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Which eCommerce platform is best for your business? Shopify website or Squarespace

As businesses battle for online sales, so do the platforms they use! As the world of online sales continues to soar, the competition heats up, and more companies pile into the most lucrative sectors. Your eCommerce website must be optimised if you want to come out on top. So, a Shopify website or Squarespace website, what will it be?

Websites are a tricky thing to get right; trust us, we’ve seen plenty of bad ones in our time, loads of great ones too. The more time we spend online, the more we find ourselves assessing the websites out there; it comes with the territory of being web designers. However, in recent years the one thing that has become increasingly noticeable is the increase of independent businesses moving online and not knowing where to start.

Getting eCommerce right is a tricky job in web design. Business performance resolves around solid figures, there is always a benchmark to live up to. That being said, we are always up for the challenge and relish being the driving force behind a client’s online success.

So, here’s the question we wanted to help you with: which platform is better: Shopify website or Squarespace?

An overview of Shopify and Squarespace

Both Shopify and Squarespace are two of the biggest eCommerce options globally, they deserve the respect and consideration we will pay them. They are both relatively easy to manipulate and make life a little easier for the budding entrepreneurs of the world, which means they don’t need to be coding experts to build an online home for their company. Here’s an overview of each to get you started.

Shopify

Shopify is a Canadian cloud-based software company that provides businesses with manageable and scalable eCommerce storefronts. Known as a global leader in the eCommerce sector, Shopify specialises in providing countless extra products that can be used to optimise your website. They currently host companies such as; Red Bull, Pepsi Co, LVMH and Tesla. That gives your business a pretty impressive set of classmates, right?

Squarespace

Squarespace calls New York City home and is a renowned provider of easy to build eCommerce stores. As one of the sector leaders, Squarespace provides an online landing space for businesses that don’t perhaps need a fully-fledged eCommerce store. With big-name clients such as Keanu Reeves and Idris Elba running their personal brands through the platform, they have some celebrity clout backing their offering too.

So, now let’s have a look at the pros and cons of each.

Shopify website pros and cons

Pros –
• Most complete offering as an eCommerce platform in terms of add-ons, tools and provisions.
• Multi-channel selling is available across Facebook and Instagram.

Cons –
• Enforces fees on alternative payments options.
• With applications and add-ons, monthly costs can become substantial.

Squarespace pros and cons

Pros –
• Value for money.
• Vast amount of designer templates on offer.

Cons –
• Lack of external marketing features.
• Not a vast amount of additional add-ons to amplify your website.
• Fully custom websites are not possible.

Web design at Create8

As a web design agency, building eye-catching eCommerce websites is a part of everyday life. We provide our clients with flexible and manageable packages for everything from bespoke website builds to monthly maintenance and SEO offerings to help them achieve their goals.

To see some of our recent projects, follow the link below and have a look around. If anything catches your eye, let us know, and we will be happy to have a conversation about how we can help you.

Adding some meat to the bones

As you probably guessed, we wouldn’t expect you to work out which platform is for you from a little overview and a couple of bullet points. The truth is those pros and cons could have gone on much longer, but we wanted to break down the most critical factors in more detail.

Which offers more?

You don’t need us to tell you that without marketing your website, it’s unlikely that people will ever find their way there. How flexible the platform is to external marketing becomes an integral part of the choice you make.

A Shopify website has social media integrations available to its users, meaning that your customers can easily find the direct link from social to website. This is increasingly useful as many of your potential users will be active on at least one social media platform.

Shopify also has plenty of great applications to help you master email marketing from your website, meaning you can retarget customers who have been on your site but clicked away.

Finally, when it comes to SEO, a Shopify website is a run-away winner as they offer a range of fully immersive SEO apps to really get your website performing well in the rankings.

Squarespace is the place to be when managing your own blog content. The platform makes everything look extraordinary and provides a search feature and blog-based analytics. Squarespace scores a significant win on the blogging front.

Design and template availability

So, here’s one of the important questions if you are making your website yourself. The templates available on both platforms are pretty awesome. They wouldn’t be popular within the industry if they weren’t; however, Squarespace is a more straightforward platform to use if you have little to no experience in web design. Its templates are modern and are simple enough to give you a place to do business on the internet.

That being said, if you are looking for the platform with the greatest range of products to support your business as it develops, changes and grows. It would be wiser to go with the vaster and more capable Shopify and put it in the hands of an expert.

Shopify V Squarespace sales features

For most businesses, the point of having a great website is to drive sales. Sales figures help you understand where your company is succeeding and where it may need a little extra love.

When it comes to driving sales through either of the platforms, a Shopify website is the clear winner. The platform allows your business to take payments in 100 different currencies, including crypto, which is hugely popular right now. Whereas Squarespace only offers a handful of the most popular options.

Shipping is also seamless with Shopify, as the platform provides everything needed within its built-in integration. However, Squarespace does make things look pretty awesome if you are taking on the design work yourself, meaning your product range will entice your visitors to purchase.

What’s it going to cost?

Once again, if you are looking at doing the design work yourself, the monthly packages on Squarespace start at around £11. In contrast, Shopify comes in at approximately £22, meaning that you’ll save a little each month by choosing Squarespace. If (and it’s a big IF) you are going to build yourself.

So, what’s the conclusion?

The debate between these two platforms looms largely on your approach to business. If you are going to hire a web design company like Create8, we would build your website on Shopify. The benefits of the applications and functionality available to your website make it the best choice for eCommerce.

Squarespace is essentially a DIY website builder with added eCommerce functions meaning that it falls behind if you’re attempting to create something that will convert traffic into sales. It’s a beautifully elegant web building platform and helps build fabulous blogs, landing pages and information-heavy websites. But the competition provided by Shopify is far too great for Squarespace.

Shopify is the sector leader for a reason; it’s a swiss army knife when it comes to eCommerce. Without sounding like we are trying to make you jump for the more expensive option, we also suggest looking at your favourite brands. What do you like about them, and how do you want your business to compete with them? The likelihood is that most of your favourite things about them are down to using Shopify for their online store.

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If anything you have read in this blog is of interest to you, or if you want to have a chat about all the ways we can help you. Please send us a message, or pick up the phone today. We enjoy a good natter about anything business-related and can’t wait to hear your thoughts and ideas too.

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