BigCommerce vs Squarespace Comparison: Which Is Better?
In the global marketplace, eCommerce has emerged as the single most important growth engine. Global B2C eCommerce revenues are expected to hit $1.5 trillion this year, up 20% from 2013, according to eMarketer, a leading independent industry researcher. B2B eCommerce spending in the United States alone reached $559 billion in 2013, according to Forrester Research. If eCommerce is essential to your business, the solution you choose is arguably one of the most crucial decisions you can make.
In its most basic form, eCommerce software allows a company to sell goods and services over the internet. Businesses had to buy on-premise, separate eCommerce software in the past, which involved comprehensive IT setup and in-house management with specialist development teams. These technologies were typically expensive, unable to scale, difficult to work with, and time-consuming to customize and integrate with other systems.
This post reviews and compares two of the most ultimate eCommerce platforms, namely BigCommerce and SquareSpace, that comprehensively support users in building up their dreaming online stores.
What is BigCommerce?
BigCommerce is a lot more than just an eCommerce platform. It comes with some excellent store management features that will help you remain on top of your company right out of the box. A comprehensive product list, versatile delivery & real-time quotes, coupon and discounting tools, and more are just a few of the cool native features.
BigCommerce has Amazon and eBay integrations and social selling capabilities that allow you to sell on Facebook. The shipping capabilities of the solution are awe-inspiring. It is a cloud solution with deep integration with ShipperHQ, a sophisticated shipping rate calculator, and a rules engine. With this integration, providing real-time quotes and applying customized shipping rates is a breeze.
Pros & Cons
Order management, inventory management, reports, analytics, and everything else you can think of are all excellent management tools. BigCommerce is fantastic for managing the shop daily.
Module for marketing, including AdWords integration, discounts, and more. You can also cultivate your audience by integrating email marketing tools such as Mailchimp.
When you consider the number of awesome features it provides and the fact that there is no limit to the number of customers you can serve or the number of items you can sell,
BigCommerce is very affordable.
BigCommerce provides excellent customer service, and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also get help finding out topics like SEO and marketing fundamentals.
There are a variety of applications to choose from: Integrate your store with the applications you use the most, such as QuickBooks, Mailchimp, and other similar services.
Use the currencies that are most convenient for you, like multiple currencies at various times.
There are no transaction fees: BigCommerce does not charge transaction fees, even though you use a third-party payment gateway.
The abandoned cart info tool is great for bringing customers back into your store when you need them the most.
With any scheme, you can get as many workers accounts as you like.
There are built-in marketing resources available, including the ability to access a built-in blog without having to use WordPress.
For 14 days, you can try the product for free.
If you want something more premium, the themes can get pricey. Themes will cost up to $250 each (fortunately, this is a one-time investment).
The homepage isn’t really customizable. The homepage’s text content is viewed as a banner for some purpose. That’s not really intuitive.
The homepage carousel is only a marginally useful function. To get it to look perfect, you’ll have to do a lot of trial and error.
The design change does not always go as planned. When working on my store concept, Chrome has frozen a couple of times. You just have to deal with your design setup once, thankfully.
If you’re on the cheapest $29.95/month plan, there’s a 1.5 percent transaction fee.
Reasons to use
Integration with eBay
Tons of powerful features out of the box
Robust business management tools (i.e. product management, order management, reporting, shipping)
Bigcommerce has a lot of useful e-commerce store management features (like inventory management, order fulfillment, online payments, discounts, analytics, and so on), and attractive templates and a lot of customization options.
What is Squarespace?
Squarespace is a simple platform for creating a variety of websites, including online stores. It includes all of the standard features of an eCommerce platform, such as unlimited items, multiple SKUs, and variants.
It also has a variety of payment methods, including credit cards, PayPal, and Apple Pay. To help you optimize conversions, you can get reports and perspectives on average order prices, income, units sold, traffic sources, and sales. When it comes to shipping, Squarespace integrates with ShipStation to render printing shipping labels a breeze. Rates from UPS, FedEx, and USPS can also be calculated in real time.
