. For example, an app named Langify would cost you around $17.50 per month. Moreover, if you purchase Shopify Plus that supports 3 languages, it would cost you around $2,000.

Squarespace

Squarespace is also not considered ideal for multilingual sites. Having a Squarespace site in multiple languages can affect the SEO, which is obviously not a good deal.

Verdict

Though both are not exceptional when it comes to supporting multilingual sites, Shopify is a bit better comparatively as it has apps and a paid plan (expensive though) to support multiple languages.

9.   Dropshipping

Shopify
➔     Supports dropshipping. Oberlo provides a network of suppliers ➔     It does not support dropshipping

Shopify

Shopify has taken dropshipping seriously. It has acquired Oberlo, a German company specifically for this purpose. Oberlo carries the network of suppliers that store the inventory, package it and supply it to the customer. Moreover, there are a number of apps to support dropshipping.

Squarespace

When it comes to dropshipping, Squarespace simply does not support it.

Verdict

Shopify is the clear winner here. If your business requires dropshipping, your obvious choice would be Shopify.

10.   Payment Option

Shopify
➔     Supports more than 100 payment gateways

➔     It also supports offline payment and credit card payment with no transaction fee if you use Shopify payment gateway

➔     It has limited payment options comparatively such as Paypal, Stripe, Apple, etc

Shopify

Shopify supports more than 100 payment gateways including Apple Pay and Paypal. Not only this, it also supports offline and credit card payments. There is no credit card transaction fee, if you use Shopify payment gateway, otherwise, around 2% is charged.

However, do remember that if you are outside the UK, US, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, Ireland and Australia, you won’t be able to use the Shopify gateway. That means you will have to pay the transaction fee.

Squarespace

Squarespace supports very limited payment options, namely:

  • Paypal
  • Stripe
  • Apple Pay
  • Instagram
  • Facebook

Verdict

Having more than 100 payment gateways, Shopify leaves Squarespace behind in this race.

11.   Product Presentation

Shopify
➔     You can add images with zooming effects and videos

➔     Augmented Reality is its plus point

➔     It would let you add images and videos only

Shopify

Shopify has amazing product presentation features. It would let you add image zooming effects and videos. There are a number of apps for customer reviews and creating an image and video galleries.

Moreover, Augmented Reality allows the customers to view the product’s features closely.

Squarespace

Squarespace has limited product presentation features. However, It would let you add basic presentation features such as images and video.

Verdict

Shopify “Augmented Reality” and other amazing features give Shopify an edge over Squarespace.

12.   Customer Support

Shopify
➔     Shopify customer support consists of help center to phone call facilities, etc ➔     Just like Shopify it also has a help center

➔     It does not offer help over phone call and live chat is available only for a limited time

Shopify

Shopify has a comprehensive, knowledge-base help center that can be accessed by its users. All it requires is entering keywords.

shopify help center

Shopify also has the following touchpoints for customer support:

  • Phone
  • Email
  • Live chat
  • Social Media
  • Forum

Squarespace

Just like Shopify, Squarespace also has a help center. Its knowledge-base is comprised of guides and videos. However, it is not extensive as Shopify’s help center.

Moreover, Squarespace has multiple touchpoints such as:

  • Webinars
  • Forum
  • Email
  • Live Chat

Though live chat provides real-time conversation and ensures immediate answers, Squarespace live chat is available for a specific time that is 4 AM to 8 PM Eastern time. Moreover, Squarespace does not provide phone call customer help.

Verdict

Shopify fares better as Squarespace does not have a phone call support and its live chat feature is time limited.

13.   Pricing

Shopify

Shopify offers 14 days free trial and three paid plans. These plans are:

  • Basic Shopify
  • Shopify
  • Advanced Shopify

Below is the cost summary of Shopify paid plans:

Plan Name Monthly Payment

$/Month

Annual

Payment

$/Month

You Save 2 Year Plan

$/Month

You Save 3 Year Plan

$/Month

You Save
Basic Shopify 29 26 36 23.25 138 21.75 261
Shopify 79 71 96 63.25 378 59.25 711
Advanced Shopify 299 266 396 235 1536 219 2880

shopify pricing

Squarespace

Squarespace offers 14 days free trial and four paid plans.

Plan Name Monthly Payment

$/Month

Annual

Payment

$/Month

You Save

($)

Personal 16 12 48
Business 26 18 96
Basic Commerce 30 26 48
Advanced Commerce 46 40 72

squarespace pricing

Shopify Vs. Squarespace: And the Winner Is…

Shopify or Squarespace – the debate started the day both were launched by their respective makers. And there is no clear answer here since comparing them is like comparing oranges with oranges; it just depends on which “orange” would work for you.

Shopify Vs. Squarespace, however, is not an academic debate alone as selecting one over the other is a matter of great importance for online retailers. A platform which does not suit the nature and model of your business, may drive your entire business setup “south”. Therefore choose wisely.

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