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Choosing the right eCommerce platform is crucial to setting up an online store for your business.
Even though there are several platforms, brand owners usually choose between two main eCommerce giants – Square and. Shopify.
While they both offer similar features, each platform has distinct differences that ultimately affect how you run your online store.
We have compiled all the important information in this detailed Square vs. Shopify comparison.
Shopify vs. Square at a Glance (On a Company Level)
A Glance at Shopify
Shopify is an e-commerce platform that enables business owners to set up an online store and sell products to customers globally.
The company was founded in 2004 and has become one of the largest e-commerce platforms.
With a customer base of over one million businesses, it is also well-established as one of the most popular platforms for e-commerce stores.
A key advantage of Spotify is its user-friendly feature. The platform is designed to be accessible and intuitive, allowing businesses to set up online stores and sell products without hassle.
Shopify Features And Tools
Shopify has customizable templates and themes, allowing businesses to create a unique and professional-looking storefront that reflects their brand identity.
Shopify has also gained many of its customers due to the flexibility it offers users. The platform can be tailored to the specific needs of each business, with a range of apps and integrations available to extend functionality.
For example, businesses can add features like marketing integrations, different payment methods, and inventory management to their online store. This helps to streamline operations and improve the customer experience of their store’s clients.
This e-commerce platform also offers a range of tools and resources to help businesses market and promote their online store. These tools allow businesses to optimize their store and attract more traffic to their online store.
More key facts about Shopify tools:
- There is a range of marketing tools, including email marketing and social media advertising, to help businesses reach new customers and drive sales.
- Users get access to payment processing services and Shopify Payments, allowing businesses to accept payments from customers worldwide.
- Its POS system also enables businesses to accept payment in person using various devices, including smartphones and tablets.
Generally, Shopify is an e-commerce platform designed to help online stores grow and succeed with 24/7 customer support, live chats, and an ample library of tutorials and resources. All these are aimed at helping businesses get the most out of the platform.
This level of support is particularly useful to small businesses and entrepreneurs without the technical knowledge to operate an e-commerce website.
Overall, Shopify is a versatile and reliable e-commerce platform offering various products and services to help businesses set up and manage their online store.
Whether you’re looking to sell products to customers around the globe or streamline operations and improve customer experience, Shopify is worth considering as your e-commerce partner.
A Glance at Square
Square Online is a financial technology company that provides various products and services for businesses of all sizes. The company was founded in 2009 and has become a major player in the fintech industry.
This fintech platform aims to empower small businesses and entrepreneurs with the tools and resources to succeed. The company’s forerunner product is its POS system.
This system allows businesses to accept customer payments using payment methods like credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and other similar platforms.
The system can be used on devices such as smartphones, tablets, and dedicated POS terminals. It also comes with a range of features designed to add ease to business transactions and manage inventory and customer data.
Additionally, Square offers a range of other financial products and services, including:
- business loans
- payment processing
- HR services
They also offer custom tools that can be used to build custom integrations on the platform. Its simplicity and ease of use make it a popular choice for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Square’s POS system is designed to be intuitive and user-friendly, with a customizable interface to meet the specific needs of different businesses.
Square is well-suited for small businesses and entrepreneurs with its competitive pricing. There are no monthly fees or long-term contracts, and users are charged a flat rate of 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction for its card processing services. This makes it a flexible and affordable option for businesses of all sizes.
Square also has a loan program, Square Capital, that offers loans to eligible businesses based on their sales history with Square. The loans are designed to be flexible and affordable, with repayment terms that are tailored to each business’s needs.
Businesses can manage their financial activities effectively with Square’s payroll feature and tax calculating and filing.
Altogether, Square is a versatile and reliable fintech company that offers a range of products and services to help businesses streamline their operations and improve their financial performance.
If you’re looking for a simple and effective POS system or a more comprehensive suite of financial tools, Square is definitely worth a try as a partner for your business.
Shopify Pros and Cons
Shopify is a popular eCommerce platform that benefits both small and large-scale businesses looking to create an online store. Like any other platform, it has its pros and cons.
- Customer satisfaction
Shopify is a customer-centric company and offers 24-hour customer service to meet customer needs in all regions where they are accessible. It also has a rating of 4.0 on Forbes Advisor.
- Online store
Shopify offers an online store feature, regardless of the subscription plan that you sign up for. This feature is extremely useful to new e-commerce businesses, as you don’t have to pay extra to access this feature.
