Squarespace ecommerce: Review of the Squarespace shop for small businesses 2021

With stunning templates and plenty of design flexibility, we recommend Squarespace if you want maximum creative control over your online shop

Our experts

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4.6 out of 5
  • Website features
    4.3
  • Sales features
    3.4
  • Design flexibility
    4.0
  • Value for money
    4.2
  • Help and support
    3.5
  • Ease of use
    4.2

In November 2021, we carried out our most recent round of web builder research which saw Squarespace's overall score boosted to 4.6 out of 5. This is due to its improved app store, ease of use, and customer support tools.

The platform has some of the best-looking templates around, as well and scores joint top for its excellent design flexibility, meaning Squarespace ecommerce should be the platform of choice for the image-conscious small business.

But it’s not all surface. Squarespace also offers top quality website features to help you build an online shop that not only looks great, but works well too – and all for a great price. That’s why we ranked Squarespace joint second in our definitive list of the best ecommerce platforms for small businesses, alongside Shopify. Customer feedback is also strong, with 90% of users saying they'd be likely to recommend it to a friend.

But is a Squarespace shop the right choice for your business?

To help you decide, we’ve put Squarespace ecommerce through its paces by testing it on the key factors we know matter most to you, including ease of use, sales features, and the help and support on offer. Read on for our comprehensive review.

Squarespace Ecommerce
4.6
It might not have the best sales features, but Squarespace’s excellent editing tools make it quick and easy to get your online store up and running.
  • FREE TRIAL 14-day free trial
  • PRICE FROM £13 per month Use code "STARTUPS10" to receive a 10% discount on all Squarespace plans
  • Ideal platform for digital sales ie online events
  • Our highest scorer for ease of use
  • Use code "STARTUPS10" to receive a 10% discount on all Squarespace plans
Summary Squarespace's ecommerce offering has plenty of great selling points to keep its users happy. There have been huge UX improvements since we last tested the platform, moving from 3.4 to a 4.2 ease of use score. The ecommerce platform has also greatly improved its app store and customer support. Although it's the ideal platform for digital sales (where stock is not directly needed) it falls short when it comes to stock monitoring capabilities. It also has very limited ecommerce templates compared to other competitors like Wix, despite both providers charging the same monthly price of £13 per month on a standard plan.
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Squarespace ecommerce overview

As a non-ecommerce-specific website builder with a focus on design and affordable pricing, Squarespace is a close rival to Wix and Shopify, which both narrowly pipped it to the post in our guide to the best ecommerce platforms for small businesses.

But what really shines for Squarespace ecommerce is its design flexibility. On top of having some of the most aesthetically appealing templates on the market – described as “sleek, stylish, and modern” by our researchers – it gives you the freedom to customise your website to your heart's content.

And that goes a long way. Having an attractive and well-designed website is half the battle when it comes to projecting an image of professionalism, securing customers, and making sales.

Our testers also admired the “depth and quality” of Squarespace’s ecommerce features, which support its customers in effectively managing and running their online stores. Whether you sell products or sell services, you’ll find a range of in-built and third party tools to suit your needs.

However, some testers found that the creative freedom offered came at the cost of ease of use: the backend editing function isn’t as intuitive as rivals', for example. Plus, its sales features definitely aren't the best on the market.

Overall, the main attraction with Squarespace is that your online shop will look fantastic – and have you shifting products like there’s no tomorrow.


Squarespace ecommerce pricing

A Squarespace ecommerce plan will cost you anything from £15/month to £30/month (when paid annually).

That’s joint second in our ranking for value for money, scoring 4.2 out of 5 when you take into account the quality of website you can create, and the comprehensive range of sales features on offer.

All prices listed are paid annually. You’ll be paying about 25% more every month if you choose to pay on a rolling monthly basis.

0 out of 0
Price
Plan main features

Squarespace Business

Basic Commerce

Advanced Commerce

£15 per month

£20 per month

£30 per month

Fully integrated ecommerce
3% transaction fee
Sell unlimited products

No commerce transaction fees
Point of sale integration
Customer accounts

Abandoned cart recovery
Powerful ecommerce analytics
Advanced shipping

There is an additional premium services package, Squarespace Select, which combines the builder’s most advanced packages with ‘white glove’ services, including a dedicated account manager, design and SEO consultations, and priority support.

Squarespace also offers custom solutions for larger organisations, or those with more unique needs.

Contact Squarespace for more information on its Select package, or other custom solutions.


Pros
  • Scores highest for ease of use in our research
  • It offers great value for money (features versus price)
  • Squarespace’s templates are the best designed, and cater to all but one of the industries we evaluated, topping our list when it comes to design, user experience, and branding
Cons
  • Poor site speed performance for desktop use
  • As it only supports PayPal and Stripe, Squarespace offers the fewest payment options (although customers can use Apple Pay within Stripe)
  • Squarespace received the worst score for sales features according to our research

Our methodology: How did we evaluate Squarespace ecommerce for small businesses?

