Shopify VS Squarespace: Which Is Better For Small Business Ecommerce?

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As a small business owner who has valuable merchandise to put into an online store, you are probably thinking to yourself how do I get started doing this efficiently, and affordably? If you don’t have the time, or the expertise to learn how to code something of this caliber yourself, then you probably want to look at either Shopify or Squarespace fro your eCommerce store solution.In this article, we’ll go over the major differences between Squarespace and Shopify, which is cheaper, and what’s the best fit for most small business ecommerce needs. By the end of this article, you’ll quickly be bale to decide which is right for you, and if there are any other alternatives you should tale a look at.


Ecommerce Platform Pricing: Which Is Cheaper – Shopify Or Squarespace?

Before we go into the minute differences between companies, let us take a look at their various pricing for their services. Shopify has three different standard pricing plans, starting from basic Shopify, Shopify, and advanced Shopify. They also offer alternate plans that include Shopify lite, and Shopify plus.

For basic Shopify, it is only twenty-nine dollars a month, but you are only allowed two separate staff accounts through their website. Also, the basic version does not include gift cards, professional reports, an advanced report builder, or third party calculated shipping rates.

The second step up called just Spotify is seventy-nine dollars a month, but this version does include gift cards, professional reports, abandoned cart recovery, and lets you have up to five separate staff accounts. This is usually for an established business, with a moderate to large amount of internet traffic to their ecommerce store already.

Moving on, if your business is pulling major profit you might want to consider taking the advanced Shopify option for a spin, which is a whopping two hundred and ninety-nine dollars a month. The major differences between this version and the middle of the road option, is that advanced Shopify will let you have fifteen separate staff accounts, as well as giving you the option of having third party calculated shipping rates from companies like UPS, Fedex, or other third-party shipping applications.


What About Accepting Credit Cards And Merchant Account Processing Fees?

There are also very minute differences in credit card rate fees, but not enough to merit recognition. Meaning less than one percent on each credit card transaction fee. One great option Shopify offers business owners is the option of mobility. As a business owner using this company you have the ability to take payments virtually anywhere on several different mobile devices.

If you sign up for the Shopify POS, you will get a card reader that will take Apple pay, Android pay, and other major credit card payments. There are two different card readers that you can choose from, and the first one is just a chip and swipe reader, but the second version includes a tap, chip and swipe reader.

If you are going the economical route then the first option is free; however, the reader that includes the tap function will normally cost you one hundred and forty-nine dollars. This device is great for both mobile and static business locations and the rates can be as low as 2.4 percent with no hidden fees (www.shopify.com/pos).


Facebook Integration And Third-Party Apps?

If your business relies on selling their products through Facebook, or other blog sites you might want to also consider investing in Shopify lite for nine dollars a month, or if you are a large corporation that has extremely massive volume they offer one more unique option called Shopify plus. If you are worried about the security of your payments regarding any of the Shopify options don’t worry they are all SSL certified, and your payments always be directed towards an HTTPS secured server.

Shopify will even include Fraud analysis tools regardless of what option you choose! If all of this information still seems daunting, or you consider yourself not to be to tech savvy you have nothing to fear, because Shopify also has a vast amount of resources to get you started.

They have a multitude of text guides you can read, or videos you can watch to learn how to use their service. If you are still in need of more help you can opt to choose to listen to their podcasts, or even communicate on their forums. The help is there, and there is an abundance of it. There is no need to have an excuse on why you can’t use this service!

Furthermore, Shopify also lets you choose from hundreds of free stock photos in case you don’t have the time to grab that camera and create award winning templates to place your products on! Maybe you can do all of this, but you still lack time due to your busy schedule, or maybe you are constantly traveling from one place to the next trying to score that next big business deal and you still need further outside help. Shopify will still have you covered, because they can help you find marketers, photographers, developers, and even setup experts to help launch your business. However, these options are sometimes quite pricey so if your business does not have the budget it would probably be best to learn to do these things yourself, or as I said before use the resources available on the website that are completely free.

Squarespace is another great platform that can help your small business achieve success, but its specialty is somewhat different. Squarespace is also focused mainly on helping you build a website in a professional and sophisticated manner. This company does offer an SSL secured online store, however as said before this company focuses more on the website functionality itself rather than the technical side of things like the fraud reports, or other professional reports. One major difference between the two competitors is that if you don’t need an online store, Squarespace does only cost twelve dollars a month for a personal account, or eighteen dollars a month for a business account so it gives you a little more freedom than Shopify if you are strictly looking at it in terms of user intent. Both payment options will allow you to have a free custom domain if you choose the annual purchase option, and the ability to sell an unlimited amount of items, SSL security, twenty four hour customer service and the ability for the website itself to be mobile user friendly.