- Sales features
Shopify offers several tools and third-party apps that help you set up multi-channel integrations, drop shipping, and grow your store.
- Cheap processing fees
Shopify has affordable processing fees. The more expensive plans offer cheaper processing rates to businesses so they can save money while accessing the full range of features.
- Scalable plans
When you are ready to expand your business operations, Shopify offers several plans with all the necessary features. Business owners can also add and scale up their plans and get additional support without losing the other needed features.
- Appealing eCommerce themes
Shopify has visually appealing themes that help you create an attractive e-commerce store. It is fully packed with customizable features to enhance your store’s design.
- An excessive quantity of external apps
Even though this is one of Shopify’s greatest assets and advantages over other e-commerce platforms, it is also a major flaw.
You have to spend extra money to access the app’s features, and adding several apps to your store can cause your site to lag.
- Transaction fees
Unless you use Shopify’s integrated payment provider, you will get charged 2.0% per transaction.
- High subscription fees
The subscription fee starts at $32 per month and can go up to $399 for the advanced package. This is considered very expensive for small new and small-scale businesses.
- No free plans
Although Shopify guarantees value for your money, there is no way to know what you are signing up for without a financial commitment.
There is a 14-day free trial, but you must select a plan and enter your card details to get access. You can open a store and sell during the trial period, but you will be charged at the end of the two-week trial.
Square Pros and Cons
Square offers a range of benefits to businesses, but like any other eCommerce solution, it also has its share of pros and cons.
- Great value for money
Square has very affordable pricing plans. It guarantees cash back since you can experience their services on a free plan before deciding how to proceed with a subscription. The starting plan is also low at $29 per month. This makes it suitable for small and new businesses.
- It is a user-friendly platform
Square Online is ideal for beginners. You don’t need any technical knowledge or experience before you can build your store.
- In-app integrations
Several in-app integrations make building and maintaining an online store easier. For example, you can add apps like Wix to build your store and Linktree to connect your online ecosystem.
- Specialized POS
It is ideal for e-commerce businesses that require a POS to process payments online and offline. Square also has special POS apps and payment options designed for restaurants and retail.
- Free plan
Square offers a free plan that allows you to open and manage a store without paying a monthly subscription. Although the free version has limited access to features, you can still start selling online.
- Weak sales feature
Square is equipped to manage the operations of small businesses. When your store begins to grow, it may become harder as the available tools may not adequately handle the expansion and growth.
- International reach is limited
Square Online has very limited international reach. It is only available to users in these six (6) countries: USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Japan, and Australia.
- Limited payment solutions
The options for accepting clients’ payment is very limited. You can only accept payments through the in-app payment option; Square Pay, Apple Pay, Stripe, Google Pay, and credit cards.
- Creative liberty is limited
Square Online is limited when it comes to design and functionality. They supplement this by making other in-app platforms like Wix available.
- Customer service support is not 24/7
It might be hard to address immediately since the customer service support team is only available within certain hours.
- Extra costs
Although there is a free plan available, the accessible features are limited. Customers need to choose a plan and pay an extra cost to access the online store features.
Shopify Payments vs. Square Processing Costs
Shopify and Square are two popular options to consider for e-commerce businesses, but how do you compare their processing and payment costs to make the right decision.?
Shopify offers several pricing plans designed to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes and budgets.
- The Basic plan is the most popular and begins at $32, and it allows you to create your store and handle payments with basic reports, inventory, and two staff accounts.
- The next tier, ‘Shopify,‘ costs $92 and allows professional reports and up to 5 staff accounts.
- The third plan, ‘Advanced,’ is $399 per month, allows up to 15 staff accounts, and has a custom report builder.
Users on free trials can extend their sessions for just $1 when billed monthly.
In addition to the monthly fee, there are additional costs to consider, such as transaction fees for payments processed through third-party payment gateways and fees for apps and integrations that may be needed to extend the platform’s functionality.
Shopify’s pricing is designed to be flexible and scalable, allowing businesses to choose a plan that fits their budget and meets their specific needs.
Square offers a range of pricing options for businesses using its payment processing and POS system. Here’s a breakdown of the different pricing plans:
Square’s basic payment processing plan charges a flat rate of 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction for in-person payments and 2.9% + $0.30 for online payments. No monthly fees or long-term commitments are required, making it a good option for businesses with low-volume sales.
