Trying to decide whether to sell your products on a Squarespace or Shopify site?
In today’s video we’re going to walk through the 3 key questions to ask yourself to figure out the perfect place to sell your products and build a product-based business in 2020.
Prefer to read instead of watch? Scroll down for the full scoop.
If you're trying to decide between Squarespace and Shopify, the first thing to think about is:
1. What kinds of products do you plan to sell?
Squarespace was originally created for people who wanted to do blogs, portfolios, more design heavy work, right? So if you're a graphic designer and you're hoping to showcase a bunch of the websites you've designed or some of the print materials or packaging you've done and then you want to be able to send customers to a website where they can pick and choose from different packages, Squarespace can be a great fit.
They're a really good fit for anybody with a more limited assortment where you're a lot more hands-on with your customers - they're navigating to that website to try to figure out who you are and what you do as opposed to a true ecommerce store like a target.com or somewhere where you're going to have a huge assortment, tons of options.
If that's you, if you are looking to start a business that's going to have a couple of different product lines and we're talking about real physical goods like planners or coffee mugs or wall art or maybe you're going to sell a mix of things that you make and things that other people make, too, maybe you're going to bring in some wholesale goods to help round out your assortment. Something like that is going to be a much better fit for a Shopify website. Shopify was created with product based businesses in mind. They've already got all the features and functionalities to be able to make really beautiful product listings where you can include multiple different angled photos and they make it super simple to organize your products into different collections, or organize them by vendor or by product type so that you can create a user experience for your shoppers to very easily navigate through a wide variety of products so they can find the thing that's the exact right fit for them. Question number two - what are your marketing needs for your business. So I know if haven't launched yet, that probably isn't something you've spent a ton of time thinking about but before you decide on Squarespace or Shopify, it's super-important to take a second and think about what you're going to need because that's going to make a huge difference when it comes to deciding between Squarespace and Shopify. So if what you're looking for is just the ability to collect basic email addresses, send out a newsletter every week to let everybody know what's going on in your shop or with your design studio, if you're not looking to send cart abandon emails and product abandon emails, you don't need to get fancy, you just want the basics - Squarespace can be a perfectly fine fit.
They integrate naturally into MailChimp so MailChimp can offer you email collection, a basic email welcome series, basic email functionality. You have that there. Squarespace has some of its own email functionality, too, but I wouldn't recommend it.
MailChimp personally isn't my favorite either, but it's the easiest and the only thing that integrates with Squarespace directly so if you're going to go that route, it can just make the communication a little bit easier if you have that direct integration.
If you're not familiar, integration just means the two platforms connect to each other directly so you don't have to worry about having a third party in the middle to send information from one to the other.
Shopify, on the other hand has a ton of different options when it comes to email marketing. You can connect directly into MailChimp, MailerLite, Omnisend, Klaviyo, they have a whole host of different email programs they can connect to directly. I know just thinking about that can be a little bit overwhelming but it's really important, if you're building a business where you want to be able to regularly engage with your customers and you've got a broad assortment of products you want to be able to talk about over email, and you think you're going to have a lot of customers adding things to their cart and potentially not buying right away - you want to be able to send them an email to remind them to come back and buy it, and you want to remind shoppers who landed on your website, browsed a couple of products and then be able to email them to remind them to come back and buy from you. If those are things you're interested in, if those are things you're going to want to do down the road, Shopify is going to be a much better fit. They just have way more options, they're much more sophisticated when it comes to connecting with different marketing platforms and they're going to make it so much easier for you to really connect and engage with your customers on a regular basis and then last but certainly not least, before you make a decision, take a second to really think about - are you considering Squarespace because it's a stepping stone in your mind before you get to Shopify? Maybe you've been wooed by the slightly lower prices and you're thinking, "hey I'll just build my store on Squarespace to start and down the road I can move over to Shopify." Before you do that, I caution you to think about the longer-term impacts.
I know it feels like it's far away but here's what's probably going to happen if you let yourself get wooed by that lower price point: you jump onto Squarespace, you build your store, your goal is to build this big ecommerce website to be able to scale and get all the sales and have excited customers and create this really beautiful, really easy experience so you're going to learn pretty fast that Squarespace has a ton of limitations for someone who's serious about being a product based seller and you're going to hit a point where all of a sudden Squarespace just isn't going to cut it and you're gonna need to move over to Shopify and at that point, if you've done the work to build out your Squarespace store, it's going to feel like an insurmountable task to move from one to the other so you're going to be left in this kind of limbo where you know you need to make the move, but you really don't want to make the move and you don't want to hire somebody to make the move for you.
So I urge you, if you are thinking about Squarespace as a stepping stone, if you're trying to just put your toe in the water, see what happens and then you're saying "oh I'm not going to worry about it, I'm going to move to Shopify down the road, the cost savings between Squarespace's slowest plan and Shopify's slowest plan isn't enough in my mind to warrant having to make a huge move down the road. Having to bring all of your Squarespace products over to a Shopify store, reconnect everything and set everything up from scratch - you would be so much better off just starting with that base plan in Shopify. Starting where you want to be to begin with and building your store from there. That way as you're ready to scale and grow, all the tools Shopify offers are right there at your fingertips for you to just be able to add and test and tinker and adjust at you need to without having to make any crazy moves in the middle of a booming business, a busy life, all the other things that kind of prevent us from wanting to make those kinds of big adjustments. So, now that we've talked through the three key questions to ask yourself to decide if Squarespace or Shopify is the right place for you, I'd love to hear from you, have you made the decision about whether you're going to start on SquareSpace or Shopify?
So, now that we’ve talked through the 3 questions to ask, I’d love to hear from you - have you decided whether to go with Squarespace or Shopify?
I'm Michelle and can't wait to help you build the product-based business of your dreams.