SquareSpace Commerce is the most recent addition to the unique SS platform. This is an ideal option for a smaller store (i.e. 200 or less items) to start selling their wares online. The platform really is easy to use and takes all the typical hassles out of getting your own site built and integrated with things like payment processing, SEO and even marketing systems. Best of all the prices are very affordable and you can be online incredibly quickly.
The amount of features offered through SquareSpace Commerce is quite impressive. To begin with, designing your site is very simple and straightforward. There are several dozen templates to choose as a starting point. From here, the design editor is drag and drop making things very intuitive. Best of all, you do not need to know any code to make it all work.
Each customer also receives hosting included with their package and numerous other tools to make managing the site easy. One of these tools is social media integration so that you can connect with your followings on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Import existing inventory from a number of other sources (even Shopify and BigCartel). Users who are familiar with Google Analytics will also find it easy to integrate for deeper information about your visitors and users.
Shopping cart and payment processing options have also been simplified. There is a 30-second account sign-up with Stripe, the SS preferred merchant payment processing solution. It is also quite easy to include payment buttons and numerous product variants. There are also options which allow for multiple types of coupon creation along with full tax and shipping tools to help with store and order management.
There are also some impressive marketing and SEO functions included. Users may edit page titles, meta descriptions and create custom URL's. They also include XML site maps, valid XHTML code (although you do not to know any code yourself) and even 301 redirects.
When considering the question of value regarding an e-commerce provider, a number of questions should be asked (and answered). For starters, does the company in question have any set-up fees or other hidden charges? In the case of Square Space, there are no set-up or start-up fees of any kind. In fact, the only additional charges to consider would be those for your merchant processing. If using Stripe, these will amount to a very small transaction fee of 30 cents plus 2.9% of the order. This is in line with most major merchant processors are charging these days.
The price of the site or service should also be a major consideration. In the case of SS, they offer a very simple pricing structure (see the chart below). There is only a single plan offering, the Business Package. The price of this is a very reasonable $24 per month when committing to a full year term (it is $30 on a month, no commitment basis). The bottom line is how much value do you place on having your own online store, taking orders on your behalf 24 hours a day? Is this worth the equivalent of a couple of premium coffees of fast food lunches?
Another very important consideration when choosing an e-commerce platform is the safety and security options built in. Square Space has been an online blogging and content management platform for a while before venturing into the e-commerce space and they have already built up a solid reputation in both of these areas. This includes having a strong 99.9%+ up-time record. This means that your site will remain connected to the server and customers will be able to visit whenever they wish.
The payment processor of choice is another aspect of security to consider, since this is where customer data will be processed. Fortunately, Stripe is fully PCI certified and seems quite secure. All of your payment pages will be served over Secure Socket Layer encryption methods, so there should be nothing to worry about. Additionally, under such a system all of your customer data and financial information is never held or stored on your site. This fact alone should convince users that everything is incredibly secure and on the up and up.
The best thing about the Square Space customer support is the fact that this is not outsourced to India. In other words, when you call, you will actually speak to someone in plain English. Better still, the agents are very helpful and quite knowledgeable about all things related to e-commerce and websites. You may also send an email, which should be answered in a reasonably quick amount of time. They also offer an extensive knowledge base. You will also receive live chat support and even a peer to peer network where other users help to support one another.
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