Shopify vs. Squarespace Commerce: An In-Depth Comparison

Two of the most popular choices for launching online stores, Shopify and Squarespace Commerce, are often pitted against each other. We explore each software, category by category to help you choose.

Best for New Users

Squarespace Commerce

Squarespace Commerce is a reliable software for your online shop needs.   Full Review »

The Blueprint Score

7.6
out of 10

The Blueprint Score

8.4
out of 10
Best Support

Shopify

Shopify offers an excellent e-commerce-focused content management system complete with many exciting features.   Full Review »

Best for New Users

Squarespace Commerce

Squarespace Commerce is a reliable software for your online shop needs.

The Blueprint Score

7.6
out of 10
Best Support

Shopify

Shopify offers an excellent e-commerce-focused content management system complete with many exciting features.

The Blueprint Score

8.4
out of 10
Squarespace Commerce
Shopify
What We Like
Squarespace Commerce
  • Sleek, professional designs
  • Easy to navigate
  • Great inventory management and analytics
Shopify
  • Fully hosted with no maintenance costs
  • Multichannel retail capabilities
  • Simple user journey
Could Be Better
Squarespace Commerce
  • Limited e-commerce and marketing integrations
  • Extra steps for cross-selling and upselling
  • Slow page load speed
Shopify
  • Limited customization options
  • Not designed for B2B
  • Free trial but no free plans

We may receive compensation from partners and advertisers whose products appear here. Compensation may impact where products are placed on our site, but editorial opinions, scores, and reviews are independent from, and never influenced by, any advertiser or partner.

Both of these platforms are heavy hitters, no denying that. When researching new e-commerce systems, the questions often boil down to: should I use Shopify or Squarespace? While each has plenty to offer, they are usually neck and neck when it comes to customer support and features.

For example, they both score solidly in the features category. Still, our Shopify review has it pulling ahead of our Squarespace review in the support category by just a small margin.

The comparisons of Squarespace e-commerce vs. Shopify are close, but one software keeps winning the comparison.


Shopify vs. Squarespace Commerce: An overview

Both Squarespace Commerce and Shopify are poised as top choices for online store platforms, with thousands of users making up large communities for each. Squarespace Commerce, for one, is a natural extension of Squarespace, and the attention to detail in building and presenting themes is a big draw.

Shopify, on the other hand, was developed solely as an e-commerce software and had its non-sales specific features built into it.

Who is Shopify for?

Shopify, a common Squarespace alternative, was built to be dynamic, letting you grow your e-commerce platform alongside your business. As you expand, you can upgrade your Shopify plan to increased capacity and offerings, though its base level is so well-fortified, you may not even need to upgrade for quite some time, if at all.

Building a basic site is pretty straightforward, as is maintaining it, so you won't have to have a developer on board to keep things rolling along. That's because Shopify was built for businesses, not coders. As an e-commerce platform, it's made specifically for new brands and expanding businesses of varying sizes and ranges who have other things to worry about than building a site from scratch.

Who is Squarespace Commerce for?

Squarespace Commerce is a widely used Shopify alternative across various industries, in use in over 100,000 sites. It is built to be ubiquitous, adapting itself quickly to any number of business types and sizes, from small endeavors to flourishing brands.

It’s especially attractive as a platform for businesses that want their products to shine. Thanks to its portfolio-nature, Squarespace Commerce allows you to highlight your wares through a library of curated, professional themes, making it the design king of Shopify competitors.


Shopify vs. Squarespace Commerce: Features

One of the most critical factors of any software: the features. What can each platform do and what capabilities do they offer?

What Shopify offers

Shopify has a litany of great basics, including professional and dynamic themes, easy customization, analytics, inventory management, and offline sales syncing, and much more. Shopify also offers e-commerce marketing integrations such as OptinMonster, Social Photos, and Instafeed.

With these integrations, you can promote your business and keep a close watch on customer trends, sell over your social media networks, track your customer journeys, and even track orders.

The Shopify's analytics dashboard at glance.

The analytics tracking allows you insight into shipping and sales alike from Shopify’s dashboard.

