Affordable online store builders for entrepreneurs

That’s it – you’ve decided to launch an online store. You know it can work out because you’re a boss on sneaker related topics. You understand what the margins are and how you can gain traction. But now you need to find the right e-commerce platform to allow you to sell online, right away, with little to no coding necessary. What do you do?

You keep reading this article, obviously…

We’re going to compare two very well-known and social media integrated platforms to launch an affordable online store: Shopify and Squarespace. First things first, it’s important to understand that Shopify differentiates itself from Squarespace as the go-to site for the best online experience when it comes to transactions. Squarespace on the other hand, does a tremendous job at providing high quality aesthetic to your site.

Something else you need to know right away is that both platforms provide 14-day trials. Take advantage of them as you’ll be better informed of which tool to choose as your long term partner. Why is this important?

TIME

If you start off using one platform, you’ll learn a lot about it to the point that it won’t make sense to give another a shot. That’s why I recommend that you try both out for a couple of hours to see which one you like most (check out features, widgets, etc.)

Plans Compared

I did my best to compare two e-commerce platforms at similar price points. The figures below are based on annual plans (if you sell stuff, you’ll probably hold onto it longer than a month at first).

  • Shopify – Basic Shopify plan
  • Squarespace – Basic plan for online stores

What Features Are We Looking At?

Well, the good thing about both platforms is that they have many similar features with the plans I’m comparing. For example, both include unlimited products which is good for users that have 1,000’s of products to sell. Additionally, they provide SSL certificates which are necessary for online stores that collect payment or personal information. Furthermore, they don’t place a limit on storage, meaning that you can store A LOT of content (images, videos, etc.) on your server. Bandwidth is also unlimited meaning that large amounts of traffic will not take over all of your site resources which, if limited, would normally result in the page being inaccessible.

The differences:

  • G Suite: If G Suite is available, you’ll have access to Google email, drive, calendar, and more.
  • Contributors: Being able to have separate accounts for your team members might be something you want if you have a large operation.
  • Domains: This is the website address that people will enter in their browser to visit your site. Most of the time, you can purchase a domain separately for $10 – $20. If it’s included, even better.
  • External gateway transaction fees: Both platforms use Stripe to process payments. If you plan on using another payment processor, they may charge you an additional fee to do so. This fee is in addition to what the payment processor charges.
  • Payment gateways: Payment gateways such as PayPal and Stripe allow companies to execute payments. The greater the number of gateways, the more countries you might be able to sell in. It all depends on where you’re operating.
  • Selling on Facebook: If available, you are able to display your online store products directly on your company Facebook page. This can allow your social media audience to buy directly while on Facebook, without having to visit your page.
  • Support: This refers to the customer support set up to help you in case you have an issue. Both platforms have forums for questions.

Comparison Table

Shopify
$26/month
No free year of G Suite
2 contributors
Free myshopify.com domain
External gateway transaction fees: 2%
Payment gateways: 70
Sell on Facebook
24/7 support: email, live chat, phone
Squarespace
$26/month
Free year of G Suite
Unlimited contributors
Free custom domain
External gateway transaction fees: None
Payment gateways: 2
Cannot sell on Facebook
24/7 email support; limited live chat support

I hope that this article provided some insight into the features that set both platforms apart. At the end of the day, you NEED to give both a try and determine which is the one you find best.

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