E-commerce Comparison Guide

29-03-2022
Small Business
Squarespace
Web Design

So you want to sell products or services online? There are so many options out there: WordPress WooCommerce, Shopify, Squarespace, custom built shop etc. What are the pros and cons of each of these? Each of these solutions will allow you to sell online, but some are more suited than others... so let's take a look.

Bricks and Mortar Store

Firstly if you have a brick and mortar store, and you want to sell the same products in-store and online, then I highly recommend Shopify. Shopify has tons of features and plugins which can easily help you set up quickly, but I recommend it when you have a physical store because you can also get a POS device (Point of Sale). This allows you to take payment in the store (again through Shopify) meaning your inventory is tracked in-store and online, and customers can even share rewards points from online to in-store. There are lots of plugins as well which can print shipping labels from a delivery partner and even arrange collections from the store.

Selling Online

So if you don’t have a physical store, and just want to sell products online, the next question is are you creating an online store, or are you creating a website that sells products? By this I mean, will the main drive of your website users be wanting to read a blog, find a recipe, learn about your services, and they might happen to also purchase some merch, or buy a digital product? Or strictly for selling products?

If your website will predominantly be for selling products then again I would recommend Shopify. They specialise in online stores and they have become good at it, however using Shopify to create blogs/additional pages etc doesn’t give you as much flexibility as most people would like. I have created several Shopify sites for clients, and custom themes are always recommended in these cases. However, the content management for the non shop pages are difficult to edit and manage.

Physical & Digital Items

If your website would like to sell products that are both physical and digital, then I would recommend either Squarespace or a custom website. Ideally a custom website, as it will be faster (therefore leading to more organic traffic), is easier to manage (as managed by web designers) and can be far more creative with design and animation.

Custom builds are always the best option, but not always suitable due to budget and time restraints. Remember, anything Squarespace can do custom can do better - but the investment (both of money and time) will be greater.

If you're still not sure whether a Squarespace site or custom build is right for you, feel free to send us a message and we can chat about your needs and the best options.

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Oh but wait, you forgot about WordPress! Yeah... I would never recommend WordPress.