Etsy vs Squarespace: Choosing the Best Platform for Your Online Store

When considering building an online store, two popular platforms frequently come to mind: Etsy and Squarespace. Each offers distinct advantages and could be the better choice depending on the specific needs and goals of a seller. Etsy is a well-known marketplace that caters to handmade, vintage, and craft supply items, making it a go-to destination for artisans looking to reach a large audience without needing to worry about the technical aspects of website design. Squarespace, on the other hand, is celebrated for its elegant design options and powerful website building tools, providing a higher degree of customization and brand control for entrepreneurs who seek a standalone online presence.

Navigating through the nuances of each platform can be daunting, but understanding the differences in e-commerce features, pricing structures, marketing tools, and scalability options is crucial. Etsy's built-in audience and ease of setup make it an attractive option for new sellers, while Squarespace’s comprehensive toolset offers businesses the functionality needed to grow and customize their online store over time. Ultimately, the decision between the simplicity and community of Etsy and the design freedom and scalability of Squarespace will significantly shape the online retail experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Etsy offers a built-in customer base ideal for artisans, while Squarespace provides greater customization for brand-centric stores.

  • Both platforms offer diverse e-commerce tools, but Squarespace has more advanced options for scaling businesses.

  • Understanding platform pricing, marketing efficacy, and community resources is key to choosing the right fit for online selling.

Overview of Etsy and Squarespace

When evaluating Etsy and Squarespace, I consider the distinct functions they serve for online sellers. Etsy is a specialized marketplace focusing predominantly on handmade, vintage, and craft supply items. It connects sellers with a large audience actively seeking these unique products.

EtsySquarespaceNiche marketplaceAll-in-one website builderTargets vintage & handmade itemsComplete creative controlBuilt-in customer baseRequires self-promotionLess flexibility in brandingOffers branding and customizationCommission-based feesMonthly or annual subscription

Squarespace, in contrast, provides a comprehensive set of tools for creating a standalone website. This platform allows me full control over my brand and online presence with sophisticated design capabilities and marketing tools.

While Etsy simplifies the process of setting up shop by handling the technical side of e-commerce transactions, I must adhere to their specific platform rules and transaction fees. Squarespace entails a steeper learning curve and the need for my marketing efforts, but in exchange, I gain independence and ownership over my online store's look, feel, and function.

In essence, I choose Etsy to capitalize on an existing marketplace with a dedicated audience for niche products, or I opt for Squarespace when seeking a professional website that affords me more freedom and brand individuality.

Website Building and Design

When comparing Etsy and Squarespace, I focus on the ease of building and designing a website, the customization options available, the variety of templates offered, and the overall design flexibility that both platforms enable.

Ease of Use

Squarespace is renowned for its user-friendly interface, the simplicity it offers non-technical users, and an intuitive drag-and-drop editor. As I analyze its capabilities, I find that there are no coding skills required to create and manage a visually appealing website on Squarespace. On the Etsy side, the ease of use extends to their clean interface that's optimized for selling handmade and vintage items, although Etsy's main function is as a marketplace, not a site builder.

Customization Options

Squarespace grants me more freedom with extensive customization options to tailor my website's appearance and functionality to match my brand. Meanwhile, Etsy's platform, specifically through its Pattern website editor, provides basic customization tied primarily to the selling experience within Etsy's marketplace structure.

Template Selection

When it comes to template selection, Squarespace offers me a suite of stunning, designer-quality templates. These templates are both modern and diverse, catering to a wide range of industries and styles. Etsy, in contrast, has a more limited scope, designed to display products within the Etsy marketplace environment rather than offer a broad selection of website templates.

Design Flexibility

Squarespace shines with its design flexibility, allowing me to adjust layouts and style elements extensively to suit my aesthetic preferences and functionality needs. Etsy's Pattern editor provides limited design flexibility, being more functionally adequate for sellers looking to quickly set up a shop that aligns with the Etsy ecosystem.

E-Commerce Features

When comparing Squarespace and Etsy, it's essential to focus on the specific e-commerce features that each platform offers. These include the way products are managed, how payments are processed, the transactional fees involved, and the ability to track inventory.

Product Management

On Squarespace, I manage product listings through a comprehensive site dashboard, allowing for bulk uploads and detailed customization for each listing. In contrast, Etsy provides a more straightforward product upload process which suits sellers who prioritize ease and speed.