0 out of 0
Best for
Overall Score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing
Pricing
Visit

All-round ecommerce platform for small businesses

Best range of apps and extensions

Best for ease of use and great design

Best value – start selling for free

Best sales features

Creating a simple online store

4.8
4.6
4.6
4.3
4.2
3.9

£13-£22 per month

£20-£211 per month

£15-£30 per month

Use code “STARTUPS10” to receive a 10% discount on all Squarespace plans

 

£0-£54 per month

£22-£216 per month

£19.99 per month (first term savings available)

We’ve put Squarespace joint second in our ranking of the ecommerce platform for small businesses based on extensive user testing, and an assessment of the six key factors that matter most to you – the small business owners.

Those six factors are website features, sales features, design flexibility, help and support, value for money, and ease of use.

Each factor was given a score out of 5. Those six scores were then combined to get the overall score.

Squarespace achieved a very commendable 4.6, showing huge improvement in some areas like customer satisfaction and ease of use. Let’s see how those scores break down.


Website features – 4.3

Achieving 4.3 out of 5, we found Squarespace website features come with a comprehensive suite of tools and services to help you succeed, including analytics, marketing, and third party extensions. It achieved the highest score of all our web builders in terms of quality of features.

However, you should note that your access to certain features depends on whether you choose a Classic, Advanced, or Unique template. For example, the Advanced templates can do everything the Classic ones can, but with the addition of features such as quick view and zoom.

Squarespace's SEO and marketing tools are also top notch, and it has recently upgraded the latter with the ability to conduct email campaigns, and feature promotional pop-ups and social media live feeds on your website pages.

The platform also has a pretty nifty logo maker, which enables you to easily design and create a logo for use across your business website.


Sales features – 3.4

Squarespace services

Sales is the lowest-scoring ecommerce area for Squarespace. That being said, it has recently carried out extensive updates to its market app store meaning that many of the sales functions you require are only a simple app-download away.

Products and inventory

Unlike some of its rivals that impose restrictions, Squarespace ecommerce allows you to sell unlimited physical, digital, and service-based products on your site.

It’s easy to manage products from the backend, with tags, categories, and a drag-and-drop sorting tool. You can then add rich product descriptions, embed images and videos, and link internally to related products to give your shoppers a great browsing experience.

Within the inventory space, you can use stock management tools, revenue reports, and stock level email alerts to help monitor your product sales.

Payment options

Squarespace ecommerce supports a limited range of just four payment options, including PayPal and Stripe. It doesn’t directly allow digital wallet-type payments, but customers can choose to make an Apple Pay payment within Stripe.

If you intend to offer any of your products on a recurring basis, you can also offer your customers a subscription plan.

If you don’t opt for a Basic Commerce or Advanced Commerce plan, Squarespace will charge you two fees: a payment processor fee, and a Squarespace transaction fee (3%).

But it’s easy to avoid this additional fee by choosing the Basic or Advanced Commerce plan from the start, which will probably save you money in the long run.

Multichannel integration

Multichannel integration is also heavily limited with Squarespace, only linking to Instagram as a sales platform with product tags. These will redirect anyone who clicks on them onto your site, where they can then pay for items. This feature starts at an additional £14/month.

Checkout

You'll get every checkout tool under the sun with Squarespace. With the Squarespace Checkout Style Editor, you can customise the colouring, logo, and headers to match the aesthetic of your site. It might seem trivial, but consistent branding throughout the payment process helps to maintain trust.

You can set up custom emails to be automatically sent to your customers, for everything from creating an account to abandoning a basket or shipping an order. Guest checkout is not currently supported, so anyone making a purchase will have to create an account.

Shipping

Squarespace shipping is supported by UPS, which enables you to automatically calculate shipping rates for different regions.

You can also add on a third party app called ShipStation, which prints shipping labels in bulk for all major carriers. It can help you save time on fulfilling orders, and offers discounted rates on specific carriers like FedEx.

Internationalisation

Squarespace does not currently support selling in multiple currencies, but it does provide a number of features that support those selling overseas.

For example, setting up alternative shipping options for customers in different global regions is a very efficient process, and taxes are automatically amended based on whatever shipping zone is selected.

Sales analytics

Squarespace has a nice range of analytics available through its sales overview dashboard, including revenue, order volume, and conversions.

It also allows you to track the purchase funnel, and break down what percentage of people who viewed a product went on to buy it.

However, unlike some major ecommerce builders, Squarespace does not support stock monitoring statistics. This can make things difficult as your business grows, and shifts more and more stock.

Security features

Squarespace users can rest safe in the knowledge that their website is protected by a comprehensive range of security features, including free SSL certificates, secure customer accounts, and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance.

