The built-in Shopify multi-currency functionality doesn’t include auto-conversion however (users have to manually select their currency from a drop-down menu), so some merchants will prefer to make use of a third-party app to handle currency conversions (there are quite a few available — I’ve found Bold’s multi-currency app pretty good on previous projects). If you like, you can also specify a 'focal point' for individual product images in Squarespace — this part of the photo will be emphasised within the cropped image. While both platforms enable online selling, choosing between Squarespace eCommerce VS Shopify largely depends on what type of business you have. Of course, an online store is technically a website too, but in this context, by 'website' I'm talking about an online presence where conveying information is the priority — for example, a blog, a news site, a brochure site, a magazine, a photography portfolio etc. Once potentially tempting feature of Squarespace is that when you purchase one of their plans (and pay annually) you get a free custom domain with it; although you can use Shopify to register a custom domain too, there is a cost associated with this (domain names start at $11 per year). One of the problems with other other website builders is they launch pretty templates that are almost impossible to modify without wrecking. Squarespace has a visual drag-and-drop page editor. Now, meeting the first three requirements with either Squarespace or Shopify is fairly straightforward (although you will have a bit of legwork to do in terms of creating GDPR compliant privacy policies and data capture forms).Meeting the fourth requirement however is harder, and in my view Squarespace and Shopify should be doing more to assist their customers to meet this GDPR obligation (particularly Squarespace).Basically, whenever you use non-essential third party cookies on a website — for example a Facebook Ads pixel or a Google Analytics tag — you are legally obliged to give EU visitors to your website the option to switch these off BEFORE they continue to browse your site (even if your site is based outside of the EU). And with VAT MOSS functionality available, Shopify is better for selling digital goods. You can avail of this functionality on the 'Advanced Commerce' plan only; and it's not possible to work with any other carriers. Ultimately however, if POS is important to you, Shopify is currently the better option (especially if you live outside the US). We were able find several apps in Shopify’s app store that showed our orders on a map so we could pick and choose which orders we would deliver ourselves. Shopify can be used almost anywhere and in most currencies, because it allows you to use over 100 different ‘payment gateways’ (third-party processors that process credit card transactions). There's definitely a 'wow' factor with certain Squarespace templates that sets them apart from similar website builders and e-commerce platforms. With Shopify, unless all your images have a consistent aspect ratio, they will be laid out in a pretty incoherent manner: visitors to your site will see a mish-mash of differently sized image photos in the product catalogues (see video below). With Squarespace, you can edit the CSS and certain bits of HTML (you can insert code blocks onto pages, or inject HTML into the header of your site). Shopify’s page editor isn’t as powerful because it’s not as high of a priority for ecommerce websites. With the addition of e-commerce to Squarespace’s feature set, and an increase in the number of content-creation apps available for Shopify, the two tools have become increasingly similar and technically, you can now use either to create a content-driven website or sell products online. Squarespace’s built-in email marketing feature is called ‘Squarespace Email Campaigns’ — you have to pay extra to use it, and there are four plans available: Starter — $7 per month to send up to 3 e-newsletters to a maximum of 500 subscribers per month, Core — $14 per month for 5 e-newsletters / 5,000 subscribers, Pro — $34 per month for 20 e-newsletters / 50,000 subscribers, Max — $68 per month for an unlimited number of newsletters / 250,000 subscribers. Squarespace is all about building beautiful websites— while Shopify is purely focussed on powering ecommerce. Creating layouts within a WYSIWYG editor can be painful. The phone support provided by Shopify works using a ‘callback’ system — you request a call from the support team, and they call you back later. Each is fresh, modern and sophisticated: There are hundreds of additional Shopify themes created by 3rd party developers. Differences Between Shopify vs Squarespace. Shopify provides quite a few apps too, but there are 2 main ones which will be of relevance to the majority of users — first there's the main Shopify app, which allows you to edit certain aspects of your Shopify site, view basic stats and check in on orders. If you're looking for a website builder with professional reporting functionality, then Shopify is a much better option than Squarespace. Squarespace’s apps come in the form of ‘extensions.’ These represent a new development for the company, so at time of writing there is only a limited number available ( but you can expect this to grow over time). Squarespace offers professional designs that don’t cost you extra. The third restriction is possibly the most serious, because it rules out design customisations that can't be made using the standard Squarespace controls. The Shopify Buy Button is a solution that allows you to basically embed/link to your Shopify shop anywhere - including on another website platform like Squarespace. If you just want to build a content-driven website — i.e., you don’t intend to sell anything — then on the surface of things, Squarespace offers a considerably cheaper way to do this, with its $16 per month ‘Personal’ plan. That said, you can get around the product option limitation in Shopify, so long as you are prepared to pay for a third-party app to do so (an example being the Infinite Product Options app). In Shopify, you're dealing with page titles, meta descriptions, alt text etc.— all the standard terminology you'd expect. (Note: for the avoidance of confusion, you can accept payment from anybody in any country using Stripe; but you can only sell using it if you are based in certain countries). The first screen sets the stage and tells the user something important about the software. Provide a means to opt in or revoke consent to use of non-essential cookies on a website (and to log that consent). One thing to watch out for in Squarespace is that in the latest version of the platform (7.1), you can't switch template! It’s cheaper than Shopify, with its four tiers clocking in at $12, $18, $26, and $40/month. Why Shopify Makes a Good Alternative Because Shopify is 100% focused on eCommerce, it’s able to offer a much more feature-rich, robust eCommerce platform than Squarespace. (Same goes for Google Drive too — you can send your data to a Google Sheet in a similar way). In software, you could say the first “scene” is the first screen a user is shown after logging in. If your primary aim to build an attractive website to showcase content, then out of the two products here, Squarespace is your best bet. Cookie banners are usually used to facilitate this, but the old 'By using this site