Squarespace vs BigCommerce: Which is Best for Your Online Store?

If you subscribe to a service from a link on this page, Reeves and Sons Limited may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Squarespace vs Bigcommerce: it’s a battle between two giants of the website building and ecommerce platform world. We’ve rigorously tested and compared them both to help you understand which stands out in the following categories: 

  • Main Features
  • Pricing
  • Design
  • Marketing
  • Customer Support 

But first, let’s have a glimpse into the pros and cons of both Squarespace and BigCommerce

Squarespace Pros 

  • Best ecommerce site designs in the industry (their themes are beautiful—usually driven by high-resolution photos)
  • Plenty of free themes
  • Easy to customize your site with an intuitive designer
  • Beautiful blogging interface
  • A focus on built-in features rather than an App Store
  • Strong marketing tools, like for email marketing and blogging
  • Affordable pricing
  • Multichannel checkouts

Squarespace Cons

  • Very limited App Store
  • Limited payment processing options
  • More of a “this is what you get” setup (the features are plentiful, but you’re restricted when it comes to scaling)
  • Only live chat and email support
  • Not a platform that focuses primarily on ecommerce
  • One of the plans has transaction fees

Bigcommerce Pros

  • Excellent support for ecommerce stores with large inventory catalogs
  • No added transaction fees (besides the usual credit card fees)
  • Solid pricing across all plans
  • Top-notch ease-of-use for international selling and multi-currency support
  • Great App Store and integrations
  • Wide selection of payment processors
  • Outstanding point of sale support
  • Multichannel selling on social sites and marketplaces 
  • Unlimited products
  • Has phone support

Bigcommerce Cons

  • Reliance on the App Store for things like marketing 
  • Lesser quality templates
  • Less-than-stellar site designer
  • There are sales limits on pricing plans
  • You must pay for the Plus plan ($79.95 per month) to get abandoned cart saving

Bigcommerce vs Squarespace: Main Features

The main ecommerce and site building features from Squarespace and BigCommerce are easily compared, but we must also look at the quality of those features. First, we compare the standard features, telling you when BigCommerce or Squarespace is lacking something when put up next to its competitor. We’ll also mention whenever a platform has a feature but we feel it’s not quite as powerful, or user-friendly, as what the average ecommerce seller would want. 

Let’s take a look. 

Squarespace Features: 

  • Storefront
  • Order management, inventory management, and product management
  • Site builder with blocks
  • SSL
  • SEO
  • Templates
  • Analytics and reports
  • CSS and JavaScript customization
  • Promo popups and banners
  • Unlimited products
  • Donations
  • Coupons, discounts, and gift cards
  • Product reviews
  • Customer accounts
  • Multichannel selling
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Subscriptions
  • Advanced shipping
  • Commerce API
  • Multi currency
  • Blogging

Missing (Or Lesser Quality):

  • App Store (Not many apps)
  • Point of sale (not remotely as powerful as the BigCommerce POS)
  • Limited payment processing options
  • Limited segmentation
  • Custom product filtering
features on the dashboard for Squarespace

BigCommerce Features: 

  • Storefront
  • Order, inventory, and product management
  • Site builder 
  • SSL
  • SEO
  • Templates
  • Real-time analytics and reports
  • CSS and JavaScript customization
  • Promo popups and banners
  • Lots of payment processing options
  • Unlimited products
  • Coupons, discounts, and gift cards
  • Product reviews
  • Customer accounts
  • Multichannel selling
  • Advanced shipping
  • Commerce API
  • Blogging
  • Segmentation
  • Custom product filtering

Missing (Or Lesser Quality):

  • The themes aren’t as nicely designed
  • No true drag and drop building
  • The abandoned cart recovery is there, but it’s in a far too expensive plan
  • Subscriptions
  • Donations
Squarespace vs Bigcommerce for features

Winner: Squarespace

Squarespace lacks the extendability you’d get with BigCommerce, but that’s because most of the essential ecommerce features are already built in. We also can’t get over how much stronger the Squarespace themes and design tools are compared to Bigcommerce. As a bonus, you can sell subscriptions with Squarespace, and get the abandoned cart functionality for a reasonable price. 

