bigcommerce vs squarespace

Bigcommerce vs Squarespace (Nov 2021): The Ultimate Comparison

With so many website builder providers, you might don’t know which software is right; BigCommerce vs Squarespace are the two popular on the market. Which has more advantages for eCommerce stores? To find the answer, it is better to read through this article.

Overview

BigCommerce was established in 2009, has corporate headquarters in Austin, Texas, and is serving more than 100,000 online stores worldwide. To have broadened view and information about this website builder, please refer to “BigCommerce review“.

Squarespace is a professional website builder founded in 2004 that can help you build your website with a beautiful interface and full of basic features.

At a glance, two platforms provide customers a service to build up a website. However, the customer segments and priority of use that the two platforms tend to attract are not the same. Most people who have the need to build a sales website will choose BigCommerce. Meanwhile, those who want to build a website for other purposes that are not related to trading will prioritize Squarespace.

bigcommerce vs squarespace

The market share between Bigcommerce vs Squarespace

As we can see from the data of Google Trend, the search interest rate of Squarespace is much higher than that of BigCommerce over the past year. On the popularity value of 100 points, Squarespace got 76, while BigCommerce only had 15 points. It indicates that Squarespace is more famous than BigCommerce in terms of searching traffic through Google. 

squarespace vs bigcommerce

Source: Google Trend

Besides, Squarespace also has a higher position within the eCommerce market. It gains 19,57% market share, while BigCommerce market share only accounts for 1.08% (Datanyze). Plus, the number of currently active websites of Squarespace Online Stores outweighs BigCommerce with 680,519 websites compared to 37,422 websites (Datanyze).

bigcommerce vs squarespace

Source: Datanyze

From all the above data analysis, it is clear that Squarespace seems to have more advantages than BigCommerce regarding reputation and the number of users. However, those numbers do not reflect the whole picture and do not define the quality of each platform. 

If we are looking at the website dropped rate of two platforms, Squarespace has more than a half of current website consumers quitted to use. Meanwhile, there is just a little amount of website consumers stopped using BigCommerce services compare to the current live websites.  

BigCommerce vs Squarespace: What Makes the Difference?

Pricing

Both BigCommerce and Squarespace offer four different pricing plans. But before subscribing to any pricing package, it is better for you to have an experienced tour. Two platforms give you an opportunity to have a free trial for 15 days before making a final decision. Overall, the pricing plans of BigCommerce are more pricey than Squarespace. Further information will be presented in the tables below. 

BigCommerce

The standard Plan _$29.95/monthThis option is suitable for beginners with fewer eCommerce demand 
The Plus Plan_$79.95/monthThis option provides more advanced marketing tools for a growing store to attain more conversion rates. 
The Pro Plan_$299.95/monthThis option allows full-fledged features for the unlimited growth of a large online store. 
The Enterprise Plan (Contact for more detail)This is a custom option, the firm provides the best full-service open platform for enterprise-level stores. 

All of the pricing plans are not including the transaction fee. It is a plus point for BigCommerce, which means you can save a higher revenue from each successful order. In addition, BigCommerce encourages customers to pay upfront for a year, there would be a 10% discount if users agreed on an annual subscription.

Squarespace

The Personal Plan_$12/monthThis option is the best choice for users with personal purposes, not including the online trading aims. 
The Business plan_$18/monthThis option provides some standard features that are worth using for beginning merchants 
The Basic Commerce plan_$26/monthThis option is suited for small to medium-sized online stores, it is equipped with more complicated functions for 
The Advanced Commerce plan_ $40/monthThis option can be considered for large-scale companies to run an online store. It gives all the access to eCommerce features and support.

Those are monthly prices, however; there would be a discount rate for the particular plan if you are going to pay annually. The discount rate for the “Personal plan”, the “Basic eCommerce plan” and the “Advanced Commerce” is 25%; whereas it is 30% for the “Business plan”. One more thing you need to take note of that is all the additional free from done transactions will not be charged except for the Business plan. 

Ease of Use

Both Squarespace and BigCommerce are SAAS (Software as a service) software. That means you will create your website by drag-and-drop interface directly on the platforms of these two providers; without any programming knowledge.

Still, the ease of use score of Squarespace is higher than BigCommerce. BigCommerce’s website edit dashboard received several awful comments that it is difficult to use for beginners. Adversely, Squarespace is more friendly to new users. It gets plus points for the helpful guide on how to build a website; and the website editor is sleek, clean, simple, and easy.

Themes

Both offer a wide range of responsive, professional, and eye-catching templates. However, the concentration of use for those templates is slightly disparate between the two platforms. While all the BigCommerce template focus on eCommerce purpose; that Squarespace varies from separate needs such as blogging, personal portfolio, photography, magazine, wedding, etc. 