However, if you want to add that online store to increase the sales in your small business then you will have to only pay twenty-six dollars a month annually, or thirty dollars for month to month payments for the basic version which will still include your website and free templates. The more expensive version is only forty dollars a month annually, or forty-six dollars for month to month payments, and this would give you the ability to have real time carrier shipping, checkout hosted on your domain, and automatic discounts. A great benefit of both of these options is that there are no transaction fees added on to your online store and its sales.

Moreover, unfortunately Squarespace does not give you the option of getting any type of card reader for your business, so your business might suffer in terms of mobility; but, it still offers payment options via checkout, and they still accept Apple pay as well as Paypal  (www.squarespace.com/pricing#commerce).

Advice to Small Business

With these comparisons in mind, a small business owner probably doesn’t want to spend a ton of hard earned money on something like Shopify plus, or even advanced Shopify. This is not because the service is bad, but it is because it would be extremely unpractical. Unless your business suddenly is making millions overnight you might not want to go overboard on investments for your online store, or your website because the initial financial investment could certainly be detrimental to your bottom line. On a lighter note, I would suggest that if you don’t require a card reader that you choose Squarespace only because it offers almost the same kind of support that Shopify offers. By this I mean that it has a ton of how-to guides on how to get started with their services in case you need help. Also, in terms of security both companies are one in the same, because they both offer SSL protection; however, in terms of practicability Squarespace has everything a small business needs without the two percent deduction for every credit card transaction. Shopify also charges you for third-party payment gateways such as Paypal, Stripe, or Amazon payments. In essence, if your business hasn’t hit its growth spurt yet, then I would stick with Squarespace due to the flexability of customization, and the lack of credit card fees per transaction. When you are in the business of doing business, every penny counts! You must also be aware that if you accept an upgrade to a retail package on Shopify that it will cost you an extra forty-nine dollars on top of whatever plan you choose with them. With the purchase of any service always read the fine print, because you must be sure what you are getting into and what exactly it will cost you in the end. Why spend more for services if you don’t have to?  If you are a small business owner who would like the option of mobility, and you have to have a card reader you can always buy them from places like www.squareup.com. Sometimes in the realm of business flashier does not always mean better. Let us do some comparison with Shopify and Squarespace just a little more. If you just started your small business and chose to buy the basic package from Shopify as well as their retail package you would be technically paying seventy-eight dollars a month, and that isn’t counting every online transaction that would cost you 2.9 percent plus thirty cents. If you managed to generate one thousand online sales in the first month of being in business the transaction fee of thirty cents would end up costing you around three hundred dollars and that is not including the base percentage fee. That is a whopping thirty percent profit down the drain!

Shopify or Squarespace: What should you choose for your small business?

In conclusion, what is Shopify, and what is Squarespace? These are businesses that allow you to create your own website that would typically also feature your own online store. The real question is how much money do you really want to spend on your small businesses? Both platforms have great characteristics; however the real difference comes down to how much money do you really want to spend, and not which platform is superior. Both Shopify, and Squarespace target different types of business owners. Shopify is the pricier of the two companies, but offers a little more for your money. This includes features like fraud reporting, and access to different experts in various fields in case you have the funds to hire someone to do your photography, marketing, or setting up Shopify for you. Squarespace is for the everyday small business owner who is in the field on a day to day business getting hands on experience from top to bottom. Overall, I believe both of these companies have the potential to help kickstart a business in high gear since the tools needed are at your disposal; but, this all depends on how you decide to use these tools. You know how the saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force it to drink”. I believe this would be the perfect real world example. Anything that is worth doing takes time and energy in order to master it, and any small business owner is probably aware of this so on a final note, if you don’t have the time to learn how these platforms operate, then don’t bother wasting your money. However, if you do want to go that extra mile and learn the ins and outs of these platforms I believe they both could make online sales much easier than you think. This line of thinking comes from the idea that not only do you have basically an unlimited amount of help at your disposal, but both platforms offer the tools needed to also hold your hand through the entire process of creating a website, and, or an online store to boot. Nobody has to start from scratch anymore to learn HTML, CSS, or XML, because these websites will do it for you with just a few clicks!

 

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