Shopify and Squarespace are two platforms that are similar in many ways. They are often rivals for ecommerce companies, fighting tooth-and-nail for small businesses to utilize their platforms. So, we decided to break it down for you and give you the top 10 reasons why we recommend Shopify to all our clients who are serious about growing their businesses.
You can absolutely add in custom code and there are Squarespace developers who will work specifically on coding within the platform, but at the core, it's a drag-and-drop, 100% visual-editing platform. This means that sometimes you sacrifice on your sites' functionality for its beauty. For most websites, this is an okay sacrife to make. For ecommerce sites, though, you should never sacrifice on functionality or on beauty. You CAN have your cake and eat it, too!
Squarespace ecommerce is, at best, limited, and at worst, a lousy excuse for ecommerce. For starters, unless you are on their Commerce plan (the third highest price) they offer, they take out an additional 3% on all transactions, on top of the processing fees. That means if you make a $100 sale, the credit card processing company will take 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction ($3.20) and then Squarespace will take an extra 3% ($3.00) on top of that. So, out of your excellent $100 sale, you only actually take home $93.80. That's potentially a big hit to your margins. On the flip side, Shopify JUST charges the processing fees. Keep that extra 3% in your bank, baby!
Yep, you read that correctly. Squarespace won't let you store your customer's information in your system unless you upgrade your account. Good thinking on their end in order to promote the upgrade, but that should raise a major red flag. Shopify is an ecommerce plan and allows you to see all your customer information without requiring a plan upgrade.
If you have users with visual or motor impairments, they may not be able to use your site due to the way Squarespace codes its themes. Shopify allows you to work on the accessibility, making your shop a place that all are welcome to shop.
Have you ever wondered how many people add your product to a cart, then forget to checkout or get buyer's remorse before purchasing? With both Squarespace and Shopify, you can, but Shopify does it better. Where Squarespace only allows for abandoned cart recovery on their highest tier plan, Shopify has it available to all, which is infinitely valuable. To give you an idea of the power this feature, one of our clients sent 21 abandoned cart emails (automatically) this week, and they recovered an extra $599.
Since both Shopify and Squarespace have themes/templates, DIYing is an option. However, if you're trying to DIY a site, Shopify may not be a perfect fit for you. With Squarespace, you can customize just about everything. With Shopify, you need a working knowledge of code to change many features. But, if you do know how to code, or if you're working with a developer/agency (like us!), you'll be well equipped for success. With Shopify (and a budget), the world is at your fingertips.
With the ability to see your sales per product, sales per channel, sales per customer, etc., Shopify's analytics trump Squarespace's without a doubt. You can also run all your necessary reports on your income, taxes, etc. for your accountant, your marketing team, your warehouse, and more.
A major pitfall of Squarespace ecommerce is that it requires you to use Shipstation or another third-party software to fulfill your orders. This means you will have to pay an additional $9 per month just to access a core, necessary feature of ecommerce sites. Also, we love to vouch for Shopify because they have negotiated carrier rates, which means you get amazing pricing without having to go anywhere else to find it.
No more "Link in bio" posts. If you use Shopify or Squarespace, you can tag a product right on your Instagram feed and it will allow a user to complete an entire transaction in 2 clicks. Shopify has a more seamless experience, in our opinion.
Squarespace is a great platform, but when it's time to transfer to Shopify, they don't make it easy. Squarespace exports their data in very specific file formats (i.e. XML) that aren't compatible with anything except Wordpress and Squarespace. Don't worry, though. We have tricks! So, if you are ready to take the plunge and move from Squarespace to Shopify, you won't lose all your data. You'll just need some fun techies to help you out. ;) Shopify, on the other hand, will export your data as a CSV, so if you ever decide to move platforms or store data elsewhere, your customers, products, orders, and report data is compatible with uploads nearly anywhere.
Though there are loads more reasons, this is our initial list of the 10 most important reasons why ecommerce businesses should switch from Squarespace to Shopify.
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