You might know Squarespace as a simple and intuitive software that helps build websites easily. But did you know that it has an ecommerce platform that you can use to start selling online?
That's right! And that's the topic of this post. Read on for more on Squarespace, how you can start your business, launch a store and how the Squarespace ecommerce platform stacks up against its archrival, Shopify.
Squarespace, just like many other successful and disruptive tech companies, started out in a college dorm room. It has since gone on to become a company valued at around $10 billion US. It was first created to help people who have little to no knowledge of coding and design to create a website.
It was wildly successful and still grosses hundreds of millions of dollars every year. It launched its ecommerce platform Squarespace Commerce ten years after the company was founded, back in 2013.
The platform now hosts millions of stores. It provides a set of features for selling products and managing orders online. It also provides the functionality of integrating payment processors (you can integrate PayPal and/or Stripe).
Squarespace is known for providing an array of great-looking templates. With its ecommerce platform, Squarespace has used this expertise into tuning the templates so that they're suited to the needs of online stores.
Before you head over and start with a free trial though, make sure that your country and your currency are on the list that Squarespace Commerce deems eligible using this link.
Squarespace’s website is an online platform for creating your own business web site using their popular content management system (CMS). Your site can be built from any template you like, but it also gives you full control over all parts of your site including design, navigation, page layout, and copy.
It allows you to easily create different pages that make sense for your business or product line. Each page is made public so people can find them and edit them if needed.
All this leads to more traffic and higher conversion rates because you are being found through search engines, social media, and other channels. And of course, More visitors mean more sales.
In addition to having beautiful templates, one of the main advantages of using Squarespace is that it has innovative marketing strategies that other platforms don’t offer. For example, Amazon offers apps for making restaurant reservations and checking in at hotels, which rely on their own API’s (for reserving rooms). But Squarespace owns all the links included in its website, ensuring maximum exposure.
By incorporating social media into its platform, Squarespace was able to increase its followers by more than 500% without investing in advertising.
We promised in the intro paragraph to tell you about how Squarespace commerce stacks up against competition. Well, it's biggest competitor is Shopify and for good reason.
Shopify has the advantage of moving first in the online business space. It also has a competitive advantage because of the fact that it was created for the purpose of allowing businesses to open online stores as opposed to Squarespace which, as we've pointed out earlier, was created to provide an intuitive and simple way for less tech-savvy individuals or businesses wanting to create their own websites.
It is because of this - the fact that Shopify has a leg up because it started out earlier as an online store building website - that it has a better and more extensive selection of tools that are helpful to your business.
These tools that Squarespace Commerce can't give you that are readily available if you opt to use Shopify include integration with more apps, more payment gateway options, better tools for tax calculations, bigger, better options for dropshipping and better inventory management tools, among others.
Let's talk about prices. To use Squarespace Commerce, you're going to have to subscribe to one of three plans - 1. Business 2. Commerce Basic 3. Commerce Advanced.
The Business bundle starts at $23 US per month, the Commerce Basic at $27 US and the Commerce Advanced at $49 US. You're going to want to settle with the most expensive one if you'd like more functionalities for your store like abandoned cart recovery, real-time carrier shipping, advanced discounts, you know, the whole nine yards.
Shopify has 5 different packages - the Starter for $5 US per month, basic for $29, Shopify for $79 US, advanced for $299 US and Shopify Plus for a custom fee that's typically around $2000.
Before you decide which one you're going to go for, do your own research to see what fits your needs. Whichever you pick though, Shopify or Squarespace Commerce, you'll get yourself a nice 14-day free trial, so you can try them out and make an informed decision.