shopify vs square

shopify vs square

If you are opening an eCommerce store, the first step would be to compare, shopify vs square looking for things like organization and storefront customization capabilities.

shopify vs square

shopify vs square

Shopify and Square are two of the most popular ecommerce solutions heavyweights, and are widely used within the ecommerce space.

They don’t have the exact same target market, with Shopify aiming its product at more online experience running complex websites, often B2C businesses. Square, in contrast, goes for the Brick -n – Motor market approach, trying to offer solutions to in person businesses.

Find out which ecommerce solution is best for your company as we compare shopify vs square below

Shopify Vs Square: An Overview

To help you decide on the right ecommerce platform, consider who the ecommerce tool was created for:

Who is Shopify for?

Shopify is a complete ecommerce solution with a lot of advanced features, such as very advanced product organization and storefront customization capabilities.

This means it’s great for experienced business owners who have used ecommerce tools extensively in the past and want to be able to create highly-responsive websites using very detailed code to add more functionality.

For newbie sellers, Shopify presents a user-friendly tool that’s designed to help you build your website and web presence quickly and easily.

This can potentially be time saving in setting up a website as you do not have to learn how to use the software before diving in to create a product listing.

Shopify is also suitable for accepting credit card payments, automating taking, tracking and responding to orders, shipping and reporting due to its ability to add functionality to your store by using the Shopify App Store.

Who is Square for?

Square is a very well-known ecommerce solution that’s been around for a while, so there’s a chance ecom sellers have used it before.

Square, a Shopify alternative, has the right mix of advanced features and usability to make it suitable for all levels of ecommerce sellers.

While its products and package of features aren’t always intuitive, it doesn’t take long to get up to speed with how to create and optimize an online store.

Shopify vs Square: Features

No eCommerce software is created equal, and many solutions excel in one area but fall short in another. In Shopify’s case, it has an excellent roster of features, but it can be difficult to use. Square has a strong feature set, yet nothing, apart from its POS system, makes it stand out above other software.

What Shopify offers

Shopify has an excellent range of features, with the highlight being its sales channels functionality. The software lets you create a “buy” button that you can add to an existing website, Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, mobile POS, in-store, Walmart and eBay.

For example, you can create a “buy” button for your followers who are on Instagram, to buy your products as they scroll through your feed.

This allows you to boost your sales channel by utilizing traffic that would otherwise never visit your site.

Shopify also allows you to add Shopify Payments or to connect to a third-party payment processor like Stripe, Paypal or a High-Risk Merchant Account to help you receive and process payments.

Other useful features include:

  • Drag-and-drop website editor
  • App Marketplace – allowing you to add functionality to your website without coding skills
  • POS software – Accept in-store payments via a Point of Sale
  • Ease of use
  • 24/7 phone customer support

What Square offers

Square has an excellent Point Of Sale (POS) management system and solutions for brick and mortar businesses like restaurants and retail.

You can customize the fields you use to collect customer reviews and data which allows you to gather specific information you need to create personalized email marketing. This lets you start customer messaging in ways that are tailored to the needs of your customers.

As you enter more products, Square’s automation capabilities suggest tags you could add for a faster checkout process.

Another way it helps you to create marketing campaign quickly is to search and filter your contacts by criteria such as 

  • Date added
  • POS used for checkout
  • Sale amount
  • City
  • Custom fields you have added

The downside is that Square only provides basic inventory management features with minimal tracking options.

It also only lets you access shipping tools at only higher plans.

Results

Shopify wins this round with its unrivaled ecommerce capabilities and excellent App store marketplace functionality.

Shopify vs Square: Support

Both Shopify and Square scored 9 out of 10 in their respective reviews, so it was a close contest to see who would win out when it came to support.

What Shopify offers

Shopify provides a 24/7 phone support option. You can also email and live web chat for support.

Other options include Shopify’s self-help knowledge base that you access virtually or by the community forum, where you can find answers to questions you might have that other people have had before you, and have solved.

When you’re using the software, you can click on Shoipfy’s sticky help button at the bottom of the screen, which means you can access support at any time without having to leave your current screen.

What Square offers

Square’s major selling point when it comes to support is that it offers 24/7 automated live chat to all customers, no matter the price plan. The company also provides phone support from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday to Friday.

Additionally, Square provides links in what they call “Seller Support” to knowledge base content that are relevant to the feature you’re currently using, to help you hone your eCommerce skills.

Results 

This was a tough one to call, as both solutions provide excellent support options, but Shopify’s 24/7 phones support put it just a front.

Shopify vs Square: Ease of use

Both of these ecommerce product solutions win a gold star in this category. One is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get- editor and dashboard, and the other is fairly easy to get started with even without training and explainers.

What Shopify offers

Shopify is an easy solution to use. With an excellent onboarding setup wizard, anyone with any experience, novice or expert, will be able to get up and running quickly and without complications what’s-over. But if you run into any issues, the community forum is a great resource.