Shopify’s Exchange marketplace is a unique feature, which lets you skip building a store (and starting a new business) altogether. Just like a physical store coming under new management, you can buy an operational and profitable Shopify store, meaning there’s less risk in starting up something new.

What Squarespace Commerce offers

For starters, Squarespace Commerce offers the best in template designs, allowing you to create a beautiful Squarespace store. You can showcase your products and truly build a professional-looking brand.

The Squarespace Commerce theme templates showcasing products for online stores.

Beautiful themes, including many industry-specific ones, are available to make your e-commerce site look its best at Squarespace Commerce.

Squarespace also includes inventory management, allowing for offline selling and syncing, scheduling automated ordering, and even automating sales tax costs for customers across the globe.

Results

It's a tie. It’s really a matter of which specific features matter most to you. They both have the basics and what you would expect and need to run your business, so it's up to you to figure out which extras have more value, marketing, or design?


Shopify vs. Squarespace Commerce: Support

Any software is only as good as the help it provides when you’re stuck. A good support offering means a lot when you have questions or run into problems with your e-commerce store.

What Shopify offers

Shopify crushes it with support. Aside from their online resources, instructions, and video tutorials, they have a fleet of customer service reps available 24/7 via online ticketing or a toll-free phone number. The response time is fast, and the reps are super knowledgeable, so you are always in good hands, any time of the day or night.

What Squarespace Commerce offers

Squarespace offers pretty solid support. Though there is no phone support, they assist via online ticketing and chat Monday through Friday from 4a.m. to 8p.m. EST, or via Twitter or email 24/7. However, you most likely won’t get an immediate response.

They also offer a large library of how-to videos, guides, and checklists, armed with a lot of knowledge.

Results

Though Squarespace ranks pretty highly, Shopify’s support just can’t be beaten. From 24/7 availability by phone and email to the fact that their reps are some of the fastest to respond in the business. There’s too much to compete against Shopify.


Shopify vs. Squarespace Commerce: Ease of use

What good is great looking software if you can’t use it? Systems for e-commerce stores should be designed with business owners in mind, but also tech novices, not just advanced web developers.

What Shopify offers

What is automatically great about Shopify is that it uses a drag-and-drop builder, making the actual building and editing super simple. Not only is the interface simplified, but necessary buttons such as the ‘undo’ button are also clearly displayed, which is especially helpful if you are inclined to get ahead of yourself. Plus, the most important thing of all to manage, your inventory, is presented in a way that is understandable and actionable.

Shopify's product inventory list for e-commerce shops.

Easily view inventory items and stock levels to manage your Shopify store items.

Once you’ve mastered clicking on-screen tools, Shopify makes it even easier for you to use with its keyboard shortcuts. Further, Shopify’s technical factors are already built, so you buy into the framework of an already-working online store. You then customize it rather than create a shop from scratch.

What Squarespace Commerce offers

Squarespace Commerce may not be a drag-and-drop solution, but it's still pretty easy to use. Navigation is clear, and the toolbars are helpful. What's especially useful is your ability to define your business industry from the start, so you are building strategically.

Your toolbar is broken down into sections so that you can build on a more micro level. And one of the best features is the ability to duplicate pages, so you don't have to start fresh for every similar page.

The toolbars on Squarespace Commerce back-end.

Navigating where you need to in order to edit or design is super simple with Squarespace’s side toolbars.

Results

Another close call, but Shopify edges out on top. Building a store is so simple; you can set it up without a developer, and the maintenance of a Shopify site is entirely tech novice-friendly.


Shopify vs. Squarespace Commerce: Pricing

Business owners have budgets, and so making sure a software fits into them is important. What’s also important is what value you get for the price.

What Shopify offers

When you consider all you get, Shopify's pricing is not only affordable but more than reasonable. Shopify offers discounts for billing annually rather than monthly, with plans starting at $29 per month at the lower end and $299 monthly for the more expensive option.

The basic plan is very comprehensive, so you might not need to upgrade to the other pricing tiers. Shopify comes with free theme options, a POS system for collecting payments and syncing sales, social media integrations, an SSL certificate, and much more.

