Shopify vs Squarespace: Which is Best for eCommerce?

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links where I may receive a commission if you visit a link and make a purchase based on my recommendation. I hope you find this information helpful! Cheers!

Recently, in my community, the question of Shopify vs Squarespace came up. So I wanted to create this article to share the differences between the two platforms so you can make the best decision for your business. 

This article will be helpful for you if…

  • You’re trying to decide which platform makes the most sense to create your eCommerce store. 
  • Or, if you are currently using Squarespace and are considering moving to Shopify to help you run your online store. 

Let’s start by getting familiar with what each platform specializes in for online and brick-and-mortar stores. 

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a content management company that helps direct-to-consumer merchants sell their products online and in person. Launched out of Canada in 2006, Shopify has become a top platform that helps businesses sell more products.

What is Squarespace?

In 2003, Squarespace was founded as a blog management platform. Over the years, it has quickly expanded to offer additional features such as memberships, email, and eCommerce capabilities that allow users to have a modern and versatile website.

Now that you know a little bit about each company. Let’s review some of the features of each platform. Starting with themes and templates, you’ll need to Shopify theme or Squarespace template to create the look and feel of your eCommerce website. 

Shopify Themes

Shopify Theme Broadcast
Shopify’s Broadcast Theme ⇢ get the details

Shopify offers a variety of themes on its platform, allowing merchants to launch their online stores quickly. 

Shopify themes range from free to paid. 

The paid themes will give you more flexibility and design aesthetics than the free themes. Also, with Shopify’s latest version of Online Store 2.0, store owners now have more flexibility to change their store designs. 

You can check out the available Shopify themes.

There are also other places where you can purchase themes for your Shopify store, such as Out the Sandbox. I would avoid places like Themeforest as you may not get great support or a well-built theme.

Squarespace Templates

Squarespace Template Mariana
Squarespace Template Mariana ⇢ get the details

Similar to Shopify, Squarespace offers a variety of templates you can choose from to set up your eCommerce store. 

You can use the existing templates or create your design from scratch. 

Squarespace templates are free as part of your plan. You can also get templates from Squarespace designers, like Big Cat Creative and others. 

Now let’s go over some of the eCommerce features of both platforms.

Shopify eCommerce Features

Shopify is the top platform for companies that want to sell their products online. Since Shopify focuses purely on eCommerce, it has many features that make selling online, in-store, and curbside a breeze.

Here are just a few features that Shopify has for high-end product-based brands.

  • Easy product management.
  • Accessible sales, traffic, and customer reports.
  • Secure & reliable.
  • 100’s of apps for integrations & customization.
  • 24/7 customer support.
  • Access to capital options to grow your store.
  • Grows with you as your business grows and more!

Since 2006 Shopify has been helping merchants serve their customers, which gives business owners more control over their businesses.

Squarespace eCommerce Features

Around 2013 Squarespace expanded its features to include eCommerce. One difference is that Squarespace is not 100% focused on eCommerce. The platform actually serves many business types and happens to have eCommerce as an option. 

Here are a few features that Squarespace has for eCommerce brands.

  • Product management.
  • Advanced website & eCommerce analytics.
  • A secure website.
  • Access to Squarespace extensions.
  • 24/7 email support.

So let’s discuss some of the important features of both platforms in more detail.

Shopify Analytics

Shopify Analytics Dashboard

Shopify gives you access to analytics and reporting in your dashboard. The information presented will help you make strategic business decisions to grow your luxury brand.

Here is some information you can see in your Shopify analytics dashboard.

  • Total Sales.
  • Sessions.
  • Returning Customer Rate.
  • Conversion Rate.
  • Average Order Value.
  • Sales by Traffic Source.
  • Sales Attributed to Marketing and more!

You can also see more advanced reporting if you are on Shopify’s standard plan or Advanced plan.

Squarespace Analytics

Squarespace Analytics

Squarespace lets you see your eCommerce store’s performance by offering you a way to see the following information.

  • Revenue made.
  • The number of units sold.
  • The number of orders.
  • Your conversion rate.
  • Your average order value or AOV.
  • Your revenue per visit or RPV.

Squarespace, in this case, seems to offer simple analytics that will give you a high-level overview of your online store’s sales performance.

In this case, I would say Shopify does a better job of giving you more detailed reporting of your online store’s overall performance.

Next, look at the point of sale, which is perfect if you sell your products in a retail location and online.

Shopify POS 

Shopify POS

If you have a brick-and-mortar or retail location, you can use Shopify POS to help make sure your inventory is accurately reflected between in-store and online.

Shopify POS has some of the following features:

  • Inventory tracking.
  • Staff management.
  • Unified in-store and online sales reporting.
  • Customers can buy online and pick up in-store.

For a full list of the capabilities of Shopify POS, please visit Shopify POS features.

Squarespace POS

Squarespace POS

Similar to Shopify, Squarespace allows you to use their POS option to sell in person. With Squarespace, you’ll have a small card reader that is supported by Square as the payment processor. 

Some features of Squarespace POS are:

  • Inventory tracking.
  • Customer and sales analytics access.
  • Easily add customers to your email list.
  • Coupon and discount management.

Note with Squarespace POS, the reader is smaller and tends to be great if you plan to sell your products at events and trade shows. It’s very travel friendly.

Of course, with running a business online, there are additional fees. Let’s break down some of the fees of each platform. 

