Shopify vs Squarespace: if you want to build a website and online store, which platform do you choose? At Anatta, we’ve spent 14+ years working with some of the most iconic brands in eCommerce including Rothys, Athletic Greens, and True Botanicals. When it comes to website building, we’ve seen it all. In this article, we’ll take a deep look at both platforms and help you decide which is the better choice for your brand and your goals.
If you want to compare multiple different enterprise-level eCommerce platforms, you can find that blog here.
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TLDR: Our Pick: Shopify
If you’re building an eCommerce brand, our pick is Shopify. While Squarespace offers all of the tools you’ll need to easily create and launch a website and online store, it doesn’t offer nearly the range of eCommerce tools that Shopify does. Shopify was designed for eCommerce, and has powerful tools for brands to sell large volumes of products and scale their businesses. Keep reading to see a more detailed comparison of Shopify vs Squarespace.
Shopify vs Squarespace
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a popular cloud-based eCommerce platform that offers customizable web design templates and an all-in-one suite of services for online stores including payments, marketing, shipping, and customer engagement tools. Shopify is a hosted platform, which makes it easy for anyone to set up a simple online store and start selling their products. Through Shopify’s App Store and APIs, retailers have the ability to customize their stores or build complex sites from the ground up. Shopify powers millions of online retailers and is one of the most popular platforms for eCommerce businesses of all sizes.
What is Squarespace?
Squarespace is also a popular platform known for being a hosted website builder that is easy to use. The platform offers design templates, built-in eCommerce features, a custom domain name, SEO tools, and SSL certificate protection. While Squarespace does offer eCommerce features to run an online store, the features are not as robust as Shopify’s. Squarespace is most popular with people in the creative industry or by brick-and-mortar stores who need an online presence, but not necessarily a robust online store.
Shopify vs Squarespace: What kind of website are you building?
When deciding between Squarespace and Shopify, think about what kind of website you are building and the purpose behind your site. Are you primarily building a content-based website that may include a small online store? Or is your main objective to build a large eCommerce brand?
If you’re building a site that is focused on sharing information and content, like a blog, digital portfolio, or news site, then Squarespace may be a better fit for your needs. Squarespace offers excellent content management, blogging features, and design features.
If your primary goal is to sell products through a digital store, then Shopify is likely going to be the better pick. Shopify’s eCommerce features are much more extensive when compared to Squarespace. Shopify offers robust selling tools and even some key features that are not yet available on Squarespace.
In this article, we are going to compare Shopify and Squarespace through the lens of building an eCommerce site with the primary goal of selling products.
Shopify vs Squarespace: a Detailed Comparison
Both Shopify and Squarespace offer many of the same features. You can find a template, build a website, and launch an online store with either platform. We’re going to compare a few key features that the two platforms share and see how they measure up.
Online Storefront & eCommerce Features
Both Shopify and Squarespace give users the ability to build and operate an online store. However, Shopify’s eCommerce tools are much more robust and comprehensive when compared to Squarespace. Shopify allows extensive drop shipping, advanced inventory management, tax calculation, and payment gateway options. Squarespace currently doesn’t offer any of these eCommerce features.
You can build a beautiful and functional website using Squarespace or Shopify. Both platforms offer a variety of fully customizable, professionally designed templates that can be customized through simple content management systems. Any user, regardless of web building experience, can quickly build and launch a website and store with either platform. If you are an advanced developer and want access to the code, Shopify allows fully customizable code.
Marketing and SEO Tools
Any eCommerce business needs a strong marketing and SEO strategy. Both Squarespace and Shopify offer marketing tools, but Shopify’s are more comprehensive. Shopify offers brands more ways to scale, with a large range of marketing, accounting, and shipping apps to streamline your store. While Squarespace offers extensions, the options are more limited. Where Shopify really shines is SEO. Again, Shopify offers more SEO features than Squarespace, and will actually offer best practice advice when you upload new stock. Shopify simply offers more when it comes to marketing your business.
Features Shopify has that Squarespace Doesn’t
Shopify offers a number of eCommerce features that Squarespace simply does not.
Pay in Different Currencies
Shopify allows customers to view prices in your store, pay for their orders at checkout, and receive refunds all in their local currency. You can set product prices by country or region, or have prices converted automatically using the current market exchange rate.
With Shopify’s dropshipping options, your products can be sent directly from a wholesaler to a customer. Once a customer places an order, Shopify automatically sends the order to the dropshipping supplier. Then the supplier handles delivery.
Shopify offers very advanced inventory management including AI collection sorting and A/B testing. There’s also a feature that allows you to build smart, multi-segment, automated collections that can be placed in navigation, home page, or Facebook/Google product feeds.
With Shopify, you can sell to customers through your online store AND in person with their point of sale (POS) app. You can sell in person at a physical location while using your online store to process payments and manage inventory.
You can set up Shopify to automatically handle most common sales tax calculations. You can also set up tax overrides to address unique tax laws and situations.
Payment Gateway Options
A payment gateway is the mechanism that reads and transfers payment information from a customer to a merchant’s bank account. Shopify integrates with 100+ different payment providers from around the world.
Conclusion: Squarespace Vs Shopify: Which is Best?
Shopify and Squarespace have different strengths. Squarespace has strong features for content-based sites, which Shopify is made for sales. To decide which is the best pick for your business, think about the purpose of the website that you are building. If you are building a scalable eCommerce site with the primary purpose of sales, then Shopify is by far the better option. Shopify has much more robust eCommerce tools and features to launch, grow, and scale any sized eCommerce brand.
Anatta is a premier eCommerce partner that provides turnkey digital product teams for iconic DTC brands including Rothy’s, Athletic Greens, Molekule, and Four Sigmatic. Anatta’s team of certified NNG and Baymard designers helps brands create engaging user experiences that attract customers and increase revenue. Contact Anatta to learn more.