Squarespace eCommerce review – crucial things you need to know
This Squarespace eCommerce review covers everything there is to know about Squarespace’s ability to help you create an online store. Prices, ease of use, eCommerce features, as well as marketing, SEO, analytics tools, and customer support were put under a microscope to find out if Squarespace is really worth your money.
Creating an online shop is not complicated at all. However, when you have zero experience in the matter, you might look at the whole ordeal not knowing where to start. Don’t worry; there are solutions for those who don’t know how to create a website but want to open a small online business. The easiest way to go about the whole ordeal is to use an eCommerce website builder.
One of those solutions is Squarespace. It’s not very expensive, has numerous templates for online shops, and comes with all the necessary features to create and promote your business. In this Squarespace online store review, you’ll find all the answers to all the questions you may have.
Squarespace eCommerce Pros and Cons
Squarespace eCommerce pricing
Squarespace has 4 plans, but only 3 of them allow you to sell online: Business, Basic Commerce, and Advanced Commerce. The prices vary between $18 and $40 per month if you choose to be billed annually. A 14-day free trial allows you to try all of the features, no credit card required.
|Business||Fully integrated eCommerce, 3% transaction fees, sell unlimited products, accept donations, and gift cards||$18/month|
|Basic Commerce||No transaction fees, customer accounts, sell on social media, analytics, and merchandising tools||$26/month|
|Advanced Commerce||No transaction fees and all features from Basic Commerce. Moreover, the plan includes subscriptions, abandoned cart recovery, advanced shipping, advanced discounts, and Commerce APIs||$40/month|
All of Squarespace’s eCommerce plans include the following:
- Free domain for 1 year
- An SSL certificate
- Unlimited bandwidth and storage space
- SEO tools
- Access to Squarespace’s extensions (apps)
- Basic metrics
- Advanced website analytics
- Promotional pop-ups and banners
- Up to $100 Google Ads credits
Business - $18/month
This plan would suit someone who is not yet committed to selling online. That’s because a lot of eCommerce features are missing, such as customer accounts and social media integration, just to name a few. You can display and sell as many products as you want, but there is a 3% transaction fee for each sale.
Basic Commerce - $26/month
I’d say this plan is best for people who are serious about selling on Squarespace but are just getting started. You know right from the start where you want to take your business and need the proper support.
Since this is a dedicated eCommerce plan, the transaction fee drops to 0%, and there are more features you can get a lot of use of, such as advanced marketing.
Advanced Commerce - $40/month
If your business is taking off, then you might want to consider upgrading to this plan. Sure, you spend more money, but the transaction fee is still at 0%. However, the thing that makes this plan worth the additional $14/month is that you’re given access to advanced eCommerce tools (i.e., shipping, discounts). That extra expenditure will improve your profit margin.
For your future Squarespace online store, the best possible solution is to start with Basic Commerce. It's still affordable, there are 0% transaction fees, and you can take advantage of tools like customer accounts and analytics. Plus, you can upgrade whenever you see fit.
Setting up Squarespace eCommerce store
By definition, website builders are designed with beginners in mind, and Squarespace is no different. After trying it out, I realized that it’s easy to use, simple to navigate, and I didn’t encounter any obstacles in the website creation process.
As soon as you reach your editor, you’re given a short tutorial on how to use it and what you can do. I promise you that you can handle the whole process even if you haven’t created a website in your entire life.
Now that I’ve assured you, let me quickly take you through the process.
Designing Squarespace stores
Designing a Squarespace shop requires you to go through a few simple steps:
- Create an account on Squarespace.
- Once you reach your dashboard, find the button that allows you to create a new website.
- Choose a template that best suits your store.
- Give your website a name.
- Add your own content and products.
After you name your website and go through the quick tips Squarespace offers, you’ll reach your editor. The menu on the left includes everything you need to design your store, from adding and editing pages to handling marketing and other eCommerce features.