Payment Processing

I find Squarespace's payment processing integrates seamlessly with Stripe, PayPal, and Apple Pay, offering me multiple ways to accept payments. Etsy also processes payments efficiently, but mostly through its Etsy Payments system with an additional option for PayPal.

Transactional Fees


  • Listing Fee: $0.20 per item listed

  • Transaction Fee: 5%

  • Payment Processing Fee: Around 3% + $0.25 (may vary by country)


  • No listing fees

  • Transaction fees vary by plan; 0% for Advanced Commerce Plan

Inventory Tracking

With Squarespace, I use real-time inventory management which alerts me when stock is low. Etsy's inventory tracking is simpler but effective, automatically keeping count as items are sold.

Pricing and Value

In this comparison between Etsy and Squarespace, I'll focus on how much you’d spend on each platform and the kind of value you could expect for your investment.

Pricing Structure

Etsy operates with a listing fee for each item, a transaction fee, and a payment processing fee. As of my knowledge cutoff in 2023, listing an item costs $0.20, and there's a 6.5% transaction fee on the sale price, including the shipping fee set by the seller. Payment processing fees vary by country. For sellers who are interested in additional promotional tools, Etsy offers an optional monthly subscription service, Etsy Plus.

In contrast, Squarespace provides a tiered subscription model with no listing fees. Monthly fees for Squarespace range depending on the plan, which can include various features tailored to different needs. The most basic plan is suitable for simple websites, while more advanced plans cater to full-fledged e-commerce setups, often including complete website design customization options, integrated analytics, and customer account features.

Value for Money

With Etsy, I find the value lies in its immense marketplace and community, which can offer immediate audience reach for unique, handcrafted items. By harnessing Etsy's platform, sellers can tap into a large customer base without the need for extensive marketing. Squarespace vs Etsy details how Etsy's features are particularly suited to sellers who do not wish to build a standalone online store.

Squarespace, on the other hand, provides sellers with a personalized online presence and greater control over their branding and customer experience. Though there's an upfront cost, Squarespace’s all-inclusive packages can be more cost-effective in the long run for business owners who seek a professional-looking online store with the capability for scale and complexity. The comparison on Squarespace vs Etsy: The Simple Guide for 2023 highlights Squarespace's robust e-commerce tools which are driving forces for businesses aiming to build a strong online presence.

Selecting the right platform between Etsy and Squarespace depends on individual business needs, goals, and resources. It’s about weighing the potential for marketplace reach against the desire for customization and brand control.

Marketing Tools

When choosing between Etsy and Squarespace, it's crucial to understand how each platform's marketing tools can amplify your online presence. Both platforms offer unique ways to reach customers, optimize your visibility, and engage with your audience through different channels.

SEO Capabilities

On Etsy, I have access to basic SEO practices like tagging products and optimizing listings to increase visibility within the Etsy search ecosystem. In contrast, Squarespace provides me with a comprehensive set of SEO tools that allows for detailed customization of page titles, meta descriptions, and URLs, which helps improve my site's ranking on search engines like Google.

Social Media Integration

Etsy's platform allows me to connect my shop to various social media networks, making it easier for visitors to share my products. However, Squarespace goes a step further by offering built-in functionality for displaying my social media content directly on my site, and the ability to push content from my website to my social channels seamlessly.

Email Marketing

Etsy offers me a range of marketing tools that include the ability to send targeted email campaigns to shoppers who've shown interest in my store. Squarespace, meanwhile, provides integrated email marketing solutions that allow me to create email campaigns from scratch or by using customizable templates, track results, and manage my subscriber list all within the same platform.

Each feature provides distinct advantages, depending on how I want to engage with my customers and grow my online business.

Support and Community

When choosing an online sales platform, reliable customer support and a robust community for resources are crucial. These aspects can significantly enhance the user experience and provide valuable guidance.

Customer Support

Etsy is known for its user-friendly interface and the support it provides to both buyers and sellers. Customer support is accessible through a help center, email, and, for sellers in certain tiers, phone support. For immediate issues, accessing live chat or using the Etsy Forums can be beneficial. On the other hand, Squarespace provides 24/7 customer support through live chat and an extensive knowledge base. Priority support is also available for customers on higher-tier plans, which ensures quicker responses.

