Launched back in 2004, Squarespace is a powerful visual website builder in the first instance. Today, it is used more broadly, including for e-commerce, providing developers with access to some of the most stylish ready-made templates available. Squarespace is a paid-for service, and is perhaps more lightweight in terms of features than other competing packages. But for those looking to prioritize style and the feel of their design, Squarespace can be an easy visual solution.
Squarespace review: in a nutshell
Squarespace is one of those all-in-one solutions that let you build a complete e-commerce store without having a design muscle in your body.
Quite simply, Squarespace allows you to:
- build an e-commerce store from start to finish without any technical knowledge,
- choose the design that suits your brand the best,
- hook up online payments (so your customers can buy everything easily),
- have your products managed inside an easy-to-grasp interface.
Squarespace is an online, hosted tool. This means that it handles all the technical heavy lifting related to hosting, domain handling, servers, and all that stuff.
It does all this so you can just focus on adding new products and taking care of the daily operations of your store.
Who’s Squarespace best suited for?
Squarespace markets itself as a solution that can be used by anyone. They’ve even risked running a Super Bowl ad last year, which we all know isn’t the cheapest thing. And they have a really good reason to take such risks. Squarespace really does look impressive in terms of the features and the ease of use it delivers.
I’d say that Squarespace is the solution for you if you desire a beautiful e-commerce store that’s going to resonate with your customers. And at the same time, you want to be able to build the whole thing yourself, from scratch.
Features in Squarespace
Squarespace offers many features. Here are some of the coolest ones:
- Modern website designs to choose from.
- Designs optimized for mobile devices.
- Possibility to use multiple designs on the same site.
- Blogging module.
- 24/7 support.
- SEO-friendly structure.
- Website analytics and stats.
- Unlimited products in your store.
- Flexible product variants.
- Rich product descriptions.
- Digital and physical products and services – sell whatever you want.
- Discount codes.
- Inventory management.
- Order management.
- Flexible shipping options.
- Tax rates.
- Built-in security – PCI compliance + SSL.
Squarespace review: pricing
When it comes to e-commerce stores, Squarespace offers two plans:
If you’re just getting started, the $26 / month plan will be more then enough for you. Some details about it:
- You can sell unlimited products.
- There are no transaction fees.
- You get a free custom domain.
The online store designs in Squarespace
Squarespace offers a handful of e-commerce optimized designs for you to choose from.
What’s great here is that all of them look very modern, and certainly follow the newest design trends. Because of this, your e-commerce store will never look dated.
Additionally, every design is optimized for mobile viewing and tablets, plus the designs are divided into categories to make your choice easier.
Managing products in your Squarespace store
Right after sign-up, Squarespace gives you access to a very clear store management dashboard:
From there, you can manage your inventory, process orders, set discounts, and manage the payments. You also get access to a panel that lets you edit your pages, change the design, view the metrics, and adjust any other setting on the site. (Everything visible in the screenshot above.)
The interface is very intuitive and doesn’t have much of a learning curve to it. For instance, to add a product, you just click the “Add Product” button and then proceed to input all the details of your thing.
Under the hood, Squarespace integrates with Stripe to let you collect online payments and process them. There’s no official integration with PayPal. It still does work, but it’s a little less user-friendly if you want to use it.
Review conclusion – is Squarespace the right tool to launch your online store with?
Pros of Squarespace
Attractive Template Designs: The main selling point for many e-commerce entrepreneurs choosing Squarespace is style and aesthetic. The templates available out the box with Squarespace sites are undoubtedly more attractive than the templates on other free website builders, and this quickly translates into a more credible looking store.
Solid Data and Marketing Tools: At the same time, it’s about so much more than just the graphics. The data tracking, reporting and marketing tools available as standard make it easy to drill down into your data, and better target your prospects. This makes it easier to tweak your promotions and marketing efforts, from within the Squarespace admin panel.
Affordable: With costs hovering around the $26 mark per month, Squarespace is definitely on par with solutions like Shopify and other paid-for e-commerce applications.
No Transaction Fees: No fees mean protected margins, so you can walk away from the sale with more money.
Cons of Squarespace
No PayPal Option: No PayPal integration makes it difficult to use Squarespace for some industries and some stores. For all the problems PayPal brings, it really is tough to do without – many customers prefer PayPal, and this is often a tricky obstacle with using Squarespace.
No Phone Support: If you run into difficulties with your Squarespace site, or if you are having problems with or more of the functions, you will find it difficult to get your hands on support, and there are no numbers you can phone for an instant response.
Overwhelming Styling Options: For some new developers, the styling options can be a bit too in-depth. Sometimes less choice is a good thing, and with a strong template design, many of the styling preferences that can be chosen are just a step too far.