1

Selling online isn’t complicated nowadays! Squarespace is one of these platforms that makes it possible to create an online store the easy way. Their target group are small and medium sized businesses. The short version of creating a Squarespace store looks like this:

  1. You choose one of their flashy designs,
  2. Start setting up the online store,
  3. Add your products,
  4. Go online.

There’s no complicated installation process involved because you manage everything in your browser. Signing up is free and doesn’t require a credit card.

You will have 14 days to put Squarespace to the test. After the free trial, they’ll ask you to upgrade to a paid plan. It’s possible to extend the trial another 7 days, but if you think that Squarespace isn’t the right choice, your store will get deleted after a month automatically.

Hint: Squarespace is not the only online store builder that we have tested. Check out our ecommerce overview if you want to learn more.

How much does a Squarespace online store cost?

Squarespace has three plans that come with a fully integrated online shop. They have no product or bandwidth limit. In plain English: You can sell as much as you want to as many people as you want.

The cheapest ecommerce plan, “Business”, starts at $18/ month and charges an additional 3% transaction fee on sales.

If you should have a couple of sales, their Basic Commerce plan would be the better option since it ditches those extra fees. Furthermore, your customers can create their own accounts. It’s $26 per month.

The highest plan, Advanced Commerce ($40/ month), has some neat features like real-time rates for shipping carriers, advanced discount options and a sync option for Instagram to boost your traffic. Check out our detailed Squarespace pricing guide if you want to know more about monthly costs.

In this review we take a close look at Squarespace's e-commerce feature. This is our detailed review: http://www.websitetooltester.com/en/reviews/squarespace... Review of the Squarespace Online Store: the Pros & Cons 2013-03-28 https://img.youtube.com/vi/YKoI5kxoHvY/hqdefault.jpg

Squarespace Ecommerce Screenshots

Squarespace Ecommerce Pricing

$18

Business

Sell unlimited products (both physical and digital), 3% transaction fee.

$26

Online Stores Basic

Sell online without transaction fees. Adds customer accounts.

$40

Online Stores Advanced

Comes with advanced ecommerce features (e.g. automatic discounts).

Pros and Cons of Squarespace

Good blog integration

The blog is one of Squarespace’s highlights. Adding products from your store directly in your blog posts is super easy.

Sell services and subscriptions

Customers can make appointments and you can charge them monthly or bi-weekly.

Great for social media

Squarespace connects itself with Instagram, Facebook and other platforms. Users can buy products from your store without leaving the app.

Not as easy to use as other tools

Sometimes we felt that the editor’s behavior felt a little bit clunky.

No automatic sales tax

Even though the settings are quite flexible, other tools like Shopify can handle this automatically.

SEO limitations

Product SEO info can’t be edited.

Rating Details

criterion rating comments

Ease of use

The editor has a clean and minimalistic design. Unfortunately,  it doesn’t feel very intuitive sometimes. Some relevant features like adding new products or product export aren’t in the “Commerce” tab. They are “hidden” in a different place.

Choice and flexibility of templates

The selection isn’t huge but they all look great. All designs are responsive so they will be displayed well on mobile devices.

SEO

You can change the product URL, but it’s not possible to change the product page titles and descriptions. Another flaw is the general site title that will be added to each page title, e.g. Online Store XYZ – General Page Title. Not particularly good for SEO.

Basic functions

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. Adding videos is possible but they will be hidden away in the ‘More Info’ section.

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.

User ratings

No

There isn’t an easy or integrated way to add user product reviews.

Article numbers

Yes

Squarespace generates a SKUs automatically.

Checkout, payment & shipping

Payment options

Accept credit card payments (Visa,  Mastercard and American Express) through Stripe, their payment processor. The fee is $0.30 + 2.9% per transaction. Squarespace charges an additional 3% sales fee in the Business plan, but higher plans reduce it to 0%. Other than that PayPal and Apple Pay is available. Offline payments like cash or bank transfer aren’t possible.
Find a list of all supported payment methods here.

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

Yes

The ecommerce plans Basic Commerce and Advanced Commerce provide customer accounts.

