Choosing the correct e-commerce platform is often critical to safeguard the future of your online business, however it can also provide a major headache as there are so many options available.

To help you along, we have outlined some key features and differences between two well known options below. 

For the sake of this article, we have chosen two of the platforms that we have been using over the last couple of years, the impressive all-rounder for small businesses, Squarespace and the dedicated e-commerce platform for growing online stores, ShopWired. Other options are available (notably Shopify), however we have chosen options that fit seamlessly with the pricing and requirements of our client base (micro businesses and SME's)


Squarespace

Pros

  • Seamlessly integrates with other pages on your websites, including summary blocks on the home page or any news/blog article
  • Everything under one roof
  • Straight forward order processing system
  • Can now be integrated with PayPal in addition to Stripe
  • A number of import options to speed up transfer from your existing shop
  • High sales volumes have lower transaction fees
  • High level of design customisation
  • Stunning e-commerce templates
  • Flexible store item page

Cons:

  • Admin and page load speed start to struggle with over 300 pages
  • No user account facility
  • Higher transaction fee percentages in most instances (not ideal for high volume of sales)
  • There is no telephone support option
  • Limited plugin optiosn for advanced users

ShopWired

Pros

  • Can be integrated with a huge range of payment gateways (e.g. Sage Pay, PayPal)
  • A dedicated powerhouse for e-commerce businesses
  • A number of import options to speed up transfer from your existing shop
  • Options to 
  • Can handle 1000s of products with ease
  • Advanced SEO setup
  • Automatic "Related Products" 
  • Customisable item fields
  • User accounts facility
  • High sales volumes have lower transaction fees
  • Live chat and telephone support options

Cons:

  • A more expensive option
  • Designs are more limited for non-store pages (e.g. text pages, blog)
  • Many of payment gateways will have a monthly charge (although the transaction fees are reduced)
  • Some features e.g. blog/news are charged extra

 

If you need a sleek looking store that ties in seamlessly with a new or existing website, Squarespace is a very competitive all-rounder that will give your business a professional online presence. Squarespace is easy to learn and cost effective to get up and running. We have found it is ideal for small e-commerce sites for up to 250 pages.

By contrast, ShopWired is designed for dedicated e-commerce businesses that need all of the top level features provided by agencies, whilst remaining in the low-mid level price range. ShopWired is ideal for fast-growth e-commerce websites. 

If this is quite a bit to digest then there is another way. Key decisions are often more effective over coffee (we have no statistics to back this up), feel free to contact us via the button below and we'll get the kettle on!