When it comes to finding out the difference between Squarespace and Shopify and which is better for your website, it boils down to what you are looking for. If we look at the purpose for which both the platforms were created, we find out that Squarespace was initially created as a solution for building and maintaining content-based websites whereas Shopify was specifically developed to make an online store.
Shopify is a great platform equipped with strong e-commerce tools, perfect for those looking to build an online store. Squarespace allows you to build a content-driven website and also start an online store on the side and sell products.
Let us compare the features of both these platforms and see which is better for you.
Ease of use
Both Shopify and Squarespace have similar screen layouts, a navigation menu on the left-hand side of the screen and on the right-hand side is where you see the features in action.
Squarespace has an amazing “layout engine” – which allows you to drag and drop content into pages – making it pretty straightforward to use.
With the recent launch of the “Online Store 2.0” update, Shopify now offers a drag-and-drop feature, which makes it easier to build customized and attractive page layouts. Despite this, it takes much more time and effort to set up page layouts as compared to Squarespace.
Squarespace stands above Shopify in terms of interface standards, and its features are more flexible and intuitive for the general presentation of content.
Theme Designs and Visuals
What could be more important than appearance when it comes to attracting customers to an online store or website?
Squarespace’s themes are gorgeous with 140 free themes to choose from to build your website. In Squarespace themes, you’ll find a fun amalgamation of visual effects, where images and texts gracefully fade in and out as a user scrolls through a page.
Despite so many themes, only a few of them are suitable for building an online store. The built-in integrations with Unsplash and Getty images make it easier to add images to your websites.
Shopify on the other hand is not a slouch in the visual/template department. It provides 17 free themes with some great features. It has wider collections of 76 paid themes, and the price varies from $150 to $360. These themes are similar in quality to Squarespace themes, offering a wide range of layouts to build an amazing and professional online store. The themes include features such as breed content, video background, and parallax scrolling as a visual effect.
So, both have themes and customization options that serve a particular purpose, Squarespace is a much better choice to build a content-driven website and start a side store, on the other hand, Shopify is the option for those who wish to take a business online by creating a professional online store.
Selling in Squarespace vs Shopify
Sales tools are the key player for selling your products online. Both Squarespace and Shopify are equipped with comprehensive and advanced sales tools.
Both platforms let you sell digital goods, physical goods, and subscriptions. To sell digital goods in Shopify you will have to install apps such as Digital downloads, whereas Squarespace has all the sales tools integrated to facilitate selling any products, therefore has an advantage.
A user finds a product good when it has a good presentation. Squarespace provides an option to choose a particular aspect ratio for your images and the system will automatically apply the chosen ratio to all the product images.
Shopify requires editing product images to a particular aspect ratio before uploading them. If not done so, all the images will get incoherently laid on the page. Moreover, you can use third-party apps such as Pixc to resize images automatically as you upload them.
Keeping the uneasiness of Shopify in mind Squarespace scores a point in product management.
As Shopify is more of an e-commerce platform, there are 100 payment gateways from almost all the different countries available on Shopify.
On the other hand, Squarespace is limited to its payment options which are only Paypal and Stripe. So, Shopify has a win-win through its advanced and more professional payment gateways feature.
Moreover, Shopify lets you sell products in multiple currencies, whereas Squarespace doesn’t support multi-currency options.
Both platforms let you set free shipping rates, flat rates, weight-based rates, local pickup rates, and calculated real-time rates.
Squarespace is integrated with FedEx, USPS, and UPS, it provides real-time carrier rates but doesn’t facilitate pre-negotiated rates with carriers, for that you will have to have an ‘Advance Commerce’ plan. The lead is to Shopify as it has an edge at showing real-time shipping rates such as discounted real-time shipping rates and pre-negotiated rates from a wider range of providers and in more countries.
As Shopify is one of the most comprehensive e-commerce platforms it sure is a better option. Shopify has an advantage over Squarespace as it has way more flexibility and provides strong shipping options and allows you to sell in multiple currencies as well.
Market your products to attract more customers and earn more, it is a competitive world and big businesses resort to marketing.
Both the platforms provide basic search engine optimization functions.
Comparatively, Shopify makes SEO handling much easier, meta descriptions are automatically generated for your products, and URL redirection is handled better by Shopify.
Squarespace is limited in terms of SEO comparatively, therefore Shopify can be considered better.
Blogging: Squarespace vs Shopify
Squarespace is a more focused website development platform that has an edge over Shopify in blogging functionality. The drag-and-drop feature allows you to add attractive and flexible summary blocks along with more presentation options, and you can add both categories and tags to your posts as well.
Whereas there are no options to add categories to posts in Shopify, moreover, it doesn’t have that many presentation options, and if you want to avail more blogging functionality you will have to resort to third-party apps.
Both Shopify and Squarespace provide built-in email marketing tools to advertise your brand and products.
Squarespace has its built-in tool ‘Squarespace Email Campaigns’, starting from $7 per month to send up to 3 newsletters to 500 subscribers per month.
Shopify has a built-in marketing tool ‘Shopify Email’ that allows you to send up to 10000 emails a month for free.
Shopify’s email marketing tool is available for free with automation features, making it a better choice.
Shopify has more marketing tools to help grow your online store than Squarespace does. It comes with more built-in email marketing tools and gives you access to many marketing apps. Shopify with its superior SEO features trumps Squarespace in the marketing department.
Squarespace vs Shopify Conclusion
We can conclude that both these platforms are good for a specific purpose. If you are looking to build a content-driven website, then Squarespace is for you. Easy to operate with innovative image options, and blogging features it is a great option for creating a portfolio website, a magazine blog, and even great for professionals working in creative industries. Shopify is a great option when you want to build a professional online store or start an online business. Its features such as automatic tax calculations, point of sale, marketing, large inventory, strong payment gateway options, and multiple currency support make it a great platform for the same purpose.
Image from Canva