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Video comparison transcript
Hey everybody, it’s Matt from Style Factory here.
Today I’m going to look at Shopify vs Squarespace, and help you decide which of these popular website building platforms is best for building your online store.
So keep watching to discover the six key reasons you might want to use Shopify over Squarespace, and the six key reasons why Squarespace might be the better choice.
By the end of this video, you’ll have a much clearer idea which of these platforms is the best fit for you.
Let’s kick things off with a look at the 6 key reasons to use Shopify over Squarespace.
One — Shopify lets you sell in more ways.
Unlike Squarespace, which started life as a general website building tool, Shopify was designed specifically to be an ecommerce platform. This means that its selling tools are much more flexible than the Squarespace equivalents.
This is particularly true when it comes to point of sale features — thanks to a wide range of POS hardware, Shopify gives you a convenient way to take payments not just online but in physical locations too, all while keeping your online and offline sales data perfectly in sync.
By contrast, Squarespace’s point of sale features are currently very basic and only work in the US.
Additionally, you can use Shopify’s ‘buy buttons’ to embed your products on other websites. This helps you further extend the reach of your catalogue, and generate more sales. Squarespace doesn’t yet have a similar feature.
Two — Shopify is better for selling internationally.
Unlike Squarespace, Shopify lets you sell in multiple currencies, which means that your store’s visitors can see product prices in their own currency. This is something that can lead to significantly more conversions.
And, thanks to its sophisticated multilingual features, Shopify makes it much easier than Squarespace to create different language versions of your store.
Three — Shopify works with more payment gateways than Squarespace.
Payment gateways are software applications that process credit card payments on your website. Shopify lets you use far more of them than Squarespace — you can integrate over 100 payment gateways with Shopify, while Squarespace limits you to just using Stripe and PayPal.
This means there are more limits on the type of payment methods you can accept with Squarespace, and significantly, Squarespace doesn’t work with Google Pay.
Four — Abandoned cart saving is included on all Shopify plans.
An abandoned cart saving tool lets you send reminder emails automatically to people who leave your store in the middle of a purchase. You can use these emails to encourage those visitors to complete their transaction.
While Shopify includes this feature on all plans, you’ll have to be on Squarespace’s most expensive plan to access it.
Five — Shopify’s automatic tax calculation features are stronger.
One of the key challenges of selling online is that you often have to deal with lots of different tax rates, and price your products accordingly.
Because of its automatic tax calculation features, Shopify can simplify this process considerably for merchants based in several different countries, including the US, Canada, the UK and Australia.
Additionally, Shopify makes it easy to automatically apply the EU’s complex VAT MOSS tax rates to digital products.
By contrast, Squarespace’s offering here is very limited. Its automatic tax calculation features are only currently available in the USA, and involve installing a third-party app.
Six — Shopify’s customer support is more comprehensive.
Shopify lets you contact the company for help in more ways.
Phone support is available on most Shopify plans, while Squarespace only provides customer support via email or live chat.
Additionally, Shopify provides customer support in considerably more languages than Squarespace.
So that’s six key things that Shopify does better than Squarespace.
But where does Squarespace win over Shopify?
I’ll come to that in just a second, but before I do, it’d be great if you could just take a couple of seconds to give us a thumbs up, hit the subscribe button and click the notifications bell. This helps make our ecommerce content more visible on YouTube, and lets you access it more easily.
Right, so let’s look at the six key reasons to use Squarespace over Shopify.
One — Squarespace gives you a much wider range of free templates, and they’re stunning too.
There are far more free templates bundled with Squarespace than Shopify — you can choose from a range of over 140 free templates.
By contrast, Shopify only gives you access to 10 free ones, and its paid-for templates are quite expensive.
Additionally, the Squarespace templates are stunning. Although this is a subjective area, we think that their design has a ‘wow’ factor that isn’t present in the free Shopify themes.
Two — Squarespace is easier to use.
The Squarespace interface is very user friendly and has been designed with absolute web design novices fully in mind. Setting up menus, pages and products is usually more straightforward in Squarespace than Shopify.
Three — Squarespace gives you more website building features.
Because Squarespace was initially conceived as a website building platform rather than an ecommerce solution, it gives you more tools for laying out your content exactly the way you want to. You get a lot more ways to create attractive page layouts, galleries and forms in Squarespace, and its blogging features are stronger too.
Four — the product option limits are more generous in Squarespace.
Product options and variants let you offer your store’s products in lots of different colours, sizes and shapes.
While Shopify limits you to just three product options and 100 product variants, Squarespace lets you present your products in six different options and 250 different variants.
Now, to be fair to Shopify, it does let you add apps to your store that increase or remove these limits, but you usually have to pay extra to use them.
Five — Squarespace’s built in email marketing tool is more sophisticated than Shopify’s.
Shopify and Squarespace both give you useful built-in email marketing tools, but Squarespace’s is more sophisticated. It allows you to incorporate more of your site content into your emails, and automate your email marketing via ‘drip’ autoresponder cycles.
Six — Product images are handled better by Squarespace.
With Shopify, unless all your images have the same aspect ratio, visitors to your site will see a bunch of differently sized image photos in your product catalogues. This can look messy, and to get around this problem, you may find yourself doing a lot of photo editing.
Squarespace provides a much better approach: you simply pick an aspect ratio for your product images and the system will automatically crop all your pictures to that ratio.
So that’s it — six ways that Shopify outperforms Squarespace, and six things that Squarespace does better than Shopify.
Of course, the best way to discover which platform meets your needs best is to try both out — you’ll find links to free trials of Shopify and Squarespace underneath this video.
I hope you’ve found this Shopify vs Squarespace video helpful, but there’s lots more pros and cons of both platforms to discover. You’ll find all these in our full Shopify vs Squarespace comparison, which is available on the Style Factory website. You’ll find a link to this article below.
And finally, if you have any questions about Shopify or Squarespace, do leave a comment on this video — we try to answer all of them.
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Related Shopify and Squarespace resources
- Watch our Shopify vs Squarespace comparison on YouTube
- YouTube Shopify tutorial for beginners
- Squarespace tutorial
- Squarespace SEO — The Definitive Guide and Checklist
- Shopify tutorial
- Shopify SEO — How to Optimize Your Shopify Store
- Shopify pre-launch checklist
- Squarespace pricing
- Shopify pricing
- Shopify Dropshipping — How To Do It Right!
Very helpful and practical summary.
Thanks Edward, glad you found the comparison useful!