Coupon codes

Yes

Fixed amount off or percentage discounts. Another option is free shipping. The duration can be limited.

Shipping cost settings

Flat-rate or based on the weight of the items.  Furthermore, there are the carriers USPS, FedEx and UPS available for automatically calculated shipping cost.

Dropshipping

Yes

It’s possible to connect the store with ShipStation and ShipBob, but not with big players like AliExpress or Amazon Fulfillment. Artists can work together with Printful. It’s an on-demand printing service that prints and ships custom designs.

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 most European countries). There is no automatic tax calculator for US states available, all states and tax rates have to be added manually. Allows local tax rates (ZIP code based) as well.

Backend

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.

Confirmation emails customizable

Notification emails are customizable in HTML.

Importing product data

Yes

Import products from your existing Etsy, Shopify or Big Cartel store or via .csv file.

Exporting product data

Yes

It’s possible to export a product via a .csv file.

E-Commerce analysis

Yes

There’s an internal tool available, but you can also add a Google Analytics 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 TaxJar and Xero (US only).

Total Score

3.9/5

Squarespace is decent ecommerce store for smaller operations, good for bloggers and other solopreneurs. A disadvantage is their SEO flaws.

What can I sell with Squarespace?

It depends on your plan, but Squarespace is quite flexible. You can use it for:

  • Products for shipping and pick-up
  • Digital products (ebooks, MP3s, photos, etc.)
  • Subscriptions (online courses, newsletters, etc.)
  • Gift cards (for your store)
  • Donations from your website visitors

Of course, there are some limitations. Dropshipping and print-on-demand services are quite limited. Currently, they only work with ShipStation, ShipBob and Printful. Other solutions like AliExpress, Amazon Fulfillment or eBay Fulfillment aren’t supported (yet). If you need such a solution, we recommend you check out our Shopify Oberlo review.

Adding products and services

The process is straightforward. You select what type of product or service you want to add, upload your photos and fill in your information.

Squarespace Example Product Page

In case you offer product variations, that’s not a problem. Instead of adding a t-shirt three times in different colors or sizes, you simply add the variant to the existing product. This will save you some time and keep your store better organized.

What I like is that you can add a form to ask for further details. Let’s say you provide customized mugs or t-shirts, customers can tell you exactly what they want (e.g. “World’s Best Dad” or “I love Cats”. However, it’s not a customizer with a preview function.

What are Squarespace’s payment options & fees?

Squarespace Ecommerce provides two payment options: credit card and PayPal. Credit card payments are handled through Stripe’s payment gateway. Customers can check out with Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover and Apple Pay.

Squarespace Payment Options

You can define one currency for your store ($, €, ¥,..). However, it’s not possible to offer your products in various currencies.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any offline payment options like cash or bank transfer. So even if a customer wants to pick up his order at your store, it has to be paid online.

This brings us to an important point: transaction fees. Both Stripe and PayPal will charge you a transaction fee for sales. Typically, this is 2.9% + 30¢. Prices can slightly vary, depending on your country.

On top of that Squarespace will charge you 3% in their Business plan. We highly recommend you pick an eCommerce plan to avoid these extra fees!

Overview of the shipping options

Squarespace Shipping Options

Let’s start with the easiest shipping option: flat rate. You can either offer it for a whole order or per item. The big advantage is that customers won’t be surprised about the shipping costs at the checkout. The flat rate can be also used for free shipping.

If the weight is crucial, you can pick the “Depending on weight” option to define specific shipping cost ranges. Keep in mind that this option neither accounts for package volumes dimensions, nor shipping distances.

For more convenience, it’s also possible to choose carrier calculated shipping. The costs will be automatically calculated by the carrier. You can select FedEx, UPS and USPS. This option will give you the exact price – no matter how far, heavy or big the parcel is.

Even though the shop can’t handle payments in cash, you can offer store pick-up. Customers have to pay their purchase online. We wish Squarespace were more flexible here.