Squarespace designed its editor so that you can find all features with ease. You can consult its knowledge base if you get lost. But that’s highly unlikely.
Squarespace has 110+ themes sorted into 6 categories, and you can find the most suitable eCommerce templates in the Online stores category. This category has 7 templates, but you can always use a template from a different category – they’re all good for selling online.
At the beginning of the website creation process, Squarespace will help you choose the best fit by asking a few questions. Of course, you can skip the whole thing and just pick a template that you like. You even have the option of starting with a blank template.
Choosing a suitable template for your Squarespace online shop should not be a complicated task. The builder’s template library offers professional and good-looking templates. They are modern-looking and mobile-friendly, and you can find out more about them in our Squarespace review.
What you have to remember here is that this builder is easy to use, even if you’re a complete beginner. You should be able to create a professional Squarespace storefront with minimal effort. Plus, thanks to the builder’s attractive templates, your shop will look very appealing.
Selling on Squarespace – eCommerce features
To help you create and grow an online shop, Squarespace came up with several features to make your experience run as smoothly as possible. What’s even better is that the builder doesn’t send you to an app store. Instead, you can find everything you need in your editor’s menu and use its incredible in-house tools.
Okay, but you may be wondering what eCommerce features I’m talking about. Well, I’m referring mostly to:
- Product management – this Squarespace commerce app includes everything related to the products you sell – from catalogs and categories to scheduling and inventory.
- Payment and shipping options – your customers can choose more than one method to pay for the products/services you sell, and you have a say over the shipping gateway.
- Types of products – while some people sell physical products, other focus more on digital products or services. Either way, Squarespace has your back.
- Point of sale – this feature is excellent for people who sell both online and via physical shops. Squarespace gives you a common database for all your inventory and sales.
- App store – Squarespace relies primarily on in-house features, but it does have a small app library that offers a few extra plugins.
The number one feature you need to create and maintain an online store is product management. That means a number of things, such as catalogs, visibility, scheduling, inventory options, and so on. I’ll go over them one by one for a better understanding.
When setting up an online store, the first thing you have to do is to manage what you’re selling. That starts with adding products to your store. To do that, go to your editor’s menu and click on Ecommerce.
From here, you can add an unlimited number of physical and digital products, as well as services. When adding a product, you should add an image (or multiple), set up a price, add inventory information and other variants.
Squarespace allows you to organize your products by category so that your customers can find what they’re looking for as efficiently as possible. All you have to do is to select a category and add a tag. Squarespace will handle the rest. As a result, your customers won’t have to browse endlessly to find a specific product.
Another thing you could do for your store is to schedule products to appear on your website at a specified date. When it comes back in stock, for instance. Or when you’re having a big sale. Whatever the case, you don’t have to handle everything on the spot – you can prepare beforehand instead.
Probably one of the best things about Squarespace eCommerce is the way it handles inventory. There are a few aspects here that I’d like to cover.
First of all, you can access an inventory panel in the eCommerce menu of your editor. Not only does it allow you to add and edit an unlimited number of SKUs (stock-keeping units), but you can add multi-dimensional product variants as well. Let’s say you have multiple sizes for the same product, in which case that option saves you from having to create a new product.
Secondly, whenever your stock level is low, you can opt for inventory notifications. This option makes it possible to receive email alerts and automatically display Limited Availability Labels on your website.
Of course, you may want to stock up well before you hit a low threshold. Or set a higher threshold. You don’t have to keep track of everything because Squarespace does that for you.
Thirdly, an Inventory API can automatically sync your Squarespace inventory with other commerce platforms. A few options can be found in Squarespace’s plugin library.
One option a lot of business owners take advantage of is dropshipping. It’s highly convenient because you can make some money without having to stock up in a warehouse. So, let’s say that you find another commerce platform whose products you want to sell. If one product goes out of stock, the inventory API will let you know so that you can find another supplier.
