Squarespace vs Shopify: Which e-Commerce Platform is right for your Business?

Shopify and Squarespace are two of the leading e-commerce platforms that many small business owners go to when starting an online shop.

And while both websites may appear similar, it’s important to take note of their varying features and functionalities to help you decide which online storefront is right for your business.

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The Comparison

Design Customizations

Squarespace is best known for its beautiful, award-winning, mobile-friendly web templates. They have over 100 available free themes to choose from, and the drag-and-drop feature and Site Styles panel provide a lot of opportunity for customization— even more if you know basic CSS coding! 

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On the other hand, Shopify has its own theme store with template prices ranging from free to US$180. And while there is some room for customization with these templates, it is significantly a lot more restricted than Squarespace, and would require advanced coding knowledge if you want to go beyond the limitations of your chosen template.

Product Limitations

Both Squarespace and Shopify allow unlimited products for their e-Commerce plans, but on Squarespace there is a catch— you can only add 200 products per Store Page, and each product can only have up to 100 variants.

This means that while one Squarespace website can have unlimited “Stores” within it (hence the unlimited products), each Store Page can only hold 200 products. This is a significant deal breaker if your business carries a large inventory such as clothing or furniture (as we learned the hard way!)

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Pricing Plans

Squarespace e-Commerce features start with the Business Plan at $26 USD/month (or $18 USD/month for annual payments) with a 3% transaction fee on sales. They also have two Commerce Plans starting at $35 USD/month ($26 USD/month annual) with a 0% transaction fee.

Meanwhile, e-Commerce features are available on all Shopify plans, starting at $29 USD/month, with transaction fees ranging from 2% at the Basic plan, to .5% at the Advanced plan.

Shopify can also scale with your business through Shopify Plus at $2,000 USD/month for high-volume merchants.

There is also Shopify Lite at $9 USD/month, which allows you to accept credit card transactions for in-person selling (through POS lite), and add Shopify functionality to your Wordpress, Squarespace, Weebly, or Wix site.

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Out of the two platforms, Squarespace offers the cheapest pricing options. But if you already have an existing website in Wordpress, Squarespace, Weebly, or Wix, then you can also opt for Shopify Lite if you specifically need their functionality.

Domain Pricing

Squarespace offers a free domain for your first year, and $20 USD/year after. Shopify domains start at $11 USD/year (no free year).

Other Features

Shopify has its own app store which has over 2000 plugins for additional specifically for e-commerce features and functionality.

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Meanwhile, Squarespace has a Printful integration, which allows print-on-demand drop shipping for physical products.

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The Verdict

Squarespace is best for you if:

  • You’re a service-based business, or you’re just starting out and a have small product inventory

  • You need a website that’s more than just a shop— you also need a portfolio, blog, or web pages for other purposes.

  • The control over the design of the website matters to you

Shopify is best for you if:

  • You are a full-fledged business with a medium to large inventory

  • You’d like your shop to be on its own site separate from your main website

  • You don’t mind working around Shopify template layouts

Remember that whatever e-commerce platform you decide on, you can always change your mind later. Here is how to migrate products from Squarespace to Shopify, or how to migrate products from Shopify to Squarespace.

Did you find this guide helpful? Let us know on Instagram or Facebook @befluent.ca!

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