Squarespace vs BigCommerce: Pricing 

Both Squarespace and BigCommerce have four main pricing plans. Let’s see how they compare. 

Squarespace Pricing Plans

  • Personal: $16 per month (no Ecommerce functionality)
  • Business Plan: $23 per month (some ecommerce functionality)
  • Basic Commerce: $27 per month 
  • Advanced Commerce: $49 per month 

BigCommerce Pricing Plans

  • Standard: $29.95 per month 
  • Plus: $79.95 per month
  • Pro Plan: $299.95 per month
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing

Winner: Squarespace

This is a close call, but it’s clear most small businesses will save a little money with Squarespace. We can forget about the Squarespace Personal plan, but the $23 Business and $27 Basic Commerce plans are both cheaper than the introductory Standard plan from BigCommerce, which goes for $29.95 per month. 

Squarespace vs BigCommerce: Design

When comparing design functionality, we’re looking at the quality/quantity of themes that come with each platform, along with the design tools. Do you get a visual builder? Drag-and-drop modules for beginners? How about visual control over all pages of your website (not just the homepage)?

Squarespace Design

Squarespace beats out any ecommerce platform or website builder when it comes to its theme designs. The company made a name for itself with its easy-to-use, photo-centric theme designs; they’re fueled by high-resolution photos, modern design practices, and a focus on your products and content. 

Squarespace offers 56+ regularly updated themes that fall into the Ecommerce category. They have plenty of other themes that you could technically use to make an online store, but it’s recommended you choose one that’s designed for ecommerce catalogs. 

As for building your ecommerce shop, Squarespace walks you through the process of selecting a theme. 

picking a template in Squarespace

After creating an account, that sends you directly to the Squarespace dashboard, where you have a constant preview of your Squarespace website, and a quick menu for things like:

  • Pages
  • Design
  • Commerce
  • Marketing
  • Scheduling
  • Analytics
  • Profiles
  • Settings
the squarespace dashboard

To design the layout of your website and storefront, you click on the Edit button. The Squarespace designer features a header builder, hundreds of drag-and-drop blocks, moveable sections, and a true draggable interface for editing just about every element on the site. 

Squarespace vs Bigcommerce in design

BigCommerce Design

BigCommerce only caters to online stores (whereas Squarespace also supports standard business and personal websites). Therefore, its entire theme library works for ecommerce shops. With 300+ themes in its library, you definitely have more variety with BigCommerce. 

list of templates

However, the themes from BigCommerce aren’t as stylish as what you get from Squarespace, and you have to pay for them (often around $200 to $300 per theme). There are, however, about 12 free themes if you’d like to get started with simpler stylings. 

For the design process, BigCommerce asks you to choose a theme to apply to your store. 

The designer provides a visual preview of your store. Pick from a wide range of modules to drop into your design. 

page builder from bigcommerce

The headers and footers are somewhat customizable. BigCommerce design essentially works by only being able to place modules in the areas in which they say you can. 

It’s not a true drag-and-drop editor, since you’re unable to drag, or even edit, many of the elements that are included from the theme. 

bigcommerce design area

Winner: Squarespace

There’s no doubt about this one. Squarespace has stronger theme designs, and it actually offers a true drag-and-drop design interface. BigCommerce has a higher theme count, but we’re more keen on quality or quantity. 

Squarespace vs BigCommerce: Marketing

It’s possible to expand marketing functionality in both BigCommerce and Squarespace with the use of integrations and add-ons/plugins. In that respect, BigCommerce is far more extendable than Squarespace, since its App Store has more to offer. However, we’re mainly interested in the built-in marketing features. Let’s take a look. 

Squarespace Marketing

In Squarespace, you have access to general website marketing tools, and some marketing elements specific to ecommerce. 