And lastly, I have to at least mention Squarespace’s Related Products option. It’s the digital version of the impulse buys placed near the checkout. Customers click on a product, and they see a few related items. They may buy those too, thus increasing your sales.
The bottom line is that through its product management options, Squarespace gives you the opportunity to successfully run an online shop. With that many features, it’s like having multiple employees handling every aspect I mentioned above.
Payment and shipping options
Squarespace allows several payment and shipping options. You can connect to Stripe, PayPal, or Square, and you can choose between flat-rate and carrier calculated shipping, plus depending on weight shipping.
From the get-go, you should know that you can connect your Squarespace online store to PayPal, Stripe, and Square. Now, what’s different about these methods of payment? It’s all in the transaction fees.
Squarespace gets a cut only if you’re on the Business plan. For Basic Commerce and Advanced Commerce, the transaction fee is 0%. However, the payment processor always gets something:
- PayPal’s fee depends on the region. For the US, the fee is 3.49% plus a fixed fee of $0.49.
- Stripe has different fees for different regions, and it’s cheaper than PayPal. For the US, there is a 2.9% + 30 cents fee. For the UK, that rate drops to 1.4% + 20p for European cards but remains pretty much the same for non-European cards.
- Square’s fee is 2.6% + 10 cents for most payment types, which makes this payment method the cheapest option of all. For the US, at least.
Additionally, when you have a Squarespace online store, you can allow your customers to buy and then pay later with Afterpay. The fee for Afterpay is 6% + 30 cents. However, you have to enable Stripe. The good news is that Afterpay’s fee already includes the Stripe processing fee.
Just as your customers can choose a preferred payment method, you can select a preferred shipping option. Here’s what you can choose from:
- Flat rate – the shipping fee is the same for all items, no matter the weight and the number of products. It’s ideal for shops that sell small items that are about the same weight and size.
- Depending on weight – this is pretty self-explanatory. The rate is determined by the weight of the package. While this may seem convenient for lightweight products, it doesn’t take into account dimensions and distance. However, this option might work if you sell products that differ in weight but not in volume.
- Carrier calculated – you can choose this option only if you opt for the Advanced Commerce plan and ship within the US. It automatically calculates shipping costs based on FedEx, UPS, and USPS rates. This option will suit you if you have products of different weights and sizes.
Apart from these three shipping options, you can enable print-on-demand, dropshipping, and fulfillment services from Squarespace Extensions.
Selling digital products and services
Aside from selling physical products, Squarespace allows you to sell digital products and services. Adding them to your website is a bit different, but it’s not at all complicated.
Digital products can be anything. Perhaps you want to sell audio files, images, audiobooks, etc. To sell them online, you have to create the product and upload the file.
When someone buys a digital product, a link is sent to their email for download. Just keep in mind that the link is valid only for 24 hours, and you cannot upload anything that exceeds 300MB.
With services, the process is pretty similar. You have to create the product and add all the details. It can be a class or a consultation. Moreover, you can sell it as a one-time thing or subscription. The choice is yours.
Point of sale (POS)
A point of sale is the place where the actual transaction is carried out. It’s something that you may be interested in if you want to sell your products in person.
Let’s say you have an online crafts store, but you have a physical shop as well. Squarespace’s integration with Square allows you to take cash and card payments. At the same time, it will update your inventory and sales analytics so that you don’t keep two separate inventories. All you need is a Square reader and the Squarespace app.
Nevertheless, know that Squarespace POS is available only in the US, and the app is compatible only with iOS.
While Squarespace relies on in-house features, it does have a small app library. It’s called Extensions, and you can find it under Settings in your editor’s left menu.
There are only a few apps in Squarespace extensions, and they can be pretty helpful. In some cases, they represent your only option. For instance, print on demand and dropshipping are only available with the help of the extensions.