  • Etsy Customer Support Options:

    • Help Center

    • Email Support

    • Phone Support (for eligible sellers)

    • Live Chat

  • Squarespace Customer Support Offerings:

    • 24/7 Live Chat

    • Email Responses

    • Knowledge Base

    • Priority Support (for premium customers)

Community and Resources

I’ve found that Etsy has a strong, vibrant community of artists, vintage sellers, and craft enthusiasts, which can be tremendously beneficial, especially for new merchants seeking advice or inspiration. Its forums and teams feature is a hub for interaction among peers. Meanwhile, Squarespace boasts an independent community forum where users can share ideas, ask for advice, and provide feedback to each other. Additionally, Squarespace's community benefits from professional development programs such as webinars and workshops designed to help users maximize their site's potential.

  • Etsy's Community Resources:

    • Seller Handbook

    • Forums and Teams

    • Etsy Success newsletter

  • Squarespace's Community Features:

    • Community Forum

    • Webinars and Workshops

    • Support Articles


When discussing the scalability of Etsy and Squarespace, I focus on the capacity to handle increased volume and the flexibility to enhance your business's complexity over time.

Growing Your Business

Etsy is a renowned marketplace for handmade and vintage items, allowing sellers to capitalize on an existing customer base for growth. Its structural setup is advantageous for small-scale sellers looking to reach a vast audience without significant upfront investment. However, individual shop scalability can be restricted due to marketplace competition and fixed formatting.

On the other hand, Squarespace provides a more customizable platform with tools tailored for brand development and scaling. With Squarespace, I have the power to craft a unique brand identity, a factor that's crucial as my business grows. Moreover, Squarespace's robust analytics help in tracking growth patterns and making informed decisions.

Expansion Features

  • Etsy:

    • Market Audience: Access to a large, established customer base.

    • Etsy Plus: Offers advanced tools for shop customization and restock requests.

  • Squarespace:

    • E-Commerce Growth: Intuitive tools for website expansion and complex inventory management.

    • Marketing Integrations: Advanced options such as email campaigns, SEO tools, and social media integrations.

In summary, Squarespace is well-suited for sellers with an eye on long-term business growth and brand evolution. For those looking to leverage community and ease of entry, Etsy provides a platform to grow within a bustling marketplace. The choice hinges on whether I prioritize immediate audience access or long-term brand development.

User Experiences

When comparing Squarespace and Etsy, I focus on actual feedback and documented experiences that shed light on the strengths and challenges of each platform.

User Reviews

  • Squarespace:

    • Ease of Use: Users typically find Squarespace to be user-friendly, allowing for the creation of visually appealing online stores with its range of templates.

    • Customer Support: The customer service is often mentioned positively, with many users citing helpful and responsive support.

  • Etsy:

    • Market Reach: Etsy’s users frequently highlight the benefit of accessing a large, global market specially tailored for creative and handmade goods.

    • Ease of Setup: For beginners, Etsy is praised for its straightforward setup process, enabling sellers to start quickly without needing technical skills.

Case Studies

  • Squarespace:

    • A local artisan shared how using Squarespace's analytics tools helped them to refine marketing strategies and increase sales substantially.

  • Etsy:

    • A vintage clothing shop owner mentioned in a case study that Etsy's community aspect brought them closer to their customers, resulting in higher customer loyalty and repeat business.

Frequently Asked Questions

When considering the best platform for your online store, you may have some specific questions about Squarespace and Etsy. Here are answers to commonly asked questions that could help guide your decision.

What are the advantages of using Squarespace over Etsy for an online store?

Squarespace offers a comprehensive website builder with extensive customization options. I have the freedom to design my store, control the branding, and use tools for SEO and marketing.

How does Squarespace compare with Etsy in terms of transaction fees?

Squarespace charges a flat transaction fee for its Commerce plans, while Etsy charges a listing fee, a transaction fee, and a payment processing fee for each item sold.

Can products listed on Etsy be seamlessly integrated into a Squarespace website?

Yes, products listed on Etsy can be showcased on a Squarespace site using the Etsy Block, though transactions and inventory management still take place through Etsy.

What limitations should sellers consider when choosing to sell on Etsy?

Sellers should consider Etsy’s focus on handmade, vintage, and craft supplies, which may not be suitable for all types of products. Additionally, competition on the platform can be intense.

What is the difference in customization options between Squarespace websites and Etsy shops?

Squarespace websites offer extensive customization options, allowing me to create a unique look. In contrast, Etsy shops have limited customization, mainly centered around shop banners and profile sections.

How do ecommerce features on Squarespace differ from those on Etsy for small business owners?

Squarespace provides a full suite of ecommerce features such as abandoned cart recovery and advanced analytics, which are not available on Etsy. Squarespace also allows for more control over customer interactions and data.

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