The Marketing tab in Squarespace includes buttons for:

  • Email Campaigns
  • Customer Profiles
  • SEO
  • Location Management
  • Promotional Pop-ups
  • Announcement Bars
  • Instagram Stories
  • Facebook Pixel and Ads
  • Pinterest Save Buttons
  • URL Builders

The best part of the Squarespace Marketing section is its email marketing, since it offers automations, simple but beautiful templates, and segmentation of your lists. 

Squarespace vs Bigcommerce in marketing

When it comes to ecommerce-specific marketing tools, Squarespace has:

  • Abandoned Cart Recovery
  • Customer Notifications
  • Product Reviews
  • Related Products
  • Waitlists
  • Facebook and Instagram Selling
  • Discounts, Gift Cards, and Coupons
  • Email Signups
  • Blogs

BigCommerce Marketing

The Marketing panel from BigCommerce is a robust one, and all the features are designed just for ecommerce merchants. 

Not to mention, you can always extend your marketing capabilities with BigCommerce apps. 

The built-in marketing features include:

  • Banners
  • Promotions
  • Abandoned Cart Emails
  • Transactional Emails
  • Google Customer Reviews
  • Coupon Codes
  • Email Marketing
  • Gift Certificates
  • Selling on eBay 
bigcommerce abandoned cart emails

Some other marketing-related tools not included in the Marketing section are:

  • Social media links and selling
  • Blogs
  • Free shipping promotions
  • Sale and out of stock banners
  • Customer profiles
  • Wishlists
  • Multichannel selling on places like Amazon, Facebook, and Walmart
  • Ads for Google, TikTok, Instagram, and more
  • Gift wrapping
  • Shopper comments

Winner: BigCommerce

Although BigCommerce tends to rely more on its apps, it’s still more of a robust system for marketing—particularly for ecommerce-focused marketing. From the omnichannel selling to advertising on various websites, you can’t go wrong with marketing on BigCommerce. And, if you struggle find a feature, just turn to the App Store. Squarespace is limited on that front. 

Squarespace vs BigCommerce: Support

We’re looking for multiple facets of customer support when discussing an ecommerce platform. First, you want several ways to contact a real person, like through the phone (best option), email, a ticketing system, or live chat. It’s also nice to see support options provided right in the dashboard interface. 

Next, you’ll need online resources such as technical documentation, videos, social accounts, a blog, and a search engine knowledgebase with FAQs. We also like seeing developer documentation for more advanced customizations. 

Squarespace Customer Support

Squarespace sends all of its support requests through a contact form questionnaire. It’s a way to convince users to figure out their own problems with online documentation; which we’re not a fan of. There should be a direct link to email the customer support team, considering we’re talking about ecommerce websites, where every minute could cost an online business money if unable to reach a customer support representative. 

So, Squarespace sends you through the questionnaire. You can either choose a support document to help you out or eventually send in an email. Squarespace offers an email ticketing system and live chat, both of which are available 24/7 (but the actual response times vary). There’s no phone support, which, in our opinion, is a major flaw for a company supporting businesses with immediate needs. Sometimes, you must speak with a person on the phone to get the fastest, best answers. 

Squarespace’s online documentation is solid. They have user and developer help centers for searching out a topic and finding relevant articles. There are categories for outages, ecommerce, adding products, purchasing domains, working with the mobile app, and much more. It’s also nice to see that much of the documentation is complemented by visuals like videos and images. 

Squarespace vs Bigcommerce in customer support

Other than that, Squarespace provides online resources through:

  • Their blog
  • Social media accounts
  • A video tutorial page
  • Webinars
  • A user forum
  • API documentation

BigCommerce Customer Support

BigCommerce provides 24/7 customer support through email, live chat, and the phone. That’s right, BigCommerce knows how to do it when it comes to customer support for ecommerce business owners. They have phone lines for dozens of specific countries, along with one that covers “All Countries.” 

bigcommerce customer support page

They do try to send you through the help center first, but they at least have an easily accessible “Skip” button to go right to the live chat, phone, and email support solutions. 

