Shopify vs Square: Which is Better? Choosing the Right Platform

Home » Shopify vs Square: Which is Better? Choosing the Right Platform

When it comes to selecting the best platform for your business, comparing Shopify vs Square is essential. Both offer powerful solutions for e-commerce, but understanding their differences can guide you toward the right choice. Whether you are looking to create a full-fledged online store or need a reliable point-of-sale (POS) system, this guide will provide you with everything you need to know. From ease of use and payment processing to pricing and feature sets, we will explore all the key aspects to help you choose the right platform for your business.


Shopify is a prominent solution for e-commerce, designed to assist businesses in effortlessly setting up and managing online stores. It provides a diverse selection of templates, robust customization options, and a complete suite of tools to manage products, payments, and customer relationships effectively.

Square, on the other hand, is renowned for its POS solutions, which are popular among small and medium-sized businesses. The company provides a complete ecosystem for payments, including hardware and software that integrate seamlessly for in-person and online sales.

Key Features Comparison

  1. Ease of Use
    • Shopify: Known for its user-friendly interface, it enables users without technical skills to effortlessly establish and run an online store. The platform offers numerous templates and a drag-and-drop builder.
    • Square: Its POS system is straightforward and easy to use, making it ideal for physical stores. The online store setup is straightforward, though it might not offer as many customization options as its competitor.
  2. Payment Processing
    • Does Square work with Shopify? Yes, Square can be used as a payment method with Shopify through third-party integrations, but it is not a built-in option.
    • Does Square integrate with Shopify? Integration is possible but not native, requiring additional apps or third-party services.
    • What percentage does Shopify take from sales? The transaction fees on Shopify differ based on the subscription plan you choose. Fees vary from 2.4% to 2.9% per transaction, along with an additional fixed fee of 30 cents for each transaction. The exact fee depends on your plan and whether you use Shopify’s own payment processing service, Shopify Payments, or an external payment provider.
  3. Features and Flexibility
    • Shopify: Offers numerous helpful features including abandoned cart recovery, detailed analytics, and multiple sales channels (e.g., social media, marketplaces). It is highly scalable, making it suitable for businesses of all sizes.
    • Square: Provides strong POS capabilities and basic e-commerce features. It is excellent for businesses that primarily operate in-person but want an online presence.
  4. Pricing
    • Shopify: Offers tiered pricing plans starting from $29/month. Additional costs may include transaction fees and premium themes or apps.
    • Square: Square provides a free plan for basic online stores. For transaction processing, Square charges 2.6% + 10 cents per in-person sale and 2.9% + 30 cents per online sale. There are no monthly fees for using Square’s basic online store, but transaction fees apply to each sale.
  5. Integration Capabilities
    • Third-Party Apps: Shopify features a comprehensive app store with thousands of third-party apps covering everything from accounting to marketing automation. Square also provides integrations, but its selection of apps is more limited.
    • Developer Support: Shopify offers a wide range of developer resources, including detailed documentation and a large developer community. Square provides developer support as well, but it is more limited in scope.
  6. SEO and Marketing Tools
    • SEO Features: Both platforms provide tools to optimize your site for search engines, including options for meta tags, sitemaps, and alt text.
    • Marketing Tools: Shopify offers advanced marketing features like email marketing campaigns, social media integration, and discount codes. Square has marketing tools as well, but they are generally less extensive.
  7. Customization and Design
    • Templates and Themes: Shopify provides a wide variety of free and premium themes that are highly customizable. Square’s themes are more limited in number and customization options.
    • Custom Design Options: Shopify allows for significant customization, including access to HTML and CSS for those who want to tweak their site’s design further. Square offers customization but to a lesser extent.
  8. Mobile Compatibility
    • Mobile Optimization: Both platforms ensure your store is mobile-friendly, which is crucial as more consumers shop on their phones.
    • Mobile Apps: Each offers mobile apps that allow you to manage your store on the go, though Shopify’s app is generally more comprehensive.
  9. Customer Support
    • Support Channels: Shopify provides 24/7 support via chat, email, and phone. Square also offers customer support, but its 24/7 support may not be as extensive.
    • Response Time and Quality: Both are known for their responsive and helpful support teams, though user experiences can vary.
  10. Security Features
    • Data Protection: Both platforms implement strong security measures, including SSL certificates and PCI compliance, to ensure customer data is protected.
    • Fraud Prevention: Shopify offers advanced fraud detection tools, while Square includes basic fraud prevention features.
  11. User Reviews and Case Studies
    • Customer Feedback: Shopify generally receives positive reviews for its ease of use and extensive features. Square is praised for its simplicity and effective POS system.
    • Case Studies: Including examples of successful businesses using each platform can provide valuable insights into how each might work for your business.
  12. Migration and Scalability
    • Ease of Migration: Shopify provides tools and guides to help you migrate from another platform. Square’s migration tools are less comprehensive but still effective.
    • Scalability: Shopify is built to scale alongside your business, catering to both small startups and large corporations. Square also scales well, particularly for businesses that grow from physical stores to include online sales.
  13. International Selling
    • Global Reach: Shopify is well-suited for international sales due to its support for various currencies and languages. Square also supports international selling but may have fewer options for localization.
    • Shipping and Tax: Both offer tools to manage international shipping and taxes, though Shopify’s options are generally more robust.
  14. Developer Resources and Community
    • Developer Support: Shopify provides a wide range of developer resources, including detailed documentation and a large community of developers. Square also offers developer support, though it is more limited in comparison.
    • Community and Forums: Both have active user communities and forums where you can get peer support and share experiences.

Which is Better for Your Business?

Is Square or Shopify better?

The answer depends on your business needs. If you need a powerful online store with extensive features and scalability, Shopify is likely the better choice. If your business is primarily in-person and you need a reliable POS system, Square may be more suitable.

Does Shopify use Square?

While Shopify does not natively use Square, you can integrate them through third-party services if needed.

Is Square compatible with Shopify?

Compatibility is achievable but may require additional steps for integration.

Common Questions

Are Shopify and Spotify the same company? No, Shopify and Spotify are entirely different companies. Shopify is an e-commerce platform, while Spotify is a music streaming service.

Final Thoughts

Choosing between Shopify and Square ultimately depends on your specific business needs. Shopify is ideal for creating comprehensive online stores with advanced features, while Square excels in providing integrated POS solutions for in-person sales. Consider your operational model, the importance of customization, and the need for support to make the best choice for your business.

To make an informed decision, review the specific features and pricing plans of each platform. Consider what aspects are most important for your business, such as ease of use, scalability, and integration capabilities. It may also be beneficial to take advantage of any free trials or demos offered by Shopify and Square. This hands-on experience can help you understand how each platform works and which one aligns better with your business goals.

The right choice will ultimately enhance customer experience, support business operations, and contribute to your long-term success.