Pros & Cons
Many eCommerce entrepreneurs who prefer Squarespace do so because of its style and aesthetic. The models available are unquestionably more appealing than those found on other free website builders, resulting in a store that is more authoritative and aesthetically pleasing.
As you can see, Squarespace supports a wide range of integrations, so you won’t need to use any additional plugins or applications. This will make your overall Squarespace experience much smoother and easier.
The basic data monitoring, reporting, and marketing tools make it simple to drill down into your data and better target your prospects. This allows you to make changes to your promotions and marketing efforts directly from the Squarespace admin panel.
Squarespace is on par with solutions like Shopify and other paid-for eCommerce website builders, with monthly costs hovering about $26.
Since there are no commissions, the margins are covered, allowing you to walk away from the sale with more money.
As previously stated, if you have issues with your Squarespace site or with any of the features, there are no phone numbers to call for immediate assistance.
Squarespace only requires you to use Paypal and Stripe as payment processors, which could be inconvenient for certain customers.
The styling options can be a little overwhelming for some new developers. Many of the style preferences that can be selected are just a step too far for a solid template design, so getting less choices is often a good thing.
Squarespace users complain that the site lacks sophisticated marketing tools. You may use some basic resources to help you sell your website to a wider audience, but this area should be improved in general.
Reasons to use
Drag and drop merchandising
Features around SEO, social media, customer engagement, and blogging to help you grow your online presence
Who’s best suited for?
BigCommerce is best for businesses that are rapidly expanding and need to function at a large scale.
The platform has excellent e-commerce features, such as order management, inventory management, customer management (there’s a built-in CRM), marketing tools, and analytics. All is designed to keep hundreds or thousands of items in the database and make the day-to-day interactions with the platform as simple as possible. However, there are better options out there for someone who is just getting started and just needs to sell their first 1-10 items.
Of course, you must consider the future and predict how much you will potentially evolve in a year’s time before making your decision. Even if you only have 5 items to sell today, your store will expand significantly in a year (both in terms of products and orders being processed). In that case, Bigcommerce is still a viable option. It’s a fantastic forum for your company to expand on.
SquareSpace advertises itself as a website that anyone can use. They’ve also taken the gamble of hosting a Super Bowl in the past, which we all know isn’t the most cost-effective marketing strategy. They also have a compelling reason to take such risks. Squarespace seems to be very impressive in terms of its functionality and ease of use.
Squarespace, in my opinion, is the best option for you if you want a beautiful eCommerce shop that will appeal to your customers. And, of course, if you want to create it from the ground up.
BigCommerce & Squarespace: Comparison
BigCommerce’s features all begin with the website builder, which allows users to create beautiful, responsive designs without having any prior knowledge of web design. You can easily add and manage goods, as well as accept payments through a number of methods.
Most businesses need customized shipping, and BigCommerce provides it. Because of the versatile tax structure and dropshipping functionality, you won’t have to change your business model just to accommodate your eCommerce system.
BigCommerce has been slow to respond to feature requests, according to our readers, making it difficult for many customers to justify the cost. Many of the features, for example, are designed specifically for US users, leaving the rest of the world with features that aren’t entirely useful. Customers have also expressed dissatisfaction with helpful features that have been requested repeatedly in the forums but never implemented (like the ability to customize order statuses).
Aside from the upgrade problem, we will discuss some of the benefits. BigCommerce has a lot of great features, from smart product rules to downloadable purchases, email marketing tools to advanced search engine optimization.
Squarespace has a lot of features. Here are a few of the most interesting:
- Choose from a variety of modern website templates that are mobile-friendly.
- Multiple designs may be used on the same site.
- Module for blogging; 24/7 support; SEO-friendly structure
- Website statistics and analytics;
- Your store should have an unlimited number of products;
- Product variations that are flexible; detailed product descriptions;
- Offer whatever you want, both digital and physical goods and services;
- Donations are an option;
- Discount codes; inventory management; order management; delivery choices that are flexible;
- Rates of taxation
- PCI enforcement and SSL are built-in security features.
