Squarespace Vs. Shopify: Which One Is Best For Your Business?

If you are thinking about building your business and can't decide between Squarespace or Shopify, the Brad Good team put together a competitive analysis on both platforms, and we also gave our recommendation to which platform we like the best.

Read on below, and let us know what your takeaway is in the comment section!




Basic E-commerce $26 a month / Advanced E-commerce $40 a month when billed annually.


Main Features:

  • Sell Unlimited Products

  • No Transaction Fees

  • Customer Accounts

  • Powerful Commerce metrics

See more features here: https://www.squarespace.com/pricing/#commerce


Reasons to use Squarespace over Shopify

  • The quality of bundled templates is arguably higher in Squarespace than in Shopify - they have more 'wow' factor (note that the paid-for Shopify templates are of a similar quality, however).

  • If your main aim is to showcase content, particularly images, then Squarespace is the more elegant, flexible solution.

  • The video background feature is capable of providing you with some stunning visual results.

  • You can buy Getty images very cheaply with Squarespace and integrate them easily onto your site.

  • Squarespace is, in general, slightly easier to use than Shopify, particularly where creating a site navigation is concerned.

  • Squarespace allows you to sell an unlimited number of products more cheaply than Shopify.

  • Abandoned cart recovery functionality is available more cheaply on Squarespace than Shopify.

  • Product images are handled better by Squarespace.

  • You can set up a store and sell unlimited products with Squarespace cheaper than with Shopify.

  • Depending on whether or not you have an existing G Suite account, you may be able to avail of a free G Suite plan for a year by purchasing it through Squarespace.



Pricing (Hosting):

Basic Shopify: $29 A month

Shopify: $79 a month

Advanced Shopify: $299 a month

There are currently around 10 free Shopify themes, all of the rest would need to be purchased. Prices range around $140+

More details and features on Shopify pricing: https://www.shopify.com/pricing


Reasons to use Shopify over Squarespace

  • With Shopify, you can export products; in Squarespace you can't, meaning it's very difficult to migrate an online store if you need to move platforms.

  • You can run a dropshipping business with Shopify - this isn't really possible in Squarespace...unless you use a Shopify buy button

  • There is a huge library of third-party apps that work with Shopify and extend its functionality significantly - although some integrations are available for Squarespace, you won't find a similar catalog of apps to beef up your site/store.

  • Shopify provides you with significantly more choices when it comes to payment gateways.

  • If you intend to sell products in-store or at events, you will find Shopify's Point of Sale options extremely useful; Squarespace doesn't yet offer this kind of functionality.

  • Shopify permits more advanced control over the HTML and CSS of your website.

  • Reporting is significantly better in Shopify than in Squarespace, although you'll need to be on a more expensive plan to access this functionality.

  • Thanks to the fact that EU VAT is automatically calculated for you on digital goods, Shopify makes selling products to EU customers a lot more straightforward.

  • Shopify provides more comprehensive support than Squarespace, including phone support.

  • Shopify's 'Lite' plan allows you to start selling online and at point-of-sale very cheaply (but note that it won't provide you with a fully-fledged online store).

  • Shopify's navigation builder allows you to use more levels of navigation than Squarespace (for desktop versions of your store).

  • Shopify has a much better approach to SEO.

  • There are more template variations available in Shopify (but you will have to pay a premium to use many of them).

  • Only one smartphone app is required to manage key aspects of your site on the go - with Squarespace you'll need more.



In the end, it really comes down to YOUR own business goals. If you are looking to have a heavy focus on e-commerce than Shopify might be your best bet. But if you are looking just to test the waters of e-commerce while still having a beautiful website up, then Squarespace will be a great fit. 


Our Recommendation

Just from my design experience, I am always in favor of Squarespace. While I do agree that they aren't always as robust as I would like them to be, the platform is much easier to use and just looks cleaner design wise. It is also cheaper as well. Plus, they are really making good strides to catch up to Shopify. Just this past month they announced a new feature available on the e-commerce plans that allow returning customers to create accounts, save payment and other information for easy ordering. If having a POS that links back to your online store is a big plus, then Shopify would be the way to go. 

Alternatively, you as a client could consider using Squarespace AND Shopify in conjunction with each other: could use the 'Shopify Lite' Plan to integrate the Shopify Buy Button, cart and checkout onto a Squarespace site.