BigCommerce 

The BigCommerce templates are designed based on the needs of different industries. All the templates serve the trading priority, so the main product category site and other sections are showcased typically. 

bigcommerce theme

BigCommerce provides 12 free themes, and more than 120 paid templates. The minimum cost for paid themes starts at 150$ and the highest fee theme is 300$. Moreover, if you are not feeling fulfilled with current BigCommerce templates, you can visit Themeforest, Templatemonster, or Webibazaar. They are the sites where you can source more BigCommerce templates.

Squarespace

squarespace template

After registering for a new Squarespace account, you can access a huge collection of 113 free templates. There are other marketplaces where you can find premium paid themes such as Ghost Plugins, Station Seven, Square Design Guide. Furthermore, be contemplate when choosing a theme. Once picking one template, you will not have a chance to witch into a different one. 

Apps & Plugins

Both platforms have plenty of plug-ins, add-ons, and third-party applications for you to expand the website’s functionality. Take a comparison between BigCommerce vs Squarespace, BigCommerce is the winner with regard to apps and plugins. 

BigCommerce

The app marketplace of BigCommerce displays more than 1,000 applications falling into various categories. ERP, Financial, Marketing, Shipping, Analytic Report tools, and many others are available in the app store. The integration process of listed software within the marketplace can be done with a few clicks; so you generally don’t have to worry about the coding area. 

bigcommerce app marketplace

For any integration you have to pay a monthly subscription; of course, there is some software that allows free use at the beginning. The regular fee ranges from 9$ t0 300$ depending on the apps you connect. 

Squarespace

Squarespace offers plugins through Squarespace Extensions, the number of apps on Squarespace Extensions is much fewer than BigCommerce. Only 28 third-party software are provided on the sites. 

Some third-party may propose a free plan or a trial period, but some require to pay a monthly fee. According to Squarespace, it does not take any prices and control over the extension’s pricing. The amount you have to pay will go to third-party providers. 

squarespace extentions

Especially, for those apps without an official integration on both platforms, you can contact a middleware service to complete the process. Hexasync is a featured site that you can rely on. It will help your businesses automate your store’s operation seamlessly by connecting perfectly to SaaS applications like Squarespace and BigCommerce.

eCommerce Features

BigCommerce vs Squarespace, which one has better eCommerce features? The positive answer is in favor of BigCommerce.

Though BigCommerce offers much higher pricing plans, the functions it brings are also compatible with the amount you have to pay; making you unable to be satisfied.

BigCommerce

bigcommerce ecommerce features

Take the example of comparing the basic commerce plan of Squarespace vs BigCommerce’s standard plan; it is clear that BigCommerce offers more eCommerce features. Some functions the BigCommerce adds in its standard plan, which are not available in Squarespace are:

  • Multi-currency: Accept payment from 100+ gateways and local payment through customers’ chosen gateway. 
  • Product Rating and Review: Allow your customers to give feedback on the purchased goods. 
  • Real-time shipping quotes: giving shipping pricing and real-time rates from shipping third parties like UPS, USPS, FedEx, etc.

Squarespace

squarespace ecommerce features

Notwithstanding the weaker feature set, which is not as strong as BigCommerce; Squarespace is not viewed as an unqualified eCommerce functions provider. In fact, it caters to your needs with sufficient functionalities. Some impressive functions that can proud of are: 

Check out on your domain: Direct customers to a secure checkout page.

Customer Account: Allow customers to create an account for faster checkout to enhance a better customer experience.

Accept Donation: Collect donations through Stripe or Paypal.

Selling on Instagram: Sync your product catalog with Facebook to tag products on Instagram to trigger sales.

Generally, BigCommerce supplies with efficient eCommerce tools as well as hundreds of “pro” built-in software. Therefore, it is best for building an eCommerce store with BigCommerce; while when it comes to content-based websites, it is highly recommended to use Squarespace.

Payment Gateways

Compare to Squarespace, BigCommerce gains more advantages regarding payment gateways. BigCommerce works with more than 50 payment gateways with over 100 types of currencies. Whereas, Squarespace is only able to connect with 4 payment gateways (Paypal, Stripe, Afterpay, and Apple Pay) and supports 26 different currencies. 

With various payment gateways options from BigCommerce, you can have more choices to look around before integrating it into your online store. Oppositely, with the 4 options that Squarespace provides, you have to examine carefully, for they are only available in specific regions such as the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. 

Apart from the services, payment gateways fees are somewhat needed your concern. Although you do not require to pay the transaction fee (charged by the platform providers), you might have to pay for payment gateways fees (charged by the payment processors). The optional fee varies from different processors, but if it is obligate, the general fee would range from 2.0% of the transaction plus $0.3.