Setting up the taxes

Let’s talk about taxes! No one likes them because they make things complicated. Even though Squarespace can’t provide any legal advice, they offer a detailed how-to guide to set up the taxes the correct way.

It works like this: The tax rates can be applied on products, services and shipping. You pick your country and add further rules for your state and local area e.g. United States 0%, Florida 6%, Miami Dade County 1%. So, the combined sales tax rate is 7%. This is quite flexible, but not very intuitive to be honest. Other providers like Shopify add the rates automatically.

Squarespace Tax Options

Squarespace also creates the invoices. You can always download them as an .xlsx-file and import them into an accounting software. However, to make your life easier, you can connect your online store with accounting services like TaxJar and Xero. Even though they cost extra, they will help to eliminate the hassle of sales tax collection.

Squarespace Marketing and Social Media

Once you’ve created your online store, get ready for the real work to begin. Launching a shop and waiting for new customers won’t work. You’ve got to put some sweat into it.

Luckily, Squarespace isn’t an isolated ecommerce solution. It’s great for social media because you can connect the online store with Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. So, reaching a new audience and turning them into loyal customers isn’t a problem with Squarespace.

Squarespace Instagram Integration

But that’s not all. You can also send emails from your online store. Up to three campaigns are included. If you need more, you have to add an email plan to your store. Of course, you can also use other providers like Mailchimp or ActiveCampaign.

There is a direct integration with MailChimp available but since Squarespace also offers a connection to Zapier you can connect your site pretty much with any popular newsletter service. This will allow you to subscribe customers in the checkout process.

And if you like, you can even throw pop-ups and announcement bars at your customers. Don’t go too over the top though!

Performance and analytics of your online store

Of course, you want to know your audience better. Squarespace can provide some analytics about your sales, traffic and other activities. This is very handy in order to improve the overall experience and shop strategy.

You might find out that most customers live in Chicago or have never returned after their first purchase. Or maybe Instagram performs much better than Google or email marketing. This info can help you launch a new campaign to get them back.

Squarespace also track the internal site search. Maybe people don’t find what they are looking for. I guess it’s time to take some action, because you might lose a sale.

If you love juggling with figures, you’ll love their Squarespace Analytics app. It’s available for iOS and Android.

Squarespace Analytics

Conclusion

Squarespace’s online store is a solid way for small businesses to get their merchandise out to the public. It’s directly integrated in their website builder and can always be added afterwards without problems. All themes are compatible with the online store.

Setting up the store is not complicated. Most steps are self-explanatory and very well explained (partly with video). However, sometimes we found that the editor could be better structured. Thanks to Google it didn’t take us too long to find out where the product export function was hidden. Spoiler: it’s not in the “Commerce” tab!

We like that you can not only sell physical goods, but also digital goods, services and subscriptions  – something particularly suitable to bloggers and freelancers.

Only two payment processors are a bit too limited for our taste. They support  Stripe (for credit card payments) and PayPal. In order to avoid Squarespace’s own 3% sales transaction fee, you have to sign up for one of their Commerce plans, which are $26 (Basic) or $40 (Advanced) per month.

Shipping and taxes are quite flexible, but Squarespace could improve the tax settings. Adding new tax rates isn’t a problem, but having an automated solution would be more intuitive.

Even though it’s great that they offer more advanced ecommerce plans, which allow you to grow, we think that you get more bang for your buck with a dedicated ecommerce provider like Shopify or BigCommerce. There you will also have much better SEO features.

If, however, you just want a simple solution that integrates perfectly with your website or blog you can’t go wrong if you want to put Squarespace Ecommerce to the test. They have a 14 day free trial.

> Try Squarespace for free

Squarespace Ecommerce Example Sites

Squarespace Ecommerce Alternatives

FAQ

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.

About Robert Brandl

robert brandl

Hi, my name is Robert Brandl and I am the founder of WebsiteToolTester. If you have any questions, please leave a comment.

Latest Review Updates

10 Jul 2019 - General review update
23 Nov 2017 - Customer Logins available
28 Sep 2017 - Additional review criteria added.
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.

Comments and Questions

Back to top