To get the most out of this solution and be able to use its vast feature set to the fullest, you don’t need to spend time on training and playing around with where everything is and what it does before you start creating your ecommerce store.

Shoipfy makes store setup and store management an excellent experience even if you don’t have prior knowledge of concepts. It also simplifies processes, which makes them less time-consuming.

For example, when creating a product listing, all you need to do is Product Name, Product Details, Set a Price and Shipping Information and upload an Image of the product, once you click the Enter/Return key, a URL is generated in just a matter of seconds. 

You can now use that URL features to sell your new product on social media, on a different website or in-store.

What Square offers

Square is an easy solution to use. Today’s employees — especially millennials and Generation Z — expect to be able to get up and running with new software without needing an instruction manual or hours of training. Square positions itself as easy of use, without extensive training.

It provides a modern and intuitive user dashboard interface, and its setup guide can feel like a breeze in helping you set up an ecommerce store.

It tries to help you through the setup process by giving you a drag-n-drop editor to create the website.

You can also watch the hardy tutorial videos, from its dashboard, that’ll help you maneuver around the software.

Results

While both of these solutions offer a superior user experience, Square is the less complicated and straightforward of the two.

Shopify vs Square: Pricing

Pricing is a crucial factor when deciding which software is best for your business. There wasn’t much to choose from between Shopify and Square in this category.

What Shopify offers

  • Free Plan: No
  • Free trial: Yes (14 days)
  • Discount: Yearly discount depends on the pricing plan
  • Starting price: $9/month and up to $299 for its ecommerce subscription.
  • Monthly POS subscription: $0 – $89*
  • Card Reader pricing: $49
  • Terminal and register pricing: $299
  • Card-present transaction fees: 2.4% to 2.7%
  • Ecommerce transaction fees: 2.3% + 30 cents to 2.7% + 30 cents

Shopify’s pricing is much less expensive when you choose to pay yearly instead of monthly. 

There are other costs such as transaction fees that you need to be aware of.

Also note that Shopify’s POS comes inclusive with Shopify Plus Plans. It will also cost you $89 per location.

It doesn’t have a free plan, and the Shoipfy free trial only lasts 14 days.

What Square offers

  • Free Plan: Yes
  • Discount: Yearly discount depends on the pricing plan
  • Starting price: $0/month and up to $72 for its ecommerce subscription.
  • Monthly POS subscription: $0 – $299*
  • Card Reader pricing: $0 – $49
  • Terminal and register pricing: $299 – $799 
  • Card-present transaction fees: 2.5% + 10 cents to 2.6% + 10 cents
  • Ecommerce transaction fees: 2.9% + 30 cents

Square’s free plan is limited because it doesn’t include POS, and carries Square branding.

Square’s paid pricing plans are good value for the money for small businesses since you get access to the same features no matter what plan you choose. 

Results

Shopify offers a free trial, while Square offers a free ecommerce version, but for customers. The starting price for both is very similar and the transaction fees are not that diverse between them.

Square takes this round, though, because it offers a free ecommerce plan.

Shopify vs Square: Integration with other software

Most modern ecommerce solutions offer native integrations with a wide variety of different types of software, plus an API to build these integrations yourself.

What Shopify offers

Shopify calls out some of the most popular integrations on its website. These include:

  • Facebook
  • WordPress
  • Zapier
  • Unbounce
  • Google Analytics

Shopify offers an API that allows you to build integrations with other software if there’s something you want that’s not on the list.

It also provides a whole host of resources in its knowledge base to help you overcome any obstacles.

What Square offers

You can connect Square to a variety of different business systems, including those for growing your social media following, creating landing pages, and managing your shopping cart.

Popular integrations include:

  • Facebook
  • WordPress
  • Zapier
  • Unbounce
  • Google Analytics

Square also offers an API that allows you to build integrations with other software if it’s not on the list.

Results

Both Square and Shopify customer solutions teams can, upon request, help you integrate the solution with any other software that isn’t on their native integrations list.

There’s almost no different between these two when it comes to integrations. The only factor that goes in Shopify’s favor is that it integrates with over 2,000 ecommerce apps as opposed to Square’s over 183 app integrations. And also, Shopify integrates with more than 100 payment gateways. This is helpful for businesses that operate in countries where some payment processors may not be available. For example, a U.S ecommerce seller accepting payments in Eastern Europe.

How They Compare: Shopify vs Square.

        FEATURE             SHOPIFY             SQUARE

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Our overall winner: Shopify

It was a close-run competition, but Shopify emerged as the winner, while Square has a stronger POS feature set, its lack of a strong ecommerce store functionality lets it down, seeming to cater only to brick and mortar businesses.

While Shopify is by no means perfect – it does not lack in anything that may make it not stand out – it’s a solid option for ecommerce solutions that won’t let you down. It’s straightforward to use, has a good range of features and offers excellent payment processing options too.

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