Setting Up Your Business on SquareSpace
With recent retail closures and limited capacity seating, ecommerce sites, such as Squarespace and Spotify, have taken on new importance. Ecommerce sites present an excellent opportunity to reach potential new buyers.
In this guide, we will show you how to sign up on Squarespace and choose the right plan for your food business. We will also talk through how to personalize your page in a way that works best for your business. Finally, we will directly compare Squarespace and Shopify to see which is a better fit for you.
History of Squarespace
Squarespace, founded by Anthony Casalena, launched in 2004. In June 2016, the company reported hosting over one million websites. Now, the website builder is offering an integrated ecommerce service that allows Squarespace users to sell products and services online. This is excellent news for any business looking for a new avenue to sell their food or beverage product.
Squarespace ecommerce plans are only available to businesses that use Squarespace to operate their website, so you’ll need to create an account. You’ll start by selecting a template for your website and create an account. If you already have an account, simply log-in.
Choosing a Squarespace Plan
After creating or logging into your website, you’ll have the choice of choosing between Business Plan, Commerce Basic, and Commerce Advanced plans. The Business Plan is Squarespace’s most popular. The features of each plan are listed below:
Business Plan ($18/month):
3% fee charged by Squarespace
Promo pop up
Discount codes are available, but must be manually applied at checkout
Ability to collect donations
Commerce Basic ($26/month):
All Business Plan features
No extra fees taken out by Squarespace
Customers can create Customer Accounts
Ability to print shipping labels with the ShipStation integration
Integrated accounting with Zero
Extra commerce analytics available
Commerce Advanced ($40/month):
All Commerce Basic features
Integration with Printful for drop shipping
Abandoned cart recovery
Option to sell gift cards
Discounts automatically applied during checkout
Option to calculate shipping by carrier (UPS, USPS, etc.) during checkout
Designing and Customizing Your Store
You can design your website by using the Style Editor under “Design.” Squarespace offers customization options for your entire website, the main page, and individual product pages. You can edit many different website elements such as category navigation, status badges (“Sold Out,” “Sale”), thumbnail effects, font styling, add to cart button styling, customer account position and styling, and much more. Similar customizations can be made to the Checkout Page as well.
Adding Products to Your Store
Squarespace allows businesses to have up to 200 items, each with as many as 100 variants, on their product pages. This allows for up to 1000 total products. Depending on the type of plan, businesses can sell physical or digital products, services, and gift cards.
Click the “+” button in the top right corner and choose the “Products” option to add a product to your page. A pop-up box, which will have several tabs for you to detail your product, will appear. Here you can select the type of item, add product images and descriptions, tag or categorize your item, schedule a day for your product to go live, set prices and quantity, add product weight and dimensions, customize your checkout form, customize your “Add to Cart” button, integrate your social media accounts with your products, and so much more.
SquareSpace also offers numerous options to customize your shipping. Under the “Settings” tab, you can set up your taxes and shipping preferences so that your taxes are automatically calculated based on your shipping origin and destination. You can also create automatic shipping options, such as flat rates, rates based by weight, and rates based by carrier, for physical products. Finally, Squarespace also offers the ability to include a tracking number with your orders.
You might also want to consider the ShipStation integration, which helps with printing labels and keeping your fulfillment organized.
Payment and Checkout
Squarespace accepts payments made using Apple Pay, Paypal, and Stripe. Please note that Apple Pay is only available for physical products and to customers using Safari.
During the checkout process, Squarespace offers an express checkout option and an email list option that syncs with Mailchimp.
Squarespace includes a “Customer Accounts” feature for those with one of the Commerce Basic plans. This will allow customers to be able to make an account on your website where they can access their previous orders and manage their shipping details. This feature must be manually enabled under Settings.
Available only to those with the Commerce Advanced plan, SquareSpace offers the option to turn on “Abandoned Cart Recovery”. This will send an automated email to customers who started the checkout process but didn’t finish 24 hours later. You can do this under settings as well.
For placed orders, you can view them by going to “Orders” under “Commerce.” Here you can view individual orders and download CSV file reports. You can also manage order cancellations and refunds through Squarespace by opening the order summary.
Shopify vs. Squarespace
Both Shopify and Squarespace offer great services for businesses looking to launch their products online. However, there are some differences that might play a key role in helping you decide between the two. Consider the following points about Shopify and Squarespace:
A $29/month subscription after a 14-day free trial
Dozens of theme/website templates with various customization options
Option to integrate into several other third-party platforms
Need to select a payment gateway provider, who will often charge an additional transaction fee on top of Shopify’s own processing fees
Subscription starting as low as $18/month
Dozens of templates to choose from, with some customization options
Integration with existing Squarespace website and Mailchimp account for email marketing
Use of Squarespace’s in-house payment processing system that accepts Apple Pay, PayPal, and Stripe
A 3% process fee for Business Plan holders, and no additional fees for Commerce Plan holders
In this guide, we went over how to sign up for SquareSpace and presented you with several potential plans. We also demonstrated how to customize your website so that it best reflects your business. Finally, we directly compared SquareSpace to Shopify, weighing the pros and cons of each. Know that you know the basics, it’s up to you to create your ideal website. Soon your business will hopefully be back on track and continue to grow.