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Shopify vs. Squarespace vs. Wix

Shopify vs. Squarespace vs. Wix

by Frida Nyvall

This article compares popular e-commerce solutions for setting up a web shop: Shopify, Squarespace, and Wix. If you are interested in getting started quickly with your web shop, see the article “How to Start a Web Shop”. More tips and advice on how to choose the right e-commerce solution can be found in the article “How to Choose the Right E-Commerce Solution”.

Prices in this article reflect prices from the suppliers’ websites at the time of writing: April 8, 2020. Please, always check prices for updates to calculate your exact costs. Prices are quoted in USD or EUR, but note that prices will vary depending on the buyer’s country or region.

All services discussed offer solutions for business e-mail, domain name management and hosting.

Prices for domain names differ slightly and it can also be a good idea to keep an eye out for special offers. Nevertheless, the domain name cost will be very small compared to the cost of the web shop itself.

E-mail for new domains is generally handled by all three services via forwarding to an e-mail account linked to a third party, e.g. Google G Suite. A smaller cost may therefore apply there as well.


Shopify

Themes

Over 70 themes, of which 8 are free. Premium themes cost around 140 to 180 USD. Since Shopify focuses exclusively on e-commerce, all themes are as web store themes.

Plugins and Apps

Shopify App Store has over 3200 apps for adding extra functionality like appointment booking to web shops. Prices for apps vary both amount and form of payment: e.g. free, one-time purchase or subscription.

Payment Solutions

Shopify Payments is Shopify’s own payment solution, supporting most payment methods. Shopify Payments is available in select countries. If one cannot or do not want to use Shopify Payments, Shopify offers integrations with many other payment providers. However, not using Shopify Payments will incur an additional transaction cost of up to 2% per transaction depending on the subscription plan.

Shipping and Delivery

Shopify provides their own shipping solution that integrates with well-known third party providers like UPS and DHL.

Marketing

Integrations with social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are in place. Integrations with large e-commerce platforms like Amazon and E-bay are also available. For campaigns, Shopify integrates with different Google services as well as Facebook Ads.

Shopify has developed their own app in the form of a virtual assistant, to help automate campaigns and suggest courses of action.

Support

Support is available on demand via live chat (perhaps English only), and e-mail in several languages. It is also possible to use Twitter to contact customer support (English only). For some (mainly English speaking) regions, customer support is also available via telephone.

Shopify Pros

Shopify Buy Button is a special service that adds e-commerce functionality to an already existing website or blog. For example, if you already have a WordPress, Squarespace or Wix website and want to add e-commerce via Shopify. Integration is done using a JavaScript plugin. In order to add a Shopify Buy button, you should therefore have some knowledge in web development. The subscription cost for Shopify Buy button is 9 USD/month.

Abandoned cart feature is included also in the smallest subscription of 9 USD/month, which is cheap compared to other providers. Customers who have left products in their shopping carts without completing the purchase can receive reminder messages. In order to access the same functionality in Squarespace, you need to have a significantly more expensive monthly subscription.

Shopify is built around e-commerce, and with the massive range of plugins as well as detailed sales reports, it is a solution for those who are serious and willing to spend some time optimizing and running their web shop.

Shopify Cons

It can be difficult to predict which extra apps you will need in the future as the web shop grows. Adding apps will impact costs.

If you do not use Shopify Payments, an additional transaction fee of up to 2% depending on your subscription type will be added on top of payment costs. Shopify Payments is available in some countries but not all. See a list of supported countries and regions here. Even if it is possible to use Shopify Payments, it is not among the cheaper payment solutions.

Cost

Because of COVID-19, Shopify has now extended the free trial period from 14 to 90 days.

The price for a complete web shop is starting at 29 USD/month. The costs associated with payments depends both on subscription plan as well as on country or region. A more expensive subscription means cheaper transaction costs.

Since payment costs can vary between different countries, our advice is to check Shopify’s pricing to know for certain what is applicable in your case.

The special feature of adding a Shopify Buy Button to an already existing website is 9 USD/month. This is the cheapest option, but it might also not be the easiest to get in place. Read more about Shopify prices and subscriptions.


Squarespace

Themes

There are about 8 themes specially built for e-commerce. These can to some extent be re-styled (changing colors and fonts). Squarespace themes are free, but you can also buy custom themes, although not directly on the Squarespace platform.

Plugins and Apps

You can add extra services such as appointment booking at different subscription prices (14 to 45 USD/month). There is also support for other web shop related features such as digital downloads, recurring payments, shipping, discount codes, gift cards and product reviews.

Payment Solutions

Payments via Stripe, PayPal, or Square. Note that payment costs can vary between different countries.

Shipping and Delivery

There are both built-in functions as well as extensions for integration with different shipping companies.

Marketing

There are integrations with social media platforms, so that products can be shared to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or tags in Instagram posts. There is also a service for managing e-mail marketing campaigns, where some of the features are free. There is a separate price list for e-mail campaigns with prices ranging from 7 USD to 68 USD/month.

Support

E-mail support around the clock, and live chat weekdays during business hours. In addition to English, these support options are also available in German, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese.

Squarespace Pros

For the more expensive subscriptions, transaction costs are removed.

Squarespace Cons

Compared to Shopify, the number of themes and addons is much smaller. Therefore, there are probably fewer choices when it comes to extra features that focuses on e-commerce.

The number of payment providers is smaller compared to Shopify. This might be an issue if you need a particular regional payment provider (for example Klarna for the Nordic countries).

Cost

At the time of writing (April 8, 2020), the price per month is 18 USD to 40 USD/month if you pay the fee annually for subscriptions that include e-commerce features. If you pay on a monthly basis, the price is 26 to 46 USD/month.

There is also the cost for the payment solution (like Stripe or PayPal), as well as a Squarespace transaction fee of 3% for the cheaper subscriptions.

On more expensive plans, there is no transaction cost, e.g. the package “Basic Commerce”.

Since the payment and transaction costs can vary depending on your country, our advice is to carefully check what applies to your particular situation.


Wix

Themes

There are over 80 online store templates. You are free to choose from all templates if you are on a subscription that includes e-commerce.

Plugins and Apps

Wix App Market has hundreds of apps at different price points and payment models.

Payment Solutions

Several different payment solutions depending on where in the world you are based. There is also Wix Payments, available in some countries. The price of the payment solutions varies between different countries and regions. See a list of all payment providers here.

Shipping and Delivery

There is built-in support for managing deliveries and shipping, as well as integrations with third-party vendors via apps.

Marketing

Integrations with several third-party services such as Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, MailChimp, Google Ads, and Google Tag Manager is included with premium plans.

Support

Phone callback service where you reach out and later be contacted by a Wix customer assistant is available office hours on weekdays in several languages (French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish). For English speakers, this service is available 24/7. It is also possible to email questions.

Wix Pros

No transaction fees on top of payment costs.

Wix Cons

Compared to Shopify, Wis is not as specialized in e-commerce, which reflects the type of apps and extra features available.

Cost

The subscription cost is between 17 to 35 EUR/month for packages that includes e-commerce functionality.

The cost of payment solutions depends on which one is chosen, but it is worth noting that there is no transaction fee on top of these (as in some cases with Shopify and Squarespace).


Tips and Advice

If you need more advice and tips on how to get started with your e-commerce, see our other blog posts on the subject. “How to Start a Web Shop” is a short article detailing a clear course of action.

“How to Choose the Right E-Commerce Solution” gives solid suggestions on what is helpful to think about when selecting the e-commerce platform, payment solution and subscription that are best suited to your needs.

You can also always contact us, if you need help with your e-commerce solution.

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