Square’s point-of-sale system offers a range of features and tools to help businesses manage their sales and inventory, with prices starting at $0/month.
The free plan includes basic POS features like inventory management and basic reporting, but transaction fees are charged at the same rate as the Payments plan.
The paid plans, which start at $60/month, offer additional features like advanced reporting, employee management, and loyalty programs.
Square for Restaurants
Square offers a specialized plan for restaurants that includes features like table management, online ordering, and menu customization. Prices for this plan start at $60/month, with additional fees for each order placed through the online ordering system.
Square for Retail
Square also offers a plan specifically designed for retail businesses, with features like purchase orders, vendor management, and advanced inventory tracking. Prices for this plan start at $60/month, with additional fees for certain features like the ability to sell gift cards.
Square’s pricing plans are generally straightforward and transparent. Businesses may incur additional fees for certain services, such as fees for using certain integrations or add-ons. Be sure to carefully review the pricing details and terms of service before choosing a plan.
What’s the difference between Shopify and Square?
These two platforms offer features that make payment easier for brick-and-mortar businesses and online stores. The differences between the two are explained below.
Shopify doesn’t have a free plan but offers a 14-day free trial, and the cheapest subscription starts at $29 per month. On the other hand, Square has a free plan, although with limited features. You are not required to pay a monthly fee except if you have add-ons. For example, payroll costs $35 per month.
Shopify has a competitive edge against Square in terms of regions and availability of services. Shopify is extremely diverse and is available for business owners in over 170 countries. It also accepts 133 global currencies.
However, processing for Shopify Payments is only available in 22 countries. Merchants can use third-party processors for payments. In contrast, Square is only available in six countries and accepts only the most common currencies for payments.
You can customize your tax settings on both Square and Shopify. With Square, you can specify tax prices, which can be added to a client’s bill or calculated separately.
Unfortunately, Square does not automatically detect or update tax figures so you have to research it and add it manually. Similarly, you can enable or disable tax on specific items on Shopify.
Credit card payments
Square’s credit card payment feature uses card-reading hardware with a chip and PIN. Unfortunately, this service doesn’t match up with Shopify’s credit card payment system.
Shopify’s POS can process various types of payments, including cash, check, credit, and debit cards.
To get the best out of Square’s POS payment service, you can use Contactless with Square.
Shopify has a 24/7 customer support team for all regions where their services are available. Unlike Square, customer support is limited to working hours.
Final thoughts — starting your e-Commerce business on the right foot.
Square and Shopify are great platforms with unique strengths and limitations, and your choice depends on specific business needs and objectives.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly, easy-to-use/manage option, Square might be ideal for you. But if your goal is to use a robust platform with comprehensive features for business expansion, go with Shopify.
Ultimately, consider your business needs and compare them against the features and costs of both platforms to make the best decision.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Diving deeper into our comprehensive Shopify vs. Square analysis, it’s understandable that you might still have questions. Below, we’ve addressed common questions that often challenge business owners as they deliberate on this crucial decision.
Which company is better, Square or Shopify?
This depends on the structure of your business and what you want to get out of these e-commerce platforms, your business, goals, values, and budgets.
Can I Use Square with Shopify POS?
Shopify and Square have no indigenous integration, but you can use third-party apps to connect Square to Shopify’s POS.
Is Shopify or Square easier to use?
Shopify and Square are user-friendly, but Square has a smooth and straightforward editor that allows you to set up an online store and start transacting immediately.
Do I need Shopify if I have Square?
The simple answer is no. Both platforms offer great support for eCommerce businesses of different sizes, so you can use one or the other. If you have Square, you don’t need Shopify. Both platforms have very similar features and cannot be integrated.
What is The best e-Commerce platform?
There are several e-commerce platforms that you can explore depending on your type of business, goals, and objectives.
Some examples are Square, Shopify, Wix, and Weebly.
Is Shopify POS cheaper than Square?
No. To use Shopify POS, you have to subscribe to Basic Shopify at $29 a month or Advanced Shopify at $299 a month. On the other hand, Square POS is free to use, and you only pay a processing fee of 2.6% for every swipe.
Is Shopify beginner-friendly?
Shopify is beginner-friendly and supports beginners exploring the platform to grow small businesses.
Does shopify integrate with square?
While Shopify and Square do not have a native integration, it is possible to connect Square to Shopify’s POS using third-party apps.