BigCommerce had some dynamic pricing at one stage, which was comparable to Shopify’s. However, it appears that, in response to several emails and feedback from our readers, they have significantly raised rates for their most successful customers (those who generate more than $125,000 in annual revenue).
This is a massive setback for BigCommerce customers as well as our overall opinion of the company. Sure, you’ll still get some of the fixed prices listed below, but once you reach a certain level of sales, you’ll be hit with astronomically high monthly rates. It’s almost as if BigCommerce is attempting to extort more money from consumers simply because they can. Anyway, let’s move on to the various plans available to you. Before you make a decision, you can still try BigCommerce for free for 30 days.
At first glance, all of those rates seem to be very attractive – but there is one thing to bear in mind. If your business grows to a certain size, you will be upgraded (whether you like it or not). When you pay for the whole year at once, you save 10% on every contract (rather than just month by month). So, for the Standard package, you’ll pay about $359 up front. Another factor to bear in mind is that if you need more flexibility than the “Pro” model provides, you would need to request an Enterprise quote. That’s pretty ordinary in today’s offerings.
Squarespace offers four different pricing plans that range from $12 to $40 a month (billed yearly). Unlimited storage and bandwidth are included in all yearly plans, as well as a free custom domain and SSL security. When you update, you gain access to new features such as eCommerce and promotional pop-ups.
The Personal plan, which costs $12 a month and includes website features but not eCommerce, is the cheapest Squarespace plan. The cheapest plan for an online store is $26 a month, which includes unlimited items, no transaction fees, label printing, and other features.
If you’re just getting started, the Squarespace eCommerce plan’s basic features will suffice. You can sell an infinite number of products; no transaction fees apply; and you get a free custom domain.
Ease of use
Managing your shop, taking care of your orders, adding items, reviewing your analytics, and so on – essentially, all that might be called day-to-day work – is a breeze. All is simple and straightforward.
It can be a little overwhelming to set up your shop, tweak the design, and do anything else that is considered a one-time job (more on that below). If you’re not familiar with the internet, you might need the support team’s help with that.
SquareSpace is a fantastic website designer and hosting platform for both beginners and advanced users. It’s so easy to use that even if you’ve never built a website before or aren’t familiar with the online eCommerce world, you’ll be able to create and run the eCommerce site of your dreams.
Also, if website design is important to you, you’ll find beautiful and simple-to-use models that you can preview and try out before making a decision (and change at any time).
Finally, if you want a one-stop-shop, Squarespace can design and host your website. You can also buy domains, get website security, analytics, and customer service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Online store designs
Bigcommerce takes pride in providing designs that are tailored for a variety of uses and eCommerce shop forms. So, whatever you’re selling, Bigcommerce has a great concept for you. That’s a template that not only looks fine but also converts well. What’s more, all of the prototypes have been designed for mobile viewing, which is critical in this day and age.
To get started, go to the dashboard and press the “Edit Settings” button.
Bigcommerce creates a default configuration for your store right away.
There are dozens of other high-quality themes/designs available, both free and charged, in addition to the default one.
The paid themes, on the other hand, can be very costly. They cost between $120-$250 each.
However, the free themes seem to be just as fine, so I’d just recommend paying for premium themes if you really like the design and can afford it. The designs themselves are multipurpose in nature, and each one can be used for a variety of different stores and items. When it comes to choosing a theme, look for something consistent with your brand.
You can always go through the customization options no matter which template you choose. The best way to start customizing is by adjusting the theme’s default colors to match your brand and tweaking the fonts. Then you can add your logo, allow the mobile theme, set the main carousel, and do other things (like maybe change the header).
You can also work with raw HTML and CSS to make your e-commerce store suit your needs as closely as possible if you’re feeling secure.
