Squarespace Ecommerce Review: A Great Way to Sell?

It took Squarespace almost 10 years to launch an ecommerce feature. But is it any good?

There are a few things we like instantly: ecommerce is available in all plans and it allows you to sell physical and digital products as well as services, which is very interesting. For example: if you are a consultant selling consultations by the hour – with a classic online store, you can’t do this very elegantly.

The question is, however, whether Squarespace can really play in the same league as Shopify or even Weebly. To learn more, start with our video review:

See it in action here

info You can try Squarespace Business 14-days for free

Squarespace Business in detail

Criterion Rating Comment
Ease of use
You can add your shop in four steps. The available features are well explained.
Product presentation
Add images of your product. Clicking it will open a larger view in a lightbox. You can define a regular price as well as a price when the item is on sale.
Product variants
Each item can have up to 100 variants (SKUs). Entering them is easy but can be time consuming when done manually.
Cart function yes Real shopping cart
Article numbers yes Squarespace generates a SKUs automatically.
Mobile view yes All templates are responsive and so is the online store.
Payment options
Accept credit card payments (Visa and Mastercard) through Stripe, their payment processor. The fee is $0.30 + 2.9% per transaction. Squarespace also charges a sales fee in the Personal (3%) and Business plan (2%). In the UK, the fee is 0.20p & 2.4%. Other than that only Paypal is available.
Sale of digital goods yes The buyer receives a download link via email that will be valid for 24 hours. The max. file size is 300 MB. We liked the fact that there is also a special product type for services such as consulting.
SSL encryption yes Checkout and payment pages are SSL encrypted.
Customer log-in area no But they provide an integration with MailChimp: push your customers' email addresses directly into your newsletter list.
Coupon codes yes Fixed dollar amount or percentage discounts. Another option is a voucher code for free shipping. The duration can be limited.
Shipping cost settings
Flat-rate or based on the weight of the items. Specify the countries you want to ship to. US customers can use USPS's system to automatically calculate the cost of shipping.
Tax settings
You can set up individual VAT rates for all countries worldwide. Taxes will only be displayed on the checkout page and not on the product pages (which is a requirement in some countries).
Article management
Stock control: customers will never be able to place any orders you are not able to fulfill. You can set a threshold for automatic email notifications.
Customizable e-mails for order confirmation
Notification emails are customizable in HTML.
Importing/exporting product data yes / no Import products from your existing Etsy, Shopify or Big Cartel store. Exports are not possible.
E-Commerce analysis yes You can add a tracking code to the checkout page using the code injection feature.
Exporting order data yes Export all your orders as a CSV file for your accounting or invoicing software. There is also a direct integration with Xero (US only).
Total Score
4/5
Very decent ecommerce store for smaller operations, perfect for bloggers and other solopreneurs.

Conclusion

Squarespace’s online store is a solid way to get your merchandise out to the public. We like that they also make it possible to sell digital products as well as services – something particularly suitable to bloggers and freelancers. The store is SEO-friendly, allowing individual URLs for each product page, which is also great.

The only two payment processors they support are Stripe (for credit card payments) and Paypal. It’s worth noting that it took Squarespace almost four years (and numerous complaints) to finally add Paypal. In order to avoid Squarespace’s own sales transaction fees (ranging from 2-3%), you have to sign up for one of their Commerce plans, which are $26 (Basic) or $40 (Advanced) per month.

It’s great that they offer more advanced e-commerce plans, which allow you to grow. If, however, you are prepared to spend that kind of money right away you may want to directly sign up with a dedicated e-commerce provider like Shopify or BigCommerce.

Countries in which Squarespace Business is available: U.S., U.K., Canada, and Ireland. If you are from a different country, we have a few alternative options for you below.

Squarespace E-Commerce Example Sites

Alternatives to Squarespace Business

Alternatives: Add a shopping cart with these third party apps

shoppingcartIf you already have a Squarespace site or blog it is fairly easy to add a shopping cart. In this example we use the Ecwid e-commerce add-on. All you have to do to set it up is create a new page and add a piece of HTML code.

You can visit a Squarespace example website here. There we have integrated the Ecwid e-commerce widget. Watch this video for a review of Ecwid in combination with a Squarespace 6 website:

Other e-commerce add-ons

There is a range of other e-commerce add-ons that can be integrated with existing Squarespace websites. Here are four options:

Wazala: a very slick tool to add a shopping cart to an existing website or blog. Simply add a few lines of code and you’ll see a red store button appear on all of your pages. Wazala offers Paypal, Google Checkout and Authorize.net integration. Go to Wazala.com.

Paypal Button: it’s easy to set up, but quite limited in terms of customization. This solution is fine for a one-product store where no payment options other than Paypal are needed. More Information.

Squarespace alternatives that feature an online store

If you don’t have a website yet and already know that you will need an online store, you should check out this article. It shows a variety of different options:

Jimdo: a basic shopping cart that is very easy to use and set up with great options for search engine optimization (SEO).
Yola: a website builder that features seamless integration with Ecwid.
Shopify: a highly professional e-commerce solution for stores that sell in high volume

FAQ about Squarespace Business

Does Squarespace Commerce support Paypal?

Yep, your customers are able to pay via Paypal in your store. Unfortunately, you can’t use Paypal to pay for your Squarespace site.

Will my Squarespace online store on mobile devices?

Yes, their layouts are responsive.

Is the ecommerce module good for SEO?

Squarespace’s SEO capabilities come with a couple of big limitations when building an online store: you won’t be able to customize title tags or meta-description tags for your product pages. This will make it more difficult to rank in search engines such as Google or Bing.

Additionally, these limitations also apply for blog posts.

Review Updates

14 Dec 2016 – Paypal is now available
07 Apr 2016 – Sales fees updated
26 Nov 2014 – Tax settings added
02 Jul 2014 – New review layout, general updates.
31 Jan 2014 – Online store is in every plan available.
04 Dec 2013 – More countries added.
20 Aug 2013 – The online store is now also available in the UK.
30 Mar 2013 – Video review of the online store added.
20 Feb 2013 – Squarespace adds a shopping cart with their Business plan.

Last updated: 14 Dec 2016 | Robert Brandl

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