We’ve said it once, and we’ll keep saying it, e-commerce does not need to be hard. That’s why we launched shopBuilder earlier this year so that Irish SMEs and others around the world can start selling online quickly and easily. You have a lot of choice in platforms to choose from when building your online store. With Ireland locking down again for COVID-19, it’s critical for SMEs to sell online as soon as possible, especially with Christmas approaching.
One popular option is Squarespace so we’ve put together our list of reasons why you should choose shopBuilder by Blacknight over Squarespace.
First, a small caveat. You can use a shopBuilder store on an existing Squarespace Website; it just drops in with a simple line of code. So, if you’re already using Squarespace but don’t want to pay for their e-commerce solution, you can drop shopBuilder in very easily. Get directions on how to do that here.
You have constraints, be unique
One big drawback of Squarespace is that you must use their templates and make your website look like one of the thousands of websites they already host. shopBuilder plugs into the website you already have, and you can customise it to create a seamless user experience. Don’t be a clone of other e-commerce websites, be unique and stand out in your vertical.
shopBuilder is More affordable
Squarespace is more expensive than shopBuilder. It has a high monthly fee for business plans. But the biggest problem is that Squarespace charges 3% transaction fees on every customer purchase even if you don’t use their credit card processor. That means that you pay a small fee every time an order is placed, on top of your monthly fee. That will add up quickly, especially when you already have to pay a percentage to your credit card processor. 3% to Squarespace + 3% to your credit card processor is a big chunk of each purchase, and it will add up. shopBuilder has no transaction fees and is cheaper on a monthly basis.
shopBuilder has Irish Support
Squarespace is an American company based in New York. If you need support, you have to contact them – keeping in mind that your request might be delayed because of the time difference. shopBuilder comes with world-class support from Blacknight, in Ireland from our knowledgeable Irish staff. We’re familiar, we’re trustworthy, and we’ll get you sorted quickly. Don’t take our word for us, check out our ratings on Trustpilot here.
shopBuilder is much easier to set up and use
Squarespace has been around for a while; as a consequence, the platform has become bloated, just like every ‘easy’ e-commerce platform. They do their best to make it easy to set up, but you quickly get lost in the weeds trying to get your online store just right. shopBuilder is much more straightforward. Set it up, add your products, drop it into your website, and start selling.
You Have to Pay Extra to Have Checkout on Your Domain
Controlling the checkout experience is very important in creating trust with your customers. It’s not a good look for them to start a transaction on your website, then be bounced to a completely different website to complete the checkout. Unless you pay extra for one of Squarespace’s e-commerce plans, you have to checkout on Squarespace’s website, not your own.
You Have to Pay Extra for many features
While Squarespace has a good slate of features right out of the box, if you need more advanced functionality or need to add-on anything, you will have to pay extra – whether it’s in added fees or a higher monthly subscription cost. shopBuilder has most of those features built-in already, or as free add-ons (though there are third-party integrations that might cost more).
To Customise Further, You Still Need a Developer
Words that most SMEs don’t want to hear are ‘you’ll need a developer’ to do that. To most small business owners, ‘developer’ means huge extra cost. The whole point of do-it-yourself platforms like this is that you can do almost everything without a developer. If you want to customise Squarespace beyond what comes out of the box, you’ll need a developer. With shopBuilder, you don’t need a developer to do most things (but having a good developer you trust certainly isn’t a bad thing, I used to be one!).
POS Access is Extra
If you’re a retail store using a Point of Sale system, it’s important for your e-commerce and your in-store commerce to talk to each other. With Squarespace, you have to pay extra for this feature. With shopBuilder, POS integration is included on all pricing tiers (you have to use Square, Clover, Vend, or Shopkeep).
Customer accounts are extra
When a customer places an order with shopBuilder, it automatically creates a user account for them so that they can see their order and the current status. You have to use a higher-priced customer tier on Squarespace to have customer accounts. With shopBuilder, it’s included in all pricing tiers.
Selling on Instagram is extra
Instagram is one of the fastest-growing platforms to do business, and now with Instagram shops and product tagging, it’s easier than ever to sell there as well. This is included out of the box with shopBuilder, on Squarespace you have to pay extra for this.