SEO

In general, the SEO function of BigCommece is better than Squarespace.

Squaresapce

Squarespace does support SEO needs, even there is a section for users to look for popular keywords and terms. Still, Squarespace’s  SEO format is not unified and follows the required standard steps to optimize the on-page content that is usually overseen from other platforms. Depending on the content and the templates you are using, there are different SEO requirements that you have to fulfill, including  “Tittle”, “description”,” captions”, ‘descriptions’ and ‘excerpts’. On the objective view, the Search Engine Optimization of Squarespace seems not to be efficient and friendly to users. 

BigCommerce

By contrast, BigCommerce SEO is more advanced than Squarespace. You will find there is a more standard SEO-optimized format. In addition, BigCommerce also integrates some extremely useful SEO support tools to help your content rank higher. 

BigCommerce connects with Akamai Image Manager. This tool automatically optimizes each image you upload. It customizes the image size and resolution to a suitable parameter to make your website load faster.

The speed of a website is also affecting its rankings on the google search engine. Understanding this point, BigCommerce helps merchant websites work faster on mobile devices thanks to its integration with AMP software. Therefore, most websites created by BigCommerce enjoy this benefit. 

Security

Concerning the security of the two platforms, it seems to be no remarkable distinction. Both provide several free safety measures to help customers completely rest assured in the security of their websites. 

Squarespace

This platform carries on a professional, dedicated security team; which take responsible for “developing, implementing and maintaining an information security program”. Furthermore, the data encryption between website end users and customer domains is secured by SSL (secure sockets layer) certificates.

It also provides HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security). This measure encrypts the content served during sessions and only allows Squarespace customer websites to be accessed via HTTPS. Additionally, you are always able to require Two-factor authentication (2FA) for an added layer of security when logging in to the online store’s dashboard. 

BigCommerce

Not inferior to Squarespace, BigCommerce is committed to offering a multi-layered security system, with unlimited bandwidth, and blazing fast speed.

BigCommerce handles some website security certificates such as ISO/IEC 27001:2013 & PCI DSS 3.2, Level 1 certified, as well as firewalls, file integrity scanners, and intrusion detection. It is not stopping at those layers, if you need stronger security, you can have a look at a premium SSL certificate. The cost for premium SSLs ranges from $50 to $300 per year. 

Customer Support

Both website builders have a large “library” of knowledge bases and training materials. Whenever you have raised a question, you can find the answer access via the platform community, guiding videos, and supplementary information. If your problems can be addressed through existed basis, have another option is to email the support team. Squarespace and BigCommerce help their consumers by replying to emails at any time. 

However, there is a slight difference between the two platforms. For instance, BigCommerce has phone customer support, while Squarespace does not. When it comes to living chat support online on the platform, BigCommerce is ready to support you 24/7; Meanwhile, Squarespace only accepts questions about weekdays at a specified time frame.

In addition, it can be said that Squarespace’s process of handling customer difficulties is a bit cumbersome. You are encouraged to submit your question via the online form and read multiple potential answers before submitting information about the issue that needed help. In contrast to Squarespace, BigCommerce allows you to request support right in your website’s dashboard.

BigCommerce vs Squarespace: Which is Ideal for your Business?

bigcommerce vs squarespace

The decision varies from the purpose of use and the budget you have for this category. 

If you are aiming for a professional eCommerce website, BigCommerce is the right decision. With a rich feature set and tons of marketing tools, as well as built-in plugins, BigCommerce empowers your business to grow bigger. 

Thus, the people that can be suitable to use the BigCommerce platform are merchants with large inventories, sellers planning on near-term growth, and those who have knowledge about website building development.

On the other hand, Squarespace is a good choice for all that have a less complicated demand on websites’ usage. You are totally capable of building a website for blogging, building an online magazine, hosting a photographic portfolio,… by yourself with the ease of use of Squarespace. 

In other words, sellers want to create a small store with limited stocks, and sellers on a budget are the best subjects for Squarespace.

Final Words

To summary all the words in the “BigCommerce vs Squarespace” article, there are some benefits of each platform that prevail over one another.

BigCommerceSquare
Equipped with advanced eCommerce features.
Supports multi-currency selling. Offers considerably better SEO features.
Connects with a significantly wider selection of payment gateways.
Allows customer support through the phone Brings an abundant marketplace of apps, add-ons, and plugins
Gives access to a large number of free templates.
Has the blogging functionality is stronger than BigCommerce
Has cheaper pricing plans
Has a more positive customer experience when first creating a website. 

Hopefully, this article will be useful to you and help you make the right decision for your wants and needs. Last but not least, if you have any questions related to plug-in integration, please feel free to contact us for dedicated support. 

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