When you start your eCommerce business, one of the first steps is choosing the right eCommerce platform for your business. It can be hard, with everyone having their own opinion on which one is the best and ads being served on every social media platform telling you which one you should use.
Full disclosure – Fyresite is a Shopify Plus partner. However, in this blog, we will go over which one is right for you, not which one is our favorite platform.
One of the most important factors to look at is cost. How much you’re willing and/or able to pay for an eCommerce platform depends on your budget, what features are important to you, and your company profits.
Shopify offers plans from $39/mo-$2000/mo. They also offer 3 months at $1 for their Basic, Shopify, and Advanced plans. Each plan offers different benefits, including the cost of credit card fees. To learn more about Shopify plans, read here.
Squarespace has plans from $23/mo-$65/mo. However, their $23/mo plan does not offer eCommerce capabilities. Depending on the plan, you may be subject to pay credit card fees and third-party payment processor fees. They also offer a 14 day free trial on any of their plans. To learn more about their plans, read here.
Winner – Cost
For the most features and integrated payments, we choose Shopify.
If you’re just starting out and are not sure how much product you’ll successfully sell, or just need a starting off point without eCommerce, you’d probably prefer Squarespace.
Another important thing to take into consideration when looking for an eCommerce platform is how customizable it is.
Shopify boasts customizability at multiple levels. From your store theme to your checkout, Shopify offers many different customizable pieces to your store that allows you to really make it your own. The higher tier you are subscribed to, the more options there are that can be customized.
You can customize themes without coding experience, but to make it hassle and stress free, we recommend reaching out to an expert, like Fyresite.
If you built your Squarespace site on a 7.1 version template, all features are customizable within their options. Since all version 7.1 sites are part of the same template family, every site has the same features and style options.
If your site is built from a 7.0 version template, there are fixed styles and special features that can’t be customized at all.
Winner – Customizability
We have to choose Shopify, due to the incredible variety and customization abilities of their sites. Customization should allow you to personalize every aspect of your site, and that’s what Shopify does.
Shipping is a big component of eCommerce. If you sell any physical products, they have to get to your customers somehow. To read more about why shipping is so important to eCommerce, read our blog here.
Shopify has their own shipping solution called Shopify Shipping. With Shopify Shipping, you can save up to 88% (depending on what Shopify tier you subscribe to) on shipping costs. No matter which carrier you ship with, Shopify will add $200 of insurance to all eligible packages and you can view all order statuses from your Shopify account.
Shopify is incredibly flexible with fulfillment solutions. They offer self-fulfillment options, as well as many apps that integrate with your Shopify Admin. This gives you great control over what fulfillment strategy you use as your store grows.
Squarespace offers two options for shipping. The first one is self-fulfillment, in which the seller sends the packages through their chosen carrier and is responsible for all fees associated with shipping. The second option is dropshipping, which is when inventory management and shipping is taken care of by a third party.
Winner – Shipping
Due to having flexible shipping solutions, Shopify is the winner. The ease of being able to pay and see all orders from one location makes it much easier for merchants to feel secure in their shipping.
Some eCommerce businesses sell solely out of their website, while others have a storefront in person and online.
Shopify offers Shopify POS, which allows you to sell through multiple sales channels. This can be used for multi-store, single store, and even just pop up events. It even allows you to sell through digital marketplaces and social media!
Every Shopify account includes POS Lite. With Lite, you can take in-person payments, capture basic customer information, and accept limited returns and exchanges.
POS Pro pricing plans are an additional $89/mo for every POS Pro location you have. With Pro plans, you get unlimited staff can access POS, staff roles and permissions, rich customer profiles, customer loyalty insights, returns and exchanges at any location,
inventory management, professional retail reports and omnichannel selling.
Looking to sell at pop-up events without committing entirely to the eCommerce business at this point? Shopify offers a $5/mo plan for POS Lite.
Squarespace doesn’t have their own POS software, but they have partnered with Square to allow you to sell using your phone. For this to work, you need to purchase the Square and have the Squarespace app on your mobile phone. This is only available for merchants in the US.
Winner – Multi-Channel Selling
The winner is Shopify, due to the basic POS that is built into every Shopify plan. It’s also a reasonable price to upgrade to a higher POS. They also have a very affordable option for those looking to start their business in a small, pop-up setting.
Which is Best For You?
While we think Shopify is the best, we understand that it’s not for everyone. If you’re just starting out and want to start your site from scratch, Squarespace could be the perfect option for you. However, in the long run, it could end up costing you more money and biting into your profit margins.
If you value customizability and function, or you want to sell in person as well as online, Shopify is the more ideal candidate, easily letting you upgrade your site as your business grows. With their many pricing tiers, customizability, and easy but effective shipping, it’s the obvious choice to us.
Of course, if you choose to start on Squarespace, but want to move to Shopify as your business grows, that’s an option too! Connect with a Shopify Partner (like Fyresite!) to see how to migrate today.
Connect with Fyresite
Ready to start the site of your dreams? Partner with Fyresite to build the perfect Shopify site for your business today!