Overall, judging by all the eCommerce features Squarespace offers, you have all the chances of creating and running a successful Squarespace retail shop. Setting up one is simple, and product management is easy. Not to mention that you’re given multiple payment and shipping options, and you can sell whatever and wherever you want.
Squarespace marketing features
Selling online and marketing go hand in hand. You can’t do one without the other, and Squarespace is well aware of that. As a result, it provides in-house marketing features that will help you establish your online presence.
When discussing marketing, I’m mainly referring to:
- SEO tools – Squarespace has in-build SEO tools as well as an app in its Extensions. They help you rank better in search engines.
- Analytics – to better optimize your website, you have to analyze where it needs improvement. Where is the traffic coming in? What are the sales channels that generate the most profit?
- Abandoned cart recovery – you can send a reminder when visitors abandon their cart without completing the order. It’s a great way of staying in touch with your customers.
- Email marketing and social media integration – social media is critical to online stores, while email marketing is a great way to grow your audience.
SEO (Search Engine Optimizations) is crucial to online stores because it helps business owners bring organic traffic via search engines.
Squarespace understands the need for SEO optimization, which is why it offers in-house features to help you out. There is a checklist you can use, and you can add SEO titles and custom descriptions that include your targeted keywords. Just access SEO under Marketing in your editor’s left menu.
Apart from Squarespace’s in-built SEO features, you can also install Smart SEO from Squarespace’s extensions. It’s free, so why not? The in-house feature is decent enough, but it doesn’t hurt to have a plan B.
Squarespace Analytics is a tool that examines your website and lets you know where the traffic is coming from, which sales channel is most prolific, which products sell the best, and so on. That way, you can improve your website overall.
Squarespace offers an in-house analytics tool, which I have to admit it’s impressive for a website builder. Moreover, you can connect your website to your Google Analytics account and get even more information.
But what does Google Analytics do that Squarespace doesn’t? To name a few, the former counts internal traffic when you’re logged in, filters bots and non-human activity, tracks conversions, and attributes traffic to a specific source.
Abandoned cart recovery
Squarespace’s abandoned cart recovery is available only with the Advanced Commerce plan. This feature allows you to recover sales that customers didn’t complete.
In the case of an uncompleted purchase, as long as an email address is provided, you can send an email with “Hey! Your products are waiting for you in our cart!” – a small push that may turn into a sale. Sometimes it actually works because some people need a nudge. And that’s precisely what abandoned cart recovery is – a nudge. It arrives 24 hours after the visitor leaves the website.
Email marketing and social media integration
Email marketing is a great way to grow your audience, and once again, Squarespace provides an in-house tool to help you achieve that. You’ll find Email Campaigns under the Marketing section in the main menu.
You can choose an email marketing template that reaches all the people in your mailing list, import a mailing list, send the emails, schedule them to be sent on a later date, and so on. It’s pretty much all you need from an email marketing tool.
Now, if you want something more professional, you’re free to use Squarespace’s Email Campaigns app from Extensions. I like that it uses content and colors from your website, which gives it a more serious look. However, this app starts at $5/month.
As for social media, an online shop’s presence on social media platforms tends to improves sales.
Squarespace not only does it allow you to add social links to your website, but you can sell on social media as well. The option is available with the Commerce plans and allows you to sell on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.
The bottom line is that Squarespace gives you the opportunity to grow your business and establish your online presence with its premium in-house marketing features. You can find a few options in its Squarespace commerce app library too.
Customer support is something that can make or break a website builder. Squarespace has multiple support channels, such as live chat, 24/7 email support, a blog, and an extensive knowledge base.
When you want to contact Squarespace’s customer support, the first thing you’ll notice is that you’re encouraged to use the knowledge base. You’re in luck, since Squarespace has a neatly organized knowledge base filled with articles on how to do just about anything.
However, one thing that put me off is that the live chat is available only Monday through Friday from 4 AM to 8 PM. Of course, it’s all good as long as you’re from the US, but if you’re from another time zone, you may have to wait or send Squarespace’s support an email.