you are consenting to cookie usage...' statement on a banner is not good enough any more — you need something far more sophisticated.Sadly, out of the box there is no way to facilitate this kind of GDPR cookie consent for third party scripts on either Shopify or Squarespace, meaning that many (if not the vast majority of) Squarespace and Shopify users end up breaking the law as soon as they add a third-party cookie to their website. Shopify’s first screen is a newsfeed of what’s happening in your store: Shopify's first screen is a newsfeed for your store. Shopify automatically creates a title page and meta description for each product and page made through its platform. U ultimately, we are going to figure out which one you should pick. If you’re looking into building a website or an online store, you’ve probably heard of the web design platforms Squarespace and Shopify. You can also buy domain names separately through Squarespace too, if you like. If you’re based in the US, Canada or Australia, Shopify has teamed up with a selection of local postal companies to provide calculated shipping rates, along with preferential rates on shipping. With Shopify, you can apply the correct tax rules for the US, Canada and the European Union automatically. Squarespace has a visual drag-and-drop page editor. Shopify's Point of Sale kit, for selling your wares in a 'real' shop. You can view a full list of the products we receive commission on here. First, for all products and pages, Shopify generates a page title and meta description automatically based on the content of your page, which a lot of the time — particularly where products are concerned — often provides a very good SEO starting point. Shopify’s automatic tax calculation feature is particularly useful for merchants selling digital goods in the EU. 2. So, if abandoned cart saving is an important feature for you, it's a bit of a win here for Shopify. Depending on your chosen Squarespace template, you'll find lots of nice visual effects in play, with images and text that gracefully fade in and out as users scroll through a site. Let's dive into the website-building stuff first. By contrast, Squarespace only allows you to integrate the Square card reader into proceedings. As with Squarespace Email Campaigns, the main advantage of using the feature is that it allows you to manage your website and mailing list in one place. One area where both products could improve a bit involves URL creation. For me, the bottom line with templates is that both Shopify and Squarespace provide a wide range of attractive template options, with Squarespace — as you might expect by now — being the more obvious choice for content-driven websites, and Shopify being the more obvious choice for those wishing to make an online store. Please do contact us for more information on how you can get a Shopify or Squarespace project off the ground quickly and professionally with us. If you’d like to learn more, check out my full Shopify review. If you are hoping to build a content-focused website or a blog and sell a couple of products on the site as well, then Squarespace is probably still your best bet, so long as you are happy to sell in one currency, and aren’t dealing with too many different tax rates. In all honesty, both of them are excellent website builders. It’s a bit of a time-consuming thing to set up, and a slightly complex process is involved, but it does work nicely — for a full overview of the steps involved, check out our guide on how to add a GDPR-compliant cookie banner to a Squarespace site. Answering this question starts, helpfully, with another question…. But Shopify is just in a different class from Squarespace when it comes to ecommerce. Shopify permits more control over the HTML and CSS of your website. If you are on a budget and looking to build a simple website, then Wix is worthing investigating (paid plans allowing you to build a standalone website start from $13 per month — this is significantly cheaper than either Squarespace or Shopify). Reporting in Shopify is significantly more comprehensive than in Squarespace (click to enlarge). Read on to get a list of pros and cons of each platform — and do feel free to leave any thoughts or questions on both products in the comments section below. Shopify doesn’t even show your website in the first screen. For example, my friend and I started a Shopify store selling toilet paper with a local politicians face on it (don’t worry— he deserved it). All these platforms facilitate their users throughout the process from creating, to running and managing websites. The main difference between Shopify and Squarespace's interfaces is that Shopify uses a simple 'What You See Is What You Get' (WYSIWYG) approach to page layout, which limits how you can present content. In terms of the the credit card fees, the rate is determined by either Stripe or Paypal (the two options provided by Squarespace for processing credit cards). Shopify won this market by relentlessly launching innovative features that reduce the barriers to starting and scaling an online store. It’s just that the Squarespace SEO options could be better implemented, particularly where alt text is concerned. These cost additional money and rely on the 3rd party developer to provide support but there are lots of examples of live Shopify stores that look beautiful. It's important to remember, of course, that there is a lot more to consider than just the monthly fees. Helpful ‘wizards’ are provided to help you import pages, posts and other content from Wordpress, Blogger and Tumblr; and, so long as you are on a ‘Commerce’ plan, you can import products via CSV or, using an import tool, via from Shopify, Etsy or Big Cartel. Remember that you can only add CSS to your site and inject code into your page headers if you're on a Squarespace 'Business' plan or higher however — the 'Personal' plan disables this functionality. Shopify's core includes what most stores need— apps are for more unusual features such as back in stock notifications or gift-wrapping upsells. These provide you with a very easy way to add stock images to your website — when adding a picture to a page, you can simply use a search box to find something suitable on either service. This app makes it easier to manage queries and share your product details with customers when chatting with them over Facebook Messenger, Shopify’s own chat service (‘Shopify Chat’) or Apple Business Chat. It’s still possible to integrate Mailchimp with a Shopify store, but you’ll have to embed a Mailchimp form on your site or use a third-party integration to do so. Neither allows you to create truly ‘clean’ URLs — something that Google prefers — because they stick prefixes into some URLs which can't be removed (for example, /blog/, /products/ and so on). Example of a paid-for Shopify theme, ‘Capital’. Shopify and Squarespace are born for different purposes. It comes with more built-in email marketing tools, and gives you access to many marketing apps. However, when you consider that Squarespace charges 3% transaction fees on its 'Business' plan, and offers a very limited range of payment processing options with it, it's hard not to conclude that the Basic Shopify plan represents better value as far as e-commerce is concerned, even if the monthly fee is a little bit higher. 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