What Squarespace Commerce offers

Squarespace is also very affordable. It’s cheaper than Shopify, with its four tiers clocking in at $12, $18, $26, and $40/month. And in fairness, you get a lot for $12. With hosting, SSL, beautiful free themes, and a clean dashboard, Squarespace does allow you to go pretty far for only $12/month.

What that $12 to $40 doesn’t cover, though, is a lot more valuable than the $28 difference in price: namely, apps and integrations, e-commerce tools, sales help, and the best possible support.

Results

Though Shopify technically costs more than Squarespace, it still wins the pricing round thanks to the bang you get for your buck. To have access to all the tools you really need with Squarespace, you either will need to pay a lot more or simply go without. These reasons make Shopify a better value for the money.


Shopify vs. Squarespace Commerce: Integration with other software

The sum of something’s parts is often greater than the whole, and so the more parts your software integrates with, the better setup for success you will have.

What Shopify offers

Shopify is ready to integrate, thanks to several apps and tools available as options. Ready for accounting to be easier? Great, it integrates with QuickBooks. Want to offer your customers a bunch of payment options? You can integrate with PayPal, ApplePay, Square, Amazon, and over 100 more options. The marketing integrations cannot be understated, either, as they allow you to drive sales directly to your store and build brand awareness from one hub.

The list of marketing apps that integrate with Shopify.

Shopify integrates with a variety of apps, including a whole marketing library.

It also integrates with social media to sell via “click to buy” buttons, as well as allowing for seamless integration with e-commerce email marketing platforms.

What Squarespace Commerce offers

Squarespace is a little more self-insulated. It does, of course, integrate well with some apps, but the number of e-commerce tools it supports is far fewer than Shopify. And there’s no app store like there is with Shopify, so you are vastly limited with add-ons and other integrations you may need, especially when it comes to payment options.

Results

Shopify entirely wins this category, thanks to the fact that other tools and systems are made available as extensions, which is something Squarespace Commerce is lacking.


Shopify vs. Squarespace Commerce: Shipping options

After you sell your product, you still have to get it to your customer, so having convenient shipping integrations is vital.

What Shopify offers

Shopify is a bit of an all-in-one shipping hub, with the ability to calculate taxes and shipping prices, print shipping labels from your dashboard, etc. It has even partnered with DHL and UPS for more straightforward shipping set up right from your back end.

What Squarespace Commerce offers

Squarespace Commerce is playing catch up since its shipping options can’t compete with Shopify. You can calculate UPS rates within Squarespace as well as edit shipping costs, but it lacks anything more dynamic or more extensive options.

Results

You can’t beat options and ease. Shopify lets you do all your shipping work from one place, as well as offers a variety of shipping options along the way.


How They Compare: Shopify vs. Squarespace Commerce

Squarespace Shopify
Shipping options
Yes
Ease of use
Yes
Yes
Pricing
Yes
Yes
Features
Yes
Yes
Software integration
Yes
SEO
Yes
Yes
Support
Yes
Yes

Shopify delivers consistent winning rounds

At the end of it all, Shopify comes out on top in the battle of Squarespace vs. Shopify. For sheer expansion in the e-commerce world, Shopify’s library of third-party extensions lets you go the distance. Also, being originally and solely designed for e-commerce, the platform intuitively knows what things make sales less of a headache, such as shipping integrations, easy inventory management, etc.

Where Squarespace Commerce has the advantage is in its themes. The theme templates are designed to showcase products beautifully, as well as integrate all website components. Shopify focuses on e-commerce first and aesthetics second, which can either be a plus or a minus, depending on your primary focus.

Overall, though a close comparison in each category, Shopify manages to tie or come out just a little bit more on top in all of them, making it overall just a bit better than Squarespace.

Looking to create an online store and already a fan of Squarespace? Upgrade to Squarespace Commerce to fulfill your e-commerce needs.

Shopify is one of the leading e-commerce platforms in the world — and for good reason. Give this robust e-commerce software platform a try to see if it is right for your business.

The Motley Fool has a Disclosure Policy. The Author and/or The Motley Fool may have an interest in companies mentioned. Click here for more information.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon, Apple, Intuit, PayPal Holdings, Shopify, and Square and recommends the following options: long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon, short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon, and long January 2022 $75 calls on PayPal Holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.