Choosing between Shopify and Squarespace for your eCommerce store

Choosing between Shopify and Squarespace for your eCommerce store

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Design
  3. Transaction Fees
  4. Search Engine Optimization
  5. Inventory Management
  6. Plugins and Extensions
  7. Shipping
  8. Pricing
  9. Pros and Cons
  10. Conclusion

Shopify vs Squarespace: Which Platform is Best for Your Ecommerce Store?


In this article, we will be discussing the key differences between Shopify and Squarespace, two popular platforms used for launching ecommerce stores. We will dive deep into various aspects such as design, transaction fees, search engine optimization, inventory management, plugins and extensions, shipping, pricing, and more. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of which platform suits your brand and business needs the best.


Both Shopify and Squarespace offer the ability to create elegant-looking websites. However, Squarespace excels in providing themes tailored for creative entrepreneurs. Whether you're a band selling merchandise or a maker showcasing handmade products, Squarespace's themes allow you to tell your story and share your journey while still offering seamless ecommerce functionality. On the other hand, Shopify provides free and paid theme options, making it suitable for fashion and boutique brands. While the plethora of choices on Shopify can be overwhelming, Squarespace wins in terms of customization speed and elegance.

Transaction Fees

When it comes to transaction fees, Shopify's built-in payment processor gives it an edge over Squarespace. With Shopify, you incur a fee of 2.9% plus 30 cents for every online transaction. Squarespace, on the other hand, requires you to integrate payment processors such as Stripe, Square, or PayPal, with the most popular business package charging an additional three percent fee on top of the transaction. While both platforms have their pros and cons in terms of transaction fees, Shopify is more cost-effective for larger transaction volumes.

Search Engine Optimization

When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), Shopify surpasses Squarespace due to its ability to add more metadata to your site. This means search engines like Google can crawl through your site and display your products or services in search results. Squarespace does have some SEO capabilities, but they are not as robust as Shopify's. If having the best SEO capabilities is important to you, Shopify is the clear winner in this category.

Inventory Management

Shopify offers advanced inventory management features where you can easily manage multiple product locations, including warehouses and storefronts. Squarespace, on the other hand, requires you to install third-party plugins at an additional cost to achieve the same level of control that Shopify provides out of the box. If you want a seamless and hassle-free inventory management solution, Shopify is the clear winner.

Plugins and Extensions

Having the ability to add plugins and extensions to your website is crucial for growing your online store. Shopify offers over 1200 plugins in its official app store, providing a wide range of options for drop-shipping, automated messaging, and more. Squarespace, on the other hand, has a limited selection of plugins, and if you want to use non-listed plugins, you may have to pay additional fees and compromise on data security. If plugins and extensions are important to you, Shopify is the superior choice.


Shopify not only allows you to print and ship labels for your products but also offers discounted shipping rates from DHL Express, UPS, and USPS. Squarespace, although it has the ability to connect to third-party shipping extensions, comes at an added cost and lacks the significant shipping discounts offered by Shopify. If seamless shipping and discounted rates are a priority for your ecommerce store, Shopify is the clear winner.


Both Shopify and Squarespace offer various pricing plans to cater to different business needs. Squarespace currently offers four different plans, starting from $16 per month for a personal plan and going up to $46 per month for the advanced commerce plan. However, it's important to note that Squarespace's most popular plan, the $26 basic ecommerce plan, incurs an additional three percent fee on top of the 2.9 percent transaction fee. On the other hand, Shopify's basic package starts at $29 per month and includes its own payment processor, fraud analysis, abandoned cart recovery, and discounted shipping rates. Considering the features and cost-effectiveness, Shopify provides a better deal for ecommerce businesses.

Pros and Cons

Shopify Pros:

  • Robust SEO capabilities
  • Advanced inventory management
  • Wide selection of plugins and extensions
  • Seamless shipping experience
  • Cost-effective pricing plans

Shopify Cons:

  • Overwhelming number of theme choices
  • Additional transaction fees

Squarespace Pros:

  • Elegant, customizable themes
  • Ideal for creative entrepreneurs
  • Simplified website setup process
  • Great for beginners with limited budgets

Squarespace Cons:

  • Limited plugin options
  • Additional cost for advanced features
  • Transaction fees on basic ecommerce plan


At the end of the day, the choice between Shopify and Squarespace depends on your specific brand and business needs. Shopify offers a comprehensive and feature-rich platform, making it ideal for ecommerce stores that prioritize advanced functionality, SEO capabilities, inventory management, and plugins. On the other hand, Squarespace is a great platform for creative entrepreneurs looking for an elegant website without the complexity of a fully-integrated ecommerce solution. However, it's crucial to consider the transaction fees associated with Squarespace's basic ecommerce plan. In summary, Shopify emerges as the clear winner due to its robust features, cost-effectiveness, and focus on ecommerce.

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