Squarespace Ecommerce Review (2020) – A Good Ecommerce Platform?

Squarespace Ecommerce Homepage

How good is Sqaurespace ecommerce offering?

Squarespace is more commonly know for being a web builder than an ecommerce platform. But as they have plans specifically for ecommerce, I thought I would test them out and see if they are worth considering.

For my Squarespace review, I have split it into two parts. In the first part, I look at the pricing and the features that Squarespace offers. Then in the second, I look at how easy the platform is to use from getting started to managing orders. Hope you enjoy the review!

Before I get started I just want to disclose that this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you sign up to their services via a link in this post, I do receive a small commission. But and I cannot stress this enough, being a partner in no way influences my review, if I don’t like something then I will say so! With that out of the way, lets get into the review.

Squarespace Pricing

If you want to sell through Squarespace, then you have three packages that you can choose from.

Business<br>Package

Business
Package

£15.00/m

Unlimited Products
No Annual Turnover Limit
Unlimited Data Storage
24/7 Support
Free SSL Certificate
1 Year Google G Suite
Advanced Analytics

Basic<br>Commerce

Basic
Commerce

£20.00/m

Unlimited Products
No Annual Turnover Limit
Unlimited Data Storage
24/7 Support
Free SSL Certificate
1 Year Google G Suite
Ecommerce Analytics
Related Products
Customer Accounts

Advanced<br>Commerce

Advanced
Commerce

£30.00/m

Unlimited Products
No Annual Turnover Limit
Unlimited Data Storage
24/7 Support
Free SSL Certificate
1 Year Google G Suite
Ecommerce Analytics
Related Products
Customer Accounts
Gift Cards
Subscriptions

Their pricing structure is a bit strange to me as there is not much difference in price between the business and basic commerce packages. Yet you get a lot more on the basic commerce package, most notably no transaction fees. To me the business package is a bit pointless.

I think the basic commerce pricing is pretty good but the advanced commerce package puts it around the same price as pretty much every ecommerce platforms basic package, so I am interested to see how well it stacks up.

Free Trial

You do get a 14 day free trial with Squarespace so that you can fully test the platform out.

Customer Reviews

Before I get full on into my review, I thought I would take a look at what some of their existing customers thought of the platform. For this I look on Trustpilot, Facebook and Google.

Trustpilot Logo

1.9 out of 5

FaceBook Logo

No Reviews

Google Logo

No Reviews

Squarespace Features

The Squarespace plans are not too bad when it comes to ecommerce features. One the full commerce plan you get:

  • A Blog
  • Free SSL Certificate
  • Abandoned Cart Recovery
  • Gift Cards
  • Subscriptions

The one thing that Squarespace offers that you don’t get on most basic ecommerce plans is that ability to sell subscriptions.

With Squarespace, you don’t get to pick and choose which features you have on your site as they all come built in with the package you are on. You also cannot add any additional functionality in terms of apps.

For me, while the Squarespace features are not bad and are plenty to run a basic ecommerce store. If you are planning on running a fully fledged online shop, then Squarespace is a bit limited as you may find you need more functionality at a later date.

Theme Selection

Squarespace do have a large library of themes, the only problem is that you can’t see them all in one place!

When you search their theme library, you are only shown 10 results at a time. I don’t really like this because I want to be able to see all the ones that match my search query, not just a small selection.

Payment Gateways

This is something you are really limited on with Squarespace and it definitely puts it well behind the competition as you only get the choice of two payment gateways. The two offerings are PayPal and Stripe and while they offer you pretty much everything you need in terms of tacking payments, being limited to just those two isn’t good!

Do Squarespace charge transaction fees?

If you opt for the Business package, then you will pay a 3% transaction fee, which is pretty big! One the two commerce packages, you do not pay any transaction fees.

Squarespace Support

Squarespace claim to offer 24/7 support but this is stretching the truth a little bit. From what I could see, they offer live chat between 4am and 8pm eastern but no contact phone number. Their 24/7 offering is via email and they say that they aim to get back to you asap but to me, that isn’t true 24/7 support.