BigCommerce is no slouch in the online documentation department either. The help center is filled with hundreds of articles on how to build your store, set up payment processing, and configure apps. There’s also something called BigCommerce University, which provides ecommerce training from BigCommerce experts. 

In addition, you can access online documentation and support avenues through: 

  • The BigCommerce ecommerce blog
  • Their social media channels
  • BigCommerce podcasts
  • Webinars
  • Community forum
  • Their video guide page
  • API documentation

Winner: BigCommerce

You can’t beat phone support, especially how BigCommerce offers phone support in several countries. Squarespace has the necessary online documentation, but it’s tedious to sift through all that to get to a direct contact avenue where you speak with an actual person. 

We also like how BigCommerce has a focus on online learning, with its notable BigCommerce University and content-rich blog for figuring out things about BigCommerce on your own. 

Squarespace vs BigCommerce: Which is Best? 

That’s a 3-2 decision for the battle of Squarespace vs BigCommerce!

Although we recommend Squarespace over BigCommerce as the top general solution for building an ecommerce site, you must still look at what’s most important to you and your business. 

Here are some recommendations that may lean you one way or the other. 

You should consider Squarespace if:

  • You’d like a slightly cheaper way of selling products online
  • You would rather not pay for a higher-tier plan for abandoned cart recovery (like you would have to with BigCommerce). 
  • You like the idea of choosing from free themes. Squarespace’s free theme selection is rather strong. In fact, most themes are free. 
  • You’re leaning towards a photo-centric online store design. Squarespace’s themes are more stylish and modern than the ones from BigCommerce, but you will have to support the quality of those designs by uploading high-resolution photos. 
  • You’d like an ecommerce platform with no sales limits with its pricing plans. BigCommerce, on the other hand, has sales limits on all of its plans. 
  • You’re interested in a true drag-and-drop website builder, where just about everything inside the preview is editable. 

You should consider BigCommerce if:

  • Phone support is a must for your business. BigCommerce has wonderful customer support, while Squarespace lags behind in that area. 
  • You’d like to have the most robust marketing features possible. Although Squarespace has solid marketing tools, it’s hard to keep up with the App Store from BigCommerce, and the built-in tools like social selling and advertising. 
  • You’re running a large store with lots of inventory. BigCommerce is really designed to support large catalog shops; you’ll notice that with their themes. 
  • You’d like more options for payment methods and processing. Squarespace limits you to just a few payment gateways, while BigCommerce opens up options to over 65 payment gateways (including options like Square, Stripe, and PayPal). 
  • Your business intends to sell internationally. Squarespace has international selling features, but nothing beats BigCommerce’s support of over 140 currencies, 230 countries, and multi-site control from one dashboard. 
  • You have plans to dropship or use a print-on-demand service. With its large collection of apps, BigCommerce leads the way next to Squarespace when it comes to finding dropshipping partners, and product sourcing solutions in general. 
  • There’s a chance you need a point of sale. Squarespace provides a simple POS module, but BigCommerce’s POS can support large, complex operations. 

Finishing Thoughts

Squarespace has its niche in the design area. We also like it because it’s simpler to use than BigCommerce, while also including more built-in features that you’ll actually utilize. BigCommerce, on the other hand, is primarily focused on ecommerce. It’s an online selling machine with wonderful support for point of sale operations, multichannel sales, and accepting all types of payments. 

If you’re still having trouble choosing between Squarespace vs BigCommerce (or if you'd like to consider other platforms, like Shopify), leave us a comment in the section below!

Joe Warnimont

Joe Warnimont is a Chicago-based writer who focuses on eCommerce tools, WordPress, and social media. When not fishing or practicing yoga, he's collecting stamps at national parks (even though that's mainly for children). Check out Joe's portfolio to contact him and view past work.

Comments 0 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rating *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.