SquareSpace has a range of eCommerce-friendly templates to choose from.What’s amazing about them is that they all seem to be very fresh and adhere to the most recent style trends. As a result, your eCommerce shop will never look out of date.
Furthermore, each design is designed for smartphone and tablet viewing, and each design is divided into categories to make the decision easier.
Let’s speak about handling items and product categories, which is the most critical part of any online shop.
However, before we do that, let’s take care of the store’s basic setup. The settings panel has a lot of subsections, but the good news is that each one is very intuitive, and most of them only enable you to check the default settings that are already in place. In other words, your store can run on default settings the majority of the time.
Setting the default currency, particularly if it differs from the one used in the country you’re operating from, is something you will have to deal with. Be sure that the settings you’ve chosen correspond to your company’s model. This can be changed in Settings > Currencies.
SquareSpace gives you access to a simple store management dashboard as soon as you sign up:
You can handle your inventory, process orders, set discounts, and accept payments from there. You’ll also have access to a panel where you can edit your pages, alter the template, see the stats, and change every other site environment (you can see everything in the screenshot above).
The design is easy to use and there isn’t much of a learning curve. To add a product, for example, you simply press the “Add Product” button and then fill in all of the product’s information.
Squarespace integrates with Stripe under the hood to enable you to accept and process online payments. While there is no official PayPal integration, you should accept PayPal as a payment system. It still works, but if you want to use it, it’s a little less user-friendly.
Apart from the essentials, you can go into great detail and specify every last detail about your product if you so like. To name a few possibilities, consider the following:
- You can set up unlimited products choices. You can let your customers pick the color, size (for example, shoes), and shape.
- You can create intelligent product rules. For example, you might use this to provide free shipping on orders over $200.
- You can offer digital goods, event passes, downloads, and services in addition to physical objects.
- You can keep track of inventory, allow Google Shopping, and add custom parameters to each items, among other things. This is particularly beneficial if you plan to expand your online store.
Squarespace recently announced the addition of another method – Squarespace Scheduling – as a platform that continues to evolve and expand.
Inside the platform, you can use this feature to keep track of all of your appointments. Furthermore, it encourages you to share certain appointments with others and allows your clients to schedule their appointments. Squarespace scheduling will help you stay organized by centralizing all of your meetings, which will undoubtedly save you time.
BigCommerce has a great set of marketing tools to help you get your store up and running and give it an edge in the online world.
You may use banners on the homepage, unique category pages, or brand pages. You may use them for a variety of reasons, both promotional and non-promotional. You can basically insert whatever text or picture you like within those banners.
Coupon Codes – particularly useful if you’re running a limited-time promotion and want to distribute codes via email.
Discounts are available.
Notifications for Abandoned Carts – You can email your customers to inform them about their shopping carts.
Integrations with Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing helps you advertise your goods on Google in a semi-automated manner.
Many integrations and plugins are available through Squarespace, but they require a paid subscription. You’ll be able to link your website to a variety of apps that will make your life much easier. Here are some examples of what the platform would allow you to do:
- Blocks: Foursquare Block, Video Block, Instagram Block, and Flickr Block;
- Social accounts: Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Dropbox, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr;
- Domains and email: G Suite, Namecheap, GoDaddy
- Marketing: Amazon, Google Ads, Facebook Pixel
- Commerce: PayPal, Stripe, Square, FedEx, UPS, USPS
- CMR apps: HubSpot CRM, Airtable, ActiveCampaign, HoneyBook, Mailchimp, LeadMaster, and more.
BigCommerce is suitable for almost anyone who does not need an Enterprise Level System. That isn’t to suggest the BigCommerce enterprise strategy isn’t worthwhile, but I believe there are better alternatives. BigCommerce is a good choice for small businesses, but consider how much you want to scale up in the future. That if you give up a certain amount of transactions, you can end up paying a lot of fees. And Squarespace is an all-in-one eCommerce website builder for both beginners and experts. There’s no need to stress about the technical details of hosting, domains, servers, or analytics because this visual website builder takes care of it.