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    Squarespace E-commerce Review 2015

    Today we are continuing our e-commerce series and talking about Squarespace. Within the last couple of years Squarespace has been gaining popularity as a simple and easy solution to setting up a website, but did you know that you can also set up an online shop on Squarespace as well?

    There are quite a few brands using Squarespace as an e-commerce solution for their shops.

    One of our faves Lumio, More Real, Ryan Putnam, Kilometer 66, just to name a few.

    If you are a small shop getting started and don’t have the budget for a fully custom shop, Squarespace could be the perfect solution for you. Here are some things we love about it.

    Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 9.53.35 AM

    1 – MOBILE FRIENDLY MODERN TEMPLATES

    Probably one of it’s greatest known features, Squarespace templates are modern and clean, a great blank canvas to add your branding to. They are more on the simple side, but sometimes that is all you need. You can set up your online shop without adding a line of code. They also adapt to mobile devices, a must nowadays since mobile views just overtook desktop.

    TIP:  Even if you don’t have a large budget, when using templates hire a designer to spend a bit of time to add custom graphics wherever possible.  This will help your shop feel more branded and custom, and most visitors might not even notice it’s a template. A little goes a long way here.

    2 – ECOMMERCE FUNCTIONALITY SEAMLESSLY BUILT INTO TEMPLATES & EASY TO ADD PRODUCTS

    The backend and ease of adding products can make or break a platform. You can manage your online store and inventory, process orders, print packing slips, and customize emails all in one interface. Product images can be uploaded via a drag-and-drop system, while titles, descriptions, pricing and additional information can all be quickly added via the product upload window.

    Additional features includes shipping options, coupon codes, analytics, product variants ( size, color & more), digital downloads, and basic SEO capabilities. You can view the full index of features on Squarespace’s site here.

    3 – AFFORDABLE

    Starting out at just $8 a month including a free custom domain, Squarespace’s plans are great if you have a small budget. Then from there it would be the additional Stripe payment processing fees. But overall, still pretty affordable.

    4 – SQUARESPACE MAKES UPDATES FOR YOU

    With some Content Management Systems ( WordPress & Drupal ) you download and install the software on your own server, which requires continuous maintenance and updates. Squarespace works efficiently with their own high performance cloud system and you do everything via your browser. So say goodbye to maintenance and updates, Squarespace does that for you.

    Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 10.41.08 AM

    Ready to sign up? Hold on just a bit. These are some things you might want to consider.

    1 – LIMITED TO THE TEMPLATES

    Since there are only a limited amount of templates to choose from, it’s more than likely that 1000’s of other shops are also using the same template. Not ideal if you want to have more of a custom brand.

    Also, you might run into problems making big layout changes and adding custom functionalities. Other platforms like WordPress and Shopify have plugins and apps that allow you to add specific functionalities, but with Squarespace, you are limited to the default software.

    Same thing with the blogging engine. We will discuss more in another article, but you are limited to the functionalities Squarespace has to offer, whereas with WordPress, you can create or add whatever functionality you need.

    2 – ONLY ALLOWS YOU TO CONNECT TO ONE PAYMENT PROCESSOR STRIPE

    Stripe is a fairly popular payment processor so might not be an issue for you, but something to consider if you would prefer to use a different payment processor ( ie: paypal, authorize.net )

    3 -BACKEND FEELS A BIT CLUNKY & HARD TO NAVIGATE

    This might just be out personal opinion after mostly working with wordpress, but sometimes Squarespace just doesn’t feel very intuitive with the way things are organized. For a first time user,  there is a learning curve to learning the backend and understanding how to use the software.

    4 – LACKS SOME SPECIFIC FEATURES AVAILABLE ON OTHER PLATFORMS

    Before deciding on a ecommerce platform, it’s best to go through and make a list of all of the features you will need ( product variants, taxes, shipping, type of coupon codes, ect. ). Some features Squarespace lacks are,

    – Automatically applying free shipping over $XX amount

    – Per product shipping rates

    – Integration with Fullfillment apps

    – Customizable Shopping Cart Page

    – Customizable Checkout Page

    For a more in-depth detail on each of these, check out this article, and this one.

    SUMMARY

    Based on our review, if you are a shop just starting out with a small budget, but want to create a more branded experience than Etsy, Squarespace is a great option to get started. If you need more complicated functionalities, or want a more custom design, it may not be the best option for you.

     

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    October Ink is a one-stop branding and marketing shop catering to small businesses and creative entrepreneurs all over the world. Our home office is in SLC, Utah.

     

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