Shopify Processing Fees

The processing fees for Shopify in the US (please check your own country) vary depending on which Shopify plan you are on. It can range from 2.4% + 30¢ to 2.9% + 30¢ for online and from 2.4% + 30¢ to 2.7% + 30¢ for in person.

Squarespace Processing Fees

The processing fees for Squarespace vary depending on which plan you choose. If you have a business plan with there is a 3% transaction fee. There are no transaction fees if you are on one of the e-commerce plans. But credit card transaction fees will still apply depending on the company you process payments through. 

Be sure to check for any additional fees that may apply to your country. The information stated here is based on the US.

Shopify Shipping Options

Shopify in the US provides many options to help customers receive their products. They support major carriers such as:

  • USPS
  • UPS
  • DHL

In addition, they have the support of some international carriers, such as:

  • Canada Post
  • Evri
  • DPD UK
  • Sendle
  • Post Italiane
  • Colissimo
  • Correos
  • Chronopost

For additional information, be sure to check with Shopify for your unique situation.

Squarespace Shipping Options

Squarespace provides shipping support in the US with leading carriers such as FedEx, UPS, and USPS. 

With Squarespace, you can ship internationally. You may need to add a Squarespace extension for greater flexibility in calculating weights and handling international transports. Be sure to read through some of the documentation for specifics.

With either platform, check for additional fees based on your shipping needs. Also, don’t forget to consider if you need to integrate your shipping method with your fulfillment center. 

For example, some of my clients have custom integrations with unique APIs connecting with their Shopify store. 

Now let’s examine how much the plans cost for each platform.

Cost of Shopify Plans

Shopify offers 3 major plans that vary in cost depending on the level and if you are on a monthly or yearly plan. Here are the top three:

Monthly Plans

  • Basic is $39/mo
  • Shopify Standard is $105/mo
  • Advanced is $399/mo

Yearly Plans

  • Basic is $29/mo
  • Shopify Standard is $79/mo
  • Advanced is $299/mo

If you have a high-volume store, you can switch to Shopify Plus, which starts at $2000/mo, and if you are on another platform, you can add Shopify buttons to your site for $5/mo. 

Find out more about Shopify pricing and their plans for further details. 

Cost of Squarespace eCommerce Plans

Squarespace offers two eCommerce plans that vary based on whether you are on a monthly or yearly plan. 


  • Commerce Basic is $36/mo
  • Commerce Advanced is $65/mo


  • Commerce Basic is $27/mo
  • Commerce Advanced is $49/mo

Find out more about Squarespace eCommerce pricing for additional details.

In addition to being able to sell products, you also need to be able to communicate and manage your customer relationships. So I wanted to discuss additional features such as email marketing, app, etc.

Shopify Email Marketing

As a business owner, communicating with your audience and building your customer contact list is important. So let’s go over the email marketing feature in Shopify. 

Shopify offers basic email marketing that you can incorporate into your Shopify store. With Shopify Email, you can easily design branded emails, setup up a template, and schedule emails from your Shopify dashboard. 

Each month you can send up to 10,000 emails for free after that, you pay $1 USD per 1,000 additional emails. 

Note you aren’t required to use Shopify’s email marketing option. You can easily integrate another ESP (email service provider like Klaviyo) through one of Shopify’s integrations.

This is an option if you are early in your email marketing journey or want to test options.

Squarespace Email Marketing

Squarespace also offers the ability to send emails to your customers called Squarespace Email Campaigns. You’ll get access to create branded email layouts, drag-and-drop editing, product integrations, and more. 

The price of Squarespace Email Campaigns depends on your plan. Ranging from $5/mo to $48/mo if you are on an annual plan or $7/mo to $68/mo if you are on a monthly plan.

So what about extending the functionality of your eCommerce store? This is where apps and extensions come into the picture.

Shopify Apps

Shopify offers 100s of apps to help you extend the functionality of your store. Shopify allows developers to create apps to help merchants sell their products. 

Whether you need to integrate your Shopify store with TikTok or Google, there is an app that can easily help you with the process. 

Squarespace Extensions

Squarespace offers at least 30 extensions that will help you expand the functionality of your Squarespace commerce site. 

With each platform, the price of an app or extension varies, so keep it to a minimum to avoid added costs.

Which is Best for eCommerce Brands? Shopify vs. Squarespace

You may be wondering which platform makes the most sense for your business. I say it will come down to your business needs and personal preference.

If you are primarily a product-based business, I say go with Shopify because the platform is designed for your business type and offers many tools and functionality to help you grow further. 

If you have a business primarily focused on services or education with an eCommerce component, then Squarespace may be a better option. 

Hopefully, this guide was helpful in helping you to decide which platform to choose. Sometimes people start on Squarespace and then decide they need to move to Shopify. If you need personalized advice on what makes the most sense for your business. Then book a luxury strategy session, and we can discuss your unique details.

Reserve a Luxury Strategy Session

I'm Karen, a Luxury Brand Strategist and Shopify Web Designer for product-based businesses. I take a strategy-first approach to create captivating branding and Shopify website experiences that help you attract high-end customersbuild brand loyalty, and increase conversions. Explore the other insightful eCommerce articles and listen to eCommerce Cultivated to help you grow a remarkable brand. Plus, discover how we can work together to create your luxury experience.


Keep Reading

  • How to Choose An eCommerce Platform For Your Online Business
  • Should You DIY Your Shopify Website?
  • When to Hire a Shopify Web Designer for Your Online Store

You cannot copy content of this page