Accounting

Unfortunately, Squarespace offers very little in the way of third party accounting apps. However, you can print individual and bulk invoices, and make use of the analytics we discussed earlier for your bookkeeping.


Design flexibility – 4

A Squarespace design

A website designed using Squarespace

Squarespace is our top ranked platform for creative control, thanks to its real focus on design and presentation. It might have fewer templates than its rivals, but those that it does have look stunning, and can be edited to your heart’s content. You can also edit your website on your phone for both mobile and desktop format, making edits that bit easier to appraise.

And unlike with many other builders, you can change your template at any given time, so there’s no great pressure to choose the right one the first time round.

The only minor issue is that, although your website content will be repopulated on the new template, the navigation link order might not follow – meaning you’ll personally have to rearrange it.


Help and support – 3.5

Deleted pages and blog posts can be restored up to 30 days after their removal.

We scored Squarespace's help features in second place in terms of how well they perform against its price point. Squarespace has a live chat function, but no phone support. However, its knowledge forum is regarded as one of the most trustworthy and supportive in the industry. You should be able to find answers to most of your questions here.


Value for money – 4.2

Squarespace ecommerce compares very favourably with the likes of Wix and Square when it comes to value for money. Its sales features are just as good as these two ecommerce-specific platforms, and yet it’s much cheaper. We scored it an impressive 4.2 out of 5 – matching Wix's score to come in joint second place.


Ease of use – 4.2

We're hugely impressed by how much Squarespace has improved its usability rating over the past two years – it has jumped from a fairly unimpressive 3.4 out of 5 to an unbeaten 4.2.

This is thanks to updates in help and support functions, which give you logical and simple prompts to aid you as you set up your website and shop.


What the users said

In terms of ease of use in the backend, this is the best on the market. I really enjoyed it, very intuitive and most functionalities are where I would expect them to be. For example, under marketing you'd find discounts or email – this isn't always clear on other ecommerce platforms.”


Squarespace ecommerce verdict

Squarespace ecommerce offers website features to rival any of its competitors, as well as the most stylish templates of any builder we’ve reviewed – and it’s great value to boot! That's why we've marked it highly overall for ecommerce functions, scoring it a substantial 4.6 out of 5.

However if you want to take full advantage of Squarespace’s extensive features and really hit the ground running with your online shop, we’d recommend opting for one of its more premium plans from the off. Its Advance ecommerce plan is the only one that gives you abandoned cart recovery, advanced shipping, and commerce APIs.

Those who are new to building an online shop will find Squarespace quick to grasp thanks to its recent updates to user experience, which have seen it grow from a meagre 3.4, to a massive 4.2 out of 5 when it comes to ease of use. We’d wager even the biggest web builder novices will end up with a better looking website than you would if you used a rival platform.

Start building your Squarespace online store today.


FAQs

Can you sell things on Squarespace?

You can start selling online with any of Squarespace’s plans except its Personal plan.

Ecommerce functionality is introduced with Business, and gets progressively more advanced as you upgrade. We would recommend choosing either its Basic Commerce or Advanced Commerce plan if you want to create a fully functional, fully optimised shop.

Is Squarespace good for ecommerce?

Squarespace’s sales features are fairly average for website builders. However, is website features have come on a storm since our last round of research. In November 2021, we bumped them from 3.9 to 4.3 out of 5.

We think it’s a great choice for any small business that wants to build an online shop that works well and looks great.

Is Squarespace better than Shopify?

It really depends what your priorities are. Squarespace is better if you want a great-looking and easy to use online shop. But if you want a more powerful ecommerce foundation for your online store, Shopify is probably a better option.

Shopify offers more sophisticated backend functionality when it comes to scaling your business and adding hundreds of products. However, you can’t just build a website on Shopify, whereas Squarespace gives you the tools to create an amazing website, then build an online store into it.

How much is Squarespace ecommerce?

Coming in joint second for value for money, Squarespace ecommerce plans range in price from £15 to £30/month when paid annually. The more you’re prepared to spend, the more comprehensive your ecommerce package will be.

How do I add an ecommerce site to Squarespace?

It’s easy to add ecommerce functionality to your Squarespace site. Just select one of its Commerce plans to gain access to a suite of essential sales features, and other tools you can use to make your online shop a success.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Find an ecommerce template
  • Register or transfer your business’s domain name
  • Start adding products and connect a payment processor
  • Alternatively, if you sell services, you can set up appointments through Squarespace scheduling
  • Use the website builder to customise your online store categories and content
Henry Williams headshot
Henry Williams Content Manager

Henry has been writing for Startups.co.uk since 2015, covering everything from business finance and web builders to tax and red tape. He’s also acted as project lead on many of our industry-renowned annual indexes, including Startups 100 and Business Ideas, and created a number of the site’s popular how to guides.

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