Web Hosting

Squarespace don’t list a lot of information when it comes to their web hosting and it took me a bit of digging around to find some information but here is what they offer:

  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • PCI Compliant Servers
  • CDN for images

As I said, not much information! But how quick are their sites in the real world? Well I decided to put them to the test, I took three of their customer example websites and ran them through Pingdom’s speed test tool, once a day for three days and here are the results.

#1

Website: 2.37 Seconds

#2

Website: 1.16 Seconds

#3

Website: 1.94 Seconds

The 1.82 second average load time is pretty good but all of the sites I tested were pretty light on content when compared to other ecommerce sites I have tested. Also the selection was pretty small and only one of the three was a full ecommerce site, the others were business sites that sold some things, this made it hard to see these tests as comparable to other ecommerce speed tests.

How Easy is Squarespace to Use?

Squarespace is marketed as an easy website builder, that gives anyone the opportunity to build a beautiful website and to me, that means it should be really easy to use! When I test a platform for ease of use, I look at 5 main areas:

  1. Getting Started
  2. Navigating the Dashboard
  3. Customising your theme
  4. Adding and Managing Products
  5. Managing Orders

Getting Started

Signing up to Squarespace is really easy, simple fill out the form with your name and email address and you are good to go.

Squarespace Dashboard

I was left a little stumped at this point as I went into my dahsboard, which is exactly what you can see above and that was it. No tutorial or set up guide, you are simply left to figure things out for yourself.

This is a big oversight for me, this is meant to be an easy web builder, yet they don’t give you any help or guidance to get your online shop set up? Not impressed with this at all.

Navigating the Dashboard

As you can see in the image above, the Squarespace dashboard has a very simple layout and it is really easy to navigate around your site. The sections are clearly labelled and when you go into any of them, you have a good selection of sub-sections.

The one area that does take a little getting used to is the pages section as this is where you control all the content on your site and also organise it. There is a lot going on in this section and it does take some playing around to really know how to add sections, pages, blog posts etc and also how to get the set up in your navigation menu.

Customising Your Theme

I already mentioned above that you cannot see all the themes that you can choose for your online store and this is quite frustrating as I just like to see what I have available, rather than trying to find what I can choose from.

For me, things don’t improve that much when it comes to customisation!

Squarespace Themes

The reason for this is that they your design elements are split between the pages and design section, this makes it feel quite disjointed to do any customisation.

You edit the layout of the pages in the pages section and I didn’t find this the easiest to do and it took me some playing around to get it to start looking how I wanted it too. Then if you want to change the colours along with sizes etc, then you need to go into the design section.

Adding and Managing Products

Adding a new product in Squarespace is pretty easy. When you click the add product button, you get a nice pop-up that includes all the things you need to properly add a product. Going in and editing a product is just as easy and to manage your inventory, you do need to go into the edit screen as you cannot adjust the quantities directly in the inventory page.

Squarespace Add Product

Organising your stock is a little more complicated. They have an option for categories but this works more like a tag system than a full category management system.

When you create a product, you choose which page it is going to be listed on but if you want to move the product to another page, you don’t change it in the edit product page, you cut it from one page and paste it into another. This makes no sense to me and I had to read the documentation to figure out how to do this.

Managing Orders

Unfortunately, I couldn’t test this part out as the platform wouldn’t let me create any test orders without upgrading to a paid plan. Not a fan of this as I like to fully test out a platform before I commit to a paid plan.

It does look like you can export order though, which is good if you use any kind of third-party software for managing orders.

Conclusion

So is Squarespace a viable ecommerce platform?

The only way I see Squarespace being a viable ecommerce platform is if you already have a website with Squarespace and want to start selling products through your existing site.

If you are planning on starting an ecommerce website from scratch, then there are better options such as Create.net that offer a more complete package for a similar price.

Squarespace Alternatives

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