So, while Squarespace provides a top-notch knowledge base, email, and live chat support, I was a bit disappointed that the latter is not available 24/7.
Alternatives to Squarespace eCommerce
Squarespace is a premium website builder that can enable you to create and successfully run an online store. However, if you feel like it’s not for you, you may be interested in a few Squarespace eCommerce alternatives.
Shopify is a platform designed specifically for online shops. It’s suitable not only for small shops but for large companies as well. It’s a bit more complicated to use than Squarespace, though. You can read all about it in our Shopify vs Squarespace comparison.
As for prices, Shopify is more expensive than Squarespace. It has 3 plans, and the rates range from $29 to $299/month. Still, you get dedicated templates for all major niches, impressive marketing features, and you can sell just about anything.
Wix is a solid alternative to Squarespace and is known in the industry as the most flexible website builder. The templates are fantastic, it’s incredibly easy to use, and it has dedicated plans for businesses and eCommerce websites. You can read more about their differences in our Wix vs Squarespace comparison.
As far as costs go, Wix is in about the same price range as Squarespace. For eCommerce, there are 3 plans, and the prices range from $23 to $49/month. While it’s a bit pricier, the resources are fewer. For instance, the most expensive eCommerce Wix plan gets you 50GB of storage space, while Squarespace’s is unlimited.
Overall, I’d say that Squarespace eCommerce is a solid choice for people looking to establish an online presence with little to no skills in web development. You can make your dream come true with minimal effort. Now, let’s refresh our memory and have a quick overview:
- Price – with prices ranging from $18 to $40 per month, Squarespace can be a quite affordable website builder for an online store.
- Ease of use – Squarespace was designed with beginners in mind. It’s simple to navigate, and you’ll find every single feature with ease. The left menu in the editor is well put together and gives you access to everything you need.
- eCommerce templates – there are templates specifically designed for online stores, and they all look professional and appealing. Plus, they all look good on mobile devices.
- eCommerce tools – Squarespace chose to integrate pretty much everything you need to create an online store. You don’t have to rely on its apps.
- Marketing – with its social media integration, SEO tools, and email campaigns tools, Squarespace does extremely well in this department.
- Customer support – the knowledge base is wonderfully extensive and easy to understand. You can contact customer support via live chat and 24/7 email.
Bottom line? Squarespace is an excellent choice for your online store. You have all the necessary tools, it’s easy to use, and the prices are not exactly debilitating.
Squarespace eCommerce FAQs
Is it worth it to sell on Squarespace?
Yes, it is worth selling online on Squarespace. It has 3 plans for eCommerce stores, 2 of which have 0% transaction fees. You can add unlimited products, management features are built in, and the platform is very easy to use.
What eCommerce platforms work with Squarespace?
Squarespace has its own eCommerce platform, but you can connect it with other platforms, such as Shopify via buy button. You can also sell on marketplaces such as Instagram.
Do I need a business license to sell on Squarespace?
The answer if you need business license to sell on Squarespace depends on laws that are applicable to your location. Usually, you’ll need to pay taxes based on the profit you make and the type of business license you have.
How much is Squarespace shop per month?
Squarespace shop starts at $18/mo for the Business plan. It also has a 3% transaction fee for every sale.
Is Squarespace eCommerce secure?
Yes, Squarespace eCommerce is secure. Your store is protected with an SSL certificate and 24/7 monitoring. Plus, every Squarespace supported payment gateway is PCI compliant.
Can I integrate Shopify into Squarespace?
Yes, you can integrate Shopify into Squarespace with Shopify Buy Button.
How many eCommerce templates does Squarespace have?
Squarespace has 7 eCommerce templates. However, there are 110 in total, and with a little bit of work, any of them can be turned into an eCommerce website. All that matters is to purchase a plan that allows eCommerce.
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