How To Choose The Best Platform For Your Online Store

How To Choose The Best Platform For Your Online Store

When it comes to setting up an online store, two platforms that are most popular with small business owners are Shopify and Squarespace. Both website platforms are designed to make it easier for an e-commerce business owner with no coding experience to set up shop easily. In this article, we will review these two platforms and also share some tips on how to choose the best platform for your online store.

Squarespace Vs. Shopify: Which One is Best for Your Business?

Depending on your business needs, you may decide to build a Squarespace website or a Shopify website. Both platforms have their unique features. So, you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

Below are some parameters to consider when making your choice.


Both Shopify and Squarespace have different plans available to businesses.

Shopify Pricing

There are three Shopify plans to choose from.

  • Shopify Lite Plan: This is the basic Shopify plan and costs $9 a month.
  • Basic Shopify: The basic package costs $29 a month.
  • Advanced Shopify: For advanced features, this plan is preferred. It costs $299 a month.
  • Shopify Plus: Shopify Plus is popular with ecommerce development companies. It starts at $2,000 a month.
Squarespace Pricing

Squarespace plans are more budget-friendly, which makes them attractive to small businesses. In each plan, Squarespace offers features that can come in handy.

  • Personal: The personal plan costs $16 a month. This plan is restrictive as it doesn’t allow you to sell anything.
  • Business: The business plans costs $26 a month. By choosing this plan, you will have to pay 3% transaction fee on any sales generated.
  • Commerce Basic: The commerce basic plan costs $35 a month. This plan comes with features such as point-of-sale and ecommerce analytics.
  • Commerce Advance: The commerce advance plan costs $54 a month. By opting for this plan, you will gain access to all features including real time carrier shipping, advanced discounts and more.

Setting Up The Platform

Both Shopify and Squarespace offer ecommerce features that are designed to require no coding experience. This makes setting up stores on both platforms easier.

  • Setting up Shopify: Shopify stores are easily built requiring little to no knowledge. Unlike Squarespace, Shopify accepts payments in multiple currencies, comes integrated with a host of third-party apps and supports various payment gateway options.
  • Setting up Squarespace: Setting up Squarespace requires more time and effort. This is especially true if you are trying to integrate an email marketing tool with Squarespace.


When it comes to templates, both platforms will leave you spoilt for choice.

  • Shopify Site Templates: Shopify users have 9 free templates to choose from and 64 more that comes for a fee. To make it easier, the platform organizes its templates according to industries.
  • Squarespace’s Templates: Squarespace templates are unique, sleek and modern. Designed to appeal to bloggers, Squarespace template range works well across devices.

Payment Processing

Another important parameter is payment. Let us check how Shopify and Squarespace stack up here.

  • Shopify Payments: Shopify accepts all major payment gateways including Square, Amazon Pay and PayPal. Shopify keeps offering additional payment options to support local providers.
  • Squarespace Payments: Unlike Shopify, Squarespace is restrictive when it comes to accepting payments. It limits itself to PayPal, Stripe and Square.

Transaction Fees

For a small business owner, every cent counts. That’s why, it’s important to consider transaction fees when you are looking for which platform to use.

  • Shopify Transaction Fees: With Shopify, you have two options: use Shopify’s built-in payment processor or go with a third party payment gateway. If you select the former, you will be able to completely avoid transaction fees. If you instead decide to use a third party payment gateway, you’ll pay anywhere between 0.5% to 2% depending on your plan.
  • Squarespace Transaction Fees: When you choose Squarespace, you pay a transaction fee of 3% only for the Business plan.

SEO Comparison

SEO and Google Analytics are crucial aspects of ecommerce functionality, especially for small businesses that face greater competition. Both Shopify and Squarespace seem to understand this and offer solutions to cater to the requirements of business owners.

  • Shopify SEO: A key SEO functionality Shopify offers is that it automatically generates meta description and page title according to the webpage content.
  • Squarespace SEO: On Squarespace, you are required to configure meta titles, custom URLs and descriptions manually.


When it comes to shipping, both Shopify and Squarespace allow you to set free shipping, weight based, local pickup, flat and calculated rates.

  • Shopify Shipping: Shopify makes the shipping process easier for businesses. It provides printable shipping labels and integration with shipping services such as UPS and NHL.
  • Squarespace Shipping: UPS has been working with both Squarespace and Shopify. From Squarespace’s perspective though, it has not worked with other service providers.

Business Features of Shopify Vs. Squarespace

Some business features such as Point of Sale, customer support and marketing are essential when it comes to running online stores.

  • Shopify Business Features: Shopify has its own POS system, which is included in every Shopify store plan. For marketing, Shopify offers an email marketing tool, which lets businesses send out newsletters.
  • Squarespace Business Features: Squarespace has tied up with Square to develop its Point of Sale, which is only available with its Commerce Basic or Commerce Advance plan. Squarespace also offers cool email marketing features that come for a price.

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About Emmanuel Oluwatosin

Co-founder & Publisher of AfricaX. He is interested in: Technology | Media | Startup | Business | Education. Emmanuel currently lives in Calgary, Canada with his family.

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